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Topic: Block scheduling
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Katherine G. Harris

Posts: 18
Registered: 12/6/04
Block scheduling
Posted: Jun 30, 1995 9:24 AM
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My high school has been on block scheduling for three years.
We have four periods a day and teach three on one day and two
the next. Two of the eight periods are for planning and one of
the eight periods is a school wide study hall. There are a lot
of things I like about this. Teachers have a little more
planning time and you only have to plan for, at most, three
classes at a time. The longer periods are less stressful and
we don't have to switch gears so often. Students like it a lot
because they don't have to prepare for as many classes as
once. It is definitely easier!

Here are the things I don't like about it. There is a
definite lack of continuity and children - Yes, 14 through 18
year olds are still children in many ways. - generally are not
good a self discipline and time scheduling. The students want
no more than the "standard" amount of homework even though they
are supposedly preparing twice as much content. They think the
homework requirements and the speed at which material is
covered should not have changed from the every-class, every-day
schedule. We lost a significant amount of class time with this
change. It actually worked out to fifteen class periods per
course! Frankly, I don't think it has helped a single child to
perform at a higher level. The honors students are unaffected
by it and the slow students are difinitely hurt by it.

I understand that the longer periods are truly wonderful for
lab classes. When I went to high school - back in the dark
ages - our science classes met seven periods a week. Three
days were single periods and lab days were double periods. I
attended a large - 1500 students - school so the scheduling
must have been complicated, but it was done.

I should mention one truly wonderful thing about our block
system. The school wide study hall permits time for individual
help and making up work. Of course, this means that you must
run your study hall with an iron hand so that work can take
place, but the benefits are worth it.

Our school system is seriously considering the four by four
approach. (An entire course in "one" semester.) I am very
hesitant about this. I would love to hear some concrete

Katherine :)

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