Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Our School Routine and Circle Time Plans

Here's a look into our weekly routine for Kindergarten...

Our schedule is in the photo above. Every day, some things stay the same: after breakfast, the girls always choose work activities from the shelf to do while I wash the dishes. Then we get teeth brushed and have Circle Time. After that, we do something a bit different each day:

Mondays: Read the Alphabet Path story, listen to the flower fairy song for that letter and follow along with it in the flower fairy alphabet book, do the flower fairy coloring page, read the poem from God's Alphabet for the letter, and form the letters out of playdough.
Tuesdays: Read the saint poem from A Catholic Alphabet of Saints, illustrate the saint, review letter fomation for the weekly letter and practice tracing in cornmeal, trace the poem for copywork (later, she may actually copy it without tracing).
Wednesdays: Caroline reads the Alphabet Path story to me and we write down any words she was unsure of on index cards to add to her word box. She files them in the box herself (it has dividers for each letter). Art study: look at/discuss the art for the week, Caroline makes her own copy of it.
Thursdays: Copywork - the poem from God's Alphabet, and she also recites it along with the saint poem (we read them at least once each day and they are displayed in the pocket chart... she has a great memory, so this is right up her alley!). We discuss the virtue coloring sheet and she colors it while I read her a corresponding story from Devotional Stories for Little Folks.

After this, the main "table work" of our school day, we do a movement activity for about 10-15 minutes. I am focusing on skills like jumping, balancing, traveling in different directions, etc. I am using my old college textbook (okay, it's really Chris's book because I sold mine back to the bookstore since "I'll never teach PE!" ;) called Children Moving. I linked to a newer addition of it... can't find the older one from 1999, ha ha!

Then we have a snack. After that, we do a project of some type: cooking project is usually on Monday, an art project one day, various other projects like making lapbooks... anything I want to get done like that.

We have lunch every day around noon. I want to get into the habit of praying the Angelus right before lunch, but we keep forgetting!

Then Cecilia naps (hopefully, ha ha) while Caroline has rest time. She does quiet work during this time like the punch out the letter activity, cut and paste letter collage, reading books from the book baskets... Wednesday is "Special Rest Time" which means she watches a video. Some days I read her a book and have her tell the story back to me afterward, then I type it up and print it so she can illustrate it.

The afternoons are something that still need tweaking... ideally, we would have out afternoon prayer time sometime between 2 and 2:30 and get outside with an afternoon snack right after that, but there's always something that needs attention: gathering laundry to fold, getting the snack and water bottles together, taking Cecilia to the bathroom, getting something prepped for dinner...

After outside play (which ideally would be close to two hours daily), I bring them back in for clean up time and then to read. I want to try to cover all the books from the book baskets - to read each one at least once. So, we may read all science theme books one afternoon, or we may read one science book, one seasonal book, one book on a saint for that week... and sometimes I get Caroline to give me a narration of a book at this time as well.

Every Friday that we are home, we have Tea Time in the afternoon, which consists of a yummy snack and drink along with some reading from a religious book. Fridays are also the day I plan to do most of our field trips and outings of that sort.

Now, some weeks, we might start a letter on Friday, and then we'd do the Monday schedule on Friday and pick up with Tuesday's schedule on Monday. This week, we started a letter on Tuesday (so we did Monday's typical schedule), will have a field trip Wednesday, and then pick back up with the Tuesday plans on Thursday. We'll go into next week for this letter, and we might start the next letter mid-week next week, or we might wait until the following Monday. It is pretty flexible like that.

Our Circle Time follows the same basic structure each day:

1. Light prayer candle and say Children's Morning Offering (and they like to mention prayer intentions at this time)

2. Sing songs, recite nursery rhymes, do fingerplays that are seasonal and/or associated with letter of the week

3. Calendar time: Saint of the Day magnet and date are placed on calendar, priest's vestments are changed to reflect the correct liturgical color, and sometimes we sing the days of the week and months of the year songs or discuss what day is tomorrow, what date was yesterday, what day will it be in four days, what will the date be in one week, etc.

4. Caroline writes the date on a dry erase board

5. If it is a feast day, read about the saint in The Picture Book of Saints or other saint books

6. Counting patterns while tossing beanbag: count by tens, fives, twos so far

7. Amount of the Day: count the coins and write the amount on the dry erase board

8. Time of the Day: I put a time on the analog clock model we made and Caroline writes it on the dry erase board

9. Hymn of the Month: sing a liturgical hymn (for instance, the Hymn to St. Francis in October, Now Thank We All our God in November, Jesus Christ is Risen Today during the Easter season...)

I am still figuring out math and what we are going to do... nothing too pencil-and-paper yet beyond practice with tracing and writing the letters. I need to suit down and make some plans! I think that some weeks, we will take two weeks to go through a letter, and we will use the morning table work time in the second week to work on math concepts.


That Married Couple said...

I love reading through your plans! It sounds like you are really doing a good job figuring out the routine that works for your family.

My Feminine Mind said...

I want your magnetic calendar! Where did you get it?

mel said...

I like your plans, especially reading about your circle time. I'd like to start having a circle time with Jack, Tess, and Henry. Tess is old enough now. I tried with Jack last year and he just didn't get anything out of finger rhymes and such then,,,those things don't mean much to him. But I think he might be more open to it now, especially if he sees Tess participating.

Erin said...

I think my mother-in-law bought the magnetic calendar for us, but it is very similar to this one: