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A Daily Schedule that Works!

I am beginning to look ahead to a new school year....who isn't, right?

It seems like we have more "stuff" to teach than ever before and we are led to believe that EVERY subject is the MOST IMPORTANT subject.  But let's face it, something's got to give.....there is just not enough hours in the day!  So this is the dilemma I am currently pondering.....how to fit (mostly) everything in AND do justice to each of the very important concepts that must be learned in a school year.

When I taught first grade, I used the Daily 5 for literacy and I really liked it.  However, with third grade I have found that I really like the Reader's Workshop model much better, especially considering the rigor of the Common Core (ugh) and the amount of time students need to be reading grade-level text to keep up with this rigor.  Also, juggling the Daily 5 was a struggle (for me, anyhow).  I'd rather keep things more simple.  However, I do miss having all that time to gather small groups and I like the "student choice" component of Daily 5.

Soooooo.......here is my first attempt at a daily schedule that "fits it all in" and adds a bit of student choice and flex time for me to work with students one-on-one and in small groups (or to just get myself organized!).  Notice that I have slightly different versions of the schedule on Monday & Friday.


 This weekly/daily schedule has added-in time for Language and Grammar practice (which I tried to squeeze in with Writer's Workshop last year and always fell off the agenda), and Words Their Way (doing instead of more traditional spelling program since I've had quite a few students recently with phonemic awareness issues).  It has also given us two hour per week of "student choice" time a.k.a. teacher flex time.  I will use this time to work with students independently or in small groups and students will have some meaningful choices to further their learning in all subjects.  The only thing that worries me a bit is having only 30 minutes for Writer's Worskhop/3 days per week.  However, I think that my Language lessons may take less time and I can tack the extra onto our W.W. and the two hours per week of student choice can and will be used for writing.  I haven't gotten that far in my planning, but here are some of the choices that I envision:
  • Make-up Work
  • Word Work (Words Their Way)
  • Buddy Reading
  • Independent Reading/Reading Response
  • Writing (choice)
  • Math Games
  • Technology (Laptop or Ipad)
  • Independent Project (science or social studies)
  • Time with Teacher
Of course, I will have to include an "accountability factor" for all of that student choice time....including sharing out and perhaps a learning log, but haven't tackled that yet!

I'm all over the internet today looking for more ideas.  I would love yours!

Love and peace,

5 comments

  1. Hi. I taught first last year and am moving up to third. I also used Daily 5 and love it. How is readers workshop different? Is that like literature circles?

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    1. Readers Workshop follows a different structure: Mini-lesson followed by independent reading. Independent reading time usually has a focus based upon the mini-lesson and possibly a written response. While students are reading, teacher is conferring or working with groups. It is generally a longer chunk of time for independent reading than Daily 5 "sessions" provide.

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  2. I envy your content time. We teach either science or ss once a week during Readers Workshop.

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    1. Debbie,
      We do the reverse....we integrate a lot of reading skills, specifically non-fiction, during science and social studies! Thanks for popping in!

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  3. If you end up fitting everything in this year - you're amazeballs! I need your help in this area....BIG TIME!

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