how long teaching?

Discussion in 'First Grade' started by bonneb, Dec 21, 2007.

  1. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Dec 21, 2007

    How long have you been teaching first grade, or a grade close to it? Would y'all be willing to help me out with scheduling issues? Mainly, I need some examples of schedules and/or ideas of how to plan things out. We have weak curriculum guidance and I am a bit at a loss.

    Do any of your schools post your curriculums online? I am befuddled. I am a bit handicapped because my credential is actually in secondary - I lucked out and got the first grade position many years after teaching in secondary, and I love it! I have learned a lot from my own studies, conferences, etc., but there are some gaps for sure and I don't have anyone to ask for help.
     
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  3. love_reading

    love_reading Comrade

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    Dec 21, 2007

    This is my 6th year teaching--prek, kinder, first and second. It's a little hard to help without any more specifics. The only thing my district posts on their website is our goals. We have specific curriculums along with curriculum guides for everything. I know there is a subject on schedules from a couple of weeks ago. My schedule looks like this:
    8:35 kids arrive, morning work
    8:50 writing workshop
    9:35 reading workshop (shared rdg, guided rdg/workstations, share and read aloud)
    10:45 recess
    11:15 read aloud chapter book
    11:30 lunch
    12:00 reading workshop (minilesson, independent rdg, share)
    12:45 math
    1:15 specials
    2:15 math
    2:45 snack
    2:55 spelling/phonics
    3:25 dismiss
    On Friday I only have one special so after lunch I devote an hour to science or social studies as well as integrate it into comm arts.
    Hope this helps!
     
  4. DaveF

    DaveF Companion

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    Dec 21, 2007

    I've been teaching 1st grade for 17 whole weeks. Here is my schedule:
    7:35 Breakfast in the classroom. (no fun at all)
    8:00 ELD-English lang. development (very high ESL population)
    8:30 Math (Houghton Mifflin)
    9:15 Recess
    9:30 Math continued for 10 minutes
    9:40 Universal Access Time (Houghton Mifflin) centers, preteach reteach etc.
    10:40 PE
    11:00 Lunch (duty free for me)
    11:45 Phonics, word work, grammar
    12:15 Reading Direct Instruction (Houghton Mifflin)
    1:45 Workshop- I use this time for either writing or reteaching a math lesson that didn't go as well as I wanted.
    2:15 Day over.

    Reading, writing, arithmetic thats all we do. I try my best to keep it as fun as possible. It's fast paced and my kids like it.
     
  5. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    Dec 21, 2007

    Do you mean a daily schedule, or do you mean a yearly schedule stating what we plan to teach and when--like a pacing schedule??
     
  6. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Dec 26, 2007

    Thanks everyone. I've been off the computer due to Christmas prep! I appreciate your comments and questions.

    Dave - How does having math before and after recess work out for your? Does the break refresh the kids for the last session of math?

    terpto - I think I am looking for what/how you all plan out your year. I have tried getting a skeleton of what I plan in each subject for each month, but I start falling behind then scrap the whole thing eventually, then I am kind of lost. I believe I cover what is asked for in my curriculum guide (those subjects that actually have one at my school), but I feel rattled and pressured because I can't see my year's plan and have a direction.

    For instance, in math, I do cover most of the required curriculum. But I have been using Saxon, which I just hate, so I end up "doing my own thing," and I am afraid I might leave holes, or present things out of order, which might be confusing.

    Any suggestions? What do you teach each month, for example, in math and science? What basic language lessons go in each month, other than reading groups? What order do you teach phonics?

    I feel like I sound like a dope. It is just a hole in my own education. Probably I am doing fine, but I don't have that map to reassure myself and it seems like everyone else at my school is so self assured, I would never ask this question of anyone!
     
  7. firstgradeteach

    firstgradeteach Comrade

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    Jan 1, 2008

    This is only me second year of teaching so I am always changing how I do things. I ended up making a curriculum map so that I know when to teach the science and social studies concepts. We have a new literacy program this year which has phonics, writing, grammar, and reading. We start out the year teaching short vowel word families. We teach two a week. Towards the middle of the year we add blends and digraphs. We are constantly reviewing the word families as well. Each unit in our program focuses on a Science or Social Studies concept. I look at the literacy curriculum map for the concept being taught and know that I will have to completely teach the other concepts not used during the second week of the two week unit.

    I really like teaching energy and animals in the Spring. This way the students can go outside and complete experiements. I also have the students write an animal report and they are capable of simple research and writing a simple report in the Spring.

    I also use Saxon. (I also dislike it) In my opinion they do not have enough money, time and measurement. I use the lessons and worksheets that they give me. I have a mini overhead quiz Monday-Thursday over time and money. It may be horrible but I give them a M&M for correct answers(only the student that answers it correctly). They get two M&M's if it is a challenge question. I also have Math centers two times a week. I work with usually 2 groups each session. My mini groups work on either a time/money/measurement concept with me in differentiated groups. The rest of the students have a practice worksheet or peer tutoring then can choose fun math activities or centers. I can have math centers because most lessons are very quick since we cover a lot of concepts daily in our morning meeting and we practice on the overhead every day. I also have a graph of the day instead of the daily weather graph. This keeps their attention more and they get good at comparing and reading graphs. They have to read the question and put their name tag on the graph as a part of their morning routine.

    I am a beginner so I may not give the best advice! If you actually want in detail the science/ social studies etc. that I teach each month- PM me. I will write out in short form my curriculum map.

    If your kids are learning I bet you are doing just great! I think you are being too hard on yourself!
     
  8. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Jan 7, 2008

    Could be I am being too hard on myself! Even though I know it is unproductive, I sometimes compare myself to others. Thanks for your input!
     
  9. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    Jan 7, 2008

    Bonneb... sometimes I feel organized and like I am doing pretty well and other times I feel like I don't know what I'm doing! I made a yearlong plan which helped me a bit this year. But I'm constantly drawing errors and not getting enough done. I'm having such a hard time fitting things in, a hard time when six of my kids are goine for 75 minutes in the middle of my literacy block. Ughh frustrating! I was feeling good but now I'm starting to feel disorganized again.
     
  10. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Jan 11, 2008

    miss Kirby, I think we have a lot in common! When I feel disorganized I feel paralyzed. I am disorganized now. I had planned to come in over the break and really clean out my room, but I never did come in. Did clean up my house!! :haha:

    So this weekend is clean out and organize time! I am just dragged down by the clutter on my desk. When things are organized I am like a teaching machine! Organization is not my strong area, but I need it to stay on task. It is a constant struggle! But I have to keep telling myself that I can do it!
     
  11. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Jan 11, 2008

    fifteen minutes of recess??????? :eek: Sigh...soon they will be plowing the playgrounds to make room for more trailers or mobile classrooms.

    Wasn't that Joni Mitchell who sang...

    "They paved paradise, and put up a parking lot!" :(
     
  12. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    Jan 12, 2008

    Hey I'd love 15 minutes of a morning recess! My first graders only get a 35 minute break which is like 20 minutes of lunch and 15 minutes of recess, if even that.
     
  13. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Jan 12, 2008

    Thankfully, my entire school firmly supports physical activity and play time for all of our kids, Pre-K through 6th. My kids have a 15-20 min a.m. recess, a 30 min. lunch recess, P.E. 2x a week, and if the weather is nice (rarely) we have a quick 10 min. afternoon pick-me-up. They do much better on their work if they get a lot of physical activity.

    If you don't have playground area, can you take them to the gym for some physical activity or games?
     
  14. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Jan 13, 2008

    Saxon math is Open Court Reading's evil twin! They are both too structured for me!
     
  15. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Jan 13, 2008

    I have special ed pre-k. I have two sessions. I was tossing and turning last night, because I realized my afternoon class is wearing me out! I don't have a bathroom in my class, and these little ones just keep going to the bathroom all day!

    830 meet at busline
    845 seatwork - one or two ditto pages(Language Arts & Math)
    900 reading time
    915 circle time (calendar, story, letters/numbers/colors/shapes)
    935 bathroom (NOT in our room :confused: - walk down the hall)
    945 snack
    10-10:30 - free play/small group (I take them 2 at a time)
    1030-1045 science/social studies/music
    11-1130 outdoor/indoor gym
    11:45 dismissal

    same schedule for pm class

    my problem is that the pm busses are very late. sometimes, I have only one or two, and by the time the whole class gets in, I have been to the bathroom 3 times already! I can't start circle time because they are so late! Many of my pm kids are in pull-ups :crosseyed! A few wait to tell me at the last minute (or don't tell me, just dance around) to use the bathroom, so we have to stop our lesson, and run down the hall.....

    any suggestions? I tried going to the bathroom first, but there is one kid who just needs to go at least three times!! :help:

    btw...I do have a language arts/science/social studies curriculum that all pre-k classes must follow, a letter for the week, and a theme. Mind you, half my kids don't speak English, and the other half won't sit for 2 minutes (ADHD and/or drug exposed)!! :(

    eta...I do not have a math curriculum. I use my own dittos from workbooks, and make lots of materials, games and flash cards.
     
  16. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    Jan 13, 2008

    Our principal strongly disapproves recess unless it is a "learning recess" where we are outside for some educational activity. I took my kids out once when we were doing cloud observations and once when we were starting a unit on questioning, and they made observations and recorded questions in their wonder boxes. But that's not recess! My kids are so wound up they really NEED an extra morning recess, just for 10 minutes. Honestly I don't know how I'd even fit it in. They are talking about lengthening our day an hour. If they do they BETTER let us have recess!!!
     
  17. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Jan 13, 2008

    another victim of NCLB...

    many administrators want to eliminate free time and recess, as it takes away from instruction time. :(

    one charter school was in shock when I told them my pre-k class takes a 2 1/2 nap. "Two and a half hours! That is too long!", the principal and Open Court Reading specialist said in unison.

    I replied, "But, they are only 3-5 years old.... what do you expect? I mean, do you actually expect them to be working from 9 am to 4pm (yes 4)???"

    needless to say, I didn't stay on that job.... :unsure:
     
  18. Emma35

    Emma35 Connoisseur

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    Jan 13, 2008

    I have been in first grade for what seems life forever and honestly, rarely do I get through everything every year. You won't either and don't put that expectation on yourself. Some years you will get through a lot and other years you will fall short of something. I feel as long as they can read (hopefully), understand the math concepts mandated by the state then I have successfully done my job. A unit or two may be left out in math but it seems like the ending units in math are refreshers or things that our state does not mandate.
     
  19. Emma35

    Emma35 Connoisseur

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    Jan 13, 2008

    I forgot social studies and science. We have 4 major units in science and I just pace those out. Omitting or adding activities as I have time. Same with social studies. I make sure I hit the major concepts and then if there is time I will focus onadditional activities.
     

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