Time management is a huge part of teaching. Check out these tips for saving time during the day with your students.
Typically the beginning of the year, you will be introducing a lot of new things to students. Not only do you go over school rules and procedures, but you will also be introducing your students to the way your classroom runs. Admit it, we all have little nuances in the way we prefer classrooms to be run. Spend those first few weeks teaching, modeling, and practicing these routines and procedures. By taking a little extra time at the beginning of the year to get things running smoothly, you will be saving yourself countless hours of r
epeating yourself twenty times in ten minutes gently reminding your students the way things should be done.
Before school starts or within the first few weeks of school choose how you want your students to come in each morning. Should they get all the chatter out of the way as they walk in the door? Do they need to be getting out materials? Will they be getting to work the moment they step foot in the class? After you have decided what they need to be doing, figure out the best way to get the administrative tasks done quickly in the morning. Set up a way for students to tell you who is absent and what they are having for lunch. Forget about wasting fifteen minutes by having students raise their hands for their lunch choice. Little Tommy is never going to figure it out what he wants if you keep giving him the chance to raise his hand.
Unless you are crazy organized, chances are you still are completing tasks when students begin walking into your classroom. Stop what you’re doing, greet them at the door (always start your day off positive!), and then have an independent activity or something engaging ready and waiting for them. This will cut down on student chit-chat and those wandering kiddos telling you all about their silly dreams and what they had for dinner.
A lot of teachers like to be in the drivers’ seat. In order to
contain the crazy keep students on task in your room, you need to be a little controlling. However, just because you are in control, that does not mean you have to do everything! Your students are at school about eight hours a day – hold them accountable for tasks in your classroom. Let your students pass out papers, stack chairs, or sharpen pencils. Find simple tasks that you are okay with students doing and know that they can handle. This will free up some time in the day for you AND it gives those pesky early-finishers something to do!
Music class starts at 10:30. It takes 2 minutes and 24 seconds to get to the music room. It’s 10:20. What do you do?
How often does this happen to you? You wrap up a great engaging lesson only to the look at the clock and realize your extension activity takes 15 minutes minimum and you only have 7 minutes. Find some quick and easy time fillers to use during transitions. Find a fun video about blends or create some flash cards on a topic you are studying. Give students something to do in those extra few minutes you find in your day. Rushing students out the door to get somewhere on time creates chaos. Quitting an activity to early so you don’t have to rush creates chaos. Find the balance between the two during your transitions.
What are some time-savers you use during the day with your kiddos?
We’ll be covering more time saving tips specifically for before and after school in part two!