1. Stop telling them to line up quietly. It doesn't work anyway. I started using call backs (Third grade-->rocks!) We do the call back three times, and then that's it. I tell them three hints is enough for anyone to line up properly and quietly. After three hints, it's time to go to the back of the line. Click here to read more callback ideas.
2. You know those little color sticker dots? Put them on their desks. One of the teachers at my school does this. Orange dots-get the papers for your table. Green dots-collect the recycling. You get the idea.
3. Kids forgetting to put their names and numbers on papers? Have them turn then into you in number order. This means they can't just put their paper at the top of the stack. They have to find the correct place in the stack. Bonus? Helps them with the concept of betweenness. Double bonus? They will hunt down the kid that did not write his/her name or number because it messes up the stack.
4. Where are those darn kids? I use a chart to keep track over everybody. You can read about it here. I had so many people ask me about these, that I put an editable one in my store.
5. Drowning in papers? Keep them organized. I love these magnetic pockets from Lakeshore.
6. Do your kids ask you to do 100 things a day? I need a new copy of my reading log . . . can you help me find the sequel . . . remember when you ran out of passes and told me you'd get me one . . . . And you immediately forget everything because you're already doing 100 things. Have them leave you a post it note on your desk. I hate these little notes on my desk, but I don't let myself remove them until I've taken care of it. Problem solved.
7. Tired of looking for the papers you copied or the book that goes with your lesson? Make sure you have a place to put everything and put an end to those frantic searches.
9. To help your students differentiate between independent work time and partner/group work time, use music! For independent work time, I play classical, relaxing music. For partner/group work time, I don't play music. This helps the students distinguish between the two without reminders!
10. Have students "Ask 3 Before Me". They will then seek out three different students for the answer before coming to you. Great for questions like "Where do I turn this in?" and "What are we supposed to do next?" You can read more about it and a download a poster here.
What do you do to make your teaching day a little easier?