Often, when I say that I teach TK, I am asked, “What is that?” TK (short for Transitional Kindergarten) is early intervention Kindergarten. My students are mostly 4.5-5.5 years old. I have taught other grades as well, and in TK we follow very similar routines as we did for my Kindergarten schedule. Sticking to schedules and building routines is not always easy at first when you are working with small children but it is so worth it. Check out my daily Transitional Kindergarten schedule to take a peek at a “normal” day in a TK classroom (where we always make time for playful learning!).
*For even more teacher tips and how to create a playful learning environment in your classroom, be sure to join us in P.L.A.Y. (Playful Learning All Year)!
A Look at a Full Day Transitional Kindergarten Schedule
While schedules are important and necessary, it is not realistic to expect that they be followed exactly every day. This schedule does not take into account certain procedures or specials, etc. depending on the year, but it will give you a little look into or an idea of a “day in the life!”
*Science and Social Studies are not listed but are integrated into our math, literacy, and play!
Our Morning Routines:
8:45 – 9:15 Arrival, PLAY, Breakfast
Starting the morning with a solid arrival routine can set the tone for the entire day. We spend a lot of time at the beginning of the year practicing our routines and we begin with what students should do every morning as soon as they get to the classroom. Our morning routine includes time for playful learning! For a closer look, check out my favorite tips for morning arrival routines!
9:15 – 10:45 Literacy
Our literacy block focuses on mini lessons, writing time, and free-flowing centers. We practice our routines for free-flowing centers a lot. This means the kids are allowed to choose whichever activities they want to do (all centers are pre-selected by me so I know they are always strengthening important skills) and I am able to use this time to meet with small groups!
10:45 – 11:00 Recess
11:00 – 12:00 Math
During this time we focus on mini lessons, number talks, and free-flowing centers. We follow the same basic structure and routine as our literacy block.
Our Afternoon Routines:
12:00 – 12:45 Lunch/Recess
12:50 – 1:05 Quiet Time
While we do not nap in TK, we do take the time to calm down and rest. The school day can be long for young children and it is important to give them a moment to just take it easy and reset before we dive back in to learning.
1:05 – 1:15 Pack Up
It takes some time and a lot of practice to get our pack up time down to 10 minutes but we do get there! While everything may feel slow at the beginning of the year, it is only by taking our time and practicing routines that we are able to go quickly later in the year. Here are my tips for a calm and effective dismissal routine!
1:15 – 2:30 PLAY/Dismissal
Playful learning is the perfect way to wrap up our day. This is when students can engage with our puzzles, LEGOs, puppets, building blocks, or any of our dramatic play areas like our kitchen, etc.
During this time I am able to observe (and also join in on) the social-emotional learning that is happening such as sharing, problem solving, or adjusting when an area is too full or a toy is unavailable.
You may notice that the afternoon is purposefully lighter, but “lighter” does NOT mean easy!
Play is work. Play is necessary. And play is learning. You can simply see that I do not save 1:1 conferences or small groups for reading for 2 pm when their little brains are toast.
***UPDATE: I recently went to a bit longer of a school day. You can see a schedule option for a longer school day HERE on Instagram!
What is your Kindergarten or Transitional Kindergarten schedule like? I would love to know!
Want to stress less with even more “must-try” tips while learning how to create a “Playful Learning” environment?
(even if you “aren’t allowed to play”)
If you want to incorporate playful learning, free-flowing centers, routines, and more in your Pre-K or Kindergarten classroom, then you will want to be sure to join me in P.L.A.Y. (Playful Learning All Year)!
This course is a deep dive into practical ways that you can create a playful learning environment in your classroom!
It’s going to be awesome (you can check out more about it HERE) and I can’t wait to learn together when the virtual doors open.
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