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Last Resort Calculators
Do you have students who rush through your math tests and finish early no matter how many times you tell them to check their work? Here’s a great way to keep your students focused, challenged and quiet until the end of the testing period.
Literary Character Olympics
Tracee holds her own version of the Summer Olympics in her English class. Characters from novels serve as the athletes, and students decide in which events the characters compete. Students defend choices in large group discussion.
Letters Home
Ms. Roker , a retired teacher now working as a substitute educator, has her students write their own behavioral letters to their parents. Read about her technique for making a misbehaved student part of the solution and a behaved student even prouder.
“Let’s Save the Earth” Presentation
Using photography and PowerPoint, Ms. Postman developed an activity that shows her students how small, individual acts can make a big difference in protecting the environment.
Love-Hate Journaling
This retired teacher always had a love-hate relationship with student journals. They were time consuming but valuable teaching tools. With a list of imaginative writing prompts, she made the most out of them.
Late Homework Pass
Some teachers reward students by giving them a free homework pass that allows them to skip a homework assignment. I think this is a really bad idea, because...
Literature Circles and Book Talks
I find that giving students a choice in what to read is always an important goal. I use literature circles in which students pick the book they are interested in reading.
Life Labs
Whenever I want students to experience something new, I create what I refer to as a life lab.
Lab Schedule
We have a Lab Schedule at our school. We are K-6 and have one computer lab. At the beginning of the year, we list our top 3 choices for computer lab time and turn it in to our principal. A lab schedul...
Label that Table
The flip side of privilege is responsibility, an idea that Ms. Paschke reinforces in her classroom with a method of grouping students together and rotating their access to classroom “extras.”
Laminated Kisses
One of the neatest things I do on the first day of school is read the book, The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn. It is a wonderful book about a little raccoon that has to go off to school for the first ti...
Laminating Film Has Many Uses
“To use the clear, leftover laminate, I like to cut it into 8 x 10 sized pieces. Copy a holiday picture/pattern or draw a picture relating to a lesson. Place laminate on top of picture. Clip or staple...
Laminating Posters
To preserve the beauty and usefulness of posters, I laminate them. To store the laminated posters for the summer, purchase a cardboard garment box from any travel agency like AAA. Place pieces of tiss...
Language in the Workplace
In conjunction with my students' research papers, they must talk to their parents about how they use language or composition in their career fields. This exercise really helps students see that the gr...
Leap-Frog Repeating
Here's a way to increase students' listening skills. When I find a student who has a correct answer, I have them say it aloud, and then I have a student sitting close repeat the answer. If that studen...
Learning About Each Other
With this get-to-know-you activity, Ms. Herbert’s fourth-grade students practice their conversational skills, learn proper etiquette, and learn just about everything they ever wanted to know about their teacher.
Learning Centers
When a handful of my students finish their work ahead of the class, I return to the idea first encountered 20 years ago as a beginning teacher: instructional centers. Varying the centers to focus more...
Learning From Wisdom Books
After our class reads about five wisdom books, I divide the class into five groups. I assign one of the books that we've read to each group and they review it with the question, 'What did the author w...
Learning Names
I photocopy my seating charts onto transparencies and put colored paper behind them, using a different colored paper for each class. The charts are magnetized and I leave them up on the blackboard all...
Learning Styles and Vocabulary
Ms. Hunter takes what can be boring vocabulary and definition drills to a new level. Through fun review games, her students “see” the vocabulary words in their brains as they illustrate the definitions in a visual way.
Leftover Laminating Film
As an art teacher for 29 years, I can find a use for anything that's left over! I have found that you can take the ends of the laminating rolls home and do little laminating jobs with your iron. I tur...
Lesson Objectives
I give my students a copy of the objective for each lesson. My objectives are written in the format: 'By the time you finish class today you will be able to.' Each objective is followed by one or two ...
Lesson Plan Copies
Para-educators, reading specialists, teacher aids, and anyone else who works along with you in the classroom will appreciate this simple procedure. A little extra time on your part will help others help you — and your students.
Lesson Plan Folder
I keep a folder with all my lesson plans on my desk. At the end of the semester, I put them in my files. My plans act as both lessons and assignment sheets. They contain supplies needed, goal for the ...
Let It Snow
My students were quite excited about our first measurable snowfall. In order to capture that excitement, I scattered window clings of snowflakes and snowmen on my easel dry erase board with the title ...
Letters to and from Students
To encourage any age student to communicate in writing, I have a small rural mailbox in my classroom in which the children can 'mail' a letter to me. The letters can be about anything, for example: a ...
Letters to Parents
Every year I write a letter to the parents of my students pointing out the good qualities of their child and saying how much I enjoy their student in my class. I purchase very nice paper and hand writ...
Letters to Santa
This holiday writing project matches high school students with first graders. Younger students write letters to Santa Claus, while older students assist them with their writing and then answer those letters.
Letters to the Editor
My writing students send letters to the editor which we submit to local city papers, larger publications and even our high school newspaper. Each quarter, at least four students are published and usua...
Library Open House
Every year I hold an open house for faculty and staff to show them new books, equipment and other materials that have come in over the summer or that they might not have been aware of during the previ...
Library Orientation
Each fall I give a library orientation to the ninth graders. I explain where things are in the media center, how to look up materials, and policies and procedures. Then I give a quiz which has them lo...
Life in the 1900's
A few years ago PBS had a series of shows called 1900 House (www.pbs.org/wnet/1900house/). I use it with my students every year so show changes in family life at the turn of the century. It is great b...
Life-Long Reading
To help encourage life-long reading, I post a copy of the local newspaper on the hallway wall outside my room. Students stop by during the day to check out the comics, sports page and news headlines. ...
Limitless Potential
As a new user of the computer, I have had a wide range of experiences! Through E-mail I am communicating with friends all over the world, including former international students. Current students writ...
Line Signs
A technique I have found effective for reducing the amount of time it takes for the class to form a quiet line-up is to hold up signs. I have four face signs on different coloured cardstock: a grinnin...
Linking Drama to Chemistry
I always encourage my students to see our school drama productions. This semester they are putting on a production of Winnie the Pooh. If a student wishes to receive extra credit in my class, they mus...
Liquid Nails
Two big problems in my classroom used to be the lack of storage space and keeping posters and charts from falling off my walls when they were put up with tape. I solved both problems with one solution...
Listening and Thinking
I take a class out to play 'Listening' once a year. It doesn't work more often than that, but then, it doesn't need to. By the end of the game, they discover that 'Listening' can be renamed 'Thinking....
Listening Skills Activity
Here's a listening skill activity I use on and off all year. Make sure kids know left from right, top from bottom. They should know mid-point or center too. Give them a blank piece of 8 1/2 11 paper. ...
Listening to Students
I have found it works for me to ensure the students that, just as I listen to what the sub has to say, I equally listen to what they have to say. Once they learn that their voice has value, I get less...
Literature about the Old West
If you're teaching literature about the Old West, here's an idea that might help you introduce the unit to high school students. An idea that I had and used successfully was to show a tape of an origi...
Literature Letters
I do a project called literature letters. My students choose a book to read and are matched with a partner. The students divide the books into four sections. After they read the first section, they wr...
Local Association Coffee Break
To welcome new teachers into our system, the officers of our local association provide snacks during one of the inservice breaks. New teachers are welcomed, introduced to the Association Representativ...
Local Info
Looking for some wonderful and usually free teaching resources to start the school year? Frustrated because materials haven't arrived - but you know the kids will? Try your local chamber of commerce a...
Lock Down Procedure
We have a lock-down procedure in place where each teacher locks room door and secures outside doors where possible. We have twice yearly drills. Once I was able to 'sweep' a passing visitor into my ro...
Log Cabins
This fun arts and crafts project for young children shows them how to make a log cabin with common items found at home and school.
Looping Preparation
I looped for several years with seventh and eighth graders. One thing I learned which was very important is that no matter how well you know your students at the end of one year, much growth occurs du...
Lots of Uses
I have discovered lots of uses for the ordinary baby wipe! I ask parents to send in a box of wipes during the first week of school and store the collection throughout the year. Baby Wipes, Cleaning Up...
Love Boxes
I order small items from the Oriental Express magazine to use as positive behavior incentives. I place small decorative boxes around my room and write the word LOVE on them. If I notice a student doin...
Love Those Verbs
As an enrichment activity, I reviewed and taught the regular and irregular verbs to high school students by having them listen carefully to a cassette with a mix of love ballads from the 70's, 80's an...
Lowering Noise Levels
To remind children of excess noise, I would raise both my hands in the air and wait for the children to do the same. They would respond until everyone in the class raised both of their hands. This was...
Low-Temp Glue Guns
A hot glue gun loaded with low-temp glue sticks works wonders attaching posters to the walls of my classroom. The glue comes off the back of laminated posters very well and doesn't stick and smear lik...
Lunch Choices
I get colored paint or counter top samples and write my students' names on them. These samples come with holes in them so I hang them from hooks on a tall bookcase. Four of the hooks are labeled with ...
Lunch Music
For an added attraction at lunch, I play soothing music during lunch. Instrumental jazz or classical music will not only calm the students but allow a diverse artistic appreciation.
Lunch on Me
Whenever I need a substitute, I try to remember to leave $2.00 for him/her to have lunch on me. Substitutes usually don't get paid a lot and this not only helps them out, but I find they are more will...
Lunch Pockets
In my classroom I have the standard pocket behavior chart with various colored cards. However, I've taken the concept one more step. In a tray near the door, I have additional cards that are not part ...
Lunch with New Teachers
I ask new teachers to have lunch with me so we can share ideas and discuss any situations they are going through. The most important tip I can offer is to share ideas with new teachers when they ask f...
Lunchroom Manners
Students who get to the lunch tables first finish quickly and often want to talk and play while the later ones try to eat. I explain that proper manners are to wait until everyone at the table is serv...