Sunday, January 22, 2012

A day in my {tall} shoes.

When I linked up with {Oh Boy 4th Grade} I admitted my bias of only reading other bloggers whose kids are the same age as mine.  Then a 4th grade teacher in my school told me she had started a blog and I realized that I didn't have any great blogging buddies to pass along to her.  Then I found {The Adventures of a 6th Grade Teacher} and her linky party.  What better place to find other great blogs than a linky party geared toward the upper grades?!  Hopefully this will help Wendy {You Won't Believe What Happened at School Today} find some new blog buddies of her own.  Go on over and introduce yourself!  :)

And while I'm at it, I may as well link up.  I hope she doesn't mind that I altered her image a little bit...I just don't wear sneakers in my classroom!  Ok, I don't exactly wear Louboutins either, but a girl has to have a dream!
6am: Wake up.  Well, my day is supposed to start at 6 when my alarm goes off, but this week it's been closer to 4:30 as Huxtable has decided it's the new time to wake up.  We'll call 4:30-6 the trying to soothe the dog back to sleep start of the day.  And before you call PETA on me, I'm not keeping him from going to the bathroom.  He doesn't even need to go when I take him out, he just wants to play....not happening.

6-7am: Getting ready {in the hall bathroom so we don't wake up my husband} while drinking coffee, keeping the puppy from chewing the cabinet and listening to the Ace & TJ Show.  So funny.  I couldn't wake up without them.

7am: Getting out the door to beat traffic.  We now live half an hour away from my school, which includes a drive through downtown.  I could look for something closer, but I really just love where I work!

7:30-8am: Classroom time, which mostly includes printing out new recording sheets I downloaded from blogs or pinterest the night before.  :)  And switching out my schedule picture cards and objectives.
8:15-8:45am: Kids come in.  This is a quiet time in my classroom as I see it as a chance to set the tone of the day.  I have classical music playing on Pandora, they unpack quietly and sit down to some form of morning work {either a skill review activity or morning work journals to write & draw about whatever they want}.

8:45-9am: Morning Meeting!  This is their chance to share fun news or tell those "Guess what?" stories.  We always incorporate some type of song.  Dr. Jean has great Good Morning songs for the kids to walk around and greet each other.  I also really enjoy Wally Acha and Boom Chica Boom as "Getting our voices ready" songs to prepare them for participation.

9-9:45am: Workshop.  {Guided Reading, Daily 5, whatever you want to call it.}  I have 4 groups and do two rotations of 20ish minutes each.  This is the only 45 minutes of the day that I have an assistant so while I'm working with one group, she's working with another group.  Because I'm teaching inclusion this year, our EC teacher is also present for Workshop and she works with a third group.  The fourth group is split into literacy centers...listening, writing, sight words, reading, alphabet...they change depending on the skills we're practicing and not all kids participate in every center.  Half way through, we switch so each teacher sees a different group and another set of kids is in centers.  I only see the kids  every other day, but if they're not with me, they're working with one of the other teachers.  {Confused yet?!}  This week I taught this nonsense word game from Extra Special Teaching.
9:45am: ABC Dance Break & snack.  While I clean up centers the kids dance to one or two songs that practice letter sounds, rhyming words, sight word spelling or some other literacy skill.  Any song I use during this time has a specific dance or routine that I teach at the beginning of the year so it's very controlled.  If they lose control, they sit out...and they don't like to sit out!  After we finish a quick snack, its on to...

9:45-10:30am: Literacy.  We use the Open Court curriculum so I go through that day's lesson.  With whatever time I have remaining I'll read another book related to the unit, teach a new literacy center to use in workshop or get a head start on writing.

10:30-11am: Writing.  This week we used the five senses to write about snow.  Since we don't have any down here in the south, we make our own!  :)
11-11:45am: Math.  I teach the lesson in our Investigations curriculum and pull in other games that either relate to the skill or allow my students to practice areas they haven't yet mastered.  This week we used this addition game from First Grade Fanatics.  Instead of coloring in the squares, I laminated a few copies and the students used valentine M&Ms to cover their squares.
I'm also loving both of these songs from Harry Kindergarten.  My kids love them, too!  They're perfect for transitioning into or out of math.

11:45-12pm: Calendar.  Days of the week, months of the year, your standard questions.  We've also been looking at the weather channel online to predict and check the temperature to see if we need just coats or hats, mittens and scarves when we go outside.

12:00-12:30pm: Recess.  Whew!  Finally, a break.  And my daily dose of Vitamin D.

12:30-1:00pm: Lunch.  Sometimes spent in the classroom getting ready for the afternoon, sometimes with my team in the teacher's lounge.  Really just depends on the day.

1:00-1:30pm: Reading Renaissance.  This is our chance to read the books they checked out from the library or other books that aren't necessarily related to a concept.  I like to use voices and read books here that make the kids laugh.

1:30-2:15pm: Specials.  {sigh!}  Music, Media, PE, Computer Lab or Art.  On Tuesdays & Thursdays I have team planning.  Monday, Wednesday & Friday I'm checking my email, changing out student work, trying to pick up the classroom, call parents...whatever has popped up that day!

2:15-3:00pm: Science or Social Studies.  We're getting ready to make these cute little people from Pencils, Glue & Tying Shoes as begin a unit on the 5 senses next week.
3:00-3:45pm: Explore & Discover.  Sometimes I use this time to continue our science or social studies lesson, especially if we're doing an experiment or big project.  More regularly, since this is also the time struggling readers get pulled out for Intensive Reading Model {leaving me with only 8 students} it's time for Legos, K'nex, Blocks, Housekeeping, Puppets and/or SmartBoard to be opened for free choice.  The kids naturally take our concepts from that day into their centers.  If we read a book they like, they'll act it out in the puppet theatre or housekeeping.  They've made menorahs from K'nex, built 3D Lego models of the classroom and used blocks to make dens for polar bears.  They really like Highlights' hidden pictures or using the Digi-Color at Crayola on the SmartBoard.
3:45pm: Dismissal.  Then setting up for the next day before leaving around 4:30.

5:00pm: Home.  Time to play hide-and-seek with Huxtable, my de-stressor.  :)  I'm either pinning or blogstalking while I wait for my husband to get home.  We eat dinner together, usually while watching something from the DVR {introducing him to LOST right now}.

Whew!  That was a loooooooong post.  No wonder I fall asleep this side of 10pm every night!

I have a workday tomorrow for more Common Core training.  Hopefully I'll be able to chip away at my to-do list when the training's over.  Have a great week ladies!!


  1. P.S. I've changed the background of my posts to make it easier to read...what do you think?!

  2. Hey Kristin...cute blog. I think you may just love shoes... just sayin' ;)
    Thanks for stopping by my blog and following. I'm your newest follower!
    You have all day kinder? My kinder teacher friends at school would be so jealous. Half-day is just not long enough to get it all done. But what a busy day!
    Dragonflies in First

  3. That's a busy school day! (I like the background change! =)
    First Grade Blue SKies

  4. I "tagged" you, check it out!

  5. busy, busy, busy!!
    btw love your blog!

  6. I love the picture change and am not offended at all! :) I would die if I ever wore heels to school! Your post made me want to teach kindergarten!

    Thanks a bunch for linking up!
    Miss Klohn
    Adventures of a 6th Grade Teacher

  7. Anonymous4:04 PM

    Hi Kristin!

    I nominated you for The Versatile Award! I just recently stumbled across your blog and am glad I did. I'm always looking for new inspiration and love how blogs provide a little "window" into different classrooms :)

    If you wish to accept, the details can be found at my blog, Kindergarten Lesson Plans!

    Have a wonderful week and thanks again for sharing your ideas with all of us in the early childhood blogging community!

    Kayla Johnson

  8. Anonymous7:55 PM

    Whew! Makes me feel better about my crazy day at school! I'm not the only one falling asleep at 9:30 :) Your blog is really cute, glad I found it this week! :)

  9. Tracy...yes. I can't even imagine doing it in half a day. There would be NO WAY to get everything taught! Kudos to them!!

    Chrisy...thanks for the award. I'm getting ready to pass it on RIGHT now!! :)

  10. Anonymous6:43 AM

    Thank you for the shout out, Kristin! One of the greatest parts of working at our school is how much we all share with each other across all grade levels. See you later!


Thanks for the comments! {like virtual hugs}

Blogging tips