First, let me start by saying this photo is not an actual one from my room. ;) Let's begin by talking about the overall layout of my day (below is a rough layout of our schedule).
Planning: 7:45-8:30 Period 1 (English 1): 47 minutes Period 2 (English 3): 47 minutes Period 3 (lunch/planning): 47 minutes
Period 4 (English 3): 47 minutes Homeroom/lunch: 15 minutes Period 5 (English 1): 47 minutes (aka when it all start to get WILD in my room) Period 6 (English 1): 47 minutes (at this point, I am about to lose my marbles most days) Period 7 (English 7): 47 minutes (actual angels..usually only four of them show up to class, so I can decompress and chill) Shark Tank (study hall/make-up work time): 25ish minutes we do choir three times/week (I honestly cannot remember how long it is lol)
--Our day ends at 3:15, and we can leave at 3:30. During my planning time, I try to hustle to get things done (grading, copies, organizing, cleaning, etc.). I also always make coffee when I first get there, put oils in my diffuser, and light my candle (alllll the good smells are needed in my room). I like to work in the dark in the morning. If I have a light on, it's usually a lamp or just from natural light. I don't ever turn on all the lights in my room. I like the lighting half on to make it more calming. :) But let's be honest, lighting can't fix wild days. Haha.
Due to the low attendance of our students, I have found a routine for the week that works the best for us. Monday, and Tuesday, are typically the day I introduce new topics. Our attendance is usually higher at the beginning of the week, so I try to "teach" then while kids are there.
Wednesday, we do Achieve 3,000 every day in my room. Students can work independently on the laptops, so I use this day to 1. catch up on grading 2. conference with students who have been absent a lot, need help with something, or go over their grad plans (how much credit they need). Grad plans are a unique thing for our school..maybe I'll talk more about those in a later post. ;)
Thursday is usually a day to connect back to Monday and Tuesday. For example, I might have given them a writing assignment on Tuesday, and then they would pick if back up on Thursday. You might be thinking, why break it up like that? We have to do Achieve 3,000 once/week in English, and we need it on a high attendance day. So it just is what it is. I don't think it hurts to pause their work. There is nothing wrong with taking a break and then coming back to it later.
Friday is usually a quiz/test and once every month it is a make-up day. As I said, attendance is so low that we need those days for students to get all their work. I have a bin with a file for each of them, so they can keep track of what they missed. They also have a class folder for them to keep everything in one place. They leave the folder in my room every day unless they ask to take it home. It has to stay in my room, or it will get lost and never come back to school.
A lot of our students lack organizational skills...so sometimes on Friday we do a purge of our folders and get organized. I also like to use Friday as a day to "reward" students who are all caught up. In the winter, we have extra low attendance because so many of our students walk, or ride the public bus, to school. That being said, the ones who come are usually all caught up and on track. I like to reward those that are done on Friday by 1. giving them a food treat 2. putting on a show/movie while they work 3. playing a game (they love Kahoot) or something along those lines.
I end my day with the choir, which is on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. We haven't been practicing as much the last while because they were all behind on their work. Our first "event" is to caroling at some local nursing homes. :) I think it will be a great experience for all of them. We usually start with a warmup and then they practice for the rest of the class. It goes by really quickly, so we try to hustle.
That's a little sneak peek at my day! :) I wish I could have you all be a fly on my wall, to see all the wild things that happen in a day. It is a zoo sometimes, but it makes for good stories. Sometimes, I'm just trying to keep my head above water. Right now, we're just trying to make it to Thanksgiving Break.