Skip to Content

M

Marking In-Class Work
Draw the line on how much you need to re-check your students’ in-class work with this simple tip. Know at a glance whose paper you looked at and how much of their work you reviewed.
Managing Group Discussions
Facilitating large group discussions can present a unique challenge: how do you quiet talkative students and keep everyone on point without disrupting the conversation? Debra has just the trick.
Make Your Own Whiteboards
Frustrated by whiteboards that didn’t fit her space and that were too worn to clean properly, Ms. Duso decided to create her own. She shares an easy, inexpensive way to make your own whiteboards.
Movement Break Momentum
Looking for an easy way to prevent misbehavior and keep students focused and on-task? Ms. Keller’s “movement breaks” could be just what you need.
Mystery Skype
Looking for a great way to not only teach Geography skills and create global connections? Lean how your class can connect with another class somewhere in the world. Your students will have to guess where!
Musical Motivation Across the Curriculum
Mr. Young suggests creative ways elementary school music teachers can help their students excel not only in music class but in other subjects as well. From teaching individual song lyrics to creating entire themed musicals, the whole school gets involved.
Multi-Purpose Scotch Tape
Ms. Ryan has a roll of packaging tape in her teacher tool belt. She’s found an inventive way to hang her posters securely to the wall without ripping the poster when it’s time to take it down.
“Math Pentagon” App
Ms. Ken recommends Math Pentagon, a new iPad app that she enjoys using with her class. Math Pentagon covers a wide range of math topics, has built in worksheets and allows her to generate performance reports on student progress.
Making Vocabulary Come to Life
I borrowed an exercise from the drama department to use as a vocabulary tool. Students performed improv to illustrate new vocabulary words...
Middle Marking Period Conferences
To make the most of parent conferences, we have them in the middle of the marking period rather than at the end. This allows...
Math Autobiography
In order to learn more about her budding mathematicians, Marybeth L. asks her new students each year to write about their experiences in math classes: the good, the bad, the ugly.
Monitor from Behind
I tend to monitor test takers from the back of the classroom instead of the front. First, I get a bird's eye view of the whole class and can catch the stray eyeball or suspicious hand movements. Second, since I’m behind everyone...
Magnet Sentences
I cut apart the letters and words from advertising magnet cards that businesses hand out, or I use those that are attached to phone books.
Me on the Map
I recommend the book, Me on the Map. If you haven't used it, this book is great for teaching about maps to kindergartners.
Make-Up File
I make about five extra copies of every worksheet or test and keep them in one large file folder (per subject) each semester.
Mercy Moment Extra Credit
I don't give true extra credit. I give each student two Mercy Moments at the beginning of the semester. These gifts can be used...
Magazine Spur Interest in Reading
If you work with older students who need remedial work on their reading skills, these suggestions might help. As trite as it may sound, I have experienced good results by having the men read articles ...
Magic Chalk
This tip is for those teachers who still use chalkboards instead of whiteboards. I discovered that if you get the BIG porous sidewalk chalk and soak it in water, you can write on the board and it's ba...
Magic Cream
My student feel a need to show me the tiniest little scrape on their fingers and they have many complaints of leg, arm and wrist aches and pains. When I'm 100% confident that all they need is a little...
Magic Reindeer Food
Kindergartners will love this arts and crafts idea. With small amounts of oatmeal and glitter, along with enough sandwich bags for the whole class, everyone makes a gift for Santa and his reindeer.
Magnetic Lunch Choices
To tally my students' lunch choices, I used magnetic sheets to print pictures of a lunchbox and a tray of food, and pictures of several other lunch choices our school offers. I also typed my students'...
Magnetic Schedule
Using my word processor, I printed the name of each class (Math, Science, Lunch, etc.) using a large font size on neon-colored pink paper, cut them into strips, and laminated them. Then I printed spec...
Magnetized Nametags
I make small magnetized nametags for my classroom. I cut tagboard into pieces about 1x1, write the students names on them, and stick magnets to the backs. I use the magnets that stores sell for busine...
Magnified Reading
Ms. Modder’s special education class is easily distracted during sustained silent reading. To complicate matters, several students must read aloud to aid comprehension. What to do? Discover how she solved the problem with some inexpensive PVC piping.
Mailing Label Paper Trackers
Looking for a way to organize paperwork when documenting progress for these grades? Try using mailing labels on a clip board. Just jot down the name, brief comment, grade etc. Have a piece of paper fo...
Make Room for Skinny Posters
Ms. Gover discovered a way to fit twice as many self-created posters on her small bulletin board. Read about how these skinny posters contain the same important information in less space.
Make-Up Binder
Ms. Meredith has finally discovered a method for keeping track of absent students’ make-up work. It’s simple, all it takes is a common notebook, and best of all, it places onus on the absent student for discovering what she missed.
Makeshift Poster Storage
I've found a new use for cardboard tubes from paper towels or toilet tissue rolls. Tape them together, roll your poster and stick it inside the tube. Label the outside of the tube with the type of pos...
Make-Up Memo
Since our school is departmentalized, students need to check with four teachers when they are absent. To make gathering make-up work easier, we have a make-up memo that is placed on a clipboard when a...
Make-Up Work
Getting absent students' work to them during class takes up a lot of time. I put a labeled wall file box on a bulletin board for each of my classes. During class, I put the name of the absent student ...
Make-Up Work Calendar
I keep a large laminated calendar on the wall above a set of cubby slots. Everyday, I jot down on a post-it note what we did in class and any work that needs to be made up. I date the note, and tape i...
Make-Up Work Notebook
Here's a great way to recycle and put responsibility on the students for making up absent work. I highlight the names of my students on the daily absentee sheet we receive in the morning. In the blank...
Making a Match
Make two note card sections and have students wander the room to search for their mate. I have used note cards with coins stamped on one card and the amount of money on the other, clocks and their tim...
Making Book Covers
Ms. Kast’s students are beautifying library books one at a time with a project that encourages them to read their way through the school collection and leave their mark for others to enjoy.
Making Bookmarks
As a librarian, I am often asked for bookmarks. I shop for on sale wrapping paper with a small all over design and then laminate it. I cut strips of bookmarks with those spiffy designer scissors for s...
Making Connections
I used to think talking off the topic was an intrusion. I use to say things like, 'Don't lose that thought,' 'great idea, now let's get back to the topic.' Or I would offer paper to let the student wr...
Making Good Decisions
I use Decision Dollars as my classroom management system. Every Monday, I give each student three new Decision Dollars and tell them I trust them to make good decisions. Throughout the week, I praise ...
Making Magnets
Wish you had more magnets for attaching student work to your white board? I attach stickers to old refrigerator magnets and then cut them to size.
Making Magnets
Here's a tip for the beginning of the school year. I made magnets on my computer using sheets of magnets from any office supply store. I made one for each student to take home and use for hanging scho...
Making Time for Your Prep Work
If you’re looking for creative ways to ensure teachers get a solid block of quality time to do prep work, consider this…
Making-Up Missed Gym Classes
I set aside Wednesday and Friday mornings for students to make-up work. In order to attend a make-up class, the student must schedule the make-up by signing up with me. If their name is not on the lis...
Managing Behavior
Here's a tip for keeping track of good and bad notes on students. Take a blank monthly calendar - you can make your own if you have Print Shop. It doesn't take that long to fill out the dates each mon...
Managing Poor Student Performance
1) Document, document, document! Document every phone call, copy every note sent home, and have parents come in for a conference with the student, support system, principal and you. 2) Don't let there...
Managing Student Work and Notes
Using the school binding machine and a collection of folders bought on back-to-school sales, Ms. Marshall created customized folders for her students to organize their school work. Her step-by-step guide will show you to do it too.
Many Safety Strategies
We are a K-3 school with a student population of 400, located in an area of suburban poverty with nearly 600 apartments, many of which are Section 8, mixed with low-end single family homes. The studen...
Many Uses for Address Labels
I make my own labels on the computer. I buy Avery Dennison labels and print my own messages such as: (1)Good writing! (2) I am proud of you! (3) Neat coloring! I also use this method to make personali...
Map Labeling
Here's an excellent idea found in Ron Clark's book, The Excellent 11: Qualities Teachers and Parents Use to Motivate, Inspire, and Educate Children. At the beginning of the school year distribute a wo...
Maps from Around the World
If you’re looking for new reading materials to challenge your students and broaden their horizons, Ms. Bell has the perfect solution. And if someone you know travels regularly by plane, you’re already halfway there.
March 32nd
I've long followed the custom of writing the date on the chalkboard each morning. When April 1st rolls around though, I remind myself that any teacher who writes April 1st is asking for whatever prank...
Marching to the Beat
To increase auditory skills, I use a small wood drum to beat slowly and then more quickly. The children march to the beat until they are running. It's great not only for auditory skill development, bu...
Mardi Gras Festivities
When Mardi Gras rolls around, I have a big celebration in class. The students make masks, beaded necklaces and floats out of shoe boxes. They put what they want on the shoe box floats. Most use tissue...
Markers on Overheads
You can write directly on your overhead with a white board marker eliminating the use of transparencies and the chore of washing them.
Marking Supplies
Names are too long to write on all of a student's belongings, and little ones may even have trouble writing their name. Instead, pass out a set of permanent markers or crayons and have each student ma...
Math and Management
I use a checkbook system for my classroom management. It ultimately serves more than one purpose. We review basic addition and subtraction without tedious worksheets...
Math Bath
This homework assignment helps young children learn about liquid measurement, and it’s so silly fun they can’t wait to do it.
Math Fact of the Day
Our school just implemented a Fact of the Day which is announced every morning. We give first and second graders an addition fact and give third through sixth graders a multiplication fact of the day....
Math Facts Bingo
Using a bingo game, I pass out bingo cards and plastic number covers to each student. (I allow faster students to take more than one card.) Using the entire blackboard, I draw one horizontal line from...
Math for ELL and/or Special Ed
I have used the Accelerated Math software (www.renlearn.com/am/default.htm) with great success. It works with ESL students as well as other struggling math learners, such as kids in special education ...
Math Genius
As a class warm-up, students answer questions on skills learned in previous lessons. If the students are correct, they write their name on a ticket. The tickets are collected in a can titled 'Math Gen...
Math is Everywhere
I teach grid coordinates by mapping the school using tiles on the floor. The tiles in the ceiling can be used if there is carpeting in the classroom. It is great fun finding out where the doors are, w...
Math Machines
I introduce algebra to my first graders with an 'In and Out' machine, which they love using. Draw a box like machine with an 'in' hole and an 'out' spout or shoot.
Math Manipulatives Web Site
The National Library of Virtual Manipulatives (http://nlvm.usu.edu/EN/NAV/VLIBRARY.HTML) offers a fantastic array of Math Manipulative activities for preK-12. I've used it and I love it. The best part...
Math Modeling with White Boards
Working in groups, my physics students put preliminary graphs and the math model of the data for a problem on 24 X 32 inch white boards. I pick a student at random from each group to explain the resul...
Math Money
I teach freshman Basic Algebra and had a major problem with tardies. I implemented a 'math money' system into the classroom and it has really been great. The students receive a math dollar each day if...
Math Participation
Mathematics classes can easily be dominated by those who love mathematics, leaving others slumped in their seats begging to be left alone. I ensure that each student gets equal participation time usin...
Math Proficiency Tutoring Resource
In dealing with Math Proficiency Tutoring, one of the best resources I have found is Passing the Ohio Ninth Grade Proficiency Test, published by Englefield and Arnold, Inc. This workbook concentrates ...
Math Scrabble
Ms. Thoreson writes 16 random letters on the board and assigns point values to each letter. Her students work in teams to spell math words and calculate point totals.
Math Songs
I was tutoring a student, and I came up with a song to help her remember how to handle integer operations. I had found such a song for addition/subtraction on the Internet. We made up one for multipli...
Math Story Problems
The book, The Math Curse by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith, is a great tool to use for a math and writing activity. It is an entertaining story about a student who finds a math problem in everything she ...
Math Trophies
Here's an idea about how to use old sports trophies, the flashier the better! I have a set of 24, one for each student. The trophies are awarded for speed and accuracy on a weekly timed math test. Hig...
McDonalds Division
When teaching long division, I use the DMSCBS acronym. The sentence we use is: Does McDonalds Sell Cheeseburgers & Shakes? D-Decide Where to Place (The first digit goes in the quotient, then divide); ...
Me In A Bag
At the beginning of the year, I introduce myself using 'Me In A Bag'. I put a few items that represent me in a large paper sack. In my sack, I put a paintbrush because I'm an artist, my favorite book,...
Mechanical Pencils Reduce Smudging
To help me cope with the smudging problems that arise from being left-handed, my dad give me mechanical pencils with hard lead and number 3 pencils also work well. Number 2 pencils that are made overs...
Meeting Paperwork Deadlines
Put a pen in your staff mailbox. When you pick up your mail, check through it quickly and see if there are any forms for you to fill out and sign, etc. If so, grab the pen from your box, fill them out...
Memorizing Math Facts
Ms. Hopkins has a great system to help her students remember their math facts, involving a manila folder, scrap pieces of paper, and just 5 minutes of study time per day. Find out how her strategy helps students master the facts fast.
Memorizing Multiplication Facts
I write out the multiplication facts (0 x 0 through 12 x 12) on the chalkboards; that makes 169 problems in all. Next, I tell students...
Memory Book
I have found that families and students really love having a 'memento' of our year together to look back over and see how their child has grown. The original memory book idea came from Judy Ellis of K...
Memory Trees
I have a group of students who have experienced the death of an immediate family member so for the holidays we make memory trees to honor their loved one. I buy miniature trees at the craft store and ...
Mentors Not Evaluators
Our mentors used to evaluate new teachers but now their job has changed. Our mentors are trained to help new teachers become comfortable enough to ask for help in an area they may find difficult or ov...
Message Labels
I discovered a wonderful use for the printed address labels that so many companies sell. Instead of ordering address labels, my orders are for labels that contain messages to my students from me! Comp...
Message of the Day
I have my computer connected to my large TV screen. I recently set my screen saver to say one main idea that I want the children to remember for the day. The TV is reminding them every minute of our m...
Metric Tricks
A clever mnemonic device helps this math teacher’s students remember units of the metric system and where to move that darn decimal point. Find out how she delivers the lesson, and suggest your own mnemonics in the comments section.
Milk Carton Containers
I cut the tops off used milk cartons and glue four together (two rows of two) with a strong craft glue and then reinforce that with tape around the base. These trays sit on the top of each student's d...
Milk Carton Creations
I save empty milk cartons to use for other projects. When Easter comes, I cut the top off the box, cover it with a strip of colored paper that is 2 x 11, attach a handle made from a pipe cleaner and i...
Milk Carton Mailboxes
My classroom mailboxes are made from ? gallon cardboard milk or juice cartons. I ask the students to bring them in the first week of school. I cut off the tops, staple them together in rows, use craft...
Millionaire Review
My students are working on their own version of 'So You Want to Be a Millionaire'. They are generating lists of questions and possible answers. We are studying rain forests in science so my students r...
Mind Bending Monday
Critical thinking skills are an important part of everyday life, which is why Ms. Wallace bends her students’ minds every Monday. Find out how she uses brain teasers in a fun learning game (you might like the source of her brain teasers best).
Miniature Bungee Jumping and Physics
I have found a good use for those stretchable name tag cords that are used at most conferences these days. It is easy to make two holes on opposite sides, near the top, of a pill bottle. I then push t...
Missing Assignments
I require that my students who have missed assignments complete the current assignment BEFORE they do the make up work. This way they are doing the same work as everyone else in the class. If the stud...
Missing Numbers
I keep track of assignments by assigning each student a number. All I have to do is look through the number list and I know who is missing work. It's much easier than using names in alphabetical order...
Missing Papers I
My students are always losing handouts (homework sheets, school notices, skill pages). I always run off three extra copies of each handout and place them in an in-basket. I use the top of a gift box i...
Missing Papers II
Many times students at this level feel we, the teacher, have misplaced their work. One of the best ways I have found to make life easier for the student, teacher, and parent is to keep a legal pad wit...
Mission Control
In a school in Iowa, the staff all worked together to develop the school's mission statement, with some student input. Once it was crafted it became a living document that the teachers in various clas...
Mnemonics for Memory
Here are some mnemonics to help your students remember the important stuff. * HOMES (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior) * Does McDonald's Sell Cheese Burgers? (Divide, Multiply, Subtract, Compa...
Money Exchange
My students have colored cards that they change if they do not follow the classroom rules. The objective is to stay on green each day. If they do, they get a penny, which they keep in a film canister ...
Monitoring Gang-Style Clothing
To ensure a smooth running school, our comprehensive high school's administrators and proctors meet the school buses each morning and detain students who wear prohibited gang-style clothing. The stude...
Monitoring Hall Passes
To address the problem of students using passes too frequently or to monitor the use of passes, our school uses a student 'pass book' that provides duplicates of the passes to be kept in the office sh...
Monthly Demerits
In order not to be punishing all the time, and in an effort to punish only those who need discipline and not the well behaved students, my team of teachers has created a monthly points (demerits) syst...
More Safety Measures
Our school has installed a video camera at the main entrance with a buzzer. When a visitor wishes to enter the building they must buzz the office, identify who they are, and then the secretary will au...
More Than a Few Bad Apples
If you have an out of control classroom where many, but not all, students don’t want to stop talking and won’t behave, I’d like to share some thoughts with you. Have you reviewed your instruction? Are...
Morning Journaling - High School
Every day as students come into the room, they immediately attend to writing a journal entry that is on the overhead projector. One student in each class has the responsibility of distributing and col...
Morning Journaling - Kindergarten
I manage the morning rush of information by having my students do their journals first thing in the morning, after signing in. This works really well, we always have time for journaling, and are never...
Morning Journals
I have the same procedure every morning. My students must put their homework on the right hand side of their desks and copy the journal topic from the board. The topic is usually something I taught th...
Morning Meeting
Each day before we begin our program we get together in a circle. I share any news of the day and changes in our schedule. Sometimes we do a quick review of spelling words or share journal stories. At...
Morning Message
Many teachers write a daily morning message for their students. Though I find it a wonderful teaching tool, I was concerned about wasting paper (and the cost) so I laminated five sheets of chart paper...
Morning Message
I write a morning message to my students composed of events for that day, etc. Then we use that message to work on reading strategies and skill work as a group. My students love it and it Works4Me!
Morning Spelling
Every morning I have a morning message written on the whiteboard to do after our calendar activities. We read this message together. Then I have written on the board next to the morning message -- Let...
Morning Worksheet
After feeling stress from being bombarded with notes, stories and questions one too many times first thing in the morning, I created a morning worksheet...
Mosaic of Thought
The best ideas for reading comprehension are in the book, Mosaic of Thought by Ellen Keene. This book made me cry and others have reacted in the same way. I'll never think of reading comprehension in ...
Mother's and Father's Day Gift
My students save one favorite art project each month. These are glued onto a computer-generated calendar. I duplicate the months on white art paper, add a cover for the kid's to decorate and bind the ...
Motivating Dialogue
To motivate my students to write dialogue, I use old calendar pictures of puppies, kittens and other animals which I've backed and laminated. Most of the pictures are pairs of animals. I let the stude...
Motivating Game
Here's a great motivating way to keep kids on task as you go through an assignment. I call it the die game. It's useful when we're correcting answers or reading a science text and filling out a packet...
Motivating Special Ed Students
If you work with Special Ed students and you need to find ways to motivate them, the most important thing to do is to build a rapport with the students. This can be done by giving a few minutes a day ...
Motivating Students for Tests
There are a few things my school does to motivate students to do well on standardized tests. We have practice tests that assess the progress of the students three times a year. In my class I play game...
Movie Day
Using films in the classroom should always have clear instructional value, even when used as a reward for hard work. This teacher makes sure that students (and their parents) understand the learning goals associated with classroom films.
Movie Night
Ms. Conley culminates the school year with a class movie, comprised of student photos of classroom activities throughout the year and set to music, which is a great learning activity and keepsake for students.
Moving to the Kindergarten Classroom
For anyone moving from middle school or upper primary grades to kindergarten, be prepared for a vast difference in attention span and level of independence. Especially at the beginning of the year, ma...
Multiple Strategies to Success
I have had a fully included student in kindergarten for 2 years now (she was a young 5 the first year) and she will be going to first grade in the fall. I have learned that I have to ask questions and...
Music Hearts
Ms. Benson creates colorful foam hearts and uses them as visual and tactile teaching aids in a number of creative, musical activities to help young music students learn beats, measures and time signatures.
Music Review
As part of the review of the previous day's music lesson, I sometimes use a competition game at the board to make it more fun and to find out whether or not the students have learned the information. ...
Musical Algebra
In my Algebra 2 class, when teaching students the quadratic formula, I teach my class how to remember the quadratic formula by using the tune of Pop Goes the Weasel: x equals negative b/ plus or minus...
Musical Breaks
All year long, I play music during breaks. When the song is finished, the class is back in their seats and ready to listen. During October I play Halloween type songs. Now I am using various holiday s...
Musical Clocks
My tip is for all the music teachers out there. Instead of writing the musical alphabet in a straight line, write it in a circle like a clock. Students will then start to understand that the letters r...
Musical Fun
When the weather is nice, I take my 5th graders, some chalk and some beanbags out to the blacktop. We group ourselves into teams of five or six. We write musical symbols on the sidewalk and take turns...
Musical Shakespeare
Teaching Shakespeare to all students is a given; however, there have been days when listening to my students read Julius Caesar has given me a headache to end all headaches. I've begun what I call Musical Shakespeare...
My Favorite Dish
To teach process writing, I send a letter home to the parents asking them to help their child select a favorite homemade dish. They provide the child with the recipe and when possible, actually make i...
Mystery Map
To teach communication skills, I split my classroom in half and create a mystery map. The students in each group choose a place in the school to write directions to for the other group to follow. Each...
Mystery Trash
At the end of the day, I find something on the floor that doesn't belong there. The students are given one minute to dash through the room, pick up things, put things away, and throw things in the gar...
My Space Bulletin Board
I label one of my bulletin boards, My Space Edu. I divide the board into as many spaces as I have students.
Mythological Characters
One of the most successful projects I've used to teach world literature and expand students' knowledge involves characters from Greek and Roman mythology. I ask students to choose one character from a...