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Old 09-07-2011, 05:53 PM
 
11,636 posts, read 20,454,851 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovesMountains View Post
hmmmm...Oregon, kind of figures.

I just don't understand how this isn't at least basic to all graduation requirements in every state in this country:

English 4 credits (or years)
Math 4 credits
Social Studies 3 credits
Science 3 credits

Are you telling us that in Oregon you can graduate with less than this?
What happens with block schedule is that kids can get a whole credit for two quarters of a class. The thinking is that if they have a 45 minute class for a semester that is equivalent to a 90 minute class for a quarter. There are 2 problems with block schedules (in my mind).

The first is that high school kids can't pay attention for 90 minutes of continuous instruction so they get less than 90 minutes. Some teachers let them do their homework, others attempt to teach the entire 90 minutes with the kids losing focus. Neither is really ideal.

The second is that depending on a kid's schedule they could have english for the first and second quarter of their freshman year and then not have any english until the third quarter of their sophomore year. Yet-they will have to take the state tests during the third quarter. It can be difficult for kids to pass the tests that way.

I do not like block schedules. They do save money and they allow crowded schools to offer more classes.
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Old 09-07-2011, 06:22 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 30,754,930 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark of the Moon View Post
Our school is (reluctantly) on this schedule and the majority of students have four classes each semester. A few will have study hall or an internship or an off-campus class/commitment.
How do you meet requirements for graduation with only four classes per semester? Our kids need 3 years of science, 4 years of math, 4 years of language arts, 4 years of social science, PE, computers, and a total of 22 credits to graduate. While I'd LOVE the extra class time, I don't see how you could teach all the subjects you need to in four periods.
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Old 09-07-2011, 06:28 PM
 
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The great thing about block schedules is that it shows who all the bad teachers are. They're the ones who "run out of things to do". Good teachers never have enough time to teach.....
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Old 09-07-2011, 06:31 PM
 
16,600 posts, read 14,088,141 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haggardhouseelf View Post
The high school in our area has two semesters, four terms.

The kids have four class periods a day - each class period is 83 minutes long.

So their schedule for one term looks like this:

First Period - 83 minutes
Second Period - 83 minutes
Lunch - 40 minutes (off-campus)
Third Period - 83 minutes
Fourth Period - 83 minutes

My question is - are other high schools following schedules such as this, and if so - is it impossible to get a fourth period for your student? Our students are only scheduled three classes - first, second, and third periods. To get a fourth period, we are told by the counselor that parents must "fight" for a fourth period (the exact word she used) and this year we've been told "there aren't enough teachers for kids to have fourth period classes".

Really? Is this normal? Legal? For real?
A double block schedule is becoming more and more normal. My school is on it, my daughters just switched to it, and we both love it. That being said, both schools offer a class each period (tho at my school two of them are science). But during a budget crisis which is what it is sounds like your school is in, they only have to offer enough classes to satisfy the state requirements. Most states require english, gym, math, history, and a certain number of science, language and tech courses. Sounds like you can get all of those over 4 years of six courses a year. Doesn't sound illegal to me.
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Old 09-07-2011, 06:34 PM
 
16,600 posts, read 14,088,141 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
How do you meet requirements for graduation with only four classes per semester? Our kids need 3 years of science, 4 years of math, 4 years of language arts, 4 years of social science, PE, computers, and a total of 22 credits to graduate. While I'd LOVE the extra class time, I don't see how you could teach all the subjects you need to in four periods.
Because each semester is equal to a year in half year block (since they meet for 80 minutes EVERYDAY). So they get 8 classes in.

My schools is on two day double block. They have three classes one day, a different set of three the next and their science course/s (our kids need 5 years of science to graduate) every day for 80 minutes all year long. I swear I spend more time with my students then some of their parents.
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Old 09-07-2011, 06:38 PM
 
16,600 posts, read 14,088,141 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Momma_bear View Post
What happens with block schedule is that kids can get a whole credit for two quarters of a class. The thinking is that if they have a 45 minute class for a semester that is equivalent to a 90 minute class for a quarter. There are 2 problems with block schedules (in my mind).

The first is that high school kids can't pay attention for 90 minutes of continuous instruction so they get less than 90 minutes. Some teachers let them do their homework, others attempt to teach the entire 90 minutes with the kids losing focus. Neither is really ideal.

The second is that depending on a kid's schedule they could have english for the first and second quarter of their freshman year and then not have any english until the third quarter of their sophomore year. Yet-they will have to take the state tests during the third quarter. It can be difficult for kids to pass the tests that way.

I do not like block schedules. They do save money and they allow crowded schools to offer more classes.

Block scheduling can be an amazing learning environment.

My school is on an A/B (not half year) double block schedule and have been for over 20 years. I think we were one of the first schools in the country to adopt it. Our teachers are all trained and supported for differentiated instruction in every period so our kids are engaged from the beginning of the period to the end. For example, on a typical day, we do 10 mins of bellwork and review, 20 mins of lecture, 20 mins of lab, 10 mins of discussion of lab in framework of lecture, 15 mins of group work on problems, and 5 mins of closure.

Every teacher I know who has been trained, and every student in our school, really gets alot out of our a/b block schedule. I would not go back to a 40 minute period for anything.
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Old 09-07-2011, 06:41 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
33,908 posts, read 42,165,527 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
How do you meet requirements for graduation with only four classes per semester? Our kids need 3 years of science, 4 years of math, 4 years of language arts, 4 years of social science, PE, computers, and a total of 22 credits to graduate. While I'd LOVE the extra class time, I don't see how you could teach all the subjects you need to in four periods.

If the block is done (90 minutes per class, give or take) and classes are every day you get the required seat time in a semester for a year long course. There's 4 credits. Second semester repeat. Eight credits for the year.

If you block on an every other day A/B schedule you get the seat time in a year, full credit in 2 semesters. Where these blocks fall is when you start slipping time down to 80-85 minutes per class. When we first did it I used some rusty Math skills to figure out that in a year long class with 85 minutes you lose almost an entire quarter's hours over the course of a year opposed to 45 minutes every day.

One thing that was mentioned is that if you do the every day block and state tests/AP or IB tests are in the Spring then those kids go an entire semester without the connected class. Also the Fall one school year Spring the next school year issue between classes is an issue on the every day block.

What we've done this year with a 5 period block (A/B days) is have most of the core classes except US History every day for 9th graders, some of them every day for 10th graders (state tested, Bio, Eng 10, Gov't) and the rest of the classes alternate days. My electives are every other day as are my World History classes-not tested. We also run all the AP classes except Art every day.

I prefer the 7 or 8 period 45 minute class period model. I need to see the kids every day, especially when I'm messing with their heads in Psych. I'm also having trouble setting names as I get older. What helps is that I know many of the kids anyway prior to the school year.

The block works well for Lab classes, especially when you have an Administration that doesn't know how to schedule back to back periods if you're on a 7/8 period day.

A note: although our kids can now earn 40 credits in 4 years they're only state required to have 22 to graduate.
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Old 09-07-2011, 06:41 PM
 
16,600 posts, read 14,088,141 times
Reputation: 20563
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovesMountains View Post
hmmmm...Oregon, kind of figures.

I just don't understand how this isn't at least basic to all graduation requirements in every state in this country:

English 4 credits (or years)
Math 4 credits
Social Studies 3 credits
Science 3 credits

Are you telling us that in Oregon you can graduate with less than this?
It can also vary by school.

My school requires 5 years of science to graduate.
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Old 09-07-2011, 06:48 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
33,908 posts, read 42,165,527 times
Reputation: 43311
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkb0714 View Post
It can also vary by school.

My school requires 5 years of science to graduate.
Your school or your school system?

Also, how do you get 5 credits in 4 years without doubling? Or does a lab count as a separate credit?

Would this school be a Science magnet?
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Old 09-07-2011, 06:51 PM
 
16,600 posts, read 14,088,141 times
Reputation: 20563
Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
Your school or your school system?

Also, how do you get 5 credits in 4 years without doubling? Or does a lab count as a separate credit?

Would this school be a Science magnet?
Our school and it is a science themed public academy not a science magnet (our students come from the entire state instead of just one sending district and we still have to meet all of the state requirements most magnets are exempt from).

And yes, they double up senior year. They have to take two college science courses (we offer 4) to graduate.
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