A Day in Grade One

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    Welcome Session…   (20mins)

    * I would always start with a ‘Morning Storyboard’  – write a message on board (or model to children as you write), IWB or butchers paper, flipchart.

    * Use this for modelled reading and ‘word play‘ – circle sounds, words, sentence structure, ask individual children to come up and look for sounds – children play teacher, hide a word, sometimes I would miss-spell a word on purpose and children had to find it..

    * Make these messages into a class big book each week / month and place in book corner for silent reading etc.

    * Always called roll using a singing voice – children had to look at me and copy the singing voice back as they said good morning to me.

    * Calendar / Weather change, have day routine written on board, discuss

    * Usually sing some favourite songs.… 

    Literacy Session…. (1hr 30mins)

    2 times per week – group rotation.. (approx 3 rotations each day of 20 mins ea)

    * Whole class word skills warm-up/practice (10mins) –  big book reading and ‘word play‘,   whole class word/spelling/phonics game

    * 1 group with me doing guided reading

    * 2 groups doing activities with word cards  taken from ‘101 Fun Word Card Activities’ – 1 group with sight words or spelling words for that week and 1 group with a chosen set of theme words for that week….(with parent help usually)

    * 1 group doing a concept book / yes-no reading games  nursery rhyme / poem box  / letter tile play / writing / reading games or alphabet activities.

    * 1 group doing a literacy computer activity.

    * 1 group doing quiet reading  

    * 2 times per week is whole class focus activities……

    *1 modelled writing activity such as sentence starters, specific genre modelling – with follow up whole class practise.

    *1 modelled reading activity – eg. Nursery Rhyme, Poem or Song on chart or other Big Book with a follow up whole class activity such as…
    -cut and paste poem sentences and draw picture
    -make a whole class big book based on retell or rhyme/rhythm of read big book
    -make up own class poem based on chart poem
    concept book.

    * Focus whole class – handwriting, phonics, spelling activities  (15-20mins)

    1 time per week of ‘Language Experience‘…

    * Each Friday we would plan an ‘experience‘ – for example it might be making popcorn,  visiting another class, having a parent talk about what they do,  – some sort of ‘new’ learning  experience – usually based on the social/science  theme at the time….

    * After the ‘experience’ we would discuss likes and dislikesbrainstorm words, play act – overview the experience as much as possible using our senses.

    * Children were then given a large A3 piece of paper with 1/4 of the bottom folded backwards.

    * As the children illustrate their experience – the teacher and or helper goes around to each child and asks them to dictate a sentence about their picture – this is written by the helper using black pen on the 1/4 page which has been tucked underneath -(like amini writing conference).  This part was then unfolded so that the picture is on top 3/4 and sentence on bottom 1/4.

    * I used to make this a special time – we had special black texta markers which the children were allowed to use to outline their drawings just on these days before colouring them in.  The rule was that they had to fill up the whole space with drawing– background – everything – it was amazing what great overall pictures the children came up with and the black outlining pen really helped.  We would also sometimes put a colour paint wash over the pictures which made them look really bright and colourful also.  

    *Another great follow up to ‘Language Experience’ would be to do some type of computer activity.  For example, after doing the above, the children might place their work onto ‘Voicethread‘ – take a picture and read their sentence….   Take pictures during the experience and these could then be put on the class blog or website – with the children helping in the process.   I usually allowed a lot of the day for this each week – it was always greatly enjoyed  ….and we try to include our maths concepts if possible as well….  


    After Recess…

    News or read a story.. 

     Maths Session.. (1hour 30 mins)

    2 times per week Maths Groups rotation…. (3 rotations of 20 mins ea)

    *Start off with whole class ‘warm up’ – counting by 2s, 5’s etc, playing a maths game, reinforcing a known concept, oral number line work, mental maths…

    * 1 group to work with teacher for reinforcement of  new maths concepts..

    * 1 group to work on computer maths focus on reinforcement of known concepts..

    * 2 groups working on maths games such as ‘math spinners‘, ‘yes/no maths‘, math concept bookstangram puzzlesboard games

    * 1 group working on a math worksheet or workbook..

    * 1 group working specifically on consolidating ‘number’ work – eg. simple addition and subtraction with manipulatives, hundreds chart activities, number line activities, missing numbers, make this number chart into a puzzle, adding 2 dice together etc..

     *2 times per week Maths – whole class new concept demonstration

    * Whole class practise activity for follow up of new concept – teacher directed..    

    1 times per week – Maths Reflection….

    * ‘What we learned in Maths this week…’ , via writing, pictures, photos with captions, make a voicethread/slideshow on computer, brainstorming and listing as class, diagrams, play acting, child as teacher with partner – consolidation work.    

    Afternoon Session…

    *ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS did Silent Reading after main break….

    *I found this to be one of the best ways to start the afternoon session.


    Class-made big books where always the favourite here and I found I needed to organise it so that 1 group per day was allowed to use the class big books for silent reading so that they were shared evenly.

    * Once recess is over then my classes knew they come straight in, sit down and start reading their books – in silence.

    * For grade one we would do 10-15 minutes of SILENT READING. – that is no getting up and changing books, if they have finished they just put their heads on desk.  No talking, no getting up – just reading (or looking through) their books for 10 mins.

    * I also read for this time as well. (modelled)

     *Once time is over, the children put books back exactly where they came from – later in year, we would also have 5 mins sharing time – to talk with others about their book.


    Afternoon Session…

    Rest of day made up of focus science, social studies, theme work, and ‘specialist’ classes….

    Again this is just a very ‘basic’ overview with lots of variables but I hope this has helped in some way….. would love to hear how you organise your day ‘basically’ – it would help other teachers greatly – please share here…..


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