It's a LaborLESS blog hop - Work Smart!

Hello everyone!

Main Graphic Laborless

It is Finally here!

Today I am linking with Laura from Where the Magic Happens, Krista from Teaching Momster, and Lisa from PAWsitively Teaching! I have joined forces once again with my bloggy friends to bring you the best, most amazing giveaway on this Labor Day weekend!
All of us have been thinking about good ways in which to treat our readers and followers.   We thought hard, and I mean it! Really, really hard… and decided that  we can treat you to our best ideas to work smarter rather than harder… at school and home!

I know what it takes to be a great teacher, the stress, the time, the energy… I could go on and on! I also know that we crave time to ourselves and our families.

So here I go!


How do I work smarter, not harder?  I have my students self-assess their practice work instead of me! I teach two sections of math and my students do a lot of practice.  In the past, I collected all that practice work, lugged it home, sometimes checked it - sometimes threw it away when I got so far behind (shhh, don't tell), wrote feedback, passed it back to my students days (or weeks) later and most shoved it in their desk without hardly a glance at all MY hard work!  Frustrating and time consuming to say the least.  And my students weren't getting timely feeback about their abilities, or internalizing their strengths and weaknesses.

So I solved this problem by having my students self-assess their practice work - immediately after practicing!  I make sure that I always have an answer key ready to go and I use it a few different ways.

Sometimes, I post the answer key somewhere in the room so students can go up and check their work as soon as they finish.  They circle the ones they missed and they go back and try to fix those until they are correct.  They get IMMEDIATE feedback on how they are doing with the particular skill and they get a chance to analyze their mistakes and make corrections.

Othertimes, I post the answer key electronically with my document camera and have my students check their own work.  Again, I have them circle the ones they missed and then I'll give them a few minutes to make corrections by finding someone who got that one correct and can help them to fix their mistakes.

Lastly,  I pass out an EXIT SLIP which I always have ready to go after each new concept.  The exit slip only takes a few minutes.  Students complete the exit slip - hopefully with more confidence after checking and correcting mistakes in their practice work.  I post the answers to the exit slip when the time is up, students circle any that are incorrect and write a 1 (I don't understand), 2 (I'm starting to understand but need help), 3 (I understand) or 4 (I've got this and can help others), on the top of their paper.  I collect the exit slips - breeze through them quickly forming piles of students who have it and students who don't.  I make notes in my plan book about what I may need to reteach or reinforce the next day and with who, and I'M DONE.  Nothing goes home with me (for real!!!!) and my students leave math that day knowing if they mastered the concept or if they need more practice.


If you've followed my blog for awhile, you know how much I LOVE to read.  I always have, always will!!!  It's what I do to unwind and forget about the stress of life.  Nothing is better than escaping to a far away place or time period and living in someone else's shoes for a short while.

Most of the time, the books I choose to read are young adult books. This way I can do what I LOVE, and keep up on what my students are reading at the same time.  Win, Win!  Here's a list of my favorite fifth grade read alouds.  Hopefully you'll find a few that you can use to escape when life gets really stressful this school year!


Not only do I use exit slips in math to make my life SO MUCH EASIER, but I also use them to bring closure during reading and writing workshops. All of these exit slip sets make my assessment process quicker and easier!!  If you'd like to check them out, click below!!


Now that you've read about how I work smarter and not harder, top all these great tips and ideas with these top-notch prizes!

A $100 gift card to Amazon

A $50 gift card to TpT


2 $25 gift cards to TpT

1 $10 gift card to TpT

Enter the giveaway in the rafflecopter below!!  Have a great school year and remember to work smarter, not harder!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Hi Melissa,

    I happened to chance upon your blog and found it very interesting!

    We have recently launched a science app that uses augmented reality to enhance classroom teaching. The app has 3D models for kindergarten to grade 12. I thought you might want to check it out and may be review it on your blog, if possible.

    It is a paid app(with a few models free) but in case you are interested in trying it out I will be happy to provide you with a free copy.

    The link to the app is: 



    You can also search for the app on the app store as 'Augmenter'.

    Do let me know if you would be interested. I am really Looking forward to your response.

    happy teaching!



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