Have you ever wondered what a day in the life of a first grade French teacher looks like? From start to finish, I’m here to let you know all about my daily routine with my first graders.
As a first grade French teacher, I have developed an engaging classroom routine that keeps my students motivated and excited to learn.
From morning literacy activities to afternoon math work, I’m going to share with you my tried-and-true first grade classroom routine. So come along for the ride – let’s explore what a day in first grade French looks like!
I actually have a LOT to say about this topic, and it’s a little bit too long for just one blog post. So, I will tell you all about the literacy portion of our day in this post (which is most of the morning) and I’ll go over the rest of the day later this month.
I also want to mention that this is just a snapshot of my routine right now. My routine looks different at different points in the year!
In the beginning of the year, our stamina is low and we change activities more frequently. We also don’t know as much then as we do now. So, keep that in mind as you are reading!
Block 1: Communication orale (30 mins)
I start each day by greeting my students at the door and then they go to the breakfast program if they are hungry. If they don’t want a quick snack, they can free play in the classroom, but almost everyone goes for breakfast every day. At this time, I check their agendas for notes.
After announcements and O Canada, we jump right into our oral communication block. I love starting my day this way; it gets everyone speaking French right out of the gate!
We begin by doing Le mot du jour, then we work on our high frequency words of the week (not really oral communication but it fits well in our routine at this time so I slot it in haha). We map our words so there is a lot of conscience phonologique/sound isolation work. Each week we focus on a different spelling pattern.
We also have a “Trousse de conscience phonologique” with a 5 minute activity each day, so we do this then.
After that, we go to the tapis for our how are you circle and oral communication chant. The topics for the chant change depending on the time of year, but here’s a link to the “Comment ça va” chant for you as that can be used at any point in the year and goes will with the how are you circle!
Block 2: Écriture (45 mins)
I run Writer’s Workshop in my classroom, which you can learn more about via this free guide.
Every day, I do a mini lesson, my students practice and write about a topic of their choice, and then we come back to the carpet to do a quick share before snack.
At this point in the year, we are working on informational texts. Our stamina is high and we write for at least 20 minutes while I pull small groups and/or do individual writing conferences with students.
Earlier in the year, our stamina was lower, and we also worked on an alphabet interactive notebook during this time.
Snack/Recess: Next, we eat snack and then the kids go outside to play for a 15 minute recess. When it’s nice out, we often eat snack outside as well.
Block 3: Literacy Centres (30-40 mins)
I have another adult in the room for a 30 minute block at this time, so I try and squeeze in two literacy centre rotations.
We don’t always finish the second rotation before she leaves, but it helps to have her there to keep everyone on track while I read with small groups and everyone else does their centres.
Block 4: Phonics Lesson (20-30 mins)
Next, we work on something to do with our spelling pattern for the week.
Each week, we usually do a decodable projectable book Monday & Tuesday that my students then colour their own copies of and practice (we do lecture à soi for 10-15 minutes and students must start with this book before moving on to other books in their basket).
These books are then added to their home reading bags.
On Wednesday, we do the Je peux lire book with the same sound.
I use my document camera, and together we do one page at a time. We highlight the target sound in each syllable, word, and sentence, and then read them together.
These are also added to my students’ home reading bags.
Again using my document camera, we read through it once together, highlighting the target sound.
Then, my students work independently or with a partner to re-read and illustrate it.
I’ll often pull a few students who need extra support with decoding and/or comprehension to work with me at my table while the rest of the class illustrates the story without my help.
If I want to spend two weeks on one sound (for example, for sounds like an/en that have two+ different ways to spell the same sound), we stretch it out a little more and do some other activities with the sound on the other days.
For example, we might do worksheets from my French Science of Reading Decodable Activities Bundle or do my brand new, soon-to-be-released Decodable Phrases fantastiques for our target sound.
After this, we pivot into part one of our daily math time, so I am going to stop here and let you know how that goes in my next post!
Overall, my daily routine as a French grade one teacher is both stimulating and rewarding. And very consistent! I enjoy the challenge of making sure each student in my classroom is learning and engaging with the material, while still having fun.
It’s not always easy to find the balance between work and play, but it’s one of those things that makes teaching such an incredibly fulfilling job!
By creating routine in both my teaching and my students’ learning, it helps ensure that we are never too far away from achieving our educational goals. With the right routine and a healthy dose of enthusiasm, I know that my students will make the most out of their learning journey each year.
A routine is not only essential for teaching effectiveness but also adds to the enjoyment of each day in the classroom.
If you want to know more about certain parts of our daily routine, be sure to check out these past blog posts that share some other snapshots of our days from other points in the year: