Seasoned teachers and newbies alike have an arsenal of tips and tricks to help manage their many classroom tasks throughout the day. In a recent Facebook “DIY Classroom Tips and Tricks” campaign, we asked educators everywhere for their best and brightest task management methods. Below are five of the many standout ideas that we received.
Student Magnet Board
Use a simple magnetic board and numbered magnets to keep track of students all day. At the beginning of the school year, assign each student a number. Label the magnet board with places students can go, such as the restroom, library and computer lab. Any time a student leaves the room, move their magnet to the correct location. Not only will you know where your kids are at a glance, this also helps prevent multiple kids asking to go to the restroom – they can see that someone is already in there.
Timer and Lesson Plans
Transitioning between lessons or activities can be tough for some kids. Ease the stress – and keep yourself on task – with visible and audible reminders. Write the day’s schedule and lesson plans on the board so kids have a clear idea of what’s coming next. Set a timer to give a warning when the end of lesson is approaching, so kids know it’s time to wrap things up and prepare for the next activity. Some timers can be set to beep once at a ten-minute warning and twice when there’s five minutes left.
It’s no secret that music can elevate the mood in any room, so use it to your advantage! The Johns Hopkins School of Education extols the virtues of music in the classroom. Pair different types of music with various lessons and activities. Classical music with 50 to 80 beats per minute, such as Bach and Handel, helps kids focus and may enhance memory, making it perfect to play during lessons. You don’t have to limit yourself to the masterpieces, though. Upbeat marching music can motivate kids to pick up the pace during transition times.
Keeping classroom supplies, workbooks and manipulatives handy and organized can dramatically cut down on transition time. Keep a small bookshelf or other organizer near each table group or pod and stock it with books and other supplies. Using a color-coded system will help ensure that everything gets put back where it belongs. For example, label the math supplies with blue stickers and put a matching sticker on the shelf or cubby where they belong.
Something about a short break from school seems to “reset” kids’ memories when it comes to classroom rules. Do a quick review of class rules and expectations after each break or vacation period. Before starting an activity that the kids have not done before, take a minute to lay out expectations and guidelines to cut down on confusion and wasted time.
Keeping yourself and your students on task will benefit your classroom. You won’t miss a single beat because we have you covered; check out our DIY Classroom Task Management Pinterest Board for more inspiration!
Do you have any DIY Classroom Task Management Tips and Tricks that work well for you? We’d love to hear about them!