Here it is! That moment when you look at all of your ideas and try to figure out HOW to fit it all in! Here are my tips for the BEST kindergarten schedule!
This post will be an overview of our day… If I went into great detail in this post… whew… it would read like a novel. I do plan on follow up posts that will address these topics in detail:
- How I manage stations (Click HERE to view)
- How to introduce stations at the beginning of the year
- What does a guided reading lesson look like
- Literacy station ideas
- Math station ideas
- Early Finishers “I’m DONE!”
- Writers workshop nuts and bolts
- Reading workshop nuts and bolts
- Math workshop questions answered
- Classroom behavior and expectations
- Organizing for Instruction (click HERE to view)
- ANYTHING else you want help with? Just add a comment 🙂
8:00-8:30 Morning Work
So, my students walked in the door anywhere between 8:00 and 8:30. Most of the students ride the bus, so they all arrive at a different time. We also offer breakfast from 8:00 to 8:30, so students filter into the cafeteria. I really can’t have a lesson for this time, so I have “morning work.” It has to be predictable, engaging, and meaningful. Therefore I usually have a few options that I rotate in throughout the week.
We start with tracing the sentence at the beginning of the year. Then quickly move onto writing the sentence (around mid-September). I support them at first with reading the sentence (but I make them use the pictures to figure out the word “eraser”.) Soon, the students are independent as SO PROUD that they can read the sentences on their own. You can find a gazillion versions of these Read, Trace, Glue, Draw pages HERE… or snag the ENDLESS bundle HERE.
When students finish their morning work, they grab their dessert tub (thank you Cara for that term.) You can read about how these work in THIS post…. Click HERE.
8:30-8:45 Calendar Time
Then it is time to do our “Calendar.” Listen… our calendar is not like your traditional calendar. We don’t spend a tremendous amount of time discussing the weather and doing… “today is, tomorrow will be…” We certainly introduce it at the beginning of the year, but it is not something you will hear me doing in October and November… they have it…! Instead, we spirally review literacy and math skills. I model it with our document camera…
and students also do the work with their version. Each day is slightly different but there is a predictable pattern to this daily activity. Around November, my student of the day leads this and I walk around and support students. EVERY student is working. EVERY student is learning. No beauty shop or shoe repairman time here allowed. You can find these activities HERE.
8:45-9:40 Guided Reading, Small Group, and Literacy Stations
I love small group instruction. This is the time when my students do stations… and I pull small groups for guided reading.
We do two rotations during this time. Students spend 20 minutes at each rotation. I pull students from their stations or centers to meet with me for small group.
I start guided groups around the 4th week of school. Once my students are able to work independently in stations, they are ready to join me at my table. I will write more about starting out stations this week.
At my table we do word work, read a text and sentence work. You can find these activities and detailed lesson plans HERE. You can find additional small group activities HERE. Remember, you can turn virtually any station activity or game into a small group guided activity. Often times I introduce station activities at my table with me before I move them into independent practice.
Aww… teacher prep time… right? WRONG! This is the time to have meetings… virtually every second is filled with a mandatory task. Sigh… sometimes we even get to use the restroom! BONUS!
10:30-10:45 Shared Reading and Phonemic Awareness
We love our poetry time! Each week we start a new poem. We practice it for fluency and also work on a plethora of literacy skills. You can read more about my 5 day fluency plan HERE.
I am super excited to announce that we are making videos that go with our Poetry 2 unit. Here is a little sneak peak! August/September music and video files that we recently created. You grab your FREE version below.
Also new this year are some fun phonics and phonemic awareness poems. This is what happens when you spend two weeks with Deanna Jump! It is packed with poems written to familiar tunes that will help strengthen your students phonemic awareness and phonics skills. No drill and kill here! You can find there HERE.
10:45-11:00 Handwriting and Phonics
At the beginning of the year, we spend time working on our path of motion. Students circle the one they thought was their best!
This is also the time we work on phonics and word study from our Guiding Readers units.
11:00-11:45 Writers Workshop
Writers workshop is the best time of the day. This is a subject that I will also discuss later this week… It is HUGE and it needs to have it’s very OWN post… for REAL!
11:50-12:40 Lunch and Recess!
Yay! Run! Play!
12:40-1:20 Whole Group Reading, Vocabulary Work, and Interactive Writing
Again… this is a HUGE topic. I will post again this week on our Guiding Readers units. Stay tuned!
TIP: Have the students come to the carpet with all of their supplies (notebooks, lapboards, crayon/pencil box). During your lesson have them sit on their notebooks and lapboards and train them to not fiddle with their crayon box. Then when they are ready to respond in writing you will not waste the transition time.
1:20-1:40 Content Area Studies
Yes! We do science and social studies. Often times… our topics tie into what we are reading. I am excited to share that we (Deanna and I) are working on a little development in this area… stay tuned!
Yay! Yes… you get to go play AGAIN! RUN! PLAY!
2:00-2:40 Whole Group Math
Huge subject… more on Kindergarten Math in another post.
2:40-2:50 Math Journals
We love our math journals… they are FAST! 10 minutes TOPS! Tip… add the duct tape on the spine of their journals so students can find their journal quickly.
2:50-3:20 Math Stations (My intervention and small group math time)
Eek! We love math stations! This is where we “play” [um… they learn, but it feels like play.] Students over-learn skills in math stations. In this way, they don’t lose proficiency in one skill when we move onto another skill in our whole group math. This math puzzle is from my Nursery Rhyme unit. You can find it HERE.
Half Day Kindergarten?
Sigh… It makes my heart hurt to think about fitting it all in! However, I would suggest the following:
- Combine your stations into only one time. Make half of your activities literacy based, the other half math based.
- Alternate Writer’s Workshop with Whole Group Reading/Interactive Writing.
Don’t panic! You’ve got this! You CAN fit it all in!!!