“Fun Friday” was something I did every week in my classroom, but it’s not just all fun and games. Let’s learn how you can use “Fun Friday” to spiral standards all year.
When I was in the classroom, “Fun Friday” was a staple of my week.
“Fun Fridays” consisted of 30-60 minutes of designated time dedicated to playing a game or celebrating the week.
Sometimes, we’d team up with other classes monthly to offer more of a reward time with movies and activities, but mostly, we’d just do it in the classroom on our own.
Although I started using the time to play games, the games were not your typical board game variety or computer games. The games I chose practiced the standards that I needed students to review. This review was built on the idea of spiraling standards.
What does it mean to Spiral Standards?
Spiraling standards means that you are constantly weaving old concepts and standard-based skills with new content for a neverending spiral of learning throughout the year.
This mix of old and new allows students ongoing practice of skills.
Spiraling concepts are not difficult, but they need to be deliberate. When you’re choosing a game for your “Fun Friday,” be sure to take note of which skills the game reviews so you can be sure to weave in different ones each week.
When picking standards, I focused on the ones I wanted to spiral through at that particular time, whether it be prerequisite skills for upcoming standards, skills students needed practice with, or just skills that I wanted to make sure they didn’t forget.
How Much Time Do You Spend on “Fun Friday” Games?
How much time I spent on Fun Friday would depend on what else I had going on.
Sometimes, it would be a 30-minute to one-hour block of time where we played games in stations and rotated around. Sometimes, it could last all day, depending on specific subjects and my goals for that day. This was not common, but it wasn’t exactly rare either.
If we needed to review for a math test…Fun Friday! We’d play the games that covered the topics that they needed to review instead of spiraling. But most “Fun Friday” activities were just a set time where we played some games that covered topics I knew they needed more practice with.
Suggestions for Organization and Planning
You can definitely make “Fun Friday” your own thing, and you don’t have to do what I did, but I strongly suggest that you be flexible with how you do “Fun Friday” each week.
Option One: Each Friday has it’s Special Thing
Maybe on the first Friday of the month, you can do “Fun Friday” as station rotations.
The second “Fun Friday” of the month is a whole group game.
The third “Fun Friday” is one that is shared with another class, and the fourth “Fun Friday” of the month is a Game Show day with lights and sounds and all the bling that we go over in this post about up-leveling your classroom game shows!
Option Two: Use Different Strategies as Needed
Usually, we would play the games in stations and rotate around. That way, I could get through 4-5 topics in less time. Yet other times, we’d play a whole class Game Show game or another game to review specific standards.
Sometimes, I group students by the standards they need to work on most and assign them games with that skill practice specifically in mind. With all of the games and digital activities available in the Fun in 5th Grade Store, you are sure to be able to find plenty of upper elementary games that will work perfectly for your “Fun Fridays” from now until the end of the year!
The main goal was to have a little more fun on Friday while also getting in some much-needed review.
When you use “Fun Friday” to spiral standards all year, you know students are getting the much-needed review and practice that it takes to ensure they are mastering the many standards they are expected to know.