Next year I will be teaching only ELA to 2nd and 3rd graders. I will have the students around an hour and a half 5 days a week. In this time, I have to teach reading, writing, and grammar. I was wondering how people structure their time with this. I was thinking of doing reading (Daily 5 and Cafe) Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and then doing Writer’s Workshop Tuesdays and Thursdays. Any suggestions? Thanks!





Anne Drnec

My school is departmentalized. So I have 2 blocks of 1st graders that I have for about 2 hours a day. I have to teach reading writing and social studies. It is not easy to find the time and I haven’t found the best answer yet. I teach Daily 5/Cafe for and hour and a half and then do 30 minutes of writing or Social Studies. I usually do a 4 week writing unit and a 3 week Social Studies unit. Not the best plan but it is the only way I can fit it all in. I am thankful that the kids still get writing time during Daily 5. Not sure if this helps. It is definitely still a work in progress.


Tameka, Not sure if this will help, but our 1st through 5th grade teachers try as much as possible to integrate their SS curriculum with the Lang Arts expectations. So, they find mentor texts that cover the SS expectations and use those to also teach the reading expectations. The basic reason is just what you said–there’s just not enough time to do them separately. It has worked out well in many cases, as (of course) what we need to teach in reading is going to be present in any text.
One caution we’ve discussed is that teachers need to find books around the SS topics that are at our students’ reading levels. They are out there–you just need to use lots of resources–as the text books themselves are often written above most students’ reading levels at specific grades. This integration is so positive when done correctly and with the students in mind, that after the initial work to get it all coordinated, I think you’ll feel the benefits.

Anne Drnec

Thanks! We have done this also where appropriate. I just don’t like to spend all of our reading time in Social Studies books! There are so many other great book out there. How have your teachers also covered the Social Studies objectives? I find it difficult to cover the Social Studies objective and the reading objective.


Two summers ago, we did work on a document to try to integrate SS and reading objectives. If you want me to send you what we worked on, send me your email, and I’d be happy to share it with you. [email protected]

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