Block Scheduling Resources

Central High School moved to an alternating block schedule beginning with the 2015-2016 school year. The schedule will alternate between Red Days and White Days, with each having four periods. Lunch will take place during period 3.  Beginning in the 2017-18 school year, Red and White days will be set for the year.  Beginning Tuesday, September 5th as a white day, they will continue in a predictable way until the end of the school year.  The District reserves the right to change a day in the future if snow days happen to fall on a majority of one particular type of day.  The school will send home information if this decision is made.

Below are some resources and teaching strategies for teachers to use. While you can Google most of this on the web, I thought it would be nice to have everything together in one place.

by Melissa Kelly
  1. Multiple activities in any class period are a necessity. Research shows that the attention span of even an adult is not much more than 30 minutes. Therefore, lecturing for 80 minutes will not only kill your voice, but also result in less learning. Instead instruction should be varied. Ideas include debates, whole group discussions, role plays, simulations, and other cooperative learning activities.
  2. Try to engage as many of Gardner's Multiple Intelligences as you can. This ensures that every student is reached according to his/her strengths.
  3. Vary the learning modalities: Kinesthetic, visual, or auditory. Similar to Multiple intelligences, this ensures that you keep the attention of all the students. This is especially important if your room is full of kinesthetic learners as mine often is.
  4. Do not expect too much of yourself. Especially in the beginning, you will over and under plan many times. That's okay. I always try to have two or three mini-lessons on hand to fill any extra time if I don't plan correctly.
  5. Take full advantage of the time allotted to institute those projects you never thought you'd be able to do. One of the main advantages to longer times is you can start and finish a simulation (project).
  6. Do not feel as if you have to be the center of attention all of the time. Give your students independent work. Allow them to work in groups. Modular schedules, in many ways, can be very taxing on a teacher, so keep your chin up. If worse comes to worse, check out the top ten tips to manage teacher burnout for great ideas.

Various activities to use during instruction. Click the link above for a description of each activity.
  • Openers
    • Brain Writing, Carousel Brainstorming, Possible sentences, Pipe Cleaner Sculptures, Exclusion Brainstorming, Idea Wave
  • Questioning
    • In the Hot Seat, Reciprocal Questioning, Vote with Your Feet, Questions in a Jar, Paper Pass, Sticks (method for Random Name Calling)
  • Text Analysis
    • Character Quotes, SQ3R, Jot Chart
  • Research and Discuss
    • Hot Potato, Silent Debate, Listening Post, Dyad, Four Corners, Socratic Seminar, Three Step Interview, One Minute Paper, Concentric Circles, Haiku
  • Closure, Review, and Reflect
    • 3-2-1, Event Cards, Whip-Around, 12 Word Summary, Evidence Bag, A-B partner Teach, Think-Pair Share, Learning from A to Z, Quick Write, Exit Slip

Chunking Time in 80min Block.pdf