There is a lot to learn and a lot to do in third grade, and we operate on a pretty tight schedule. Sometimes the appointed time to clean up, to put materials away, or to turn in work sneaks up on students. It can be hard for some kids, though, to pinpoint exactly what's contributing to this running out of time. I've put together a brief efficiency audit that might help determine where all the time goes. (Feel free to use if you're finding similar problems at your job.)
Are you spending a lot of time sharpening your pencil? (If you make 17 trips to the pencil sharpener during the course of the day when there are sharp pencils in your group box, the answer is probably yes.)
Could you save a few minutes during the bathroom break? (If your hands get so sudsy they go completely white, or you find that you spend more time blowing soap bubbles than doing any actual washing, the answer is probably yes.)
Any chance the window is taking away some of your learning time? (If you find yourself pressed up against the window, or if you can report the exact time that the aftercare teacher is walking across the street and into the building, I'm going to go with yes.)
Do your "y"s and "g"s get particularly curly and ornate? (If it takes you a full three minutes to design and draw the tail on one of those letters, which snakes around and up to the next line with a minimum of three loop-the-loops, let's call that a yes).
Might there be something extraneous you're spending your time on during a test? (If you look down at your paper and realize that you've only written one letter of your answer, but there's now somehow a stick figure guy with his hands outstretched, holding up that one letter, which has been very darkly bolded, and if that cartoon guy is also saying about this dark letter, via speech bubble, "This is heavy," let's go with YES. Yes, there might be something just a bit unnecessary you could consider cutting out of your work routine.)
Feeling Like Giving Up
7 hours ago