Trying to Squeeze in More Choice in Our Days

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#sol- November 8, 2016

“Today we will talk about Free Choice Friday during workshop time, ” part of my Mornong Message read last Friday.  I struggle with the endless rush of the pace at school- there is always more to do and I know there is so much room for me to do things “better”. Last week I started something in class that feels like a step in the right direction as I struggle to balance the teacher I want to be with the teacher I am. At the end of our meeting we moved into writing workshop. We talked about the goals of writing workshop-with the major one being helping us to be better writers. We talked about all the different kinds of writing the students know and want to do. We talked about what the teacher’s job is during workshop. And then for 30 minutes they wrote. Some continued their information book, others wrote poems, letters, comics, picture books, fantasies, and more. Some worked on their own and some worked collaboratively. All were totally engaged.

Once it was reading workshop time we had a similar discussion, and off they went to read. Just before recess we reflected on the morning. I told the students that while I could not promise that every Friday would be a Free Choice Friday like this I was promising them that at least part of workshop each Friday would be free choice. Monday to Thursday we work hard on the units of study that all grade 3 is working on (and do not get me wrong, I LOVE these units), but on Fridays we are opening up the choices. I see it evolving a bit as we might add in seminar groups where students who want to learn more as a group can do that. This Friday we will start by checking in and seeing what new ideas the students have for workshop. I can’t wait to see where it takes us!

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5 thoughts on “Trying to Squeeze in More Choice in Our Days

  1. Jennifer Laffin

    We all struggle with the balance of the teacher we are with the teacher we want to be. You are a reflective teacher in this process and it shows by the chances (and choices!) you take to make learning better for your students.

    Reply
  2. sallydonnelly11

    My first quarter ended yesterday and I have today off to do report cards and plan for 2nd qrt. And I have so much I still want to do but time goes too quickly. Your post is comforting because it reminds me I am not alone.

    Reply
  3. jarhartz

    I absolutely LOVE this free choice Friday plan. It’s not just about the teacher you want to be but the students they want to be: students that know how to choose what they love to do as readers and writers! Go you!

    Reply

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