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Home » Blog » Teacher Support » How to Create a 1st or 2nd Grade Schedule

How to Create a 1st or 2nd Grade Schedule

Classroom Setup, Routines & Procedures, Teacher Support

Written by: Angie Olson

A schedule is one of the first things a teacher needs to think about when setting up for the new year. Below you will find some teacher-tested tips and tricks to build out a 1st or 2nd grade schedule that will set you and your students up for success.

Download your free 1st grade and 2nd grade scope and sequence by clicking on your desired grade level.

Make your Schedule Visible

First, pick a spot. Visualize your classroom. When your students are sitting at their desks, where would be an obvious spot for the schedule to be displayed? This should be a spot that every student can easily see no matter where they are sitting in the classroom.

sample 1st or 2nd grade schedule

Versatile Schedule Cards

You have some options. I prefer to print the schedule cards and laminate them. I keep the cards in a basket on a table right next to the schedule. This allows for an easy way to change the schedule out each day. Another option would be to write the schedule on the whiteboard.

Add Clocks to your 1st or 2nd Grade Schedule

An easy and practical way to reinforce the concept of telling time is to print out clock cards. Then, place the clocks next to each part of the schedule. You will be amazed at how quickly your students will learn the concept of time when it is connected to this real-life and relevant application of time.

clocks on a classroom schedule
Download editable schedule cards with clocks

Keep your Schedule Consistent

This can be tough but TRY to keep your schedule as consistent as possible. Students thrive off of consistency. A consistent schedule will allow for your students to know what’s next in their day. A consistent schedule creates routine and normalcy.

Time to Build the Schedule

Take out the notebook, it’s time to sketch it out! Use a pencil…you may be making some changes as you start to plan.

Start with the times you don’t have Control over

Start with the time blocks that you don’t have control over. That would include but may not be limited to the following:

  • Lunch
  • Recess
  • Interventionists
  • Special Education Pull Out
  • Gym
  • Music
  • Art
  • Dismissal
5 components of reading instruction

Write these into your schedule and highlight them as an indicator that those times do not move or change.

Morning Meeting & Closing Circle

How a school day starts and ends is very important. Morning meetings are a time to set up the day, build relationships, work on those important social emotional learning skills, and more!

The end of the day is perfect for a structure like a closing circle. It’s a way to wrap up and summarize the day, go over important announcements, and reflect on the day.

Math Block

Math blocks can look different from district to district. You may be constricted to a specific amount of time. You may be required to incorporate interventionists or tier math groups at this time. Go with the flow. Make the best of what you are given to work with.

I like to start with about 20 minutes of whole group, explicit, and direct instruction. This is my opportunity to teach the new skill for the day. That is followed up with about 40 minutes of small group time. Typically, my students are given an independent practice task which leads into their center or station activity.

small group math practice with toothy games

Literacy Block

The literacy block of time is definitely the largest chunk of time in a 1st or 2nd grade schedule. It is essential that you are strategic in the planning of this part of the day. When I am planning my literacy block, one of the main focus points that drives my decisions in what I cover are the 5 essential components of teaching literacy. Those include:

There are many ways to teach these 5 essential components. You have to decide what works best for you and your students. I prefer to do some whole group and some small group. I also work in a writing block during this time.

As a rule of thumb, my whole group instruction is structured around direct and explicit instruction of new skills. My small group time is an opportunity for students to apply what they’ve learned to practice the skills in a small group setting. When I pull students to the teacher table for intervention time, I am doing this based upon skill deficits.

Give Grace and Flexibility

At the end of the day, we create these perfect-on-paper schedules and then real life gets thrown at us and we have to go with the flow! Get a schedule and try to stay as consistent as possible but also give yourself grace when something throws a wrench in your schedule. Give yourself the grace and flexibility to make changes as you need to.

SHOP THIS POST

1st Grade Math Centers

2nd Grade Math Centers

1st Grade Literacy Centers

2nd Grade Literacy Centers

Use the image below to save this post on Pinterest to read later.

how to create a 1st grade or 2nd grade schedule

40 Comments

    • Angie Olson

      I couldn't agree with you any more! Love ya girl! #2getherwearebetter

      Reply
  1. Mary

    Thank you for highlighting schedules! I love seeing how other teachers manage their time and curriculum during the day. I teach students with emotional and behavior disorders, so my schedule is quite different, I have a behavior specialist that teaches coping and social skills for 2 hours during the day. I really like how you explained your organization and materials. I'm getting great ideas from all the bloggers for my set up next year!

    Mary
    Teaching Special Kids

    Reply
    • Angie Olson

      Hey Mary! Thanks for linking up with us and for leaving me some feedback! Glad you could join us and learn a few things along the way!

      Reply
      • MaryLois

        Where can we get an editable schedule like your colorful one with the clocks? Thanks so much!

        Reply
        • Bailey Jordan

          ​Hi! We would love to help you with this question, please email us at customerservice@luckylittlelearners.com and we will do our best to answer it for you! Thanks so much!

          Bailey J.
          Lucky Little Learners

          Reply
  2. Mrs. Carlson's 2nd Grade Class

    Thank you for sharing your schedule. It is interesting to see other teachers' schedules look like. I am also a little bit jealous of the support you have from other staff. I would love to know more about how you are using enVision. We started it this year and I strongly dislike and find it unmanageable. I hate the booklets sitting on my shelf and trying to figure out if I can use one booklet for a lesson. Most of the booklets are still sitting on the shelf and we are 3/4ths through our year. What do you do with the booklets you don't use?

    Reply
    • Angie Olson

      Hmmm…not sure what you are referring to when you say booklets? Do you mean the colored folded worksheet/practice activities? I'm thinking that I'm going to have to write a blog post because there are a lot of Envision people out there that are not fond of the curriculum. I will say that I supplement A LOT!

      Reply
    • Tracy Calhoun

      I am a kindergarten teacher but I still like to see all your set-up & ideas! Thanks! 😀

      Reply
    • Lorrie

      I missed the presentation but have read through this post thank you

      Reply
  3. Allison Stuckey

    Thank you for asking me to be a part of this. I agree, TOGETHER WE ARE ALLLLLLL BETTER! 🙂 I haven't read many of the posts yet, but so far everyone mentions using your interactive notebooks! Everything about you, your blog, your classroom, and your work is just so wonderful! Can't wait for July! I'm joining in on the fun of Vegas this year and so glad that I am! 🙂 Thanks again!

    Reply
    • Angie Olson

      Well, aren't you just a doll! Allison, you are seriously so sweet. We are so glad that you have linked up and joined us. You have been a rockstar promoter of this linky too! I'm sooooo looking forward to July and hanging out with you! WE MUST FINALLY MEET!

      Reply
    • Angie Olson

      Awwww, you are so very welcome Melissa and thank you for being so quick and on board for linking up with us too! Will you be in Vegas this summer? I'd LOVE to meet you! I have heard so many nice things about you!

      Reply
      • Alice

        This was great and so helpful!

        Reply
  4. C Hath

    Love this! I wish I could spend that much time on math, but since we bump students up we have to keep to our one hour math block!! I'm hoping next year we'll be able to spend more time on math! I have it in the works!! <3 you friend! #2getherwearebetter

    Mrs. 3rd Grade 

    Reply
  5. Casey Crumbley

    This is such an interesting topic! I am learning so much through this LINKY and I agree #2getherwearebetter

    Reply
    • Angie Olson

      Yay! I'm so glad that you feel this way! We knew that it would be a topic that others would LOVE. I know that I love reading about this myself! Thanks for reading my blog post and leaving feedback. I LOVE hearing from other teachers!!!

      Reply
      • Angela Scofield

        Hi
        I love the schedule with time clocks. I need an editable one. I have a limited time with online/homeschool curriculum. Students come to class Tues/Thur from 9-2. I don’t know how to figure out to fit everything in.

        Reply
  6. Sarah Paul

    Awesome post! Thank you so much for the videos! You are amazing!

    Reply
  7. Allen jeley

    I see your study schedule and its help him a lot and this article tell us how to mannge your study time and playing time in a day thanks for share it linkedin writing services .

    Reply
  8. Tiffany Harris

    Schedules are very important for sure!

    Reply
  9. Portia Sweeting

    This video is extremely helpful! Thank you!
    How do subjects like science fit into your schedule? Can you speak to science instruction in future videos?

    Reply
    • Bailey Jordan

      ​Hi Portia! We would love to help you with this question, please email us at customerservice@luckylittlelearners.com and we will do our best to answer it for you! Thanks so much!

      Bailey J.
      Lucky Little Learners

      Reply
  10. TONYA SCHEAFER

    Thanks for your continued awesomeness!

    Reply
  11. Lori Bly

    Great ideas. How do you get a training certificate and where can I purchase toothy? Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
    • Bailey Jordan

      ​Hi Lori! We would love to help you with this question, please email us at customerservice@luckylittlelearners.com and we will do our best to answer it for you! Thanks so much!

      Bailey J.
      Lucky Little Learners

      Reply
  12. Kim Todd

    I loved the video, thank you! I struggle so … especially literacy block getting everything done!! Do you put writing in there too….. i usually try to keep at least 45 min. Everyday for writing. Soooooo hard to get the time needed and keep the kids on track to continue where we left off the day before!!! Thank you ! Great help!!!!

    Reply
  13. jill hoagland

    adding the clocks to my schedule…why haven’t I done this? Such an easy thing to add.
    also, definitely adding closing circle. We are often running late and so many things are lost in translation. Must give more time to close and pack up!

    Reply
  14. Amanda Miner

    Thank you so much! Your videos are awesome!!

    Reply
  15. Jennifer

    Good morning! I have always tried to get all my core subjects in before lunch time. We do have a snack/bathroom break in the morning and our encore classes are in the morning. We also have the last or nearly last lunch time. After lunch I do this science/social studies/health lessons and my entire career i have used My Weekly Reader /Scholastic News! It’s an excellent resource.

    Reply
  16. Melissa Myers

    Thanks for the tips! I LOVE the fact that you teach reading/phonics in the morning and math in the afternoon. I do the same, however, I am constantly reading that “statistics show” that math should be in the morning with phonics in the afternoon. Thanks for reiterating that we all have to do what works best for us and our students!

    Reply
  17. Kristen Fennell

    I love all of these ideas, especially having Math in the afternoon. Unfortunately, our district decides our schedule for us.

    Reply
  18. Gail Leighty

    Hi Angie, I love the idea of adding clocks to the daily schedule. Now I’m wondering why I never thought of that before (16 years in). I will say that a few years back I taught two deaf students in the general ed classroom. They each had a sign language interpreter all day as support. One of the things the interpreters suggested was to also place a photo of each text book we would be using beside the subject area on the daily schedule board. It really helped.
    I love learning from you and your colleagues.
    Grl

    Reply
  19. Susan B

    My “bigger” kiddos benefit from seeing a clock image in the schedule too.

    Reply
  20. Keri Pinner

    Do you have a link to your clocks schedule? Does it come in digital too? I think it would be great to have it in digital AND analog. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Bailey Jordan

      ​Hi Keri! We would love to help you with this question, please email us at customerservice@luckylittlelearners.com and we will do our best to answer it for you! Thanks so much!

      Bailey J.
      Lucky Little Learners

      Reply
  21. Susanne

    Do you sell schedule on your PT store?

    Reply
    • Jess Dalrymple

      Hello Susanne! We have a classroom set up pack with schedule cards. You can view it on TpT HERE. Thanks and have a great day!

      Reply

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Welcome, I’m Angie!

Hello there! I’m Angie Olson- a teacher, curriculum developer, educational blogger and owner of Lucky Little Learners.

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