601 N. Parham Road Richmond, Va 23229   804.741.4118
Open Time

Each day at Canterbury, a bell rings at 10:30 and something magical happens – Open Time.  Open Time is a unique program that meets the diverse and ever-changing learning styles of children. 


Children begin their days in their home classrooms working with their teachers in an age-based class of peers. At 10:30, the Open Time bell rings, signaling the beginning of this unique learning adventure. 

Children are allowed and encouraged to visit various rooms throughout the school. They are taught to make constructive use of their time and to participate in a variety of activities. They make their own choices based on their individual interests.

Because we devote each room to a specific area of learning, we expose the children to a greater variety of activities than would be possible in a self-contained classroom. 

For example, there is the Yellow Room Library for literacy-based activities, and the Red Science Room for inquiry and exploration.  The  Rainbow Room provides an outlet for process-oriented creativity and the enjoyment of a variety of art materials.  The Blue Room houses a carpentry bench with real hammers, nails and blocks of wood, along with a great loft for puppet shows.  The Orange Room contains fine motor-focused and sensory activities, while the Polka Dot Room is filled with dramatic play.  The Green Room is filled with Gross Motor activities to build muscle strength and coordination. The playground is also a choice for outdoor play.  It would not be possible to house all of these experiences in a single classroom. 

We regulate the number of children in each classroom with colored clothespins, which serve as tickets to enter a room. If there is a clothespin available, a child can enter the room and use the materials.  If there are no clothespins left, the child must make a new choice and try again later.  Teachers help facilitate this process, ensuring that a child will get a turn in the desired room at some point during Open Time. 




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