At our school, May is a crazy, chaotic month.
Students and teachers have worked for 10 months learning new skills, developing abilities and growing knowledge in each course. With one month left, we are all trying to focus on finishing strong where every student can show all that they have learned. Many different activities are planned – exams, presentations, projects, study trips, debates, national tests, pitch contests and much, much more. While our focus is clear, the question of how to organize is the trick.
How can we use time in the best way?
Our answer – #droptheschedule.
For three days, we drop the regular schedule and allow teachers to use the time in whatever way serves the learning in their course. Some courses need long periods of time, some courses need only a few minutes, but only a few students at a time, some groups need all day for a study trip . . . we try to find the most efficient and effective way to use one of our most precious resources – time. We call these three days – Resource Days.
What happens during Resource days?
In Chemistry 1, students have done a 2-hour lab (practical) exam. Students are given an open lab where they must understand the problem, draft their plan, run their experiment and report results. Students’ lab practical skills are the focus of this exam. Mastering good lab skills are essential for Chemistry 2.
In all math courses, students have taken their national tests. And, every day, we offered all day math support lessons, “mattestuga“.
In Economy, students have participated in a “Shark Tank” type pitch contest. Each student team pitched their business ideas to guest judges. For this competition, we were happy to welcome guest judges. Having judges from the “real world” makes this contest more authentic.
In Biology 1, students spent an entire day at Tyresta National Park. Studying how an ecosystem develops after a fire, students were able to see first-hand important aspects of sustainability. Read more about this exciting study trip here>>
Students in Sports went swimming.
Social Science 1 students prepared, presented and debated political party ideals.
Year 3 students gathered to practice their student song and trained their waltz dance moves in preparation for their upcoming ball.
Psychology students took their final exams and completed their final analysis.
In addition, many students met one-on-one with their teachers to get feedback and prepare their final assignments. Student groups met to work on group projects.
It was definitely three busy days. Actually, it was a bit chaotic. Yet, when we want to achieve the most effective use of time, we have to let “need” steer. Different students need different support, different courses need different circumstances.
Yes, it does take extra administrative resources, but the results are worth it.
How can we use time in the best way? #droptheschedule