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Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

          The quote "How little things can make a big difference" by Malcolm Gladwell in his book The Tipping Point was brought to my attention yesterday.   I have done a lot of thinking on this little nugget of wisdom.   We know it is true that little things do add up and make a difference.  But in a week full of meetings (this is only Monday and I have already had 2, with two more coming), endless amounts of data to sift through, and lesson plans to be constantly adjusted to meet my students' needs, it would be easy to let it all overwhelm a person.  We, as teachers, have to remember to take a step back and remind ourselves that all the small changes that we can make in a day do add up to big differences with our students.   We should take a moment to reflect on all the little things we can change in our classrooms and how these are just as important as "drilling down in the data", writing common assessments, and documenting how our team used collaborative time.  Here are a few small things that I think could have made a difference today for my students.  What were your small changes that could make a big difference??  Can't wait to hear from you!

1.  Use walk time in the hall for review (I only get to have my students for 30 minutes per day= not nearly enough time to get everything accomplished!  Reviewing letters, rhymes, sight words, etc...)
2.  Using my wipe off tables for practicing sight words instead of paper saves trees and time not having to get out all of the magnetic letters!
3.  Using exit passes as students line up to leave the room, gives me a quick peek at how well they learned the material that day.  I do the exit pass orally instead of on paper to save time and paper.


  1. Hmm, this is a good question. (I like reflective posts like this by the way.) Here's my answer. As my most reluctant writer was having difficulty staying on task today, I could have asked him before we even got started, "Would you like to write at your desk today or would you like to write at the table where you've got more space to work?" Sometimes location is everything.
    Forever in First

  2. Thanks Tammy; I try to reflect daily. I was taught in my master's program to write reflections. I must say I don't write them now- just not enough time, but I do reflect daily on what worked or what will work better- always tweaking and adjusting. And yes, for some students- location can be everything!

  3. Hey Lori, I just left you a little something on my blog. (You've got 100 followers! You rock!)

  4. Just found your blog! Great post! One change I've made-The restroom is a source of frustration for me. I always felt like we were wasting time. Now before we head down the hall to the RR, each child grabs a book to read. They LOVE sitting in the hall and reading while waiting their turns. NO books are allowed in the RR, and ALL must wash hands with soap!! No more wasted time!

    Peace, Love and First Grade

  5. Tammy- as always- thank you so much! I appreciate all of your support!

  6. Laura, that is a great idea about reading while waiting for the restroom. I hate wasted time and the restroom definitely eats up a lot of time. Plus, reading while they wait has the added bonus of noise control. I'm following you now. :)


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