Our Schedule and Routines in a Hybrid Model

Well, we are one semester down and one to go in the 2020-2021 school year.  Since the first week of September, I have been face to face, teaching two cohorts a day.  If they are not with me, they are at home doing asynchronous (independent) learning that I have assigned them. 

In my fifteen years of classroom teaching, it is by FAR the wildest year yet.  Even with that said, we have fallen into a pretty good rhythm and I'm very grateful for that.  I can't tell you how much I love being in those four walls with them; I sometimes just look around and marvel at what everyone has gone through, continues to go through, and all the resilience that has been built.

Obviously, each situation is so unique and different.  I'm sharing what we do, in my district, in the hopes it might help someone (maybe even NOT in pandemic times!) but you definitely have to do what works for you and fits within your guidelines and limitations.

Also, I think it's important to note that I do not do any Zooms or Meets.  If families (or teachers, for that matter) wanted online learning, they were enrolled in a program my district created.  It is solely online.  I do not do any online teaching during the day because I'm with a group of students.  Their asynch work is their independent work.  But, more on that in a second.

Alright.  For starters, I have a group of 15 that come at 7:55 and then my second group of 14 come at 11:35.  In between, I sanitize desks and chairs (the custodian staff also comes through) and eat lunch.

The hardest part might be the fact that I eat my lunch at 10:45!

Let's walk you through a typical day.

The bell rings and students line up outside.  We have mask mandates and social distancing in lines.  I greet them and begin taking temperatures.  As they come in, they put up their desk shield, get out any independent work to show me, and begin working on the morning paper or activity.

I was VERY accustomed to doing a morning meeting right off the bat but with temp checks, we had to adjust.  And truly, it's been a great opportunity for students to try new things.  I love using THESE bell ringers Monday through Thursday.  On Fridays, we still do soft starts (you can click HERE to read more) and they love it.  You can grab these hashtag block challenges and play dough challenge cards HERE.

I typically give them 7-8 minutes for this because once temps are done, I walk around and check their independent work.

From there, we jump into our modified morning meeting.  We start with one of THESE cards and students share out.  I go over the agenda and then the Lucky Duck of the Day gets to lead the class in our class promise and Pledge of Allegiance.  

We can't do traditional class jobs so this has been a really fun alternative and the student (aka: Lucky Duck) changes every day.  They love it.  You can grab the tiny ducks HERE

All said and done, the initial morning routine is about 15 minutes and is still a fabulous way to build community.  You can read about morning meetings HERE.

Next, we head into language.  This is our block of time where we do spelling (we use THIS), as well as our mentor sentence.  I block out about 30 minutes for language; some days we spend more on spelling and less on mentor sentence or vice versa.

After that, it's all about reading.  It's typically a novel study but if we are between novels, we will usually be doing a Junior Great Book story (either fiction OR non-fiction; both are great).

This year, we have completed (and loved!) The Tiger Rising and we are currently hooked on Island of the Blue Dolphins.  SO good.  You can click over HERE to read a little more about how that looks in upper grade.

We have about 30-40 minutes for reading, which is then followed by a break.

We go outside, stretch our legs, play a game (socially distanced), eat a snack, and use the restroom.  It's anywhere from 10-15 minutes and super important.  They get to socialize and get wiggles out.

Once we come back in, it's math time.  We always start immediately with fluency.  We use fluency folders, 60 Second Sweep, and also have been loving Reflex math.  I set a timer for 10 minutes and they work on whatever has been assigned for that day.

Next, we go over the asynchronous work from the day before (they self correct) and talk through any troublesome problems.

Time out for a second.  I used to have a 90 minute math block.  I no longer have that (it's about 55 minutes) so I have to get creative and transitions have to be so tight.

We jump right into either a math warm up (I love THIS site and THIS one for number talks!) or vocabulary.  All work is recorded in their math journals.  We use THESE all year and they work great.

Finally, we have our teaching point or main lesson.  This can be done on whiteboards, in our math text books (we have Expressions available to us), or via a CGI problem we've written.  I don't have any CGI problems available because we tweak them every year and add in our students' names.

While we can't have the small groups I was used to, I have HALF the students I normally have, which does help.  I am able to roll around (THIS stool is life) and pop in to help.

We typically wrap up math with an exit ticket.  We can use THESE but also, quick and informal checks on whiteboards are powerful too!  I just write a problem on the board and they solve and show me.

If we are doing response to literature writing, we use THESE resources.

Once math is done, we have about 20 minutes for writing.

Make.  It.  Count.

Our transitions are tight here too and my kids are SO good at grabbing materials and showing they're ready.

You can read more about writing HERE and HERE.  We are between units right now (so far we have done a narrative unit and an expository unit) so we are using THESE to continually link language with writing.  They also become part of their daily asynchronous work.

Alright, we are winding down to the end of the day.  Together, we write in planners and students pack up.

Our asynchronous work always includes ST Math, some review problems in their math workbooks, reading their independent novel, part of their ELA passage, and word work.  We also mix in things like music, makerspace, Reading Plus, and any special project (which is rare).

When it is all packed up, I usually have about 4-5 minutes and I use this time to just read to them.  We are currently reading Riding Freedom and it's honestly the best way to end our day together.

Now, if you're wondering about the OTHER subjects, we do science and social studies on Wednesdays.  I only see one cohort on Wednesdays and it's been a great way to do half social studies and half science (Mystery Science is the big winner here!).

I do my best to incorporate visual arts throughout our curriculum.

On Fridays, I cut back on our novel a bit and let students do Flashlight Fridays.  They get to read under their desk with a flashlight (or tealight candle I pick up at the Dollar Tree).  I roll around (again on my stool) to do reading conferences.  They're quick but important.  I record everything in HERE.

At the end of the day (or, during morning meeting the next day), I pick a new Lucky Duck.

They leave, I sanitize, the custodial staff sanitizes, I eat lunch (at about 10:50am, haha), and then do it all again for group B!

And that's that.  I love being with kids, I feel safe, and I don't take a day for granted.  I'm also completely and utterly exhausted by Friday afternoon but wouldn't change it for anything!

1 comment

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your day! You are certainly bringing me piece of mind as I get ready to do the same in 2 weeks. You are appreciated!!