Time Saving Tips
1. Make a "to-do" list every morning. Check off tasks as they are completed.
2. Train students to hand papers in, right side up, with their names at the top, into your completed work basket. Have a basket for each subject or class so papers are sorted for you.
3. Assign each student a partner. When a student is absent, his or her partner can gather notes, handouts and assignments that the absent student has missed.
4. If students check each others' papers, have the checkers sign their names to the bottom. Students are more careful when their names are on the corrected paper.
5. When you put students' names in your grade book, number the names in consecutive order. Have students write their name and number on their papers. You can easily see which papers are missing and, when they're corrected, they will be in the correct order to be put in your grade book.
6. Use an answer column along the right margin of the paper when doing assignments from textbooks or short answer assignments. Have students transfer answers from the problem to the answer column. You can correct half a dozen papers at a time by looking at several answer columns. (Learning to copy answers into an answer column carefully is an important skill).
7. Make a stencil from which you can cut out the answers to check multiple choice answer sheets.
8. Put answers on a transparency to have students check homework while you take attendance.
9. Ask for clerical help from parents. Choose tasks for parents to do at home on a weekly or monthly basis. Ideas include typing newsletters, preparing teaching materials, preparing book club orders, etc.
10. Designate one spot on the whiteboard where you write what students should do as they enter the room. Teach students to look there and begin without wasting time. It will give an orderly beginning to your classes. (bell work)
11. Write frequently used directions on a chart instead of the whiteboard. When needed, hang the chart on the whiteboard. This is a good idea for: assignment guidelines, book report outline, paper heading, studying for the rest of the test, 6 Trait Writing Rubric, formulas, etc.
12. If your classroom is far away from the office or teacher workroom, keep a supply box "hidden" somewhere. Include: pens, pencils, scissors, liquid correction fluid, tape, paper, paper clips, glue sticks, etc.
13. Save time designing your own lesson plan book. Take a page from your book and write in room numbers, times, subjects, special classes, and any other constant features. Duplicate this page, and when you make your lesson plans weekly, you'll only need to add the lessons for the week.
14. Identify your supplies with a masking tape or colored tape strip.
15. Use an overhead projector and transparencies to write class notes and presentations instead of the whiteboard. This way you can date and save them, use them again, give them to an absent student, or review them on another day.
16. Make a poster to keep a daily list of assignments for students who are absent.
17. Ideas for "floating" teachers: make a box or use an AV cart to keep your "desk" materials with you as you travel from room to room.
18. Instead of collecting checked homework every day, have students keep it in a folder and collect once a week for recording.
19. Designate one day a week to send student work home to parents.
20. Refill your materials as soon as possible so you can find them later.
21. Have a bulletin board that includes special class schedules, announcements, lunch menu or important things you might need.
22. Use one calendar to keep track of future important events - pocket calendar, desk calendar, lesson plan book, etc.
23. Make two blank copies of student worksheets - one to use and one to file for future reference or to make copies for an answer key.
24. Teach students to do as many clerical tasks as possible (attendance, lunch count, etc).
25. Laminate often-used materials for reuse in subsequent years.
26. Have a personal care kit for your own use at school.