Creating Structures that Facilitate
Independence in a First Grade Classroom

Gillian Maimon , Powel Elementary School
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Where do I teach?

What are my students learning?

Teaching Practice
What's my approach?

Student Work




Physical Structures Time Structures
Time Schedule
Daily Schedule
(click on selected time/topics to view video)

Morning Meeting
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8:45-9:30 Writing Workshop

9:30 -10:15 Music/PE

10:15-10:30 Recess

10:30-11:00 Rugtime
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11:00-12:00 Centers/Guided Reading
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12:00-12:45 Lunch
12:45-1:00 Spanish

1:00-1:10 Sharing
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1:10-1:20 Partner Reading
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1:20-1:30 Chapter Book
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1:30-2:30 Math

2:30-3:00 Choice
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3:00-3:15 Author/Genre Study
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Our daily schedule is very familiar to the children. I think it is comforting for first graders to know intimately the shape of a day. Talking through the daily schedule is one of the rituals that we perform first thing every morning.  In the beginning of the year, this review of the schedule is a necessary reminder, though, soon enough, the children know the routine so well that they chime in with me as I talk through the activities that await us.  I want to make sure that schedule structures that I put in place are ones that can hold a lot.  For example, the time in the day called Centers is a structure for small-group work that could encompass a wide-array of subject matter and creative tools.  So while the schedule is the same every day, the work that we do is always different. The schedule is intentionally set up to include both large and small-group work.  I think it is vital to alternate grouping configurations throughout the day.  There is a way that this continuous move back and forth from large to small groupings is like breathing:  Inhale, and we are all together on the rug talking about the day’s writing challenge.  Exhale, and the children are spread out throughout the room working in their individual writing folders.  Inhale, and we are back together on the rug as the children share what they have written.  Exhale, and the children are outside for recess…so on throughout the day.


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Site last updated July 22, 2006