6 Tips for Leaving School Earlier



Some of my past coworkers reading this are going to do a double take.  Say what?  Mandy Gregory, Queen of Working Late, is writing a post about leaving school early?  Who is writing this post and where have they taken our Mandy?

Well, I am still here.

I figured the reason I could write this post is because there were a few days I left early...although mostly I did leave late.  Like, almost always, truthfully. I am blogging about what I did DIFFERENTLY on the days I left early. Make sense? Here we go!


1.) Set a timer.

I had a magnetic oven timer that I used for a variety of things.  It was usually next to my guided reading table or on the whiteboard. I found one for really cheap at WalMart.  If I had to be somewhere, but had a few things to finish up first, I used the oven timer.  It made me more aware of time and more accountable to myself for how I used my time.  No more just hanging out eating M&M's and popcorn and cutting lamination. Not that I have ever done that.  FYI: Peanut M&M's and popcorn are to die for! LOL!



2.) Keep a running lists.
Sometimes I flew by the seat of my pants after school.  I kept a "mental list" of what needed to be done.  I hated it.  When I did this, I usually wasted time on menial tasks, rather than the biggies.  When I kept an-up-to-date-written-down-list of all the important to do's, I was much more effective.  It made it easier to figure out what was a priority and had to be finished first. Writing the list down helped me remember what needed to be done.  Besides, marking things off is such a nerdy high I loved!

This goes hand in hand with keeping an accurate calendar. I was good about writing most things on my school calendar  I kept.   However, if I didn't have it with me, I tending to forget to write things down.  Always take your calendar to EVERY meeting (from IEP, to RTI, to staff meetings) and keep only ONE master calendar for yourself at school.   If my calendar was current, it usually helped to guide my to do list for when specific paperwork was due.




3.) Shut your door.
Got a chatty co-worker?  Or a few? Do they like to come "hang out and chat" for a bit after school? Yeah, this can be a problem.  My problem was that I was the chatty co-worker! LOL! Oopsie! I found if I shut my door, it forced me focus on JUST my classroom and what needed to get done...rather than running things to the office, copy room, see what Heather was doing (love ya, girl) etc. 

Sometimes your chatty co-workers ( I may have done this a time or two) will be obvious and barge right through your closed door.  That is when you go to a Code Red: Lock your door, turn off the lights, and get busy.




4.) Errand box/ area
I was a *bit* distractible after school.  I would run around like a chicken with my head cut off dropping things off, but would invetiable forgot SOMETHING.  Copy paper?  Oops.  Pen?  Opps. Papers that needed to go to the office?  Oopsie Daisy!


I have blogged about this area before. It was a huge help- when I used it of course! LOL!  This set of stackers was RIGHT beside the door of the classroom.  Anything that needed to be returned (paperwork, library books, etc) went in the top basket, copies to be made went in the bottom basket and anything else in the middle basket.  I tried to check it whenever I left the room.


A friend of mine kept a tub.  Anytime she needed a copy of something, she slipped the master into the tub.  She put any construction paper, items that needed lamination, and anything that needed to be done all in one place.  She made copies once a week and took the entire tub with her.  It was very smart.



5.) Keep it clean!
I didn't really work at my desk.  It actually tended to hold my laptop.  I generally worked at my guided reading table.  I tried to make a habit of cleaning of my guided reading table at the end of the day.  It was always overwhelming to walk in the next day with a cluttered table.  Things tend to get lost in piles, so make a habit of clearing it off each day.  You can do this as the kids are packing up at the end of the day or while they are playing magic trash.



6.) Use some child labor!
I am not talking about opening a sweatshop or anything crazy like that.   I am just saying, use your resources.  You have happy helpers are around you!  Use them!  Students used to file papers for me to send home in Friday Folders. This was a "treat" for students that finished morning work early.  Every Friday, a responsible fifth grader that was a previous student would come down and stuff all the Friday Folders for us. I even had kids that were mature enough to handle "big" scissors cut out lamination for me.


Have you guys seen Blair Turner Paper?  Her stuff is GORGEOUS! She has some of the BEST notepads for getting organized!!!!

To help you get out the door a little faster each afternoon, I am giving away a $25 gift certificate to Blair Turner Paper! Yahoo!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Did I miss any tips? Are you able to leave school at a reasonable time?

I hope this post gave some tips and tricks!  If you would like more ideas from me, be sure to follow me on Teachers Pay Teachers, Pinterest, and Facebook to catch all the freebies and ideas and more!





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Magic Die: Simple Math Trick

Today I am over at the Primary Peach sharing about one of my most favorite math tricks!


It is quick, easy, and only takes one die! Your kids will LOVE it- and practice mental math as a bonus!



Click here for this great pack of FREE math centers, plus get tips and updates from me!




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Sharing Sunday: October Goodies and Freebies

Ya'll.  I just CANNOT believe October is around the corner!  This is so crazy to me!  October is a busy time at our house- the usual ramping up for the holidays and my beautiful first born will turn FIVE.  Where has the time gone?!



I could just eat her up.

So, with October around the corner, you are probably looking for some MORE fabulous fun freebies and resources!  I have searched all afternoon and found some goodies for you!


Lucky for you, this is part of a series and even MORE people are participating.  Make sure you check the bottom of this post for even more resources and freebies!  Yahoo for goodies on a Sunday!

It is going to be good.


Okay, maybe not so good that your lessons write themselves.  But, still pretty good! LOL!


Let's get this party started! Make sure to click on the pictures to get your freebies!  It will take you to another pdf file, click again on the pictures to get your stuff!

Reading

October is a great time to move into informational text! You can read about all kinds of creepy crawlies and celebrate the season, without being to overtly in Halloween stuff. Gail Gibbons also has a moon and an owl book, which would be appropriate for this time of year, too! The book I Need My Monster is a MUST read! I have an entire reading and writing unit all about this precious book.  I am going to try to share it soon!



Math

It was always addition time in my classroom around October.  Make  sure to click on the picture to get your freebies.  The kids always loved making the "spooky" fact family houses.  It was a great review before diving into  double digit addition.


We also did a little monster measurement!  You can read about that here!





Centers and Printables
There are two, never been shared before freebies above! Eek!  Enjoy!


Make sure to head back to the Primary Peach for MORE October fun and freebies!


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10 Must Follow Upper Grades Teachers on Facebook

A few days ago I shared my 10 Must Follow Primary Teachers.  Today I am going to share my 10 Must Follow Upper Grade Teachers!  AND I am going to include a little bonus, too!

I have to confess- I recently read a blog post by Emily at Education to the Core.  She highlighted 15 amazing teachers to follow on Facebook!  I thought it was a fantastic idea!

Most of the pages she highlighted were very young primary grades (PreK -1st).  I thought I would do a similar post, focusing on the upper grades!  Make sure to check out Emily's blog- it is amazing!


Here are all the Facebook pages, in no particular order!
















Now, for a little BONUS!  I love these two pages!  Most of the information on these pages applies to SEVERAL grades, so I had a hard time figuring where they "fit." So I am just adding them in as  awesome BONUS PAGES!  LOL!



 


I hope this post gave you some awesome new pages to follow!  If you would like more ideas from me, be sure to follow me on Teachers Pay Teachers, Pinterest, and Facebook to catch all the freebies and ideas and more!

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Apple Round Up!

Johnny Appleseed's birthday is Saturday, September 26th! Wouldn't it be great to do a "special day" focused all around Mr. Chapman and apples?



Here are a bunch of resources to get you started!


Check out these awesome books all about apples and Johnny Appleseed.


Reading and Writing

 Read about the life of Johnny Appleseed and use it is an opportunity to practice asking and answering questions. 



These apples with questions are a part of my Johnny Appleseed reading and writing lesson and craft.



Students can then create this cute little peek over craft after writing about Johnny Appleseed.  here are some super sweet examples C is for Cookies, Cakes, Children, Classroom and Crafts shared on her blog.



I also have this freebie for reading.  

Students create a pocket and mini book about Johnny Appleseed and then answer questions from the story.

Math
Apples lend themselves perfectly to graphing!

I have this FREE apple graphing unit available.


Students create an apple glyph and then graph the information from the glyph. This is a great introduction to bar graphs!



These photos are super sad- it was a busy day, but you can get the idea! LOL! #teachingintherealworld #sorrynotsorry



My cross-curricular Johnny Appleseed Interactive Notebook also has several math pages for addition, telling time, and more graphing practice.


Science
Johnny Appleseed is a perfect time to tie in the seasons and life cycles.  We created this anchor chart to show what we already know about the seasons.




Then we added on to show what we wanted to know and what we learned after reading the Gail Gibbons book, Seasons of Arnold's Apple Tree and the Brainpop Jr. video.


We also made this stand up cutie craft to illustrate the four seasons.


You can get a free copy of it here!



I hope this post gave you some new resources and ideas!  If you would like more ideas from me, be sure to follow me on Teachers Pay Teachers, Pinterest, and Facebook to catch all the freebies and ideas and more!



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10 Must Follow Primary Teachers on Facebook

I recently read a blog post by Emily at Education to the Core.  She highlighted 15 amazing teachers to follow on Facebook!  I thought it was a fantastic idea!

Most of the pages she highlighted were very young primary grades (PreK -1st).  I thought I would do a similar post, focusing on kindergarten to second grade!


Here they are, in no particular order!











Did I miss any of your favorites?  Who do you love to follow?


I hope this post gave you some awesome new pages to follow!  If you would like more ideas from me, be sure to follow me on Teachers Pay Teachers, Pinterest, and Facebook to catch all the freebies and ideas and more!

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