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Backchannel Discussions
Tech-savvy teachers like Ms. M. are using backchannels to manage large group discussions and other classroom activities to save time, facilitate feedback, and make sure even the shiest of students participate
Bring Literature to Life
Use skits, songs, cartoons and even YouTube to help your students remember overwhelming vocabulary and concepts.
Building Reading Stamina
Ms. Johannsen has a personalized twist on The Daily Five reading strategy for her third- and fifth- grade students. It emphasizes sustained silent reading, and students have so much fun that they actually encourage each other to do better every day.
Beginning Board Reports
There’s no dillydallying when Jan M.’s students enter her classroom. They get right to work on a daily Board Report. Find out how she uses this 5-10 minute activity to set the right tone and get students ready to learn.
Behavior Bank
Ms. Klock sets up a classroom store, teaches money skills and lays the ground work for an effective discipline policy with her own unique twist on a common classroom activity. Find out how she does it.
Boost Your Yearbook Sales
If you’d like to increase sales of your school yearbook, this teacher has a great marketing suggestion that will spark curiosity and increase your bottom line.
Bonding with Hard-To-Reach Families
Some parents may be reluctant to meet with a teacher, either because they’re uncomfortable or disengaged from their child’s education. Ms. Postman shares four great ways to meet and establish relationships with hard-to-reach families.
Break for Reading with a Buddy
After recess and bathroom breaks we have a 15-minute silent reading time. Our students are allowed to choose a book and a book buddy. These buddies are a collection of...
Book Boxes
My students each have a book box. Their boxes have a variety of reading materials, such as...
Business Letter Review
On the first day of school this year I held a funeral with my class. The children made a list of all the things they could not do...
Book Bag Report
My students do a Bag Report after they’ve read a book. They must read a book that is at fifth-grade level or higher and is at least 150 pages. They also...
Blue Chip Rewards
Our school uses blue chip rewards rather than an abundance of medals or certificates. Teachers are issued blue plastic coins that say...
Back to School Means Back to Work
The usual first-day routine can be a grind for you and your students: roll call, learn names, establish classroom rules. By the time they reach high schools students have heard it all before, and often tune out. So Mrs. Williams does something different.
Beach Ball Review
This review activity is a ball -- literally. A beach ball, to be specific. Find out how Ms. Egan gets her entire class actively engaged in this test-prep game that puts everyone in a good mood.
Behavior Strikeout
When I have a student who has difficulty following my behavior guidelines, I tell him/her that I am a teacher for everyone in the class and must give everyone my time and attention.
Balanced Behavior
Ms. Carroll tracks the collective behavior of her entire classroom by balancing the good against the bad, literally. She uses an actual balance scale. It’s a great visual reminder and helps students see their progress towards a positive reward.
Battle of the Books
This year-long, school-wide contest gets the entire community involved in a fun reading event. Students compete, teachers and principal coach, and parents cheer them all. It includes Olympic fanfare and a torch runner (seriously!).
Baby Books
Ms. Raasch’s high school students collaborate with first graders on a community service project that benefits new mothers. Students practice book making and information gather skills, and learn the importance of good parenting.
Baby Wipes, Cleaning Up Revisited
During the school year, I have the students donate several items for classroom use. Items that are particularly handy are boxes of Baby Wipes, Cleaning Up. These are excellent for wiping hands after r...
Background Music for Your Classroom
There is research indicating that instrumental music truly helps students learn. However, anything with lyrics tends to pull us out of that receptive, creative, super cognition mode. I have found that...
Backpack-Free Classrooms
Our school has instituted a no backpack in the classroom rule and has embarked on a partnership with the local police department through which an officer schooled in community policing has his home ba...
Backwards Spelling
Ms. Sennett plays a fun spelling game with her students. There’s backwardness, and there’s spelling, but students learn to spell the right way!
Badges
In our school we have started with ID badges. We purchased a computer program, camera and special printer with grant money. We started with teachers and administrators wearing badges. In a high school...
Bag Books
Ms. Grealis’ students always have a book on hand: one to learn, one to love, and one to look forward to. Read how she helps students organize their books and keep track of their books.
Bagels and Fruit
We begin the year with 'Bagels in the Basement'. Bagels and coffee are set up each morning in the teacher's lounge, which is in the basement, giving everyone a chance to meet the new faculty members. ...
Balloons-R-Us
I teach a program called Freshman Academy. This program takes the thirty to forty lowest incoming freshmen and tries to get them caught up in reading and mathematics. I lead these students in running ...
Band-Aid Bag
After years of being interrupted for band-aides, I tacked a plastic bag to the wall at student eye level. Now all I have to do is glance at the wound, give a nod, and the child gets her own band-aid. ...
Banking Day
Ms. Bell’s classroom store doubles as a clever incentive program encourages good behavior in addition to reinforcing math and money skills. Find out how she stocks and manages the store inventory, and how students balance their books.
Baseball Review
Who will win your Class Review Series? Here’s a fun baseball game you can play with your students as part of your test preparation and review. It’s sure to be a hit with your class!
Basketball
I divide my class into any size groups. I make up a list of twenty or more questions on the subject being studied. I call on groups sequentially to answer one question and set a time limit. If the gro...
Batch Email
I help parents connect with their child's school experience by staying in touch with them via email. I have found that 50% or more of my parents have email either at home or at work. I send out a batc...
Bathroom Chips
My students seem to need to go the bathroom all the time. I give each student a poker chip called a bathroom chip with the student's number written on it. I also make a chart of designated bathroom pa...
Bathroom Duckies
Ms. Litchenberg got tired of students taking her passes to the bathroom and accidentally dropping them in the toilet or the sink. Gross! Here’s a simple, germ-free solution that helps her know at a glance who’s in the restroom.
Beach Ball Toss
This kinesthetic learning game will help young students better understand the physical makeup of the Earth. They’ll learn land-water ratio, the names of continents and more — and have a ball doing it.
Bean Bag Count
Everyone loves to squish and toss a bean bag! Here’s a fun review game you can play with your students on those days it’s just too cold to go outside.
Beat That Time
When teaching multiplication tables, I print out flashcards from http://www.multiplication.com and give each child a copy to put in a Ziploc bag. The students take daily timed tests, starting with 30 ...
Bedroom Maps
Ms. Block has a unique activity that introduces the concepts and basic elements of mapmaking and that’s based on a subject very close to home. Students’ maps become part of classroom game and the centerpiece of a decorative bulletin board.
Before the School Year
Before school begins in the fall, I invite all my students and their parents/guardians for a special back-to-school night in my classroom. In this informal setting, we all get to know each other and t...
Beginning Blue's Clues
When children arrive in my room with their parents for open house, they are handed a clue list with a circle next to each clue, challenging them to find items/places such as the bathroom, sink, paper ...
Beginning of Class Behavior
I have classes that are extremely talkative because they do not want to work. I have found that keeping a journal helps get a class on task immediately. The students know that they are to be writing i...
Beginning of the Year
Have you ever struggled to figure out how to decorate your bulletin boards? Ms. Berg suggests doing it at the end of the prior year, when you can get plenty of help from students — and save lots of time later.
Behavior Box
I have a file box with an index card for each child in my class. I jot down comments and dates as incidents occur on the cards. When I write reports or have parent conferences, I can use the cards to ...
Behavior Bucks
Ms. Morrison awards each student $25 in play money at the beginning of each nine week session, which they must use to pay for misbehavior. A culminating event provides just deserts for the whole class.
Behavior Chart
Do you write down the names of your problem students and then forget what they did by the end of the day? Here’s a simple rule chart that will jog your memory as you write a day’s end report or note home to the parent.
Behavior Contracts
One of my discipline tools is a daily behavior contract that is used for a few students who need a daily review of behavior. I designed a chart using Microsoft Word that breaks down the day into halve...
Behavior Dots
Ms. Taylor holds down noise levels in her classroom by rewarding students for monitoring and correcting their own noisy behavior. All it takes are her grade book, a handful of prizes, certificates, and an array of dots.
Behavior Logs
I have an extremely active class with a lot of kids who have severe behavior issues. In order to get those kids to begin monitoring themselves and to be sure those who are in charge at home know what ...
Behavior Notebook
I keep track of responsible student conduct by assembling a 3-ring notebook and placing one page per student inside at the beginning of the year. On the first day of school, I show the students their ...
Behavior Notes
I found a quick and easy way to document my students' behavior. I use a steno notebook and list my children by student numbers. I use one page for each day. This enables me to quickly note any behavio...
Behavior Referrals
I use several techniques when students are disruptive in the classroom. I make it a learning experience for the students, reminding them that they need to raise their hands, stay in their seats, etc. ...
Behavioral Seating Chart
I have trouble remembering the behavioral history of kids in my class. I recognize the escalation or improvement of problems but it s hard for me to remember specific dates and incidents. I make my se...
Bell Work
I have what I call Bell Work at the beginning of each class period. I put 5-10 questions on an overhead projector. The questions are a variety of a review of previously learned information, or a previ...
Beowulf Game
My students dislike Beowulf and the Anglo-Saxon period when I first start teaching it but after the first battle with Grendel, they really get into the excitement of the story. At the end of the unit ...
Best Buddies
Why not get students involved in the Best Buddies Organization, which is nation-wide? Not only do students become more involved with handicapped students but it also serves as community service hours....
Best Past President
Ms. Kast and her students plan a mock election and debate over who was the best past U.S. president. Learn how she leads her class through the election process and teaches her students the steps to selecting the best President.
Beverage Passes
There’s nothing better than a cold beverage and a good book to satisfy all the senses during the summer. Ms. Wong rewards her well behaved students with this luxury on Fridays throughout the year, and it doesn’t cost her a cent.
Bingo Math
I give all my students a bingo card. I call out an addition or subtraction problem and if the students have that answer, they mark the number on their card. The first student to get bingo wins. This c...
Bingo Review
Terminology is often difficult for students to master. We found that playing Bingo is not only fun, the students tend to retain the information. Bingo cards can be constructed in Microsoft Word by usi...
Biography Poems
I use a biography poem to get to know my students. I ask my students to write a biography poem based on themselves. On the handout given to them, I create an example about myself so that the students ...
Icebreaker Birthday Cards
I have my students get to know each other by making birthday cards. They sit in groups and design a card for the person across from them. They have to find out what hobbies that person enjoys, books t...
Birthday Celebrations
Don’t want another cupcake party? Ms. Williams shares how she honors her students’ birthdays in a meaningful and significant way that highlights the special birthday student for the day.
Birthday Confetti
Ms. Merrill shares how she celebrates birthdays in a fun and memorable way. Her birthday routine includes a birthday poem, Kazoo and an explosion of fun!
Birthday Coupon
On the first day of school, my students fill out a birthday coupon, which includes each student's name, birthday and favorite candy bars. If their birthday falls on a holiday or in the summer, they ch...
Blackmail File
When I was a fifth grade teacher, I kept what I called a Blackmail File. When a student repeated minor misbehaviors, I had a conference with the student and we wrote up what had been happening and cam...
Block Scheduling as Safety Measure
Our School Improvement Committee came up with a plan several years ago. We have block scheduling, which cuts down on the number of times a day a student can change classes and get into trouble. We hav...
Blooming Students
I am a mentor teacher who works with a number of new teachers every year. On the first day of school, I bring a small vase of flowers for each new teacher and say, I know your students will bloom this...
Boards to Share
It's fun to have the kids create bulletin boards as part of the visual for a project's presentation. This keeps the boards current with little effort from the teacher. Our librarian has a revolving bu...
Bonus Questions
Like many teachers, I really hate the disruption caused when students are absent the day of a test and have to make-up a test later. So I use this incentive: I either include two bonus questions, or a...
Book Binding
In our class we produce at least one class generated book a week. Tired and frustrated with rebinding the little plastic loops on our well-read stories, I now use metal index rings (the kind that hing...
Book Check-Out
I have assigned books for high school students and have done it two different ways that seemed to work well. One way had the students take their copies home, and I kept a classroom set of the book for...
Book in an Hour
Ms. Kelm discovered a way to actually help every student in her class read a book in an hour. Her activity involves individual work and large group discussion, it stresses reading comprehension, and it’s great for reluctant readers.
Book Labels
Teachers who use a lot of paperback books need to keep track of who returned books and who used a book last if damage is found. I use computer labels with the student's name and room number so that lo...
Book List on a Ring
Getting her students to read plenty of books isn’t the main problem for Ms. Sims; it’s helping them organize and track their reading. But no worries: she found the solution in a key ring and index cards.
Book Swap with 2-for-1 Coupons
Each year our school holds Drop Everything And Read (Dear) Week. It has become an annual tradition eagerly awaited by students and staff alike. We hold a book swap for students and staff. So that ever...
Books for Reluctant Readers
If you’re having trouble getting your high school students to become interested in reading, I would start with a really great book that grabs your students' interest. You know your students the best, ...
Books into Bags
Here’s an easy way to collect your students’ text books at the end of the year. This system allows you to turn around and pass them back out again in September without any additional paperwork or recording of book numbers.
Books on Tape for Slow Readers
I suggest using books on tape (or CD) for students who are slow readers. Students can follow along in the printed book as they listen.
Bound at the Top
When I put down packets for printing, I always have them bound at the top so that whether you're a leftie or rightie, the binding doesn't end up under your wrist.
Bowling Sheets
Wouldn’t it be dreamy if all your students reviewed yesterday’s work before coming to class each day? This bowling game review will “spare” no student, so everyone has proper motivation to be prepared — plus they’ll all have fun doing it!
Box Recycling
Make portable file boxes or portfolio cases with this common household item. It’s a great way to reuse and recycle!
Brag Calls
As effective teachers, we recognize the importance and value of maintaining good communication between home and school. A fast, efficient, and easy way to do this is to do Brag Calls. I set criteria, ...
Brain Breaks
In order to help her elementary students maximize their learning potential, Ms. Cook provides her students with brain breaks throughout the day. She uses a variety of activities to help them relax, process information, and get ready for more.
Breakfast Graphs
In September, we define a 'good' breakfast and talk about how important it is to start our day. Each morning I ask how many students had a 'good' breakfast and we make a line graph to show how many 'g...
Breaking Up Story Dialogue
A great way to help kids break up a story into its proper format when dialogue is concerned is to use different colored highlighters. Have students highlight one speaker in one color and another speak...
Bright Envelopes
Colorful envelopes stand out in a cluttered mailbox. Read about this thrifty way to collect brightly colored envelopes to use when you send important notes home to parents.
Brightening Up the Classroom
Don’t throw away the colorful handouts you get from conferences, trainings and other meetings. Ms. Bryant has great suggestions for recycling colorful, discarded sheets to catch students’ attention and beautify your classroom.
Brighter Lesson Plans
Ms. Mosey enlivens her otherwise dull lesson plan books with vibrant splashes of color and whimsy. It’s easy to do, and come February when the days are shorter and darker, you’ll appreciate it more.
Buddy Sticks
I use an equitable strategy for cooperative learning and student selection in my classroom. At the beginning of the year, I write each student's name on a large craft stick. I put the sticks into a co...
Buddy System
Ms. Johnston has created independence for herself and her students by creating a class buddy system. Peers check up on each other to insure they have their homework, read to each other, and give each other support.
Building Character
If you are looking to start a character education class, I suggest looking at the Character Counts! Good Idea books, which have a variety of lessons appropriate for high school students. Tiger Woods' ...
Building Motivation
To build motivation in the challenging classroom, try using individualized positive comments to each student in front of the rest of the class. Identify the student's strengths and attributes that mak...
Bulletin Board Backgrounds
Here’s an inexpensive way to decorate your bulletin boards next year. It’s unique, easy and won’t fade by fall.
Bulletin Board Borders
Here’s a no-cost way to decorate your bulletin boards with colorful borders. Use it the next time you visit your local hardware store!
By the Alphabet, I
When I have papers collected by a student, I have an alphabetical list of all students in each class on the wall and have the papers collected in alphabetical order. This eliminates the wasted time us...
By the Alphabet, II
I teach 6th grade language arts, reading, and social studies. I have taught 20 years. Two years ago, I decided to collect everything in alphabetical order. It certainly does help when recording the gr...

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