Skip to main content

What should we do on Fridays?

In an earlier blog post, I proposed a nationally standardized academic calendar consisting of six weeks of school followed by a two week break, year-round. I also proposed a four day, "in-person" school week, Monday through Thursday - with Fridays away from the school "building".

That begs the question, "what should we do on Fridays?" Anyone who walks the halls of a school on a Friday would recognize the winding-down feeling that permeates many settings. Movies being shown, games being played, tests being given. But where is the learning? How can we maximize learning for teachers and students on Fridays?

My proposal suggests that we spend time away from our schools on Fridays. Just so there is no confusion, we would be away from the school building on Fridays, but we never lessen our commitment to learning. Fridays would be reserved for family, fitness, connected learning, and skill sharpening. In short, Fridays become a personal growth and learning day!

Many businesses are adopting a four day work week. This leaves Fridays for learning together as families. This could include day trips to museums, concert halls, or art galleries. It could also include a family trip to the library, or to the health club.

It could include some time playing games, or catching up on housework and homework together. The key concept is families spending time together to do something enjoyable, that can also be a learning experience. Just about any activity can become educational when key questions are asked, and time is reserved to reflect upon the benefits of participation. Fuel life-wide learning.

In my world, Fridays would be for paying special attention to personal wellness, physical fitness, and fun. Playing a game outdoors, going for a bike ride, taking a hike, playing a game of catch, etc. It's a day to get everyone's bodies moving for at least forty minutes to an hour, or more. Most health clubs, YMCAs, and park districts offer exercise-related classes. Try something new like a scuba class, kick-boxing, or a dance class.

Fridays are also days for connected learning. Teachers could flip their lessons and assign video-viewing, readings, blog entries, or on-line assessments. This would be a day where students do web-based research, prepare digital presentations, or discuss class content with teachers and classmates via the Internet. Fridays could become days for field work related to a PBL activity.

Finally, Fridays would also be time for teachers to sharpen their saws. Time to reflect on their craft, then update their practices, and to move content and curriculum to "the cloud". And much like the students, faculty and staff would use Fridays to learn, to reinvent themselves, and to make preparations to be effective educators in this age of digital information. Lessons could be re-written to include NETS standards and incorporate 21st Century Skills. Fridays could be a time for professional learning teams to meet via video chat, to share documents and data, and also discuss best practices. Fridays would also be a time for teachers to learn with their own families.

To summarize, Fridays are for learning for everyone - just not in the format or setting that most people have grown accustomed to.  Of course, the follow up to this proposal is to create some system of accountability. But I will leave that conversation to the experts out there.

How should we hold teachers, students, and parents accountable for making sure that Friday is an important day of learning in an alternate setting?  

I encourage you to share your comments or suggestions.  (RTS)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Grammarly Writing Hacks for Better Blogging

Writing is learning. It's taken me about thirty years to realize the metacognitive power of written expression, the same amount of time it took for me to recognize that my writing skills suck. Apparently, time in composition class was spent daydreaming and making silly faces at girls. Today, each post is an exercise of will power, unlearning and relearning prepositional phrases, comma usage, and when to use the ever-popular semicolon. Two hundred posts into my blogging adventure I've picked up a few tricks that add efficiency to my writing, things that make me appear smarter than I really am.


Freelance writer, Jennie Cromie, writing for ProBlogger.net, identifies five ways blogging can make you a better writer. Discover your voiceBuild social connectionsAcquire valuable feedbackBecome self-disciplinedWrite faster and more efficiently
Writing with intent to learn is the mindset to lead with. Using the right tools permits scatterbrains like me to focus on the message rather than un…

To Email, or Not

Should current students learn how to use email?


As someone who celebrates a clean email inbox about once every five years, I found it interesting that the topic of student email usage was on the agenda of our recent high school leadership meeting. The focus of this brief conversation concentrated on these questions.



How can we get students to utilize their school email account better? Should we be teaching students how to communicate with email?When and where should email usage skills be taught? Who's responsibility is this?Why do we want kids to check their email? Those around the conference room table agreed with the importance of students checking their email to stay informed about upcoming events and opportunities. Others mentioned it as being an important part of "digital executive functioning." Time was running short when someone said, "Kids don't use email."

This brief statement sent my mind scurrying in several simultaneous directions. 

First, thinking …

Learning that Matters

Originally posted on Fractus Learning - 5.3.16

“Today we speak casually of lifelong learning, but in a few decades, it will likely be so much the norm as hardly to require its own label.” - David Perkins

You’re an educator with your finger on the pulse of what’s relevant to teaching and school. Being well read, you know that educational thought leaders are focusing recent dialogue on learning. Schools have always been places of learning, but few can deny the impact the Internet has on a person’s ability to learn whatever they want, whenever they want. Let’s have some fun by responding with the first word that pops into your mind.

Fill in the blank to complete the following phrase;______________________ learning.

The possible answers are numerous, aren’t they? Is your response included in the table below?


Authentic Problem-based Project-based Individualized Personalized Cooperative Flipped Mastery Community-based