Save Time by Getting Students to Help You ~Time-Saving Tips for Teachers {A Daily Blog Series: Day 4}

Aside from yourself, your students know your classroom the best. I have shared tips on my blog for managing student jobs that will help your school days run smoothly (you can view that post here). In addition to the job chart tasks, students can also be used to assist you with completing many tasks that you would otherwise take on yourself. 

The key is to utilize their eagerness and ability to help in an efficient and effective manner. This can be accomplioshed by listing tasks that they can complete that are not time sensitive as you think of them and scheduling a time for the children to assist in completing them.  Here are a few tips to make it a successful experience:

  • Schedule a block of time outside the regular school day to have your helpers come in. I have found that 30-60 minutes once a week or once every other week is sufficient.  Because this is not instructional time you can also use the time to do some of the administrative tasks that you need to do file, plan, etc.
  • Obtain the proper permission from administration and/or parents.
  • Select students who are capable of getting the jobs done quickly and accurately. Because you may not want to exclude children you may consider sorting tasks by ability.  Alternately you may enjoy inviting former students who are now older and capable of taking on more responsibility to come back in and help out.
  • Have everything you need ready to go when the students arrive. 
  • Provide the students with a copy of the list of tasks that need completing and allow them to check them off when they are done.
  • Preparing Science Experiements: Provide students with a list of materials and have them sort them onto trays or into dishpans for easy distribution during class.
  • Organizing Math Manipulatives: Volunteers can count out and bag up pattern blocks, cubes, etc that will be used for math lessons and activities.
  • Leveling Books: Capable students can use the Scholastic Book Wizard to type in book titles and record the reading level on the cover. 
  • Maintain Your Library: Students can check to make sure books are shelved properly by direction, level, genre, etc. This is also a good opportunity to dust the shelves and clean the area.

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