Monday, November 11, 2013


Hi, Teaching Friends!

We've all had it happen. A last minute note or call from the school office, usually in the midst of the end-of-the-day mayhem last few quiet minutes we're spending before dismissal: "Johnny is going to be out of school for three days and his mom wants homework for him!"  Aaaaagh!


We all know that hurriedly snatching a few papers from your folders for the days ahead is never going to make up for the lost time in school... assuming those folders are even ready, right? All of the collaborative work, discussion, and small group interaction can't be replaced.  Shared reading, writing workshop, guided reading, math centers... these and more make days away from school truly significant lost learning time.

So, here's my way get around some of the last minute paper snatching and lost learning time. At Back to School Night, introduce the subject of students being in school whenever they're healthy enough to be there. Then hand out this list of ideas for working at home on those "off days", when a child is better but not quite well enough to be back in school (or when they "really needed to sleep in", my least favorite excuse in the world. Seriously?? Who doesn't need that? Ergo, weekends, people!)  Ask families to post the list at home for a reminder on those kinds of days.
Click on the list to get your copy.

Sorry for the poor image, but there are ten ideas here, things like tallying the cars that pass by the house and playing math games with a deck of cards.

Step 2 of the plan. Keep a stack of these babies handy for whenever you get that eleventh hour call for work to send home. Pop it right into a folder with whatever else you can grab, and now families have been reminded of lots of learning options. And you've saved yourself the time and aggravation of writing a long note home.

It's also handy to have this list to tuck into the folder of a child heading off for a week's vacation during school time. Let's face it. How much work does your average child return to you after a week in Disneyworld? Teachers' children being the exception, of course! :)

Since this is definitely a timesaving and sanity saving strategy, I'll be linking up with the Thankful Linky at Blog Hoppin', where the theme today is Time-Savers.  Hop on over to get some amazing ideas for organizing your classroom, and your life!

Classroom freebies

Happy Teaching!


  1. Very nice. Makes things much simpler.

  2. You are SO smart! Thank you for this! :)

  3. You are SO kind, Lorena! :) Thanks for this comment that made me smile!

  4. Thank you! What a super neat idea!

  5. These are fantastic! Thanks for sharing at Manic Monday!

    1. Hope they'll be helpful to you, Debbie! Thanks for your comment!

  6. Thank you for this very creative idea! I am not as organized as I would like to be, so this helps.

  7. Susan, how many people do you know who really are as organized as they'd like to be? Not me, that's for sure! :)

  8. Thanks! Anything to keep a teacher's life a little bit simpler!

  9. Oh my goodness! What a fantastic idea. Thank you, Tina


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