Structure Your Free Time

Today was our last day of term; a day on which clearly the gods were looking down on us. Unbelievably, the day passed without a meltdown.

For the uninitiated, this may not seem unbelievable. However, for our students it is. It is these days – the days on which changes occur and normal structures disappear, on which they struggle the most.

Today, however, looking around my room at students happily playing together no one would have guessed that these situations can be challenging. And that is down to my amazing staff. I came in from an early morning meeting, to find two speech therapists playing giant snakes and ladders on the floor with two of my students, a game of cards being led by very enthusiastic staff on another table, a member of staff sharing an iPad game with a students, another looking at something with students on a computer and yet others involving students in creating resources for next year. Somehow out of the chaos, they had a created order.

Free time is fantastic; our students need to experience it. But we also need to scaffold that freedom by providing activities that our students can do. We need to know and understand our students, well enough to find activities that create structure within the freedom. We need to give our students a chance to be successful.

So next time, it’s form time or toy day, and the day isn’t quite the same as usual – make sure you give a thought to those who might need that little extra help to make the day fun. One look at their faces, and you’ll know it was worth it…

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