To get history students to actually read the assigned chapter
before class discussion: Day of discussion, divide students
into teams of 3 or 4. I write up about 50 questions.
Ask team a question and they have 15 seconds to discuss and
come up with an answer for a pointof extra credit. If
they don't the question goes to another team. You can
have them write the answer so they can't hear other team discussion.
I also allow the team with correct answer to ball up the correct
response and toss into garbage can 20 feet away. No name,
workshop participant, Illinois.
~~ Have a "special chair" in the classroom - like an executive
office chair on wheels. The chair gets used for special
day students - birthday, highest grade on test, biggest improvement
of ponts on units, etc.
When asking questions & a child gets stuck, give them the
option to "phone a friend". Staff, Cedarwood Preparatory School,
~~ When teaching a 45 minute class, it works well to do the
3-15 method. Lecture for fifteen minutes than transition to
a 15 minute discussion, transition to a fifteen minute
demonstration. I find this keeps kids focused. Sal Buchetto
Attach an empty box of tissues to the full one as a rubbish
bin. It minimized dirty tissues around your room!
Jessica Steele, Elsen Academy, South Africa.
~~ Children are never empty vessels when they come to school.
Always let them brainstorm regarding the topic you want them
to learn about. Start from the known to the unknown.
Welsh Oata - Get Ahead College, Queenstown, SA
Post examples of work in the classroom for things such as APA
style, Formal Letter, Essay, etc. Wendy Jo H., King Academy.
~~ In my middle school classroom, each student has a 3-ring
binder of their work, which is kept on the bookshelf (one shelf
for each period). As the students come in, they take their
binder. It helps in taking attendance as missing student's notebooks
are still on the shelf. We have the class helper put handouts
in the notebooks for absent students. Workshop participant,
Wear an inexpensive tool belt when teaching. It holds dry-erase
markers, passes, pens, stamps, etc - all for easy access. -
~~ I raise my hand while asking a question and my 2nd graders
all raise their hand with the answer. Works amazingly well.
Colleen Brandt, Rothsay, MN
I put students in groups of 3 or 4. In front of each I
place small cubes - either 4, 8 or 12. Each child can
only speak using the number of words according to their cube
number. It causes them to focus on their thinking and
use more concise language. Kathleen Schratz, Ryerson Community
~~ I call the roll changing all children's names to begin with the
sound of the day.They respond by changing my name to begin with
the same sound. V. Fleming, grade 1, ON
Decorate the windows of your high school with window decals
from colleges and universities that your graduates have attended.
(seen at Noble HS, ME)
~~ Every time I make some sort of error, whether it be a calculation
error on the board or an error in the solutions of a worksheet,
I reward the first student to recognize it and correct it with
a lollipop. It keeps them alert and motivates them to question
their and my solutions. Mark Bolivar, Upper School, The York
In my math class I break the class into teams and have them
work the practice problems out as a group, then stamp them off
as they finish. We give points for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place team.
No name, workshop participant, Montana.
~~ With any academic subject, once it is done, make a storyboard
from the content. Fun, tactile, group activity and easy
to observe and grade. MaryAnn B., 5th grade, IL.
I use dry erase markers directly on my tables and desks.
If you use low odor, you must use a spray to completely erase.
If you get the regular, it wipes right off. We use socks
as erasers. My kids love it. At the end of the day I wipe
tables off and they are ready for the next time. This
is amazing for math and spelling. Catherine Miller Elementary
Special Education, Santa Fe School District
~~ Empty CD cases with a white piece of a paper or cardstock
in it can be used for mini wipe off boards. - Ann
I have reduced eighth graders from asking to go to the
bathroom. How? By placing a mirror near the door entering my
room. I have come to the conclusion many teenagers ask
to go to the bathroom to make sure they look right when
the bell rings and they enter the hallways. Sal Buchetto
~~ A quick, easy way to make individual whiteboards is to
put a piece of stiff white paper (cardstock) inside a
plastic page protector. A dry erase or whiteboard marker
will write on this and wipes off with a paper towel. Elizabeth
J. Wake Forest, NC.
Save empty boxes that hold kitchen plastic wrap. The serrated
edge works great if you need a fast way to tear paper.
~~ Make "bathroom pass" kits using small tool boxes. You can
have one for boys and one for girls. Include items like folded
paper towels, liquid soap, small paper cups, hygiene products.
The kit functions as the hall pass and encourages hygiene.
Have the student replenish the kits when returned, from the
~~ Use a pocket pencil tree in the front of the room. Each student's
name is on a pocket. They pick up their pencil as they
come in and return it on their way out. Easy way to take
roll too. Misty Koeppen, Kuna, ID