Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Day in My Shoes

Katie over at Adventure of a 6th Grade Teacher is hosting her first ever linky party "A Day in My Shoes." 
So now a day in my shoes....

6:00- Wake up to my iPhone alarm and turn off immediately. Snuggle with my man for 1-2 minutes tops and then I get up and start my day!

6:02-6:10- Same routine every morning. Get dressed which is easy because I lay my clothes out the night before. Brush my hair and put some make-up on. 

6:10-6:20 Eat breakfast and browse on my computer.

6:20-6:30- Brush my teeth, pack a lunch, and make sure I have everything I need for the day!

6:30-7:00 My drive to school. I listen to crappy radio stations because my car doesn't have a CD player. Yes, my car is really that old. 

7:05-8:25 First thing I do is check my mailbox and put my lunch in the fridge.I get ready for my day in my room. I turn on all computers, check e-mail, unstack chairs, cut out materials, think of new projects, try to organize my copies, write the morning message, run errands around school, and make sure everything is ready before those smiling faces appear in the doorway.

8:25-8:45 I open my door to let my students in early so they can be organized and ready for the day. I don't like scrambling to get ready and neither do they so if they are in the hallway I'm letting them in. They put their backpack away, get their binders out, write down their homework, and have me check their homework. As soon as they are done they can get new books for their book boxes. 

8:45-8:50 Morning announcements come on and they tell us what is for lunch and the happenings around school. During this time I take attendance on my computer and make sure the kids do their lunch count so I can send the e-mail to our cafeteria manager. Everything is electronic to try and save on paper and kids leaving the room for messages. 

8:50-9:00 Most of my kids are reading and my late stragglers are coming in to get themselves ready for the day. 

9:00-9:30 This is our enrichment time. Now usually the kids switch classes and I'll get all the kids on grade level in my class. Since we have been back at school though we have not switched because of assessments. This is totally fine with me...I don't like enrichment. Yes I think students should get materials on their level and should be enriched if they are above grade level and should have interventions if they are below grade level but that is what I'm already doing in the class with my students and I don't think it helps to switch. The students in my opinion are not benefiting because the teacher in the class can't work in small groups with that many students and she doesn't know them as well as I do. Ooops sorry for that rant. So anyways we have been assessing and the other students independently read. I think this has worked beautifully because when I get done assessing I can focus in on my struggling readers and give them interventions they need. 

9:30-10:00 This is our whole group reading time. We gather on the carpet for morning message which tells us all about our day and what will be learning. It usually has mistakes in the message on the phonics or writing skills we are working on. After morning message I teach a comprehension strategy (or review it is Tuesday-Friday) and I model how to use it. This sometimes requires a read aloud but other times just part of a read aloud. Then my students go back to their desk and we practice the comprehension strategy together in our story of the week in their book. Once we are done reading if we have time I my students do workbook pages in their Houghton Mifflin books. I don't really like workbook pages but they are focused on our phonics skills and reading throughout the week so 1-3 pages can't really hurt. 

10:00-11:00 Literacy center time! Our favorite part of the day for sure! We do a modified Daily 5 for our literacy centers. Meaning I let them pick each rotation but I don't teach in between each time. For each round (we do 4 rounds each last 15 minutes) my students can pick: Writing, Read to Self, Buddy Reading, Listening (book on CD or computers), and Word Work. I pick students who I want to see for guided reading during this time. I have my students grouped in two ways. One way is through what strategy they are working on fluency, accuracy, comprehension, expanding vocabulary. I actually have two groups for comprehension one working on explicit questions and one working on implicit questions. The other way I group is by their reading level. So I'll have everyone reading on a EFG level, HI, and so on come to me during that time. I try to switch up every day so Monday-reading level group, Tuesday-strategy group, Wednesday-reading level, Thursday-strategy group ,Friday ready level group with a focus on fluency. At this time my volunteers also come in to help out and usually work my students in word work or writing. 

11:00-11:25 LUNCH TIME! Yeah this is my bathroom break time and catch up with my fellow 1st and 2nd grade teachers.

11:25-12:00 Writing- My students come in from lunch and know to get our their Authors at Work notebooks right away. My first table that can do this quietly gets to have our class pet Pete the Parrot sit at their table for writing. It's a big treat by the way Pete is a beanie baby. I teach a writing skill, give them topic, help them organize their writing, and then they independently write while I float around the room helping students out. 

12:00-12:15 Recess! We go out to the playground with 2 or 3 other classes and my kids get to let loose and be crazy. I get to watch them and sit on nice benches with other 1st grade teachers. If it isn't stinking hot it is actually really nice to be out there. Confession-if it is nice weather we stay out for 20 minutes. They are 6 and 7 year olds that work their little booties off all day I think they deserve some time to play.

12:15-12:30 Whole group math time! My students run calendar while I get technology ready for math. I teach the lesson, we watch a short video about what I've just taught, and we do some hands on work together to solve a few problems together.

12:30-1:25 Math Workshop- My students have 4 stations they go to in math workshop and they rotate every 12 minutes. They do math workshop with the people at their table. The groups are as follows: Math facts: students work on their math facts on the computer, At your seat: works on the math worksheet at their table, Teachers Choice: students come to my table to work with my and take a mini quiz (4 problems) to see what they have learned and what they need help on, and Hands On: students get to play all the wonderful math games I've created and found on blogs!

1:25-1:45 Science or Social Studies-Science is Monday, Tuesday, and Social Studies is Thursday, Friday. On Wednesday the students leave an hour early so we don't have time for Science or Social Studies, or math workshop. For Science and Social Studies we watch Brain Pop Jr. videos (we love Moby), write in journals, create projects, and at the end of a unit watch Magic School Bus. (this is a huge treat!) 

1:45-2:25 Specials- Our schedule is never the same we go on a 9 day rotation chart but they get P.E., Art, Music, and Computer Lab. Most of the time they are going to P.E. and sometimes certain P.E. days get turned into Health. This is my planning time during this time I get check my e-mail, mailbox, and do anything I need get done for the week. You know there is always a page long list of things to do. On Tuesday we always have a team meeting and sometimes on other days we have meetings with our principal, reading coach, and have short professional development.

2:25-3:00 Snack/Pack Up/VIP/Read Aloud-My students come back in the class and pack their bags up and eat their snack. During this time I either do a read aloud or have them read independently it just depends on how long it takes them to pack up. Also during this time my VIP (Very Important Pirate) gets to share pictures and something special on Monday, Tuesday gets their favorite book read aloud, Wednesday gets their family letter read aloud, Thursday gets presented an award from the class, and Friday(the parent eats lunch with the student on this day) we pick a new VIP. 

3:00-3:30 Dismissal- I dismiss my walkers, YMCA, and bus riders to other teachers that are on duty. I take all first grade car riders (with two other teachers) out to the front of the building for dismissal. I am on duty until 3:15 most days but usually twice a week I have to stay out until 3:30. We have to make sure the students are listening for their name and color posts they are to go to wait for their car. We bribe our students to listen by have our students who are sitting criss-cross quietly sit on the bench which is a big deal because they are only 10 spots on the bench and there are around 50 first graders. 

3:30-3:45/4:00 I am finally alone and get a moment to breath without being Ms. Teacher whoa insert big sigh of relief...I made it through another day. I reflect on my at my desk, clean up anything my students may have missed or is my own mess, check e-mail and actually respond back, and get things ready for the next day.

3:45/4:00 Drive home which is such a blah time of the day because they is usually either a. state patrols waiting for major traffic that want to pull you over or b. major traffic. Option a. is a lot better than b. which is why I don't usually stay at work after 4. I much prefer getting to school early when I have energy. I get very tired in the afternoon around 4. 

4:30- 5:00 Arrive home pretty exhausted from the day and shed my work clothes for gym clothes. I usually will have a small snack and go straight to my computer to see what I may have missed throughout the day from blogs and other fun websites. My man usually arrives home sometime during this where I happily greet him with a hug and a kiss.

5:00-6:00 Gym time! My man and I motivate each other to go to the gym and workout. I grumpily go but once I'm there I'm in the zone and feel so much better after!

6:00-7:30 Dinner- This seems like a long time but my man is the chef and as he says fresh healthy food that taste good sometimes takes awhile. During this time I take a shower, dress in my PJs, check up on blogs, write on my blog, watch TV, cut out lamination, eagerly ask when dinner is going to be ready. We the sit down and eat together and talk about our day.

7:30-8:00 Clean up-I clean up dinner and the entire kitchen top to bottom. I do not like messes and want everything to be super clean.

8:00-9:30 Relaxing together time- We will play on our computers/iPad or play cards, watch TV we've been into Breaking Bad lately which is a long show, and cuddle on the couch. 

9:30-10:00 Unwind- I usually get my clothes ready for the next day, brush my teeth, and read in bed. 

10:00-10:30 Lights out! I'm so sleepy by this time but even if I'm not I'll turn off the lights and try to go to the sleep because I've got a big day ahead of me again tomorrow. My man and I always cuddle and talk about good parts of our day right before we go to sleep. 

Then it seems two seconds later the alarm goes off and it's another day in my shoes!


  1. Busy, busy! I love the idea of Pete the Parrot! Too fun!
    First Grade Blue SKies

    1. Oooh I love Pete he does wonders for behavior and gets my kids pumped about writing. Each kid gets to take him home for a weekend too and it is the highlight of Friday afternoon to find out who gets to take him! Thanks for all your sweet comments!

  2. Girl you are busy!!!! I wish we had a longer day at our school and time for Math centers on top of Math instruction....never enough time in a day!!

    4th Grade Frolics

    1. We are required to have one hour of math and I stretch it a little bit because I just think math is soo important. I know Florida requires 90 minutes for reading and I bet since your in 4th writing takes up a good portion of your day too!

  3. Your school day seems extremely long.
    My hubs is the chef, too -- aren't we lucky?? :)
    A Teeny Tiny Teacher

    1. Extremely lucky-I can't cook anything! I would be living off lettuce, mac and cheese, and frozen pizza if I didn't have him! My day is pretty long...I'm contracted 8 hours but usually stay longer.

  4. WOW! You should print this as a handout. I am sure a new teacher somewhere would be in HEAVEN to have all of these details written down. Your day seems so long--I guess because you do so many things! Thanks for sharing...

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

    1. Thanks for your sweet comments...may be I will print it out! I always leave super detailed lesson plans for my subs.

  5. I am tired reading about your day :) It's a long one!

    I need to be more diligent in getting myself to work out after school. I try to get to work by 7-7:15 and I need to learn to leave by 4 so I can pick up my kidlets and hit the "gym" (ie my treadmill at home). I know I will feel better when I do so!

    1. It feels good to leave work around 4 because you still have part of your afternoon left. Treat yourself to some quality time with family and feeling good about yourself (ie gym)! Sometimes I have to be reminded that my life isn't all about my job even though I simply love doing it!

  6. You sure have a busy day!!!

    Thanks for linking up!

    Miss Klohn
    Adventures of a 6th Grade Teacher