- September 21, 2017 at 9:41 PM #33891
As a busy teacher, one is always on the look out for short-cuts, tips, or tricks to make things run more efficiently. As few things that have come in handy this year:
- baby wipes (the case of Parent Choice wipes from Walmart is around $15) make quick clean up of sticky hands and desks after a cut and paste page;
- men’s shirts (T shirts or polos) from the thrift store make good cover-ups for painting projects;
- trash bags (slit down one side and along the bottom) make good table covers during painting projects;
- a blank paper slid into a page protector becomes an individual dry erase marker board.
What short-cuts or tips do you find helpful? Even if you think everyone knows it, we may not, so please share.
- September 22, 2017 at 7:17 AM #33892
Put little pieces of masking tape on the floor where each desk’s front legs go. When necessary, have students move their desks so that the desks’ feet cover the tape. Students seem to think this is fun for some reason, and it helps keep desks in order.
- October 8, 2017 at 3:19 PM #37909
Hilary B Martin@vwbeetlegirl
Cut plain copy paper into quarters, called “mini sheets.” Have students keep these mini sheets in the very front of a folder pocket for easy access. Anytime you need to do quick math work, vocabulary, short quizzes, etc. you can say, “Take out your mini sheets” and the students know exactly what to do and where to find them. You are then not wasting an entire sheet of paper and neither are you waiting on papers to be torn out. I usually had my students throw them away at the end of every week or two and handed out new ones at the beginning of the next week. I also cut enough mini sheets at the beginning of the year to last me all year.
- October 15, 2017 at 9:38 PM #38108
I like to assign “dismissal jobs” to each student. These take only 2-3 minutes at the end of the day and when students walk out the door, the chalkboard has been cleaned, chalks and erasers lined up for the next day, tomorrow’s date written up, student of the day button moved, the mat swept, the free time corner tidied, etc. This helps me so much, and typically students like feeling responsible for their task. The jobs are changed each quarter.
- October 16, 2017 at 6:51 AM #38109
I echo Betty’s end-of-day jobs. Just to add a few more suggestions to the list–especially for upper grades who might be given “school-wide” end of day tasks beyond a given classroom. These could include shutting down laptops or other electronic equipment in the tech area, checking the playground for balls/bats etc left outside, being sure the playground equipment storage area is neatly arranged, closing/locking windows, locking back door–in short, any routine tidy-up housekeeping job that keeps things in order. Neatness and order are significant elements that affect school culture/school spirit.
- October 17, 2017 at 9:34 PM #38138
Another tip I picked up years ago when visiting Ruthanna Kuhn’s classroom was to have a toaster oven for heating lunch foods rather than the microwave that requires some assistance from an adult for the lowest grades. It works well, the food is ready to go at lunch time rather than needing to stand in line to heat it in the microwave. Students bring their food wrapped in tin which they place in the oven as they come in in the morning. Another student is assigned to always turn the oven on after first break. In order to not forget, a hot pink sign with the words “Turn on toaster oven” always lies on top of the fact sheets 3rd graders always do right after recess. When the first person in from recess hands out those fact sheets, he also lays the hot pink sign on the desk of the one who turns it on.
Last year in an attempt to streamline the checking of 4th grade fact sheets, I told them that as long as they consistently check and correct the fact sheets of the previous day, they may do only half fact sheets daily (50 instead of 100 problems). Any time they neglect to keep after the checking and correcting (I do no reminding), the next day everyone does the complete page of 100 facts. It works wonderfully and we are all happy. 🙂 And yes, they do get sufficient practice and do learn their facts!
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