I think one of the most anticipated items for teachers during back to school is making their French Immersion timetable! We spend the summer wondering what the next year will look like, and our class schedule gives a concrete idea of our day to day routines.
In this blog, I want to give you four simple steps on how to make a class schedule.
Step #1 Allocate Your Time
When coming up with your classroom schedule, start by checking your school allocation model. Each school board or district will have different French Immersion minutes, and you want to make sure you are meeting your schools expectations.
Next, make a list of the subjects you teach and how many minutes per week each subject has. Then, take note of important items in your schedule that are fixed, such as gym, prep periods, and when you might be teaching in another classroom.
Tip: If you are drafting this by hand, make a few copies of your timetable in case you make a mistake. Grab some highlighters and colour code.
Step #2 Drafting Your French Immersion Timetable: Major Subjects
When drafting, start with your major subjects first – such as literacy and math. Tip: Place these subjects at the beginning of the day when possible, so students are at their most alert and focused. It is much harder to teach these subjects at the end of the day when students are tired.
Next, schedule your major subjects in uninterrupted blocks. For instance, if you have an hour a day of literacy, you don’t want PhysEd to fall in the middle and split your time. This will result in a loss of focus and make it more difficult to plan your lessons.
Step #3 Drafting Your Classroom Schedule: Minor Subjects
Now that you have decided where to plan your larger subjects and blocks of time, you need to find a place for your minor subjects or smaller blocks of time.
Traditionally, schools require less time for science and social studies. Place these or other minor subjects where you have empty blocks. These subjects will work best midday when students still have energy remaining, but end of the day will work fine as well.
Step #4 Finish Your Classroom Schedule Draft
Now, it’s time to fill in the gaps! With the remaining time you have each day, schedule moments for rest, physical activity, and the arts. In Ontario, you only need to teach 3 out of 4 arts per term. You don’t need to fit all 4 into your weekly schedule. Some teachers decide to add dance into their physical education classes. Consider doing that if you’re low on time.
Tip: Rest and movement between subjects is a great way to help students get refocused, let out energy, and wake up their brains.
If you wind up with extra time, no worries! Our school days will not go exactly as planning, so having buffer time and flexibility in your schedule is a great problem to have.
I know that back to school season can be stressful, so I created this Back to School Guide to help you ease the headache!
This Back to School Guide contains classroom set up checklists, classroom routines, parent letters and questionnaires, literacy and math block breakdowns and resources, and much more! This guide will help you feel more prepared and confident walking in on day one. Get it here.
If you want more tips on getting ready for back to school, check out the entire back to school series on my blog.
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