The BEST kindergarten daily schedule to help you fit it all in! Academic and developmentally appropriate activities that will keep your kindergarten students engaged throughout the school day!
kindegarten schedule sample
Kindergarten Schedule Overview
Here it is! That moment when kindergarten teachers 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 to start your school year off great!
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. At the end of this post, you will find additional information about the different components of our academic schedule. that may be useful! But let’s start by looking at what my kindergarten classroom looked like during the last year I taught full day kindergarten.
8:00-8:30 Morning Work
So, my students walk in the door, anywhere between 8:00 and 8:30. Most of the students ride the bus, so they all arrive at different times. 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” as part of our daily routine. 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 on to 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 “pencil”.) Soon, the students are independent and 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.
We also love practicing our letters (and sight words) with these editable activity sheets for my little learners.
When students finish their morning work, they grab their dessert tub (thank you Cara Carroll for that term.) You can read about how these work in THIS post… Click HERE.
8:30-8:40 Calendar Time
Then it is time to do our “Calendar.” Listen… our calendar is not like your traditional calendar.
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 morning activities here:
8:40-8:50 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:
Check out these fun videos that match the poems! You can find all the music and videos by clicking below!
8:50-9:20 Phonemic Awareness & Explicit Phonics Instruction
We start this block of time with some phonemic awareness practice. We love following Deanna Jump’s program.
We then move onto our explicit phonics instruction. Students learn letters, path of motion and how words work!
9:20-9:50 Science of Reading
This is the time we practice our fluency drills, dictation, and learn new high frequency words. We do a ton of blending and segmenting of words during this whole group time. We also work on orthographically mapping words. Using the Science of Reading approach is the best way to prevent learning delays in early childhood education. So much time has historically been spent on reading interventions, when prevention in early learning can make all the difference. Often times students with special needs are not identified in kindergarten, but if your school district or kindergarten program includes the Science of Reading you will find a decrease in those groups of students who need special education for reading instruction.
You can find this instruction here:
Students also have a decodable text each week that reviews the sounds, blending, and concepts they are working on for the week.
Sometimes we use a printable book, but other times we use the digital version.
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!
10:30-11:10 Small Group Reading, and Literacy Centers Round
I love small group instruction. This is the time when my students go to their literacy centers and I pull small groups for reading instruction. I start reading groups each year around the 4-6th week of school. We spend the first 4-6 weeks learning how to work independently at centers.
This task board tells my students where they will be going for the day. This visual schedule helps students gain independence. You can find the task cards HERE. Additional classroom organizational resources can be found HERE.
Students spend 20 minutes at each rotation. I pull students from their stations or centers to meet with me for small group.
At my table we do word work, high-frequency word work, blending practice, and read a text. We also work on decoding and encoding words.
Here is a peek at our decodable readers. Small group is a great time to practice these skills. Research tells us that students need additional time practicing these skills to make them permanent and transferable. So we need a variety of books students can use to gain confidence with applying the phonics skills they learned in our whole group instruction.
We also know that some students may need to see a skill 3-5 times, while others with language learning differences might need 20-30 exposures to a skill.
In addition to blending and reading the text, we also want to include vocabulary development. We also want to be sure we are encoding and not just decoding words. We include dictation practice.
You can learn about our decodable readers by clicking here:
Quick Handwriting Practice
In between rotations, we add a quick handwriting practice.
After all of the letters have been taught, we move onto 1-minute timings for muscle memory practice! Minute to Win It! is one of our favorites! It makes handwriting practice fun!
11:10-11:50 Writers Workshop
Writers workshop is the best time of the day. This is writing time This sacred and I have found that my students loved to write for long periods of time with the right type of writing instruction. There is so much to be said about our workshop time… so check out this blog post to read all about it!
11:50-12:40 Lunch and Recess!
Yay! Run! Play! Kindergarten children (and their teachers) need a good brain break… or two… or three!
12:40-1:20 Whole Group Reading, Vocabulary Work, and Interactive Writing
Again… this is a HUGE topic. Check out this blog post about interactive read alouds:
Although we ALWAYS recommend teaching an interactive read aloud lesson with the actual book, having another model of reading fluency is wonderful and Storyline Online is an excellent resource.
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. Oftentimes… our topics tie into what we are reading. Deanna and I had fun creating Science and STEM activities that match up with the Engaging Readers books.
Here is a blog post all about Engaging Readers Science, Math and STEM!
Click below to see our Engaging STEM units:
Yay! Yes… you get to go play AGAIN! RUN! PLAY!
2:00-2:30 Whole Group Math
My district had a kindergarten curriculum that was NOT hands on learning. OY! So Deanna Jump and I created our own that we started on the first day of school. Our students have had great success! More on how math workshop looks in our kindergarten day by clicking:
2:40-2:50 Math Journals
We love our math journals and they are so easy to fit into your kindergarten schedule… they are FAST! 10 minutes TOPS!
We have literacy journals, too! Click here:
2:50-3:20 Math Centers (My intervention and small group math time)
Eek! We love math stations so we make sure to include it in our daily kindergarten schedule! 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. Just Roll With It stations can be found here. (Students LOVE the cube!) Additionally, because it was the end of the day, I wanted something super engaging to keep those tired kindergarten students excited.
This activity is from this unit: Math Task Cards for Kindergarten.
What does a Half Day Kindergarten Schedule Look Like?
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.
FREE EDITABLE KINDERGARTEN SCHEDULE
Don’t panic! You’ve got this! You CAN fit it all in!!!