Time Savers, Helpful Hints (a little freebie, too), Activities Like, and New Ideas

13 November 2013

I am a little late to the Blog Hoppin' party, but better late than never!  

Here are some of my quick Time-Savers:
I don't file away my original copies for the week right away.  I actually keep them in my "To Copy" file and then I grab them quick if needed.  You know like when a student uses four sheets instead of his/her allotted one!    I don't have to go back through my files to find the paper, it is just right there. 
(for info on the draws, click here)

If I do have extra copies when an activity is over, I save the extra copies in a clear bag with the activity. The clear bags allow me to quickly see what the activity is and find it fast.  I store the bags in large plastic storage bins labeled by month.  I place these bins above my closet and take them down only when it is that month.  This type of storage works well for centers, since the whole class does not go to the center in one day.  I just pull the bag and put the extra copies into a basket with the center. There are usually enough copies to get me by one rotation.

Helpful Hints: 
Teach your students mnemonics to remember things.  I love this one above for how to spell "because." If you like the poster, click the image to download for free.
 This idea is nothing new, but it works!   Just tie a rubber band around the pump of your hand-sanitizer or "hani-tizer" as the kids call it and it limits the amount they can get out in one pump.   One of my kiddos called it an "appetizer."  LOL
If you want the students to do something right, give them a visual.  I even use a visual of how I want the students to lay out the tracers on the paper.   Yes, I want them to problem solve but sometimes saving paper outways that! 

Learning does not have to be boring!  It should be fun and the students should not be at their desks the whole day!  Kids need to move. 
 To make letter writing an authentic experience, I arranged for the Tooth Fairy to write individual letter back to each student!  They were beyond thrilled and learned that letter writing has a true purpose. (Letter Writing Unit on TpT)

 Learning about 2-D and 3-D (Plane and Solid Shapes) does not have to be boring.  Let them actually make something with the shapes.  Who doesn't like building with blocks?!  Plus, the activity reinforces teamwork!

Last year, my students really had the wiggles!  I needed to create more center activities that involved movement.  So I came up with a ton of Search/Read/Write the Room Activities.   For the beginning of the year, I have the pictures match the word and then the students sort the word into one of two categories.  In the picture above the student is going to decided if "heart" begins with "initial consonant H" or ends in "-ap. "  He/she will then record the word in the appropriate column.
To see all my Search/Read/Write the Room Centers, click here

 This tiny words search is similar to Search/Read/Write the Room in that they are searching and sorting words.   Instead of walking around the room to find the words, the words are typed on the sheet in a small sized font.  The students use a magnifying glass to find the words.  Once they find the word, they decided which category it belongs in.  Above the student is searching for words that begin with the th digraph or end with the th digraph.
(This center is in my Th Digraph Centers Packet on TpT.)
New Ideas:
To see my post on New Ideas, head over to Blog Hoppin' where I am helping to host the linky on 11/14/13!

As always, thanks for taking the time to read my blog!  Feel free to pin.


  1. I loved your post and the rubber band trick has been my salvation since hand sanitizer came out.

  2. I love your toolbox. Where did you get the 3 drawers on rollers? Your blog is great you have amazing ideas.
    Eileen Boyle

  3. You always amaze me!! I just LOVE your stuff!! I just bought the Digraph Centers Packet today. I can't wait to use. As always thanks for sharing my sweet, humble blogger friend!!


  4. I just stumbled on your blog and love it! I read your post about putting QR codes in parent newsletters. I have a separate question. What did you use to make your gray borders and yellow arrows? I have been using Skitch, but curious if there was a better way. Thanks!

  5. I LOVE your "because" chart! Just printed it! I spelled "because" so MANY times today! Love your QR codes hand outs as I am just now ready to jump in!

    Learning is for Superstars
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  6. I have actually never heard about the trick with the rubber bands for hand sanitizer. Thanks for sharing! I had a student this year that calls the hand sanitizer "magic soap". Too cute!
    We are your newest followers and are looking forward to reading and learn more from you.
    Kelly and Kim’s Kindergarten Kreations

  7. My kids are going to just eat up that because poster. I think that is the most frequently asked question in my classroom during our writing time.

    The Teacher Talk

  8. Erica! These are great! Thank you so much! Hey, check out my FREE gingerbread boy and girl clipart: http://theartofteachingintodaysworld.blogspot.com/2013/11/gingerbread-boy-girl-clipart-giveaway.html

  9. Ok seriously. This post if FAB!!!! I love the because poster.... and your hand sanitizers... LOVE!

  10. I love your "To File" "To Copy" "To Grade" drawers. Such a smart way to stay organized. All of your organization tips are genius!


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