Lately I’ve had quite a few visitors in my kindergarten classroom. One of the questions that I’m asked over and over again is, “how do you fit it all in?”. I don’t have a magic answer. There is never enough time for all I want to do and explore with my kiddos. I integrate my curriculum as much as possible, teaching the content areas throughout the day and integrating literacy whenever I can. I’m always tweaking our schedule as the needs of my children change over the year. Our schedule doesn’t look the same in September as it does now – and it will change again before June, I’m sure. Here is a look at what our day looks like now and how I fit it all in.
Monday, Wednesday, Friday Schedule
8:30 – 8:45 Children arrive – read books, talk, share stories, connect with each other and me before we start our day
8:45 Morning news show
8:50 – 9:00 Morning Meeting, Part 1: Greeting (song, chant, game), Sharing (2 kids every day), Quick calendar check (look at schedule for the day and week), Read Aloud (a short, fun book for pleasure)
9:00 – 9:30 Explore Stations (Children are free to choose from play-based stations including play dough, sensory boxes, water play, dramatic play, legos, blocks, iPads, puzzles, sand table, science stations, math stations, reading books, making books, art, etc – anything we’ve done in our classroom is open at this time) I meet with guided reading groups (2 groups, 15 minutes each).
9:30 – 9:50 Morning Meeting, Part 2: Morning Message, Dance/Movement Activity, Interactive Read-Aloud and Reading Focus lesson
9:50 – 10:20 Reading/Writing Stations (Children are free to choose from literacy stations including big books, classroom library, sensory boxes with letters or words to find, magnetic letters, name writing, making books, wiki stix letters, sound boxes to sort toys by first letter, letter stamps, play dough letter making, rhyme and sound matching cards and games – they know they have to be doing reading or writing at this time) I meet with guided reading groups (2 groups, 15 minutes each).
10:20 – 10:40 Shared Reading (poem, chart, big book – usually 3 pieces of text each week, we do the same text every day for at least a week, this usually connects with a science or social studies topic), Community Writing (shared or interactive writing for a text we are working on over time – it may be a mural, letter, labeling a science project, retelling, etc. – often is a content area topic)
10:40 – 11:00 Recess #1
11:00 – 11:30 Lunch
11:30 – 11:45 Book Boxes (Children read from individual book boxes including: “baggie books” – guided reading books and copies of books we’ve done as shared reading, “look books” – 3-5 books that they have chosen from our class library or school library and a poetry folder – a collection of all the charts we’ve done for shared reading) I have reading conferences with children.
11:45 – 12:30 Writer’s Workshop (Includes a focus lesson that is typically a read aloud or looking back at mentor texts, community writing or a conversation, then independent writing (making books), and sharing)
12:30 – 1:45 Specials (PE, Music, Drama, Library) *on Tuesday and Thursday I only have one special, so on these days we have a full hour for Writer’s Workshop 11:30-12:30, Book Box time at 1:05, and social studies, science or Explore stations from 1:20-1:45. Science and social studies are integrated throughout my day so we do a great deal of this in our literacy block with read alouds, explore stations and community writing.
1:45 – 2:00 Recess #2 and Snack (given to kids on the playground)
2:00 – 3:00 Math Workshop (includes whole group math stories, read aloud, math counting routines, math explore stations (I meet with small math groups during this time to do problem solving) and sharing)
3:00 – 3:15 Closing Circle (end of day math routines (calendar, counting days we’ve been in school), sharing, closing song, read aloud, passing out folders)
I hope this gives you a look into our classroom and how our day typically goes. Again, I am flexible to the needs of the kids. If I need to meet with extra reading groups or if the kids need more time with a particular project, I may schedule an end of day Explore time to meet with another group or work on a project. If you have a great scheduling idea, we would love to hear about it!
I love this. I miss the incredible teachers I worked with at Baileys.
Oh my goodness this was so helpful! I am always looking for a balance between work and play, while still having time to pull GR groups. You’re so lucky to be allowed an afternoon recess! These kids need time to run and play. Your schedule reflects this! 🙂
Would love to know more about your Math Workshop. I’m in the midst of launching my own and can’t read enough on the subject!
I am so appreciative of how you have reconciled the developmental needs of kindergarten students with the opportunities they deserve to grow. Can you tell me about the news show? Is it something you and your students do/create or something you subscribe to?