Technologically and linguistically adventurous EFL teacher, trainer, writer and manager

Yep, clickbait title I know. Sorry. But it’s true…these two little tips have probably saved me countless seconds since I discovered them…

Making sets of cards

Before you cut up a set of cards, mark them quickly with different coloured pens. You can do it on coloured paper too if you like, but that’s more expensive and a lot more faff!

Mark paper on the back to put it into coloured sets

Once you’ve cut them up, you can then divide them quickly into separate piles. If they get mixed up, or one falls out of a set, it’s easy to see where it belongs.

IMG_5659

Folding piles of worksheets

Once you’ve printed them all, fold the whole pile in one go.

Folding piles of worksheets 1

Separate them out into a messy pile.

Folding piles of worksheets 2

Sharpen the fold, a few at a time if necessary.

Folding piles of worksheets 3

Folding piles of worksheets 4

Repeat until you’re happy with the result 🙂

Folding piles of worksheets 5

What silly little things do you do to save yourself a few seconds of precious time?

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Comments on: "Two teaching hacks to save you time preparing your materials" (15)

  1. Simples. No worksheets and no cards. That or produce them in lesson as necessary 😉

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  2. Haha, nice! An alternative to hack number one, rather than coloured pens, print out on to different coloured sheets of paper (e.g. 6 sets, 6 colours). Takes some deft printer operating but worth the timesaving once you get it right 🙂

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    • I mentioned that, but it also depends on the paper budget for where you work 😉

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      • Hi Sandy, I was thinking that a quick alternative to color pens or paper might be to print cards with a number, a symbol or the name of the color. Might be helpful for colorblind students. That’s something I wish I had added to my Dice Cards.

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        • The colours are more for the teacher in this case, but yes, that could work. Depends how quick people are at adding numbers/symbols to their templates. Extra numbers on cards might confuse the students during the exercise, so I think symbols would be a better idea.
          Thanks for the thoughts!

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          • I usually ask the students to organize the cards because there is very little time for me to resort them before the next lesson. I think if the students are told 1 = player 1 they should be fine. If you are interested and it’s of any help, I can set up a few word templates that have colored lines, numbers or symbols.

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          • Might be useful for some other people 🙂 Thanks for the offer!

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  3. I used to have a pencil case with lots of pockets: space for for emergency blank cards for vocabulary checking, space for emergency dice for spontaneous games and space for counters for team games 🙂

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  4. get a really good scissors and then you can cut out cards 5/6 sheets at a time.. you need to be a bit more careful, but it normally saves minutes!

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  5. Similar to rachel’s idea I always carry a ball and UNO cards for last minute games. We also do lots of projects in class, so I -now- make sure I keep all templates/printables of the things I used in class.

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    • What kind of games do you play with the UNO cards?

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      • With younger students I use them to practise colours and numbers or as quick vocabulary review (the numbers on the cards correspond to the number of words they have to recall/ use in a sentence). With older students I mostly use them for vocabulary or grammar review again, but they have also been lifesavers in debates.

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      • With younger students I use them to practise colours and numbers or as quick vocabulary review (the numbers on the cards correspond to the number of words they have to recall/ use in a sentence). With older students I mostly use them for vocabulary or grammar practice again, but they have also been lifesavers in debates.

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