Have you ever wished you had a few ideas up your sleeve to save you tons of time during the school year, while you’re setting up your classroom and just in general? Well, I’m bringing you some of my favorite classroom tips and tricks to save you tons of time and energy. Some of these are also just little hacks to get your students to do certain things as well.
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Classroom Tips #1
This tip is for management for the first day and the first week of school. If you cannot remember students names for the life of you, make it a game. When we have meet the teacher, I take a picture of each of my students. Then, I go home and practice trying to remember who is who. This is helpful because you’ll see their face (in your mind) more than just the one time you saw them at meet the teacher.
On the first day of school, stick these small labels on their backs. This helps with them not peeling the name tag off and it stays on all day. I usually go ahead and create the names for the entire week. Sometimes, I learn the names within the first day or two and don’t need them. The labels can be used later for other things.
Classroom Tips #2
This is one you’ve probably heard of before, but it works wonders. When it’s time to clean up, tell your students that you see one thing on the floor. It’s the magic piece. You can either play a clean up song, count down from a certain number or just give them a short time. If that magic piece is cleaned up by the end of your counting or the song, they get something. The something could simply be extra recess, free time at the end of the day or something with the way you do behavior. It helps your littles to clean up faster, want to clean up and have a purpose when doing so.
Classroom Tip #3
One of my favorite classroom purchases was a wireless microphone from Amazon. I use it for a few different reasons, but the one that my kids are the most obsessed with is when I assign a hallway “monitor” to monitor the voice level. They are able to carry the microphone, with it off, and quietly say the names of friends that they see walking nicely, being quiet and just doing the right thing. Once we get back in the room, they get praised, get an incentive or something behavior-wise. Check out the list for My Favorite Things here.
Classroom Tip #4
One of my favorite tips for using stamps. Over the years, I’ve collected many different types of stamps. I used to have literally every color ink pad… that was until they started getting ink on my rugs and on their clothes and literally everywhere, but the stamp.
Now, I use play doh in place of ink pads. All you need is a small ball of play doh pressed out flat. Then, students can stamp and spell words in the play doh. We use Seesaw to record all of their work including what they create during centers. It makes it even easier to do paperless things like this. They take a picture and upload that pic to Seesaw. They can even record themselves reading the words. Either way works and they’re learning while “playing”.
Along the same lines of being digital, one thing I do to get parents to come to our events at school is to take pictures as our invitations. I still send home the normal flyers that our school creates, but I always have way more attendance when I send these. I just print out one letter on a sheet of paper, have each child hold one and snap their pic. I upload the photo to Seesaw and send it as an announcement to parents. I include all of the info that they need and they usually show up.
It’s something about their cute faces that makes them want to come!