I get asked a lot about our Kindergarten schedule from a variety of people. Sometimes parents, other teachers, or even people not in education at all say things like, “When I was in Kindergarten we took naps!” and they are curious about what it looks like today. I even hear, “What do you do all day?” Well, trust me, we are busy! If you have known me for awhile or been around this site, you know that I am a huge advocate for play in the classroom. I am very blessed to teach in a place where play is not only supported but a part of every Kindergarten classroom daily. Due to this, I have been asked a lot about how that fits into our day, so I thought it would be helpful to share our Kindergarten schedule with you!
Every Classroom and Kindergarten Schedule Is Different
Before sharing my schedule, I just want to state that every classroom is different in every school around the world. What works for one doesn’t work for another, and schedules often vary based on district requirements, bus scheduling, etc.
I also know that sadly, several Kindergarten teachers are simply not allowed to have play in their classrooms. This is so disheartening, and I hope a change is near for them! If that is the case for you, I suggest reading 10 Ways to Incorporate More Play into Your Classroom. I hope you can find some inspiration!
My schedule is just to give you a glimpse into our day since I have been asked so much about it. I am not going into full detail in this post about each aspect of our day. But I hope to answer the main question of “What do we do all day?”
Of course – I would love to hear from you anytime with more questions, and please share with me in the comments what your day looks like too!
Our Kindergarten Schedule
*I currently teach Transitional Kindergarten, however, this schedule is very similar to when I taught Kindergarten.
8:35-9:00 – arrival, breakfast, morning work
Our morning work consists of unpacking, signing in, fine motor tasks, and play.
9:15-9:30 – number corner, calendar
I recently made the switch to number corner and calendar in the morning and I LOVE it – I really feel like for my class and preferences, this flows better in the morning vs. later in the day during math.
9:30 – 11:00 – literacy (science/ss integration)
Our literacy block focuses on mini lessons, writing time, a LOT of reading and read alouds, and free-flowing centers, where students are moving through their choices and I am meeting with small groups.
Want to know more about free-flowing centers? You can learn all about how they work in the P.L.A.Y. course (request your invite!).
11:00-11:45 – lunch/recess
11:50-12:10 – rest/story
We don’t sleep or take naps, but we do spend some time with the lights out just taking it easy with a story/regrouping. These kids are very young and the day is busy!
12:15-1:00 – classroom play/centers (kitchen, sensory, blocks, etc.)
This is when my kids make their plan to play in our classroom. We have a kitchen area, blocks, cars, LEGOS, puzzles, and tons more.
Our room is set up so that our work areas are actually integrated into play areas. You won’t find toys on the outskirts of the room, rather the centers are all throughout and in well defined spaces.
Kids decide on a plan, but are allowed to change their plan and move freely between areas. During this time I support the development of social-emotional skills, as well as work on academics in authentic ways as they come up naturally through play.
For instance, if I have a student who isn’t able to count with one to one correspondence, I may build a LEGO tower with him and count the blocks. If a student cannot read CVC words, we may do word puzzles together or read books.
This is a time that they are continually learning and it is SO important for their development. I can’t imagine our day without it!
Keep in mind they are allowed to free play, and I do not interrupt their play. Rather, if they are interested in playing and learning with me, I may approach them, but I never interrupt them.
For instance, if a child was already immersed in building legos, I would never go over there and make them count them. It’s only if we have started building together or they show an interest.
1:00-1:50 – math
Math is a similar structure to literacy. Routine is VERY important at this age and they thrive when they have similar systems in place throughout the day.
We have mini lessons, number talks, and free-flowing math centers (similar to literacy) where students are freely moving through their choices and I am meeting with small groups.
1:50-2:05 – recess
2:05-2:20 – snack
2:30 – dismissal
Note – early in the year we dedicate WAY more time to dismissal and pack up – it takes us a while to get it down to ten minutes. 😉
Need an EDITABLE template to plan your own schedule? I have the one below for you – snag it at the bottom of the post!
A Few More Thoughts
I also get asked the following questions (or receive these comments) sometimes –
Don’t you have standards to meet?
Yes, we are actually a Common Core state so we definitely do! I find that my kids are succeeding because this play is intentional and supporting the whole child.
You must have “high kids” if you have time to play…
No, I actually have kids with all abilities and from all sorts of walks of life and backgrounds. Students qualify for Transitional Kindergarten based on social-emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and academic need – so it’s a busy room! Learning through play supports my kids where they are at, so it is differentiation at its finest!
I wish we could do that!
Trust me, I wish that for you too. It is my hope that developmentally appropriate practices will continue to be spoken for and fought for, and that play can be brought back in every room!
Grab Your FREE Editable Schedule Template
You can grab your free editable schedule template by clicking the large, yellow download button at the end of the post (be sure you have PowerPoint to open)!
Want to stress less and learn more about 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.