Thursday, July 13, 2017

Classroom Schedule!


Today I am linking up with Teacher by the beach to talk all about our daily schedule!


I think as a new teacher, your daily schedule is one of the hardest things to figure out. It took a lot of trial and error to finally master the best schedule for me and my students. Keep in mind that your schedule might need to be adjusted each year depending on the school you work at and the specials that you might have. I now have a general schedule that works really well for me and I can make little tweaks wherever they are needed.




   

   Here you can see the schedule that I used last year. This schedule worked out really well! For the most part, I have used this same schedule for the last few years. The only thing that has adjusted a little is our lunch time and specials. I try to keep all of the core subjects around the same times each year. I think that the morning is a great time to do ELA. The students are refreshed in the morning and they are not too tired. I like to do Math in the afternoon because there are lots of hands on games that we use and it energizes the students when they are tired after lunch.

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   I love using a visual schedule for the students each day. I use these cards on our whiteboard at the front of the classroom. They work great to help keep our day on track. I also have the kids help mark off what subjects we have already done and what still needs to be done. This is also a great way to help your students who need structure. Having your schedule posted can help your students know what is happening throughout the day.

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   What does your schedule look like? Do you post it somewhere in your classroom? Let me know in the comments.


Monday, July 10, 2017

All About Centers!

  Today I am talking all about Centers! Do you use Centers in your classroom? I have done Centers in many different ways over the years. But there was a brief time when I did not use Centers at all. (What was I thinking?!) Centers are awesome and totally help students stay engaged.


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    Most recently I have been using a Weekly Passport System. This is great because the students work at their own pace and I am also able to differentiate the work for all of my students’ levels.
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    Each week the students had different activities that they completed on their Passport. I would differentiate the activities so the students’ needs were being met. All of the students did similar activities at their own level. The students could also pick and choose the order they wanted to do the different activities, as long as the work was done by the end of the week.


    For Math, I did things a little differently at the start of the year. The students completed the various activities for each day of the week. This worked out well at the start of the year because the students were not always able to keep themselves organized to get all the work done. As you can see in the picture below, I set up the Math Passport by Day instead of by Activity on the ELA passport.


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    As the year went on and the students got better with their organization, I gave the students more choice with how they accomplished things. They eventually got the hang of getting their work done, so I was able to give them more choice.


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    One thing that I really liked about the Passports I used was the self reflection component. The students had to tell me how they thought they did for the week. They also had to tell me if they were able to finish everything and if they stayed on task during work time.
The students really enjoyed working on the Passports and getting to choose what they wanted to work on and when they wanted to work on it.


   It was also really great knowing what my students were working on each day and making sure they were getting through the Passport. I’d monitor their progress using a pocket chart and clothespins. I’d put all the different Centers that we were working on each week in the pocket chart, and then I had the students put a clothespin with their number next to their activity. This way not everyone was working on the same thing at one time and I was able to see what the students were working on. It also let me know if a student was spending too much time on one activity. (Which happened when they really liked one particular activity and did not like something else.)




    I used pocket charts like these. The ones you can find at the beginning of the year in the Dollar Spot at Target work great!


   What do you do for Centers? Share your ideas with me!





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