Hi friends! I know so many of you are heading back to work soon, if not already, and we have had some discussions on the fan page lately about classroom schedules.
I started thinking about brand-new teachers and how they may not have a clue about setting up a schedule (if that liberty is given to them), so I will walk you through how I have always done my set up! (PS – my way is not necessarily the “right” way, but it is my way which has always worked for me.) 🙂
1. First, I start with my start and ending times of the school day on a sheet of paper (or even on a handy printable – see below).
2. Next, I fill in my specials times, lunch times, recess, and any other times (such as computer, speech, gifted resource, etc.) that may pertain to my class that year. Those are usually not up to me but are rather handed down from above.
3. From that point, I usually want to cry because I realize how little time I have to teach. But, I digress – I go ahead and fill in my reading block first thing for in the morning (even if there is a break in between). Depending on the district, it could be anywhere from 60-120 minutes, including writing and/or independent reading.
4. After that, I try to find an uninterrupted block of 60 minutes (or as close to it as possible) for math.
5. Last, I try to piece in 30-45 minutes for science OR social studies (I have always rotated every other week or 2 with one or the other rather than trying to teach 20 minutes of each).
6. Finally, I make sure to include 10 minutes at the end of the day for packing things up as it always seems to get away from you if you aren’t prepared. And I make sure I have a 10-15 minute allotment somewhere in there for a read aloud – no matter what the grade level. It could be after recess, at the end of the day after packing up (that does tend to get them to move faster btw), or I have even done it first thing in the morning if I had specials shortly after the announcements.
So there you have it – my version of how I tackle the dreaded daily schedule. It really gets hairy if you are trying to coordinate team-teaching with other members of your grade level or if you are a gifted/special ed resource who needs to work with multiple teachers and grade levels (I still have nightmares about those conversations. LOL)
How about a fun freebie to at least make it look pretty?