A day in the life of a teacher is definitely a crazy one, and I know you all can relate! This eCard totally cracks me up and is so true!
Due to all of our crazy schedules, the demands of standards, data tracking, and constantly trying to make fun and innovative lessons, it can be hard to make a daily schedule that works.
So I want to share with all of you what works for me, and learn what works for you, too! I invite you all to link up and share with us what A Day in Your Way is for your classroom. We can all share and learn from each other!
Feel free to use these images to link up!
Here's a glimpse at my daily schedule:
I teach ELA and Social Studies to (2) groups of kiddos. Each group is around 30 students, so I see 60 students each day. We have a "homeroom" class in the morning, and then our two groups are similar ability levels.
Each morning our students come in and start on their morning work. We give them a packet each Monday morning with a paper for each day that has combined Math and ELA skills. I purchased this at pack from Tick Tock Curriculum a few months ago and I absolutely LOVE it! Even though we are departmentalized, it is so nice to have my students do Reading AND Math in the morning. The pack is aligned to CCS for Reading Literature, Informational Text, Writing, Foundational Skills, Language, and all of the Math Standards. Simply put, it is PERFECT for morning work! They turn this in at the end of the week. When they are done with morning work, announcements come over the loud speaker (so jealous of all of you with Smartboard video announcements!)
Then, we do 10 minutes of "movement" each day. We like to get our kiddos up out of their seats and moving every morning for a little bit of fitness time! Sometimes this is corny workout videos like Paul Eugene, and a lot of times it is dancing along to songs like the Sid Shuffle, or the Cha Cha Slide, Koo Koo Kangaroo, or Just Dance songs. It is a great start to our day!
Spelling and Word Building:
We spend about 20 minutes each day on these skills. Every Monday I introduce our 10 root words for the week, and our 20 spelling words that go with them (2 for each root.) If you've read in my previous posts, I use Reading Olympians for our root words. My students LOVE this program. We record them in our planners, practice saying them, and discuss their meanings. Throughout the week we go over word boxes (define the root, give examples of words with that root, use it in a sentence, and draw a picture), play SPARKLE, play Smartboard review games, and go over vocabulary activities.
Reading Focus Mini-Lesson:
Most of our mini-lessons consist of an activity out of Erin Cobb's Interactive Notebooks. We work on a foldable for whatever our skill focus is (theme, characterization, plot, etc), then throughout the week we add onto this and reference it for reinforcement. It is a great time to introduce new concepts, or review and practice previous ones. *Our district does have a adopted reading program, Rigby. They decided to go with this program about 8 years ago. I do use it for lessons, ideas, pacing, and some stories, but I supplement A LOT. Mainly through Erin's Interactive Notebooks! My mini lessons usually look like this:
- Whole group introduction and definition of the concept with modeled examples in a Smartboard lesson or Powerpoint.
- Students cut and glue an interactive foldable into their Interactive Notebooks and we color code it, and watch Youtube videos or listen to songs with examples in it. Students then have to identify those examples independently and share them out.
- I usually wrap it up with a pair share or a quick review by students using their mini whiteboard circles!
Social Studies AND/OR Writer's Workshop:
I alternate Social Studies and Writer's Workshop each day. During Social Studies, we usually complete an Interactive Notebook activity, and color coded notes. We also read from our weekly newspapers from the Social Studies Weekly program for our state, which is AMAZING! I also use this time to integrate it with Language Arts by reading books on our topics.
Our Writer's Workshop usually consists of a quick mini-lesson on a skill. These mini-lessons are standards based, and come from a variety of sources. Lately, I am loving Erin's mini writing lessons in her new Writing Interactive Notebook, and my students love them, too! Then, we spend 15 minutes of workshop time actually writing and applying the skill in our legal pads. So many of my students love this time to just write! This focus board keeps them remembering what they are supposed to be doing, and helps them keep track of time.
Daily 5 Rotations:
If you've followed me for a while, you know that I don't do a true Daily 5 rotation. My students rotate through 3 stations on a given day.
- 1 Station is always doing something technology related. This is usually Study Island, working through the 4th grade ELA standards. Sometimes it is RAZ kids, BookFlix or TruFlix, or a mini-project they are working on.
- The second station varies with the day. Most of the time, it is an activity out of my monthly centers, (Jump Start January for this month) or it is a grammar review sheet.
- The 3rd station is always meeting in their group, usually with me. We usually are reinforcing our Reading skill for the week, having a literature circle, close reading, or working on basic fluency or comprehension skills. I love this time because I really get to interact with my students and get to know their reading abilities. I love being able to work with groups on their level! :) Wearing my crown is my favorite part of D5 time. My students know not to interrupt when I'm wearing that crown, and it truly gives me meaningful time with my small groups without interruptions!
Grammar Mini Lesson:
My grammar lessons align perfectly with Jivey's Mentor Texts! I usually make a grammar foldable to match whatever our focus for the week is in our Mentor Text. Once we've learned about this skill (verbs, adjectives, nouns, types of sentences, etc.), we complete the daily task for the Mentor Text. This is my first year using Mentor Texts, and my students LOVE it and are learning so much. In fact, today, they were able to label and tell me the part of speech of EVERY single word in our mentor sentence!! I even had one student who flipped to the beginning of our notebook to find our first week and tell me how shocked she was because she could only tell me the nouns the first week! Such a proud teacher moment :)
We also work in Read Aloud time, and DEAR time with extra time left over. We usually have about 10 minutes of this each day!
After doing this all in the morning, we head to lunch and recess. This is a duty free time (I can't believe some of you have to eat with your kiddos every day!) I can honestly say I work with an entire staff that is AMAZING. We really have no "bad eggs" that are negative and not here for the right reasons. I always go down to the lounge to each with my teachy friends and we have a blast during this time! It is such a great "break" and refresher during the day! (Previously, in different schools I taught at I did not go to the lounge because of the negativity. I LOVE not having that now!)
It begins again!:
After lunch and recess I start my morning schedule all over again with a different group of 30 kiddos! We alternate which group we have in the morning, and which we have in the afternoon every day. We've found that sometimes we just get better at teaching it the second time around, so it's nice for each group to have that time.
Our specials rotate between Red, White, Grizzly, and Bear days. Which basically means we have a rotation of Library, Gym, Music, and Art. So they have 3 specials once a week, and 1 twice a week. No computers yet :( We don't even have 4 working computers in our classroom, let alone a computer lab :( hopefully soon!
Our bussers pack up about 10 mins before everyone else so this makes dismissal time hard. Usually I read aloud to the whole group for a few minutes (right now we're reading The Lightning Thief) but I stop reading when bussers leave so they don't miss any of the book. Then we play "24" a math game (I know, I don't teach math but my partner and I both integrate each other's subjects as much as possible; she reads aloud to her kiddos, too!) Then the rest of us pack up and walk down to their parents. Teachers are contracted until 3:40 and our day is over (of course I'm usually there until 5.)
Although some days can still be crazy, I am loving my schedule right now.
But, I am always looking for ways to make it better! Link up and share what your day looks like! I can't wait to read and learn from all of you! :)