I taught ELA in a high school class with block scheduling and I loved it! Within the week there was enough time to pre-teach vocabulary and develop background knowledge; give mini lessons on reading and writing strategies; and have students read and write. I also made time for individual conferencing and small group reinforcement once a week. Breaking the week into days with specific purposes also helped: Monday: Vocabulary and Background Knowledge. Tuesday: Reading mini lesson and begin reading. Wednesday: Writing mini lesson, continue reading; Thursday: individual or small group conferencing, independent reading, writing. Friday: wrap up, formative assessments. Of course, it seldom went according to schedule, but this framework helped me to wrap my head around 70 minute periods. Good luck!
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I was nervous about the switch and ended up really liking block schedule. This is for high school math:
I started with a warm up, then used some time to go over homework and answer questions (usually not enough time for this!), which works well in groups. Then I would present a lesson, take a break to work in groups, and then present some more (to cover the material that would have been done in 2 classes before). Keep the students active, change things up with group work, projects, individual class work and other activities that relate to your subject. Good luck! It takes some getting used to but has a lot of advantages too!
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