So, I skipped yesterday’s classroom tour link up because I don’t have a classroom this year, and I never took enough pictures of my classroom to do a tour of an old classroom. But I am back in business for today’s Sanity Savers conversation.
I think as teachers one thing that is INCREDIBLY important is working smarter, not harder. I mean, teachers definitely work hard. But it’s also important to work smart, or you’ll never get anything done. So I’m going to share a few of my work smarter/stay organized strategies that helped me stay organized and calm when I was teaching.
Number those nuggets.
Every year, I numbered my kids. Generally, our list followed ABC order, but invariably we’d gain and lose some kids throughout the school year so it wasn’t always 100% true, but close. Here are reasons why numbering kids is a sanity saver.
1. It allowed me to reuse materials when students came and left class, so I could get more bang for my buck. Students could use the same folders, pencils, scissors, and crayons as the student who just left.
2. It eliminated line up issues. Students always lined up numerically, so there was no arguments about who was busting, or how someone cut in front of someone else. (Line leader was a job in my class; that person would just line up in front of number one for that day.)
3. It gave students a certain sense of anonymity. While students did know each other’s number as the school year went on, it let me organize data, conference notes, and assessments in binders by number and they didn’t necessarily know whose it was.
Use pictures whenever possible.
Now, I realize that this is mainly an early elementary tip, but using graphics in my classroom was key. Especially early in the year, and especially with my lowest nuggets. For example, our work station rotation board always had pictures as well as group names and pictures as well as the written name of the work station.