It's that time again.
Free Choice day (or Free Art day as they call it) is in full effect next week. Once per marking period was too frequent. Twice a year is too far apart. I'm going with every 12 weeks, so 3 times per year. I'm really excited about all the new games I purchased using some grant money and can't wait to see their faces when I unveil each center.
Have you incorporated a "Free Choice" Day or activity into your curriculum? How has it worked out or been received? I think I've created a pretty solid lesson plan that would be accepted by our administration. I've linked it to our PBIS reward system. So I use a chart to track the progress of each class. They can earn 5 squares each day. I make the goal so that they have to average 4 squares during the time period. Every now and then they might get a 2 or 3, but it should be balanced out with 4's and 5's. In the beginning I knocked myself out with the guilt if a class didn't earn it, but I've let go and they have to receive the natural consequences (even though it would be FAR easier on me to "let" them all earn it). The last week before they "qualify" I block the chart with black paper so it's a mystery until the end of class (this solves the problem of kids giving up because they already can tell their class won't make the goal). I also block out 5 squares from the end every time their class misses for a field trip, assembly, 2 hour delay, etc.
I just posted the lesson plan and all the activities I offer here.