Time Savers, Hints and Creative Learning Activities

I don't have eight arms, but I sure can juggle a lot on a daily basis!  How do I work in all the "icing on the cake" activities and those little fun extras and all of our creative lessons into a very demanding schedule in a rigorous curriculum while still maintaining my sanity? Whew! I'm tired just thinking about it! I know you get where I'm coming from!

Here's my helpful hint, which in turn is a time-saver and allows me to be able to seek out creative activities that provide meaningful learning opportunities: 

I have learned to be the master of delegation. I try to enlist the help of volunteers as much as possible. If the task at hand does not require an educated professional to do it, I pass it along to a number of others so happy and willing to assist! I choose to spend my time (and training) seeking out and creating new ways to engage my students in the learning process! 

I routinely schedule parents who love to help both at home and in school. I have a copy mom, project parents, computer lab volunteers, craft parents, room parents and MY OWN PARENT (love ya mom!) who help with prep work. I have a high school cadet in the afternoons and mentor student teachers because it truly is a job for two people! When I mentor, this is lesson number one! Work efficiently! 

I get my editable parent volunteer calendars from The Busy Teachers Cafe
 (Love the name!)

Do I really need to cut laminated items like this out? Nope. I think of it, I make it, I plan it, I send it off!

Items like this get sent with a student in "the homework bag". This is for parent volunteers who signed up at open house to help from home because they work but still want to help out. I just jot a note about the task, let them know when I need it back and include any supplies they may not have handy. 

This cute bag is available at Zazzle

As far as activities, we all work smarter, not harder! If there is no educational value in a task, I am OK with letting others help the students. If my goal is not fine motor development, then students cutting project patterns out takes away time they could be spending on some other type of learning. With my firsties and my second graders at the start of the year, they will do lots of cutting because they need to LEARN to cut smoothly and stay on the lines!

 For our interactive math journals, for example, the tabs have been cut and paperclipped together by parents. My high school cadet is working with the students to show them how to glue the tabs. I do have the students do this part themselves because it helps them take ownership and they need to see how the journals will be organized. We even talked fractions as we divided the notebook in halves and then fourths to split the pages evenly.

It's time-savers like this that help us make the most of the instructional time!

We are about half way done getting these assembled and I'm so excited to start using them! There are so many great activities out there like this one. I am thankful I have the time to find them thanks to my many helping hands!

If I didn't find ways to delegate and ask for help, I'm not sure that I would be able to accomplish it all. I want the best for my students and that means I need to have time to research and seek out great resources, plan and implement meaningful lessons and use best practices for instruction.

Creative hands-on activities are so powerful! They are my favorites and are so worth the time and effort!

So, my friends, ask for a hand!
 It is time well-spent to invest a little time to find ways to maximize your teaching time and student learning time.
 Hope you followed that! :)

So that was my three-days-rolled-into-one time-saving blog post! Please link up at Blog Hoppin and share yours too!

1 comment:

  1. I am so jealous you have so many volunteers you trust to help you with your tasks. I love that you have the kids count the pages in their math journals and glue their tabs on. They will truly appreciate the final product and take so much ownership in their work. I can't wait to see the final product.
    Bright Concepts 4 Teachers


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