Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Not enough time? AND stations update

So is this you? Your plans are beautifully drawn up, but by the end of the day you find you just couldn't find the time to get to everything on your schedule?

I had a few days like this ~ but plans are not my wish, it is what I am striving for.

So this week I added a timer to each section of my day.  Morning work~timer, calendar~ timer, word work~timer and so forth.  THEN, I added a timer for transitions.  I told my students we were going to do "Minute to Win It!"  Oh my goodness, they were pumped! Example:  They had 2 minutes to "neatly and completely" clean up their stations, put their station work in the station work bins, and meet me on the carpet.  It only took them 1 1/2 minutes."Winners" got 1 Smartie (not a whole pack, just one).

Flash forward to the end of my day.  I was able to check everything off my list, I had 20 minutes to spare, AND I did not have to motivate kids to get moving... Color me HAPPY!

Speaking of happy... Lovin' my stations again this week.  Here is a look:
They giggled when they landed on RECESS!  I love how this familiar game never gets old!

They did a great job comparing numbers!

I was nervous about how independent they would be on this one.  But gosh darn it!  They were great!  I sat with them to get them started and they just took off!

Reading about Math~ This was cute, he was being the teacher to his partner.

Most coveted math station this week. 

Another great comparison station.  I had to add a large jar to hold the cards.  There was wasted time getting  the cards all in order.  The jar worked like a charm.  They spent time comparing numbers, not fussing with cards.  Yay!

Ok... Not sure why my images load up sideways.

What are some of the ways you shave minutes off of your day?  How to you keep on schedule?


  1. I love all of these stations! And I just might have to steal your "minute to win it" idea! :)

  2. I also love all of your center ideas! I think Minute to Win it, is coming to my town tomorrow :-) I actually have gone to and visited the transition sound bites. I am not a spongebob fan but I use the "aye aye captain" 50 second sound bite and the kids have to have centers clean, hands on head before they hear the last few tones. Quick clean up and a quick switch! Love it! I will be adding mission impossible theme song for packing up at the end of the day!

    Primary Connections

  3. Oh, how I LOVE the "minute to win it" idea! I just wrote a post titled "Not enough time" haha - so I was particularly drawn to this! :) Thanks for the idea!!! :)

    Jenn @ The Kinder Life

  4. OMGosh! I am totally going to have to play "Minute 2 win it!" You have rocked my day! :) Thank you! :)
    Crayons and Curls

  5. Love your Minute To Win It!! I tried it today before they went to gym and it worked perfect!! Love all of your center things, I have purchased most of those items from TPT and am headed into school tonight so I won't have to be there this weekend!! Thanks for the great ideas!!

  6. Busy Bees~Thank you for your kind words. I am so glad the Minute to Win It worked. I have added so much more time to my day by using this. Just think... If you saved 1 minute on each transition... you will have AT LEAST an additional 20 minutes each day AND the behavior issues tend to disappear during these transition times!

    Woo Hoo!

  7. Thank you thank you thank you! I worked on using a timer for every activity and the minute to win it and had the internet been working properly for my math series I would have completed everything today. It's funny how you know things but you need someone else to tell you again. This helped soooo much!

  8. Kerri~ Thank you for checking back with me. It is so true. I couldn't tell you the number of times I've read something and thought, "Gosh, I know that.... Why am I not doing that?" It is like the man in the circus who has to keep all the plates spinning... we have to revisit the ones we got started again and again.

    I'm so glad it worked out for you!


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