A Day in a Not So Wimpy Classroom: How I Fit it all in

I am often asked how I fit my curriculum and TpT resources into my classroom schedule. I wanted to give you a glimpse of my typical day and the materials that I use to keep my students engaged. I have included LOTS of links to make it easier for you. Obviously, we all have different mandates from our state, district and school- but I hope this look into my classroom will give you some new ideas!

My students come in the room and get unpacked. Then they Use my Problem of the Day Flaps as a morning warm-up. After they complete the problem, they share their problem solving strategy with their shoulder partner. 

Whole Group: 
During the whole group time, we start with math fact practice. I always do mixed facts because I think this ism more meaningful and gives them more time to practice the tougher facts. I use THESE facts with my kiddos. 

After 3-5 minutes of math fact practice, I teach my new lesson. I model a few problems and then students work with their shoulder partner to complete as much of the problem set as they can in the 10-12 minutes I give them. We quickly review the answers. I use Eureka (also known as Engage NY) math curriculum. This whole group time goes very quickly, but I think the magic happens when I meet with small groups!

Small Groups:
During small groups, I have four different centers. My leveled groups go to two centers on Mondays and Wednesdays and they go to the other two centers on Tuesdays and Thursdays. (We don't have new math lessons on Fridays. We do assessments, crafts and lots of social studies and science.) You can read more about how I organize my centers HERE.

At the Independent Math Center, my students complete task cards and sorts from my Math Center Bundle. In my Tablet Math Center, student practice their math facts using Xtra Math and then work, on lessons on Zearn or Moby Max. At the Chromebook Center, students work on their differentiated i-Ready lessons. At the Meet the Teacher Center, students complete interactive notebooks and use manipulatives to practice problems from the recent math lessons.

Whole Group
Most of my whole group time is spent sharing a read aloud. I use our read alouds to introduce our weekly reading standard as often as possible. For example,  when we are learning about character traits, we will discuss the character traits of the character in our current read aloud. When we are working on informational reading standards, we will use our Scholastic magazines after the read aloud.

Small Groups:
Again, I have four leveled reading groups. They go to two centers each day. During the Read to Self Centers, students get to spend 30 minutes reading any book that they choose. During the Reading Response Centers, students use Reading Response Menus to write about the book they are reading during Read to Self. You can read more about how I teach students to respond to reading HERE.

During the Chromebook centers, students are working on their  differentiated i-Ready lessons. At the Meet the Teacher Center, students participate in book clubs, using THESE Book Club Graphic Organizers. You can read more about my book clubs HERE.

Book club graphic organizers that can be used with ANY book!

We use Mentor Sentences to practice our grammar skills. On Monday, I read the mentor book. Students glue the sentence in their notebook and we make a list of things we notice about the sentence. On Tuesday, we label the part of speech of each word in the sentence. On Wednesday, we imitate the style of the author to write our own sentence. On Thursdays, I use task cards to teach into specific skills that students need more practice with. 

You can read all about my vocabulary routine HERE. I use THIS vocabulary unit and it includes everything needed for an entire year of vocabulary instruction, practice and assessment. On Monday, we come up with sentences and definitions for our five new words. On Tuesdays, we come up with a list of synonyms and antonyms for each of our words. On Wednesdays, we have a WOW word that has either a prefix or a suffix. We use a graphic organizer to break apart the word and define the affix and the root. On Thursdays, we draw a picture to represent each of our words. On Fridays we play games and do an assessment every other week. 

We have a writing workshop model. I teach a 5-10 minute mini lesson. Then students spend 25-30 minutes writing while I hold writing conferences and then we have five minutes for sharing and celebrating our writing. We use the Lucy Calkins writing units.

Much of my science and social studies instruction in done on Friday after our assessments. Although, we do read science and social studies text during reading time. We don't have reading, math or writing on Fridays, so this gives us lots of time to complete fun activities. We don't have a book or an official curriculum. I primarily use TpT units. I like to keep this time very interactive and engaging. So we use our interactive notebooks, do art, and other hands-on discoveries. My goal is to send my kids home on Friday super excited to come back the next week!