I wanted to describe my schedule a bit more in-depth below:
8:00-8:05 ArrivalKids arrive each day and play in the playground out back until the first bell at 8:00. They then come into the building and put away their backpacks, coats, lunch boxes, etc. and come into my classroom. They will begin by putting their clips on Ready to Learn (which is also how I do attendance) on our class Clip Chart and then head to unstack their chairs at their table. This isn't much time, so some chairs remain unstacked when the bell rings at 8:05. To read about my Clip Chart, click HERE.
8:05-8:15 Morning MeetingAs soon as kids hear the bell, and oftentimes before, they head to the front carpet to sit in an oval for Morning Meeting. This is by far the most important way to start our day and we do it Monday through Friday, regardless of what else is on our plate. We start with Class Rules, then do a greeting, then move into Question of the Day, and more. You can read more about my Morning Meeting HERE and pick up an e-book and lots of resources to help support your own Morning Meeting HERE.
8:15-9:15 Reader's WorkshopI use a Daily 5-ish sort of rotation with Reader's Workshop. Kids meet with me for guided reading groups, but then have the choice to work on Word Work, Read to Self, or Read with Someone during the other two rotations. Each rotation lasts 20 minutes. To read about how my kids plan for Reader's Workshop, click HERE. To read a whole slew of posts all about Daily 5/Reader's Workshop in my class, click HERE.
9:15-9:30 Snack & Daily Language InstructionWe have a schoolwide program called Daily Language Instruction that we use to practice grammar, conventions, and more. I have the kids use their snack time to eat and work on that day's lesson. If they get done early, they can read quietly. When everyone is done, we gather together in the meeting area and go over the correct answers. I will typically have student volunteers share their responses and explain why they did what they did. It provides a great opportunity for leadership and teaching, plus I have them clip up if they volunteer, so even some of my most shy kiddos love the chance to show what they know.
9:30-10:30 Writing GroupsWriting Groups is in a state of transformation this year. I always liked to write growing up, and obviously writing is a large part of what I do now, but I realized this year I wasn't giving my kids enough pencil on paper time during Writing. I thought about how much time my kids had to read, and the time they spent writing just wasn't cutting it. We talked as a class that, like everything else, you need to practice writing to become better writers (see more on our conversation on Growth Mindset HERE).
So, Writing Groups changed a bit to reflect the following schedule:
- 9:30-9:40 Discuss today's Prompt of the Day/Author's Chair
- 9:40-9:50 Get started on the prompt while I circulate and touch base with strugglers
- 9:50-10:10 1st Writing Group Rotation (click HERE for more info)
- 10:10-10:30 2nd Writing Group Rotation
The daily prompts are found in my seasonal Writing Prompts (found HERE). I make a packet of around 10 that they keep in their Writing folders. We only do prompts three times a week since it takes kids a while to get through each prompt during Independent Writing. If they do get done with one early, they can free write about anything they would like in their Writer's Notebook.
On days we do not do a Prompt of the Day, we start with Author's Chair. I have found this to be a fun way to launch our writing time and give kids extra motivation to keep writing so they have something to share if they'd like.
To read more about Writing Groups, click HERE. I have noticed since the addition of prompts throughout the week that they have way more pencil on paper time, but still have time to free write about whatever they choose and also have time to work with me in Teacher Time to focus on a piece to publish.
It probably sounds a bit overwhelming, but small groups are at the heart of what I do each day with my kids. Very rarely will you find me teaching a concept whole-class-- it took me several years of teaching and frustration to realize that's how I personally work best. So while this intro post may seem overwhelming, the system quickly becomes routine for both my students and myself and we can really achieve some great things!
10:30-10:50 Handwriting, 7 Habits, Misc.The last twenty minutes of our morning is often a catch-all for additional lessons I want to throw in there. On Friday, this is when we do our Goal Setting (read more about that HERE). We also use Handwriting Without Tears, so a few times a week we will work on our cursive. Any explicit 7 Habits for Happy Kids lessons can also happen during this time. We have also used this time to work on our Monster activities for literacy. These 20 minutes always fill up quickly, but I love having this small chunk of time to be as productive as possible.
After this, kids head of to Specials and then Lunch & Recess. I meet with my job-share partner during this time and her afternoon is filled with Math, Science, and Social Studies.
I hope this gave you a better sense of how my morning looks with my kids. Even though the structure is in place, the activities are constantly changing and so we are busy, busy, busy each day. Let me know if you have any questions!
Want to know how I organize all of this in my Teacher Plan book? Click HERE for some ideas and freebies!
Want to share your schedule and see lots of other examples of how teachers spend their day with their kiddos? Check out some of the great blogs below to learn more: