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Monday, November 11, 2013

Day 1: Time Savers


I'm hooking up with Blog Hoppin' for a week-long linky that will leave you feeling thankful!

Today's post is about time-saving tricks, ideas, and resources. I love that with each passing year, I somewhat "streamline" my day-to-day routine. I'm always looking for a way to make things a little easier or quicker...I'm somewhat of a procrastinator & am also impatient..what a combo! Here are a few of the things that make MY day run a little smoother...

One thing I've always done is to use bins labeled with each day of the school week (and an extra bin for "extra" stuff") for organizing tests, activity sheets, homework, and other things to go home. I typically try to make all of the copies I need for the following week in one trip. Getting to school 1/2 hour before I normally do offers unobstructed use of the photocopier...definite bonus! I also usually go in for a couple of hours on Sunday to clean up a bit & organize. I keep a file folder for copies I need to make on my desk and stick master copies in there as I pull during the week. I also have a designated area for things that need laminated. 

Usually, I have a few things left over each week that I didn't get to. These get put in a file (I have several, labeled by subject) and are used for when I have a substitute, or as time fillers when I haven't planned enough. 

I also organize guided reading & math groups with a bin system that is located directly behind my small group table. 

Guided reading books, STAR assessment grouping information, flash cards, manipulatives, and anything else I need for small group work is here. When I prepare for math groups & have manipulatives handy, I can organize them quickly for each group. Not included in this picture, but in this area are various pens, pencils, post-its, index cards, a dry-erase board, & various manipulatives. This week, I got out base-ten blocks, tens frames, flash cards, and new guided reading books. How do you organize your materials for small group work?

I couldn't talk about time-saving without mentioning some of my favorite TPT items!
As teacher-authors, YOUR hard work helps ME deliver quality activities for my students that are fun, engaging, and challenging! (Let's not forget ADORABLE, too!)
Some of my most recent purchases include:


Jessica Travis' (from Wild About FirstiesMorning Munchies are great morning work for my students. They're loving that they can READ the directions now! Seeing them work independently, as well as together, gives my students a meaningful way to use the morning time before our day begins. 


I love Common Core Crunch by Lisa Mattes of Growing Firsties! Awesome activities that are just right for my first graders. This is the third packet I've bought this year and I'm continually impressed with the activities! My students enjoy the various sorting activities! These are also great activities for small-group intervention as they target specific skills. 


I don't think there's anything from Annie from the Moffatt Girls that I DON"T love! This fall-themed math & literacy pack is no exception! I use these activities for centers, intervention, and as assessments. They're fun, super firstie-friendly, adorable, common-core aligned, and are a great value for the money! I hear there's a winter version out soon- I can't wait! 

Link up & share your time-saving ideas. Check back in tomorrow when we blog about helpful hints!