Day 16: Time- How do You Structure Your Day

To all you elementary teachers or elementary literacy coaches, any words of wisdom as to how you get all the components of a Balanced Literacy Framework into each day?  Currently, we have 120 minutes to fit in the Word Study, Reading Workshop, Writing Workshop, and Literacy Stations.  It is hard to find time to squeeze in grammar and handwriting.

Every year, we seem to have more content to teach, yet the same amount of class time to deliver instruction.  That, compounded with the fact that our class sizes keep increasing (therefore more interruptions- shoes that need to be tied, lost pencils, recess disputes) complicates the balancing act.

Any suggestions, words of wisdom, ideas for what has worked for you, or things to steer clear of, would be most appreciated.  Thanks in advance!


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4 thoughts on “Day 16: Time- How do You Structure Your Day

  1. I went from teaching elementary to teaching middle school. Time is the biggest change factor. Trying to get everything in at both levels is a difficult task. My daughter is a first year 3rd grade teacher and we have many discussions on this same issue. I am making a note to come back and see what advice/suggestions others give you because this is something that needs to be shared and learned from. Thanks for throwing this question out there.


  2. It has always been hard to find time to get everything in, and it only seems to be getting worse. An approach I always used with teachers was to block out your must-have big sections first – Reading Workshop and Writing Workshop are probably the biggest, and Word Study may be right up there with them. Then see if other areas can be embedded within. For example, grammar could become part of writing workshop, and work on literacy stations could maybe be part of reading workshop. Different things will work for different teachers because we are all different, but sharing ideas and being open to them is a place to start. Good luck!


  3. So agree with Rose’s wisdom and even would extend – which are the non-negotiables for every day? Then which can be less frequent. Workshops – reading and writing are every day!

    You didn’t say a grade level – it does make a difference.

    But I will remind you that Tim Shanahan said 2 – 3 hours of literacy every day, every child, K – 12. The cumulative effect across the day is very important!

    And yes, GOOD LUCK!


  4. I struggle with this too. I hold my reading and writing workshop as the number one priorities but then feel like I’m juggling everything else. I have decided that it’s okay to not do every piece of literacy every day, but I’m not happy about it. I wish someone could magically gift us with another couple hours in the day (kind of). And where in the world are we supposed to find time to do math? I will continue to check in for anyone who has an answer.


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