The themes for the week are:
Monday: We are thankful for TIME-SAVERS! Post ideas, tricks, classroom resources that help you save time in your classroom!
Tuesday: We are thankful for HELPFUL-HINTS! Have any helpful hints for teachers out there? We want to know how you do what you do without falling into shreds at the end of the day :)
Wednesday: ACTIVITIES LIKE... We will post about activities that we just love doing in our classrooms! Show us those WOW lessons!
Thursday: NEW IDEAS! Have any tips that you've discovered recently that made you think, "Why haven't I been doing this all my life?" That's what we are posting about!
And, you won't want to miss Friday! We are hosting a HUGE giveaway that will have MULTIPLE winners! So, stay tuned for that!!!
Sooooooo, here's a great tip I started doing last year to manage my centers. We usually work on a 6-Day rotation for centers which is a little difficult because we change themes every week. So far this year it hasn't been too much of an issue but I am definitely considering changing every 5-days before I get to my reading groups. I have 6 centers and my kiddies visit each center 3 times per rotation. I know, the math is enough to kill ya! So basically, I have to plan 3 activities for each center per rotation. UGH!
Because I teach the lil ones, I needed a clear cut way
without being asked a million times, "Which activity am I doing?" for my kiddies to INDEPENDENTLY get their activity and get started.
I have rolling carts / organizers for each center. I labeled the drawers
rather archaiclly #1, #2, & #3. It's definitely been on my to-do list to cutsify this but hey, it works. The kids know if it is their first day at that center they go to drawer #1 and so on.
Each drawer contains everything they need to complete that activity. Here is a glimpse at my Math & Writing activities.
They simply pull out the drawer and get started. At the beginning of each rotation, I roll all the carts to one spot and fill up the drawers. It cut down DRASTICALLY on my prep time! Hope it helps!
My next time-saver is just a little something I put together about 2 years ago. In our grade, we have an Author of the Month. We read their books and discuss similarities / differences etc. We graph which book was our favorite and do all sorts of other activities. I used to use SO MUCH TIME finding all the books I needed ~ I have a terrible habit of not re-filing them in the same spot ~ so I came up with this to organize my books for author of the month and any theme books I read each year.
Nothing fancy or techy, I know but again it's something that works for me. I had all these magazine boxes laying around and labeled them by month / author. Now, at the beginning of that month, I empty the books into a bin I keep next to my rocking chair and boom...I have everything I need for the month. It takes about 2 seconds of prep AND clean-up time.
I love working with my lil ones during Guided Reading but I used to get interrupted A MILLION TIMES no matter how many times we went over how to ask a partner, until..........
Yup, just posting a little ole Stop Sign fixed the trick. All the kiddies know if I have my Stop Sign posted on the Reading table they are not allowed to interrupt unless they are bleeding, throwing up or the building is on fire! Works like a charm! P.S. Don't mind the mess :)
My last time-saver is something I cannot live without. We have several ways to dismiss students at the end of the day. They can be walkers, car riders, busers or after-school program. I don't know about you but I always have indecisive parents or parents who work part-time and need different dismissals on any given day. I'm a working parent so I'm always very accommodating to their needs. I get notes each day changing the dismissal routines for my lovies. It drove me NUTS and caused me a L.O.T. of anxiety trying to remember each day who goes where. Then I created this little gem.....
I have one label for each type of dismissal and one clothespin for each kiddie. When I get that note to change dismissal I simply move their clothespin to a different spot and D.O.N.E. No more worries, no more anxiety! This also works GREAT for when I have a sub in the room. They've left me notes about how helpful this was!
I hope some of these time-savers are useful to you! Head on over to Blog Hoppin' to check out more great ideas from some FAB-U-LOUS bloggers!