Sunday, April 19, 2015

A Day in The Life

I thought I would link up with Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits to share what a day in my life looks like! We have an extended day and year, so our school hours are 8:00-3:30. My school network encourages us to utilize the purchased curriculum daily, so much of my day is defined by Saxon and Superkids, but we are allowed flexibility in how we incorporate it. 

Although it is not specifically on my schedule, we brain break with GoNoodle pretty often throughout the day! I can't remember what my teaching life was like without it!

Before School
My alarm goes off at 5:20. I get ready for the day and am out the door by 6:00 for my thirty minute commute. I am not a high maintenance person, so 40 minutes is more than enough time for me. I usually pack my lunch and lay out clothes the night before.

6:30-7:30 Prep Time
This is my most productive hour of the day! I love coming to school before anyone else. I grade, prepare anchor charts, lesson plan and prep for the following week, pray, eat, and read the news. At 7:15 two of my kiddos from last year come in to sweep, sharpen pencils, and talk my ear off! :)

7:30-8:00 Morning Duty
I am usually in the gym or cafeteria. Our school is Prek3-6th, so there are lots of little people to help get breakfast! In the gym, students may read, write, or study. I also sometimes am at the door greeting parents and doing uniform checks.

8:00-8:10 School Assembly 
Prayer and morning announcements. One of my favorite parts of teaching in a Catholic school is that all students and teachers come together in the morning to pray. We pray, say the pledge of allegiance and our school pledge, and practice the "Principal tip of the day" which is usually a character trait.

8:10-8:30 Morning Work
We quickly unpack and start working! While the kids work on calendar math (which is a freebie in my TPT store) I check their blue folders, take attendance, and talk to students about their homework.

8:30-8:40 Morning Meeting
We go to the bathroom and come back for morning meeting. I use the morning meeting packet from Third Grade Thoughts. It is one of my favorite moments of the day. Our school is primarily students living at or below the poverty line, and this is our chance to discuss social and emotional issues. No matter what craziness is going on that day, we always have morning meeting!

8:40-9:45  Math
Our math block is pretty similar every day. We do fact practice using Super Speed Math, do a mini-lesson (or not so mini-lesson depending on the content!), and use our Saxon pages for spiraling review. Our entire school uses Saxon, and I really like how it is always reviewing. My principal lets us be really flexible with the mini-lesson, so sometimes it is what Saxon wants and sometimes it is something that we are struggling with. What I really love is the daily spiraling review pages. So great for repetition!

9:45-10:15 Phonics and Grammar
This block always begins with what Superkids calls the "Daily Routine". Decoding practice on the rule of the week, spelling practice and review, and editing sentences. This takes about half of the block. The last fifteen minutes is either a phonics or grammar lesson that I teach, we practice, and then they work on independently during reading.

10:15-10:30 Read Aloud  
Every day we read a poem and discuss it, then I read a chapter or two of a book. I tend to read fiction, but occasionally I'll read a non-fiction book. At the beginning of the year I read a lot of first books in a series (the first Magic Tree House and Calendar Mystery), but then I move on to the classics or just my own favorites. Right now we are reading Clementine by Sara Pennypacker, which we are loving!

10:30-11:30 Reading
One of the best parts of Superkids is book club. We alternate weeks of non-fiction magazines and fiction trade books. The magazines are from the curriculum and so beautifully done! Very colorful and engaging. Depending on the week we read alone, in pairs, with small groups, or as a class. If we read in anything other than small groups, then we always have some time to discuss as a class and with a partner. After discussion, we work on the reading skill. The program spirals most skills through every two week unit, but I try to pick an over-arcing skill for the week to emphasize.

11:30-12:30 Lunch, Recess, and Bathroom
Since I teach at a small school with few aides, we do our own lunch and recess with the kids. We eat with first grade and have recess with either first or third grade depending on the day.

12:30-1:30 Title I/Enrichment
This time is where all of my students are in small groups and get either intervention or extension. The lowest two groups go to Title I, the highest to the Liberian for novel studies, and the middle group stays with me to extend our lessons from the morning. It is awesome that each group is no bigger than 6, so all of the students really have a chance to shine.

1:30-2:15 Specials
This year we have PE, Health, Spanish, Art, and Library. Our Spanish and Art teacher is out on Maternity leave for the rest of the year, so I take my students to do computer lab at that time, which means these days I have a planning period three days a week. One of those days I meet with the two first year teachers I am mentoring.

2:15-3:15 Science/Social Studies/Religion
After specials (and a bathroom break!), we hit our non-tested subjects of the day. I alternate between science and social studies every week or two. I primarily teach them through reading informational texts. We also have religion in this block. I also incorporate a lot of reading into religion, mostly through reading Bible stories and Saint biographies.

3:15-3:30 Handwriting/Packing
Last semester we worked on printing and this semester we are starting cursive. I love using this time for handwriting because their little brains are so dead by this point in the day! It is also a nice way to unwind and keeps them occupied while I prepare for dismissal. While students are working on handwriting, we rotate through going to the hall to pack up and get their agendas signed.

3:30-3:45 Dismissal 
We dismiss from our classrooms, so after prayer, parents come inside and pick up their children from the classroom. It is nice because I see a adult for about 75% of my kids every day, so I can update them on any issues. My students can read, eat a snack, or do an end of day job. at 3:45 any leftover students go to after care. Mondays we have faculty meetings, Tuesday-Thursday I tutor for an hour, and Friday I fly out the door with the kids :) 

When I get home I eat dinner, work on grad school assignments, and spend time with friends. By 9:00 I am exhausted and heading to bed to start it all over again! 

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