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Topic: Re: Block Scheduling at High School
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Stephanie Goble

Posts: 22
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: Block Scheduling at High School
Posted: Jun 12, 1996 5:31 PM
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We have teaming in our school and have done it for about 7 years now. We
also did some blocking one year. I loved it with math because I could do
more cooperative group activities. The science teacher loved it too, esp.
with the time it took to do labs. The history and English teachers were not
too thrilled and felt it created discipline problems. I am for blocking in
math only if it is offered every day and not every other day. Some of our
kiddos have trouble remembering from day to day, let alone skip a couple.
I taught in summer school one year & did my own blocking with short
segments, using notetaking, guided practice, independent practice, etc. I
used a timer, so students were aware of what we were doing and when. It was
very successful for me, and I had students who were definitely not the "cream
of the crop." They were students who failed 2 or more core subjects during
the year, and needed to attend summer school in order to be promoted to the
next grade.
The high school my daughter will attend in the fall is on their second year
of blocking. Only two high schools in our district are doing it. I am
anxious to see what happens to those students who have a year of Algebra in
one semester & then no math for a whole semester if they choose. That
concerns me in the area of math because some much of what a student learns
requires skills and concepts taught previously so they can be successful. I
did speak with a past student and she said she had a hard time at first
getting used to knowing that a course ended in the middle of the year, but
she seems to have adjusted pretty well. (to start with this was a faily sharp
A couple of other teams attempted blocking and it turned out to be a
nightmare for them, so I guess it really depends upon the acceptance of your
staff it you want it to be successful. Probably observing schools that have
successfully implemented the blocking would be good. Before we ever began to
team, we set out for schools in other districts where they were having
excellent success with the idea & we observed and gathered data. Our
district provided us with substitutes and encouraged us to do this. Great
idea! We implemented it, and our students and parents adapted very well. We
had plenty of kudos from our parents. Many said they wished that their
transition to middle school had been as smooth as it was for their children.

Remember though--sometimes it is hard to teach an "old dog new tricks," and
you might meet that kind of resistance. The more you investigate it, and the
more your teachers can glean from good blocking situations, the more
successful you will probably be in your endeavors. Good luck! We haven't
gone to complete blocking yet, but when they do, I am ready to tackle it!
As ever,
Steph at Neff Middle School, San Antonio, Tx. :)

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