BlockScheduling

Block Scheduling

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Block scheduling refers to a 4-period day with each class lasting approximately 90 minutes.

The 3 common types of block scheduling are:
  • Alternate day schedule: Where the students and teachers meet every other day for extended time periods rather than meeting every day for shorter periods
  • 4X4 semester plan: Where students meet for 4 90 minute blocks every day for 4 quarters
  • Trimester plan: Where students take two or three courses every 60 days to earn six to nine credits per year

Pros
  • Because teachers see fewer students each day, they are able to spend more time giving individual instruction
  • Because of the increases teaching time, it allows for longer cooperative learning activities
  • There is more time for labs in science classes
  • Students have less information to deal with throughout the day
  • Because there are fewer classes, students have less homework throughout the week
  • The teacher is able to provide more varied instruction during class and is able to deal with students with disabilities and differing learning styles
  • Planning becomes easier and more gets done because planning periods are longer
  • Students have more time for reflection

Cons
  • For the teachers who only see students 3 to 4 times a week, students may lose continuity from day to day
  • If a student misses a day under the modular schedule, the student is actually missing two, or sometimes even more days
  • In a 4X4, all the information normally taught in a semester has to be covered in one quarter
  • It is difficult to cover all the material for Advanced Placement classes in the time allowed
  • No matter how well planned, on many days the teacher ends up with 10-15 minutes for the students to begin their homework and when all that time is added up at the end of the semester, less information is covered

If you would like to learn more about block scheduling, please explore these links:

http://www.blockscheduling.com/ - Provides information about the different types of scheduling you can incorporate

http://eric.uoregon.edu/publications/digests/digest104.html - Provides information about advantages, disadvantages and how to handle the change
http://eric.uoregon.edu/publications/digests/digest104.html - Provides information about the philosophy behind the trend, potential problems and how to compromise
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FCG/is_3_27/ai_66355137/pg_3/?tag=content;col1 - Article looking at how traditional scheduling and block scheduling affect student academic achievement