Classroom Schedules Link Up


Good morning! Sorry to overwhelm you with 2 blog posts in one day, but I just had to link up with the awesome Angie Olson of Lucky Little Learners and Ashley Schroeder of Schroeder's Shenanigan's in 2nd for their 2gether we are better linky.  This month we are sharing schedules:

I'll share my schedule from my last year of teaching kindergarten because my schedule these days consists of whatever Madelynn's little heart desires on any given day :)

This is what my schedule looked like:
















Here's a little more info about what each part of my day entailed. 

AM Routines/WTW Sort
Students come in drop off their BEE Binders, make their lunch choice (which is also how I took attendance), and start their Words Their Way sort for the week.

Intervention
We have a school wide RTI time. So as grade level teams we would choose a focus and group the kids that needed help into specific groups.  Students not needing help in that area would work in a larger group on enrichment activities.  Because our whole school was involved we were able to have smaller groups in intervention with classroom teachers while the enrichment groups were taken by the music, art, and other non-classroom teachers. I started out with a letter naming group and just LOVED this RTI pack from Abby at the Inspired Apple:
Message/Poem
I used a morning message each day to go over basic skills and talk about the day ahead.  For example each day start something like this: "Good morning kindergarteners! Today is Monday September 1, 2014.  We will have PE this afternoon." I also leave things missing such as beginning/ending sounds that we may be working on or punctuation for extra practice. Then I add additional skills practice on a rotating basis. Monday may be a question about our behavior focus for the week "How can you make someone's day better today?" Tuesday we may practice reading our reading wall (based on No More Letter of the Week) On Wednesday we may review our sight words and letters learned so far. On Thursday We might practice ways to show 10. And on Friday, I always have students help me make a list of what we learned that week in each subject. 

Our poem changes each week and is based on the theme we are studying.  We use our poem to practice concepts of print and fluency, as well as a variety of other ELA skills.  We work on the poem first as a class and then students work on their own copy of the poem which is great for differentiation as you can give different students different tasks very easily. (ex: Students A, B, C please go circle all of the letter b's you can find, and students X, Y, Z please find at least 10 sight words you know)  You can find the poems I use here:
And the poetry tasks we do with our poems here.
Writing Workshop
We started using Lucy Calkins New Units of Study in writing this year which I just loved because the lessons are grade specific. If you used the previous units of study you know that there was a primary and secondary version so K-2 and 3-5 had essentially the same lessons for 3 years just beefed up a bit each year.  I also use my Writing VOICES menu to set goals and focus my mini lessons with students.  I revamped all of my goals to match the CCSS and Lucy Calkins' rubrics this past year :)
Math Calendar/Journal
I absolutely could not live without this Calendar Set by Growing Kinders. Seriously, I used to hate calendar time because it just got so monotonous for me, but this set changes every month to add more skills so it always feels fresh.  I would post it on the smartboard and go through it together as a class and towards the middle of the year I began to have students lead and teach each other which spiced it up a bit more.
I also use the math journals I created for each strand of math.  Students complete the journal for the day independently with a partner or a small group.  The goal is to get them really thinking and talking about math in a way that makes them think critically. Often the journal has multiple means of reaching an answer and multiple possible answers.  This leads to great math discussion when we have our math circle share after journal time.
Math Small Groups/Stations
I use a guided math model in which I take 3 groups each day while students choose to go to different math stations.  I do not have a rotation set up where every child must go to every math station because I conference and goal set with my students based on my Math COUNT menu so they know which stations they need to go to based on their goals.  
Daily 5
My literacy block is set up with the structure of the Daily 5/CAFE. I usually have 3 - 15 minute rotations in which students choose one of the Daily 5 while I meet with a small group and them conference with individual students.  I created a FREE CAFE menu to math my VOICES and COUNT goal setting boards if you are looking for one for your room.
Inquiry
Our district model for science and social studies is based on the Inquiry model.  We focus on comprehension and collaboration as well as student motivated choice and engagement  vs. covering content. This means that we may have an inquiry unit on famous americans for example.  And while I have chosen the broad topic, students will be immersed in some content to peak their interest and get them thinking, but then will choose what they would like to study.  Some students may want to learn about Neil Armstrong, while others may want to learn about Rosa Parks.  Students learn to conduct research and collaborate effectively with a team to collect information, and then synthesize their findings into a project. The focus is on the essential question of "What makes a person famous and why do we remember them?"  This may seem crazy for kindergartners to be able to do, but the results have been amazing! I am working on creating unit resources for other teachers that teach using an Inquiry model because that was one of the most difficult things about teaching inquiry units.  There is really very little out there to help organize and plan inquiry units. I'd love to know if any of you use inquiry based teaching for content so that I can get some suggestions on what you'd like to see included.

Read Aloud
Finally I end the day with a read aloud from a chapter book such as Charlotte's Web, so that we can end our day on a relaxing note as students are preparing to go home. Students also get picked up early to go to their busses and our after school program so it is a way to have everyone ready and not just sit around for 15 minutes waiting.


Wow, that was a super long post, so if you made it this far THANK YOU for reading.  I hope you may find something in there that sparks an idea for your schedule.  I always love reading other peoples schedules to see how they do things because I tend to change a lot each year! So check out these other posts about schedules!



2 comments:

  1. I love that you ended your days with a read aloud on a relaxing note. This is a tip that I am going to try! I have been going right from math to pack up. Maybe the read aloud will help the students take a deep breath before waiting for their buses. You are fabulous, Mrs. Plemons!!!
    Melissa from Mrs. Dailey's Classroom

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  2. Jessica! Love your post and I may be slightly jealous that you get to stay home with your little girl! Your kindergarten day sounded a lot like mine when I taught kindergarten. We, too, use BEE binders and love them. Thanks so much for linking up with us. It means a ton!
    Mrs. Olson’s Lucky Little Learners

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