Day 71 (of 186) a first thematic Finnish day
I have class that struggles with transitions….so I decided to change things up and add some more transitions….sort of….
I have long been a fan of the idea of the Finnish Schedule – essentially 45 mins of work with a 15 minute ‘break’, but have always found it tricky to implement in the north american bell schedule school culture…..but I figured the ‘excuse’ of the final week before winter break might be a good time to experiment….
So I decided to blend it with some ‘thematic days’ – I know this isn’t a new idea and indeed many days do end up having a common theme….that’s how we got to T(ec)hursday – the day we will always allow tech from home to come to the school…..
So I broke down the week into some key themes:
Thursday: Games (but I may switch weds and thurs still…..)
Friday is our whole school exploring winter celebrations from around the world and singing some songs to end off the day.
So it should be a good time to ’embrace the chaos’.
I started by explaining why we were going to explore 45/15 breakdowns within the day and the class seemed willing to give it a try….
And upon reflection we all liked how the day got “chunked” as 45 minutes seems to go by very fast knowing that there will be a break in the schedule (where they get some choice in what they will do….)
It also allows me to help model what a “break” can look like. Sure it can be free play outside but it can also be a break to take some time to read….not every recess has to be like every other recess….
So….day one with a focus on Story – a “final day” to do some finishing touches on some stories that have been written and some movies that we have been filming. Kind of nice to have a whole day focusing on one thing: sense of story both as an audience and as creators! I know I will likely have to return back to “daily ___” (math, daily 5, reading, writing etc) but I’m starting to wonder…..maybe a whole day focused on a subject (full day art, science, writing, etc) can keep our focus and attention on that one “topic” with the other subjects overlapping (because they always do) on an “as needed” basis…..because while we had more ‘transitions’ than a normal day….the transitions went smoother….but maybe that’s just a honeymoon period….
I’ll know more once we tackle our days of music building and games over this final week until Winter Break!