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Q&A #2528 |
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I teach 7th grade mathematics at in middle school in Rialto, California. Our class periods are 55 minutes on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday but Wednesday is a minimum day and the class periods are 35 minutes each. Two years ago I had a block schedule. I had two math classes back-to-back and they were blocked with the science class. So, on Monday and Thursday I had one group of students for 110 minutes and on Tuesday and Friday I had the other group of students for 110 minutes. The science teacher did the opposite. On Wednesdays because of minimum days we each had both groups for 35 minutes. I liked the block schedule because I was using two rooms. I taught in a regular classroom the first class period and then we went to a computer lab for the second period. I developed lessons that were introduced with manipulatives or paper/pencil activities and then were again introduced using technology. I have no test data to say that students learned more but I believe that spending longer on problems and using a variety of methods to work through them enhances learning. Actually, though, block scheduling is not required to teach this way. This year I teach 4 days in the lab and 1 day in a classroom. I am still using the idea of mixing activities, technology, and paper-pencil formalization. -Suzanne A., for the Teacher2Teacher service
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