More Classroom Routines

I thought of some more routines and decided to write a new post instead of adding to the last one.

End of Day Routine: It probably seems strange to start with the end of day but I am not a morning person so I don't do as much in the morning. At the end of each day, I clean off my desk so it's clutter free and organized. Random papers on hung on these clipboards so that they all are in a safe place that is NOT my desk.

I copy bell ringers and have them in their page protector and laid out on each desk for the next morning. I set up my powerpoint or notebook file on the computer/SMART board and turn the monitor only off so that it's ready for the next day. I change the date, turn off my digital clock, and erase all boards. I make any copies I need and they go into the correct bin for each class period.

 If there are any activities I need, I have them set out and organized to start right away. Before I leave, I check my school mail box and put away accordingly.

Beginning of Day Routine: I get to school right on time so that means I walk in, turn on the monitor, turn on the Smart board, get my copies for each day, and start my laptop up to take attendance and check my e-mail. I turn the clock on and I'm ready to go, standing at the door to greet my students.

Plan Period: My plan period is second period which means I struggle through first hour and then use second hour to get prepared for the rest of the day/week. But since I make copies after school, I can better use my time to plan. First of all, I take this time to use the bathroom and check my school mailbox as well as email. On Monday plan, I print out the bell ringers I need for the week and have them ready to go. I email my lesson plans to my principal and use that as a guide to see what I need to copy, create, or put together. It's very common for me to internal sub for an absent teacher. That means I bring their students to my room and give them their assignment and I sit and work at my desk. Sucks when I need to leave my room, nice when I get my paycheck. :) I've already wrote about how I plan a lesson, but basically, I look and see what I have, what the book has, and what I've saved online, and do a mash-up of whatever seems easy to understand. Always work out an answer key before copying ANYTHING. I don't know how many times I've had to learn this lesson. Almost every time, I find something I need to fix or want to change. It's always better to be prepared.

Saving My Work: I carry a Western Digital Passport External Hard Drive back and forth  to school where I have everything I've ever done in my five years of teaching. I've tried box.com and Sugar Sync and other programs but if the Internet or server goes down at school, I can't access any of those. So this works best for me. I save things by school year, 2013-2014, then create a folder for each prep that I have. Within those, I create a folder for each unit. Everything I use in a unit is labeled with the prep, the unit, the day within the unit, and the concept.

For example, A2 3 D0 Glossary means Algebra II, Unit 3, Day 0, Glossary. Next comes A2 3 D1 Polynomial Graph Investigation- Algebra II Unit 3, Day 1, concept.

This way I know the difference between what I actually used and stuff I just saved.

I like to know exactly where things are.

Desks: Last year my biggest class was 28 and this year my biggest was 14. The first thing I did over the summer was remove a bunch of desks! I kept 16 and grouped them into fours in a way that no one's back is to the SMART board. This is the best picture I have but I no longer use the bags zip tied to the desk. This is easy to walk around and between, to monitor students, to pass out papers, and to give students nearby resources.

Kleenex: As a high school student, all my teachers only had toilet paper and I was so embarrassed at how red and raw my nose would get. I swore I would always have Kleenex in my classroom. I keep one on my desks that mostly for me and one for students to use. I probably don't even go through 10-12 boxes a year so it's not a big deal for me to buy them myself. I also only use an electric pencil sharpener.

Birthday Candy: At the beginning of the year I give students a calendar that they pass around and write their name, birthday, and favorite candy. I give it to them on their birthday and summer birthday's get theirs on the last day of school. This is something I have always done and will continue to do. I really feel that some students get no presents or specialness on their birthday so I do what I can to show them they are noticed and their birthday matters to me. It costs me $50-60 a year since I only have 50ish students so it's not bad.

Survivor Games: If you noticed in my last post, I mentioned this game a lot. This is the tracking sheet I use. The students picked their own team names and at the top are the categories I'm recoding. I shaded the rows so I can easily see the changes between class periods. I just mark check marks if they did it and x's if they didn't. MMM is Mental Math Monday and I write down their table total. For bell ringers, I record how many they get right through the week. At the end of the week, I put a smiley face next to the group that won that category and over to the left, I write down the number of game pieces they receive. I write the week's date in the top left white corner.

And that's all I have to say about that!

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