Friday, January 17, 2014

A Day Our Way: A Classroom Schedule Linky Par-TAY!

OOOOHHH! It's another super fun linky party! Where the Wild Things Learn is hosting a linky where we can virtually take a peek at one another's classroom schedules. It's so interesting how you fellow teachers organize your day!

I teach kindergarten. Come on in and take a looksee at my schedule:

First things first...

School starts at 7:30!!! BLUGH!!! YUCK!!!!! PA-TOOEY!!!!!!

Okay, now that that's out of the way...

Morning Work-I used to do a worksheet for morning work, but I stopped. Can you guess the reason?
a.) it took a lot of paper
b.) the kids who got to school first always finished it too quickly
c.) the kids who came to school last never got a chance to finish it at all
d.) all of these!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you answered D, you are CORRECT! Plus, at my new school, we only have about 10 minutes before announcements come on, and by the time kids unpack, we're down to 5. Sooooo on Monday, I give everyone Play-doh to play with. After announcements, we use it to make our new sight words for the week. Tuesday-Friday, I get out four math tubs (filled with manipulatives) and rotate them between the tables. The kids seem to like this, and I think it's a more fun way to start the day.

Morning Message/Calendar-I switch between these 2 throughout the week because I'm a little ADD myself, and I get bored when we do the exact same thing everyday.

Science/Social Studies-We rotate between these through the year.

Specials/Snack-PE, computers, library, art, music, food, yum

Whole Group Reading Lesson-I try to keep this short and sweet, but sometimes I just can't shut myself up. I focus on 1 or 2 books for the whole week and use those to practice skills. This week we compared Jan Brett's books The Hat and The Mitten. Next week we're using National Geographic's Penguin book to learn about text features.

Guided Reading/Literacy Stations-I have 4 reading groups and TRY SO HARD to meet with them each day. Again, I have a hard time shutting up, so sometimes I talk too long and end up missing a group. My para-pro does phonics with each group. She's much better at meeting with all 4 than I am. I should give her a cookie for that. Anyway, while we teach, students go to 2 literacy stations a day which are rotated throughout the week. I have 8 stations in all, which are currently:

-listen to reading (and usually respond in their reading journal to a given prompt)
-library (read to self or read to others)
-word work (changes all the time!)
-word family (sort pictures, spell words in pocket chart, sliders)
-writing (changes a lot...usually goes with something we talk the week before)
-computers (we use Successmaker)
-write the room (look for word family words, seasonal words, or words that start with given letters)
-big book station (re-read, look for sight words, illustrate)

I've also used a sight word station, poetry station, and puppet station, but like I said, I'm ADD and need a change every once in a while. In addition, I have a "Finished Early" basket for students who...well...finish early. It's filled with some games, a Where's Waldo book (BIG hit right now!), and extra worksheets that they unexplainably think are so fun to do.

Lunch-Please tell me it's chicken nugget day!!! YUM!!!!

Math-I generally teach a whole group lesson on Monday, break into 3 math groups that rotate Tuesday-Thursday, and do another (hopefully more fun) whole group lesson on Friday. My math groups are:
-1 group working with me
-1 group with my para-pro
-1 group working independently.
My independent group usually has an assignment to do and then can pick from a basket of math games and puzzles to play when they finish.

Recess-Go. Run. Do ALL the talking that you've wanted to do ALL DAY!!!

Writer's Workshop-I'm pretty proud of writer's workshop this year. It may be because my kids are AWESOME writers and it's so much fun to see them write. My format is pretty traditional: mini-lesson, writing time, sharing time.
-Before the mini-lesson: I start with sight word review to help them get settled after recess.
-Mini-lesson: This focuses on different types of skills.
...Sometimes we talk about genre (narrative, informational, persuasive).
...Sometimes we talk about conventions (periods, capital letters, that kind of fun stuff).
...Sometimes we talk about writing traits (well...I want to START talking about writing traits...we talked about fluency last week! That's all we've gotten to so far...).
...Sometimes I just see them doing something random that we need to talk about, so that's our mini-lesson.
-Writing time: Sometimes I pull kids to walk on certain skills. If I don't pull kids, I spend the first part of writing time HIDING! It's true! I've discovered if I walk around, my kids tend to get very clingy and ask me how to do EVERYTHING! However, if I leave them alone to start writing, they do a great job independently. It's the weirdest thing. After a few minutes, I'll start walking around and talking to students about their writing. Students sit at 4 different tables, so I usually try to focus on 1, maybe 2, tables per day and conference with those kiddos.
-Share time: Those days when the bell is seconds away from ringing and my car riders haven't even BEGUN to pack up, we "share with the world." That means kids hold up their paper in the air and everyone quickly looks at everyone else's work. Our normal share time is "share with a buddy." Pretty self-explanatory. If I see someone who has used whatever our mini-lesson skill was about, then we occasionally share with the whole class. I usually save whole class sharing for when they finish a piece of work to hang outside in the hall.

That's our day. Phew! I'm tired just thinking about it!!!  =)


  1. I love your morning work activities! Such a good idea, and I'm sure the kids get a lot more out of it, too!

    Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late
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  2. You guys start SO early! YUCK! I would be so tired. I love your writer's workshop description! Sounds a lot like mine :)

    Thanks for linking up :)