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Summerwillcom Summerwillcom is offline
 
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Do you have time saving tips?
Old 06-18-2016, 04:32 PM
 
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After reading a post, I realized there are so many time saving tricks. There are some I had never thought of until I got older..lol I'll just tell 1 ( nothing new) and am curious how many we can get when we put our heads together. I know it is way different for k-3 than 4-6.
1. We have these ridiculously 2 time consuming tests we have to do weekly. They used to take me forever to grade. They have different answers worth 1-3 points in random spots. I never believed in letting other kids grade work until these things came along. Besides, most of my kids aren't responsible enough. Last yr, I picked 4-5 kids who were on top of things, trained them how to check them. I gave them each 4-5 tests lined up each and read off the answer and points for that answer. At first it was time consuming, but the kids got really good and fast at it. Just doing this saved me at least an hour and a half of grading each week. I know it is a waste of instructional time, but my kids learn what they need to learn ...and it makes my life a lot easier. What is 1 of your best time savers?


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Expectations are different everywhere
Old 06-18-2016, 05:56 PM
 
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but what you described would not be considered acceptable in my workplace. Putting students in charge of grading other students' work would be considered a breach of student privacy, as well as a waste of instructional time. But, I do agree with teaching students to be as responsible for as much of the classroom routines and organization as possible. It involves more up front time teaching the expectations, but once they are trained it can really save time. I often need a few minutes to set up materials for a lesson, with no real scheduled transition time allotted. If I can have the students do what they need to prepare, or to do an independent activity, it gives me the time to pull up a website or prepare materials for the next lesson. If you teach kids to turn in things to be graded in an orderly way, it helps with the shuffling and ordering of papers when grading later, and if they are in the correct order, entering grades into the grade book is a snap.
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Old 06-18-2016, 06:15 PM
 
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I doubt if it is "acceptable" anywhere nowadays. I don't see it as a breach of privacy though because each test has 3 pages and I add up all of the points later and put the score on top. So really no1 knows anyone's score. For sure, the more you teach the kids to be responsible for routines, the smoother things run!
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Homework shortcuts
Old 06-18-2016, 06:28 PM
 
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I check HW everyday, but I don't put a mark on it unless something needs to be corrected. And I only return it if it needs to be done over, completed, or I need to respond to a note on it from a parent. That saves a ton of time. Students are held accountable, I see how they are doing, and I keep track on a class composite. Oh, I only mark the composite if something is missing, not if it is turned in. I trace the corresponding box on my chart, and then can check it when it is brought in.

I use hanging pocket charts as their "Homework Station" so I can tell at a glance who handed in their HW. BIG timesaver!
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Hanging Pocket Charts as a Homework
Old 06-18-2016, 07:01 PM
 
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Station would def be a quick way to glance to see who handed in HW. You must get a lot of homework back if you are choosing to trace the ones who did not have it. Last yr, my kids were the most amazing homework doers I think I have ever had in my life. If a kid forgot it at home, the parent usually dropped it off at the office. Usually, it'd probably be quicker for me to trace the ones who turned had it.


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Old 06-19-2016, 03:42 AM
 
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As soon as I have all the kids show up at school, I assign each kid a number in ABC order. I wait for a few days to do this so I don't end up with no-shows or add-ins. Everything in my room is numbered - Coat hooks, materials like textbooks/workbooks, book boxes, spelling test books, folders, etc. For most things, the kids also decorate some kind of nametag to put on below the number on the hook/folder/box to make it more personal. The numbers make a LOT of things easier. If I need to line them up in alphabetical order, I call out numbers. I teach kids to write their name and then their number with a circle around it on each page so that I can quickly put them in ABC order and see whose paper I'm missing if I need to. If I'm collecting something that has to be entered as a grade like a test, I call out numbers and the kids turn them in in that order. I can immediately see what materials are missing (homework folders, etc.) by quickly just putting them in number order. I can also find individual papers quickly ("Oh, Jane has number 12, so she's right in the middle of the stack...") if I need to. I don't have to re-label reusable materials like textbooks or book boxes every year, they just get the one with the number assigned to them. I can call them to line up using basic math concepts (line up if your number is odd, if your number is greater than 18, if you have a number we count when we count by twos, if your number is less than 9-3, etc.) When a new student comes, they either get assigned the number of a student who moved or they are added to the end.

The kids know this is an organizational tool. I explain to them why we use it and I don't call each kid by their number
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Grading Bellringers
Old 06-19-2016, 04:43 AM
 
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Middle school / high school here, but this can certainly be adapted to lower levels too. I give my kids bellringer activities to encourage them to come in and get to work immediately and to give them something constructive to do in the first few minutes of class while I am dealing with attendance, paperwork, etc. I found I HATED grading them, and they seemed to take forever to grade; but as you undoubtedly know, the kids aren't likely to do them if there's no grade attached to the assignment.

So...I made a template with 5 boxes on it --- one for each day of the school week. Each grading period I copy them on a different color paper ( so 1st grading period might be yellow, 2nd green, 3rd blue, etc. ) --- enough for each kid to have one for each week in the grading period, plus a few extras, of course. You could also do them double-sided --- two weeks per sheet of paper. My kids are expected to write down the date, the bellringer question / instructions as well as the answer. They are responsible for getting it from a classmate after an absence.

I randomly do at least two "pop" bellringer quizzes per grading period where I randomly pick 3 days from the grading period and they need to write down the question / instructions and the answer for each day.
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Old 06-19-2016, 05:02 AM
 
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I teach 4th and 5th.

If we are doing a notebooking activity that requires cutting, I pre cut the papers. For the gluing, we have a gluing "relay" during which each table gets one glue stick, and whichever table finishes gluing first wins. You wouldn't believe how much faster this moves things along than individual glue sticks!


For transitioning, I tell them they have however many "_____s" they have to do something. For example, if I need them to line up, I'll say "You have 6 lines to get in line". I then say the word line "6 times". They scramble to beat me (I think I got this from Whole Brain Teaching).


I file copies immediately and at the end of each day make a folder with everything I need for the next day so it's all in one place.


If I can quickly check a test/quiz (not many written responses) I'll grade it as soon as the student is done and they may work on an independent activity while they wait for others to finish. This saves me from checking a load after school and gives them immediate feedback.


I have a volunteer or student teacher sharpen ALL my pencils at the beginning of the year.


I make at least 5 extra student packets (all the paperwork and forms students get the first week of school) in case I get a new student in the middle of the year.


I do not check homework individually. We check it as a class. If you don't have it, you write your reason in the "No Homework Book". Three strikes and the paper needs to be signed and returned before you can ever hope to see recess again.


I assign students numbers and immediately put their turned in papers in number order.


Whew! When I type it out it seems like I do a lot, so why do I always feel the time crunch???
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Old 06-19-2016, 06:49 AM
 
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When we do tests, I try to grade them as the kids hand them in while others are finishing. My tests were always multiple choice so it was pretty easy.

I have a jump drive with activities and worksheets sorted by category which helps with lesson planning.

I wanted to do the "number system" but our mobility is just too high. My first year teaching half of my class had moved and was replaced by new kids by the end of the year.
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Old 06-19-2016, 08:31 AM
 
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I started setting up most of my data in google sheets. There are some easy tutorials out there. It takes me just a few minutes at the end of the day to enter the data and at the end of the quarter the program has the percentages calculated. If your students have access to computers, ipad or chromebook you can easily set up tests in google sheets and the program does the grading for you. Huge timesaver and my principal has been giving me extra points for the data printouts at evaluation time.


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Tests
Old 06-19-2016, 08:42 AM
 
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My time saving idea actually came as a way to prevent my students from rushing. We have a long weekly assessment that we have to give and it takes a bit of time to grade. In order to help my students slow down, I put in place a time limit that they have to work on the assessment (usually 30 minutes). If they finish before this time is called, they go back and check their work.

Once time is up, those students who are done come to my table to check their work. The other students continue working. I have 6 spots at my back table. 5 of the spots are for the students to come and check their work and 1 spot is saved as my "hot seat". The students aren't allowed in the "hot seat" until they've checked their work at my table. The student in the hot seat has their work graded, right in front of them. As I'm grading it, I do point out careless errors, and they can ask questions about why they missed something. I also talk to them briefly about their writing piece and then they see their grade. I have my garbed in front of me and I write their grades down right then.

I'm also able to give the students back their test if the skip a question. This has reduced the amount of time that I spend grading and the students seem to like it as well. The students that are at my table checking their work actually go through each question, as opposed to rushing to just be done. I'm always pleased when I see that they catch their mistakes and they've seen the benefit of checking.
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I Breach!
Old 06-19-2016, 08:45 AM
 
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My first years, I used to collect and grade a ton of work. I've cut back a lot. However, at times my grading still piles up. I never have students grade tests or quizzes, but I occasionally have a reliable student "check in" work. This means I do have students check that the assignment is finished. Then, they check it in the grade book and list who didn't turn it in. I had two very helpful girls who would even ask the students where the work was and list that for me. This was a huge help to me and I would often put in those assignments in for five or ten points and just grade for completion. Yes, this was completely against what I was supposed to do, but at times necessary. I should mention that I had a lot of students in this particular class, who just had the assignment in their folder but failed to submit it. This type of thing irritates the heck out of me.
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My class
Old 06-19-2016, 09:22 AM
 
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Grades as a group, they check their own work. This helps in two ways. 1. They can see what/ why something is wrong, and 2. It saves me time. I teach resource 1st - 5th ELA.
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Small Time Saver
Old 06-19-2016, 09:45 AM
 
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I'm trying to rethink all the little things that add up to extra time. Just recently I saw a large desk calendar on sale and bought it thinking that I can use it as a wall calendar for my classroom. I have been using the kind where you have to put the number dates up each month along with writing the new month. This new school year I'm just going to tear off each month as it rolls by and not have to do that extra work.
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Middle School
Old 06-19-2016, 10:40 AM
 
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Sixth grade:

* Basic vocabulary quizzes and homework, the kids grade each others papers. I've never had a problem with this, from students, parents, or admin. Plus, the kids who do well help the kids who didn't with encouragement, study tips, and the like.

* You don't have to grade everything you give them...but don't let them know that.
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Old 06-19-2016, 12:00 PM
 
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I knew a teacher who had the kids use a number INSTEAD of their names on papers because she was very concerned about student privacy with grades. ( I kind of thought something must have happened to make her so paranoid.) I am sure it helped her with the grade book though. Anyways, now I see how time saving everything numbered could be! From text books to coat racks...I love it! I am definitely going to use this idea next yr. ( We do not have a transient population, so it should be no problem.) I like the way you have them use both the name AND the number circled on their papers. That really would be a quick way to make sure you have ALL and find an assignment quickly. Also, I love the way you use it for the kids to line up. A quick math review...(odd/even, greater than /less than..etc ) I really hope I can get that part to work because I usually line them up when they are ready and don't have pencils or garbage on their floors.. I never had a problem w/ that before I moved here.., but I think the kids are younger and probably most do not pick up at home. Thanks for passing on the cool time saver!
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I have colored baskets
Old 06-19-2016, 12:16 PM
 
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for each class, and the students turn in their work in number order. It's then quick and easy to see who's missing.

I use grade slips to check in homework, note who was absent or late with the work, and then record the grade on them. I paper clip them to the work until I can get to it, and they are color coded to match the subject/basket. This makes it easy to log in the grade book because I can tell at a glance which subjects I need to enter.

I grade all homework. I can see who needs extra attention on a concept he/she didn't get. I grade spelling books two at a time while they play spelling practice games. I can get the work back to them quickly, and they used the time wisely. I also use their independent work time to grade.

I love the idea of this thread!
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Old 06-19-2016, 12:33 PM
 
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Bell Ringers sounds like a great idea! ( I too get sick of grading the early morning practices to get them settled.) This idea could def be used in elementary by having the kids find out about fun, new ideas or vocabulary on the computer and save my paper! It would be exciting for them to find out something new right away, write it down in their notebook, and remember it. Then add to it daily. I would love to do this if my kids came to class w/in a 15 minute time span. However, due to buses, we have a way longer window of time before everyone gets there. I still might find a way to weasel the idea into the day for those who come later. I think I'd have to do a pop quiz though routinely on Friday for my age group. Also, I need to come up w/ some ideas I want them to learn about that fit with what we are doing! This is something fun to ponder now that I have time. I am in the mood to switch things up a bit next yr!
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FRom K-3
Old 06-19-2016, 01:08 PM
 
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I love your " No Homework Book!" That is too funny..if they ever hope to see recess again! Where I live now homework is not given much because many parents protest. Since we have little to no back up, it is not a battle we can hold our ground on anymore. I have had many parents tell me that they can't get their children to do a simple, 15 minute homework activity. ( The kid will throw a fit or refuse. Sometimes these are actually decent students in class.) It blows my mind how many parents are NOT in charge here. ( They just want their kid to be happy.) The crazy part is usually the kids will whip through the homework without a problem at school in 10 minutes. Oh, I will search for the volunteer pencil sharpener next yr. Younger kids burn the motors out of those things within weeks if you let them use them. I actually had 1 stick a crayon in 1 and ruin it when I was absent. I am def going to assign numbers next yr. That sounds like a great time saver!
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Cat and Turtle and TOO Many
Old 06-19-2016, 01:49 PM
 
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Cat, I like the idea of having the activities that go with concepts on a jump drive. Over the yrs, I have just dragged them into files according to skills on my desktop. The bad part is they are not in good enough order. I now have to waste time searching through years of stuff. It would be a BIG job to fix at this point. Maybe next yr, as I use stuff it should be a goal to start over w/ what I use in order. I am feeling motivated now. I hope I can keep the idea rolling all yr.
Too Many-Our students have computers and I am really interested in your idea. I understand how you could set up assignments and tests on there. Do you mean putting links to tutorials on the assignments? I am clueless though as to what program would grade them . Is it hard to set up? I have only used Google sheets ( It was awhile back too.) as a way to communicate w/ groups of people at 1 X to share ideas. So I am may need to play around on it and see what I can do. I am a bit techie challenged..lol
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Old 06-19-2016, 01:50 PM
 
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Not sure if this is a time saver but you said something about ideas that fit what you are learning about. I had a daily "Do you know? " question on the board, usually something we had recently learned like which continent is the Nile River found? Students would write the answer on a slip of paper, I would pick a paper from the basket. If the answer was correct, the child gets a small treat from the prize bucket. They really loved that and it was a quick way to review concepts that needed review.

I use the number system too. They line up in number order starting with whatever the line leader's number is. It helps to quickly identify who is missing at recess and during fire drills. Also, for turning in work, they turn it into a box that has numbered files. Whenever I have a free moment, I grab a few files and check work, then paperclip the graded assignments together.

I also assign 2 students the job of mail clerks. They put checked papers into student boxes throughout the week. (if the grade is not too good, I file it myself). It saves me tons of time when I have really good mail clerks. Some students are better than others. If your students are too young, there may be students in an older grade who would come in and do this for you. At our school, fifth graders give up a part of their recess to file papers for younger grades once a week.

What a great thread! (for those of us whose brains haven't gone into summer mode yet!)
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I also use numbers!
Old 06-19-2016, 02:01 PM
 
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If I need to collect an assignment during class time, I will give instructions of what they need to have ready for the next activity when the timer rings, line them up in number order and collect the papers from the line. It gives everyone a little brain-break and if they beat the timer to be ready to move on they get a marble in the reward jar.
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Lil Bit and Ms Hope
Old 06-19-2016, 02:05 PM
 
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Lil Bit- I use that system for composition and it is highly effective and time saving too. I love it especially when I see them erase and correct! You know they are getting the idea!
Ms. Hope- I laughed cus when I would get to that point of too much, I searched for anything that needed to be graded and the rest went into file 13. It also drives me crazy when a kid has it, but never bothers to take it out of his backpack to turn in....There are def times you do "what you got to do, to getter done!" lol Then you hope no1 decides to walk in at that time. We have an advantage over some people. We are told to lock our doors. So...usually we have a couple of seconds... when we hear a key hit the door...haha We do have 1 evaluator though who is skilled at being very quiet and quick....Fortunately, I do not see him often.
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Yep, Summerwillcom, Timing!
Old 06-19-2016, 02:28 PM
 
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Ha, I did have our principal walk in when I had a little "sweatshop" going on. I had one set of kids going through work, checking off papers, and putting stickers on papers. I had another group stapling and sorting packets. I then had another group filing things for me! Some were in the hallway, taking down projects and handing them back to kids. I had some documentary on the screen that like one kid was intently watching. The rest were in groups making these posters. It was organized chaos.

Luckily, our P was like, "I'm getting out of here before you put me to work!" Oh, I'm sitting on the floor going through old papers to pitch. It's very rare that anyone comes in, but when they do, it's always a crazy time. I usually have my study hall do all these clerical tasks, but last year, I truly had a horrid group. I'm hoping for a nicer group next year to be my "helpers."

About the student numbers: I subbed for a teacher who used these with great success. He used the numbers for grading, sorting, and organization. All papers were in numerical order so he could quickly tell who was missing.
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TSY, Testy, and Ax
Old 06-19-2016, 02:28 PM
 
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TSY and Testy, Having kids grade their own or even each others does give immediate feedback and saves time with older kids for sure. I have younger kids now and many would all be on different answers at different times..keeping their place is often a challenge..lol AX= for sure never let them know...haha
Testy- Every small time saver adds up. I hope you got the 2016's fixed from Jan on....
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Student numbers
Old 06-19-2016, 02:31 PM
 
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I usually use student numbers. Unsure if I can use them this year because I'll be departmentalizing and teaching several periods of ELA and SS. I just had an epiphany, though... most teachers have students put their name and number in the upper right hand corner of the paper. I'm left-handed so if they put their info on the LEFT upper corner if the paper, I can see it quicker as I flip through them!
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Giant Subs and Mrs. S
Old 06-19-2016, 02:50 PM
 
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Giant Subs..I love the colored baskets idea! It is amazing how much time can be saved just with little tips when you figure out the hours wasted over the yr by doing something simple. I wasted almost 2 hrs a week grading the tests I mentioned every wk before I decided to try something else. The tests were timed so I could not grade them as they trickled in, the different points per answer made it tricky, and also the way they were on the pages made them hard to line up. On top of it all, those grades never were put in the grade book. All they are is a waste of time for data collection that were never looked at even. ( I would die though if I did not have them and someone decided to ask...lol) Mrs. S, I like the "Do you know ?" idea. Oh, and yes! I was thinking of topics. Continents is def 1 I do too. I could put a couple of Q's up there and let the kids find the answers on the comp. Yeah, I have not checked out yet in my head. I'm leaving for vacation soon though and will flip into summer mode then!
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squiggly, socal, and hope
Old 06-19-2016, 03:04 PM
 
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squiggly- That is a great time saver as well as a brain break.
so cal- Maybe you could still give the kids numbers and have them put like SS1, SS2 and the letters before the number would tell which class they attend. Next yr's right handed teacher is going to love you!- Joking!
Ms Hope, Yeah, timing! That is hilarious that your P left before you put him to work too. Mine lacks that sense of humor. I forgot to mention the quick, quiet guy,when I seldom see him.....I meant or hear him before he gets in...hahaha
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Old 06-19-2016, 04:38 PM
 
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I am so fortunate that the teacher who taught the grade/subject the previous year gave me all his organized files. It was such a big help when I was new to that class!
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Cat
Old 06-19-2016, 09:19 PM
 
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Cat- You were very fortunate. It is my own fault that mine have gotten so far out of hand. I have 3 grade levels in my files. I think it'll be my goal to straighten out that mess next yr for sure. It'll make my life easier.
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More on student numbers
Old 06-20-2016, 02:41 AM
 
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I have students turn in their work in number order. ("Students 1, 2, 3, please come check in.") I know immediately who doesn't have homework. Also, I have two blank numbered forms that I photocopy and keep in stock all year.

One is a class checklist, which is a long list of names with multiple little boxes next to each one. I made it in Word. I think I used 10 columns; the first column (far left) is wide enough to have a number and then type the student name into it. The rest of the columns are narrow, just enough to allow a checkmark or a grade to be written in. Each row is thin, just a couple of lines deep. I think this form has space for 28 students on it. I use this for checking in assignments and for my grade book.

The second is what I call my block form. It was also made in Word, but the columns are bigger. I think I have five columns, and each row is several lines deep. My form has room for 30 students. This form gives me room to write a few words on each student's block. For example, I use this to keep track of which book students are reading for book reports or who's reporting on which planet or country or whatever.

One more form I just remembered: thought catchers. (Not my idea--it comes from the Together Teacher book.) Again, it's set up in Word. This time, though, each page is divided into four blocks. So the chart has only 2 columns and 2 rows. The top of each block has a little title area (i.e., one shallow row) where I write student name and number. Then the rest of the block is blank--tons of room to write notes. I use this for anecdotal notes during class. I print one set each week; my assistant cuts them apart and files them weekly. When conferences roll around, I have a good anecdotal list of behavior issues, academic issues, etc., all documented very specifically by date.
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Old 06-20-2016, 01:34 PM
 
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I'm not very good at saving time lol but one thing I learned from a colleague was to tell parents at the beginning of the year that you will not grade homework. I would look it over to make sure it was complete or to look for the "I don't get this" notes but otherwise just put a check mark that it's done.

I'm also a big fan of putting students to work. I had an older student that liked to help out during her recess. Her family had agreed to her missing recess and she would help me. It was awesome! Rare, I'm sure, but awesome for the time being.
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Teacher writer and mrs. wok
Old 06-21-2016, 02:46 PM
 
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TW- I like the Thought Catchers a lot. Perfect for P/T too!
Mrs. Wok- You are lucky to get an older kid to help. I wish I could too!
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Old 06-21-2016, 02:58 PM
 
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If you have tech available, putting everything objective on a website like socrative or weo.io makes things so much faster. They "auto grade" short answer and multiple choice questions. I have all my daily reading comprehension quizzes, multiple choice fact tests, and vocabulary or matching quizzes on weo.
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A tip for kids who lie...
Old 06-21-2016, 03:00 PM
 
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With the numbered system, you can always tell who has the assignment turned into you. I used to have the problem of kids saying, " I turned that in!" ( When they hadn't.) I'd search for it and have them dig through their desks. ( Big time waster- It was usually undone in their desks.) Years ago, I started doing a " Last Call" for papers. Then the kids watched me staple them. This only works for grades K-4 probably. When I passed out graded work, often someone did not get their paper back and protested that they had turned it in on time and I had not graded their paper. They'd hand me a paper that 9 times out of 10 did not have the small staple hole at the top. I never told them how I knew because some kids have access to staplers and older kids would probably figure it out real quick...lol Just a quick way to tell if they are being truthful..if you have any like that!
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Old 06-21-2016, 03:06 PM
 
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I just saw your tip...I have never heard of those websites. I will see if I can find "weo" and play around on it. I have been procrastinating so bad since school has been out. IDK what is wrong w/ me..lol I have so much that needs to be done...
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Time saving tips
Old 07-25-2016, 11:24 AM
 
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Take paper work with you to meetings. They often do not start on time and you can use those few minutes to get a little bit of work done.

When you check you mail box at school throw away the junk mail immediately. Then try to decide about the other mail as well if possible. This way it does not stack up and take forever to wade through later.

Get students involved somehow to help with bulletin boards. Make it easy with clothes pins for them to show their work and change it out from time to time. Even if it is only one BB, that is one less you have to deal with. Maybe a parent will take on a BB for you! It can't hurt to ask.


Make sure the students clean the room at the end of the day. Have a reward of some sort for cleaning at the end of the day. Choose students to be your librarians and straighten the book shelves for you each day.

Have a parent do Scholastic Book orders for you. All of it! Orders and distributing the orders as they arrive.

Last edited by 1956BD; 07-25-2016 at 11:41 AM..
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Time saving tips
Old 07-25-2016, 01:33 PM
 
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One thing that really made a difference for me is to prioritize what I spend my time doing during my plan time.

I love my teammates, but in order to not be at school forever, or taking tons of things home, I turn the lights off in my room and close my door and work.

I also run ALL of my copies for the week on Friday afternoons. The copier is always free and it helps me to have one less thing to do during the week.
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