Saturday, November 23, 2013

Thursday, November 21st, in First Grade (for MTBoS)

I missed a couple of missions for the MTBoS. This is mission #7. 
5:30-6:15 am: Me time - I like to start my day with email, twitter, facebook, and blogs. Before anyone else in the house is up and I can just enjoy.
6:15-7:15 am: Get everyone up and out of the house. The 10 year old is great about it usually, the 6 year old, less so. On a good day we can leave before 7:10. On a less good day it can be between 7:20 and 7:30. The kids get breakfast on their own while the parents get ready for the day.
7:15-7:45 am: Daily Commute - the girls and I listen to a book on CD on our way to school (they attend my school). During the drive I manage to floss and eat breakfast (usually a protein shake).
7:45-8:30 am: Prep - spent time getting the morning message ready, talking with colleagues about the night's event, and generally making sure our room was ready for the day.
8:30 am: Kids arrive! I greet my 20 first graders at the door, shake their hands and say good morning. They unpack, sign our morning message and chat with each other.
8:45-9:00 am: Morning meeting - I participate but one kid each day runs the meeting.
9:00-9:30 am: Independent reading - I read too. We read for about 15-20 minutes and then talk with a friend about our books.

During this period, our fabulous school counselor came in to watch my kiddos so I could run out and be interviewed for a piece my district is creating about the value of our school counselors. After a quick trip to the counselor's office to answer questions and sing her praises, I returned to take over with my darlings.
9:30-11:15 am: L.A.B. (language arts block) - We start with a whole group lesson then kiddos go off to work on reading and writing. I spend the time meeting with small groups for reading, small groups for writing, and doing individual conferences for writing and reading. We stop a little before 11 and come back as a group to share our learning.
11:15-11:55 am: Kids are at P.E.! Yay! I spent this time punching out bookmarks for the evening event and pulling together other materials for it.
11:55 am-12:25 pm: Recess! While making sure kids are being (reasonably) safe, I get some time to talk to colleagues. Granted, it's talk that is frequently interrupted by requests to go to the bathroom, complaints of being mistreated, or demands that we watch something they do, but it's still a chance to talk to adults!
12:30-1:00 pm: After getting the kids through the lunch line and heating up my lunch (pasta and spinach), I go back to my room and eat while I relax at my computer.
1:00-1:45 pm: I actually pick the kids up a bit early, closer to 12:55 so that we can get to the library by 1:00. This time the librarian got us looking through poetry books as we are just beginning a unit on poetry. She pulled out a large stack and kids shared what they noticed. After some great observations they checked out books. I end up at a second computer checking kids out because they're always all ready at once.
1:45-2:45 pm: Back to our room for math. We're studying fractions right now so the focus was on making equal parts of sets. Last week we talked about equal parts of area models. We want to be sure we have a firm grasp of equal parts before moving on. After a group lesson, students moved on to work stations focused on number sense. I floated around between stations, taking anecdotal notes, correcting misconceptions, and asking questions to push students a bit further in their thinking. Again, we came back for a brief group share of our learning.
2:45-2:55 pm: Calendar time - we spend 10-15 minutes each day using Every Day Counts, one of those rare, prepared programs I actually like (although I tweak it).
2:55-3:00 pm: Kids write down their homework in their agendas and get books to take home to read (homework is three things: Read, Share About equal parts (the share about changes every day), and Bed by 8).
3:00-3:15 pm: Free choice time! Kids pick one place to play: magnets, legos, brain noodles, cars, or gears. Usually this time is 20-25 minutes long but some days our afternoons get too tight.
3:15 pm: Kids go home. My daughters arrive in my classroom. They ask for computer time and I say yes as I need to get ready for tonight. I spend a while putting together a four minute video of a previous student and her family reading at bedtime. I took 12 minutes of video and cut it to the four minutes I thought would best serve our purpose. The other two colleagues involved in the night's event and I sit down to be sure we are ready.
5:00-6:30 pm: My girls and I run to Chick-fil-a to grab dinner and bring it back to school. We eat in my classroom with a colleague.
6:30 pm: Families are arriving for our event. We had said 6:45 because we really wanted to start at 7:00 and we have often found punctuality to be a problem. Clearly not for everyone! We gather those arriving in a classroom and get the kids stamping bookmarks. By 6:45 there are a ton of folks there and it's getting a bit crazy. I invite the kids (about 35 or so) to the carpet and read them a big book.
7:00-7:30 pm: We head to each of our own classrooms with our families. We begin with the short video to highlight the power and wonder that can be bedtime reading. Then families cuddle up together to read. I've got families on my couch, on beanbags, in chairs, and on pillows on the floor. Many of them in their pajamas (like me). My youngest is in her classroom participating and my oldest is rotating between classrooms taking pictures for us. When I stop families just before 7:30 I hear some folks say, "Already?" Woo-hoo! Every kid, my students and their siblings, gets a brand new book to keep. It's probably closer to 7:45 before everyone has gone. My girls and I get our things together and leave about 8:00.
8:00-8:30 pm: Back to our book on CD for the drive home.
8:30-9:00 pm: Get the girls to bed and get online for a bit. I'm still feeling high from our fabulous evening so I go through the pictures and share a few. My goal is to get to bed by 9:00 in order to be up at 4:30 am to get to boot camp. This time I got to bed closer to 9:30 pm. Not too bad. I was asleep by the time my husband, a college professor, got home from his long day.

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