Monday, November 11, 2013

Scheduling Blues....Peek at my Week

What is working this year?   My schedule is working this year...much better than last year!  Lunch is still at an awful early hour (10:40), but our special is in the middle of the afternoon instead of at the end of the day.  ESL pull out is first thing in the morning.  But we are learning to work with that.

With that being said....I still wish I had more time.  I never seem to have enough time for everything I want to include in our day.  It seems that I am always looking for ways to include more.

We are lucky enough to have educational freedom in our classrooms.   As long as we are following the standards, we can teach in ways and in the order we feel is best for our students.  As a Kindergarten team we talk about what we are teaching and the way we are teaching.  We coordinate parts of our math and language cirruculumn so that our students are getting roughly the same lessons (we all do Animated Literacy and we all introduce numbers one at a time with peas and carrots).  But we also are able to give our students individual experiences, and we get to glean ideas from each other.  We really have a great working team.

If there is a day I want to focus on a skill, a topic, or a story I can swap things around as I need.  Unfortunately, the drawback to that is that certain things I need to include every day get pushed back.  Lately I have been pushing writing time out because I thought I needed more math center time.  They started pulling my ELL kids first thing in the morning.  I didn't want them to miss calendar time, so I was pushing back calendar time and trying to find useful thing to teach to my remaining students.  I was using that time to teach math center games as a whole group (that way they could be better partners during centers).  I realize that as I push back calendar time, I was pushing out writing time.  That will change shortly (I am gone for family medical reasons and I don't want to change things too much while I have sub running my classroom).

For a little peek into my week I am linking up with Deedee Wills of Mrs. Wills Kindergarten.   Good thing I don't have school tomorrow, my computer crashed and I lost my lesson plans and all my links.  I hope I have everything up and running again.
You can see that we are skipping writer's workshop and doing Math Centers and more of a guided writing with guided drawing.  We are focusing all week on the number 5.  Students will be learning several games that will be included in centers in the weeks to come.  Since 5 is an anchor number we spend extra time exploring and playing with it.  Next week we go back to introducing the numbers.  When we get to 10 we will stop and play again.  Lots and lots of number activities with 10.

Because lunch is so early it seems that our literacy block just fit better in the afternoon.  I set up my afternoons so I can do ANYTHING literacy related (sometimes we sneak in math).  And Fridays it is ALL afternoon.  We have no specials, so they are all mine 11:20-3:05.   Content area can range from science and social studies topics to creating books to free choice time (when I do much of my testing).  Eventually I will be pulling small groups during literacy centers.  Right now we spend more time whole group with animated literacy and letter/sound introduction.  We have a little routine going and it usually takes about 3 days for each letter.  In the meantime we are also doing reader's workshop (which I try not to skip) and once a week we watch and practice sign language with Signing Time.

Is that as clear as mud?  I hope that gives you a little idea of what life is like in my classroom.  We are busy, busy all the time.  These plans really are just a "peek".


  1. You have some of the same scheduling problems I do! My special is first thing in the morning, with a 20-minute break before the first recess. Thankfully, lunch is at 11:15 rather than 10:40, but it still makes for a long afternoon.

  2. It is so easy to let all that time slip away too. I found last year I needed to use a timer to help keep me on track, otherwise it is easy to let them work longer on something and I would end up having to push back something else.