Advanced search

Tips for moving classrooms a lot

(31 Posts)
ginforall Tue 14-Jul-20 10:24:20

Hi, so according to my timetable I will be in 12 different rooms next year and will have to move rooms between period 1 and 2 (when there is 0 mins of moving time), sometimes to the other side of the school. I teach secondary maths.

I've started trying to think of ways to make my life easier for this and so far I have:
- having a list of starter ideas that I can just write up on the board as soon as a I get in the room.
- estimate a minute if the class look a little unsettled, everyone puts heads down on desk and have to silently put their hand up when they think a min has passed (may have to in case it to estimate 2 mins if logging on to the computer is taking a while)
- treating myself to a new work bag which is bigger, maybe with compartments.
- not planning to use technology in some lessons, so just write up work on the board old school style, no ppt.
- try where possible to cut down on photocopying so I have less to carry around (although lack of textbooks in rooms wont help with this).

Any other good ideas? Trying to stay positive about it all and come up with a bit of plan. But also know that there will be some days which will be a nightmare and I can only do my best.

OP’s posts: |
ohthegoats Tue 14-Jul-20 10:28:17

Trolley bag thingy?

We're a primary school, but our PPA cover bod has a compartmentalised bag on wheels.

Also, I'd use flipchart paper to write down some key 'flashback' or starter type stuff on at the beginning of the day, then arrive in a classroom and just onroll my flipchart sheet and bluetack onto the board.

ginforall Tue 14-Jul-20 10:46:21

Thanks @ohthegoats like the flipchart paper idea, even quicker than writing it on the board to just have something to bluetack up.

I'll have to go up and down some stairs so going to try and avoid a trolley bag thing I think, also if I have a bag that's too big I will just end up filling it with all kinds of rubbish! Though if I have to start carrying books around I may have to invest.

OP’s posts: |
Hercwasonaroll Tue 14-Jul-20 10:47:26

Forget the guess a minute idea, that's jus going to cause problems with who won etc. Walk in, get set up and start when you are ready. School may have a protocol such as silent reading during lesson changeover.

Walk in, title and date written on board and books handed out by students. They write title and date while you log on. If logging on takes longer, short do now Qs written up while you're waiting.

Leave their exercise books in the room and fetch them to mark. If marking is even allowed in Sept.
Ditto textbooks, if you have enough, leave them in the room.
Drop off photocopying in the morning.
Travel light, board pen and pen is pretty much all you need. Trolleys etc are just a ballache.

Do you have visualisers?

ohthegoats Tue 14-Jul-20 11:02:41

Visualisers just save so much time and effort. Bloody amazing things.

I have this bag from Decathlon - it's the business:

Everything stays upright in it, which is my key want/need. Bag stands up by itself when it's full of crap vital stuff.

ginforall Tue 14-Jul-20 11:03:11

Thanks @hercwasonaroll I definitely think travelling light is what I'll need to do and will drop off photocopying in the morning. Might see if there is a tray in each room I can label as mine and keep things in there to save them going missing.

We've been told we will be marking, so I will collect in once a week and the rest of the time I will get the students to take their books with them to save giving them out each lesson.

Textbooks are not allowed to leave the room they are in and if used can then not be used by a different year group for 24 hours. We have visualisers in the maths rooms, but they are to stay in the rooms and I'm not always in a maths room.

I've used the estimate a min task a lot with some groups in the past and it has always worked quite well. I time it, on my watch and my decision is final. And gives at least one min of silence, usually much more as we wait for the last person to put their hand up.

OP’s posts: |
Hercwasonaroll Tue 14-Jul-20 11:18:29

I think I don't like the idea that being silent is a game. Being silent when asked is a base line expectation.

Be savvy with marking, can they do something on a sheet that is marked and glued in? Less to carry. This does depend on policy though.

CarrieBlue Tue 14-Jul-20 14:10:42

Train a child in each group to clean the board at the start of the lesson - however many times you ask other staff they won’t clean it before leaving ‘their’ room.

Same with the front desk - identify a place where you will dump all the crap the previous teacher will leave on ‘their’ desk.

Invest in a crate on wheels for dragging everything round with you

StaffAssociationRepresentative Tue 14-Jul-20 14:27:56

I teach in about 6 or 7 classrooms - seems like an eternity. I now carry no students exercise books at all. They drop them off for marking and pick them up afterwards. I basically carry a textbook or two, pens and maybe some photocopying.

Start of lesson - books out, bags off table, check homework for feedback, then activity from textbook.

No time for anything else.

Hercwasonaroll Tue 14-Jul-20 15:44:24

If you're all over the place, take lunch that can be eaten without any prep or fetching from the fridge. Ditto drinks. Saves valuable time at break and lunch.

ginforall Tue 14-Jul-20 16:21:56

Thanks everyone, some great suggestions to add to my list.

OP’s posts: |
noblegiraffe Tue 14-Jul-20 17:14:00

Have five million board pens, some squared paper and a board rubber in your bag. Nothing worse than turning up to a poorly resourced classroom and other rooms never have squared paper.

Could you get the school to print off numeracy ninja booklets? They take 5 minutes (there’s a PowerPoint with a timer and answers but you could just use your phone) which would give you time to set up. If they’re in the classroom, the routine would be a kid hands them out, they crack on in silence, you then read out the answers.

PumpkinPie2016 Tue 14-Jul-20 18:21:40

Can you print a settler activity and stick in their books at the end of one lesson ready for the next?

So, for instance, if you see a class Mon/Wed/Fri, on Mon they stick in Wednesday's settler task and so on. That way,they can just get their books out and start while you get organised.

The visualiser idea is genius! I literally hadn't thought of that blush Our school has them in every room so I think I may be printing my title/do now slide and sticking it under the visualiser when I enter the room so the kids can be starting while I get set up.

I am also thinking of trying to rely on PowerPoints a bit less. That way, it will be less stressful having to log on, get on one drive, get the ppt up (while at some point dealing with the inevitable IT failure!).

Hercwasonaroll Tue 14-Jul-20 18:35:46

I just rip pages out of other kids books, or leave one exercise book as a spare for kids out of paper. Leave a stash in the room once kids start using up their books.

ginforall Tue 14-Jul-20 18:52:47

I'll have a look at numeracy ninja, thanks @noblegiraffe

Love that idea @PumpkinPie2016 but don't think I'm allowed to give out glue or other equipment in Sept. So would only really work if every kid has their own glue stick, which is unlikely.

I normally do the same for paper @Hercwasonaroll. I've been in a couple of different classrooms a week the past couple of years, but always a maths room so always been a few spare books laying around.

OP’s posts: |
PenOrPencil Tue 14-Jul-20 19:54:48

We are going to have a “Do Now” menu so that (secondary) kids can crack on with that while we disinfect the desk, log on and register.
All books will be hole punched and copies filed in with treasury tags - no more glue sticks!
I might treat myself to a bigger water bottle. Hopefully that will be the heaviest thing I have to carry around the school!
I will also have: planner, any copies, BIG pencil case with board pens, microfibre cloth to wipe the board, USB stick (fixed PCs in all classrooms).

user1471525172 Tue 14-Jul-20 20:08:28

I used to work with someone who carried a portable desk... which was actually a curtain! He'd simply put it over whatever was on the teacher desk and put his stuff on top. At the end of the lesson, he'd take everything off and pack up... no danger of leaving anything behind, or of taking someone else's stuff by accident.

juliej00ls Tue 14-Jul-20 21:47:37

I would be asking the HOD to look at your timetable. Surely it is possible for you to have less movement. Other members of your team can also move. I say this as a HOD with part timers etc.

Hercwasonaroll Tue 14-Jul-20 21:55:11

@juliej00ls Has the whole coronavirus thing passed you by?!

ginforall Wed 15-Jul-20 08:13:07

@juliej00ls we're all moving more. So students stay in the same 'zones'. I'm hoping that been as we're all moving a bit that everyone will be a bit more careful about not leaving loads of stuff around, wiping boards etc.

Thanks for all the tips. Adding big pencil case, large water bottle and board cloths to by summer shopping list. Not sure about a curtain though grin - surely that was quite difficult to transport around @user1471525172? I suppose you could wear it like a cape?!

OP’s posts: |
PumpkinPie2016 Wed 15-Jul-20 14:45:42

We have had confirmation that we can't use worksheets because we need to limit what is passed between pupils and teachers.

It's going to be tricky with certain things that's for sure!

Feel like I am going to have to do 'coronavirus' lesson planning over the Summer so that September isn't totally crazy. I do feel like it's going to be exhausting though!

user1471525172 Wed 15-Jul-20 16:36:21


He kept it folded on the top of his bag, although I think he'd have suited the curtain as cloak look smile

Whatelsecouldibecalled Wed 15-Jul-20 21:57:04

I move classrooms a lot. Standard ‘starter’ activity I use is ‘starter for 10’ so in your case could be 10 sums that add up to 30 etc. It literally takes me a second to give the instruction of what the starter for 10 is and then they crack on while I log on load PowerPoints etc. It’s done in the back of their books and not marked.

ginforall Thu 16-Jul-20 16:17:59

@PumpkinPie2016 no worksheets is going to be tricky. We are allowed to copy and give out sheets (I think - it wasn't mentioned as a no), but not glue. So can't get them to work on a sheet and then stick it in. I'm planning to do some advanced planning too over the summer, I want as little 'extra' to do as possible in September whilst I get my head around all the changes.

@Whatelsecouldibecalled thanks, great idea - will add that to my list of speedy starters.

OP’s posts: |
Hercwasonaroll Thu 16-Jul-20 16:43:28

No worksheets will be ridiculous with mixed ability. Hole punch books and treasury tag to secure sheets.

We're waiting til Sept to even get which version of the TT we're going with!!

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in