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The Block Scheduling Handbook
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The Block Scheduling Handbook

Second Edition


December 2008 | 288 pages | Corwin
Covering every aspect of designing a successful block scheduling program for elementary, middle, and high schools, this ready-to-use handbook offers specific strategies and tools proven effective in increasing immersion into subject matter, improving student-teacher rapport, and decreasing disciplinary problems. The author provides an in-depth case study of an ideal elementary curriculum, plus all the models, forms, and templates needed to get a program up and running. The second edition of The Block Scheduling Handbook features extra coverage of student transitions, Freshman Academies, and Small Learning Communities for greater instructional development.
 
Dedication and Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
1. The Current Status of Block Scheduling
 
2. Block Scheduling and the High School
 
3. Developmental Aspects of Growth and Behavior
Physical Development From Early Childhood

 
Through Adolescence

 
Cognitive Growth

 
Characteristics of Piaget's Stages of Cognitive Development

 
Schemata and the Process of Assimilation, Accomodation, and Equilibration

 
The Sensori-Motor Period

 
The Period of Preoperational Thought

 
The Period of Concrete Operations

 
The Period of Formal Operations

 
Cognitive Theory and Block Instruction

 
Personality Development

 
Erikson's Stages of Personality Development

 
Implications of Erikson's Theory for Block Instruction

 
 
4. Building the Block Culture in the School
 
5. Selecting the Best Fit
The 4´4 Block Schedule Model

 
The A/B Block Schedule Model

 
The Modified Block

 
New Lesson Designs for the Block

 
 
6. Block Scheduling in the Middle School
The Middle School Defined

 
Characteristics of the Middle School

 
Team Teaching Interdisciplinary Teaming

 
Block Classes or Periods

 
Advisory Programs

 
Benefits of the Block Schedule in the Middle School

 
Shortfalls of the Traditional Schedule

 
The Flexible/Alternate/Navigate (FAN) Models

 
Advantages of Modified Schedules in the Middle School

 
Teaching in the Block in the Middle School

 
Summary

 
 
7. The Elementary School on the Block
Historical Events Impacting the Elementary School

 
National Initiatives

 
America 2000

 
Part 1: For Today's Students, Better, More Accountable Schools

 
Part 2: For Tomorrow's Students, a New Generation of American Schools

 
Part 3: For the Rest of Us (Yesterday's Students and Today's Workforce), a Nation of Students

 
Part 4: Communities Where Learning Can Happen

 
Goals 2000: Educate America Act

 
A State Example: The Elementary Curriculum in North Carolina

 
Technology

 
English Language Arts

 
Mathematics

 
Science

 
Social Studies

 
Fine Arts: Dance

 
Fine Arts: Music

 
Fine Arts: Theater

 
Fine Arts: Visual Arts

 
Organizational Patterns

 
Disadvantages of Graded Arrangement

 
Alternative Possibilities for Scheduling

 
4-Blocks Model for Elementary Education

 
Parallel Block Scheduling

 
Summary

 
 
8. Aligning Standards and Course Content
Models for Use of Instructional Time

 
Limiting Content

 
Notes to Remember

 
Assigning Outside Content

 
Integrating Content: C-Clustering

 
Curriculum Alignment and Instructional Pacing

 
Curriculum Alignment Phase 1

 
Curriculum Alignment Phase 2

 
Instructional Pacing Phase 1

 
Instructional Pacing Phase 2

 
 
9. Sample of Curriculum Alignment and Pacing
 
10. Effective Instructional Strategies for Block Scheduling
Cooperative Learning

 
The Case Method

 
Socratic Seminar

 
Synectics

 
Concept Attainment

 
Inquiry Method

 
Simulations

 
Recommendations for Improving Block Scheduling for the Future

 
 
11. Teacher-Directed Instruction
Direct Instruction as a Teaching Model

 
Direct Instruction as a Continuum of Teaching Behaviors

 
Summary

 
Our Mr. Jefferson: A Sample Teacher-Directed Lesson

 
 
12. Discovery and Inquiry
Discovery Learning

 
History and Research

 
Promises and Pitfalls

 
Summary

 
The Inquiry Training Model

 
History and Research

 
Promises and Pitfalls

 
Summary

 
Building the Tower: A Sample Discovery Method Activity

 
 
13. Simulations and Role Play
Simulations

 
Forms for the Simulation Model

 
Rationale for Appropriate Use

 
Lesson Design

 
History and Research

 
Promises and Pitfalls

 
Summary

 
Gifted and Talented Simulation: A Sample Lesson Using Simulation

 
 
14. Cooperative Learning
History and Research

 
Promises and Pitfalls

 
The Case Method

 
Summary

 
Building the Perfect School: A Cooperative Staff Development Activity

 
 
15. Synectics
History and Research

 
Gordon's Stages of Creativity

 
Promises and Pitfalls

 
Summary

 
To Kill a Mockingbird: A Syectics Sample Lesson

 
 
16. Socratic Seminar
Group Discussion and Student Participation

 
What Happened: A Socratic Seminar

 
 
17. Instructional Assessment
Methods of Instructional Evaluation

 
Presassessment

 
Formative Assessment

 
Summative Assessment

 
Assessment of Student Acheivement

 
Portfolio

 
Unit Evaluation

 
Lesson Evaluation

 
A Positive Classroom Climate Through Instruction

 
 
18. Program Evaluation and Student Assessment
Reasons for Evaluation

 
Defining Program Evaluation

 
Instructional Evaluation

 
Summary

 
Evaluation Resource 1: Block Schedule Teacher Survey

 
Evaluation Resource 2: Teacher Survey: High School Instruction

 
 
19. A Guide to Traditional and Authentic Assessment
Writing and Evaluating Test Items

 
Parts of a Test Item

 
Categorizing Items on Cognitive Levels

 
Evaluating Test Items

 
Using Authentic Assessment for Student Evaluation

 
The Trouble With Tests Is...

 
What Is Authentic Assessment?

 
Brain Growth, Brain Enrichment, and Attention

 
Effective Implementation of Authentic Assessment

 
Multiple Intelligences and Authentic Assessment

 
Types of Authentic Assessment

 
 
References, Recommended Readings
 
Internet Resources
 
Index

"The research-based principles espoused in this handbook helped transform our upper school into a true college preparatory institution. This complete how-to book provides valuable, concrete ideas for subject area teachers while supporting administrative efforts to maximize opportunities using block scheduling. I highly recommend this book if your school is initiating, adapting, or question the block scheduling approach. This book will reinvigorate your efforts to truly impact student learning."

James Freemyer, Associate Professor
Indiana Wesleyan University

"Should be required reading for every high school administrator and educators in general. By highlighting research-based best practices, the author has put forth cutting-edge strategies that will not only improve student achievement, but also provide teachers with 21st-century skills to differentiate instruction."

Jim R. Watson, Retired Superintendent
Lincoln County Schools, NC

"A wonderful guide for school leaders as they create a contemporary schedule for middle and high school students to take advantage of a variety of curricular offerings. This second edition is comprehensive, with numerous subject-centered examples and detailed specifics for those desiring to move to more advanced designs. It is no wonder why Queen is often referred to as the father of the new block schedule."

Henry Peel, Wachovia Distinguished Professor
East Carolina University

"An excellent step-by-step guide to all the stages of improving instruction on the block schedule at any level. As a guest faculty member at our university in China, Dr. Queen used the text to train numerous doctoral students, school principals, and classroom teachers in this scheduling practice. The new edition is even more advanced, with excellent designs and detailed activities in a variety of subject areas."

Ding Zhenguo, Vice President
China University of Geosciences

"This is the complete, step-by-step guide for administrators and teachers interested in all stages of going to or improving instruction on the block. Building on its predecessor as well as the author’s international and national reputation and experience, this edition includes numerous subject-centered examples and detailed specifics for those interested in moving to more advanced designs. If you have one book on block scheduling in your library, it should be this one."

Bob Algozzine, Director
Behavior and Reading Improvement Center

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1. The Current Status of Block Scheduling


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