Monday, 5 December 2016

Teacher Time Saving Tip 5

I am one of those people... when I'm asked to volunteer for something, whether it be retyping a worksheet or heading up the English department, I can't say NO!  This is a problem for me!  Sometimes my plate was so full and I was stretched so thin that I felt I was not coping.   My inability to say NO forcefully and like I meant it, was my downfall.

I thought it was a sign of weakness, but it definitely is not!  Sometimes it is good to say no and mean it.  You don't need to be rude about it, but be firm.  "Unfortunately, I  will not be able to ..."  "No, that will not be possible."  Don't leave room for negotiations.

You also deserve down time, family time and me time.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Teacher Time Saving Tip 4

Some admin or planning tasks take far more time and effort than others (like those ones done in Tip 2).  Schedule a time for these tasks when you know you have a fair amount of time to really get into it.  

Also find a spot where distractions will be limited.  If you work best at school, find a spot where no one can find you.  If your fellow colleagues are expert hide-and-seekers, sit at your local Starbucks.  If you have had your fair share of caffeine for the day, position yourself in your living room at home (or lock yourself in the bathroom if there are kids around).  

If you are like me, I also tend to work better in the morning, rather at night.  So mornings would be my most mentally productive times.

It doesn't matter where you are, just find a space where you can focus for the given amount of time and tackle the task at hand.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Teacher Time Saving Tip 3

Have you ever arranged a parent conference, where it be in person or on the phone, and it seems as though there is no end?  It is so nice to have a good chat to parents about all kinds of things, but it is not so nice when they leave and you realize that for the past hour and a half you have been making small talk when you have a good few piles of grading that needs your attention.

Leave the chit chat to the sports' field or school events if you are on a tight time schedule!

Try to arrange conferences at time when you know time is limited.  Before school, during recess or during the parent's lunch break are all 'restricted' times.  You will get to your point and they will get to their's as both of you know the end is in sight.

Teacher Time Saving Tip 1 will also help to speed conferences along and avoid time being wasted.

Till next week - happy time saving!

Monday, 14 November 2016

Teacher Time Saving Tip 2

We all have our favorite TV shows and I'm not sure about you but once the show is over I regret wasting the time watching, instead of working.

I then realized that there were some things meant to do while watching!  I would cut, paste, laminate, staple or sort while my show was on.

Before you leave school, grab a folder of which ever 'mindless' activity you needed to complete, and plan it for that hour slot of telly time.  That way, after the hour, you can see progress and you have relaxed on the sofa!

Stay tuned for next week's #teachertimesavingtips !

Monday, 7 November 2016

Teacher Time Saving Tip 1

Teachers are known to be over worked and not have time for themselves.  For the next few weeks, I will be offering a Teacher Time Saving Tip which I hope will give you an extra few minutes in your day to do something for yourself.

So here we go...

Phone conferences can take up a lot of your time.  The trick is to put motions in place to limit the time on the phone.

Trying to explain areas of concern with a parent over the phone can take time.  If they have had an opportunity to look over the 'evidence' before the conference, they will have a background of the concern and make useful contributions.

Monday, 31 October 2016

Boom! Learning: No-Print, Interactive, Digital Task cards

We have all been exposed to the useful nature of task cards and clip cards in our classrooms.  These are fun versions of worksheets and offer students with a different option when it comes to being assessed on their understanding.

These task cards, can however, be expensive and time consuming to make.  Printing, laminating and cutting dig into teachers' pockets and personal time.

Students are also becoming reliant on digital manipulation.  They are familiar with digital resources and enjoy using them.

Boom! Learning have created an App which cover all these bases.

They offer a digital task card resource.  That's right! No more printing, no more laminating, no more cutting!

The platform allows teachers to create their own sets as well as purchase from sets available in the Boom! Learning store.

Let's look at what Boom offers teachers:

  • No more printing, laminating and cutting!  
  • A huge time and money saver for teachers.
  • Because printing costs do not need to be taken into consideration, Boom cards can be bright, colorful and appealing to the student-eye.
  • One-on-one teaching.  Each student logs in and completes task card sets on their own.
  • Boom records and grades students' responses.  A report can be accessed by the teacher for each student, outlining how they fared with the deck.  
  • Differentiated learning is easy as you can decide which sets each student needs to complete.
  • Preparation is minimal:  create/purchase your set and allocate it to your class in the app.
  • Students love using digital resources during class time and this offers a different form of reinforcement.
  • You can access Boom Learning Website via their website or download the App onto your devices (Google Play and Apple Store)

Does this sound like something that you and your students will enjoy using?  Check it out!  You can sign up initially for free and try it out before signing up for a bigger membership.

I have opened a store, should you be interested in checking out some of my decks:


Visit BOOM! Learning HERE!

Thursday, 22 September 2016

QR Code Possibilities are Endless

I loved using QR codes in my classroom and to this day, wish I had discovered it earlier.  As a result, I am going out of my way to introduce them to other teachers so that they can identify with the potential that they offer the classroom environment.

I have compiled a few 'How to..." videos for you to watch if you are nervous about taking the leap into the QR code world (believe me, once you start you too are going to wish you did it earlier).

The first video is a TedEd video.  Karen Mensing is a teacher and she gives you practical ideas on how to use QR codes and the results it had with her students.  If this doesn't get you hooked...

Right, you're hooked!  Now what?  The next video is from Instructions 101, and here you are given a variety of websites that you can use to create your QR codes for FREE.  I always use but there are others which work just as well.

Hehe, and while searching for appropriate QR code videos for you, I did come across this one... "The Problem with QR codes."  It made me giggle because I have often been in these situations, and just reminds us all to think about how we use technology.  just because we have access to it, does not mean that it is appropriate in every situation :)

I hope you found this post useful and will dive straight into QR codes when you go back to school.

You can also get some ideas here on how I used QR codes in the classroom and a FREEBIE that will make organizing group work fun!

Here are also a few QR code board games which I created.  they will add a different twist to practicing what was learned:

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