A typical elementary schoolday schedule

raisinghandsI thought this might be interesting to parents, children’s book writers, and anyone who wants a glimpse of a typical day in an elementary school.

Some people surmise that what is important to a teacher is taught early in the day, when students are fresh.  Well, the teacher doesn’t control the schedule!  Here are some of the influences on schedules:

  • Lunch time (Some are very early (10:30); others are late.  It takes a long time to feed 1000 kids)
  • “Special” class time (Music, PE, Art, etc.)
  • Pull-out classes: You might have to teach math at a certain time because this is when the math specialist can pull your students for remediation
  • Push-in classes: You might have so many English Language Learners, Special Education students, etc that a specialist teaches in your room for part of the day
  • Recess, if you are lucky enough to have it.  Recess times are staggered so the whole school is not on the playground at once

A typical schedule:

8:00 Announcements, lunch count, attendance, write the day’s homework in planners

8:10-8:30 Independent reading.  (If the library is available, send a few students at a time to check out books.)

8:30-9:00 Spelling and phonics

9:00-9:30 Specials Classes: Physical Education, Music, Library or Art

9:30-10:15  Language Arts  (Writing essays, revision, or planning our next writing project)

10:15-10:30 Recess

10:30-11:15 Math (review yesterday’s lesson, learn today’s lesson, practice with seatwork)

11:15-12:00 Reading (Use this week’s story to teach comprehension, fluency, vocabulary, study skills—you name it!)

12:00-12:35 Lunch and lunch recess (Teachers and students don’t get much time to eat or go to the bathroom!)

12:35-1:35 Reading groups (Teacher meets with small groups.  The rest of the class reads quietly, does seatwork, or works at literacy centers.)

1:35-2:00 Flexible time (Reading vocabulary, grammar and math lessons.  Some teachers might read aloud to the class or let students do teambuilding or character building activities.)

2:00-2:40 Social Studies or Science

2:40-3:00 End-of-day administration, prepare for tomorrow, pack up and clean up, dismissal

What a day!  There is never a dull moment.

Posted in Classroom Management,Classroom setup,Tips for Parents by Corey Green @ Feb 19, 2010



  1. Thanks Corey,
    I’m a speech/language therapist (one of those pull-out/push-in people) wanting to show parents how important it is to help their children carry over good articulation and expressive/receptive language skills throughout the school day. I also want to show them why it’s so difficult for their children to do that, given their very full daily schedules. You have provided a very good illustration.

    Comment by Eileen — August 31, 2010 @ 4:30 PM

  2. […] for 4th grade, who is learning about a daily class schedule, check out this webpage. Here you can see what a typical day is like in an American elementary school classroom. Everyday […]

    Pingback by What’s the schedule like in your country? « proyectoenglish — April 15, 2012 @ 9:36 AM

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