Monday, December 23, 2013

Finnish School Schedule

  The Finnish Primary School Day Is Shorter and Packed with "Käsityö"!

Käsityö Brain Break!!
Students love learning when they own 
their education, the American top down system 
can Kill this love of learning!  
A basic Finnish education starts at the age 7, and they do not select students on the basis of academic achievement, aptitude or socioeconomic status yet they are the world’s leader in happy people and amazing student outcomes! Why??? 75 Minutes of Recces Minimum per Day, Educational Play, High Quality Arts Education, Ethics/Religion Classes, Old-world Handicrafts Education (Käsityö), School Equity not Accountability, Cooperative Learning, Peer to Peer Leadership, Creativity and Student Owned Learning!

A primary schedule from a basic public school in Finland.

1st Grade Schedule (7-8 year olds)
Rajakyla Elementary, Vantaa Finland
TimeMonTueWedThuFri
8:00-
8:45
Language
arts
World
Religion

Handicraft Käsityö
8:45-
9:30
MathLanguage
arts
Language
arts
MathMusic
9:30-
10:00
RecessRecessRecessRecessRecess
10:00-
10:45
Language
arts
Physical
Education
Art or 
Käsityö
Language
arts
Language
arts
10:45-
11:30
Handicraft
Käsityö
ScienceArt or
Käsityö
SciencePhysical
Education
11:30-
12:15
Lunch and
Recess
Lunch and
Recess
Lunch and
Recess
Lunch and
Recess
Lunch and
Recess
12:15-
1:00

MathLanguage
arts
Religion

DismissalDismissalDismissalDismissalDismissal







   "Finland’s experience shows that it is possible to achieve excellence by focusing not on competition, but on cooperation, and not on choice, but on equity.”

  "All of the factors that are behind the Finnish success seem to be the opposite of what is taking place in the United States and much of the rest of the world, where competition, test-based accountability, standardization, and privatization seem to dominate.”

    "Instead of competition, Finland decided on cooperation and mutual help as a matter of policy. Students are rarely tested. Instead, they teach each other in class. Each student gets personal attention until he is on par with the other students. This attitude extends to the teachers and schools as well:

    “One of the ways that teachers improve is by learning from other teachers. Schools improve when they learn from other schools. Isolation is the enemy of all improvement.” Pasi Sahlberg


Finnish Lessons
" Less testing, more learning”
“More creativity, less standardization”
“Prevention, not repair”
“Children must play”


Finnish Students are TOP in the world for Arts Enrichment, Recess, Käsityö and yes TEST Success! I ask a group of Finnish teachers, Pasi Sahlberg, and Finnish school administrators, “how and why do your students do so well on the Pisa Test, when primary students go to school for half days, and spend what seems like most of their day at recess, art, music or handicraft classes "käsityö"? The simple and short answer was, “Students get more done during the academic time because they own their learning, they learn to be industrious, are energized about learning, emotionally and academically engaged, truly motivated, and very excited to be at school learning amazing fun things. WOW, I was struck at the mindfulness and the wisdom of the answer. We will send our children to what is essentially test prep academies, and take out, and or reduce enrichment when students are at risk, and replace it with intensive TEST prep disguised as scientifically researched quality curriculum. 


Educational sloyd's "Käsityö" purpose is formative in its design, and it is thought that the benefits of learning handicrafts "Käsityö" in a public school setting builds character and resilience in children! Educational Sloyd develops self reliance, encourages moral behavior, improves judgment, perseverance, an understanding of quality, encourages students to internalize high standards, develops greater intelligence and industriousness.

"Some aver that a course of scientific training in handicraft gives a boy or girl a new zeal for school work to such an extent that the progress of such a pupil is not only equal, but often exceeds, that of pupils whose attention is concentrated on a literary curriculum. If this is true, even to the extent a pupil under these conditions holds his own, he has the additional advantage of having learnt to use his hands, and his education as a result is "all sided." It has been said that "the true aim of education is the development of all the powers of man to the culminating point of action: and this power in the concrete--the power to do some useful thing for man--this must be the last analysis of educational truth" The Pedagogy of Educational Handicraft by T.W. Berry:1909


 Students in US schools are revolting because we have turned schools into testing factories! 



The Amazing Truth about Finnish Schools!
  • Student in Finland have only one Mandatory test at the age of 16! 
  •  Käsityö "educative handicraft" is mandatory for all students!
  • 70% of Finnish students go to college!
  • Finnish students get 75 minutes of recess a day!
  • Finnish teachers are master teachers that are given complete autonomy to make educational decisions to meet the needs of their students!
  • Students start basic/comprehensive school at the age of seven!
  • All student participate in weekly Religion classes!
  • All students learn multiple languages!
  • Principals teach weekly lessons to their students! 
  • Finnish students love school and thrive!
A primary schedule from a basic public school in Finland.

1st Grade Schedule (7-8 year olds)
Rajakyla Elementary, Vantaa Finland
TimeMonTueWedThuFri
8:00-
8:45
Language
arts
World
Religion

Handicraft Käsityö
8:45-
9:30
MathLanguage
arts
Language
arts
MathMusic
9:30-
10:00
RecessRecessRecessRecessRecess
10:00-
10:45
Language
arts
Physical
Education
Art or 
Käsityö
Language
arts
Language
arts
10:45-
11:30
Handicraft
Käsityö
ScienceArt or
Käsityö
SciencePhysical
Education
11:30-
12:15
Lunch and
Recess
Lunch and
Recess
Lunch and
Recess
Lunch and
Recess
Lunch and
Recess
12:15-
1:00

MathLanguage
arts
Religion

DismissalDismissalDismissalDismissalDismissal








My Adaptation of a Finnish School Schedule!

Finland’s  75/25 Rule for Educators and Teaching!

Finnish students spend 25-30% or more of their school day enjoying enrichment activities.

Imagine giving students 25% of their instructional day to whatever fascinates them personally; will they build a passion for learning and succeed? Finland uses the 75/25 rule for building emotional intelligence, academic fidelity and  loyalty, creating a culture of learning innovation, cultivating creative imaginative students,  and acknowledging the creativity and productivity of working on self guided passions. Most Finnish students are in a band or musical group even the primary students.

The 75/25 Rule can be used as the foundation of a flipped classroom, front loaded instruction 25%, and student work/collaboration 75%. 


Food For Thought on the 75–25 rule
  • 90% of students success comes from intrinsic lead interest 10% of success comes from teacher lead instruction and studying
  • 90% of students academic knowledge comes from 10% of the time spent on academic learning
  • 80% of lessons are unproductive (meeting the needs of all students) 20% of lessons are productive
  • 70% of students need differentiation (pacing, higher or lower level) 20% of students are on instructional level
  • 90% of classroom behavior problems come from 10% of students (academic and social and emotional)
Students in Finland are consistently ranked at the Top in Math and Science achievement! Why, because they focus on educational equity and enrichment, not ranking, labeling, accountability or competition!

Finland amazingly rejected the "Accountability Movement" 20 years ago and decided to develop a teacher-student centered learning model. They do not administer standardized or criterion referenced test! T
eachers are free to make students learning the priority! Teachers are trusted and bad public policy is STOPPED!

We will never "cure bad schools", we can only change bad public policy that feeds a lack of equity! We need to cure the Global Education Reform Movement! THE GERM!


Finland rejected the "GERM: Global Education Reform Movement" corporate lead model of education and empowered teachers to make educational decisions. NOW Finland has one of the best educational systems in the world!

The Message: Teachers in Finland have the freedom to do what they see is in the best interest of the child!

How to Teach Dyslexic Students to Read the Finnish Way! 


Teach Dyslexic Students to Read the Finnish Way!


How do you teach dyslexic students to read, that can’t use phonics or just seem unreachable? Most teachers will try anything once, reading software, boxed reading interventions, resource help. special education services or sadly they just assume after trying, some students will never learn to read!They are beyond any help if the Software and Special Education programs fail. My own bad memories learning to read, and 14 years of experience have shown me that, there are no students beyond help!

One of the Finnish methods is put a really good book in the dyslexics students hand, and read with them for a very long time. We are talking about two or three hours a day, five days a week, for many months! You may say, I can’t justify that, or my schedule is only 45 minutes a day with the student, my school won’t allow that, but what is really important, the student learning to read! Learning to read always trumps the schedules and the rules, that is the Finnish way. Give students the time they need to learn to become sight readers. The Finnish way is do what ever works without worrying about rules or schedules. The only real secret to this method, is spending a very long time on task reading great books, and the student must track each word with their finger as their partners read to them to speed the process of becoming a sight reader. Teachers and staff can hand over the read-athon to students and just keep up the marathon of reading. I have used this with students that everyone gave up on, the method has never failed. The students of course go to specials, participate in all enrichment activities, have snacks, go to recess but all academic time is spent reading books with a partner, books like Hatchet or The Giver for my sixth grade boys. The students also play lots of board games, I make copies of all the rules and read them with the students having them track each word with their fingers or a book mark. The best methods are try everything and never give up!  Sean


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