Free Choice Friday


#sol19- March 15, 2019

Usually, on Fridays, we have some time for “Free Choice Friday” when the class can work on their own choice of reading and writing (we use reading and writing workshop, so although they always get to choose what they read and write it is within the genre we are currently studying, but not on Fridays, on Fridays the choice is wide open).

Today we had less than 30 minutes, but they were a little magical. There were four adults in the room, including our TA, the EAL teacher, and her TA. We all had time to check in with students and support them.

S is scribbling furiously- she is on book four of a series that she and a friend are collaborating on and she is trying to keep up with demand- her friends want more!

A and V kept getting up and looking for books to read from our box of self-published books. There was a lot of choices there, the class is prolific.

C was working somewhat furtively on making a copy of a small book in his duckling series- a classmate is moving and he wanted to make a copy for his friend. When a few others heard that idea they were soon making books for their friend too. C has only recently started to see himself as a writer and sneaks his latest duckling books into our library. The EAL teacher commented on how his characterization has developed- his series keeps going.

The class was quiet, except for loud bursts of laughter-P loves humor and it was clear he found a good read-impressive since he started the year a quite reluctant reader.  A group of boys is gathered nearby on the couch- they each have an iPad and are reading biographies of wrestlers- they are comparing details and noting similarities and differences in the life stories.

“I’m finished,” M says with satisfaction as he closes his thick book. He passes it on to our TA, who wants to read it next.

A stops me to share his “fold out” book. He has created a graphic novel -something I never could have imagined from him a few months ago- he only liked to read and write traditional nonfiction-preferably about space. This “shy” boy even volunteered to share a few minutes later with the class.

As I look around I am surprised to feel my eyes well up. March is the month for magic and I am so amazed at how far these readers and writers have come. I love/hate this time of year. I am so proud of them, but already feeling the start of melancholy- we are about to start the fourth quarter.

5 thoughts on “Free Choice Friday

  1. notthewholestory

    I think, because they’re with us, all day every day, we don’t always see how far they’ve come (or, in your case, when we step out of the routine). Our Open House was last night, and it was a chance to step back and think about how hard they’ve been working all year. And, then, the realization that we’re on the downhill to June! It’s lovely that you had so many adults in the room! What a treat. Thanks for sharing your slice!

  2. mcoop1st

    My students love Free Writing Friday’s because they get to choose where they write in the room, what they write about, what paper they use and what writing tools they use. The students love having those choices!!

  3. deborahdillon

    You know, you’re right! March is such a long month on the calendar, but it IS the month where the hard work starts to show up in real, tangible progress! I have noticed that on several occasions just this week with my students. Thank you for pointing that out. Wonderful!


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