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Works4Me - TIPS

 

Beach Ball Toss
CAROL BERLIN, THIRD-GRADE TEACHER, CHARLOTTE A. DUNNING SCHOOL, FRAMINGHAM, MASS.
To give my third-grade students a sense of the earth’s land-to-water ratio, we toss a beach ball that’s decorated as the globe. These are available inexpensively. As they catch the ball, they must report whether their hands land on earth or on water. I track their answers on the board. After every child has a turn, we tally the results. The ratio of hands-on water versus land matches fairly close with the earth’s water-to-land ratio of 70 percent and 30 percent.

Moles in Chemistry Class
WAYNE MILLER, CHEMISTRY TEACHER, MOUNT ARARAT HIGH SCHOOL, TOPSHAM, MAINE
For chemistry teachers wanting to get their students interested in the measurement unit mole (6x10^23 particles), here’s a tip. Every year I begin the unit with moles. I hand out a sewing pattern for creating the basic mole and encourage students to use their imaginations to create a unique mole to share with classmates. We have seen Supermole, Batmole, Hula Mole, Roadkill mole, and dozens of others. The moles are worth extra credit but students are most interested in entering their moles in the Mole Farm at our annual science fair where voting for the most popular mole takes place.

Teacher Yearbooks Welcome New Teachers
ALICE KUETHER, SECOND-GRADE TEACHER AT HORACE MANN AND JOHN MUIR MIDDLE SCHOOLS, WAUSAU, WISC.
Whenever we have a new teacher, we photocopy the faculty and staff pages from the previous year’s annual and give it to new teachers. Under the pictures, we add the first names and nicknames. This really helps the new teachers get to know their fellow staff members.

Graffiti in the Classroom
JD STILLWATER, SCIENCE TEACHER, CLAYMONT HIGH SCHOOL, UHRICHSVILLE, OHIO
I have a Graffiti Day when it’s time to review a unit. Each student gets a dry-erase marker and they have 10 minutes to “graffiti-ize” the room, writing only on glass surfaces and whiteboards. The graffiti must relate to the given topic. We then review the images and I ask questions and point out key connections. When we’re through, the kids have just as much fun erasing the images as they did creating them.

 

Terminology Bingo
JANICE SCHANO AND CINDY WHITMAN, COSMETOLOGY AND DENTAL INSTRUCTORS AT FORBES ROAD CAREER AND TECHNOLOGY CENTER, MONROEVILLE, PA.
Terminology is often difficult for students to master. We found that playing Terminology Bingo is not only fun, but also the students tend to retain the information.

Ketchup Bottle Colors
JOYCE WILSON, RETIRED ELEMENTARY TEACHER, S.C.
Don’t throw away those old ketchup bottles! The tip-and-pour bottles are a great way to store your bright colored paint. They’re easy to hold and you’ll find they are much easier to use and store in your classroom.

Atomic Fairy
ADRIEN GONZALEZ, UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS MIDDLE SCHOOL, RIVERSIDE, CALIF.
In order to make the connection between atoms and stardust, I dress as the atomic fairy, here to spread the word that we are all pieces of the same star. Inside each and every one of us are the atoms that were present at the beginning of the universe. So students are happy to go home and tell their parents that they are truly stars, or at least a part of one.

The students get a good laugh at seeing me in a tutu. But they remember the lesson, and they understand how important they are to the universe.

Bubble Speak
KAREN RUSSELL, THIRD-GRADE TEACHER AT WILLIS SCHOOL IN DAVIS, CALIF.
To help children learn how to write with dialogues, I create four-frame cartoons with dialogue bubbles. For beginners, I make sure that the speakers alternate. I create a transparency of the cartoons and then make paper copies for the students with lines below the image.

Next, we write a dialogue for each speaker’s bugles and write a conclusion sentence or two at the end. After a few cartoons they become very adept at using correct punctuation and adding descriptions for the picture. This tells me that they are ready to incorporate these skills into their own stories.

Mystery Skyping into History
LORI MACNEIL, MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHER IN NEWARK, DEL.
Our class has created a twist on the Mystery Skype game where classes connect and ask each other questions to identify each other’s location. In this version, members of the class recreate a scene in history with a complete backdrop and key character. Students then ask questions that reveal both the character skyping and the historic moment.

Bedroom Mapping
STELLA BLOCK, THIRD-GRADE TEACHER, COLUMBUS, OHIO
To reinforce my students’ mapping skills, I like to have them create a complete map of their own bedroom and objects in the bedroom. They must include shapes, sizes, colors, and space between the objects. I also have them draw an aerial map of the bedroom. When they are finished, I create a large bulletin board featuring each of the maps and have each student’s descriptive notes in a Ziploc bag. The students’ challenge is to match the descriptors to the aerial map on the board. They have great fun doing this and sharpen their skills in the process.

Characters on Parade
KATHLEEN ROBERTS, RETIRED ELEMENTARY TEACHER, RAYNHAM, MASS.
One of my favorite activities to get students excited about reading is to hold a favorite character parade. We choose our favorite picture book characters, create a reading display in every corner of the classroom and at the end of the month, hold a mini parade in the hallway for all of the classes. It’s such fun to see a mini Clifford the Big Red Dog alongside a Cat in the Hat and lots of rainbow fish!

For more ideas and tips by teachers, for teachers, click here.

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Published In

1-Oct-14

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