A Day in the Life

Howdy ho! I'm linking up with Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits today to share A Day in the Life of my kindergarten classroom!
8:45-9:00- Check in Procedures
Here is the procedure my kiddos follow when they come in. 
1. Put your backpack/coat in your cubby
2. Put your folder in the pink basket
3. Move your magnet to select your lunch choice
4. Complete your morning work
5. Read books from your book basket/write in your journal

Here is our lunch count. These awesome square magnets come from Tea and Coffee on TpT. They customize them to match your classroom! 
Let's be real here... our Morning Show (we watch it on the SMART board every day via Google hangout... our wonderful 5th graders put it on) starts at 9:00 and that is when the day technically begins. But realistically, our day begins at 9:10-9:15. It just does. By the time the kids who eat breakfast mozy on in, it's often after 9 anyway. That's why I make sure that the kids are doing meaningful work and reading and writing during this time!

Our morning work changes throughout the year. This week we have been using morning work for sight word reinforcement.
When morning work is finished, we read and write.
9:10-9:30-Morning Meeting
The structure of our morning meeting has changed throughout the school year, but we always have these components:
1. Greeting/songs (Dr. Jean's Rise and Shine is a must, plus a song or two that relates to what we are learning)
2. Morning Message-the format of this has changed greatly from the beginning of the year--it's now more of an interactive writing that we do together.
3. Goal setting for the day-what will we be learning/doing? How will we know we've been successful?
4. Phonemic awareness activity.

Our Meeting Area:
 9:30-10:00 Whole Group Language Arts Lesson
This is where we do our shared reading/interactive read aloud, what have you. This is where I model comprehension strategies and we have guided discussions. Here is a picture of my students using retelling strips they made to retell a story. This comes from the April Guiding Readers unit from Deanna Jump and Deedee Wills. I am loving it!
10:00-10:10-Snack Break- I believe in the power of snack time! It gives us a much-needed break within a big chunk of instruction and it gives us the energy we need to power through until lunch.
This was our 100th day snack. The only food picture I could find lol.

10:10-10:50- Writer's Workshop
Our writer's workshop follows the normal basic format:
Minilesson- Sometimes I use an anchor text, sometimes not--depending on what we're working on. I use a lot of different resources for our lessons. Deanna and Deedee's Writing Through the Year is fabulous. I also use ideas and lessons from Pam Allyn's The Complete Year in Reading and Writing, or just do my own thing based on what we are working on/what author we are studying/what I feel like doing.
Status of the Class- I do a quick "check in" with each student and ask them what they are writing before sending them off to write on their own. This solves the "I'm still thinking" issue I used to have with some students. It's also helpful because students get ideas from each other, and it gets my students talking about their writing.
Writing Time- As my students write, I try to have a quick conference with as many students as possible. If I get to 3 students in a day, I'm feeling like a rock star. A "conference" for us is usually super quick for most kids. We talk about what they are writing and I ask questions about it to get them telling me more. We also talk about next steps for the student.
Sharing Time- One or two students read their writing, and we call on a few students to ask a question about the writing or to give a meaningful compliment.

Depending on our groove, writer's workshop may be shorter than this (rarely longer). I go by feel and my students' stamina at the time. We are now able to write for longer stretches compared to in the fall!

10:50-12:00- Work Stations and Guided Reading
Here is the pocket chart I use for our work station rotations. It is from Really Good Stuff. I am a fan of Debbie Diller's literacy work station books, and that is what we call them--work stations. That way, the students get the message that they are there to work and not just have play time.
We do between 3 and 4 rotations a day. After rounds one and two, I just move the station pictures down one space and the students go to rounds 3 and 4. I call students as needed to come to my guided reading table with their groups. I meet with my two lowest groups every day and my two highest every-other day unless we are doing stellar on time and I am able to meet with everyone. I used to stress a lot more over not seeing every kid every day--until I embraced real life and realized that those high students are still doing LOTS of reading throughout the day.
For guided reading, I always, always use the format from Jan Richardson's The Next Step in Guided Reading. I have tried many different things over the years and I have never had the growth that I've had with "The Jan Plan." This format packs it in and makes guided reading so powerful. I highly recommend this book if you don't already have it! I have two copies--one is embarrassingly coffee stained and falling apart--the other one is in much better shape--I lifted it from my school office (shh---they will get it back someday!)
12:35-1:50- Math
Here is the usual schedule we follow in math:
Interactive Math Notebook Entry or Exit Ticket Warm-Up
-A quick review of skills we've been learning and great assessment tools
Problem of the Day
-This may be in place of the notebook or exit ticket depending on what we're doing and how time-consuming it is
Number Sense/Fluency 
-This may be a quick dot card flash, a number talk, or working with rekenreks.
Whole Group Mini Lesson
Guided Practice
-Students usually work with a partner on a game or activity that uses the skill while I monitor and work with students as needed
Independent Practice
-Students complete an activity on their own (may be paper/pencil)--sometimes an exit ticket
Math Bins
Very often, I only get to one round of bins--10-15 minutes in length. This is where I will grab students who had trouble during the lesson and do a little reteaching/remediation if needed. I love math bins, but I feel like no matter what is in them they need to be kept short and sweet and not drag on for too long anyway, so this works for me. I only have 18 students so I only need 9 bins. I have a pocket chart (the same as the blue literacy station chart above--just the opposite side). For math, students work with a different partner and I just put the number bin I want them working on next to their pictures. The numbers are just scribbled on the bins on both sides in Sharpie paint pen. It's easier to see them in person.
There is lots of sharing and discussion built in throughout our day, especially centered on the problem of the day, which I often try to tie to the skill we are learning so that students see how to apply it in the real world. My students learn so much from one another just by having these discussions!
My students get music, library, art, and two days of PE.
FINALLY, we get to have our recess time. I would pay good money to have recess right after lunch, but I guess no one has a perfect schedule. Seriously though, my kids are READY for it by this time.
2:55-3:25-Science/Social Studies/Interventions
We do either science or social studies on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Tuesdays and Thursdays are set aside to do intervention lessons for students who need it, while other students do reading and writing. I know what you're thinking--30 minutes at the very end of the day, after recess and backing right up to dismissal? Yeah, it's not my favorite time of day--I shall not lie. We pack up as quickly as possible beforehand and then get right to it, so that we can get our learning on right up to the first bus call. It's not a lot of time for science/social studies, which is why we integrate with language arts and math whenever possible!
So that is a day in my kindergarten classroom! Thanks for stopping by!

Back to Top