A Day in the Life of a Second Grade Rancher

Our day begins at 8:15 in the morning.  Students grab their breakfast (which is in a paper bag) by the cafeteria on the way to their classrooms.  When students reach their classrooms, they unpack everything that they will need for the day then store their bags and outside clothing in the closet.  Students eat their breakfast in the classroom and do their morning work.  The morning work in our classroom is the Daily Fix It.  This is a sentence that I write on the board that is missing capitalization, punctuation, and/or proper spelling.  The students earn a point each time they fix the sentence correctly and when the class reaches 50 points, they earn a treat for the whole class.

At 8:40, the students clean up their breakfast and come to the carpet for Shared Reading/Word Study.  Shared Reading is a poem or song that we read or sing together as a class.  I always use the Shared Reading of the class to emphasize the topic that we are going to cover for Word Study.

From 9:00-10:00 we have Reading Workshop.  We begin this time with a mini lesson that focuses on a strategy that we can use while reading, author study, or learning about text features.  After the mini lesson, the students move into Reading Workshop Centers.  The Centers are all literacy based that the students can do independently.  While the students are working independently, I begin to pull Guided Reading Groups.  During Guided Reading, students are grouped according to their literacy learning needs and abilities.  We work through a common text together honing our decoding skills and working on deeper comprehension of the text.

Writing Workshop begins at 10:00 and takes us right up until lunch.  We are using the Lucy Calkins Units of Study in Writing.  Students have the opportunity to write narrative, informational, and opinion writing, as well as poetry.  

Lunch is from 11:00 to 11:20.  The students eat their lunch in the classroom with me.  Hot lunch is picked up in North Pod and brought back to the classroom.  When the students are finished eating, they take care of their trash and begin getting ready for Recess.

Recess is from 11:20-11:40.  Students go outside as long as the weather permits and play on the playground.  Students should always be dressed weather appropriate and have shoes that they can run and play in.  During inclement weather, the students will have recess inside the classroom and the classroom will be covered by a staff member who has been assigned to our class.

After recess is when we have our specials time.  Our specials schedule is as follows:

Monday- Music with Mr. Lund

Tuesday- Art with Mr. Walston

Wednesday- Library with Mrs. Oxley

Thursday- Gym with Mrs. Towle and Computer with Mrs. Hamlin

On days that we don’t have a special right after recess, we have a read aloud.  This is a time when I read a book to the students and we work on speaking and listening skills.

On these days we also have Spelling and/or Handwriting.  During Spelling, the students work on their individual spelling lists.  They choose ten words from the list that they are working on and practice them throughout the week.  The students are tested on their spelling words every Friday.  For Handwriting, we use the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum.  We use workbooks, chalkboards, music, and movement to work on letter formation, grammar, and punctuation.

Math Workshop happens every day from 12:30-1:45.  We begin with Calendar activities and our Number of the Day.  The Number of the Day is the number of days that we have been in school.  Then we move into the math lesson.  We use the EnVisions Math Program to teach the students are particular math strategy or skill.  We also use an online math program called IXL to help reinforce and extend the math skill or concept that is being taught.

To finish out our day, we either have Science or Social Studies Workshop.  For Social Studies, we use the District Social Studies Curriculum.  In Science, we use the National Geographic Student Curriculum that is aligned with the Next Gen Science Standards.

At the very end of our day we pick, pack, and snack.  The students pick up the classroom using our Rancher Chore Chart.  Each student has a job on the chart to help prepare our classroom for the next days learning.  Then the students pack up their belongings and prepare for dismissal.  Lastly, after the students are packed and ready to go, they sit on the carpet and have a snack that they brought from home or chose from the breakfast leftovers.

Dismissal begin at the 2:50 bell, when the students who are being picked up or going to the school-based childcare program are released.  Those students who are taking the bus are dismissed at the 2:55 bell and are walked to their buses by a designated staff member. 

Thank you for spending a day at the Ranch!