Thursday, April 17, 2014

Do you have Friday Fun in your classroom?

When I first started teaching I didn't like the idea of Friday Fun. I though it was not educational and a waste of time. Then, I became friends with a veteran teacher and she showed me how important Friday Fun can be. This is a picture of a pattern block design one of my students made during Friday Fun.

My principal gives me a ton of freedom to do what I want in my classroom, but IF she were to ask me to justify having Friday Fun in my classroom I would have no trouble. I use this block as time for students to catch up on work they didn't finish during the week. I can also work with this small group of students because the rest of the class is happily engaged. I have 3 student computers and 3 iPads for students to use and those are always 6 stations. I always have a creative station (art, book making, coloring pages, etc.), a board game station, and a building block station. Believe it or not, the most popular thing to sign up for, at least for the girls, is to be my helpers. These helpers set up the class store and run it independently, put mail in boxes, tidy up, organize papers for me and sharpen pencils. They are my sweet little minions and they love it!

Everyone knows that CCSS is rigorous and with all the testing, we feel the pressure to have these little kids working bell to bell. Normally I do, but for 45 minutes each week the kids that have worked really hard get to have a little down time. The amazing thing about Friday Fun is when they have the time and freedom to just be creative, whether it's designing intricate pattern block designs or creating books and writing stories, or just building a block city with a couple of buddies. They are working on social skills and, more often than not, having a chance to apply what we've been learning in class to a new situation. Last week I overheard conversations about symmetry, 3-D shapes, telling time, and two students who were cowriting a mini book were talking about characters and setting. The kids enjoy Friday Fun so much that they usually work pretty hard during the week to earn it. Talk about motivation!

Do you have Friday Fun in your class and what activities do you set up?

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