I'm Thankful for...

Time-Savers!  Anyone that knows me will tell you that I am all about saving time.  After all, if I am going to wake up at 6:50 and be at school by 7:20 then I must be good with time management, right?!  Or maybe I'm just super lazy ;)

So, let's start in the home.  I refuse to wake up early.  It's just not my thing.  So, I always prep, prep, prep the night before.  I lay out clothes, make lunches, shower, get my bag ready, and even make my ice water the night before.  If I know I'm going to be out late then I do this before we head out to church or wherever we are going.  It's almost a sickness :)

It does help that Joelle and Mr. Lemons are sleeping while I'm getting ready.  They don't have to be at work/school until much later, so everyone is snoozing while I'm trying to get ready in 20 minutes!  However, I do the same things for Joelle the night before.  I actually got her uniforms all ready on Friday night for the week coming up.  I felt super accomplished!
 You are probably thinking... Amy, I could give a rip what you do in the morning so that you can sleep in while I'm up at 4:30 with 5 crying kiddos getting everyone ready for school.  I get it!  But, I do believe that my time management translates into the classroom as well.  There's a lot I do at work to save me time!

1.  Grading Papers- I stopped letting papers stack up years ago.  I would get overwhelmed and just throw the stack away.  Here's what I do now (for the most part)... I grade papers as students are turning them in if at all possible.  I don't have a "finished" basket or anything like that.  My students bring me their papers when they are finished.  Normally, I grade it quickly and let them fix their errors.  This saves me a TON of time and it helps my students to get immediate feedback!

2.  I try and use charts, graphic organizers, journal entries more than once.  For example, when we were learning about plural nouns, we used this same chart for 3 days in a row.  Each morning I had 12-14 words projected and they just added to their chart.  This also saves a lot of paper!

3.  Word Wall Words- I hang my word wall words in a bucket on my word wall!  This is the first year that I've tried this, and I LOVE it!  I'm not searching for words, going to a cabinet, or file... they are right on the wall!  Very convenient which means... I'm saving time!
I also do this for my Spanish word wall :)
I put the words in order at the beginning of the year so that I just have to grab the current words and staple 'em up!

4.  Plan in Advance!  I am normally planned for the following week by Tuesday afternoon.  This helps me get all of my materials ready to go by Thursday or Friday!
Do you have any time-saving tricks?  After all, if this little girl is going to grow up so fast, then I'm going to need more and more of those ideas because I don't want to miss a moment at home!
Make sure to link up with Blog Hoppin' to share your ideas this week!


Jodi said...

I completely agree with you about not letting papers get stacked up to be graded. I always try and get them graded as soon as possible or they magically end up in the trash ;)

Fun In First

Kristen said...

ugh, the paper stacking is a nightmare for me, even after all these years of teaching. I love your advice for this...I really need to work on it--maybe it should be a New Year's resolution ;)

I JUST set up those same kind of bins for Monday-Friday...though I must confess I am not nearly as ahead in my planning as you are. Thanks for all of the lovely advice, Amy, I always love visiting your blog!

Deanna Jump said...

I love your precious girl! Great post!!!

Kacie said...

This was so great and inspiring to me as a future teacher! I'm student teaching right now and I already realize how important time is! I've only done a little planning and NO paperwork, so I'm trying to cut the grading, copying, and those little extra things down to as little time as possible. And I also try to keep my morning prep time as small as possible :) Thanks for your advice!

jolepa said...

Hi Amy,

I love all your ideas! Just wondering if you had some fun activities you use to teach possessive nouns?


Lisa said...

Love hanging the bucket of word wall words right on the word wall! So easy. .. why didn't I think of that? !

Gladys said...

I love that you use charts more than once...what a great idea!

Courtney Bartlett said...

These are all great ideas! Thanks so much for sharing. I love the idea about the charts and the word wall bucket. So smart!

Kerri said...

I'm the SAME way about nightly routines. I have my clothes ironed and laid out, lunch packed, cup set out for coffee and accessories set. It makes me run so much smoother as I try to get out of the door by 7:05. Prep work is key!

Mrs. Griffith said...

I adore your idea of putting word wall words in a bucket...talk about easy management! Thanks for sharing. Oh and I definitely WISH I could be ready in 20 minutes...here's to wishing!

For the Love of First Grade

Ashley Reed said...

I thought I was the only teacher who could get ready in less than 30 minutes?? lol! Joelle is a doll!!! Did you finally decide the uniforms were a good thing?
Just Reed!

Lindsay Oles said...

Hi! I found your blog through Blog Hoppin’ We are THANKful for Linky Party!

I keep all my word wall words together in one spot as well. I have them all sectioned out in a recipe box by week. Makes it much easier!

Check out my post for today’s Time-Savers! It is in the same post as a couple of my new TpT products. Be one of the first five to comment and chose one for a freebie!
If You Give a Teacher a Treat

Angela Moore said...

I'm curious about where you pull your word wall words from. I love the idea of a WW, but have never been able to follow through. Also, I wonder when you have the time to create all of your TpT goodies and get them printed, laminated, cut, etc. This is my 9th year of teaching, but my first year in 2nd grade in a tiny Christian school. I'm seeing so many gaps in the curriculum we use and I'm keeping you in business on TpT....our style of teaching is very similar, but I just don't have time to create all the cuteness. Thanks a bunch for sharing your tips!

Melissa B. said...

Geez I think we may be sisters from another mother! I so relate to your NO EARLY MORNINGS policy and prepping it all the night before. I, too, grade papers as kids turn them in! Ha...And I have my week planned by Tuesday, too, cuz you just never know what will come up and something always does. Power on, Girl and keep posting the goods! :-)

Ashley B Schroeder said...

I totally agree with the immediate feedback of checking kiddos' papers ASAP! I like to walk around as they're finishing to grade some, the rest bring them to me as we transition to the next part of the day, and worst case, when it's a test that I need to record in the grade book, they get it the next day! Also, I'm positive I have the same sickness as you getting things ready to go at home the night before….I may or may not not even take my coat off when I get home before I have washed out my coffee cup and packed my lunch and water bottles for the next day :)

The Balancing Act I Call Life

Jamie knefely said...

I always have our clothes ready to go for the week two. I always iron all clothes before they ever go back into the closet. That way when we need uniforms or outfits we can grab and go!!!


Busy Mama and Her Boys said...

I try to plan in advance as much as I can at home and at school. With two little ones and a hubby who works long hours it's a must! I've also decided not to sweat the small stuff. After my second was born and I went back to work, I was very stressed out. I noticed that it was rubbing off on my 3 year old. I've definitely been watching myself lately and I've noticed a change as well. I've decided it's okay if the dishes/laundry don't get done right away if it means I get to spend time with my boys! This morning instead of cramming in something last minute for work, my 3 year old and I took out EVERY CAR HE OWNS and made a town the size of my dining room lol. Much better than work!

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Hilliary said...

One of the best is putting supplies I need close to where I need them! Also, letting the kids help! Change the lunch menu for the next day, erase the board at the end of the day, tidy up the library; 26 sets of hands helping instead of one makes it MUCH quicker!

We also have a 'print shop' that we can send our printing jobs to and get them back within two days, that helps me stay ahead of the game a ton!

Kirsten said...

Do you type you word wall words on paper, then paste to scrapbooking paper? What size do you do your words? I usually do them too big! I wish I could just print them out, cut them and laminate them haha