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Opinion: Less is More When it Comes to Block Days

The idea behind block days is to allow for enriched learning and prolonged class time to fully explore concepts. However, block days hinder a student’s progress in classes such as foreign language. To learn a foreign language, it is best to practice the language for a certain amount of time every day.

By decreasing the number of days a student is in a given period to 3 instead of 4, the administration is only hindering a student’s progress in learning a language by preventing daily or almost-daily practice. Learning a language comes with memorization of rules and words; a block period of a language is excessive, overflowing a student’s mind as opposed to a traditional 50-minute period of reinforcement of previously learned topics and enough time to teach a small lesson and practice.

“Ideally, we would see our students as frequently as possible,” says Nichole Barlow, a Spanish teacher for levels 2, 3, and 4. You want your students to be practicing these skills every day, or almost every day. The advantage of a two block day schedule is that I see my students four days a week, and be able to check in on how their language is. I would definitely prefer to see my students as much as I can.”

Additionally, in classes where there are no labs, sitting and listening to two lectures in a row is unnecessary. A student is more likely to grow tired and bored while sitting in the same room for double the time. Having school in shorter periods allows students to move around after fifty minutes of class, walk across the school, get blood pumping, and refocus for the next period. Block periods, which are just shy of two hours, grow extremely tedious and do not allow students to refresh their tired brains.

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