Friday, September 16, 2011


Those of you who have attended my workshops might have heard me say, “We’d go to jail now for things we used to do in the classroom.”  I don’t mean that literally because we never did anything mean to children, but many of the restrictions were just not an issue in the “old days.”  We could take our class out for recess (Yep!  Run around and play time.) whenever we wanted and we had a lot more flexibility and creativity in terms of the curriculum.

The “Friday Fairy” used to come to my room every week and nobody complained.  The children LOVED the Friday Fairy because she left a little penny candy in their desk while they were at lunch.  (I invited a 5th or 6th grade student to sneak in my room and distribute the goodies while we were out of the room.)

See what I mean?  You’d probably get in a lot of trouble for doing that now.  However, there are other things you can do to make Friday a special day.  And, after the children have worked hard all week it’s nice to end on a happy note.  Here are some other ideas for Fabulous Friday:

15-30 minutes free time at the end of the day.
Jamboree – Get together with your grade level and sing.
Guest Reader – Invite a parent, politician, or school helper to read.
Game Time – Children bring board games or card games from home.  (NO video games)
Recess – Now, wouldn’t that be fun?  30 minutes of unstructured play outside.  (One teacher said she did this and her kids asked her, “What should I do?”  Sad!)
Dancing with the Stars – Play music and let the children dance.
Take off your shoes – I know this sounds stupid, but my kids thought this was the great fun.
Kinder CafĂ© – Invite a different parent each week to come in and cook.
Do Your Own Thing – Children get to read, draw, talk…

*Please email me if you have an idea to add to the list!  
Oh, and have a FABULOUS FRIDAY!

Barbara sent some other great ideas:

Here are some of the ideas our teachers at Westwood use:

Tiptoe tag time
Paper airplane time
Funny Face time
Drum line using pencils
Quiet art time
Extra library - kids LOVE this!
Work with play-doh
Wiki Sticks time
Nature Center time
Make a puppet
American Idol Sing-along time
Musical chairs

The Corner On Character

Here's another idea from my friend Gina in Michigan:

We have "mystery reader" on Friday. Parents sign up using a google.doc so the kids do not have any idea who is coming in. We wait very quietly with the lights out and when the door is open someone is very surprised. The parents can bring a "souvenir" to help the child retell the story at home but this is not expected. The kids absolutely love it!!