I’ve lost track of how many different daily schedules I’ve created/attempted since my 90-minute ELA block was condensed to 55 minutes.
So much trial and error.
So much disappointment and frustration.
So much failure.
But finally, after two years of trying and tweaking, I’ve got a daily schedule that works. It’s not perfect. And there are plenty of days (and sometimes weeks!) where things do not go as planned, but overall, this is working.
A few things first:
- This is NOT ideal. I will die on the hill that in order to cover all the reading and writing (and speaking and listening!) standards, you really need two class periods. But, since that’s not possible for many of us, this is the best I’ve found.
- This schedule is busy and moves fast! I would not be able to do it without timers. At first, I swore I wouldn’t need them, but I was lying to myself! I need them. I need them. Not the kids. ME! I realized that I’m the biggest obstacle when it comes to moving through my schedule. Humbling, I know. But, it’s the truth. I need the timers to keep myself on track. And if I’m on track, the kids just follow. Make timers your best friend.
- If you are a bit of a slacker when it comes to planning (like me!!), you will need to step up your game. I’m going into my nineteenth year of teaching. I know my stuff. And as a result, I’d really gotten into the habit of just creating a “general” idea for a plan without much effort (imagine a bulleted list that fit on a sticky note!). Once I moved to this schedule, however, I had to plan more carefully. At first, this made me resentful, but after a few weeks of seeing how well this worked, I found a lot of satisfaction in the work.
The pacing guide I am sharing is loosely based on my district’s scope and sequence. I took out the details because your district might use different curriculums and have their units organized differently. That’s totally fine! There is lots of room for flexibility here.
Again, this is a jam-packed 55 minutes and it moves! Give yourself grace and use timers! I also like creating a slide deck each day to help us stay on schedule.
I spend the most time planning for the word work practice and the mini-lesson for the day. The first few times you do it, you will likely over or under plan for these time slots. Again, give yourself grace and learn from your mistakes. As you get to know your students, you will get much better at realizing what you can accomplish in 10 minutes.
If you want an editable copy of my daily schedule for your Google Drive, I’ll send you the link right to your inbox. Click here to grab a copy!
Phew! That’s a lot. Take some time to digest this and consider how it could work for you. Over the next few weeks, I will try to hop on to Stories and give more info. And if you try it, let me know what you think!