I decided to change up the day yesterday. I got to work early (for me) and set out experiences for the students at each table. I did this again at each new learning time during the day. The one filmed here is my students during reading block.
This picture is one of the very few times I did any group work today where they were all invited to sit on the rug. It was a highly engaging art lesson from Art for Kids Hub and my class loves that YouTube channel.
They loved doing the drawing lesson, and it lasted 4 minutes on the video and another 4 minutes a second time. That was a perfect amount of time for them to get it, then they went on to draw for 40 more minutes.
Most of the day, I did not tell them what to do. The schedule on the board read “work, snack, recess, work, lunch, recess, work, library time, work, snack, Music, work, go home.”
I told them they needed to track their work. So, I showed them how they could write down a picture or a word or two about the choices they made around the room. They were supposed to work, then tell me or the EA what work and thinking they did in that space when they were ready to move on. You may notice me challenging a friend to do some actual work in the video. She had 5 of the birds the children were studying and she was sitting there, hoarding them. This is a behavior she struggles with. Later on, after the video, she chose to investigate the birds, because she noticed I didn’t give her much attention when she was hoarding.
Some of the activities were our math work places from Bridges and our reading and word work activities from Daily 5. Some friends chose to do that work. That was amazing!
It was pretty amazing, actually. Some friends had a really hard time with the idea at first because they were anxious about trying to fit it all in and not missing anything. Once they figured out that I was going to have them work like this all day, they relaxed.
I am developing a curriculum system that will allow for teachers to teach like this every day. Children can show us they are proficient in content without us putting a worksheet in front of them or teaching using 90% direct instruction. I AM OVER THAT WAY of teaching and simply cannot abide it any longer. I hope to launch my new system soon, because I really want other teachers to be able to do it, too! And yes, I will hopefully be able to give a lot of that system away FOR FREE.
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