Category Archives: Time Management

Time Saving Tips Part 2

A few days ago, you might have read our post with some time saving tips to use with your students throughout the school day. We’re back again with tips specifically for the teacher. Hopefully these tips will help you spend a little less time in your classroom before and after school.

One of the easiest ways to keep track of things in your classroom is to set up a simple system ahead of time. Try color coding by the day of the week or subject area – this should make it easier to find things in your classroom.
Along the same lines of color coding in your classroom, designate a place for everything in your classroom. We’re not just talking about student materials. Have a set area to place papers that need to be graded, papers to be filed, materials for the Monday’s lessons, etc. After you have areas set up for everything, don’t just throw things down and forget where everything is supposed to go use them! Not only will your classroom look less disorganized, but you will know exactly where that rock sample is for Wednesday’s science lesson!
How often do you take home papers to grade? Do you quickly eat your lunch while checking yesterday’s word work? You do not need to grade every assignment. Notice we didn’t see you don’t need to look over the assignments. Definitely glance through your students’ practice papers and make sure Lisa understood that you must always subtract the smaller number from the bigger number. We’re simply suggesting not to sit with your red pen poised every time you look at a piece of student work. If you glance through the work and notice four kiddos that didn’t understand the concept, hold on to those papers and find a time to reteach that small group. Don’t waste thirty minutes drawing smiley faces on the other 18 papers!
We talked about preparing for substitutes earlier this summer. Make things much easier on yourself and prepare as much as you can for a substitute before you even need one. Have all the general materials ready – schedules, class list, emergency procedures, etc. It is also a good idea to have a set of plans for 2-3 days that can be used if you have an emergency and don’t have time to write up new plans. This will take some time at the beginning of the year, but once it is set up, you’ll save yourself hours later on down the road.
Teachers are busy – there is no question about that! Find a good calendar or planner – we suggest the lovely Erin Condren planners if you want to splurge! Find a system that works for you and jut down schedule changes, fire drills, meetings, conferences, etc. as you are informed of the changes. It is a lot easier to be flexible when you are keeping up with any changes to your normal routine.
Yesterday we asked you to let us know what items you had wish-listed from our store for a chance to win your item. Congratulations, Christy P., you’ve won our Magic School Bus: Note Taking Sheets & Activities! Be sure to check your email for your prize!
We were so happy to see your interest in our other products! We’ll be posting more about our classroom job system and maybe even giving away a copy! Be sure to stop by the blog tomorrow and read more about it.

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Time Saving Tips Part 1

Time management is a huge part of teaching. Check out these tips for saving time during the day with your students.

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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 repeating yourself twenty times in ten minutes gently reminding your students the way things should be done.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!