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- Use a clear “over the door” shoe bag as a holder for supplies like rulers, index cards, golf pencils, etc. to be used and put back by students, writes teacher Deb Hersek from Ohio.
- Foreign language participation points: give each student a sheet with 25 blanks each 6 week term. Any day they participate in class, they write date, question and their response. Worth 10% of their grade, says Sabrina Anderson from Texas.
- Have students write one concept learned on a post-it note, then stick it where they regularly line up, or on their lockers. Other students can then read it over and over. Again Deb Hersek, Ohio.
- Students can highlight their names on their papers before turning them in; they will not forget to turn them in, says Martha Lambert, from Ohio.
- Teaching long division, use graph paper. Students place every number in a square, making it easy to align them in columns. No name, Ohio.
- Make a seating chart with a file folder and post-its so when students are moved, you don’t have to re-write the entire chart. Barb Taylor, Ohio.
- No chalkboard washing if you use “Puffs Plus” after erasing. It really removes chalk dust. E. McCowan, Ohio
- Red/Green cards give kids time to think: if you turn up the red card, students are instructed to stop and think and wait for the green card to give an answer. No name, workshop participant, Ohio.
- Dance the vocabulary words! Victoria Cayuela, Quebec.
- Call students’ parents early in the year (before you “need to”), so you have some rapport with parents as adults with a common interest: their child’s success. Andaluza Nagy, Ontario.
- Help kids understand that being able to explain, defend and critically think about what they’ve learned or read, they can’t be “bamboozled” or taken advantage of. They’ll be successful agents in their world. Jane Bartlett, Parkers Prairie Elementary.
- Start each morning with a catchy action song or tell some jokes. No name, Alabama
- First grade students can do a cheer for word wall words. They stand normally when calling out each regular letter such as a, c, s; raise arms for tall letters like l, b, t; and crouch down for letters that go below the line such as y, p, etc. Engages brain/body connection and keeps students engaged; it’s great for tactile learners and is fun, writes Debra Zanders in Florida.
- Use 3X5 cards for quick assessments — one math problem, say, or a short short essay, or one vocabulary definition. From workshop participant, Ohio
- Allow high achievers who finish early to create assignment choices for your next unit. Michelle Edmonton, Alabama
- Fifth graders have a fraction and decimal of the day for the first 100 days of school. Day 1 — 1/100 or .o1. Day 25 — 25/100 (which they reduce to 1/4) or 0.25. Etc, etc, Jana Bjelskevig, Michigan
- Keep a bag full of mini jolly ranchers and give one out to a selected volunteer to clean boards, rewrite agendas, vocabulary or (even) wash desks. No name, Illinois
- The power of the sense of smell: mix play-doh with cool-aid to make it smell good for students to practice spelling: they roll out the dough and form a word.
- Assigning math problems for homework, send home answer sheets too. Students self-check after every problem or two. (Doing 20-30 problems incorrectly and not knowing until the next day does more harm than good.) No name.
- Use manipulatives in Spanish to show stems and endings. Workshop participant, Illinois.
Dr Kathie Nunley’s Educator’s Newsletter arrives monthly (or so) in your email if you subscribe at http://help://help4teachers.com/newsletter.htm
Kathie says send her your favorite teaching tips at Kathie@brains.org
tutoring in Columbus OH: Adrienne Edwards 614-579-6021 or email firstname.lastname@example.org