Tuesday, September 7, 2010


As relaxed as napping bunnies.

I have never experienced block period schedule until now. Didn't have it in high school personally. And those four hour labs in college don't count.

I'm not sure what to think about a block schedule though. I like it, and at the same time I don't. I like the freedom of doing something that isn't restricted to the traditional 49-ish minutes. It takes the routine out of the week and adds something fun, social, and verbal/artistic/whatever to math.

I don't like it because sometimes, those block periods seem So. Freaking. Long. Also, it takes me forever to memorize the bell schedule. I have a hard enough time remembering the regular bells, let alone a whole new set of them during the week. I've had the bell times posted on nearly all four walls of my classroom, plus on the overhead projector, plus on my desk, plus in my Data binder, plus saved on both my school computer and my own laptop. I still have yet to remember the entire schedule.

Today was the first block day. I passed out textbooks and the students recorded damages. We went over the homework, did warm-up problems, and the students took notes and did in-class practice on the lesson. I gave them about ten minutes of in-class homework time (to make sure everyone knows what to do, and to answer questions that might pop up). Then we did a Get It Together activity - the "What Went Bad?" one. It's a medium difficulty word problem, and I scaffolded it MAJORLY by creating a graphic organizer for the students to fill out in their teams.

It was fun to listen to all the discussion and logical arguments they had. Some were quite heated. It also gave me a lot of insight on who was a natural leader and who liked to be in the background.

The productivity continues. I'm so amazed at how well behaved these kids are. I've gotten a lot more buy-in to my classroom than I've ever had before, even with Mr. B's one-in-ten-years classroom. I like to think that is partly me, although it's still too early to tell.

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