+ More Teacher Tips from Kathie Nunley

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From Kathie Nunley’s Educator Newsletters — more suggestions from teachers:

  • Use plexiglas panels: cut them into 12″X12″ squares — students record work on them to share on an overhead.  You can tape transparencies underneath (like a coordinate grid).  Or layer to help with developing a lesson.  Use Vis-a-Vis markers.  Easy to clean up! -Linda Zsedeny
  • Place students in groups named for 3D shapes:  when you call them to a task (“line up”), give clues as to which group you mean (for cubes, say the number of corners and sides — which could be more than one group — and keep them guessing right to the end by revealing the final clue — “all my faces are squares”).   You can vary the difficulty by giving more or less detailed clues.  Make a rule that if a child calls out the answer their group goes last.  They seem to love the activity and the teacher notes that they listen very carefully.  -Chris Schmidt
  • Layered curriculum: use different color sheets for each layer instead of just A,B and C.  Each unit sheet is 3 pages: C layer green, B layer pink, A layer yellow. – Amy Scholmann
  • Students can provide input as you design activities:   include teacher/student collaboration with student choice assignments.  -Solomon Elder
  • Students line up alphabetically by first names, but:  they rotate from being “leader” to being “caboose” from day to day.  This gives everyone their own personal spot; it diminishes the need for being “first in line” or cries of “I was here first.”  It takes practice but leads to good management and independence.  (Even 4 and 5 year olds can be taught to manage themselves and be responsible!) – Elonda Stevens
  • Design a Monopoly board on a bulletin board:  allow choice and increase motivation — label streets and blocks for places in your school or city.  Various assignments are worth different points.  Math in action — students choose assignments worth enough points to move them to strategic spaces on the board (some are worth candy, passes, etc.)  Different color spots might indicate A, B, or C layers in the layered curriculum. – Sherri Kidd
  • Layered Curriculum in Art Class:  the A layer is “commercial purpose” art; the C layer involves learning a skill or technique.  B layer involves mastering and using the technique in the design of art, and the A layer involves satisfying a commercial client’s need with your art and design — real problem-solving skills.  -M Eudy
  • Deal with “tattling:”  keep a “tattle” box on a table near the door.  Students must write out the tattle, sign it and put it in the box on their way out of the room.  (This helps reduce traffic to the box.)  Teacher promises to take care of the situation, but the students would not necessarily know when or how it was dealt with.  Scan them at the end of each day to determine which can be overlooked and which ones need attention.  -Vicky Campbell
  • Use student binders to take attendance:  each student has a 3-ring binder which is kept on a bookshelf.  As students come in, they take their binders; students not present are obviously the ones whose binders remain on the shelf.  Missing student’s “partner” places handouts in the binder for them.  -No name
  • Allow an energetic student to move to a preferred activity before doing a non-preferred one:  you’re not necessarily rewarding bad behavior — “Dont be right, be effective.”  – Jane Bartlett.
  • Post exemplary writing:  so students can see correct APA style, Formal Letter, Essay, etc.  – Wendy Jo Hanninen
  • Remember students’ names:  and you’ve taken the first step toward developing a positive relationship!  Make it a start of the year priority.  – Matt Sheehan
  • “Kathryn’s card trick:” when teaching middle schoolers, Kathryn uses a double set of various colored index cards (half-cards,  2 1/2″ X 3″ are now available).  Students write their names on two cards, one name on the first color and again on the second.  Teacher shuffles both sets together and uses the pack to call on students by name.  They know their names will come up twice, so they can’t just tune out after their name has been called.  If a student can’t answer within a reasonable wait time, there is no penalty, and that card is slipped back into the deck.  Because names are on two separate colors, one set can be separated from the other and used to “deal” out names for small groups.  Or: pass out cards and have students find a partner for a pair activity; use them to determine a new seating arrangement.  -Kathryn Roe
  • Keeping their attention:   when using an overhead projector, keep a set of colored transparencies nearby and periodically slide a new color underneath the clear one you’re writing on.  -No name
  • Ask students to watch for your errors:  if they catch one, they get a reward of bonus points or candy for example.  -Jane Bartlett
  • At the sound of the bell, immediately start a 2-minute activity:  one that engages their interest (calculator game, story, joke, etc).  Helps ensure students get to class on time.  -No name.
  • “Pink Slips:”  Students who are unprepared for class sign a “pink slip” sheet.  They have until the following day to complete that assignment.  All students with fewer than 2 pink slips get to participate in FUN FRIDAY end-of-day activity time.  -Teachers in NY
  • High Fives at the end of class:  give credit to students who participated well.  -Joanne Miniato

source:  these are from several of Kathie Nunley’s Educator’s Newsletters.  Dr Nunley  oversees the web site www.brains.org and the Layered Curriculum Site for Educators at www.help4teachers.com    Send your ideas to her at Kathie@brains.org

tutoring in Columbus OH:   Adrienne Edwards   614-579-6021   or email   aedwardstutor@columbus.rr.com

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