As teachers, our time is very valuable. We spend lots of time looking up ideas and strategies to keep our kiddos engaged. We try to use every single minute while the kids are in our care to make sure they are provided the most of their time. However, we all know that every single day does not go as planned. How do you make the most of it in your classroom? I have a few ways I try to save time in my classroom.
My first little timesaver is teaching my kids all that I want them to know about their iPads within the first month of school. What is it that I teach them exactly? Well, here's a quick list:
- teach how to take a selfie (This teaches them how to find the camera. I also show them the shortcut to find the camera by swiping up.)
- teach how to record a video (This sets them up on recording their recording later on.)
- teach how to record a partner (They get extra practice recording others and practice using video)
- teach them how to login to any apps that require a login. (We put a sticker with their username and password on the back of each iPad.)
- teach them how to do a QR code (They will be able to use this for SeeSaw, listening centers, qr codes on their recording sheet and any other things that you use your QR codes for.)
After you've taught them everything that you want them to do, they're set for the year except for any new ideas you come across.
I know I've probably mentioned this idea before, but it seriously is life and classroom changing. I teach through a PowerPoint for reading. I have my entire morning routine in a PPT. Now, everything that I say and do is not in that powerpoint, but it helps to keep me on track. I made it ONCE and just change a few things and reserve for each day of the week. Let's look at my PPT from last week.
The very first slide is always our good morning song. We usually greet each other and tell one thing that happened the night before or something from the weekend if it's Monday. We also talk about a goal that we have to make sure we have a great day. This is usually only about 5 minutes. I have this already up and on the board as they walk into the room. We wait for announcements and the late stragglers and then get started immediately.
Next, I get up to do the snack and my calendar helper goes through our calendar routine. This way, I'm not wasting their time and we're accomplishing something that can easily be done by a kid. I still watch, but am getting office things ready. The calendar helper writes in all of our information and then leads the class in counting up until today on the calendar, saying the days of the week and the months of the year.
That's what most of our calendar area looks like. My calendar helper fills in all of the blanks each morning. You can grab this calendar set freebie over on my blog, Enchanted Kinder Garden as well as some more goodies in that same download.
If you have a wireless mouse, you could also click through the PPT without being at your computer. So let's say someone walks in your room during the song, click easily and then the calendar helps gets right up to do their job and your class never misses a beat.
The next slide is always our phonemic awareness. I put the objective down at the bottom so if anyone ever walks into our room, they'll easily know the skill we're working on. This is also AMAZING to leave for a substitute. I leave an old laptop anytime a sub comes. It doesn't connect to the internet, but has the PPT for the day or days that I am away.
The PPT also includes our book, essential questions, phonic skills, high frequency words, pictures of sheets that they have to complete and everything! It literally takes me about 20 minutes to get this done for the week. It's part of my lesson planning routine and saves me SO much time during the week.
I also add in videos or links to the videos if I'll be showing a short video as well. That way, I don't have to click out, go to an internet browser and find what I need.
I have mentioned this as well, but it is my FAVORITE timesaver of all. I set my Daily 5 rotations on a timer in my PPT as well. I usually set it for about 12 minutes. I have a chime that goes off when it changed. My kids know that this means clean up. However, the group that is at my table does not leave just yet. I keep them for the minute or two that everyone else is cleaning up. This way, I maximize the time I have with that group and the rest of the kids are able to transition without me actually doing or saying anything.
Just click above to download a template.