How is a typical elementary school day broken up?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by socaligirl, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. socaligirl

    socaligirl Rookie

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    Mar 23, 2009

    I'm about to begin my elementary school observations, and I was thinking today about all the subjects that are taught in school. All of a sudden, I realized how short an amount of time teachers have to fit in a LOT of material...and was just wondering how it gets done.

    Is every subject taught every day? How long is spent on each subject? Do you find that you have to cut some lessons short to finish other ones?

    I'm trying to think back to my elementary school days, but it has been so long that I'm like this :dizzy: trying to remember it. :lol:
     
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  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Mar 23, 2009

    These days, the chances are fairly good that all the classrooms in a given grade in a California elementary school are on nearly identical schedules; what's more, that schedule is almost certainly somewhere on the school's Web site. That will give you a little idea what to expect.
     
  4. socaligirl

    socaligirl Rookie

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    Mar 23, 2009

    Thank you! I already found a school that has the daily schedules posted. So cool.
     
  5. Arky

    Arky Comrade

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    Mar 23, 2009

    Each grade level at our school is different because of the activity times.
    Example:
    8:00 Kids arrive
    8:10 Writing
    9:10 Music
    9:50 Bathroom break
    10:00-11:30 Language Arts Block
    11:30 Recess
    12:00 Lunch
    12:30 Math
    1:30 Word Study
    2:00 Science/Social Studies
    2:30 Computer Lab
    3:10 Go home

    It changes a little each day. One day I have two activities
    Another day I have an activity and Gifted and talented class
    Two days I have computer lab and then every other week I have the Guidance Counselor.
     
  6. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    Mar 23, 2009

    My school doesn't have science or social studies until 4th grade. It's supposedly integrated into the reading, but there isn't much there. This is my schedule:

    8:20-8:30 Kids are arriving, turn in work, and begin morning paper
    8:30-8:55 AR silent reading and testing time
    8:55-10:25 Reading block
    10:30-11:00 (or 11:15 2 days a week) Specials
    11:00-11:42 Workshop
    11:42-12:30 Lunch and recess
    12:30-1:45 Math
    1:45-2:00 Recess
    2:00-2:45 Spelling/Language Arts
    2:45-3:00 Agendas and get ready to go home
     
  7. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Mar 23, 2009

    When I did my student teaching, this is what I did... it seems to be fairly standard, of course specials can throw things off.

    8:30 - 10:00 - Literacy block
    10:00 - 10:05 - Snack/Get Dressed (In the winter, we start snack a little earlier)
    10:05 - 10:25 - Recess
    10:25 - 10:55 - Morning Message
    10:55 - 11:25 - Math (I tended to make Morning Message last an hour and I would rotate Math one day and Morning Message the other day, since it was very hard to get much Math done in half an hour - although Math was included in Morning Message)
    11:25 - 11:55 - Either French or Phys Ed (This would have changed as grade two no longer has French instruction, but this is what I did)
    11:55 - 12:45 - Lunch/Recess
    12:45 - 1:15 - Music/Library/You & Your World (You & Your World is a combination of Social Studies, Science, Personal Growth & Development and Health)
    1:15 - 1:45 - French/You & Your World
    1:45 - Dismissal
     
  8. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    Mar 23, 2009

    Here's our schedule, but it changes a little depending on the grade level:

    7:50-8:15 Students Arrive/Morning Work
    8:15-8:45 Spelling/Grammar
    8:45-9:30 Specialist (PE, Art or Music)
    9:30-10:10 Whole Group Reading and/or Writing
    10:10-11:00 Reading Groups/Stations
    11:00-11:30 Social Studies OR Science (2 days a week) OR Health OR Computer Lab (2 days a week) OR Library (1 day)
    11:30-12:00 Recess
    12:00-12:30 Lunch
    12:30-1:35 Math
    1:35-2:15 Handwriting/Phonics
    2:15-2:25 Preferred Activity Time
    2:25-2:35 Clean Up & Pack Up
    2:35 Dismissal
     
  9. TeachinHicks

    TeachinHicks Comrade

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    Mar 23, 2009

    This is my day

    7:45-8:00 Accel Math / Kids coming in / Bfast
    8:00-8:15 DEAR
    8:15-8:30 Check planners / unpack / restroom
    8:30-9:30 Writing
    9:30-10:15 Reading (M & Th until 10:40)
    10:15-10:40 Recess (T, W, F)
    10:40 Restroom
    10:50-11:35 Specials
    11:40-11:55 Social Studies Minis
    11:55-12:35 Lunch / Restroom
    12:40 - 2:15 Math
    2:15 Restroom
    2:20 - 2:45 Science / Social Studies
    2:45-3:00 Pack up / agendas

    **normal schedule includes Reading block from 8:30 - 10:15, but we're doing our state's new writing pilot and it's taking FOREVER!!! so we've had to cut our reading block to fit in writing :)
     
  10. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Mar 23, 2009


    Wow. Way to go, NCLB! I know this is probably pretty common, but what do those teachers who don't have sci/ss until later think? What do the upper grades teachers think? How about middle/high school?
     
  11. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    It's horrible! We have a story about Jackie Robinson, and they don't know what segregation is. There are so many things they're missing out on because we have to focus on reading, language, and math. When they get to 4th grade they don't know how to read that type of text and learn from it. I'm not sure what the middle or high school teachers think about it.

    Personally, I don't feel that I know very much about social studies. I think part of the reason is because I didn't have to take as many social studies classes in middle school and high school. I didn't do it enough to remember it!
     
  12. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Mar 23, 2009

    That's too bad Far. When I think about all the critical thinking skills kids in our country (and not just yours, don't take it that way-it's not your fault) are missing out on, frankly it makes me frightened for our future.
     
  13. RainStorm

    RainStorm Aficionado

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    Mar 23, 2009

    SoCal,
    Schools are so different on this. Some schools leave it totally up to the teacher and don't mind if she changes it from day-to-day. Other schools (like mine) are highly regimented. All 2nd grade teachers in our school must be teaching subjects at the same time and are given a duration. For example, Language Arts must be 2-2 1/2 hours long per day, and must include shared reading, guided/small group reading (all students must have guided reading each day), mini-lessons and whole group instruction, centers and workstations, and guided writing.) Math must be at least 1 hour long. Science or Social Studies must be at least 45 minutes long. We must also do Calendar Math (and that can't be during our math time) and we must do a read aloud (but not as part of our language arts.) Each takes about 15 minutes. Whew! Are you exhausted yet?

    So that takes care of 4.75 hours. Then add .75 for resouces (45 minutes), .25 for recess, and .5 for lunch. That equals 6.25. Our day is tecchnically only 6 hours long, and we haven't had any transition times, restroom breaks, morning work time, or anything else!

    So, our school's answer to this problem? We start teaching 40 minutes BEFORE the official start of the day!!! Crazy, huh? Our school officially starts at 9:10am, but we have to have our doors open and start teaching at 8:30am! (Teachers aren't even required to arrive until 8:20am!)

    So, yes, everything is a constant crush. You learn how to multitask.

    Also, they go nuts if we aren't doing exactly what is on our schedule. So if you are supposed to be doing math, you'd better not be doing science if the admin walks in. However, we do "integrate" all the time -- for example, I often find guided reading books that teach about our social studies or science topic, so I can cover more material. More bang for our buck, as they say.
     
  14. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    Mar 24, 2009

    In my school, each grade level's schedule varies slightly depending on when the specials are (gym, art, etc) and when lunch is. Here's my schedule for this year:

    8:55am walk kids upstairs
    9-9:25 morning routine
    9:30-10:25 reading
    10:25-11:20 writer's workshop
    11:25 get ready for lunch/place math things on desks
    11:30-12:10 lunch/recess
    12:15-1:15 math
    1:20-2:15 science/ss
    2:20-2:50 pack-up, end of the day things
    2:55-3:35 special
    3:40 dismissal

    We alternate science and ss units. The only thing I hate about our schedule is that my kids only get 15 minutes of recess...and that's if they get done lunch on time. I don't have time to take them outside at the end of the day because they have specials. I feel like they are really missing out on a lot of activity time with only 15 mins :(
     
  15. anitae209

    anitae209 Rookie

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    Mar 24, 2009

    Hi!
    8:15-8:30 school television broadcast & journal work
    8:30 -9:00 EL rotation (class rotate among grade level teachers based on their CELDT levels)
    9:00-10:00 morning work: journal word, word of the day, daily language practice, spelling work
    10:00-10:15 morning break/snack/bathrooms
    10:15-12:10 ELA
    12:10-12:50 lunch
    12:50-1:00 math times test
    1:00-1:30 P.E/bathroom breaks
    1:30-2:30 math
    2:30-3:00 science/ social studies/ history,etc
    3:00-3:08 cleanup, dismissal
     
  16. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Mar 24, 2009


    We went the whole month of February without talking about Black History. I love teaching Social Studies when we do it! My kids enjoy it, too.
     

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