Friday, August 16, 2013

Tips & Tricks

Linking Up for the Last Day of Teacher Week 2013 with Blog Hoppin' I had a lot of fun linking up every day! It was nice to reflect on some of my teaching, share some of my ideas and read up on other teacher's ideas :)

Today's theme is teacher tips...

Tip #1: Keep 'em moving! I had SUCH a difficult time with most some of my students last year as far as focusing, staying still, not distracting their neighbors, etc. Then I discovered the wonders of WHOLE BRAIN TEACHING! The name tells a lot... the kiddos will use their WHOLE brain... most importantly the part of the brain that tells them if they aren't moving around a lot, they WILL distract you and everyone else!
I also have a "brain break" before or after each transition. Last year I just wrote things like "20 jumping jacks" "play rock, paper, scissors for 30 seconds" "play Simon says" etc. This year, I found this FABULOUS freebie... I can't remember where, so if it is yours please let me know. The "brain break" is on the front with directions on the back. Some are even educational, wooh!

Tip #2: If you're not a morning person you will think I'm off my rocker (and so you should just skip this tip haha!) When I first started teaching last year, I (and nearly everyone else) would get to school 30-45 minutes or so before my classroom was filled with kiddos. There would be some mornings where I REALLY needed to get something copied because I forgot or where I just wanted to get some things ready for the following day. But since nearly everyone was getting there at the same time, there was always a line at the copier and I wasted more time waiting than getting work done... AND would end up at school way later than I care to admit on way too many days. SO, being a morning person, I started getting to school early (I mean 6:30 early... I know you night owls are cringing) that way I could get everything done and even prep for the following week without feeling guilty because there was a line behind me. By the time everyone else showed up, I was in my room doing work in there that didn't need the copier. BIG BONUS... I could leave school pretty much right after the kids, without feeling guilty and preventing not my best prepping work because I was so exhausted... I really am so tired once the kiddos leave, they wear me out!!!

Tip #3: This tip is useful even if you are not a morning person... I read a blog post (I forget where, it was probably close to a year ago) about working only 40 hours a week as a teacher and still teaching your butt off. Well, I haven't quite mastered 40 hours a week and don't think I ever will, however, here are a few tips to manage your time much better...
1. If you know you're going to get stuck chatting with a coworker and you NEED to get work done, don't go to that coworker's room before/after school on those days. They will understand as I'm assuming they have work to do too!
2. ALWAYS clean up your area of the room. Don't leave piles of extra worksheets laying on your desk/table to clean at the end of the day, file/recycle/whatever them as soon as your paper passer hands you the extras. If you grab your mail during the day, go through it THEN, don't wait until the end of the day when you have other things to do.
3. Use Encourage the kiddos to help keep the room neat and tidy. Use a responsibility talk or tell them it's important the room always stay clean so they can learn their best, etc. Get the kiddos to buy into this, so that they pick pencils up off the ground when they drop them, or they neaten up the pile of papers, or pick the piece of paper off the ground they noticed without being asked. If you don't recruit their help you will do SO much extra clean up at the end of the day and it will be messes you didn't create!
4. I don't always follow this rule, but I do follow it on most days... use your lunch as a prep period! At least 4 days a week I will use my lunch to check emails, respond to parents, make homework packets, etc. rather than eating lunch in the teacher's room. I get it that some days you just need adult interaction, but most days if it's a choice between staying after school for an extra half hour or eating lunch at my desk, I'll pick the alone time!
5. Recruit your kids to help you in AS MANY tasks as you can, so that you don't have to do them. I'm not just talking helping to clean the room, I mean setting up your morning meeting area at the end of the day, erasing the board, organizing lunch sticks, watering plants, filling mail boxes, etc. You can make these weekly jobs (that's what I do for most of these tasks) or just ask students to do tasks at the end of the day. They LOVE to help and it saves you valuable minutes :) 

Job chart available on my TPT page

I hope you enjoyed some of these tips!

Teach Run photo ScreenShot2013-07-29at32149PM_zps10463e60.png


  1. Hi! I just found your blog! I am your newest follower! LOVE the keeping it tidy tips. LOVE them. It is so important to me, too- and to the kids to learn that lesson!
    I'd love you to stop over to my blog if you get a chance!
    Kindergarten: Holding Hands and Sticking Together

    1. Thanks for checking out my blog! I just checked out your blog, I love your thoughts on relationships, they are so very important in teaching!


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