Time (Flow of the Day)

Friday, 17 July 2015

     Summer learning included a week long stay in Ontario, Canada where I attended the Transform Ed Workshop Series, given by Joanne Babalis.  There she shared her Masters' research on the seven layers of Inquiry-Based learning. The second layer, and the focus of this post, is time. Other blog posts discuss the other layers that include image of the childspacematerialslisteningdocumenting and planning.
     I noticed that what I call a schedule, is often referred to as the "Flow of the Day" by Canadian teachers.  While both serve as a timetable, the difference in wording is intentional in the way that it impacts classroom learning. The word schedule means to plan an event to take place at a particular time.  In the classroom, a schedule is usually displayed in a linear format and lists the subject areas in the order in which they will be taught.  There are usually many subjects with specific time allotments allowed for each.





    The word flow means to move in a steady, continuous stream.  Teachers who use a "Flow of the Day" define specific contexts for learning (i.e. whole group time, centers, etc.) but break their day into larger chunks of time with less transitions. Often these timetables are displayed in a horizontal format and while there is a clear plan for the day, teachers are flexible and responsive.  If children are in the “flow” of a project, they may be allowed to continue while motivation and engagement are at an all-time high. 

     I spent some time thinking about my own timetable and how I will use this to best match my image of the child in the coming school year.  In an effort to create larger chunks of time, I broke the day up into four main blocks: reading workshop, writing workshop, math workshop, and discovery time and folded in some of the smaller segments that were typically separated out. For example, I made shared reading part of reading workshop and shared writing part of writing workshop. I took math tubs out of the morning slot and wove it into the afternoon block of math workshop.  Snack will be self-guided and happen as part of discovery time.  

     There will be a secondary “flow” within each of these larger chunks (i.e. warm-ups, mini lesson, work time, sharing) and because it is repeated throughout our day, the children will be supported by this predictable structure while still having large chunks of time to explore a specific focus (i.e reading, writing, math, integrated studies).  
     What will your timetable look like and how does it match your image of the child?

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