Kelly Deters wrote:
I have mixed feelings about Block. I've taught on 3 schedules--
4 block where classes meet every day for a semester and that's considered a year (like Angie described). I liked this one academically, but that I felt like I was just getting to know kids when they left at semester (but then again, you can get rid of some quicker that way, too!)
7 classes that all meet for 50 min Mon-Wed and then block days on Thur-Fri (so you'd get 3 50 min and 1 90 min for each class each week)--this one was the worst for me for AP. You wanted to do labs on the block day (which was only 1 time per week), but with AP you need to keep moving, you can't "waste" a few days waiting for the block day to do the lab. So you ended up doing labs "out of sequence" (teaching another topic before going back to the previous one to perform the lab)...not ideal for connecting the lab experience with t he "class" experience. 7 classes that all meet on Mon and then block days Tues-Wed (so you'll have 1 50 min and 2 block days a week for each class). This one is better about not having to "wait" for a block day for a lab. But the bad part is absences (just like Angie said). Especially with 7th hour in the spring--7th hour is the end of the day on Tues & Thur. Those are the days for baseball & softball games and track meets. I sometimes go a week or more without seeing students in the spring because they're always gone for sports. So this was better for AP (don't make it the last hour of the day, though!) for the lab sense, but I found that it was harder for the "class" part--in order to stay "on schedule" with them, I had to present basically 2 lectures/discussions each period (in a 90 min period), but then that's a lot of information to process. With the 50 min class, they got smaller chunk s and had processing time between the chunks. So for lab, it's better, but for "lecture" I think it's worse. For regular chemistry, any of them has been about the same--they're aren't on quite a tight "schedule" so I don't have the issues with them that I've had for AP. I do like the block days better than the 50 min days just because the 50 min days make my head spin (3 preps, with only one set of back-to-back same preps...otherwise, every hour I have to switch to a different mindset)--on block days, I have at most 2 preps, and they're stacked back-to-back better.
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David R. Stinemetze Arkansas City High School