I'm Thankful for Time Savers!

This week, I am participating in the “We Are Thankful For” Linky Party Week over at Blog Hoppin‘.

We Are Thankful Blog Hopin' Linky Image

I am thrilled to start with time savers that help me increase efficiency around the classroom.

Since my enthusiastic third graders are always inspiring me to create new and exciting lessons, I have a tendency to get lost in the creative cloud after school. If I don’t prioritize my to-dos for the next day of teaching…I soon find myself looking at the clock around 4:30 wondering where the last two hours disappeared to. With these helpful routines and tools, I can whip out everything I need for the following day lickity-split and get to collaborating and creating with my team without my to-do list whispering into my ear.

Pre-Planning and Copying

Every Wednesday after our grade level meeting, I sit down in silence and solidify my plans for the upcoming week in the classroom. Then, I gather masters for any copying and stick them in my box in the copy room. On Thursday and Friday morning, I have copy parents run everything off for the upcoming week. Friday afternoon, I organize everything (copies, reference materials, read aloud books, etc.) by weekday and subject area before a head out to enjoy the weekend. All week long, I pull materials from my plan boxes as needed….easy, organized and stress-free indeed!

Daily copy boxes and lesson planning binder.

Team Copying

My third grade team and I are a very close-knit group…anything we can do to make classroom prep easier for the group is a priority. When it comes to the printable resources we use on a regular basis (bellwork pages, multiplication practice, grammar practice, etc.) we have designated copy assignments that we copy for the entire grade level. For example, the team knows they can count on me to have all our grammar pages copied as needed and I know I can count on them to copy things like bellwork or multiplication drill sheets. I love this system because there are far fewer masters I have to pull out and file from week to week…win-win!

Classroom copy masters folder and lesson plan binder.

Magnetic Schedule Cards

As soon as the students are out the door each day, I flip open my plan book and put the schedule for the next day on the board. Magnetic schedule cards help make this routine a breeze. My board erasers make it even easier for me by keeping the recurring times and subjects on the board when they clean up at the end of each day…love when they pay attention to details!

Laminated magnetic schedule cards.

Classroom Jobs

Board Eraser is only one of fourteen jobs in my classroom. My Classroom Job Cards are rotated each week, giving students a variety of ways to help around the classroom…and boy do they help! At the end of the day, each student spends five minutes completing a specific task to prepare the classroom for the following day…anything from Technology Team (checking in and wiping down the iPads) to Station Manager (wiping down and organizing all team stations) to Pencil Patrol (sharpening pencils and discarding any shavings). I love to give them these responsibilities because they are uber-engaged in getting these important jobs done right and I have to spend no time at all getting their supplies ready for the following day.

Classroom job board with student numbers and job cards.

Hope you enjoyed these time-savers! Leave a comment and share your time saving tip!

Tomorrow, I will be uploading pics of everything above and sharing about Helpful Hints.


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2 Responses

  1. I have followed you on the internet and TPT and Instagram. I love your ideas and they have been very helpful to me in 2nd grade. But today, my principal told me he wanted me to go to first because of my strong literacy teaching GRRRRR
    My question is: Is there anyone you would recommend that I follow for helpful advice for first grade ideas?
    I’m still keeping my classroom in teal and green and my Ikea furniture!

    1. Hi Susan,
      Thank you for taking the time to share such a sweet message with me. You must be an amazing literacy instructor, and your future firsts will be so fortunate to have you. 🙂 I recommend following The Friendly Teacher. She moved from third to first last year, and always has awesome ideas for keeping students highly engaged. I also the The Brown Bag Teacher for rigorous first grade ideas.
      Wishing you all the best on your new adventure!

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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