Friday, April 3, 2015

My 4th Grade Daily Schedule #2getherwearebetter

http://www.schroedershenanigansin2nd.com/2015/04/2gether-we-are-better-my-2nd-grade.html

What a fun link up this is! Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd and Lucky Little Learners started a monthly link up for teachers to share about the topic of the month. This month is schedules.


We have a master schedule at my charter school this year. I wish that I could teach math in the morning and that we didn't have so many recesses. Maybe next year. :)


Morning Routines

First thing in the morning we take care of jobs, attendance, pledge, and announcements. Homework Handlers check-in homework from the hot spot and the Planner Pro checks planners to make sure they're filled out and signed from the previous night.

ELA

My school has the Houghton Mifflin Journeys reading basal. Three years ago when we started using the program, I loved it. Now, not so much. Now that I'm no longer in survival mode of being a new teacher, I'm using my planning time more wisely. I've studied the CCSS and looked over the scope and sequence for the program, and while they say the whole program is common core aligned, I've found that it's not. There's an awful lot of wasted time in the program, spent on material that's not even in the CCSS for 4th grade. I use some parts of the program still, but not like I used to.
I use Utah Compose every Thursday during our first block of ELA.  I each 4-Square Writing on the other days. I don't give spelling homework this year, but give weekly writing homework instead. Our writing has improved tremendously this year! I'm so pleased.
I'm subscribed to Scholastic News and Time for Kids, which we use with Comprehension Toolkit. We also use 6 Minute Solution to work on fluency every day.
Our 4th grade class read alouds are The Lightning Thief {we just finished this one and are working on board games based on the book}, Sideways Stories from Wayside School, Little House on the Prairie, and The Lemonade War {aligns with our school's entrepreneurial focus and Lemonade Day program in May}.

Science

Since science is state tested beginning in 4th grade in Utah, science needs to be taught daily. I love teaching science! The topics we cover in our curriculum are so fun and interesting - weather, water cycle, soil, fossils, rocks & minerals, and Utah's environments, animals, & plants. We've finished up all 5 standards this year and right now we're working on researching a plant and animal from an assigned ecosystem {in Utah}. Students create a book and a diorama, then we have a big celebration and invite the other grades and parents to come see!
Unfortunately, we do not have a textbook or anything for our science curriculum. It's all Utah based in 4th grade, so we can't just choose any science textbook for my school to purchase. Luckily, UEN has amazing resources and lesson plans to use, so I don't have to completely pull it all out of the sky.

Flex

Flex time is exactly that - flexible. Twice a month we have specials, and this is when those get fit in. Students get music, art, P.E., and keyboarding for 20 minutes each twice a month. I know, kind of crazy, but that's what we get at a charter school. Our Jr. High teachers teach the music, art, and P.E., and our teaching aide teaches keyboarding. The lack of specials is why we have so much recess in our schedule.
Also included in this time block is social studies on Mondays, business/finance/leadership on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and health on Wednesdays. Once a month I'll fit in an art lesson, too.

Math

My school has the McGraw-Hill MyMath series. I like it. I feel like it's easy to follow and does a good job laying out the lessons for the kids. The only thing I wish it had was some sort of review/spiraling concept within it.
Students also do Monster Math multiplication and division timings daily. My kids seriously love it.
We also take the time during our math block to practice previous and current topics through project based learning activities, centers, task cards, and games.

6 comments:

  1. Wow! Recess 3 times a day? Our kids are lucky if they have recess once a week. Do you find that splitting Read as well as math works best for your students? We have block scheduling. The reading block is a two hour uninterrupted block.

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    1. It's a bit much, huh? :)
      Splitting up ELA & math is kind of nice. It allows me to plan each block separately into chunks - in the 1st ELA block I usually do whole group lessons and shared reading. After recess we typically do 6 Minute Solution and then Daily 5 for small groups. For math I teach the lesson during the first part, then do Monster Math and guided math groups after recess. In the beginning of the year, it's really hard to get the kids back into ELA or math mode after recess, but at this point in the year, it works perfectly.

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  2. Hi Tiffany!! Thanks so much for linking up with us! We are so glad that you could join us for our first linky!!

    Ashley
    Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd

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    1. Thank you for hosting! I appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment! :)

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  3. Wow, that is crazy that you have that many recess times! Do you feel like it helps with "getting the wiggles out" though? Do you have to supervise their recess time? I student taught at a charter school so this always intrigues me to hear of others that teach at them! I would love to hear more about 4 square writing! Our school is moving away from spelling tests so I like the writing homework concept instead! Thanks for linking up with us Tiffany!
    Mrs. Olson’s Lucky Little Learners

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    1. It somewhat helps, but this year having 20 boys and 5 girls, recess doesn't do what it does most years for students. I don't have to supervise recess - luckily we have a teaching assistant in every grade level at our charter and that's part of their job responsibility. But not having a prep at all and specials only twice a month, it's the only break I get, so I'll gladly take it!
      I'll be writing a blog post - eventually - about what I do for writing. It's really evolved in an amazingly productive way this year, so I'm excited to share! When reviewing the CCSS more closely, we found that 4th and up don't have spelling specifically in the core - besides that students can refer to resources, as needed, to spell grade level words. Therefore, my administration told 4th and up to stop teaching and testing spelling and focus on keyboarding and writing. I absolutely love the change. Much better use of our time!

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