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More teacher tips from the latest batches of Kathy Nunley’s Educator Newsletter: (send your favorite teaching tip to her at Kathie@brains.org)
- Paint the walls of your classroom with chalkboard paint. Leave colored chalk around for students to create. (Brooklyn International High School)
- Install your student lockers inside classrooms instead of hallways. It limits access and allows adult supervision around locker areas. (Brooklyn International High School)
- An assignment choice for character analysis in English class: “Create a Facebook page for one of the characters.” (Brooklyn International High School)
- Encourage “go green” at your high school by designating one day a week for everyone rides the bus or carpools, rather than driving their own cars. Pass out breakfast bars as they board the bus or exit the carpool.
- Assignment choice for character analysis in an English class: have the students create a list of daily “tweets” this character would have posted.
- Connie McLaughlin says she painted her old, metal teacher’s desk with chalkboard paint and let students autograph the desk and draw on it. In the summer, she paints over it for the next year.
- Change the seating arrangements/classroom layout with every new unit. It helps keep things fresh and novel.
- Keep unit sheets in individual files in a standalone box. Have students grab their file as they come in the door: attendance is taken care of.
- When spring comes, have a “plant race.” Use the basic seed-in-a-paper-cup germination activity and award prizes for fastest growth or most leaves, etc. Let students try various things from their own home to affect growth.
- Parent-teacher conferences: have a bowl of candy or munchies available at the conference table. It might go a long way toward getting the meeting off to a good start.
- Start with student “good news.” This gets them talking and shows interest in their activities. It could be an oral or written activity. (Keri Lauxman, Lawrence KS)
- Hot glue posters to walls — they stay up; the glue won’t take off the paint on walls.
- When two students demonstrate that they can’t work together and must move, have them roll a (big) pair of (red) dice. Lowest number has to move. (Workshop participant in Toronto)
- One teacher has an “Electronicator Box” in the front of the room that holds ALL cell phones. They are safe but out of busy hands during lessons. (Toronto workshop participant)
- Use a course web folder — each has a class email, folders with notes, activity sheets, links, connections to the e-textbook, assignments and rubrics and the daily/monthly homework and task schedule. (K. Gekiere, Toronto)
- Use a large hanging shoe bag to store calculators. Students have an index card with names written in bright colors. To check out a calculator, they place their index card in the slot. (Danira Fernandez-Flora, KS)
- Issue “credit cards” for each student — one new card each month; they can carry a max of 25 points over to the next month. Credits are issued for being prepared, outstanding contributions, speaking French, reading daily, homework completed. They use the “credits” to “buy” things — 5 points for a small treat, 15 to stay in for recess, 20 for lunch in class, etc. (Joanne Jenkins, Toronto )
- Have a class set of waterproof (in plastic/laminated) name tags to use on class trips or for the substitute teacher. (Sophie Wong, Toronto)
- Use cheap wash-basins to organize student work by period or in/out etc. Even in high school this creates routine and minimizes disruption when students arrive and want their “stuff.” (Christine Dickerson, Toronto)
- Include lots of opportunity for movement during class time. Teach juggling, or give 3-minute breaks where students can get up, tell a joke, sing, dance, etc. (Toronto)
Kathie says to watch for more tips via Twitter: http://twitter.com/kathienunley
tutoring in Columbus OH: Adrienne Edwards 614-579-6021 or email firstname.lastname@example.org