Monday Motivation - Daily Schedules

It’s been a hot second since I’ve been able to get back on here. I feel as though my life is filled to the brim with other responsibilities...first, of course, is raising my toddler of which is going through a fun phase of independence mixed with stubbornness. Isn’t that cute? Actually, it’s not. Then there’s maintaining content for my lifestyle blog and going through the throes of my first few months opening my Etsy shop. Talk about spinning plates here...

But nonetheless I am excited to get back into blogging here with my fellow teacher friends!

Today I am linking up with Teacher by the Beach who is hosting an awesome weekly linkup where we share and give advice/tips & tricks/or resources about all kinds of things in order to prepare our brains for the upcoming school year! I wish I had this online teaching community back when I first started teaching - so many great things!

Anyways, today’s topic is DAILY SCHEDULES.

Using a daily schedule in my classroom has always been a staple and an imperative part of my instruction. From my time in kindergarten to when I was in second grade, having a schedule and making it a part of my daily routine with my kiddos was really important to me - and for a number of reasons.

Daily Routines.

Each and every morning during our Morning Meeting/Calendar Math time, I would go over the schedule with my kids and let them know about what they would expect throughout the day. This was especially helpful for a few of my students who preferred to know when we were doing what and what we were going to learn in each subject. It also helped me stay on top of my own timing/scheduling of my lessons each day.

Keeping It Simple.

I have always kept my schedule cards fairly simple. Just the subject or activity in a bold print and some cute clipart to go with it. I always printed, laminated, and displayed them on my whiteboard closest to where we would gather for circle time. Over the years my cards have changed in the sense of color or clipart but their essence has stayed the same. Why fix it if it ain’t broke?

Multi-use & Intentional.

In my last year before moving to California I began incorporating my CCS Objective Cards next to the subject for that day, per the suggestion of a colleague. This allowed me to free up a bulletin board (our district at the time wanted our objectives posted at all times) and integrate our objectives in a more meaningful way.

For example, if I were to be teaching about Famous Americans during our Social Studies block, I would have the specific objective card placed right next to Social Studies schedule card on our board. This also doubled as a way to check in with my kiddos before and after the lesson gave me an opportunity to quickly check-in on whether or not they both understood and met the objective for that lesson.

Our Class Schedule

Now onto the beef of this post. My daily class schedule.

This example schedule was based on my last year teaching in second grade prior to my move to California. At my school at the beginning of the year, and on a first-come-first-served basis, teachers gather by grade level to pick the times of their specials and coordinate recess and lunch. To accommodate everyone’s schedules, teachers had a good bit of control when they had what subject throughout the day. 

This is an example of the first day of school in my classroom!

7:30am - 8am | Students begin to file in at 7:30am, which means they will unpack and get their materials ready for the day at their seats. I always have a welcome message on the board that has the date and instructions for their Morning Work and a few options of what they could do if they finish before the school’s announcements. I use a PowerPoint slide for this because it’s relatively the same every day and makes prepping it each morning a breeze.

One thing I would love to incorporate into my instruction once I head back into the classroom is Reagan’s Rise & Shine binders! It’ll take some prep time up front, but I love how she’s able to give her students authentic and meaningful practice work to do in the morning!

7:50 - 8am | The school hosts their own school-wide announcements and it lasts about 5-10 minutes. This is also a signal to students to finish up their work and to be ready for the day by the time it ends. This is also a time for them to use the bathroom so that there aren’t any interruptions.

8:00am - 8:15am | Morning Meeting/ Calendar Work
This is an important part of our day each morning (and I outlined a bit of this above). Our class gathers each morning to go over the schedule cards and what to expect and do a little Calendar Math. At the beginning of the year I usually begin with Ice Breakers or introduce our All About Me Bags.

8:15am - 8:45am | Shared Reading
Shared Reading is another name for just that, a teacher-guided mini-lesson on a specific reading skill. This skill will also be practiced during the guided reading block of the day and in my kiddo’s centers.

At the start of the year I begin this time with establishing our classroom rules and to do that I use my First Week lesson plans.

I incorporate fun read-alouds throughout the week that focuses on a specific rule each day. By the end of the week we’ve discussed and practiced what each of the rules are and students create a Classroom Contract to which they sign. It’s always been a fun way to get the kids involved in establishing that classroom culture together.

8:45am - 10:00am | Reading Workshop/ Guided Reading
As anyone knows, it takes weeks to get your guided reading centers up and running effectively and in a way that gets the ball rolling. Practically everyone at this point uses the Daily 5 approach and so do I.

Building stamina and setting goals typically is how we start. Each day we practice the behaviors of each center and spend time extending our reading time so that by the time we’re officially ready to begin reading groups my kids have had an opportunity to read for 15-20 minutes. All of this is a lot of work - conditioning these little guys - but it is so worth it’s weight in gold for the rest of the year.

*Depending on the day we may have a specialist come in.

10:30 - 11:00am | Writing Workshop
There are a number of fun activities I love to do during this block at the beginning of the year that are inspired by Lucy Calkins. Here are a couple of examples that I have done throughout the week:

A fun writing activity to do during these initial first days in school is a Time Capsule. This is a chance for the class to learn a little more about each other and practice some initial handwriting and writing skills. Using a template, students write a little about themselves and record various things about themselves. Then, at the end of the year they complete a similar project and have a chance to see how much they’ve grown and learned over the course of second grade. It also makes for a fun keepsake for parents!


It’s so important that our students see themselves as authors. So, one of the fun first things we do is discuss our interests and what we could use to inspire our stories. This gives my students a chance tor reflect on the things they most enjoy, decorate their writing notebooks with these things, and use it in times of ‘writers block’. I love decorating mine, sharing it with them, and using it throughout the year, modeling that we are all authors!

11:00-11:15 | Recess
11:15am - 11:25am | Bathroom Break
11:25am - 11:55am | Lunch

12:00pm - 12:35pm | Math
In my previous district the first objective we teach is all about graphs. One way my team and I did that for the first day of school is graph the different ways each child goes home (i.e. bus riders, daycare, walking, carpool, etc.). This is an easy way to connect our kiddos to their thinking and sets up a skill they’ll be working on throughout the year.

12:45pm - 1:15 pm | P.E.

1:15pm - 1:30pm | Continued Math Lesson
Sometimes our lessons are cut short because of specials, so I use this remaining time to conclude the math lesson with share time and lead into the next lesson. This time could also be used for Math Facts or quick assessments.

1:30pm - 2:20pm | Social Studies/ Science
My favorite block! Typically Social Studies begins our year and I love teaching my students about citizenship. This subject is the basis of everything we do in the classroom when setting up rules and routines, so it makes the most sense to start here.

One fun lesson I also love to introduce to my kids is the Pledge of Allegiance mini-unit. You can read more about this amazing lesson here!

2:20pm - 2:35pm | Pack-Up/Dismissal

That concludes my day! I can’t wait to see how other teacher’s plan their days - so be sure to link up!



  1. I would love an earlier start and to be done by 2:30! Does your school follow Lucy Calkins or do you just use that on your own? We bought the curriculum for this year and I am a little nervous since it is supposed to take 45 minutes daily!

    1. Hi!

      In my last year teaching at my school, the district adopted Lucy Calkins and we had to get training throughout the year about how to implement it. I actually really liked the way it’s set up - it’s practical and the kids really seem to enjoy it. See if your school offers PD on it so you aren’t just thrown the books because it is A LOT to absorb.


Thank you for sharing!