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A thread to share time saving tips in the classroom

Discussion in 'Primary' started by tired teacher, Jul 27, 2008.

  1. I looked at the 24 task thread and thought about how I use my class and my TA and thought if we share time saving tips we have in our classrooms, then many of us would benefit from the sharing.
    Here is what I do:

    put most letters on a chair and tell children to take one on the way out or give a child the letters to give out (don't know how you do this in an infant class!)

    don't total the dinner registers anymore

    train children to do the photocopying- from Y3- single sided only

    refuse to take any money that is not in an envelope- send it home or send the child to the office

    Most of the displays in my classroom are learning displays and are full of words and ideas to help the children with their work so they do not need changing. Only one board is a celebration display with children's work.

    When giving out books, I look at the top of the pile and give that child the top five books and repeat the process. Within 2 mins all the books/pieces of paper are given out.

    I have a blunt pencil tray and a sharp pencil tray. First two children to finish their work sharpen 5 pencils each so we always have sharp pencils ready to use.

    Two parents take down the chairs every morning for me- if not ask 2/3 children.

    At the end of the day make the children tidy up. Best way I have seen was in a reception class when they had to keep tidying unitl they were spotted by their teacher as doing a good job and then they could sit on the carpet. They soon learnt that tidying up meant that EVERYONE had to do something.

    Collect in books open at the page to mark. ( make children self mark whenever they can- it can be done even when they are quite young if you talk about how it helps them. I mark half way through maths so they know if they are on the right track.)

    OK more ideas please

     
  2. I looked at the 24 task thread and thought about how I use my class and my TA and thought if we share time saving tips we have in our classrooms, then many of us would benefit from the sharing.
    Here is what I do:

    put most letters on a chair and tell children to take one on the way out or give a child the letters to give out (don't know how you do this in an infant class!)

    don't total the dinner registers anymore

    train children to do the photocopying- from Y3- single sided only

    refuse to take any money that is not in an envelope- send it home or send the child to the office

    Most of the displays in my classroom are learning displays and are full of words and ideas to help the children with their work so they do not need changing. Only one board is a celebration display with children's work.

    When giving out books, I look at the top of the pile and give that child the top five books and repeat the process. Within 2 mins all the books/pieces of paper are given out.

    I have a blunt pencil tray and a sharp pencil tray. First two children to finish their work sharpen 5 pencils each so we always have sharp pencils ready to use.

    Two parents take down the chairs every morning for me- if not ask 2/3 children.

    At the end of the day make the children tidy up. Best way I have seen was in a reception class when they had to keep tidying unitl they were spotted by their teacher as doing a good job and then they could sit on the carpet. They soon learnt that tidying up meant that EVERYONE had to do something.

    Collect in books open at the page to mark. ( make children self mark whenever they can- it can be done even when they are quite young if you talk about how it helps them. I mark half way through maths so they know if they are on the right track.)

    OK more ideas please

     
  3. Mark books in rotation, I initial any books I see during the lesson and put a 'v' to show I have given verbal feedback then I fully mark 2 tables a day with learning prompts etc, I have a rota for which books I will mark on each day so that throughout the week I fully mark each child's Lit and Num book at least twice. Foundation subjects I get the children to mark each other's books and then I initial them and highlight the LO in green after a quick check, I'll often say 'You can go out to play AFTER I have marked your book' that wa I don't miss anyone out.

    Children's Lit and Num books are stored in cardboard magazine files by table so I can quickly look through one set if I need to, it also makes giving them out easier as I send one person from each table to collect them and give them out.
     
  4. I'd like to know what kind of timesaving measures you would implement if you had access to a barcode scanner and a sufficient set of programming skills - would you have them self-register by scanning in ID cards, would you put barcodes onto homework books and scan them in to find out whose you don't have?

    Only some of these are things I can do as a student teacher (can't go sticking useless barcodes on everything) but I'm looking for ideas that I can use to expand my program for a hypothetical classroom.
     
  5. Self registering can be done and I have seen it done in reception where they go straight to tasks but it is done by putting their picture in a certain place so anyone can see at a glance who is present today.
    If older children have a set place then I can look and see who is there so never call a register, except the dinner register to see if they are sandwiches or dinners. Now that would be useful if they self registered for their lunch but am not sure of practicalities of having 34 children trying to get to the check in place in a classroom- is it quicker to just call the register?- takes less than a minute.
     
  6. We have children in coloured groups so I stick the colour of their group on the front and SIDE of their exercise books so I can see them at a glance.

    Make display-sized name labels and laminate them, they can be used for labelling every piece on child's work on display for the whole year.

    Have 'letter monitors' - they put a letter in every child's tray then the children take them home from their trays themselves(they get really good at doing this after they've been shown how a few times).

    Create a self-registration system - each child's name on something laminated (e.g. flower) or on a powerpoint. When they enter the room they immediately move their name to the 'here' section. You can easily see the ones who aren't present. I find this so much easier than searching through the register when our office staff ring to find out who is absent.

    We rarely use worksheets anymore but when I do I write the Learning Objective on the sheet BEFORE photocopying it so the children don't have to for that one task. Soemtimes I do the same with the date!

    Buy an electric pencil sharpener and appoint two children pencil monitors to sharpen them at playtimes. (But I LOVE the idea about the blunt basket!)
     
  7. squirrel9367

    squirrel9367 New commenter

    I only call the dinner register and then transfer absences to the register. (only have to mark absences as it is optically read)

    All books live in boxes that are put on the table. Each child's books go in the box for the table where they sit for that lesson. Saves lots of time from giving out books, collecting them in etc. The boxes all go on the radiator after so I sit there and mark.

    I give the children a display to do - get them to type up explanations of what they did etc. They make cut outs to decorate (eg they made flowers, newts etc for a pond display)

    Teach them to trim and mount work. I trim all worksheets before giving out so they fit in their books.


    Child gives out letters during silent reading so they go straight in reading folders. Their folders are put on their chair when they finish lunch (eat in classroom) so they can come in quietly and sit straight down at the end of lunch.
     
  8. trinity0097

    trinity0097 New commenter

    Have stickers pre-prepared of things you often write in books - saves time!

    Don't forget that not every lesson of the day needs to be whizzy and full of multi-media stuff - i.e. don't spend hours and hours planning for everything!
     
  9. After completing a messy activity I stop them all make them sit on the carpet, put on a whiteboard game and appoint six children to tidy. I give them each a job e.g. collect scissors, pick bits up off the carpet. Other children know they have to stay on the carpet. Find this less streesful than all children up.

    Say 'table inspection time' (year 3) and they know nothing can be under or around their tables, tables have to be clear. Do this at end of most lessons and end of the day and they become very quick at tidying.

    Have a space on my desk where I keep any resources I got from somewhere in the school e.g. a book from library, resource out of topic box. During day when I know I'm going that way I pick up resources and put them back as well as doing whatever went there for. Sounds obvious but it means I don't clutter up my classroom.

    If I ever know supply will be in the next day I set my class a challenge. The table with nothing left out, all trays properly closed, books away, water bottles and jumpers taken home will get a sticker each. I have been strict and only given it to tables who do this. This means I don't have to come back to a messy classroom (not judging supply teachers but we have the same one all the time and he's very messy).
     
  10. What a good thread- the one thing i have learnt this year is not to have a 'file away another time' pile! you would not believe how much time i spent sorting through my pile last week! next year im going to try and put things away when i get them! i love the idea about sharpening pencils, evry lesson last year i had chn who spent half hour sharpenin their pencils!!!
     
  11. Robin65

    Robin65 New commenter

    I remember an important tip told to me, it was only ever touch a piece of paper once, for instance if you are given a piece of paper to file, sign or respond to, do it straight away. I have tried to do this and mostly I do. It does save time looking for paper that you have mislaid.
     
  12. wicked witch

    wicked witch New commenter

    Our children come in from 8.50 onwards so the first 2 children in give out the books for first session. Maths books are stored in tables sets so they're dead easy. Children take down own chairs. Like Squirrel, I only call the dinner register and then transfer it.
     
  13. WolfPaul

    WolfPaul New commenter

    Dinner register? What's a dinner register? Haven't filled in one of those since the mid 80s :) :)
     
  14. liking this thread- might post one on school management for HTs !! Wish i could stick witht the touch each piece of paper once but i look think OMG and shove it back in tray sometimes several times until it gets desperate
     
  15. have heard of schools where pictures of dinner choices on boards and kids velcro names under choices including sandwiches and then hae a bangle of appropriate colour to show cook what they chose- still needs someone like self registration to transfer it to a register
     
  16. jog_on

    jog_on New commenter

    Loving this thread...some great ideas!
     
  17. Loving this thread!!! In my class, every child has a job/responsilbility that they must complete usually on a daily basis and many of these are jobs that help me and their classroom keep ticking over.

    Lxx
     
  18. Loving the ideas! Any more tips on managing marking effectively? :)
    giggle. xx
     
  19. trinity0097

    trinity0097 New commenter

    Little and often, use stickers/stamps to save writing lots. Have books handed in on open page ready to mark. In Maths only comment on pupils that haven't got it having called out the answers in class for pupils to self mark.
     
  20. With marking I make sure that if I am doing something in one subject that is going to take a lot of marking, I make my other subjects more practical with less marking or do some self marking. Was tricky to do self marking with y1s but am planning on training my y2s! Love stickers and stamps rather than constantly writing out the same or similar comments. Also if you do set children targets make sure that you number them and then can say what target they need to work on in their work by referring back to the number for the target rather than writing it out.
     

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