3 Ways I Save Myself Time in the Classroom by Frontloading Tasks
One thing that teachers never have enough of is time.
That’s why I am constantly trying to find ways to streamline my routines and practices in the classroom.
Today, I’m sharing 3 things that take a few more seconds up front, but save me so much time in the end.
If I know I will collect the paper back or I need it come back from home, I take 30 seconds before passing them out to jot a number in each corner. These are the student’s numbers. This way when I inevitably find a paper on the floor or get a no name, I don’t have to waste my time playing detective.
(This one takes me minutes up front, not seconds) I sharpen pencils for a few minutes every other morning, and my students never do. This is partially due to the fact that we aren’t given any pencil sharpeners and so when I (or in this case my co-teacher) buys a good one, we institute an 18 and over rule so that it’s not broken by teeny pencils or crayons.
This year, community pencils just work best for our 3 way switch. It takes me 5 minutes 2-3 times a week and I don’t have to deal with kids not having a pencil or needing to sharpen when it’s time to work.
I only take grades for assignments that I know I can quickly review (other than tests). This is a bit easier for me since I only teach reading and not writing. As the kids finish, I check or circle their paper with a quick discussion about why something was circled. Then they get another chance and I average the grades or take the higher grade.
This strategy has changed my life because I have not taken home work to grade in the last 7+ years. It’s also helped my students make more meaning from assignments, know how they are doing with what we’re learning, and correct any misconceptions before they settle in.
I’ve done things a million ways over the last 12 years and I will probably evolve these routines at some point, but there you have it!
Let me know what you think!