This page is designed for SHS questions, answers, and reflection for Dr. Rettig's instructional sessions on March 12, 2011.

Questions and Answers:
  1. Given that your book is 15 years old, what would you now suggest are the 5 most important things we need as a school about to enter teaching in the block?
    1. Pacing of your courses: will that change? Redo pacing guides for long-term planning. 90 days, exams days, total instruction days. How do I deliver instruction, guided practice, and assessment.
    2. Teaching strategies in the block. Develop lesson plans before the school year begins.
    3. Continued staff development: what's working, what's not.
    4. Analyze school policies related to schedule that need revision for the new schedule.
    5. Communications plan: how do we communicate change.
  2. Why do some school choose block then revert?
    1. pay, percentage of teaching time, number of students in the schedule impact economics.
    2. To save money, a 7 period day teaching 6 meant schools needed fewer teachers, so they go out of the block. But reasons vary.
  3. How do you deal with absenteeism, especially chronic absenteeism
    1. From student perspective, they feel they miss double but from half as many people.
    2. Schools tend to have a class notetaker and notes are posted or shared or handed out.
    3. Location for missed handouts.
    4. Homework posted on board and website.
    5. Given a longer class, more time to touch base with absentee students.
  4. Do you advocate the prep as a block, not half block?
    1. Prefers a block a day, but knows that a school will do what it has to do economically.
  5. How does homework change with the block?
    1. From student standpoint: have several days v. every night, every subject.
    2. A little less because more of the purpose of homework--practice and review--in the block.
    3. 80 minutes are more valuable than ever.
    4. Do not finish a class with homework or you get "homework creep" and throughout the year you lose more instructional time.
    5. Homework becomes reverse instruction, done prior to, so guided practices begin the class while the teacher helps and assists. Videos or podcasts done by teacher and viewed/listened to at home. Hence, homework. (HM answer)