Cramming It All In {Mrs. Thompson's Treasures}

Being a homeschool teacher, I don't feel as much pressure as far as "cramming it in" goes. Since we have 5 kids though, I do rely heavily on schedules and routines to help us survive! Each day, in addition to teaching all subjects for 3rd, 1st and Pre-K, I take care of a 3 year old and a 6 month old. I am also the lunch lady, the custodian, the nurse, and the counselor.

I type up our schedule and post it so we can all refer to it during the day and see where we should be. Here is what our fall schedule looks like this year:

Obviously if you are a classroom teacher, this is much different than your scheduling, but some of the ideas can still apply. 

*I have set our day up so that I am available to help those who need me for a certain subject while the others have independent work. That way no one is sitting around waiting for me to help them. 

*Of course it does happen sometimes that someone is waiting for my help, or they just finish their work before it's time to move on. I make sure they know what they should be doing while they wait (reading, finishing other work, helping others). Setting up procedures for what to do in times like these can help prevent wasted time during the day. 

*We schedule in plenty of break and play times. It can seem counterproductive when there is so much to be done, but it really is easier for kids to focus and get their work done efficiently when they have time to rest their minds and exercise their bodies! 

*Cut out the busy work! It's easier for me to do this since I'm not required to take grades, but think about what is really necessary for the students' learning and what is something that might be considered "busy work." I am learning that sometimes kids just really don't need to do 30 of the same math problems to practice a skill. Many times I will skip extra pages in a workbook or cross out some problems if they are repetitive. Of course some students may need this and that's ok, the point is to assess when extra practice is just not needed and you can move on to something else.

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