That time of year...

Well, this time of year tends to be a little crazy in schools.  A lot of class time is diverted into other activities.  Teaching an inquiry based trans-curricular unit takes time, nice chunks of time.  Interrupting thinking routines and reflection time is not the way to make a real difference.  It is hard to get started.  It is hard to jump in and explore when you are being pulled in many different directions and your mind is focused on too many things.

Time is important.  When time is taken out, the class lumbers instead of soars.  As one of my co-workers T-Shirt so aptly states:

It is what it is

I found myself today with a disjointed schedule.  One period here, one there, another over there.  Not enough time to dive into anything new.  So instead, we are spending the day reflecting on our year so far.  I am asking the kids to take their time.  To use the time we have together to think back, to reflect, and to wonder about the new year.

I gave them a bit of structure if they require it.  Ideas more than a blueprint to follow.  They chose their method of reflecting (more and more keep choosing paper and pencil) and they found a quiet spot on their own.  Some of writing in short hand, point form notes.  Others are using paragraphs.  Some are using my ideas as headers and going through them like a checklist.  Others are just writing and seeing what emerges.  All of them are thinking about what we have done this year, how much we have grown, and what we should do looking to next year.

So am I.