Timesaving Tips to Help Teachers Keep Their Sanity


Do you ever feel like this gal in the photo?  Perhaps you were right there last week as the days wound down before break? Well, if that’s the case, then today’s post will be a welcome relief because it’s all about timesavers that will make life just a little easier.

With me for today’s post are Catherine Reed from The Brown Bag Teacher and Erin from Mrs. Beers Language Arts Class, and I am so appreciative of their thoughts and contributions to TPT that make teaching easier and a lot more fun. I have learned so much from both of them and suggest that you add their blogs to your reading list if you aren’t currently following them.


This summer, I got the chance to meet Catherine at the TPT conference, and I just love her blog. Most recently, she blogged about student to student book recommendations.  You can check out that post [here]. What a great motivator! I’ve blogged about book talks before too, and I highly recommend giving them a try if you haven’t gotten into that routine yet. She includes a nice freebie with the post above.

Another post I enjoyed was her post about differentiating instruction. You can catch a lot from this image from Catherine’s classroom. Notice the color coding. Keeping things organized in this way is a great way to keep on schedule and increase time on task for students. I also love the large labels as I ALWAYS seem to misplace things.

The second contributor to today’s post is my friend, Erin, from Mrs. Beers Language Arts Class. Erin and I have known each other for about a year now, and she’s another bloggy friend I was excited to meet this summer at the TPT conference.  She is sharing her Emergency Language Arts Sub Plans. Say what?? You mean I can buy these and be ready to roll?? Yes, these print and go lessons are ready for that day you’re struck with the flu and can not put one foot in front of the other to get the job done. Where was Erin when I needed her? LOL!  When you’re sick, the last thing you want to do is write plans.

For the giveaway, Catherine is sharing a copy of her editable newsletters.  Communication with parents is so important, and these newsletters are set up and ready for your quick information. Imagine the time you’ll save with a quick newsletter that shares the information you’d otherwise write in each and every agenda.  I think this is a great option for getting information out with one document.

One post from Erin’s blog I’d like to highlight is her post on making homework easier for parents and teachers.  I honestly hate homework, so any tips to make it less painful is a winner in my book. Check it out by clicking the image to the left.  You will love it too.

In addition to these resource from Catherine and Erin, I am adding in the Winter Book Bundle which includes a great cross section of winter materials. You should find a little something for everyone in that bundle. It addresses comprehension, fluency and writing. Just click the image to check it out.

These gals both have freebies to share with you too.  Click below to check


In addition to these freebies, I thought I’d share this parental involvement poster. Having your parents as your partners really makes the job easier. I recently read a tip to help share your needs with parents is to use Signup Genius. You can list your needs using the calendar feature.

Before you go, here are a few more timesavers to add to your list.

  • Have a “to be completed” bag or basket where you keep all work in progress.
  • Create an “Absentee” folder where all papers for the day are stored. As students return, they collect what they missed.
  • Number your students and instead of putting names on everything, use numbers. Then you can reuse these items year to year.
  • Buy the plastic 4-drawer desk organizers to organize papers you need by time block. It helps a lot to have your materials sorted and ready in the drawers.
  • Use zipties on the legs of desks to lock desks into “tables”. It helps with small groups.


Carla is a licensed reading specialist with 27 years of experience in the regular classroom (grades 1, 4, and 5), in Title 1 reading, as a tech specialists, and a literacy coach. She has a passion for literacy instruction and meeting the needs of the individual learner.