The Contextual Curriculum™ – 4. Just a typical day on planet earth

The day

Half a school day for 6 – 9 year olds is broken up into four basic periods of structured and unstructured play, individual and group-working sessions:

contextday2

Typical day unfolding

This represents a typical day where the class is not on a field trip.

7:30 am – 8:00am – Children arrive at various times according to schedules of their parents. Children arriving before 8:00 a.m. go to our child care room and may choose to read books, play games, prepare for individual work, or do artwork.

8:00 am – 9:30 am – Individual projects, study, research and skills – here children work on their individual contributions to group activities the focus being upon English maths and science concepts and skills. Children are encouraged to work independently using the internet resources and books, their basic skills development will be closely monitored by a teacher. The teacher will help them organise their work and guide them on what they must work upon in order to achieve badges, medals and honours.

9.30 am – 10.00 am – Free play or study followed by Snack. The children also spend some time in the reading nook of the classroom, which holds a variety of books relevant to our current subject of our study. The individually planned curriculum is flexible enough to follow the interests of the child and motivate them to try new activities outside their comfort zone.

10.00 am -11.30 am – Structured game play or seminar style session around the Harkness table led by teacher using English maths and science concepts and skills and systems thinking. This may also take the form of a video with a science theme followed by class discussion. This lends children the opportunity for physical exercise, large body movement, singing songs, reading books and poetry and other activities. Monitoring by the teacher highlights strengths and weaknesses, and opportunities to award further badges and medals for improvements.

The Harkness table has the teacher as a part of the group, not as the leader

The Harkness table has the teacher as a part of the group, not as the leader

11.30 am – 12.30 pm – Children go into their communities or groups. Children are encouraged to concentrate on their works and identify the strengths and weaknesses in their own work and behaviour and that of others and work out strategies to address them; they will make choices regarding which works to do. There will also be a focus upon the process and method of how they manage – or fail – to complete their tasks. This has them learning the group dynamics – the manner in which people work, or fail to work in collaboration. This group working focussing upon projects or on developing English maths and science concepts and skills. Groups will present their project at the end of each quadmeister. The children themselves will nominate at the end of each session badges and medals to co-participants for their efforts.

group-dynam

12:30 – 1:30 pm Children prepare for and have lunch.

1:30 -2:30 pm This is an Extended independent experience that allows them to continue or refine and research their work or group contributions; focuses on various academic subjects — such as vocabulary/language arts, mathematics, or geography.

2:30 -3.30 pm A second structured game play led by teacher using English maths and science concepts and skills and systems thinking. This may also include a visit by an expert. This may also take the form of a video followed by class discussion round the Harkness table. This gives the teacher a chance to note the development of individual class members.

3:30 -4:00 pm Free play or study. The children also spend some time in the reading nook of the classroom, which holds a variety of books relevant to our current subject of our study. The individually planned curriculum is flexible enough to follow the interests of the child and motivate them to try new activities outside their comfort zone.

team_11

4.00 -5 pm Children go rejoin their communities or groups to plan work for the next day, at both group and individual levels. This group working focussing upon projects or on developing English maths and science concepts and skills. Groups will present their project at the end of each quadmeister.

5 pm. – Pick up time for parents

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