Re: Block Scheduling Issues
Posted by Blockhead on 1/6/2020, 6:13 pm, in reply to "Block Scheduling Issues"
I've done both. I like every day better, but you can make block work. The biggest case against it is retention. For a skill-based class (as opposed to a knowledge-based class), daily repetition is important. I don't have any scientific study to point to, but that's my experience. |
Some programs on block schedule make their kids double-block band. That's a GREAT deal, if you can wrangle it so you have 90 minutes every day. If your kids are gaining an elective slot through this change, maybe you can convince the kids. Tough to convince admin to let you make it a requirement, and if it's not required (maybe even for just the top group) then you won't have enough kids double-block to make it a good rehearsal.
If block is a done deal, see if you can work out an alternate block setup. I worked at one school where most classes 90 minutes on an A-B, but there was one period of the day where the kids had a 45 minute class that met every day. In that school it was opposite of lunch, but there are other ways.
Barring that, if you have to deal with block:
Enjoy taking a big chunk of time for warmups.
Hit every piece every day.
Find ways to break up the time. I would sometimes rotate groups in and out of class to go do sectional work, or do a short listening or writing exercise in the middle just to have a break. I always did announcements in the middle of class, not the end.
Expect that the kids will always slide backward from one class to the next (48 hours is a long time to remember things). Hopefully today's starting point is ahead of where you started last class, but it will be behind where you ended last class.
Try to get your kids playing on the off days. I usually had a short playing assignment due every day we had class, so typically the kids would turn it in the night before. That meant they at least played their horn for 30 seconds that day.
Plan ahead very carefully. After your kids leave class, you won't see them for 2 days. 4 days from Friday-Tuesday. Long weekends can mean you go a week. Plan accordingly, have a checklist on the podium. You can't just get to it tomorrow. For me this was most problematic with administrative things like announcements, permission slips, bus signups, etc.
You will likely have to reconsider your programming, take the difficulty level down a notch to maintain the quality standard.