My Daily Schedule

One question that I get asked more often than any other question is, “What is your daily schedule?”  Of course, every teacher’s schedule will look a little different depending on start and end times, recess and lunch schedules, and plan times, but I’m guessing that most of us have at least some things in common with our daily schedules.This is a great blog post of a typical first grade schedule.

Our schedules are made for us by our schools, so we do not have a say in when we teach particular subjects.  I actually don’t mind our schedule though, and it’s pretty much how I would make it if I had the opportunity.  The only thing I would change if I could, would be to have a later lunch, only because once lunch and recess is over, it is much harder to keep 1st graders focused.

What does my schedule look like?

This is a great blog post of a typical first grade schedule.

What do we do during the day?

8:00 – 8:30 – Morning Work/Tubs – Our students can start coming into the room at 8:00, but the tardy bell does not ring until 8:15.  After they get their things put away for the day, they complete their quick Morning Work review, then they head to their Morning Tub.  (Read more about Morning Tubs here.)  I ring the bell at 8:30 to clean up.  We go over our Morning Work together.  Then, my students head over to the carpet for Morning Meeting and Calendar.

8:30 – 9:00 – Morning Meeting/Calendar – We start by singing our welcome song.  Then, I have the students share a very quick tidbit about their night if they have anything they want to tell us.  Afterwards, our calendar person of the week changes everything on the calendar.  We say the date, count our days with money, count using the number grid, come up with number sentences, etc.  I write a Morning Message on our easel with mistakes that my students need to correct.  Afterwards, I read our Discussion Question of the Day.  I give each of the students an opportunity to share their ideas.  Finally, I read a picture book to the class.  This picture book read aloud is for pure enjoyment.

9:00 – 9:30 – I/E – This is our Intervention and Enrichment time for reading.  Being in a non-Title school, we do not have very many extra hands.  We really only have one other teacher that takes a small group of kids (2 kids from each of our five 1st grade classrooms), so our I/E groups are basically a normal class size 🙁  I work on fluency and comprehension with my kids during this time.

9:30 – 11:10 – Reading Block – We try to squeeze in a restroom break prior to our reading block.  I start off with whole group reading instruction.  We do use a basal reading series.  I know, I know…many people are very anti-basal.  But, it is what it is, so I make the most of it.  I actually don’t mind it at all as a guide for instruction.  I follow along with the scope and sequence for phonics, grammar, and comprehension skills.  However, I definitely supplement and add my own flair to it.  After our whole group instruction, we move onto writing.

I do not use the writing instruction from our basal series.  I just have never liked it.  I teach writing using mini-lessons.  (Read more about my writing mini-lessons here.)  This way the instruction is explicit and short.  Then, my students have a longer time period to actually spend writing.

Next, we do small group reading instruction.  I would LOVE nothing more than to meet with more small groups during this time, but I just haven’t found a way to make it happen.  Trying to squeeze phonics, grammar, whole group reading, small group reading, and writing all in this time period makes it very difficult.

11:10-11:50 – Lunch/Recess – I know that I said above that if I could adjust our schedule, the only thing that I would change would be to push back our lunch.  Actually, another thing I would change would be for our students to have a longer lunch and recess.  I just feel like they are so rushed during this time.  We have a duty free lunch, but we have recess duty during this time once a week.

11:50-12:05 – Journal Writing – This is kind of an odd period of time before we go to our special area classes.  I used to do a read aloud, but it always got cut short.  Last year, I started having them free write in their journals during this time, and I like it much better.

12:10-12:50 – Art, Music, PE, Computer Lab, or Library – This is our plan time 4 days a week.  We take our students to the computer lab and stay with them on whichever day that is scheduled.

12:50-1:05 – Chapter Book Read Aloud – I always read a chapter or two from our chapter book.

1:05-2:00 – Math – We use Everyday Math.  If you’re familiar with this curriculum, you may love it or hate it.  I definitely have mixed feelings about it.  There are some great things about it, but there are definitely some things that I would love to change.  We supplement a lot when working on math facts and trying to get our students to truly master some of the 1st grade math skills.

2:00-2:30 – Integrated Studies – I LOVE ending the day with science and/or social studies.  The students love it, and I love teaching it.  It’s a nice way to end our school day.

2:40 – Dismissal

So, that’s it.  I always get asked how I fit everything in.  The simple answer is, “I don’t.”  I create so many different resources, but that doesn’t mean that I use them all every day or even every year.  Some years, I find that my students need a lot more comprehension practice, so I will use more of my comprehension resources.  Other years, we may need to put more focus on phonics skills.  I’m also one that needs to change things up a little each year.  I definitely keep many things the same because I know they work, and they are good instructional practices.  However, I am also a big fan of trying new things.

So, what does your schedule look like?  Any similarities?  Any major differences?  Any other questions you still have?

Remember to pin the image below for later or to share with a colleague.

This is a great blog post of a typical first grade schedule.



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  1. Thanks for sharing! My schedule is quite similar, but we are on a 4-day week. I am in a very small, isolated rural school with less than 60 students K-5. My day is typically as follows:

    8:08-8:40 Journal (free write) or penmanship using Handwriting Without Tears (once a week) I use this as morning bell work.
    8:40–9:00 Morning Meeting (Read Power Words from word wall. phonemic awareness activities, Morning message about our day. We search for Power Words, talk about certain phonics skills as necessary, etc.)
    9:00-9:15 Interactive Read Aloud
    9:15-10:00 ELA Block (readers’ workshop, independent reading, conferencing, accountable talk, writers’ workshop) Our school just adopted ARC Core, so this has been cumbersome at best. Second quarter seems better, as I feel like I am finally getting into a groove. I utilize an aide during independent reading/conferencing time.
    10:00-10:15 Recess
    10:15-10:30 Show-and-tell (2-3 students share each day)
    10:30-11:25 ELA Block continued (I have a high school TA for half of this time. We are currently doing an informational unit with so much writing, so another body is nice.
    11:30-12:10 Lunch/recess
    12:10-12:40 Story (I read aloud student selected books. Sometimes, they read books to the class.)
    12:40-1:00 Number Corner (This is when I do calendar, since it is part of our math program, BRIDGES. We look for patterns on the calendar cards. We reveal them one day at a time and record our observations on a chart. We count the days in school and work with equations to make that amount. We have some other skill we work on for the month, such as time, money, fractions, shapes, etc.)
    1:00-2:00 Math block (I do this center style, usually three stations that groups rotate through. They always include a group with me for direct instruction, usually a BRIDGES lesson, For the most part, my groups are NOT by ability. The other centers may be a math journal prompt, math game, DreamBox on computer or iPads, or a worksheet practicing a skill we are working on. I have an aide during this time to oversee one of the centers.)
    2:00-2:15 Recess
    2:15-3:00 Specials (Library, Art, Computer, PE, one each day and prep for me. Our K is only half-day, so the K teacher does PE and ART in the afternoon. Our librarian comes from our high school one period a day. Our computer lab, library and main office are in the same room, so our secretary teaches computers one period a day.)
    3:00-3:45 Science/Social Studies
    3:45 Cleanup
    3:55 Dismiss

    I find it concerning that your students only get one recess a day. I can’t imagine. How do you feel about it?

    1. I would LOVE for my students to get two recesses. We do a lot of movement in our classroom (GoNoodle, etc.) to try to make up for it.

    2. Lynette, I like how your schedule goes…we have Bridges and Number Corner as well, we use Journey’s as our ELA. We also have a workshop, but I don’t like being held to a specific time for the ELA block (10 minute mini lesson, 30 minute center rotation, 10 minute regroup and share, rinse and repeat). We find time only for 1 scheduled recess at lunch time, and we can find time to take them out on our own. I wish we could have one designated time for specials, our schedule is all over the place, with 2, sometimes 3 specials in a day…I am located in Spokane, Washington 🙂

  2. I am not loving the new everyday math curriculum. Could you go into more detail about your daily math time and how much time you spend on the EM curriculum and what you use to supplement it???

    1. I’m not a huge fan either. We have used it in our district for the past 15 years, and I am beyond ready for something new! I have some math fact practice things that I have created that I use to supplement. (Color-by-codes, math fact games, etc.)

  3. How many small groups are you able to pull in the reading block? Are all groups seen in the block or just what you can get in?

    Also, that is awesome y’all have duty free lunch!! Who does the duty for lunch if y’all are off?

    1. I am only able to meet with 1-2 small groups a day. I really wish that I could meet with all of my groups, but I just haven’t been able to find the time. For lunch, we have assistants that do lunch duty. Thank goodness 🙂

  4. What chapter books do you read to your class? Do they come from your reading program or do you have certain ones you choose?

    1. Usually, I read Junie B. Jones and Ready, Freddy books. Our reading program is from McGraw-Hill. It is a basal program, which has its positives and negatives.

  5. Hi! My schedule is SO dependent on specialist schedules (PE, Music, Art, Media…that change each year and are different times each day…not to mention children that are out of the classroom for EL, SPED, OT, PT, speech…. My go to schedule is ; morning tubs —morning journal — morning meeting —phonics—snack & recess (total 30 mins.) writing workshop — math —-lunch & recess (to 45 mins) ELA reader’s workshop —science / SS —-dismissal …our day begins at 8:35-2:50 … so little time…so much to do…. Implemented writer’s workshop last year, moving to math and reader’s workshop within the next 2 years. The district hopes to be all workshop model in those 3 areas in the next 3 years! Unfortunately… they are not willing to spend the money for appropriate PD so it will be an interesting journey and getting everyone on board will be interesting. I loved writer’s workshop and I’m looking forward to making the reading and math workshops work! :0 I’m so grateful for TPT and their such talented teachers!

  6. I recently switched my reading time into stations so I am meeting with every group every day. I love it. I do a small whole group lesson on our phonics skill that they practice in stations. After stations I do a whole group reading lesson with the basal and comprehension skill. They will then work on that skill in stations the rest of the week with an at level book.

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