+ More Teaching Tips from Dr Nunley’s Newsletters

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Here are a collection of recent teacher-suggested tips, from Dr. Kathie Nunley’s Educator Newsletter (subscribe at http://help4teachers.com/newsletter.htm).

Kathie’s newsletters always include a couple of these teaching tips, some “Hot topics” relating to learning and brain research, and Web updates from  teacher-contributed “Layered Curriculum” units for differentiated teaching in all content areas. 


  • To monitor who needs help:  give each student a large token — one side green, one side red.  You can glue two pieces of construction paper together.  If the student’s doing just fine, they leave the cards on the green side; but if they get stuck, or need assistance, they switch to red. [Andrea W.]
  • Use a shoe organizer on the door for extra supplies.  [No name]
  • Once a week require — or provide class time for — a tutorial, a small group study session similar to college.  Using thier notes, students can discuss what was covered in the lesson.  Let students select their own groups.  You can decide whether to assign a monitor.  [Paul Yanchus] 
  • Provide small cubbies in the faculty bathroom — one for each teacher to leave personal and grooming materials. [Seen in a school in Canada]]
  • To help combat the “code of silence” among adolescents, install a small mailbox outside the school psychologist’s office marked “someone needs help.”  Students may drop anonymous notes when problems or issues need adult intervention.  Students see a difference between “snitching” and seeking help.  [No name]
  • Keep spare, clean “hoodies” in your elementary classroom for kids who forget their coats.  [[No name]
  • If  you’re teaching with lab or group tables, use a laminated folder with the table number to have students turn in work.  Then pass work back, using the folder.  [Tammy McCown]
  • Use a hanging clothes rack (Walmart/Target has them) as a chart hanger.  [No name]
  • A third grade teacher in Illinois uses two bottles of hand sanitizer instead of a “germy” bathroom pass.  One for boys, one for girls.  When students leave, they place the bottle on their desk; when they return, they take one squirt and put the bottle back.  [Wendy L.]
  • Make every day a new day for every student: no matter what a student may have said, done, or refused to do on the previous day, smile and greet him or her by name the next morning.  You can make a fresh start!  [Rebekah Knudsen-Dalbey]
  • Keep a tray by the door so students entering the classroom can pick up whatever worksheet or handout they will need for that class. [M. Sitter]
  • Make fun of yourself every so often (kids love it), but never make fun of a student unless they make fun of themselves in front of you.  Humor is crucial, true.  However, students can be sensitive. Model a good balance of humor deployed  sensitively.  [Kristina Peterson]
  • Use empty tissue boxes to store plastic grocery bags for the use of students.  [Anna Gorde]
  • Don’t write note to students in cursive.  It’s a fact that few people under the age of 30 can read cursive any more.  [No name]
  • No more stuck lids on glue bottles — spray them with Pam spray.  [M. Tittle]
  • Use sticky notes for students to write one concept they learned in class.  They post them on the door frame as they exit.  [Waine Bourgeois]
  • Write antonyms (hot/cold) on milk jug lids.  When assigning partners, hand them out.  Students will quickly find their match.  [Ryan Alston]
  • For reluctant or poor readers, hang a cloth book bag on the back of their chair filled with appropriate leveled books. During quiet reading time, they go to the bag and find an interesting book.  [Rhoda Trehearne]
  • With a can opener, cut off the top of a Diet Pepsi can.  The heavy weighted bottom of the can now makes this a good pencil holder.  [Student tip!]
  • A hands-on math teacher takes pictures of students engaged in the learning task and then prints them off.  Each student then glues it on their Math Learning Journal after writing or drawing a relection about what they learned.  [Carlie Fisher]
  • Use dollar-store plastic tablecloths to back a bulletin board display.  They’re cheap, brightly colored, and they don’t fade.  [Darlene Rempel]
  • Keep substitute lesson plans for each area of study in case of emergency.  Keep in a hanging file for convenience.  [No name]
  • Pair up with a teacher at your local college.  Let your students present their research and projects to their college classes.  [Workshop participant]
  • So all members of the community can see the high school as an asset, post your “help hotline” in the newspaper or online.  Anyone, even those without children in the system, can be paired with a student needing community service hours.  [R. Wilson]

Send your favorite teaching tip to Kathie at Kathie@brains.org !

 Kathie’s Bookshop offers the new Layered Curriculum Individual Study Kit, which included a copy of  the Layered Curriculum text and Workbook, A Student’s Brain, as well as a DVD slide presentation personally narrated.  Price;: $89.00.  For this and other aids, visit http://www.brains.org.store

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


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