Sunday, January 19, 2014

A Day Our Way- A Schedule Linky!


     Amelia at Where the Wild Things Learn is having a linky to share the different ways we have our days organized/scheduled.  So I am joining in!  I have to say that in all of the schools I have worked in, my schedule has always been given to me, with some variance and movement allowed.  Now, I have been able to decide a few parts of my day, but since my grade level flex groups for reading and math, a lot of my day pretty set in stone.  I am not sure if I like that or not! Either way, my schedule now as a third grade teacher is VERY different than when I taught first grade.  Here is a day in my life...

Prep Time
This time is for us to get prepared for the day and it is also when we have intervention meetings or staff meetings.  I usually get to school at about 7:45, even though we don't have to be there until 8:20.  I like going in when it is quiet and having time to get things done without feeling like I have to rush.  

Morning Routines/Announcements
The students come in the room, put in their lunch count, unpack, begin their morning work, and eat breakfast (if eating that day). Our announcements are pretty short, but they do give me to time put in attendance, etc.  

Multiplication Fact Practice/Timed Tests
I use this little bit of time for students to practice multiplication fact fluency and to assess twice a week.  In Ohio we have SLO's or student learning outcomes that we are monitoring.  Our team chose to do multiplication for our math SLO, so we try to give students time to practice their facts on a daily basis.

I love teaching phonics.  This program is a phonics based program.  This is my first year teaching this program.  In the past I always used the Phonics Dance and Scott Foresman Reading Street.  I do like this program so far and I am excited to see how it will have an effect on the students that have had it this year in 2nd grade, when I have them next year.  

Social Studies/Science/Writing
Our team works really well planning integrated units of study.  We do our best to incorporate our writing standards into our content instruction.  Some units have lent themselves to this better than others.

For the FIRST TIME EVER in 9 years teaching, I get to enjoy my lunch break!!!!!  We have recess and lunch monitors that give us at least 30 minutes each day free.  I have lunch duty once a week and recess duty once a way.  Our grade level team meets during our lunch/recess time once or twice a week to plan and eat together.

Whole Group Reading (Mini-lesson)
In Ohio, they have something called 3rd Grade Guarantee   It is a new law that has many aspects, but one is that certain at risk students need to be instructed by a reading teacher with more qualifications (masters in reading or reading endorsement). Therefore, we have designed our reading classes so that those students are instructed by one of the two qualified teachers (me being one).  So, my class has primarily struggling readers. While we plan as a grade level team, my mini-lessons are adapted to meet the needs of my students.  This is also a protected time.  We have a LOT of services that students receive.  During this 30 minutes NO students can be pulled out, which is great!

Guided Reading Groups/Independent Reading
Each day I meet with 3 groups for 20 minutes each.  I also meet with one of my most struggling students daily one-on-one for 10 minutes.  During this time, I focus on decoding skills, reading comprehension skills, vocabulary development, and writing about reading.  The students who are not meeting with me read independently, unless being pulled. My students on IEP's leave for portions of this time, as well as students who receive reading intervention from our Literacy Facilitator and Title 1 teachers. 

We pre-test each unit and students are grouped for each unit based on what they already know about a topic.  I generally begin my lesson with a warm-up activity, followed by my mini-lesson, and then math work stations.  I like to keep my math class exciting and allow for fun ways to practice concepts.

We only have 35 minute specials, which is short, but I always shave something to get done, so it is a nice breather!

Catch All
The end of the day is really a catch all time.  I use this time differently every day, based on what I need to do on that day.  I try to always end the day with a read aloud!  For dismissal, we walk the students out to the buses and car riders, after school, and car riders are dismissed from our classrooms.

So, there it is!  Tomorrow, I won't be sticking to any of that schedule!  I will be enjoying my day off!


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