Wednesday, August 7, 2013

TPRS Year 4 - Block Scheduling...?

So I am going to be teaching at a school this year where they use block scheduling.  It alternates each day to the other set of classes.  So there are 4 classes (90 minutes) one day and the other set of 4 classes (90 minutes) the next.

I have only ever taught in my 7 years of teaching with 45-50 minute periods and I have (as you might imagine) gotten quite used to it.

What concerns me is that I will see my kids every other day and we might just have way too much time.

I'm sure there are TPRS & CI teachers out there who do this and find that 90 minutes isn't enough for them. But I would like to propose the question of those who do have this situation, what do you do for the first weeks?

I am thinking of the following in the 90 minutes for Spanish 1, with a slightly modified version for Spanish 2 (since we would have to review present tense anyway with them and the quality of input could be slightly higher based on their learning last year).

5 minutes - warm up
45-50 minutes: PQA (get to know you activity, 1-2 students per day) + short quiz over what we talked about
20-25 minutes: TPR (learning body parts; some commands; at most, 9 new words a day)
15-20 minutes: kindergarten reading / description of picture / extended PQA / basic movie-talk / kid's song

In the last section, I wasn't as sure since that's still a pretty good chunk of time.  I like the idea of more time for PQA but their attention might wane.  And TPR will get them moving for a little bit.

I would say for the first 1-2 weeks, I planned on having some basic books that I read over and over to them and told them how to play the game.  I have carpet so they could feasibly gather around me.

Of course, they might not be as comfortable with me yet to do that.

I would appreciate any thoughts or feedback as this whole block scheduling might push back our reading first semester if I can't find a way to effectively use the time for acquisition.

Does my "spanish boot camp" seem like too much?


  1. I am in my first year of teaching using TPR and TPRS (4th year teaching) and your schedule feels helpful at this stage (3 days in). My school teaches on a modified block, so I see the kids four days out of five, one being a 90-minute block. Thanks for sharing!!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Amy C! Welcome to teaching with TPR/TPRS & CI (Comprehensible Input). It's a great ride! I don't ever want to go back to what I used to do. Let me know how the year goes!