Classroom time is so precious, and somehow things seem to just slip away sometimes. The floor is a mess. I lost time to re-test those sight words. The stack of papers to pass back is literally falling off of my table.
I decided there had to be some hacks I could use to save some time. Once I put some thought into it, I had four great ideas. I wanted to share a few classroom time savers that I used in our classroom that helped me stay on track, teach, and keep my sanity.
1. Number Your Students
I know this is an old trick, but it saved me so many times. My little crate of “number folders” helped more than I could ever imagine it would. This is what we used to sort student work so that it could be returned in their weekly take home folder.
Each child had a number. After checking (or not checking) work, I simply have them to put it in their number folder. It saves me SO MUCH time!! The little ones take responsibility and help. It’s a win-win!
2. Use Helper Cards
If you want to save yourself a headache and save your voice, then you should use helper cards. When I introduced an activity, I used the helper cards to give directions. If the students forgot what to do, they could just look at the board and remind their little brain. Love. Them. They were new to me a few short years ago and they seriously kept me from having a head ache!
Grab them for free HERE!
3. Use Treasure Trash to Keep Your Floor Clean
Seriously, this is the best game ever! No more crawling around on the floor at the end of each day picking up glue stick caps and broken crayons.
Read more about it HERE in this blog post.
4. Practice Skills During Restroom Breaks
You know the drill. One person needs to use the restroom and then the whole class does! When I taught first grade we would take whole class restroom breaks. This just made it easier for everyone–they all got to go and we didn’t loose much instructional time.
I also used this time to squeeze in some extra practice. We would:
- review math facts with flash cards,
- practice sight words with flash cards and games
- play “show me how to make a combination of 4 (or any other number) using your fingers”
- assess sight words
- whisper sing a phonemic awareness song
And the list goes on and on! Keep them busy and then you don’t have to manage behavior as much.
How do you keep your sanity and save time in the classroom? I’d love to hear your classroom time savers! I’m sure you have some great ideas for all of us to learn!