Friday, August 5, 2011

The Organized Teacher: Regular Routines (FREEBIES)

I have spent my early mornings, afternoons, and many a nights working on the never ending to do list.  To often I found myself, on Friday night, still at work at 6pm.  A few years ago, I came across the Flylady website on managing a household and decided to apply some of those principles to school.  My Regular Routines is what I came up with. I have this typed up by day on 1 sheet of paper, laminated and taped to the front pocket of my to do list holder. I use a Vis-a-Vis to cross off the weekly and monthly areas.  It can be removed with wipes easily but doesn't rub off during normal wear on a daily basis.

Establish Daily Routines.  For me, this meant what I need to do in the morning after eating my breakfast taco at my desk before the bell rings and students walk in the door and what I need to wrap up at the end of the day.
  • Morning Routine
    • Check mailbox
    • Login to computer
    • Eat Breakfast Taco - how many times has my taco gotten cold because I got caught up in something the minute I walked in the door
    • Turn on TV for morning announcements
    • Look at lesson plans and to do list (while I eat my taco)
    • Check e-mail/voice mail and add to to do list
    • Turn on music, read affirmations, smile, open door (sometimes you need to remind yourself why you teach and how valuable you really are)
  • Conference Routine
    • Go to Bathroom - Don't laugh! If it isn't written down, I will not go.
    • Refill water bottle.
    • Check mailbox
    • Work on weekly routine stuff - see below
    • Work on to do list
  • Wrap Up Routine: after kids are dismissed
    • Check mailbox- trash, read, or write on to do list
    • Change date, schedule cards, center boards
    • Write morning assignment on board
    • Clean up hot spot
    • Arrange any papers to be graded - Grade
    • Work on remaining weekly routine stuff - see below
    • Work on monthly routine stuff - see below
    • Review to do list
    • Leave no later than 1 hour after the school bell rings - for me that is 4:00, on Friday leave no later than 3:15 - Your family deserves your time too!
A hot spot is any place that tends be your clutter area that needs frequent cleaning.  For me that is the top of the mailboxes.  They are right as I walk in the door and I tend to put everything down there and walk away.

Establish Weekly Routines. Things that are important and need to be done regularly but that you can spread out to do on a specific day each week.
  • Monday
    • Plan Reading Language Arts next week. add materials to prepare to loading dock - a space for me to place everything needing to be copied or cut or whatever. 
    • After School Meeting Day- Faculty meetings, planning meetings, committee meetings, etc.
  • Tuesday
    • Plan math for next week. Add materials to loading dock.
    • Team Meeting Day - During conference
  • Wednesday
    • Plan Science/Social Studies for next week Add materials to loading dock.
    • Attendance Review - add to attendance roster, file excuse notes-tardy slips, send home missing note letters, etc.
  • Thursday
    • Plan/Prep centers for next week. Add materials to loading dock.
    • Curriculum Meeting Day-during conference
    • Work on team leader/committee stuff
  • Friday
    • Work on loading dock - Now to be honest - we have parent volunteers who will prepare a lot of this for us on Friday while I work
    • File curriculum back in binders
    • Update RTI files - any data on interventions being provided (usually only takes me 5-10 minutes)
    • update hallway work display
    • students organize their desk
Establish Monthly Routines. - Spend 15 minutes max working on these areas. Fly lady says set a timer.
  • Week 1: Clean/Organize Desk Area -
  • Week 2: Clean/Organize Small Group table
  • Week 3: Plan upcoming seasonal activities - nothing worse than being the teacher who forgotten to do cutesy for Christmas or Valentine's Day.
  • Week 4: Clean/Organize Center areas
  • Week 5: Clean/Organize Large group teaching area
Here is my 1 page copy.

I hope this helps!


  1. I just started blogging....this is my first comment. I love your to do list, and I love flylady! I have been fluttering/flying for about 11 years! This is my first year as a full time teacher and I am going to def use your list idea to keep me sane! Thank you for this!
    "Get rid of the chaos and learn to fly"

  2. WOW you are a wealth of good information. Congrats on your blog, I myself am a new blogger too but I started in July. You should check me out sometime. I really appreciate you posting about your routines and your plans for the month. Last year was my first year teaching and I had no idea all the paper that could accumulate daily in the classroom. I often just stacked papers on top of my teacher desk (which I did not use) just to clear clutter out of the way. I was a stickler for the kids to clean up but then felt bad when I didn't clean up myself. Recently I started my own things to do list for my routines but I like yours so much better.
    I also do not know who Fly Lady is... when you wrote that it reminded me of Fly Guy the story but I haven't heard of Fly Lady.
    If you continue to keep writing, I will always be a reader. Thanks:)
    Kinders on the Block

  3. Love it! Thanks for the time management pointers. Time management is the most difficult thing for me as a teacher and parent.