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Time Savers

Address Labels Save Time
Sticky-backed address labels prepared in advance can be real timesavers; they can save you from writing the same note over and over. For example, when students need to remember a date (e.g., the date a permission slip or other form needs to be returned or the date of a special event), create address labels with the need-to-know information on them. Have students attach those labels to their assignment logs or to their lunch boxes or anything else they carry home with them. You might use fluorescent-colored address labels, which are more difficult to ignore. You also can prepare labels that keep students informed about after-school extra-help times. Or use a pre-prepared label to let parents know students came to class unprepared; you might ask parents to initial the label to indicate that they are aware of the problem.

What Color Is Your Cup?

More Tips

For even more Classroom Management Tips, check out our Classroom Management Tips Volumes 1-41.

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Provide each student with a red plastic cup to keep in his or her desk. During class activities, when students have a question, they simply put the red cup upside down on their desk. Doing that does away with raised hands and the sound effects that often accompany them in an effort to gain the teachers attention. When students are working in groups, you might employ a similar system using three colored cups: a green cup means all is well in the group; a yellow cup means the group has a question, but can continue working for now; and a red cup indicates the group has a question that needs to be answered before they can continue. (Note: Green cups can be difficult to find, so you might need to substitute some other color for green.)

Put a Stamp on Your Priorities
What are the important things you look for when grading student work? What are the things you and other teachers on your team have decided are most important? Once you decide, order a rubber stamp that lists them. For example, if you have decided that the most important things for students to pay attention to in their written work are spelling, punctuation, and neatness, have a stamp created that looks like this:

_______ Spelling
_______ Punctuation
_______ Neatness
Use the stamp to stamp each piece of student work. Then grade students on those important elements. You might use a letter grade, a check or check-plus, or any other grading system to focus students on your teams main goals.

Make Correcting Easier
Too many papers to correct? Looking for ways to ease the task? In many cases you can ease the job by having students create a special answer area on their papers. That can be done by folding the paper to create a small column on the right side of the page. This works especially well with math activities; you still have the computation work on the page to refer to if you have any questions about students arrived at their answers.

No More Worksheet Disasters
Have you made the mistake of writing on, or handing out, the master copy of a student work sheet you want to use again next year? Avoid the problem next time by using a yellow highlighter to write the word MASTER on your master copy of each work sheet. The word MASTER will remind you not to write on the work sheet or hand it out; and the transparent highlighter will not show up on photocopies.

Article by Linda Starr
Education World®
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