Saturday, January 14, 2012

A Day in My Shoes

Before we begin... another threaded commenting update!! The extremely wonderful Kristen at Ladybug's Teacher Files posted a video how-to so that people who are having trouble with getting threaded comments can make it work! If by some chance you missed her post, or you are the only person on earth not following Kristen, please check it out!! And let me know if she made it work for you. Please. :)

Moving on, a few people I follow are doing this linky party about mapping out your typical day! I like this idea. I will try to add pictures so you stay awake!!
Here we go!! Oh wait, let me say that NONE of my days have the same schedule because I have specials at random times every day. So this is a representation of a typical Thursday. :)

6:15-6:45 - My alarm goes off and I lay there for a long time. Sometimes I think about how warm my bed is... sometimes I think about what I am doing in school that day.... but at no time do I think about arising.

6:45-7:10ish - I get up! I get dressed, put some dry cereal in a container for the drive to school, pack my lunch (unless I can stomach the kids' lunch - we can eat for free if we want to), and get ready.

7:10-7:40 - I drive to school. I take all back roads where I see maaaaybe 5 cars. I listen to the all news AM station so I know what is going on in the world. Sometimes I get a little teary when I hear stories like this one!
7:40-8:10 - I get to school and start getting stuff ready. Normally I just have to write the Chit Chat message and think of a journal prompt for the first graders. My next-door neighbor teacher comes in and we talk about how we are tired. Haha! If it's Monday, I have arrival duty so I watch the kiddos as they come in from 8:00 to 8:10.

8:10-8:25 - The kiddos come in! It has been really cold in the morning so they wait in the cafeteria until school starts. They make their lunch choice and get started on morning work. First graders have to write 3 sentences in their journals on whatever topic I chose, and second graders started cursive this past Monday so they do a page in their cursive book. I fill out my lunch and attendance sheet and listen to 100 stories about new shoes and kitten scratches and Girl Scout meetings (I also buy like 10 boxes of cookies during this time, haha!). At 8:20, we have morning announcements and morning prayer. I say a hundred times, "Susie, stand up. Bobby, stand up." Party time.

8:25-8:35 - We come to the carpet and do our Chit Chat message and Calendar time. If something unusual is happening, I tell them so they're ready.

8:35-9:30 - Reading time! I take the first graders first. The second graders take their basal reader and workbook to their desks and essentially teach themselves a lesson while I work with the first graders. We go through our scripted program which reaches a few of the first graders. Some are way ahead of where we are and some are poking holes in their books. You understand. At 9:00, two of my first graders see the Title I reading teacher. Side note: we are a Catholic school but the public school (I think) has to send over their specialists if we need them. We JUST got a Title I teacher to come starting this past week. Which means my first grader who reads at a beginning Kindergarten level missed out on a semester's worth of intervention. ......................... Anyway. The first graders get a worksheet at 9 and go to their seats to do it. I tried doing Daily 5, but when my reading program consultant came, she was adamant that I give them the program's practice sheets instead of having them read to themselves. So... here we are. The second graders come. We check their work that they did by themselves (usually they're all great) and we do the next lesson together.
9:30-9:45 - Bathroom and milk break! Our deal is that if they don't "make a peep" in the hallway on the way to and from the bathroom, they can have a straw for their milk. It is the best motivator ever!!

9:45-10 - Morning recess. I go out with them on Wednesdays and some Fridays depending on the month.

10-10:30 - Writing time. We are working on descriptive paragraphs about our friends. So far we have planned out our writing and this upcoming Monday we'll actually write.

10:30-10:50 - The second graders go to P.E. with the Kindergarteners. I do some fun reading thing with the first graders. Usually Reading Rods or a game/center I found in my room or on the blogs. This only happens on Thursday. On Tuesday, the first graders go to P.E. during this time. Other days, they're all in the room.

10:50-11:20 - Science (right now, sometimes Social Studies). We are working on matter and loving it! We start by singing our It's Made Up of Matter song, read some pages in the book, and take off on an application activity!
11:20-11:25 - We get ready for lunch! We say the pledge and the prayer before meals, then we sing a washing hands song and someone hand-sanitizes everyone.

11:25-12:15 - Lunch time! I have recess duty on Thursdays from 11:50-12:15, otherwise I eat for a bit and then go to the tech lab to get the laptops ready for Xtra Math after lunch.

12:15-12:30 - The kids come in and we go upstairs to the tech lab to do Xtra Math! We have a laptop cart but we have to go to it since it is on the second floor and we don't have an elevator. Everyone logs in and plugs away. I walk around and say, "Yay!" when they get 30 smilies in a row or 2 smilies in a row. Also I make sure that my really high kids aren't just pushing random numbers for fun...... yikes. But for the most part, everyone loves it.
12:30-1 - Math stations time. If they were quiet walking downstairs from Xtra Math, they can pick their own partners and stations. I take 2 groups of second graders. We do the same lesson but I grouped them homogeneously to better meet their needs. We stay for about 15 minutes each. Right now we're doing shapes, so if we finish our workbook page, we play with geoboards. I'm getting ready to put these in a math station so we're doing different fun things with them together so they have options later on.

1-1:30 - P.E.! Everyone freaks out - "But we didn't finish stations!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I say, "It's okay, we will finish after P.E.!" This exchange has occurred for approximately 85ish days.

1:30-2:00 - We finish stations! I take two groups of first graders.

2:00-2:20 - We quickly write in our planners and then we have religion.

2:20-2:30 - We get ready to go home. First we play Find It Fix It. Whoever wins gets to lead our goodbye rhyme! After that, we stand in a circle and play Reagan's skip-counting game. Whoever says the magic number packs up. They say their numbers and I police the coatroom!

2:30-2:40 - We listen for afternoon announcement and afternoon prayer. The bus kids line up at the door and the principal picks them up to take them to the buses. The goodbye rhyme is said. Then I choose what to do... sometimes I read a book to them, sometimes we play Schoolhouse (Hangman in disguise) with new vocabulary words, sometimes we just make a concept map of what we're learning in science.

2:40 - Adios first and second graders! On Mondays, I go outside with all the pick-up kids to wait for their parents. The parents are pretty timely so it's not a pain. Also there are probably less than 50 sets of parents out there so that helps.

And donezo!! On Mondays, I have a mentor meeting (because I'm a first-year teacher) and on Wednesdays we have staff meetings. On Thursdays, I work with a third grader for an hour who just came into school this year from the bilingual program at the public school. He's learning English and I'm teaching him how to read English! I usually stay until 5 or so, grading and eating snacks and making copies, so on and so forth. Except on Tuesdays, when I run into my car and drive for 1.5 hours to get to my night ESL class!

Thanks for reading!!!! That was definitely a mouthful. Go link up! I want to know what your day is like!! :)


  1. I feel like I just subbed in your room! I can't believe I am a part of your day. How fun. I adore you and feel better knowing that I am not the only one with the exact same exchanges day after day after day with my kids!

    1. Haha! I felt like I was writing sub plans. Next time I'm out, I'll just print this and call it a day!!

  2. Wow! That is awesome Jill! I LOVE how detailed you are! It makes me so anxious when I don't have every minute planned! And I'm like you in the totally sucks! You sound like you are doing an awesome job in your first year. But you sure do have a lot of duty!!

  3. I tried to do the threaded following those instructions but got confused and couldn't find anything like that (don't have the fancy button to click and find like she did) and wanted to throw my computer out the window lol. I may try again tomorrow. Hopefully computer will cooperate :)

    Journey of a Substitute Teacher

    1. Oh my lanta!! When you figure it out, you should take yourself out to dinner or something, haha!

  4. I cannot imagine being in a multiage classroom! I am sure that it provides you with all sorts of challenges during the day. However, it sounds like you are doing some amazing things with your kiddos!!! They are so lucky to have you!

    Thanks for linking up!

    Miss Klohn
    Adventures of a 6th Grade Teacher

  5. I don't know how you teach a combo. That's what we call a class when you have two grades. A combo. But you don't get fries with it.
    I loved loved loved all your references to how they ask this or say that or shout this for the 85th time or so. :) Made me laugh!!!!!
    I have to say I am jealous you get to pray with your class.
    A Teeny Tiny Teacher

  6. Thanks so much for sharing! I can't even wrap my head around teaching in a multiage classroom! Your math stations look extra fun. I loved reading about your day!
    To The Square Inch

  7. Hi Jill! Thanks for visiting me. I loved reading about your day. I haven't taught a 1/2 multiage (firsties scare me) but I taught a 4/5 combo my first year! It was more of a challenge because I had no idea what I was doing since I was hired in November! ;)

  8. Loved reading about your day! I would crazy with a super long commute to a night class, I can barely make it home! Thanks for visiting my blog! I am looking forward to following yours. :)
    Stories From Second

  9. Loved reading about your day! Your milk break reminded me of the scene from Kindergarten Cop! It looks like you are a great first year teacher! I know I was just struggling to keep my head above water my first year so kudos to you!

    Living A Wonderful Life

  10. My drive to school totally gets me ready for the day! I like listening to one of the local radio shows. Always entertaining and it wakes me up!

  11. You have a terrific site here! I am so glad I found it and I am your newest follower!
    Come see me too!
    ­ Kindergarten Lifestyle

  12. This was so very helpful! Thanks so, so much for all of your help! :)

    First with Franklin


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