I've found that by teaching thematically, I am able to fit a lot more into our day. The read aloud books of the day match a science or social studies theme that we are studying. By teaching in this manner, students are able to make connections and learn vocabulary much more quickly. This method is especially helpful for students who are English language learners, or students from lower socio-economic backgrounds.
This time of year, I find myself looking over the themes taught. It's time to enhance the best themes and those the children get the most out of. It's also time to consider eliminating those that are not as strong in content area instruction.
What do you do to "fit it all in?"