I don’t know about you, but I’m not looking forward to the next few weeks of school.  This week I had 3 days off, and sure that’s restful.  I even convinced myself that I didn’t need to spend time at school doing any of the million things I need to do.  I just needed to spend a few days away from school.  For my sanity. But the next few weeks are going to be crazy.  The kids are a little crazier.  And time.  TIME.  What happens to time in the month of December?  It seems like our days are more full of programs and special presentations.  My evenings are more full of events, programs, and time with loved ones.  There just isn’t enough time in December.  Time to plan.  Time to grade.  Time to relax.

Some friends and I wanted to share some of our best time-saving tips.  Some sanity saving instructional tips that can be used during the crazy month of December, and throughout the other crazy times of the year.

Use one mentor text as a ready to go minilesson on comprehension skills.

I use one chapter book as a mentor text to introduce all of our fiction comprehension skills.  The posters/anchors we create in those lessons are on display in one area of the room for students’ reference.  I planned this out at the beginning of the year, but you can certainly implement it at any time.

Use a read aloud as one mentor text for all fiction comprehension skills

Starting the first week of school, I read aloud Lulu and the Brontosaurus by Judith Viorst as our read aloud.  The beginning of the year has a little more time for read alouds it seems so we finished it up pretty quickly.  There are also two more companion books that we read aloud as well, which allowed us to compare/contrast and discuss how the character changes in different texts.  Lulu is a strong main character and the kids are so entranced by this book that they remember tons of details.

 

Then, when a new comprehension skill is introduced we have a high-quality text that we all know that is used as a mini-lesson.  I introduce the skill and we then build a reference poster.

Here are the posters we created for sequence and summary.

Use one mentor text as a ready to go minilesson on comprehension skills.

And the one we created for character traits.

It might not seem like much of an idea to you, but for me, it’s such a help knowing that for a few weeks each month I have at least 1 ready to go lesson that doesn’t require planning, or hunting for resources.  I know that on Monday after I do a brief explanation of the skill, we’ll create a poster showcasing it with Lulu.  Done and done.  That day’s plan takes me literally 2 seconds, and that extra saved time makes a world of difference.

There are so many high-quality and engaging chapter books that are read aloud in classrooms, that I hope this is an easy idea for you to implement in your rooms.  And I hope it saves you just a bit of time.

Visit the link up below to see other time saving tips from some of my favorite bloggers.