April 29, 2017

4 Hot Tips for a Smooth Running Classroom

Looking for some simple, affordable ways to make things go more smoothly on the classroom front? Here are four great management hacks to get it done on the cheap and easy. Bonus? They work in classrooms from K – 12, making this one of those classroom tip articles high school teachers can actually benefit from.

Using upside down binder clips for a cheap direction card holder.

These things are good for more than portfolios and snack clips, you know. If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to have a free standing set of project instructions, skip the stress of custom cutting a cardboard easel you’ll only have to store later. Use a couple of small binder clips with the handles pulled back to support an index card with the directions written on it.

Rotating student-led group centers.

Need some strategies for getting the job done during paid hours when cum folders and report cards are due? Get together with the other teachers in your grade level or wing and plan a few centers each to host in your respective rooms. Break all of the students from the combined rooms into separate working groups and assign each group a responsible student leader. Make sure the centers you establish are all easily implemented by the students themselves, and establish the rules that they have to pick everything up and reorganize the centers when they rotate to the next one. If you have the right number of centers set up, you can run this program in the mornings or afternoons for several days in a row. One year, it worked out with my colleagues that we got a full five days of half-day center time.

Make them a mix of different fun activities with a range of academic topics. The students don’t get to do this very often, so discipline isn’t a huge issue. This leaves you and your fellow teachers with enough time during the actual school day to get the extra burden of cums and report card data off you plates without donating even more of your valuable time for free. If you run the centers in the afternoon and coordinate certain matching lessons in your individual rooms in the morning, you’ll be able to have at least one of the centers in each room be a station for seat work catch up and jump start time on homework. I’m not advising a full week of half-day play time. You’ll definitely want quality center activities that support your current theme and academic program. Especially if you’re needing administrative support. What I am suggesting is a way to work smarter, not harder. As educators we work hard for our money, and need all the tips we can get to accomplish such a phenomenally enormous job in the short amount of time we are given each school day.

Rubber band balls.

Tired of having loose rubber bands floating around your desk drawer, adding to the chaos? Try making your own rubber band ball, or saving it as a project for that student who is always done early. You’ll be more organized with your desk supplies. Bonus? These things are just plain fun to have around.

DIY folding screen.

A simple folding screen from core doors with locking caster wheels attached can be a huge help in the inclusive classroom. Need an impromptu learning area when the rotating reading specialist comes? Looking for a divider to reduce visual distractions during reading group time? This is a budget friendly way to get the job done. It’s also great to create a divided learning area for a home school corner, for those who follow that educational path.

Do you have another great classroom tip? We’d love to hear about it. Don’t forget to sound off in the comment section below.

Photo Credits: Tifotter

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