Teachers lose precious moments of their planning period everyday due to various reasons: someone needs advice, the copy machine is occupied, the principal scheduled a meeting… again! While I can’t stop these TIMESUCKS from happening, I have some REAL ANSWERS here for you from REAL TEACHERS (just like us) who have the same issues! I asked teachers to share their best time saving tips for making the most of their planning times on my Facebook page and I’m sharing their advice here with you! Plus there is a BONUS freebie at the end so that you can PLAN FOR YOUR PLANNING on the go!
Drumroll for the Top 5 Tips!
#5: Designate Days
You can designate days for specific tasks. Your most efficient planning time will become a routine, almost automatic. I’m always planning a week ahead of time. Here’s a list of my designated days:
Monday- Lesson Planning. Map out the standards and lessons that you will be teaching on your lesson plan template. Plan small groups and interventions as well.
Tuesday- Plan literacy stations and book clubs.
Wednesday- Print and copy all materials.
Thursday- Assign all digital resources.
Friday- Grade assessments and IMPORTANT classwork.
#4: Use student numbering in your favor!
Student numbers can be so helpful when it comes to an efficient planning time. Here’s how to use student numbers to save time and sanity!
- Collect papers by number, face down. Call for students to place them in a pile, face down, by number. You will quickly notice missing papers and the mystery of the NO-NAME paper is SOLVED!
- If you are being really attentive, you can spot check work as it is turned in!
- The work is in ABC order already for quickly getting into grade book and placed in mailboxes.
#3 Don’t Grade it All!
There are some things you will just have to let go! Spot check it, walk around the room, or put into the good old file 13! But above all DO NOT TAKE THIS STUFF HOME! Don’t do it! Just LET IT GO!!!
#2 Go Paperless
If you have devices, it is so much quicker, easier, and better for our planet to go paperless. There are some great free sites out there like Front Row for math and Readworks for reading that you can use to assign and monitor student work. There are lots of great paperless options available at Boom as well.
And now for the #1 tip from teachers on my Facebook page!
#1 Shut the Front Door!
Literally! In order to have your most efficient planning time ever, you MUST shut the door, LOCK it, turn OFF the LIGHTS, and get stuff done. It isn’t the best way to make friends or collaborate, but we are BUSY teachers AND we need to get our work DONE so that we AREN’T taking piles of papers HOME to grade or STAYING at school well beyond our CONTRACT hours! Get it done, get it done, get it done! Shut the front door!
Or you could always try these other suggestions from our teacher friends…
- Bang head on desk!
- Leave campus, consider not coming back.
- Drink. Alcohol.
- Shut the door, set a timer, find a comfy place on the floor, take nap.
Pssst… here’s a secret FREEBIE!
If all else fails, try PLANNING FOR YOUR PLANNING on the go! This DIGITAL TO-DO list is used with your Google Drive and can be accessed from your computer, iPad and/or iPhone so that you can PLAN ANYWHERE! Now don’t think I’m suggesting that you plan during your family time… BUT maybe you can jot down a few notes during the next dentist appointment or soccer practice… that sounds more fun than hanging with the mom crowd, right?
Click the image below for the freebie! And subscribe to my newsletter for access to my BACK DOOR freebies for friends that aren’t offered ANYWHERE ELSE.
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