Our Daily Schedule
During greeting time students are practicing writing their names and pre-writing marks independently, identifying their names in their cubbies, and unpacking backpacks. Next, we begin our message board time. During this time, we introduce new items into the classroom, sing the days of the week song, talk about schedule changes, and give a general overview of our day together. As the year progresses, we will use this time to introduce other concepts (patterns, letter sounds, letter identification, making predictions, counting, identifying numbers, shapes, etc.)
The purpose of this time is to teach the students how to make a plan for work time and execute it. We have several different fun and creative ways for students to make a plan in the classroom. Student’s plans come from their own interests and ideas. They can choose to work with any of the materials in the interest areas. Planning time encourages children to think through what they want to accomplish at work time. It is more than making a choice, it is purposeful thinking. This time is encouraged and supported by the adults in the room and the children learn to be confident decision makers!
Work time is the longest time in our daily schedule. During this time, the kids are free to explore different areas in the room: toy area, block area, writing area, book area, woodworking area, art area, house area, and touch table. The kids are encouraged to carry out the plan they made during planning time. The supplies that are in the areas grow and change each week- based on student interest and learning topic. During this time, I help support the needs of the individual student and join in their activity. We will assist with conflict resolution and teach executive functioning skills.
Recall time is when the students discuss what they did during worktime. We talk about where they worked, what they did there, and what they may want to do next time. The reason we do recall time is to have the students analyze their choices. Just like planning time, we have different ways we do recall. We may use magic glasses, a hat, goggles, a ball, a microphone, or go on a learning safari. For our students who are nonverbal, we use picture cards so they are still able to communicate with the group.
Snack time is a very important part of our day. Not only do the students get to eat and have a drink, but this is a critical time to teach some lifeskills. During this time, we work on using manners (please and thank you, staying seated until everyone is finished, and waiting until everyone has been served to eat), making choices, conversational skills with adults and peers, and making requests. We can also reinforce language and speech articulation skills during snack. We are able to grow as a classroom family. We are able to talk about our families, our pets, what we like and don’t like, about the weather, and whatever else the kiddos bring up. We have some interesting and fun conversations! One very important conversation we have had during snack was about different ways friends in our class communicate. We have talked about some of our friends using pictures to share their needs, some use sign language, some may use two/three word phrases, and others speak in full sentences. This is a great way to begin to understand the diversity around us.
During small group time, we break up into two groups. One group is with me and the other group is with the paraprofessional. This is the time of day we sit down at our tables and focus on academic tasks. This is an adult initiated activity time. This means the teacher plans the materials and the learning experience based on the student’s interests, learning content, or their level of development. This is important because it builds on the strengths of each student, it provides new experiences, provides regular peer interaction, and teachers can support the student’s individual learning.
During large group time, we sing songs, say poems, read books, and perform gross motor activities. The songs and books during this time relate to the topic we are studying at the time. This will help the kids continue to learn about a topic in a new and exciting way. As we are singing and reading together, we are also learning about awareness of our body in space.
The last part of our day is outside time. We go outside most days and love it! We stay inside if it is pouring, but the drizzle doesn’t stop us! The kids use this time to work on building gross motor skills and exploring nature.