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pausebutton 07-29-2016 10:57 AM

Time saving tips
I have a little one at home so I'm hoping to get better at balancing work with family time. How do you save time in terms of planning/prepping/grading?

BMc 07-29-2016 11:27 AM

Day plans
One thing that has helped me save time is to type out each day plan once I have my schedule set with the blocks of time and subject, recess and supervision schedule, even titles such as agenda notes with numbered spaces. I include as much as I can to save me rewriting anything...ex. Math Unit ___, Lesson ___. Daily 5 Read aloud_____
Strategy ____________ etc.
Then I copy a month's worth and fill in the dates for the month. If I have a field trip on the 15th, I write a reminder on the 14th's agenda notes so I don't have to remember.
This has been a timesaver for me. I'm looking forward to what works for others--thanks for posting this question!

Mikhail 07-29-2016 11:44 AM

When taking roll
Ok, I just realized that this is my 200th post. So this only works once you know your kids and how many you're supposed to have officially registered & if you have a seating chart. So as I stand at the doorway and greet them, I count. If I find people missing, I check their assigned seats and make a note on my roll. It also works if you got an exact number of "fliers" to pass out at the door as students make their way to their seats. I thank flight attendants for this idea. I know it can be a little difficult if you're not in the habit of standing at your door to supervise the hallway during passing or transition times. It's about presence of mind too.

About grading, I find that rubrics are a good way to guide your marking/grading. In my indecisiveness sometimes, I didn't realize how much time I've wasted on grading papers. Plus rubrics helps set reinforce a standard. If its objective answers, multiple-choice answers should be recorded on bubble/scantron sheets. They need not go through a scantron machine so what I do is using a page protector, I use a soluble marker to make a key and use it to match with their answers. Within seconds, it's easy to tally!

tia 07-29-2016 12:13 PM

time savers
1. i typed up an "Important Info" packet for substitutes. It has info on fire drills, who is a helper, who to watch and why (those last 2 i have to change yearly), how our behavior management--schoolwide--system works, etc.

2. every year i think i'm going to make a daily plan template that explains attendance and lunch count/breakfast, etc...but i usually just end up copy/paste from the first sub plan i leave....maybe i'll follow through on this this year--the thing is---these things usually take a bit of time on the front end...but help later in the year.

3. i usually make a class list and paste to manilla envelope and laminate--use this to collect signed papers and $ for field trips, etc--can check off who has brought, who brought extra, etc. and then wipe clean for next time. (I just add new kids with perm marker)

4. planning--something that worked great one year (not sure why i didn't do last year...): i even wrote it in at the end of my day in my planbook....i picked one day to plan and prep the next week for spelling (this was monday since it was easy to plan for) so when i left on monday, i was ready to go for spelling the next week. tuesday i planned the following week of science (i only have 2 periods of science a week, so couldn't really get "behind"). wednesday was reading; thursday was language--so i knew where they were with writing projects; and friday was math since that was the biggest variable. so i wasn't overwhelmed with lots to plan/prep at once and i was already for the next week and didn't have to use weekend time.

5. grading....sigh...i should give no advice here....but here is some anyway:
don't feel you have to grade everything---but you SHOULD give them feedback on everything valuable (and if it's not valuable, why give it)--this can come in the form of having kids correct their own work--you (or volunteers) go over answers and why--have class discussion--they'll get more out of this than your checking and starring on the paper.

rubrics are great for writing--then you can focus on one thing at a time

apple annie 07-29-2016 12:51 PM

Saving time
On papers that are fairly easy to grade, like fill in the blank or circle the correct answers, I can put two students' papers side by side and grade two just about as quickly as I can grade one. If you make your own tests, make them have either 10, 20 or 25 items. Calculating the grade is easy and you don't even have to use an e z grader.

Get kids to help with stuff as much as possible. I have one student put stacks of collected papers in alphabetical order when they are passed in to make recording grades quick later. I set up a hanging file system for returned papers, so kids put signed graded papers in their file and I don't have to file them later.
We have popcorn concession twice a week, and I have a student in charge of collecting money and recording.

I've done away with high maintenance discipline systems. No clip charts, dojo, card pulling, treasure boxes, etc. Students get a weekly conduct grade based on a weekly conduct sheet that they keep in their folders. An infraction of the rules is minus four points from 100. I usually try to give a subtle warning if a kid is pushing his luck. Then if it's still needed, I give a conduct mark for an infraction, AND I call the parent right then and let them know they will be seeing a mark on the sheet and why. The immediate phone call home is almost always enough to put an end to any classroom disrespect or disturbance. Most kids have an A in conduct each week. Dumping the "systems" was the biggest time saver for me.

1956BD 07-29-2016 12:58 PM

Check this previous thread

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