At Chicago Free School, there’s no such thing as a ‘normal’ day. Some days we have field trips around the city; some days we work in our school garden; some days we get so caught up in a new, unexpected project we’ve created that we don’t want to go home! Yet we recognize that some daily routines, such as morning and afternoon meetings, can help us organize our minds and provide anchor points around which we create our community identity. Here’s a look at what a day might look like for our early childhood and elementary homerooms.


A day in the life of pre-K/Kindergarten

8:30 – Arrival and free play
8:50 – Class meeting
9:15 – Centers, projects, art activities, and free play
11:15 – Clean up and snack
11:30 – Outside play
12:30 – Lunch
1:30 — Quiet time (PreK), literacy time and electives (K)
3:00 – Closing meeting and cleanup
3:15 – End of day

A day in the life of 1st-8th grade

8:30 – Arrival and free play
8:50 — Class meeting
9:15 – Literacy activities and projects
10:30 – Free choice play and projects
11:00 – Math activities and projects
12:00 – Lunch, cleanup
12:30 — Free choice and projects
2:00 – Elective classes
3:00 – Class jobs and closing meeting
3:15 – End of day