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Creating a Trauma-Sensitive Classroom
Research shows that 1 in 3 students suffer the effects of trauma. How can you create a classroom where young victims feel calm enough to thrive? Here are some simple ways to prepare safe spaces.
Creating Found Poems Based on Current Events
Move over, 3 R's, the 3 C's are the theme of this unique tip! See how this educator combines current events, culture and creativity for a unique learning unit for 9-12 learners.
Creating a Bully-Free School
Tips from NEA's Bully Free It Starts WIth Me campaign: critial steps you can take to make your school a bully free zone.
Classroom Design By Students
See how Ms. Roach turns the routine of setting up her classroom into a set of valuable learning activities.
Classroom Managers
In this classroom students are formally hired—or fired—from classroom jobs in an experience that teaches responsibility and helps reduce tardiness
Call and Response Cues
What do waterfalls, bananas, and slugs have in common? They are all part of Ms. Stevens’ method of getting her students’ attention easily and quickly.
Card Larks
Sometimes you just need to boost the fun-factor in your classroom. Here's a great tip we got when we asked our Facebook friends how THEY accomplish it.
Class Mission Statement
Instead of establishing classroom rules, Ms. Cashell’s class creates a mission statement. Find how she guides them through the writing process and helps them take ownership of their own learning environment.
Classroom Help
Place an ad next year to hire classroom help. Get your students motivated to help and stay employed by doing a good job.
Create an Auto-Booklet
Fight Spring Fever and re-engage your students with a bookmaking project centered on their favorite subject: themselves! Kate shares ways you can harness their energy productively and refine their language arts skills at the same time.
Calming Cool-Offs
Do you ever wish you could send disruptive students on a faraway vacation, where they could calm down, cool off and allow the rest of the class to focus on learning? Ms. Willow actually does it (well, kind of): she sends them to “Alaska.”
Challenging a Chatty Class
Ms. Ortiz’s tally system will help you track bad behavior, establish clear consequences, and quickly teach a talkative class to quiet down quickly.
Create a Better Classroom Library
Ms. Marshall suggests ways to make the classroom library in the corner of your room much cozier. Pillows, a rug and shelves form the basics, but she has great ideas for kicking it up a notch from there.
Class Average Challenge
Mr. Paul challenges each of this civics classes to achieve a high average score than his other classes. Classrooms compete against each other to win a prize they all love, even Mr. Pahl. With this classroom challenge, everyone wins.
Charting Math Fact Progress
Mr. Bloom challenges each of his students to improve their individual scores each time they take a math facts test. Read about how his students practice chart and graph skills as they work to score higher with each test.
Calling Out Poor Behavior
Mr. Cottingham has a simple, direct method of redirecting misbehavior and getting students back on task. There’s no room for excuses and no discussion. Find out how he does it.
Classroom Management Basics
There are some classroom management principles that work regardless of grade level. Ms. Ortiz suggests seven behavior basics that any teacher can use to set the stage for a successful classroom and an unforgettable year.
Caught Doing Something Good
Caught Ya! Ms. Ashworth rewards her students PECK points when they do the right thing. Students have an opportunity to win small prizes each week and use their PECK points for extra credit on quizzes and tests.
Classroom Farming Activities
Nothing beats a field trip to a real farm, but if you cannot visit, Ms. Postman has a few suggestions you can do at school: germinate lima beans, hatch chicks, set up a pumpkin patch, make a cow from a cardboard box -- kids will love the boxed milk.
Celestial Mnemonics
A veteran teachers shares a fun planetary song she uses to help her students remember all nine planets in the solar system. This catchy tune will help students remember the names of planets even as they progress to the older grades.
Cooperative Tables
Joyce’s students sit at group tables instead of individual desks. The arrangement maximizes space in her classroom and helps build community. Read about how she organizes supplies for each group and chooses a daily captain to distribute materials.
Cinquain Poems Art Project
When her classes finish standardized testing, Ms. Sturgeon likes to do an engaging, project-based learning activity. Her class writes cinquain poems about their favorite animals and paints their creations in the style of illustrator Eric Carle.
Create Camp Read-A-Lot
During the last week of school, Amanda takes her kindergarten students camping in her own classroom! Her students bring tents, flashlights and other camping gear for a fun reading event.
Changes for Next Year
I keep a Word Document titled Changes for Next Year on the flash drive I always have with me. I make simple notes on...
Celebrate Reading with the Cat
Ms. Cashell helps organize a week full of reading events and activities to commemorate the birthday of Dr. Seuss (March 2). There are Seuss-inspired costumes, guest readers, fundraisers, trivia quizzes, prizes, and even a Crazy Hair, Crazy Hat Day.
Car Race Measuring
Ms. Breedlove has a great indoor activity that reinforces basic math concepts and works well for test prep and review. Ready? Set? Go learn how!
Colored Test Copies
When I make multiple test versions, I always use different colored paper. This way...
Calming Disruptive Students
Often times the most disruptive students in the classroom have the most influence over their classmates. Barb has figured out how to use this to her advantage and create a calmer classroom learning environment.
Child Who Refuses to Work
We have probably all encountered a student who refuses to do work. While we can do our best to engage the child and build a positive relationship with him, we cannot do his work; we can only do ours. At some point it becomes necessary to...
Conserving Paper
We live in a digital age, but we still need paper. We just don’t need as much of it. Stephanie knows of 4 ways to reduce, reuse and recycle paper products at her school.
CVC Story
Teaching the consonant-vowel-consonant reading skill can be tricky, especially when you have to account for the pesky silent e at the end of some words. Ms. Klein shares a story that helps her first graders get the hang of it in no time flat.
Club and Pep Rally Time
My high school has an extra fifteen minutes added to the last period of the day so students can attend club/organization meetings, sports meetings, drama, etc.
Club Day
My second grade team and I all use the same behavior incentive program. We keep rolls of raffle tickets purchased from a discount store...
Cafeteria Music
To control the noise level in your cafeteria, try music. It really works! Musical pieces without words, usually classical, soft jazz or soft blues are the best. Some yoga pieces work too. Kids will lo...
Calculus Review Day
It is almost time for the advanced placement exams and my students are already nervous. I have sponsored a review day for many years with the support of my building principal. A substitute takes my pl...
Calendar Activities
Sometimes we think children understand time, when in reality they don't. At one point, I thought all my students understood that there are 24 hours in a day… until one student asked, 'Now how many hou...
Calendar Lessons
When putting the date on the calendar, a teacher has the perfect opportunity to practice both repeating and growth patterns with students. By using different colored shapes with numbers written on the...
Calendar Math
At the beginning of each month I cut out shapes according to the season or the holiday. Every day we write a number on a shape and place it on the wall around the perimeter of the room. We count each ...
Calendar Rewards
What do you do with out-of-date calendars? Instead of tossing them, Ms. Stec has a unique way of recycling them and putting those glossy pictures of horses and puppy dogs to continued good use by encouraging good behavior and decorating students’ homes.
Call for Help
In my computer classes I have two plastic cups on each computer -- one red and the other blue. The two cups sit upside down, one inside the other. When the blue cup is on top it means 'Everything is C...
Calling Parents for Open House
Every September just before back-to-school night, I call each child's family to invite them. There is always a guarded voice when the parents or kids respond to my introduction. There's a sign of reli...
Can Do Challenge
Reverse your students’ “Can’t Do” attitude with the Can Do Challenge. This fun icebreaker helps establish a positive, aspirational tone for the rest of the year.
Writing Dialogue with Proper Formatting
One of the hardest things for my students to understand is the old rule about changing paragraphs when a new speaker talks. After having a few lessons that go over the rules of writing dialogue, I hav...
Can We Talk?
Ms. Parson’s students interview each other on the first day of school. Her unique twist on a familiar assignment illustrates a great way to of pairing students together and produces creative decorations for her bulletin board.
Can, Shoe and Dot Organizers
Recycled tin cans, shoe racks and dot stickers can all be used to organize your classroom supplies. Learn how these inexpensive up-cycles will help you find what you need, when you need it.
Capturing School Experiences
The school year is filled with special, unforgettable moments, especially for younger students. Ms. Richardson has a unique way of making sure parents can share in these moments.
Car Survival Kits
In fall, my students read the book, Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. In this story, the main character, Brian, finds a survival pack. The students list the items and discuss how these items helped Brian to su...
Carbon Copy Notes to Parents & Colleagues
Discover how this fifth-grade teacher keeps track of correspondence with parents and colleagues. It’s a simple and accurate way to track paperwork, and since copies of everything are stored in a log book, it’s easy to recall.
Cards for Family
Ms. Rochwick creates a fantasy holiday shopping spree for her kindergartners. Using gift brochures, magazine catalogues and other direct mail pieces, her students shop for gifts and use pictures to create a keepsake for parents or other loved ones.
Cards for Substitute Educators
Ms. Newman uses index cards and labels to help substitutes with a variety of tasks: taking roll, tracking behavior, assigning groups, etc. Read about how using this simple stack of cards can make life easier for you, the sub, and your students.
Career Research Project
My students are required to work on a career research paper during their junior English semester. The requirements include filling out an application, interviewing parents, taking the ASVAB, completin...
Carpet Squares
Carpet and furniture stores will often give outdated carpet sample to educators at no cost. This first-grade teacher uses them in some unique, innovative ways. Find out how she does it.
Cartoon Dialogues
Writing dialogue can be the trickiest part of creative writing. Ms. Russell introduces her third-grade students to this writing skill by using cartoons with blank thought bubbles.
Catchy Newsletters
I help parents connect with their child's school experience by sending home a weekly newsletter. The newsletter includes anything we've been working on in class, concerns, and informational tidbits. I...
Ceiling Hangings
Here's a tip for teachers that have classrooms with acoustical tiles. When I want to hang pictures, windsocks, bulletin boards, etc. from the ceiling, I unbend a paperclip and tuck one end under the m...
Celebrating Pi Day
Another calculus teacher and I started celebrating Pi Day with our calculus classes four years ago. We use the school cafeteria on 3/14 and start our celebration at 7PM. We have contests for the best ...
Cell Phone Discipline
I use my cell phone to help me with disruptive students. When a problem occurs, I just call any number and push the clear button. The students think I pressed the send button. I pretend that I am talk...
Cellular Homework Hotline
With a cell phone and two spare minutes, you can use Ms. Masino’s idea for helping students transition to middle school. Her innovative strategy keeps students (and their parents!) up to speed on all classroom assignments and events.
Cemetery Studies
Plan a day-long field trip to a local cemetery. Find out Ms. Prather uses this fun Halloween outing to teach about local history and community.
Chalk Graphs
I use a handwriting line marker, the handle with the slots to fit chalk, to make my graphs on the chalkboard. I make three horizontal sets of lines and then three sets of vertical lines. This makes an...
Chalkboard Cleaner Revisited
Ms. DeWitt likes a clean chalkboard as much as the next person… well, maybe more than the next person. Discover everything you need to know about cleaning your chalkboard – especially what common household cleaning product you should avoid.
Chance Cards
This teacher’s students take a chance when they go above and beyond in the classroom. Read about this simple idea of encouraging good behavior. It’s always a surprise what they can win behind secret doors when they take a chance on being good.
Changeable Seating Chart
Ms. Arnold creates a seating chart that’s easy to adjust as needed. Read about how she can quickly switch name labels on her chart and make chart notations of student progress during class.
Changing Student Grades
I want to give back to society for the excellent education I received! Education is something that I have wanted to do since fourth grade! As a student, I have always hated changed grades on an assign...
Changing Signals
"I have a large rain stick that I turn over slowly when it's time to transition from one activity to another. Students know that they must be in their seats listening for instructions before it stops raining or their name goes in our discipline book.
Character Plotting
Ms. Postman’s primary school competes in a yearly Behavior Bowl. Read about how classes collect football points for good behavior and drive the field for touchdowns, treats and a school-wide celebration.
Charting Class Participation
For this foreign language teacher, managing classroom discussion and encouraging full participation is a must. Her technique for getting students to speak up, and her strategy for tracking their participation, will work in any class.
Check It Chest
Ms. Ruhe set up a Check-It Chest in her classroom to collect disruptive personal toys young students often bring to class. She gives her children a choice when they enter the classroom: Check It or Take It.
Checking Arithmetic
I'm always looking for ways to lighten the load of marking. For addition/subtraction, I have my students check their arithmetic by also doing the reverse operation. For example, 28 + 59 = 87, 87 - 59 ...
Checking Attendance and Homework
Ms. Etsell has a quick, easy procedure for checking attendance, homework and prep work with a modified seating chart. Find out how she does it.
Checking Homework I
I have used two different methods for checking homework, and both really cut down on paperwork. First of all, I check most homework for completeness only and students get full credit or no credit. If ...
Checking Homework II
I have a seating chart and have a can of checkers with the number of each of the desks on separate checkers. I use this can every class. I only collect 3 or 4 homeworks from each class by randomly dra...
Cheesecloth Ghosts
Your elementary students will love this Halloween craft activity. All you need is cheesecloth, small gourds, wax paper and glue; then follow Ms. Hlavin’s directions for this spooky delight.
Chemistry Moles
Here's a tip for chemistry teachers wanting to get their students interested in the measurement unit mole (6x10^23 particles). Every year as I begin the unit dealing with moles, I hand out a pattern f...
Children with Tourette’s Syndrome
If you work with a child who’s been diagnosed with Tourette's, I have a few suggestions that may help. First, I would meet with the parents of this student to ask them your question about deflecting t...
Children's Handprints
I use children's handprints each month for a different activity. The handprints can be used for monthly calendar tops, keepsake books, etc. We all know about the hand turkey, but how about a hand ghos...
Chinese New Year
I celebrate the Chinese New Year with my class. We eat food with chopsticks such as lo mein that can be scooped up holding the sticks like a fork. Dumplings or wonton can be speared for those not yet ...
Celebrating Chinese New Year
Learn how Ms. Kast teaches her students about Chinese New Year customs and holds a school celebration.
Choosing Students by Number
OneHere’s a creative craft project students can do that will help you organize, select and group students all year long. Save your orange juice lids and try this when school begins again.
Circuits in Physics
When my students do electrical experiments in physics, the wires and electrical components of the circuits slide all over the place, making it difficult for my students and me to compare the circuits...
Circulating Books with Funny Money
Ms. Fox is a library media specialist who “pays” students to read – a surefire way to get kids sharing, reading and circulating books.
City Math
While studying geometry, students create a three-dimensional model city. Students have specific design and planning responsibilities and are required to use geometric shapes and angles to build and describe their imaginary city.
Clapping for Attention
When it gets extremely loud in class, I make up clapping patterns to get my students' attention. I clap some rhythms which the students repeat. When I clap a certain rhythm, however, they respond by c...
Class Autobiographies
Ms. Pitchford shares a unique book-making activity that will help student teachers get to know you and your students quickly, help them feel welcome, and enable them to hit the ground running from day one.
Class Constitution
Almost a decade ago Congress passed an obscure law requiring schools that receive federal funds to educate students about the Constitution during Constitution Week. Here’s a practical idea for codifying classroom rules that fits the bill.
Bury “Can’t Lists” in Class Funeral
This fourth-grade teacher developed an inspirational outdoor activity for the first day of school in which students literally and metaphorically bury their self-doubt and plant the seeds of a positive attitude.
Class Generated Books
My students make numerous class generated books throughout the year. On the last day of school, I allow the students to choose one of the books to take home. The collective books make nice mementos fo...
Class History Book
This year-long current events project helps teach students collaboration and information gathering skills, and at the end of the year they have a class history book that documents the year in news
Class Homework Checker
In the beginning of the year, I talk about student jobs that we have within the classroom. One of the jobs is called 'Homework Checker.' The Homework Checker uses a clipboard and rotates around the ro...
Class Log Book
Learn how this teacher uses a classroom helper and daily log book to help students track their own absences and make-up work – and save herself from mountains of paperwork.
Collection vs. Correction
Ms. Green issues two types of homework assignments: those she collects and those she corrects. Read about her easy grading system that not only helps her identify students’ weaknesses, but also encourages them to understand their mistakes.
Class Logs
Excessive absences prompted me to devise a Class Log system. I have three-ringed folders in different colors that are labeled Block 1, Block 2, etc. These folders remain on the counter in my classroom...
Class Newspaper
Students in Ms. Vanover class produce a class newspaper that not only sharpen their writing skills but also keep their parents informed of classroom news, activities and milestones.
Class Note
I like to leave a note for the class when I am absent. On a transparency, I leave the class a letter describing why I am absent, what the plan is for class, and a quick reminder of my expectations. I ...
Class Note Taker
I keep a folder for each class period in a file stacker at the front of the room and assign a note taker every day. The note taker uses carbon paper and notebook paper to copy the notes from the lectu...
Class Photographer
When my students are chosen as Star of the Week they also become the class photographer. I bought an inexpensive camera to use that can be replaced if broken. The class photographer brings in a roll o...
Class Secretary
Ms. Adman assigns her students leadership positions in her classroom. The secretary of the week takes class notes, records assignments and helps students who return from an absence.
Class Treasurer
Writing out receipts for every student during a fundraiser takes up too much of my instructional time. Instead, I have a class treasurer who has a Money Collection Sheet. The treasurer records each st...
Class VIP
Ms. Mulholland selects a class VIP each day that helps with administrative classroom tasks. Read about how she chooses her classroom helper fairly and allows every student a chance to be a VIP.
Class Web Site
I help parents connect with their child's school experience by creating a class web site. The site includes our schedule, important skills covered during the year, reading suggestions, links that supp...
Classroom Allergies
I'm allergic to the stuff, so I tell my kids at the start of the semester that my classroom isn't a bathroom and that I'm allergic to scent. If I have to discipline, it falls under my rule lack of con...
Classroom Bosses
Here’s a suggestion for developing a system of classroom helpers that puts this characteristic to good use. It helps students take more ownership of the classroom and allows them to give and show respect to each other.
Classroom Chat
Sharon ends each day ends on a positive note during a sit-down chat that builds trust and community amongst the whole class. Find out how she guides discussion in order to praise good behavior, resolve squabbles and prepare for the next day of learning.
Classroom Checkbooks
Mr. Lyon secures checkbooks and registers from a local bank, and then uses a clever system for paying students (he starts them at minimum wage) and then has them write monthly checks for expenses and even complete tax returns in April.
Classroom Discipline Book
About five years ago I was at the end of my rope with classroom behavior until I read the book Teaching with Love and Logic by Jim Fay and David Funk. It's about taking control of the classroom. I cou...
Classroom Discussions
I created the 'talking stick jar' because everyone in my class wanted to talk at once and I hated making the kids raise their hands. I needed something that was fair and kind of fun. All the kids have...
Classroom Help
Place an ad next year to hire classroom help. Motivate students to stay employed by doing a good job.
Classroom Lighting
Instead of using the industrial, fluorescent, ceiling lights, I bring in lamps. Inexpensive floor lamps can be purchased at any discount stores or online. I put a lamp in each corner, in the back, by ...
Classroom Mailing Center
Streamline your paperwork, quiet chatty students, and curb disruptive note passers with Ms. Myers’s nifty idea for a classroom mailing center.
Rubric for Classroom Presentations
My teammate and I include Audience Behavior on every rubric or score sheet for projects.
Classroom Rules Pictures
I have a poster of classroom rules that I like because it uses clear, simple language and covers all the bases.
Clean Blackboards I
Here is a blackboard tip that eliminates yucky wet cloths and sponges while keeping blackboards looking like new. I take a clean small towel and put a little bit of lemon oil on it. I place the towel ...
Clean Blackboards II
This cleaning tip was passed on to me by a veteran teacher. Clean everything with diluted Murphy's Oil soap. It is non-allergenic and recommended by healthy home sources. It is made of pure vegetable ...
Clean Books
At the start of the second semester, my freshmen and juniors engage in lengthy novel studies. Usually, the novels either do not appear in the adopted anthologies or are included in abridged forms; the...
Clean Chalkboards
To keep chalkboards clean, use a Kleenex that has lanolin or hand lotion on it. Put it around the eraser and erase the board. You will rarely have to wash your board.
Clean Desks and Kids
In kindergarten we do a lot of messy activities and for years I would always let the children go to the sink to get rid of the paste or glue from their hands. About 4 years ago, I decided enough was e...
Clean Desks I
At the beginning of the school year, one of the supplies I ask each child to bring is a box of Baby Wipes, Cleaning Up. Each Friday, after cleaning the inside of their desks, the children wipe clean t...
Clean Desks II
My tip can be used for any grade and it has to do with cleaning the classroom. To get pencil marks off of desks, I buy a tub of baby-wipes (cheap ones work just as well as name brands). I give each st...
Clean Floors
Play Dough, paint and glue have a way of becoming smooshed disgustingness when they spill off work tables and onto your carpet. Here’s an easy way to protect your shag and make cleanup easier.
Clean Students
Our class of first and second graders gets very hectic while getting everyone ready to go to lunch. We have hit on the idea of having parents contribute Baby Wipes, Cleaning Up. Then, instead of takin...
Clean Tables
A great way to keep classroom tables clean is to cover them with plastic tablecloths or double sheets of butcher paper when children are working with glue, markers or paint. The plastic tablecloths ca...
Cleaning Blackboards
Here's a tip I just learned this year after 28 years of teaching. I wish I could have known earlier. For those who like clean boards, take a Puff brand tissue with lotion in it and wipe it over the en...
Cleaning Desks
To clean ink from desks, I have one word: hairspray. It works wonders! Spray and wipe away immediately.
Cleaning Dry Erase Boards
I found that the best thing to clean dry erase boards are Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. They come in packages of two and last for about nine weeks. They even clean off permanent marker that is accidentally...
Cleaning Pencil Erasers
Do you ever throw away perfectly good pencils simply because the erasers have gone bad? Who wants to “fix” a mistake with a scruff mark? Ms. Comstock’s easy eraser cleaning tip is just what you need.
Cleaning Transparencies
I never clean transparencies! I keep a roll of Saran Wrap by my overhead projector. When I want to use a transparency, I simply roll the wrap over the transparency that I placed on the overhead, and t...
Cleaning White Boards
If you have a white board that requires the use of dry erase markers, inevitably a permanent marker jumps up and attacks the board. To remove the permanent mark, I simple scribble over it with a dry e...
Cleaning with Wipes
I keep a tub of Baby Wipes, Cleaning Up by my overhead projector to clean my transparencies. The transparencies dry quickly and are ready for me to reuse for the next class. I allow students to demons...
Clear Boards for Overheads
I teach math using an overhead and have piles of transparencies to wash each day. They pile up! While shopping at my local office supply store, I found a CLEAR dry erase board that fits right on top o...
Clear Overlays
I put a sheet protector over seating charts, so that I can write things on them with an overhead pen which easily comes clean the next day with a little water.
Clickers in the Classroom
"I have been using clickers [sometimes referred to as an 'audience response' system] now for about 2-3 months and have seen a vast improvement in my students’ test scores.
Clipboards for Lefties
I discovered an easy way to use clipboards with left-handed note takers: Simply use the clipboard upside down! Take the papers out of the clip, and turn the board so...
Clips in a Bucket
To make sure that all my students are included when we review material, I write their names on clothespins and clip them all around a bucket. I ask a question, choose a clip, and then throw it in the ...
Clothes Pins I
I find time management in my classroom essential. I try to make short work of many tasks. To shorten attendance, my homeroom students enter my room and take their own attendance. I have placed an empt...
Clothes Pins II
For attendance, I use clip-type clothes pins with students' names and desk numbers written on the wooden part, clipped to a small basket or plastic container. As students come into the classroom, they...
Coding on the Back
It is puzzle time, but your students work multiple puzzles on the same table. Which makes cleanup a real bear. Which pieces go into which boxes? Ms. Smith has the answer to this organizational and cleanup nightmare.
Coin Trays
In preparation for teaching math lessons and money skills, Ms. Locke has a unique solution for organizing her classroom’s play money. It’s simple and inexpensive. Find out how she does it.
Collaboration in the Classroom
Ms. Turnball has suggestions for connecting your classroom routines and procedures to real-world employment scenarios that will help students see their work – and their performance – in a new light, regardless of what subject you teach.
Collecting Orderly Papers
I have a great system for collecting papers. This applies to the traditional classroom when the desks are in rows. The students must always put their paper on top of the person's paper behind them. Af...
Color Coding and Cardboard
Save time and cut down on lost supplies with Ms. Gates’ organizing techniques. A slew of color-coded folders and discarded soda pop cases is all it takes.
Color Coding Journals
Ms. Barry uses the colors of the rainbow to organize her students’ journals and to structure how she collects, responds to, and grades them.
Color Coding Lesson Plans
I have found it helpful to color code my lesson plans which I prepare a week in advance. I use a yellow marker to highlight the unit, chapter and lesson headings as well as objectives and the core cur...
Color Coding Your Answer Key
Have you ever started grading your answer key to a quiz or test? In my 20+ years of teaching, I certainly have. However, I've cured the problem by running my answer key on a sheet of colored paper tha...
Color Mixing with Frosting
For a fun, hands-on activity on the subject of color mixing, I divide a can of vanilla frosting into three containers and then mix each with one of the three primary colors (red, blue, yellow). Then I...
Color-Coded Papers
I use different colored paper to separate tests for each subject or period. For example, I use red paper for spelling and green paper for science. The students recognize that the colors are related to...
Colored Cups Reduce Noise
Educators at Ms. Hebbe’s school have a method for keeping lunch room noise levels under control without saying a word.
Colored Glue
Sometimes it’s difficult for young children to see where glue was applied especially on a white background. Here’s a colorful solution that will stop excess glue seepage and cut down on waste.
Comfortable Clarinets
Does a portion of your woodwind section complain of sore thumbs? Put an end to clarinet blisters with this easy trick.
Comic Groups
Tired of pairing and grouping students by having them call off the alphabet, “A, B, C, B, C, etc.”? A bit of variety can help you mix up the groups and enliven the process. Ms. McCracken uses the funny papers. Find out how.
Communicating with ELL Students
If you’re working with an ELL student and are having difficulty communicating with the child, here’s what I suggest: Label everything in your room that he'll need to use. From here on in, find picture...
Communicating with Parents I
In our school system we are required to leave weekly recorded messages for parents and students but this is very inconvenient for me. Instead, I have gotten all but three email addresses from students...
Communicating with Parents II
I keep in touch with the parents of my 32 kindergartners via a daily email newsletter. I use this daily email to let parents know what we covered in class today, what we will be learning in the coming...
Guess What We Did at School This Week
With this weekly activity, Ms. Kohl’s students practice their recall and summarization skills. The result is student-authored bulletin for parents.
Communication from Beginning to End
The first week of school, Ms. Auman sends a brief questionnaire to her students’ parents. It helps her learn more about her students, but more importantly it opens dialogue with parents.
Comparing Poems
In our school, students often read and write poetry, but some standardized tests now require students to compare poems. So we read a poem a day or week depending on schedules. We talk about the feelin...
Complete Stories
Ms. Pearson breaks down the parts of a story using strips of colored paper glued on a white copy sheet. Adopt Ms. Pearson’s cut and paste method to write color-coded holiday stories and decorate your classroom from top to bottom (or beginning to end)!
Compliment Bag
While student teaching in a 4th-5th grade split class, I found the idea of using a compliment bag handy. We had the students make and decorate a bag and hang them from each individual desk. Whenever a...
Compliment Door
Do you want your students to come through the door each morning with a positive attitude toward you, their peers and themselves? This activity will help you build character and self-esteem and teach good manners and etiquette.
Computer Class Organization
A computer lab can get cluttered in a hurry so I assign a Row Manager each day for each row of computers in the room. At the end of the period, this student is responsible for reminding other students...
Computer Lab Questions
In my computer lab I have a stack of plastic disposable cups numbered 1-26. When students needs help, they know to get a cup, put it on top of their monitor, and wait quietly. Students of all ages qui...
Computer Lab Scheduling
Our school has one main lab of 25 computers and four mini labs of 10-12 computers in our building. For over 4 years now, we have just used a blank calendar printed out and labeled. All sign-up calenda...
Computer Labels
I really like to find ways to use the computer to make special items for my students. I use custom created labels for many different uses. For example, I make pencil reward toppers. I print phrases su...
Computer Monitoring
I found the screen saver feature is a great way to monitor students working on the computer. I added a picture of myself with a word balloon to the screen saver (Virtual Mr. Edwards, version 1.0). The...
Computer Stoplights
To end computer lab chaos, purchase a set of red, green, and yellow paper cups. Put together a stoplight for each computer station. If the students are doing well, they keep the green cup on the top o...
Computer Template I
To avoid writing the same substitute instructions every time I am absent, I designed a computer template with details about each class. I add information pertinent to the date I will be gone and print...
Computer Template II
My substitute template is not complicated. On the word processor, I simply save my plans and the next time I need a sub, I go back, delete the old information and add new material for that day's lesso...
Computer Template III
I carry the substitute template one step further. I save my schedule template as a word file, then if I need to be absent on short notice, or if I am unprepared, I can quickly type in lessons and nece...
Computer Template IV
I have my substitute template on my computer at home and either fax or e-mail plans to school when I am unexpectedly absent. It only takes a few minutes to insert the appropriate instructions for each...
Computer Timelines
Part of our curriculum in the fourth grade is to learn to read and to interpret timelines. At the beginning of the school year, students make their own timeline in the computer lab that will be used t...
Computerized Flashcards
I made up templates so that teachers can print out words to use as flashcards. I use Word 97 Mail Merge with an Excel database of words. I print the flashcards out on business cards or plain paper. Th...
Ms. Langenderfer put her won twist on the classic Concentration game. Students compete as teams while reviewing the entire year’s lessons, but in this game everybody wins.
Concentration Vocabulary Review
For this version of the classic Concentration game, all you need is an on old shoe bag, the kind with multiple pockets that you might hang from a door or coat rack. Well…. that and a room full of students ready for a fun learning game.
Conduct Cards
Sue never has to explain a child’s conduct grade to a parent. Her unique system for tracking students’ behavior with “conduct cards” holds them accountable and keeps their parents well-informed.
Confronting Antipathy
When I get the comment from students, 'I never did any work anyways' and its addendum '...and I'll be damned if I'm going to start now!', my reply is 'Well, maybe that's one of the reasons contributin...
Connection Questions
Students sometimes complain that their studies are unrelated to the “real” world. Ms. Berkhof has three questions she uses to encourage students to think otherwise.
Constructing a New School Year
Ms. Labarry approaches the new school year as if she were building a house with her students. She works with them to build a strong classroom foundation based on healthy relations in order to avoid a collapse later in the year.
Constructing Geometrical Forms
For an engaging and dramatic geometry unit, my students construct large models out of tightly rolled newspaper struts. The struts must be clipped at the ends where there are weakest and it's best to u...
Context Clues
Write this sentence on the board, 'Yesterday, I had two frimps.' Have the class read the sentence and pose this question, 'What does the word frimps mean?' Write their guesses on the board (somewhere ...
Controlling the Uncontrollable Class
We’ve all caught students misbehaving, but have you ever caught them cooperating? Mr. Edwards does it on a regular basis, and he’s used this strategy of positive rewards to tame his unruly classroom.
Cooking Party
Ms. Hardman hosts an after school cooking party, a voluntary activity that not only produces a yummy snack but also promotes non-verbal communication - all questions and answers must be conveyed with hand gestures or written on the chalkboard.
Cooperative Colored Circles
When working with cooperative groups, I keep the noise level under control by using colored circles. If a group is on task and using quiet voices, I give them a green circle. If I need to remind them ...
Cooperative Groups
One suggestion for keeping students on task is to form cooperative groups. Depending on the structure of your activity, assign students to groups of 3 or 4. Give each student a responsibility and hold...
Copied Inventories
My colleagues and I just went through a very traumatic thing � our school burned down. Luckily, the fire started early in the morning, before anyone was at school. No one was hurt! Through this experi...
Copies Made Easier
I got tired of running to the office and the copy room just to make a few copies so I invested in a fax machine. Most fax machines have the capability of copying and usually don't require a phone hook...
Copies of Lesson Plans
Every Friday, we are required to submit the following week's lesson plans to the office. I make an extra copy for myself so that I can make notes or adjustments for the next time I teach that particul...
Ms. Heineke wrote a fun rap song that was performed by four police local police officers. Her students will never think of spelling, grammar and punctuation in quite the same way.
Copy Box
I made a copy box because I often found myself in the copy room needing something such as a pencil, white out, or a ruler. I found a small box with a handle on it and included in the box a small stapl...
Correcting Handwriting
My class is learning to write in cursive. I found a page of the lower and upper case cursive alphabet written on paper of the same size that the students use. I copied this onto transparencies so that...
Counting Birds
Ms. Daniel’s class participates in a birding event in which her students count birds, draw pictures, and write stories. The event is coordinated online, where students can enter results of their counting and submit photos.
Counting Coins
Looking for a new way to teach math and money skills? Ms. Bockhorst shares a fun activity that can be used with students throughout the entire school year – all you need is a bit of spare change.
Counting Combinatorics
In a mathematics course that I teach, there is an advanced unit in counting combinatorics. As a cooperative assessment, I give the kids the odds against being dealt all possible five-card hands in a g...
Covering Boards
Many schools require their shelves or boards to be covered, and many teachers use bulletin board paper to do this. I would like to suggest that we save paper and consider using old clean bed sheets to...
Cozy Old and New Teachers
It’s easy to become so focused on our students that we sometimes forget that new teachers also need love, support and nurturing. This veteran teacher shares her strategies for welcoming new teachers to her school and making them feel comfortable.
Group-Created Science Definitions
Mr. Hendrix uses a unique activity to introduce science concepts to his students. It involves small and large group work, so it can be used as a great icebreaker activity to start the year, though it will also work all year round.
Creating Your Own School Bells
Do you have a constant stream of students coming and going out of the classroom for special activities, nurse visits, trips to the library, etc.? Mr. Edwards has a simple, free suggestion for reminding everyone where they’re supposed to be and when.
Creative Grouping
Ms. Behrens offers 10 creative ways to group and pair students. They promise more variety, so students will learn to work with different personalities and learning styles, and get to know each other better. Best of all: they’re fun!
Creative Map Making
Some of Virginia's Standards of Learning cover the knowledge of physical features, regions, directions and the states bordering Virginia. After instruction in these areas, we make physical maps in two...
Creative Research Papers
Mr. Beachey revamped the standard research paper assignment, adding a new twist that combines rigorous research methods with creative writing and imaginative thinking. Students are more engaged with their papers, and he’s more engaged with reading them.
Credit Card Debt Simulation
This in-depth activity impresses upon students the importance of using credit cards wisely. They learn to calculate late penalties, interest and minimum payments, and along the way they discover the true cost of a pair of sneakers.
Crime Lab Science
In my many years of teaching chemistry and physics, I observed that the laboratory investigations that created the most enthusiasm were those that cast the student in the role of crime lab analyst. Ra...
Crisis Plans
Our school district has been actively working on safety issues for a number of years. One of the products of this discussion has been the development of crisis plans for all buildings.
Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
Fill in the last few minutes of each day with this game that makes questions easy to ask (great for you!) but the answers something to think about (great for students!).
Crossword Puzzle Software
I make crossword puzzles using Crossword Studio. The advantage to this program compared to other crossword makers that I've tried in the past is that this one allows longer clues, you can easily chang...
Current Events
In order to keep my 'current events' current in my classroom, I assign the student of the week the job of clipping local, state, national and world news articles for our news bulletin board. When they...
Cursive Playdough
My students are really motivated when I teach cursive writing because we form each letter with playdough before we write it on paper. I require that the playdough be in one continuous snake to make th...
Cutting Costs
A lab that requires a formidable amount of data and costs quite a bit of money can be split between two high schools with the help of email. The data found in the two labs can be used in both schools ...