And, as usual, I am late to the party... Soooo... I decided to combine T and H because time-savers are definitely helpful hints! I have to admit, I wasn't sure what to blog about here. I'm one of those people who worries that I won't say the right thing.... or that my post will be off base and not what it's supposed to be about... which is half the reason I'm late for this anyway... so here goes!
Helpful Hint and Timesaver #1
Bet that's news to you, isn't it? I've been teaching for so many years and every year it seems I try a new organizational strategy for something. These two have stuck around for the long haul so I know they work for me:
In the corner of my room by the rug area is my "basket bin." It holds all the stuff I need for the week - and then some. I keep it here because that's the place where I am the most, and it is so much easier to have everything near where I teach, rather than across the room. Anything I need for the current day goes in the top basket, things for the week in the next one, and so forth. I clean everything out on Friday... or I try to... at least I clean the top basket... usually...
and over by my desk (which, by the way, I love - see it (HERE)
are my file folders that hold all my papers and stuff for current units, often-used templates, etc. Having everything at my fingertips makes it much easier to find everything. Or at least to know where it is supposed to be...
HH and T #2
Make sure students have a place to put everything
These are my math activity tubs for each week. (The cute labels are on the other side, trust me.) I do four activity tubs each week and EVERYTHING needed for that activity is in the tub - dice, pencils, crayons, cubes... anything. This really cuts down on the transition time needed to get started with an activity. One person from the group takes the tub to the work spot (each tub has a designated sport to work in that stays the same all the time) and everyone can start working right away. If I'm going to have 4 students in that group, then I have 4 sets of materials, all in baggies or whatever, ready to go. This has been a major timesaver for us!
HH at T #3
Have a lot of what you use the most and keep it easily accessible.
We use dice A LOT during math. So I need A LOT of them - all kinds. I used to keep them in plastic bags, or tubs, but last year I decided to put them in this 4-drawer container and keep it out on the counter. Soooo much easier. (And the dice mats are GENIOUS! Students take one to roll the dice on - the dice has to stay on the mat so it keeps them from flying all over the place, and it cuts down on the noise of 24 kids rolling dice at the same time.)
This idea of having multiples of what you use most works with everything - I also have 3 or 4 baskets all over the room (which I apparently forgot to take pictures of) filled with pencils, crayons, markers, glue sticks, post-its and scissors. I have them strategically placed by where I usually have groups (by the rug, near the back table, next to the counter...)... this way I always have what I need and can take it out in an instant.
HH and T#4
Let yourself indulge once in a while
For me, some DD hot chocolate (the dark variety) and peppermint patties are my weakness. You need to make time for yourself and enjoy life. That's what matters. (And by the way - so many delicious DD hot chocolate flavors came up on google - mint? white chocolate? who has these near them?? I am so jealous!)
Well, I hope my blog post was everything you thought it would be. And I hope I gave you at least one idea that might be helpful. I'm hoping to be back with more ideas for the linky this week!