Thursday, July 21, 2016

5 CHEAP & Easy Hacks that will save you TIME

That photo says it all. 
For all the teachers out there reading this, you know exactly what I mean by the words Beginning of Year Teacher Tired. There is no other tired like it. 
Today I'm here to help you by sharing some CHEAP, SIMPLE, and EASY hacks that will help to save you time, keep you a little more organized and hopefully help you keep some of your sanity as you're kicking off this school year. 
The best thing about the things that I'm about to share with you today is that you can implement them ASAP. You won't need to head out to buy much because I'm sure you have most; if not all of these supplies lying around your home AND classroom. 
Let's get to it!
This hack is easy peasy! All you need to do is print out student names on address labels. You could also hand write them, but that would definitely take a LOT longer...we're all about saving you TIME in this post ;) 

You can use these labels to quickly and easily to label student supplies! For me, it was always crazy and hectic on the first day of school. In 3rd grade, parents still like to walk their kiddos to class...and talk to the teacher about how Johnny is going home. Also, students are still nervous. As a teacher, we are always busy calming those first day jitters of both student and parent. We get TONS of supply bags handed to us. AND lets face it, even though we ASK nicely for all supplies to be labeled (or even the bag)---they aren't. What I do is just slap a label onto the outside of the bag of supplies. This way, I won't accidentally give Johnny's supplies so Sarah :/ At the end of the day, I can quickly look at the outside label and put Johnny's supplies into his cubby. <--I usually don't waste any time on the first day having students unpack their own supplies. I wait until the end of the day to do this. 

Another way you could use these labels is to label expo pens, sharpies, or markers. In my classroom, we used our Expo pens all the time....and there were ALWAYS Expo pens all over the place! The worst thing about it though was that 1) nobody ever knew who it belonged to and 2) I always had at least 3 kids who were out of/couldn't find their pen. This way, anytime one ends up on the ground, whoever finds it can easily return it!

This next hack will also save you TONS of time with prepping for back to school. 

One thing that I always do is that I laminate everything before I write anything on it. I wrote student names on the lamination so that if there are any changes, I can easily change it (rather than having to make a new item and laminate again). 

These erasers are magical!

They take sharpie off on any laminated materials with so much ease! 

When my students turned in their notebooks, I always hated having to flip through all the pages to find the page I was looking for. I started to have them leave their books open to the page...on my kidney table. The thing I didn't like about that was that it took up so much space. 

A saw this genius idea in a 1st-grade teacher's classroom at my school. She uses rubber bands to mark the spot in student notebooks. 

This way, you can still collect your notebooks in bins (and have it be nice and organized). 
All you'll need for this next hack are envelopes and washi tape. All I did was cut the corner off of the envelope (you could 2 bookmarkers from each envelope).  Workbooks were also another things that I hated thumbing through. Since workbooks are flimsier than notebooks, the rubber band hack won't work for this. Instead, you could create bookmarks for workbooks. All students would need to do is slip the marker onto the page they just completed. 

If you use student numbers in your class, you could also go ahead and number each marker. This way, if any of them happen to go missing you'll know exactly who they belong to AND when that infamous No Name paper comes along, you won't need to thumb through and inspect the handwriting to figure out who it belongs to! 

This next hack is to help keep track of your disappearing supplies. Teachers spend so much of their own money buying school supplies--so that their students can use them if when they lose their own supplies. If your classroom is anything like mine, pencils disappear before my eyes! I finally got fed up with having to open up new boxes every other day......

Use Washi Tape to 'mark' your pencils. This will help teachers to keep track of their own stash--so students can't claim the pencil as their own! 

I simply use washi tape to make little pencil flags on my personal stash of pencils. This way, I can lend them out and easily see which are mine. I require all of my pencils to be returned at the end of the day---so that I can sharpen them. 

One of my follower on Instagram suggested also writing student numbers on each flag. That way, the student would borrow their designated pencil. She said that she does pencil checks throughout the day, to ensure that students still have it!

I hope that these tips I shared today can help you in this upcoming school year. If you decide to try out any of these hacks, I'd love to see them in action! Tag me on Instagram @Teachinginparadise

Until next time,

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