Help with Schedule

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by TXKinderTeacher, Mar 24, 2008.

  1. TXKinderTeacher

    TXKinderTeacher Rookie

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    Mar 24, 2008

    Hi, everyone! :)

    This is my first year teaching, and after many attempts, I still cannot manage to work a good schedule for my classroom.

    This year, I’ve completely neglected science/social studies/theme activities because I don’t have a specific time set aside for it. It’s really been tragic! The only time I’ve been able to do anything with this subject area is to take away developmental centers or math, which I’ve done on occasion....however, math is too important to skip and I think developmental centers are just as important for kinders.

    I’ve finally worked my schedule to include math, science/social studies, and developmental centers in the afternoon next year, and in my opinion, it’s perfect. That leaves me with the morning portion of our day and I just don’t know how to fit everything in! I’ve been wracking my brain ALL YEAR LONG!

    I have roughly two hours (8:00-10:00 am) in the morning for:
    Morning Meeting
    Short oral phonics lesson
    Shared Reading
    Interactive Writing
    Reader’s Workshop/Guided Reading/Daily 5 (I do kind of a hybrid language arts block)
    Writer’s Workshop/Journal Writing/Handwriting

    There just seems no way to get ALL this done in two hours. How in the world can I juggle all these things? Even if I do the first four things in 10-15 mins each, I still only have about an hour to do the last two things....and in my opinion, EACH of them should have their own hour...or at least 45 mins. Maybe the answer is to not do each thing EVERYDAY?

    Does anyone have any suggestions? :)

    Thank you!
     
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  3. lw3teach

    lw3teach Companion

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    Mar 24, 2008

    I will tell you that our K requested that we eat lunch last and now we have a 3 1/2 hour block in the morning for academics. The kids go to recess at 12:05, go to lunch at 12:40 and come back to the room at 1:15. It is very nice. That way all the academics can be taken care of in the morning when the kids are ready for it. If there is any way to get this done in your school, I highly reccommend it!
    Our schedule looks like this:
    8:35-9:30 - morning meeting, big book, word study
    9:30-10:00- snack, recess
    10:00-12:00- integrated stations: math, writing, reading, art, science/social studies
    1:15-1:35- interactive writing
    1:35-2:00- rest
    2:00-2:40- gym, music, art, computer lab, etc
    2:40-3:10- extended writer's workshop lessons, interactive read alouds, chapter book reading, and/or any odds and ends that need to be done

    In all of this, I salt and pepper music and movement.
    I think the key is to integrate all subjects into our station teaching. It really does make a difference.
     
  4. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Mar 24, 2008

    7:50 – 8:10 Announcements/morning work/puzzles/books
    8:10 – 8:45 Calendar/Morning Message, review
    8:45 – 9:25 Writer’s Workshop (usually 1 day a week we are not writing in our folders, but doing some kind of practice - sentences, finding words in the room, etc...)
    9:30 – 9:35 Restroom Break
    9:35 – 10:00 Recess
    10:00 – 10:55 Centers/Guided Reading
    10:55 – 11:05 Clean-up/ Prepare for lunch
    11:05 – 11:35 Lunch
    11:35 – 12:00 Chapter Book Read aloud & restroom Break
    12:00-12:55 Block/Conference Period
    1:00 -1:30 Math
    1:30 – 2:00 Language Arts (Sometimes it is writing, reading our high-frequency word readers, handwriting practice, sounding out word practice, reading response, etc...)
    2:00 – 2:30 Theme/Social Studies/Science/ Health Lessons
    2:30 – 2:40 – Folders/Pack Up
    2:40 - Dismissal

    I do handwriting as part of language arts (I usually do it maybe twice a week and it starts off taking a while, but eventually it doesn't take but 10-15 minutes). I also have a huge amount of information that we cover during "calendar", I pick and choose each day which things to cover to fit into that time frame. Our themes cover science and social studies, depending on the theme. We also go to the science lab every other week, so they have science instead of writer's workshop on those days.
     
  5. TXKinderTeacher

    TXKinderTeacher Rookie

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    Mar 24, 2008

    Thank you, both, for your suggestions and schedules.
    lw3teach - I wish I could get our lunch time changed. We go to lunch at 11:35....and we have specials in the morning from 10:35-11:20. There is a wasted 15 minutes between specials and lunch that is basically just enough time to get hands washed and get lunches. I hate having to go all the way back to our room to get lunches and wash hands, and there are about 3-5 minutes to kill before lunch. It's not time to have a short read aloud or anything. GRRR! They won't change our schedule at all.

    To both of you...it sounds like you are doing guided reading during your center time. I've been doing it this year and it's driving me crazy. It's so loud and no matter how much we practice, the kids know my attention is diverted when I'm in groups, so they aren't on task. I'm also really liking the reader's workshop/daily five approach because I think the kids will get more reading done, plus it'll be quieter in the room and I won't have so many center activities to produce. So if I don't do centers during my guided reading time, I need to do them in the afternoon after recess for 30 minutes. I just don't feel right taking away the center time.

    I'm just not seeing how I can do reading workshop AND writing workshop in two hours, since I have to do morning meeting and shared reading/writing as well. Maybe there isn't an answer. I just worry that doing a combination of reading/writing workshop (like in the daily five where they do some independent reading and also can choose to work on writing) will be enough writing without a separate writer's workshop.

    Anyone doing the Daily Five? Do you think you need a separate writing workshop in addition to it?

    Thanks! :)
     
  6. Lilly4

    Lilly4 Rookie

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    Mar 24, 2008

    I have two hours in the morning as you do and I squeeze (it's tight!) literacy and writing time in. Here's my schedule...
    9:10 Morning meeting
    9:35 Literacy lesson
    9:55 Literacy stations
    10:25 Writer's Workshop
    11:05 Recess/ Lunch
    After lunch three days a week we have reader's workshop. The other two days are more literacy instruction and handwriting. Sometimes writer's workshop runs long and we have sharing or our closing lesson after lunch. I might see if there is any way to work with your afternoons for some of the shared reading/writing or at least handwriting. I do science and social studies most days but only allot 25-30 minutes for it. I look at the standards and make sure they are met. We don't do a lot of the "cutesy" extras and projects. I agree that reading, writing, and math need to be the focus. Sometimes it's easy to integrate math with science. I know some people who do a science or social studies one day each week. Instead of their typical afternoon activities, they have an hour and a half or so to cover the science/social studies curriculum.
    Good lcuk!
     
  7. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Mar 24, 2008

    How about combining subjects? Like make the independant reading a science lesson. Or read the social studies lesson during oral reading.

    I teach preschool, and have the same issue. I combine many activities. Like making free play in the sensory table a science lesson by timing how long it takes to melt an ice cube.

    I use dress up clothes to study foreign countries.
     
  8. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Mar 24, 2008

    We are using the Lucy Calkins Small Moments writing this year, so that is one major reason that I have such a long writing block and reading block. One of the ways that my centers run without me is to have them be accountable with some product for every center. If they know you are checking the product, they work to get their tasks done. Take a look at the K-Crew's center management too: http://www.thekcrew.net/centersphilosophy.html I don't use center cards like they do because my class is very small, but I have seen it work great! Another suggestion is to get a laundry basket for all of the lunch boxes and have the students put all of their things in the basket each morning. Then, you just have to take the basket to PE or at least it would give you time to read during the break. You could come to the classroom and call students by groups to wash hands while you read from a chapter book or themed picture book (this could set you up for a science/social studies activity later). They could also use hand sanitizer instead of washing if you are really pressed for time. I use a chapter book because I can read from it for 5 minutes or 20 minutes any time I need to and they LOVE it! You can also make shared writing part of your writer's workshop mini-lesson twice a week and maybe with the above suggestion move shared reading to that wasted time between specials and lunch.

    One more thing - my students have centers for an hour, but they have an activity to complete before going to centers. The activities are usually: 2 cutesy things that go with the theme that are more fun/less academic (think crafty types of things), 1 read/write the room (sometimes form our theme words, sometimes word family pictures that they have to spell for themselves), a fun math activity (usually a math activity that goes with our theme but uses a concept they already know ie. matching a bunny with a number on it to a basket with that number of eggs), and the last activity is a skills review based on what I think they need more practice with. After they complete this they go to their choice of 3 centers. They know that they have one warning before I ask them to go to one of their other centers or they may have to choose a seat activity. Even if you continue with your schedule, you could get the class started in centers and have 20 minutes to meet with 2 students or 2 groups for 10 minutes each for extra practice during your centers.
     

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