Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A Day Our Way- Schedule Linky

I'm linking up with Amelia at Where the Wild Things Learn for a daily schedule linky. I've enjoyed reading and learning from the schedules of others, so I decided I'd link up and share a day in our classroom.

I teach a class of 21 first graders in Virginia. After a two year gig as a reading specialist I went back into the first grade classroom at the end of September. My schedule was already pretty much determined by my team teacher, but I must say I'm really liking the way it flows this year!  Here is a glimpse at our daily schedule:

Opening: My students arrive at different times during opening. I greet them at my door with a good morning and a squirt of hand sanitizer. I'm totally not a germaphobe, but the thought of what six year olds have been doing with their hands during the bus ride is enough to make me greet them with a squirt. They come in, unpack, pick a lunch, etc. I'm not really a morning work person (I hate giving busy work and I don't want to grade it). On Mondays, my kids cut out their word study sort then try to figure out how the words will be sorted. The rest of the week they do "What Could it Be?". They have a What Could it Be? spiral notebook in their desk. I draw a doodle/shape/squiggle on the board and they have to turn it into something, draw details and write about it. I love What Could it Be. It keeps them occupied after they unpack, gives them a chance for creative thinking, and the kids who come in later aren't really missing out on anything too important. Plus they have really cool ideas!

Guided Reading/Literacy Stations: I have 5 reading groups and meet with 3 groups a day. I meet with my two lower groups daily. While I'm meeting with my groups, the other kids are doing literacy stations. Right now they go to listening, computer (Lexia or RAZ Kids), writing, word work, and read to self. This year I have them set up on a rotation on the projector. I have a slide for each day. When I ring the bell to switch they know to clean up and move to the next rotation. My guided reading groups grab their bags of books from their backpacks and join me at the reading table. This chart has really helped us with smooth transitions and has minimized wasted instructional time.  I'm a sucker for using every available minute! Some years I let the kids pick their stations or use a station menu. This group just isn't there yet! 

Reading Mini Lesson: This whole group lesson usually focuses on comprehension strategies or literacy skills.

Recess: My teammate and I take turns taking out both classes. It's amazing how much you can get done in an extra 15 minutes!

Word Study: I use Words Their Way for Word Study. I have three different groups. While I'm meeting with a group the other groups are working with their words/sorts and word study notebooks  (WSNB) at their seats. I have a slide for the activity of the day and project it so the kids know the expectations. This has really helped with the "I'm finished...what do I do now?". We do the same few activities each week, so this helps keep the routine. Can you tell I was previously a special ed teacher...routines, routines, routines!

Writer's Workshop: This is usually a mini lesson with modeling and/or shared writing followed by time for independent writing practice. 

Lunch: I drop my kids off and pick them back up. 30 minutes goes by fast, but I'm thankful I don't have to eat with them!!!!

Calendar/Math: We come back from lunch, do a quick calendar, then math. 

Social Studies/Science: One or the other. I try to tie in a lot of literacy/comprehension during my SS/S block. Trying to get the most bang for my buck!

Resource: We are on a 5 day rotation. Our resources are: Music, PE, Art, Library, and Technology. Our library para teaches the technology resource and it is different than computer lab. I also take my kids to computer lab for 45 minutes on Mondays during SS/Sci. We have an awesome ITRT that plans/teaches great activities.

Silent Reading: As soon as the kids walk back in the room from resource they grab their book boxes and silent read for 10 minutes. It's a nice "unwind and relax time". Again, routine-routine-routine!

Read Aloud: We do read alouds throughout the day in all subjects, but this is a nice little time to add another one and really focus on those think alouds and comprehension strategies.

Intervention/Enrichment: During this time a few of my kids leave the room for extra reading remediation. I also have a super para who joins us during this block. She pulls groups or individuals and I also pull groups or individuals. The rest of the kids are working on centers. Most days it is a beautiful machine. I have the 4 tables on a 5 day rotation which usually includes computer, math tubs, poetry notebook, silent reading and another center that changes. It may be handwriting, special project, writing, thematic activity etc. The big idea here is to focus on the kids that need interventions while keeping the rest of the class engaged in meaningful activities! They also have a "working snack" at this time.

So that is my day at a quick glance. If you have questions or would like more information on any of the subjects just leave me a comment. I'd be glad to go into more detail in a later post. 

Thanks for stopping by to check out our little adventures in literacy (and other subjects!). Be sure to link up with Where the Wild Things Learn with your schedule. I'm loving all the ideas I'm reading!


  1. I am so happy to be following you now! :) I loved reading about your day! I absolutely love how you use words your ways and your directions.. smart!!

    Thanks for linking up :)


  2. Great scheduling! I'm your newest follower. :)