Friday, August 22, 2014

I am linking up with Blog Hoppin today for When Thursday. I've been down with strep throat the past two days (13th day of kindergarten and the teacher is sick never a good sign). For today's link up, teachers are sharing the daily schedules that guide their instructional day. 

Good Morning Time:  During this time in our day, my students enter the classroom and work on their Smartie Writing. This includes writing their first and last name, the date, two sentences, and numbering 0-100 (by the end of the year). Right now, we are building our stamina with this process. My kids are writing 1-10 like champions! The first few days were a little rough, but as the days progress we are getting more in the swing of things. The idea for Smartie Writing came from a neighboring school, and I can truly say it has made a wonderful difference in my students writing ability.

Calendar:  I LOVE calendar time. It is my favorite time of the day. We start our day with our morning announcement broadcast and by singing “We are Wonderful” a precious song by Debbie Clement. I love starting my day with these words of affirmation. This calendar time is a time for me to focus on so many ELA and Math skills. I also teach my Saxon Phonics and vocabulary lessons during this time.

Whole Group  Literacy:  This is the time of day I teach my reading workshop mini lesson. We then practice the skills during my small group time.

Small Group:  I think I have tried every small group schedule. What works best for me is to have my kinders divided into four groups. That equals about 5 kids in most of my groups. My fabulous para and I both teach a group and we have two independent groups. We do two 30 minute rotations each day. If a student meets with me today, they will meet with my partner tomorrow. It like having 30 minute rotations because I feel like I can plan many activities to benefit each group.

Show and Tell:  I’ve split my kinders into 5 groups, one for each day of the week. One day a week, students will bring an item to share. The deal is that they have to also bring clues for the class that they have helped develop. This is a great inference activity.

Writing Workshop:  I love writing workshop and use so many resources from DeeDee Wills and Deanna Jump’s units and Kim Adsit’s units. These are incredible teachers! 

Lunch:  Lunch at 10:45. This is Brunch!!! What is really bad is on my days off, I am hungry for lunch way to early!

Math: When we return from lunch, I spend a few minutes reading from a Junie B. Jones chapter book to get my kiddos back into the learning frame of mind. I then transition us with a song. I am a big believer in music and movement as a wonderful ways to teach and practice skills. Jack Hartmann and Dr. Jean both are incredible music resources for any teacher! I then teach math. I hit many math skills during my calendar time, but spend this time teacher and practicing new math skills with hands on activities- no worksheets for us!

Recess:  We get 30 minutes for recess on a our private kindergarten playground that is set up with age appropriate activities for kindergarteners.

CAMP:  These are our special classes- computer, music, art, and PE.

Science and Social Studies:  While I bring in my science and social studies throughout the day, I spend this time doing hands-on activities or craftivities to compliment our science and social studies themes. My kinders especially love experiments.

Rest Time:  We honestly only get down for about 20 minutes each day, but this is such a necessary time of the day. So many of our babies are not 5 until September 1st. They are babies. They need down time to rest their brains. For my non-resters, I hand them a book to read. After Christmas, we start to wean off our rest. I am assessing students or working with guided reading groups during this time.

Kid Time Centers:  This is when my students get to practice such an important skills that I think it should be a common core:  PLAY! I have a home, block, science, sensory, doll house, listening, iPad, computer, puzzle, game, and math center. I include books and writing materials in each center and you would not believe how many kids reference these materials each day. During this time, I am working with individual students and assessing.

We have an amazing schedule! This is what a typical day should look like but really, when is a day in kindergarten ever typical??? That’s what makes it so much fun! Kindergarten is the best!

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