Going desk-free

Published 9:52 pm Monday, December 1, 2008

Spending an entire day away from your desk may not seem like a big idea to you. But you probably aren’t a first-grader, either. For kids, earning the opportunity to work desk-free one day a week is a big deal. It gives them freedom from their normal schedule and keeps them involved with whatever lessons are at hand.

The concept has proved to be a success for the children who participate and for the teachers who administer the program.

Students from Nansemond Parkway Elementary School have been doing desk-free Fridays for three months now, and teachers at the school say it’s working.

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“The one thing it really does is gets them excited,” said Sarah Perrel, a first-grade teacher at the school. “It gives them a chance to do more interactive things.”

On a recent Friday, the first-graders were connecting skills in geography and art by going from room to room with “passports.” Upon entering each room, they had their passports stamped, found the appropriate countries on a map, and created an art project related to the countries.

“We get to play a lot and do a lot of activities,” Madison Mottley said. She and her classmates colored masks, while South African music played in the background.

Whatever teachers can do to keep the interest of their children is a good thing. Thinking outside the box is essential to cultivating young and eager minds. Desk-free Fridays seems to do just that.