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Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

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Nonnewaug boys soccer coach Toby Denman, left, and assistant coach Josh Kornblut address the team after a game last season. Denman says hes tried to learn how to be an effective coach by observing the ones hes played for and coached with. (Kyle Brennan)
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Teachers Preparing New Strategies for Block Schedule

Nonnewaug science teacher Toby Denman looks at his AP Biology schedule. Denman and his colleagues will have to adjust to teaching more block periods next year.
Grayson Leveille ’27
Nonnewaug science teacher Toby Denman looks at his AP Biology schedule. Denman and his colleagues will have to adjust to teaching more block periods next year.

WOODBURY — Next year, Nonnewaug will operate in a schedule with 80-minute blocks four days a week and a fifth day with all eight classes. With this impending change, some students are expecting boredom in their classes, but what are teachers doing to prevent this?

Nonnewaug science teacher Toby Denman says that he will try to include lessons that are more engaging.

“[I try to] treat the block period with the perspective of we’re going to do something fun, engaging, student-centered or hands- on, or at least has multiple activities,” Denman said, ”opposed to … we’re doing [one thing] the whole time.”

Kelly Nichols, an English teacher at Nonnewaug, has a similar opinion on how to make long classes more engaging.

“The way I’ve learned to organize a block is like you have different chunks of time,” Nichols said. “You think of things in 20-minute increments and you have roughly four 20-minute increments in a block.”

Both teachers say that splitting blocks up into different periods of time is the best way to handle them. NHS freshman Ashton Elsemore thinks that this can help him not get bored.

“Working on the same thing for hours kind of gets boring after a while,” Elsemore says. “It is pretty easy for me to get bored in these long periods.”

Denman thinks that even if you get bored, as long as you try, you should learn.

“If you’re honestly trying to do your best, then you are likely to learn something,” Denman said.

Nichols thinks that taking breaks during blocks would be a good way to even out the workload.

“[I am] thinking about ways to try to give students a little break in between. It’s gonna feel like a lot, I think, in the beginning,” Nichols said.

Elsemore thinks that this can help him get used to the block days.

“Working on one thing starts to get tiring after a while,” Elsemore said.

Denman thinks that block classes can get harder for people with shorter attention spans. In the new schedule, only Mondays will feature classes at about 40 minutes in length.

“There are some students that really struggle to stay in one place for 80 or 90 minutes,” Denman said. ”Some of those days can be challenging for students that have a tough time on the block days, and it is kind of incumbent upon the teachers to come up with activities that keep them either excited or at least on track.”

About the Contributor
Grayson Leveille '27
Gray Leveille is a freshman at Nonnewaug High School. He writes for the NHS Chief Advocate as a sports reporter. He likes to write about sports and the school.
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