Monday, January 20, 2014

A Day in Our Life Schedule Linky

I have to admit, I've had a lot of fun looking at everyone's daily schedule.  For some of them, I'd gladly trade my first born child (but given that he's 34 now, I don't think many of you would jump at that offer).  Other schedules I've seen confirm that many of you should be wearing your super hero capes on a daily basis.  Yikes!  I'm not sure how some of you do it. Anyway, I thought I'd link up with Amelia over at Where the Wild Wild Things Learn and share my daily schedule.

Every other week, my 5th grade team has morning and afternoon duty.  Ninety-seven percent of our kiddos are on the free/reduced lunch program which means they all get to have breakfast in the cafeteria.  Morning duty is cold, but easy as we monitor the kids when they show up at their classroom doors.  

School starts at 8:00.  As my students enter the room, they complete the morning warm-up and have their homework ready to check.  By 8:15, we're working in our Greek and Latin Root binders.  This year I'm trying out The Reading Olympians: Prefixes, Suffixes, & Roots.  I'm not using it exactly as they suggest, but it's working great in my room.  My students LOVE doing the raps.  

Writing and anything grammar related are tucked into a 30 minute block that goes far too fast.  When we're working on a larger project, I struggle to find time to conference with my students.  I only have about 6 or 7 who I would consider to be at grade level and the other 28 desperately need my help.  Oh, what I would give to have an aide in my room during this time!

Math typically runs from 9:00-10:05.  An hour might seem long, but I have so much remediation to do! My fast finishers are given the option to become Academic Assistants.  Peer tutoring is a big part of our math block. My assistants get to don a lanyard with an official badge:

Our recess runs from 10:05-10:20.   Two teachers are monitoring the kids on the playground while the third stays in for study hall.  This is also an opportunity for kids to head up to the cafeteria for Second Chance Breakfast if they didn't eat earlier.

We have 3 prep periods each week:  P.E. on Monday and Thursday (despite the Tuesday I put on my schedule above!) and Music on Friday.  This gives us three 50 minute planning periods each week.  On the days that I don't have prep (Tuesday and Wednesday), we use part of that time for a visit to the library and some additional science.

I'm liking (notice I didn't say LOVING) my reading block right now.  Things are running relatively well with my reading groups.  My 34 students' reading levels span from high first grade to about the ninth grade level.  It is definitely a challenge to meet all of their needs!

Probably my least favorite time of the day is ELD.   Did I say that?  I love the kids who come to me during this period, but it's not an effective use of time for my non-ELD students.  My ELD group consists of 17 intermediate ELLs.  During this block, my beginner and advanced ELL students go to the other two fifth grade classrooms and 5 of my highest students stay in the room to work on independent projects or Young Einstein Club. The rest of my non-ELD students go to leveled writing groups.  With so many kids on the move, too much time is eaten up during the transitions to and from these groups.  I would much rather keep my own ELLs and work with them during this time.  My other students could be doing meaningful enrichment and remediation centers during this 30 minute block.  Okay, my rant is over. On to lunch!

Lunch is our duty free time.  Yay!  We do have our Student Council meetings on Wednesdays during lunch and I hold Lunch Bunch on Fridays, so I actually get 3 quiet lunches a week.  I will admit that I love having lunch with my students.  It's a great opportunity to interact with them in a very relaxed setting.  Their true goofiness comes out and we usually end up in serious giggle fits.  

Math board is done right after lunch.  Math board is essential for our students.  So many of them are struggling learners and it gives us the chance to spiral through our standards and preview upcoming concepts.  

Following math board, it's time for either Social Studies or Science.  We just tried out Teaching in the Fast Lane's European Explorers Dice Simulation.  


My students really enjoyed the activity.  I did change one piece though.  Once students left Europe on their journey, ANY situation that caused them to return to Europe meant they were finished with their careers as explorers.  They were quick to note that very few explorers were truly successful.  

At 2:10 we start packing up and I read aloud to them.  We're currently reading Among the Hidden, the first book in Margaret Peterson Haddix's Shadow Children series.  They are hooked!  If you haven't read the series, you should check it out!  Fifth graders love it.

By 2:15, my room is empty and I'm outside for afternoon duty.   At 2:20, I'm back in my classroom for an hour of tutoring on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Grade level meetings and professional development happen on our early release Wednesdays.

Well that's my average day.  For now anyway.  I've seen a few schedules on this linky that I need to look at a little bit closer. I might just need to rethink parts of my day. By nature, teachers are always tweaking this or that right?  If you haven't done so already, hop over to Where the Wild Things Learn  to take a peek into everyone else's day and link up.

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