Saturday, April 4, 2015

Together We Are Better {Daily Schedule}

I am linking up with Ashley from Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd and Angie from Lucky Little Learners.  For April we are talking about our daily schedule.  I was so excited when I saw this posted on Instagram; I love seeing other teacher's schedules.
Right now I am teaching Kindergarten.  My district does half day Kindergarten so I have an AM and PM class.  Time is my biggest challenge because each session is about 2.5 hours.  It can be tough to fit everything in.  
I post my schedule each day at the front of the room.  I believe in having structure and a routine.  With half day Kindergarten it isn't perfect, but I like to have something in place for myself and my students.  
Graphic from Missing Tooth Grins
This week I changed my daily schedule.  I am sure some of you are thinking I am crazy for changing my schedule in the middle of the school year.  However, the current schedule was not working for me or my students.  I am pleased to say that the students responded positively to this new change.  It took a lot of modeling and reflection, but it was SO worth it.
9:00-9:20 Arrival
As students are arriving, they do math workstations.  My resources vary from Teachers Pay Teachers to Debbie Diller K-2 Math Stations.  I align all of my resources to past content or our current unit.  This is not a time for me to introduce something new.

9:20-9:30 Morning Meeting
Students clean up their workstation and meet me at the carpet.  I announce the Lucky Duck for the day, review calendar items, and do Chit Chat (morning message).

I love this resource because it is common core aligned, the scope and sequence developmentally makes sense for Kindergarten students, and I can project it on the SmartBoard instead of using soooo much chart paper.  Each week has a phonics focus; this week was digraphs.  Most importantly, this is a consistent routine:
-We read the message and discuss what we need to complete.
-I pass the marker to a student. (shared writing)
-We read the completed message.
Purchase Chit Chat by Deanna Jump HERE

9:30-10:20 Reading Workshop
All students are at the carpet for a read aloud.  Each mini lesson connects to the read aloud.
Example: 2 weeks ago I did an Eric Carle author study.  For each book we focused on character and setting.

When I am meeting with reading groups, students are doing literacy centers.

We end centers with our reflection.  I believe reflection is an essential part of the learning process for any grade.
Source: Leach Teach
Since I recently implemented literacy centers, this chart was incredibly beneficial.  I either had the students turn and talk about a certain number or we discussed all 4 components.

10:20-10:50 Writing
My district uses Lucy Calkins.  Her books contain a lot of information to take in, but I love the language she uses.  It is really helpful for me as the hook for my mini lesson.
 I follow the writing workshop model:
-Mini Lesson
-Independent Writing (I conference with students during this time)
This is what I use to record my anecdotal notes from conferring with students.  Each conference I tell the student a compliment and teaching point.
Some writing visuals that I post on the board.  
LEFT: Visual reminder for students to make sure their writing has all necessary components.  I have them draw the complete smiley face on their paper.
RIGHT: We all had a student tell us they have nothing to write about.  This provides students with possible small moments.

10:50-11:05 Word Study
I use Alpha Tales books as a resource for teaching students letters, sounds, and objects associated with each letter.  Example: A is for alligator.  Students also create a letter page and all of their pages are made into a book when we have finished the ABC's.  Each student takes home their completed book and they love it!  With each letter I teach the students a phonics dance.

During this time we also do word work: plurals, compound words, synonyms, antonyms, segmenting words, etc.

11:05-11:40 Math
My district has enVisions, but we are allowed to supplement as needed.  I use the curriculum as a guide so I can stay on track and have a clear vision for the year.

Math looks like...
-Whole Group Mini Lesson (at the carpet)
-Guided Practice
-Send Off… I meet with individual students/small groups as needed while the remainder of the class is playing math games around the room.

11:40-11:50 Pack Up
I dismiss students by table.
AM class: Clean up their area and flip workmat over for the PM class.
PM class: Clean up their area and put workmat away.

When students are done packing up they come to the carpet for a read aloud.  Just like any other grade level, students vary on how long it takes them to pack up so this helps keep everyone focused.

What about content??  Science and social studies are typically integrated throughout the day.  There are some units that work best to have a separate time.  In that case I do it after math.

Recess and brain breaks are integrated into the schedule as well.  Typically after writing.

We have library every Wednesday.  This means my schedule looks different on Wednesdays.

For PM times, just add 4 hours.  If students arrive for AM 9:00-9:20, PM is 1:00-1:20.

Time flies by with half day Kindergarten!  Thanks for reading this long post!


  1. I ADORE your work station debrief idea! I think that I could incorporate that idea into our math and ELA block in 2nd grade too! BTW, prior to teaching 2nd grade, I taught kindergarten and I LOVED the Alphatales books! Do you have the CD too? My kids would memorize those songs! Thanks for linking up with us!
    Mrs. Olson’s Lucky Little Learners

  2. I loved looking into how a half day kindergarten class is run. I bet your day flies by!

  3. I think your job as a kindergarten teacher is so important as you help to build the foundations for future learning. I'm in awe of your schedule!