Ways you work "smart" instead of hard?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Toast, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. Toast

    Toast Companion

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    171
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 13, 2010

    Hello. Still pretty new to this forum, but I have read posts from LOTS of teachers here.

    I would like to know your "tricks" on how you work "smart" instead of hard and still get good results in your classroom.

    For example:

    Ways that I work "smart" instead of hard are

    1. Anything that is mutliple choice I have the students peer grade. As in I pass out all of the completed tests or papers (to someone other than the owner or a friend of the owner) and have the kids grade with highlighters.

    2. I make friends with two parents of children in my class each year so I can have a couple of volunteers to make my weekly copies for me while I am teaching.


    So.......... what are your "tricks" for working "smart" instead of hard?


    ***edit**** I teach 3rd grade by the way.
     
  2.  
  3. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    1,912
    Likes Received:
    14

    Sep 13, 2010

    1. Parent volunteers! I have 2-3 per week to do my easy grading (just seatwork type things that I expect the kids to get 100 on), make copies, label AR books, prep special projects, sometimes work with small groups

    2. centers that stay pretty much the same week to week. I may add in a new word work or math center every week or so, but most of the activities stay out for a while

    3. Use the kids for clean up! Once a week or so, we take ten minutes to organize the centers, straighten the bookshelves, clean desks and tables, have the kids sharpen pencils using their small hand sharpeners, etc. With all 16 kids working, we get it clean fast!

    4. We have buddy readers with the big kids for the last half hour of the day on Fridays. I can crank out a ton of work while my kids are working with their big buddies! I get everything set up for the next week, so I can come in ready to go on Monday morning
     
  4. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Messages:
    4,395
    Likes Received:
    7

    Sep 13, 2010

    My single biggest time (and life) saver, has been scheduling. I NEVER leave a planning period unscheduled. For example:

    Monday: 30 minutes during library-dedicated to 8th grade copies for the week. 30 minutes during music-7th grade copies

    Tuesday: 50 minutes during PE-6th grade science materials prep

    Wednesday: 30 minutes during band-entering all grades for Monday-Wednesday. For 8 weeks, I have an hour of DARE that I just sit and monitor-I use this as "bonus" internet browsing time for additional resources and lesson planning, and to start preparing for speech team for second semester.

    Thursday: 50 minutes during PE-lesson planning. 50 minutes during art-finish lesson planning.

    Friday: 30 minutes during music-entering grades for Wednesday-Friday

    Every day, I know exactly what I am going to do, and I don't waste time trying to remember what it is that needs to get done. It's routine, just as math comes every morning. I never have to squeeze in grading or take a lot of stuff home. And, everything gets done in a timely manner.

    I also grade what I can as we are doing it-I only have 9 kids so it is just as easy to walk around and record as pick things up.

    Oh, and VERY IMPORTANT-I never walk out of the school without having everything prepped and ready for the next morning. I am NOT a punctual person (although I'm working on it), so I make sure I can walk in and teach if I have to.
     
  5. Gopher4

    Gopher4 Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2005
    Messages:
    297
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 13, 2010

    Delegate

    I teach 4th grade. I try not to do anything for myself that the students can do for me. As long as it doesn't take away from their learning, I delegate jobs to them. This is still a lesson I am learning as a former 1st grade teacher who had to pretty much do it all. I also have used 5th grade students as helpers. They come in once a week as a reward to help with cutting, folding, organizing, etc.

    I also don't leave for the day until I am ready to go for the morning.

    I use checklists for everything to help me stay organized with 3 classes.
     
  6. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Messages:
    4,395
    Likes Received:
    7

    Sep 13, 2010

    Oh, and post-its. I have them everywhere. My biggest use of them is I keep one on the cover of the teacher's manual I am using for whatever class, and I make immediate notes about what I need to start with, finish, and go over the next day. That way, I don't have to spend time after school or during prep periods on tweaking plans.
     
  7. Toast

    Toast Companion

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    171
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 13, 2010


    I love post-its. I use them for every thing from marking pages needing copying, labeling packs of copies with the subject they go with to using them as "parking lot" notes when kids have questions about random things.

    I use tons of paper clips too....
     
  8. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,471
    Likes Received:
    2,488

    Sep 13, 2010

    This!!
     
  9. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    4,208
    Likes Received:
    1,136

    Sep 13, 2010

    The kids LOVE to help their teacher! I tell them, "A clean classroom is a happy classroom!" :thumb:

    It's so funny (and a little scary) when I hear the kids telling one another that their desk looks messy or that their pencil box needs to be organized.

    P.S. The only thing I don't have the kiddos do is sharpen pencils. They take far too long and it can be messy. Just my opinion! :2cents:
     
  10. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

    Joined:
    May 7, 2008
    Messages:
    3,544
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 14, 2010

    I'm very, very visual. I take pictures and video of EVERYTHING. Right now I'm uploading pictures from last week-I have almost 500 of them. I sort them into folders by date and topic for reference. I can replay video of discussions to find quotes. I also photograph our whiteboard easel after each discussion on our community rug for reference, as it always gets erased. I can reference the pictures or even post them on our blog for parents to see.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Sep 14, 2010

    I don't ask anyone else to do my grading.

    But I am organized. I do lots of prep over the summer. And I know my stuff, cold, so there's not a whole lot of that to do.

    When possible, I stagger my tests and quizzes so that I'm not grading a huge set at once, though that's not really possible this year.

    My study hall is silent, so I get lots of grading done then.
     
  12. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Messages:
    2,735
    Likes Received:
    5

    Sep 14, 2010

    I make my kids do it whenever possible. They love to help, so it works out. One of my jobs is to sort my papers my # so I can grade easier. I keep the jobs about 3-4 weeks so the kids really own them and learn them and it goes smoother.

    I sort papers with post it's and paper clips. I jot a note of who's missing things and whatnot.

    I write in children's agendas a lot. If I can, I always avoid a phone call if a jot will suffice. My parents are good about checking, with just a few exceptions.
     
  13. Starista

    Starista Cohort

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2006
    Messages:
    671
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 14, 2010

    This is an awesome idea for a thread!

    I also put the kids to work. 3rd graders absoultely love jobs.

    They put my seat work/tests in student # order for me...
    One child each week is in charge of pencils.. keeping the spare ones sharpened, etc...

    They organize the library (by 3rd grade they're pretty good at the ABC author order and/or sorting by genre).

    Maybe it's pregnancy related fatigue, but one child even fills my water bottle throughout the day.. haha!

    One afternoon last week I was SO exhausted that I had a child write the homework on the board for the children to copy down.

    Put those angels to work for you!!!!!!!! :) They love it and it makes them feel special and good about themselves.
     
  14. jteachette

    jteachette Comrade

    Joined:
    May 15, 2010
    Messages:
    415
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 14, 2010

    I, with the principal's permission and blessing, tossed the reading workbook. We do daily 5 /work stations instead. One sheet of paper equals 2 weeks of work (sometimes). They also have writing journals and work folders, so I can pull out what they have finished, and put in new things. It's much easier to manage than hundreds of workbook pages to correct in a week(10 pages times 23 kids = a mountain of paperwork!).
    However, we use Saxon Math, so I have that homework to correct everyday.
     
  15. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,939
    Likes Received:
    2,086

    Sep 14, 2010

    I work 'smart' by handling papers quickly- they either get filed, responded to and returned or read and thrown away. Keeps me from getting those enormous piles of unmanageable paper!!

    Jem- Could you consider using chart paper for your class discussions? That way you could just flip to the page in question when referring in subsequent lessons to what has already been discussed.... I do that all the time- it's a valuable asset to be able to go back and have the students see their thinking from past discussions and then add new ideas and learning to old charts...

    Just a caveat- you might want to go back and smudge out your students' names on the photo you attached to your post.
     
  16. Teacher_Lyn

    Teacher_Lyn Companion

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Messages:
    231
    Likes Received:
    2

    Sep 15, 2010

    -grade papers in the afternoon while I watch t.v. (that way i get to relax)

    -send home a weekly homework packet so that i don't have to worry about passing it out every night

    -send home a "curriculum" overview at the beginning of the year (basically it just outlines everything we're doing in each subject for the year). that way parents know what we've learning, are learning and are going to learn

    -make all my warm-ups and copies on Friday payday (NO ONE is ever in the building)
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. skyline,
  2. MissCeliaB
Total: 634 (members: 2, guests: 607, robots: 25)
test