Friday, February 3, 2012

Explore Time

Darn, darn, darn, darn*! I have yet another idea that I can't get out of my head and I think I need to try to make it fit somehow into my day. Darn! I have always (since my college days) wanted to have an Explore time in my classroom but I have always convinced myself that I could never make time for it or that it would be a management nightmare but after recently reading the blog posts below by Katie Keier and Kassia Omohundro Wedekind, I really just can't let go of the idea. I forwarded the posts on to the kindergarten teachers at my school trying to tell myself that if they did this then the kids would have this experience and I would be off the hook but I still can't let it go. I was able to convince myself to let it go years ago when Debbie Miller wrote about it in her book Reading with Meaning by telling myself that there was just no time for it. Then Jennifer Orr posted her Encienda presentation from Educon on her blog and it was all about giving students meaningful choices. She has also written about the value of play several times on her blog. All of these posts along with my own beliefs are forcing me to think about when and how I can add more of this type of Explore time into our day at school. These posts, along with Jennifer's Encienda presentation, have inspired me:


I am thinking that I could have an Explore time as the activity part of our morning meeting - maybe one or two days a week. Darn, I just figured out the "when" now I have to work on the "how".
* I say "darn" but I am actually really happy about all of this thinking that these wonderful educators have led me to do on this snow day off from school.


  1. Jill, I would love to talk to you about this! My internship and teacher prep program was facilitated by a British Primary school, and a huge part of the BP philosophy is "choice time." At Polaris last year, both of my mentor teachers worked it in (3rd and 4th grades) in different ways. I miss choice time but know that it isn't something that will happen this year (or next, more than likely), until I really get my feet under me.
    But if you want, I can tell you more about how teachers at Stanley British Primary School and Polaris used choice time and could even put you in touch with teachers at Stanley if you'd like. :)

  2. I would love to talk to you about this. Thanks, Brittany!

  3. Jill, I never cease to be amazed at what I learn and how I grow through this online world in which I spend time. Thank you for bringing these ideas all together and pushing my thinking further.