There are some things that I know about myself very well, and it is true that I am a systematic and organized individual. When considering what I should share next in my blog, I reviewed a list of ideas that I had jotted down over the past few weeks. It is definitely a fun list of topics to choose from, but instead of just selecting one at random, I decided to be a bit more methodical and share my daily schedule with you first. I remember being in my first year of teaching and feeling so overwhelmed with the thought of “How on earth am I going to fill almost 8 hours with my students every day…for months!” I thought that if I shared my schedule and then took the time to blog and show video from all of the things I teach to my students during these different times, we could find some common ground for exchange and hopefully glean some interesting new “field tested” ideas from each other in the process!
I can only imagine that across the U.S. and throughout the world, what is a “regular” schedule for a first grade classroom varies. It is always interesting for me to get a glimpse of someone else’s classroom. Hopefully, seeing what happens in my little corner of the world will either reassure you that you are taking care of business or maybe you will get some ideas on how to can crank it up a notch in your own classroom! There is also the possibility that I could get a lot of posts on how I could do some things differently in my own classroom…I do love hearing new ideas! I am absolutely willing to put myself out there to be dissected for the sake of personal and professional improvement- but be gentle, I am an exhausted, underpaid professional just like you!
7:45-8:00 Welcome & D.E.A.R. Time
8:00-8:30 Good Morning (calendar, language arts and math fluency, singing)
8:30-8:45 Read Aloud / Shared Reading
8:45-9:30 Special Areas (music, art and p.e.)
9:30-10:00 Word Study (word wall words, spelling, rhyme, vowels, blends etc.)
10:00-11:00 Guided Reading & Centers / Workstations
11:00-11:10 Clean-up & Reflection
12:15-1:00 Social Studies/Science/Health
2:00-2:30 Writers Workshop
2:30-2:40 Homework Pick-up & Packing Up
2:40-2:45 Ms. Atkinson’s Dance Party
And then I am usually running out the door…one of the last ones to bring her students to the bus. Pretty straightforward schedule, but you can’t imagine all of the learning fun we can cram in one day!
I am so excited to share with you, over these next several months, all of the cool ideas I use in my own classroom. They have been “field tested” throughout my 10 years in a first grade classroom for maximum learning impact, variety, appealing to different learning abilities, speaking to the left and right brained students and are always evolving and adapting to the needs of my students. All of this variety helps keep teaching interesting for me and academically worthy for my students.
“Is your heart beeping?” Question Ms. Atkinson’s 2008-09 class asks each other after our daily dance party to make sure we are getting good exercise!
P.S. For those of you who keep up with my blog, I wanted to let you know we did in fact lose a teacher from our team last week, but it was NOT my amazing colleague, Jennifer Moody, she stayed at Metz, right where she belongs. It was very difficult to suffer the loss of anyone at all and we wish our reassigned teammate the best of luck as she transitions to her new school, she will be missed. Jennifer and I have taken all of our teammates former students into our classrooms with open arms. Our numbers went from 13 to 20 overnight, but Jennifer and I both agree that the balance of students feels right and are looking forward to moving on with all our sweeties into the new school year.