Professional Development

March 19, 2017

4 Classroom Time Savers {with FREE Direction Cards}

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.These 4 classroom time saving hacks are sure to help you keep your sanity in your classroom. From finding some extra time to practice skills, to classroom clean up, to saving your voice, you are sure to save classroom time!

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!Are you tired of repeating yourself over and over? Grab these FREE direction cards, display them on your board as visual reminders, and you are set!

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.

The Secret to Motivating Students to Help Clean the Classroom-Genius!!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!

These 4 classroom time saving hacks are sure to help you keep your sanity in your classroom. From finding some extra time to practice skills, to classroom clean up, to saving your voice, you are sure to save classroom time!

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Happy Teaching,



Want to use the latest research to boost your readers during small groups? This FREE guide is packed with engaging ideas to help them grow!

Hi, I'm Amanda

I’m a K-1 teacher who is passionate about making lessons your students love and that are easy to implement for teachers.  Helping teachers like you navigate their way through their literacy block brings me great joy. I am a lifelong learner who loves staying on top of current literacy learning and practices. Here, you’ll find the tools you need to move your K-2 students forward!


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8 Responses

  1. I 100% agree with the helper/direction cards. I teach ELL’s and it is so helpful just posting what they need for the day outside the classroom door so they can get it ready as they come in.

  2. Hi! I was just wondering what font you used for your direction cards? I would like to make one or two extra cards and I want them to somewhat match! Thank you so much.

  3. Would you be willing to update these with maybe ‘paint’, ‘examine’, ‘construct’ or things like that for Pre K?

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