“We must credit the child with enormous potential and the children must feel that trust. The teacher must give up all his preconceived notions and accept the child as a co-constructor.”
A few months ago, I was thinking about our day. Kids had been complaining that we didn’t have enough time for Writers Workshop when it was scheduled right after lunch, and I wanted to ask the kids what their thoughts were. I had always set our daily schedule. I started to question this, and began to wonder why I had to decide what the schedule would be. Why can’t the kids have a say in this? I initiated a conversation during morning meeting about our daily schedule. They agreed that the time allotted for Writers Workshop was a problem. They wanted more time to write, and they also wanted more Explore (our free play time), so we decided that we should try to fix this.
We started by establishing the “non-negotiables” – things in our day that we didn’t have control over, like lunch, recess and our specials. Those went up on the white board first. Then we took all the cards we had written out at the beginning of the year and looked at them on the rug. The kids talked about how they wanted the day to go and we created the daily schedule together. It was fabulous. They created the schedule to work for them. And they even carved out more time for Explore.
Now, as part of our daily morning meeting, we go over our daily schedule and talk about how we want our day to look. Most days stay similar to how the kids changed it a few months ago, but sometimes a child will suggest having Mathematicians Workshop at the end of the day, or switching Readers Workshop to the morning, or something else they want to try out. I let the kids decide how their day will look. It’s our day – and the kids should have a say.
Great idea! How inspiring the way you empower your students.
I love that you did this, you inspired me and our new schedule is a breath of fresh air every day. ❤
I love how the kids took what your class did, putting Readers Workshop at the end of the day, and gave that a try. It’s been wonderful!
Nice! I love when students can learn how to be in charge of their own learning.
I want to be in your classroom! You are preparing our future problem solvers who work together in a diverse group and they are only 5-6 years of age! I’m thinking of the possibilities and changes to our world as a result. Outstanding work and post, Katie!
I want to be in your class! Thanks for sharing all these wonderful ideas.
Do you have any studnets pulled out for interventions or other services? How do you deal with this as you change your schedule?
We have specialists come into our rooms, for the most part, rather than pull-out services and interventions.
I loved seeing your schedule written by the students. Student penmanship is so authentic.