The classroom clock stopped ticking today. One of the kids pointed it out to me. The clock said that it was 1:58, when it was actually going on 2:10. It wasn't really a big deal. the class got to PE on time, and while they were gone a new clock was installed in the classroom.
No big deal, but it got me thinking. So much of the school day revolves around the clock. Math at 8:30. Language Arts at 9:40. Writers' Workshop at 1:15. Each morning I write the schedule on the board, and I try to stick to it, somedays more successfully than others. But os this the best way to do things? I know that students need (sometimes crave) consistency, but sometimes this adherence to a schedule seems counterintuitive. What if, instead, we worked on something until it was done - taught a lesson until it seemed the class got it? Maybe even longer if we were having fun! What if we spent more time reading independently, just because everyone was really into their books? To be honest, I've moved more in this direction. I no longer put the time next to the item on the schedule. But it is a sequence, nonetheless.
My favorite sport is baseball. One of the things I love about it is that there's no clock. Teams play unit the inning is over, inning by inning until there are nine in the books, and sometimes more. They play unit they get the job done. And during the seventh inning, everyone gets up, stretches, and sings a song.
Anyway, we have a working clock again!