I Am Thankful for Helpful Hints

Today’s linky over at Blog Hoppin’ is all about Helpful Hints. Here are a few hints that help me in the classroom.

We Are Thankful Blog Hop Linky Image

Hint 1 – Sub Plans Made Easy Easier

Any teacher knows it’s often less stressful to come to work sick than to prep for a sub…so sad…so true. It took me more time than I’d like to admit to establish a system that makes sub prep a whole lot easier than it once was. Every time I write sub plans, I save them to my computer in a very specific way. 

I name the file by weekday then date and the type of sub day it was (half-day sick, whole day professional development, etc.) This has made sub planning 1,000,000,000 times easier because I can easily located a “similar” sub day from the past, open that file and whip out revised plans rather than starting from scratch.

A closer look at how I name my sub plan files.


Hint 2 – Collect Homework From Their Desk

The first hour of school is quite busy for my third graders.
8:00 – Warning bell rings
8:05 – Official start time
8:15 – Homeroom students head to their reading class
9:05 – Homeroom students return from reading class
Regardless of this tight time crunch, I make it a priority to collect homework from the corner of every kiddo’s desk before they head out the door for reading class. Although this routine is tricky to establish at the beginning of the year (kiddos forget homework in backpack outside, kiddos get out of their seats to ask you questions, kiddos forget where to find a pencil, the list goes on); it it certainly one of the most essential classroom routines for the following reasons:

  • Each student receives an individual greeting at their seat each morning (sets a positive tone for the day)
  • Each student receives immediate feedback on their homework (reinforces the importance of this requirement and greatly reduces/nearly eliminates missing homework assignments)
  • Each student becomes independent in their ability to start the school day in a productive manner (great for boosting independence throughout the day)

Hint 3 – YouTube Problems Solved

It doesn’t seem to matter if you have the parental control filter turned on when using YouTube; pesky ads, random video recommendations, and rather inappropriate comments sneak their way onto your screen even when watching School House Rock. You begin a silent panic…Did the kiddos notice that? No they probably didn’t. Eeek maybe they did! Grrr who knows…I bet they did…not?!. :/

Quietube adds a black background around the YouTube video.

Quietube eliminates this problem, with the exception of a single education-related ad at the bottom of the screen. Let the lesson enhancement begin!!!

Thanks for stopping by! Comment or share your helpful hints below.
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I’m Laura Santos

I’ve been an elementary teacher for ten years, and love sharing tips and resources that make differentiated learning more manageable for you. Thank you for visiting.

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