Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Tuesday afternoons

I have this really annoying thing happen on Tuesday afternoons.  A huge group of boys from my class go and have a private chess lesson.  This 45 min period of time has been a real thorn in my side in terms of delivering curriculum.  I don't want them to miss out on some learning but I don't want the kids who aren't at chess to miss out on learning either.

I started the year with a structured and planned afternoon program but what has evolved is something quite special.  It started when somebody asked if they could have some time to finish something.  It then morphed into everybody working on their choice of activity.

Suddenly there were kids working individually, in pairs or in groups with focused attention.

Suddenly there were projects.

Suddenly the children have hacked the class and created their own version of Google 20% time.

And the best bit for me is that I get to really relax as a teacher in that time and become a student.  I sit side by side with my students and talk about their projects.  I have rich conversations in which I really get to know my learners and their learning.

I think that my next step is to introduce the students to more possibilities around what those projects could be and provide a platform for students to showcase their projects.  I am really interested to know exactly what they would like to learn more about!