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Block schedule

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  • Matt and Chris Davis
    I teach art in a middle school, grades 5-8. We will return in the fall to an alternating block schedule, meaning I will have 80 minute periods. I am looking
    Message 1 of 4 , Jul 3, 2006
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      I teach art in a middle school, grades 5-8. We will return in the fall to
      an alternating block schedule, meaning I will have 80 minute periods. I am
      looking for suggestions from people who work with a block schedule for how
      to effectively organize the class period. Any tried-and-true advice?

      Thanks ..... Chris
    • Barb Felsecker
      Hi Chris: I think you will LOVE the block scheduling! For art teachers in particular, it gives students so much more time to work on projects and your 80
      Message 2 of 4 , Jul 3, 2006
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        Hi Chris:
        I think you will LOVE the block scheduling! For art teachers in
        particular, it gives students so much more time to work on projects and your
        80 minutes can be used to the fullest because the set-up and cleanup times
        are not taking up most of the class period as in a traditional 55 minute
        period. For the most part, I present more projects that are lengthier and
        more time-consuming with four-block. I have found that in our 4-block
        schedule ( I teach at the high school, 9-12 graders....each term is about
        eight weeks), you have to be more selective in what projects you are
        presenting since all our art classes are only eight-weeks long....so we
        only have those particular students in that particular class for those eight
        weeks. There are some classes at our school, however, that go for two
        terms...but not many (hybrids).
        Also, if you have a few students in your class that are a pain and think
        that your art class is just a class for being rude, obnoxious and/or for
        socializing or whatever (these are the students that mistakedly believe
        that art classes are blowoff classes and school rules don't apply here but
        are surprised when they find out there are high expectations from me-some
        even drop the class!) then you need to remember that you are only having to
        deal with these students for 8 weeks or so instead of a semester!! Every
        class I've taught has a mixture of students...grade-wise and
        background-wise. So you can easily have a lower-entry art class with most
        freshmen and just a couple of seniors. The higher-level classes usually
        have those students who are older (11-12 graders); have been at the high
        school and in the art department for a few years; and really enjoy the work.
        No class is exactly like another; each class is unique and brings with it
        some interesting challenges.
        Another thing I've found....the time goes by alot faster with block
        scheduling. It seems a term barely begins and we are calculating mid-term
        grades. And, of course, each term requires a final exam.
        If you have any more questions, feel free to contact me off the list.

        BF



        From: "Matt and Chris Davis" <davisc@...>
        To: <art_education@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Monday, July 03, 2006 11:10 AM
        Subject: [art_education] Block schedule


        >I teach art in a middle school, grades 5-8. We will return in the fall to
        > an alternating block schedule, meaning I will have 80 minute periods. I
        > am
        > looking for suggestions from people who work with a block schedule for how
        > to effectively organize the class period. Any tried-and-true advice?
        >
        > Thanks ..... Chris
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
      • Joy B.
        i had a block schedule for four years and i found a few things to be helpful. 1. start class with a warm up (i have some suggestions if you are interested) 2.
        Message 3 of 4 , Jul 3, 2006
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          i had a block schedule for four years and i found a
          few things to be helpful.

          1. start class with a warm up (i have some suggestions
          if you are interested)
          2. have at least two activities: independent and group

          3. wrap up with some sort form of assessment (can be
          super short like a 1.2.3. card to start the next class
          with)

          even if the kids are working on a project most of the
          class, they can do an early critique or walk around
          the room to look at kids work...if you chat about it,
          it could take at least 15 minutes...
          also allow 10 minutes for clean up
          those classes scared me at first...but soon they were
          so short!

          cheers
          joy


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        • Act Silly 4 Art
          I teach 5-8 grade, I have each grade twice a week, 90-minutes periods. I love the block schedule because it gives me more time to set up the projects without
          Message 4 of 4 , Jul 10, 2006
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            I teach 5-8 grade, I have each grade twice a week, 90-minutes periods.  I love the block schedule because it gives me more time to set up the projects without feeling rushed.  My basic rule of thumb is to create projects that are stretched out over the whole week or several weeks.  I usually spend the first half of the class introducing the project followed by the students starting the project.  The next class, I usually spend 15 minutes reviewing the criterias of the projects, answering questions and solving problems.  The rest of the class period the students work on their projects.  This really works well for me although I have other art teachers tell me that they dedicate the first half of the block to working on the art projects and the second half is a free art or study hall.  
             
            I really like having the 90-minutes with my students and although the classes are held only twice a week we get a lot done and I think the quality of work has improved because the students don't feel rushed either.  If students finish early with their projects they are encouraged to go back and see if there is anything else they can do to improve it or they assigned to help others. 
             
            cat
            Matt and Chris Davis <davisc@...> wrote:
            I teach art in a middle school, grades 5-8. We will return in the fall to
            an alternating block schedule, meaning I will have 80 minute periods. I am
            looking for suggestions from people who work with a block schedule for how
            to effectively organize the class period. Any tried-and-true advice?

            Thanks ..... Chris



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