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OPINION: Block is better than period scheduling

By Tatiyana McSwine

Coming from Glenbard East and entering Batavia High School for my first year this year, I have experienced both block and period scheduling. I believe that block scheduling is the best way to go. It takes a different approach and wants to get the students involved.

Hearing someone say “I only have four classes” a day felt kind of awkward. Like really four classes? And 90 minutes each class? That couldn’t be; students wouldn’t sit still that long. This scheduling is different from traditional schools which have six to eight periods a day. Many schools use what is known as block scheduling to get the students more involved and give the instructor more time to compact the lesson plan. All teens should definitely be in favor of the blocking schedule because it affects them the most and gives them self-motivation.

The block scheduling decreases the workload put on students. Decreasing the work schedule gives the teens more times to get involved in school activities and priorities.

In 1994 Gordon Cawelti said, “At least part of the daily schedule is organized into larger blocks of time (more than sixty minutes) to allow flexibility for a diversity of instructional activities.”

The block schedule is made to provide  students with more time to be involved, getting them to interact at the same time as meeting graduation school requirements.

The scheduling gives the students more time to focus and devote more time to accomplish a goal. From having experienced the period scheduling since I have entered high school, the block schedule was a new format for me.

Ever since I have been in high school I have always found any type of math class a challenge to me. There was no hope, no matter what I tried. I entered Batavia and now math doesn’t seem like a major struggle to me. In 90 minutes, I devote my time to math and seek out help when needed. Block scheduling  gives the students more time to accomplish the goals and learning objectives of the day.  The period schedule did not provide  enough time to tackle seven subjects and after-school priorities like work and friends in the schedule. Something always couldn’t make the cut.  

The period schedule is “a schedule so tight that it would only work if I didn’t sleep on Monday nights,” said Alan Jay Lerner, a famous musician

Students in a period schedule had to study and study hard. In the period schedule, I experienced, all the test and quizzes would be on the same day, most likely every two weeks on Friday. That meant students had to study for eight tests a day and they were worth 80 percent of your grade. OH! And you wouldn’t have time to review before the class period because teachers wanted to make sure the students had enough time to finish. All the tests would usually take the whole period (45 minutes).

Students have to strive and want to be the best that they can be. The teens have to be self-motivated and want to succeed. The block schedule gives the time and effort needed to do so.

Positive outcomes multiply when four “year-long” courses are taught in longer time blocks, each compressed into one semester, say Canady Johnson and Rettig Wilson. “This pattern allows students to enroll in a greater number and variety of elective courses and offers more opportunities for acceleration. Students who fail a course have an earlier opportunity to retake it, enabling them to regain the graduation pace of their.”
Others may think that this is by far the worse way to go because statistics show that teenagers only have a time span of 22 mins. They are failing to realize that a teen that wants to succeed will and a teen who doesn’t won’t. You have to be self-motivated. Students  are in high school and most of them are capable of making their own decisions. The 90-minute classes get the student involved and active. If the attention span is only 20 mins and the class is 45 minutes they really haven’t mastered or learned any concepts.

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