A number of years ago I read an education article that mentioned something along the lines that “acknowledging any difference between days of the week is a poor educational strategy” Hi… All I could think to myself was “Did this person ever spend 5 minutes in a school community?” The incredibly obvious differences between the beginning of the week and Fridays are palpable in a school atmosphere. At least that has been my professional experience over the years. Mondays are really tough to get the week started. Fridays are awesome!
I think the author’s attempt not put too much emphasis on the joy of Fridays was pretty ridiculous. Fridays can be really fun and excellent in your classroom if you allow them to be excellent. Here are a few tangible ideas for you to use in your classroom that I have found to be really successful.
- Free Form Friday… With 2 minutes or so remaining in every class on Fridays, I give my students a fun/relevant topic to discuss in their small groups for about :45 seconds… Then we have a quick talk as a large group about topic and off they go. Great example… This year our school started a new policy where all students have to turn their phones in as they walk into class. Needless to say, it took some adjusting and getting used to for the kids. Our first FFF (Free Form Friday) topic of the year was “Thoughts on the new cell policy? GO!!” Great way to bring closure to the week
- Friday Raffle… Tying right in with those cell phones, every Friday we have a raffle in my classes. Each student that has their phone in the phone holder, also has a specific number for their phone. I use my iphone (Ironically) and ask Siri for a “Random number between 0-33” or whatever the class size. Siri gives me the number and that student wins… An assorted bag of cookies, a gift certificate, etc. It’s cheap money (and you can write some of those classroom expenses off on your taxes!) and it’s an awesome morale builder.
- First Friday… Every “First Friday” of a new month, some student from my home base/homeroom brings in a food item for all of us to share. We talk about how the month has gone, how everyone is doing, where folks are “at”. It’s a great team builder and good way to build morale among kids.
- FriYAY picture… When I get in my car on Friday afternoons, I take a picture of my school work badge hanging from my rear view mirror, usually with a the caption “Happy FriYAY!” and post it to my social media. It’s a fun way to end the week, announce the start to the weekend and celebrate the day.
These are just a few ideas. Friday are fabulous, should be celebrated and should be acknowledged as such! To think that it’s not different than any other day of the week is just not a good ‘best practice’!