We know how important it is to stay on schedule in the classroom. Not only is there planned curriculum to follow in some cases, but other tasks and ideas to fit in as they come up. This third post of our classroom management series will address what are probably some of the most important tools of the teaching trade (right after caffeine and a sense of humor). We’re talking about scheduling tools, some of which can be just as useful at home! These include
- Planners and calendars
- Wall décor
- Pocket charts
- Timers and buzzers
Schedules for personal use
The most obvious item to use for keeping a schedule is a planner. We can be particular about our visual planners and everyone has a tried and true favorite. Some people simply need a basic weekly grid style planner and others find a combination record book and lesson planner for all the details a must-have. Even though many schools are going to online grading and scheduling, there is just something about having a plan book where we can write it all down. There are games, rallies, meetings, and many other events to remember. Keeping it all written down in one place can help you get it all organized and off your mind. Here are some from our full line of classroom plan books. Some styles come with stickers or you can purchase stickers separately. Why not add a fun decorative touch while you’re at it? They are also handy if you use a desk calendar!
Visual schedules for groups
Speaking of calendars, you may need one for monthly planning where everyone can see upcoming events, birthdays, breaks, and holidays.
A popular option is one of our paper calendar charts and the coordinating accents, or a complete bulletin board set. You can laminate the pieces and hang with stikki clips or dots for easy removal. Consider purchasing two of the same calendar charts to plan 2 months at a time. When the current month ends, just switch them around and have two months planned out ahead! It helps to visualize upcoming weeks so the class isn’t lost when the month is ending. You can create your very own monthly headers with tagboard and stickers or purchase a ready-made set. There are so many options and themes to choose from!
Magnetic calendar boards
We like these magnetic calendar boards that can be written on with a white board marker and used with magnetic or other calendar accents to add some interest. Accents come in such a wide variety of styles, and white board markers come in lots of vibrant colors! You’re sure to find something to coordinate.
If you already have a magnetic white board, you can simply add a magnetic calendar sheet, magnetic schedule accents, and a giant magnetic notebook paper and you’re ready to customize your schedule!
No magnetic surface? No problem!
Introducing Clingy Thingies®, which are made with a special cling technology. They are not sticky to the touch, yet they stick to any smooth surface and can be easily removed. You can even use water to rinse lint or dirt off the back surface. Clingy Thingies® can be used again and again without leaving any mess or residue. They also feature a write-on/wipe-off surface, perfect for schedules and planning.
Smart Poly Charts
Decorative write-on/wipe-off poly calendars and schedule charts can be hung front and center so your students can see what’s coming up. Use one for long term planning and the other for each week or day. Do you have students who want to know what’s happening every hour of every day? Now you’ll have a wall schedule to refer to, even if it’s just an overview, and it’s easily changed if the plan changes. Which we all know it sometimes does. You can use the same method with these that you would the magnetic or chart calendars and use a combination of a wipe-off marker and dimensional accents. Did we mention all the great colors of markers available?
Multi-purpose daily schedules
A timeless tool that can be used year after year, with some minor adjustments as needed, is the scheduling pocket chart. As we noted in our last post, there is a pocket chart for just about everything.
We like these all-in-one deluxe scheduling pocket charts which come in solid colors or designs. They provide the perfect way to display your daily schedule and to reinforce time-telling concepts, as well as teaching days of the week and months of the year. Personalize and customize these and teach several skills at once! Hang on the wall with strong hooks, or a white board with magnetic hooks. Over the door hangers or a pocket chart stand are also excellent ways to display your pocket chart schedule.
Smart poly, like the charts mentioned earlier, also come in a 7 or 10 pocketpocket chart. You can write on these with wipe off markers or crayons, too!
Time for timers
Finally, be sure to have some type of timer on hand. Sand timers are still a favorite and come in different time increments. But if you need something the whole class can see and/or hear, we have options for that. Check out this large magnetic timer for your white board and the light up timer which is combined with sound cues to keep everyone on track.
Time management goes hand in hand with schedules and teaching kids how to manage their time is as important as what they are doing with their time. Be sure to drop by one of our stores and we’ll help you find the perfect scheduling tools to suit your needs. You can also order online and pick up at a location nearest you. We ship, too!
Even if you have the best scheduling tools, there are some days the entire plan goes out the window. What do you do in that case? Share in the comments your best tips for scheduling and time management!