5 Time Saving Tips to Put into Practice

24 September 2015 / 2 comments
Hello everyone!  Today, our blogging friend, Jessica from Literacy Spark has dropped in to share a few time savers that will help expedite things in your classroom and increase time on task.  Welcome to CTR, Jessica!

One thing that is really important to me is making sure that I use every possible minute throughout the teaching day.  We all know there isn't enough time to do everything we want or need to do, so I try my best not to waste any.  Since I like to spend the bulk of my time working with small groups and having students at workstations, I try to limit the amount of time whole class lessons or activities take.  Read on about some simple ways to do this.

If you are expecting your students to cut and/or glue, lesson the amount of cutting they will have to do by using a paper cutter and precutting for them. Cut off the outside borders and throw them away before ever handing the paper to students.  This will help speed up the cutting process as well as eliminate scraps.  Whenever I give my students something to cut, I almost always make sure it is impossible to have scraps!  This really comes in handy if you are an interactive notebook user.

Give students some way to mark their page in notebooks that are used frequently.  Teach them to fold the page, use a bookmark, or even a sticky note. This works well for younger students especially because they have a more difficult time finding the "next" blank page when starting from the beginning of the notebook.  It also helps the teacher find the most recently used pages when something needs to be looked at later on.  

Going along with above, have students also mark the current chapter they are on in their science textbook or story being read in the reading anthology.  I get that kids need to know how to find a page, but five minutes of your reading lesson doesn't need to be spent waiting for everyone to find the page on a daily basis.  If you are going to be referring to something frequently, mark it!  My kids always looooove using the little sticky flags.  No idea why but they are always super careful with them.

Have workbook pages pulled out in advance, especially if they are something you want to collect.  I hate doing workbook pages so I try to make the task take the least amount of time as possible!  Sometimes I will hand them out for homework to save copy paper.  Again, it eliminates the need for waiting around for everyone to find the page and also all the hassle that comes with asking students to rip the page out to be checked or taken home.  This takes more time on your part, but sometimes it's worth it.  Especially if you teach really young kids.  If you are going to be absent, I suggest this as well.  I would always rip out the assigned pages and staple them together that way there would be no confusion or wasted time.  If you have a volunteer, it's a simple task they can do.

Have students check each other's work so that you can focus on those students that really need assistance.  I did this all the time when working on a quick and simple math or grammar practice sheet or interactive notebook page.  I would check the work of the students that were done first, stamp their page, and then hand them a stamp to go check the work of other students. This really motivates everyone to get working and gets the kids up and helping each other out.  It also makes it possible to do a little skill practice in literally 5 minutes once they are used to it. 

Thanks for sharing your expertise with us, Jessica, and readers, we hope you'll come back tomorrow for more great tips. You can visit Jessica over at Literacy Spark using her button below.


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