24 x 4 Semester plan P. 1 Course 1 Course 5 2 3 Course 2 Course 6 4 5 7Course 4Course 88
34 x 4 Semester PlanSchool day is divided into 4 instructional blocks of approximately 90 minutes eachSchool year is divided into two semestersBlock courses meet dailyInstructions is compressed into one semester of block periods fulfilling a year of content
4Alternate Day Plan M T W Th F 1 PE MATH 2 3 HST CHOIR 4 5 SCI FL 6 7 ENGART8
5Alternate Day PlanSchool day is divided into 4 instructional blocks of approximately 90 minutes eachSchool year is divided into two semestersBlock classes meet every other dayCore courses run for an entire school year.
9Rotating Start Each class is taught each day for one year The class that starts the day changes along the 8 period scheduleAllows teachers to see all students at different times of day
10Why Block Scheduling? PROs Students can study and learn subject matter in greater depthInstruction is less fragmented, with greater time for serious discussions, cooperative activities, labs, group work and projects
11It allows for extended and variable instruction for students who may need additional support or have difficulty learning in short “sound bites”If structured correctly, teachers work with fewer students at a time, allowing for more personalized instruction and an improved school atmosphere
12The usual 50 minute teacher preparation period is almost doubled to 90 minutes, allowing for honing of lessons, more collaboration with colleagues and more time to work in one-on-one sessions with studentsThe number of times that thousands of teenagers are released into narrow hallways is reduced with fewer class changes, thus cutting down on discipline problems, noise and stress.
13CONs of Block Scheduling Cognitive science shows that regular review, spaced out over a long period of time, is beneficial to long-term memory of subject matter. Block scheduling diminishes opportunities for review, especially where “year long” courses are compressed into a single semester. Thus, the practice may actually serve to diminish student performance.
14Ninety minutes is a long time to hold students’ attention, and few teachers or other instructional staff have been trained in how to use this period of time effectivelyStudent transfers to and from schools with block schedules can be highly problematic; in some subjects, an entire year’s curriculum is lost through a mid-year transfer
15Missing one day of school under block scheduling can be like missing almost a week under traditional scheduling. For students who miss a week due to illness or other problems, catching up may be almost impossibleSome block schedules actually result in less instructional time. A 55- minute class that meets five times a week gives the instructor 550 minutes every two weeks, for example, whereas a 90 minute meeting on alternating days for two weeks (five days) gives the instructor 450 minutes.
16Strategies for Teaching under a Block Schedule Multiple ActivitiesMultiple IntelligencesVary learning modalitiesDon’t despairInstitute projectsDaily reviewTeach what is essential