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Parade of Learners
Mr. Grasso plans an opening day activity at his school that gets parents, educators, and the whole school involved. Students are the stars of the show, complete with adoring fans and paparazzi.
Parent Involvement
It's no secret that parental involvement can be the key to a successful school year. This Maryland educator has some great tips to get parents engaged in the process and keep them involved.
Positive Rewards for Repeat Offenders
Ms. Huffman has found a few ways to tease out the good behavior in her most challenging students. Find out how she encourages her “repeat offenders” to curb their bad behavior.
Peer Homework Game
This retired middle school teacher used a game to motivate students to do their homework (and do it well!). The best part? She no longer had to cajole her students; positive peer pressure worked its magic — and students loved it. Find out how.
Positive Side of Portable
Diane doesn’t wait until the last day to start prepping for the end of the year, but she has two simple ideas to make grading and cleanup much quicker and easier. She keeps focus on teaching and learning, even as the year winds down.
Peers Mentoring Peers
Ms. Postman believes that a well-behaved class is best achieved when students monitor their own behavior, an approach she facilitates by establishing a culture of teamwork and positive rewards. Plus, it leads to a nifty classroom decorating idea.
Pinning Grammar and Mechanics
This high school teacher uses humor to keep her students engaged with her grammar and mechanics lessons. She started a Pinterest board with examples of humorous, real-world grammar mistakes. Find out how she did it and how you might use Pinterest too.
Learn the Alphabet with Numberlys App
Mr. Kriegh uses an interactive book called The Numberlys with her primary students. The book teaches students about using the alphabet by intercutting brief, very simple interactive games for each new letter of the alphabet as the story is played out.
Peace Tables
We are in the process of creating Peace Tables for our classroom in which students will use Peace Learning STEPs to solve problems with a mediator.
Paired Valentine Poems
At this school, the upper grades pair up with students in the younger grades to generate Valentine poems for loved ones. Each pair uses an interactive poem tool to get the creative juices flowing.
Peer Mentors for New Students
There are several things I do to help new students acclimate to my classroom when they join us in the middle of the year. Our principal always brings a new student and..
Private Grades
In order to respect the privacy of my students’ grades, I designate the top left or right corner as a place to record grades...
Proactive Success
Being proactive early on sets everyone up for success. My students' first assignment is to have their parents email me with a greeting and their expectations for their students. I give out an invitation...
Cooperative Literature Groups
My favorite cooperative group activity is the jigsaw activity. This works great for learning new material...
Polygon Rap
Every year I use a song called "Polygon Rap" to teach my students about polygons...
Planting Happiness
My class planted bulbs in little peat pots and covered them with plastic wrap until they sprouted shoots and roots...
Park Your Questions
“Hold that Thought” has a new meaning in Kate’s classroom. Her students park their questions until she’s ready to answer them. It’s a fun and simple way to catch random items that might otherwise have been forgotten.
Pimp Up Wikis or WebPages
I use PBWorks wikis in my class and have come across tons of resources to use for anyone looking for ways to ‘pimp’ their wikis or WebPages...
Plagiarism Movie
There is an excellent DVD on plagiarism by the producers of Adina's Deck. It deals with some cyber smart kids who...
Pets on Vacation
We have a menagerie of pets that need to be taken care of over short and long breaks. We purchased carrying cases for all of them. We have birds, turtles, frogs and a lizard...
Proper Research Reduces Plagiarism
I make ‘application’ and ‘synthesizing’ tests and allow my students to use their notes.
Provide the Plot
Teaching students to read beyond the basic understanding of the storyline has always been a difficult task.
Pop Up into Reading
One strategy I have found that really draws reluctant readers, particularly reluctant ELL boys, into reading is to stock up on as many pop-up books as possible.
Professional Discussions
I find Classroom 2.0 to be very practical, interesting and helpful.
Provide the Plot
Teaching students to read beyond the basic understanding of the storyline has always been a difficult task...
Packing up the Classroom
"I strongly dislike bare walls, so I only take down content-related posters right before finals start. I leave up the fun, encouraging ones until the very end.
Pascal's Triangle Enhances Number Sense
Using hexagonal shapes, I form the first 15 lines of Pascal's triangle on my bulletin board. I fill in the first 5 lines and allow students to think about the formation.
Peppy Test Prep
We have a pep assembly for the third and fourth graders a couple of days before standardized testing starts.
Packing up the Classroom
"I strongly dislike bare walls, so I only take down content-related posters right before finals start.
P.A.T.H
My tip is about a system that I call P.A.T.H. (Positive Attitude Toward Homework). Last year about half of my students did not turn in their homework. I got all kinds of reasons including lack of unde...
P.A.U.S.E.
P.A.U.S.E. stands for Pedaling Across America Everyday. For the last couple of months, my students have been pedaling an exercise bike to various states. We left Atlanta several weeks ago on our way t...
Painted Windows
I have an idea for those that are artistic and would like to make their classroom look exceptionally alive and wonderful! I choose a theme relating to either science or literature and paint the window...
Paper Collection Procedure
At the beginning of the year, I explain to my students how to pass in papers. They must wait for the papers from behind, put their own on top, and pass the stack forward. When I collect each row's pap...
Paper Predictions
I use Newspapers in Education in my math class. Recently, we looked up ages in the obituaries, found a class average, and compared this average to the average age of life expectancy in eastern Iowa. W...
Bulletin Board with Thanksgiving Theme
Ms. Brasesco has an easy, inexpensive tip for decorating your classroom bulletin board with a Thanksgiving theme.
Parent Email
I asked parents for their email address in my Beginning of School letter. I entered the addresses as a group, sent a test mail and received several responses. Through email, I can invite parents to sc...
Parent Interests
My opening letter to parents inquires about what their child's interests are but it also inquires about their interests. Once I find out their interests whether it is music, writing, fractions or nutr...
Parent Links
I help parents connect with their child's school experience by utilizing the Parent Link voice mail system our school has in place. Each teacher has a separate extension to an exclusive Parent Link nu...
Parent Newsletters
I help parents connect with their child's school experience by sending home a weekly newsletter. When parents ask students what they did at school the response is often, 'Played'. Although I am please...
Pre-Conference Parent Night
Ms. Heatherly helps parents connect with their child’s school experience by inviting them to a pre-conference a few weeks after school starts, an activity that helps pave the way for parent-teacher conferences later in the year.
Parental Involvement Homework
I help parents connect with their child's school experience by sending home weekly parental involvement homework. Each Wednesday night, the only homework is a short activity that involves others at ho...
Parental Involvement in High School
I keep parents involved at the high school by inviting them to class to work with their child in lab activities. This gives the parent the opportunity to observe first hand what their child is learnin...
Parents and Reading
We implemented a 'Muffins for Mom and Donuts for Dad' program. Once a month, about 45 minutes before school starts for children, we open up a couple of Title 1 rooms for children and their parents and...
Parents and Technology
One way to encourage parents to use technology is to invite them to the school to fill out financial aid information on-line.
Parents as Partners
I found a free web site that is very useful for parents. I generally find that parents are excited about ways they can help their kids succeed.Home2School.com is a wonderful web site that lets parents...
Parents' Handbook
After years of struggling to give parents all they information they need, Ms. Neary finally discovered a good approach. Her parent handbook establishes reasonable expectations for parents and puts them at ease from day one of the school year.
Parking Lot Survey
Students can use their state designated laptops to conduct a Parking Lot Survey. As teams, they count the automobiles in their assigned section of the school parking lot, recording quantities of make,...
Parent/Teacher Conference Preparation
Ms. Bonfilio recommends a nine-point checklist to help you best prepare for and conduct parent-teacher conferences.
Participation Cards I
At the beginning of the year, I have each student write his/her name on an index card. Throughout the year, I draw cards for seating assignments, forming cooperative groups, calling on students to rea...
Participation Cards II
I often have students who love to talk. To help monitor class discussions so that everyone participates, I distribute three Comment/Question Cards (simple laminated construction paper quarters) as the...
Participation Popsicle Sticks
I use Popsicle sticks to encourage 100% class participation. I wrote the names of all my students on Popsicle sticks and hand them out at the beginning of each class. As they answer questions correctl...
Participation Tickets
I use a set of tickets that are pre-made and have the children's names on them for participation. I keep them in a basket in the front of the classroom. Whenever I am calling on students to recite, I ...
Pass the Buck Game
Ms. Gumina plays a game called Pass the Buck to encourage oral discussions in her classroom. Read about the rules of this fun game and the empowerment it gives her students.
Passes and Hugs
I prepare packets for new teachers that contain six passes to visit my classroom to observe me during their preparation periods. I also advise them to make themselves a hug file. This is a folder wher...
Passing Compliments
Every year in February I buy large paper doilies, which the students glue on to large red paper. Then they copy a list of the students in the class and make a small red heart for each one with a compl...
Passwords
Each week in reading we focus on the sound of a consonant. During the week when we learn the sound of 'P,' we use a 'password' to enter the reading circle. The password is any word that has the initia...
Parental Expectations
I give parents a homework assignment within the first two weeks of school. I ask them to write me a letter about their expectations for their child in the coming year...
PBS TeacherLine
I hate driving off to take a class at night after a hard day of teaching, so I've taken courses through PBS TeacherLine..
Peer Behavior Management
I find that children do best when they manage themselves and their peers rather than having the adults exert too much control.
Peer Pressure
I ask students to list things they will say no to in the future, like stealing and cheating. Each student compiles and then signs and dates the personal list. I ask them to look at their list at least...
Pencil Check-In
As Ms. Gaji greets her students each morning, she also checks that they are prepared for class, a time-saving effort that simultaneously gives her students one-on-one attention and ensures that are ready to learn.
Pencil Pots
I have a great way of making sure that borrowed pencils are returned at the end of class. I start with a clay flower pot and some green foam...
Pencil Sharpener Jokes
Ms. Jurus has students who are are anxious before tests, and the noisy, annoying pencil sharpener, which studnts flock to just before the test, drowns out her instructions. A calm, quiet solution is only a joke away.
Percentage of Water
Here's an activity that I use when we discuss the percentages of water and land on the earth and when we discuss water content of the human body and the foods we eat. I bring in a slice of bread, a ca...
Periodic Table Web Site
The Periodic Table site I like is www.webelements.com which has a link to their site targeted at students (www.webelements.com/webelements/scholar/). This shows them an entire periodic table. Clicking...
Permanent Graphing Grids
For permanent graphing grids, I laminate a grid chart and use it as a whiteboard would be used. I just wash it off under the faucet when I'm finished.
Permanent Grids
I make a grid with permanent marker on a transparency. I place a clean transparency over it and complete the graph as if it were on one sheet. When I'm finished, I just put another clean sheet on top ...
Personal Invitations
I help parents connect with their child's school experience by purchasing a pack of postcards that are blank with the exception of the postage on the front. I have my students fill out their parents' ...
Personal Notes
I send personal notes to all of my students. I make a pre-addressed envelope for each student and at random, select an envelope or two. I write a note to the students that were picked, put them in the...
Personalized Nametags
The first day of school I give my students a plain nametag with their name printed on it in black marker. I ask them to decorate the nametag with things that tell about themselves. It's interesting to...
Personalized Plates
The first assignment I give is to have my students describe themselves in eight or less letters and/or numbers. I give them a license plate template and tell them that they need to create a personal p...
Personalized Professional Portfolio
One of the things that I did to personalize my portfolio is include pictures and quotes that add to my professional vision of whom I want to be. I included pictures of me during my Study Abroad experi...
Photo Flash Cards
Teachers can use flash cards too! This is a terrific way to connect names and faces of new students on the first day of school. I write the child's name on the photo and shuffle through the photo flas...
Pictorial Substitute File
I leave a labeled picture of each of my students in my substitute file so that the sub can learn their names faster.
Picture Books
Here is a tip that I use for getting to know my students. For a first day homework assignment, I send home a small picture album (the plastic ones that come back when you develop pictures). Each child...
Picture Lunch Count
I make reusable flashcards by laminating blank index cards and then writing on them with dry erase markers.
Picture Stories
I take digital photos of things going on around our school. I print a copy for our photo wall but I also insert the photo in a Word document and save the file with the names of the students in the pic...
Pictures of Learning
I have been teaching for twenty years and have always taken photos of my students to use during conferences.
Pictures on Index Cards I
I have index cards with each student's name and a picture. I use these cards to tell on students randomly. They also help substitutes quickly put names with faces.
Pictures on Index Cards II
Every year before school starts I take a copy of last year's yearbook and photocopy the incoming class photos. I have the students fill out 3x5 cards with the usual information about parent's names, h...
Pictures on Seating Charts I
Our school receives digital student pics (on CD) when we do our annual school pictures. It takes a little time, but I copy my students' pics as PICT files and insert them in my seating chart made up i...
Pictures on Seating Charts II
Using pictures taken from students’ school IDs, Ms. Florence makes a seating chart that helps her — and any substitute educators who teach her class — to match faces with names and cut down on confusion and problems.
Pioneer vs. Modern Schools
My students study pioneer school life and compare it to modern day education. The students do computer research and create an original poster showing the comparisons between modern and pioneer days. B...
Pizza Portfolios
On the first day of school I give each student a pizza box turned inside out. The student decorates the box and writes his/her name on the top and each side. Every two weeks, the child places a piece ...
Place the State
I use computer games in class. Our fourth grade social studies curriculum revolves around the history and geography of the U.S. Sheppard Software offers...
Place Value Town
I developed a mat to help my students finally understand place value. I created a city block called Place Value Town. Reading Road, at the top of the mat, is a one way street from left to right. The s...
Place Value with Playing Cards
Here’s a fun math game played with ordinary decks of cards that teaches place value and differences.
Plane to Mexico
My first graders are taking an imaginary trip to Mexico. Yesterday we made suitcases from file folders and decorated the front with the Mexican flag. Today we will get our boarding passes and board th...
Plank Ownership
On the first day in a new facility, I wondered how to give the kids unique memories. As we dismantled the old building, I marveled at treasures found in back corners. I wanted my students to leave som...
Planned Prep Time
Our planning time is bargained and is part of our working agreement. Every teacher gets 200 minutes of uninterrupted personal planning time per week, wherever possible that 200 minutes should be durin...
Planning Activities 3 Years in Advance
It's always challenging to teach our gifted kids but so rewarding too! I've been doing this for 11 years now, K to 7. I currently have four schools. Our program is set up as pull-out enrichment. I see...
Planning Together
The number one thing that has helped inclusion work for the classroom teachers and myself seems to be joint planning. Our school could not budget this but my creative instructional assistant Karen Cla...
Plant Sale Project
Ms. Graff’s project-based learning activity incorporates science, writing and math, as students grow varieties of plants from cuttings, seeds and bulbs. There are several payoffs, but a great Mother’s Day gift might be the best.
Planting “Corn”
This fun — and tasty! — activity helps young students better understand how Native Americans helped the Pilgrims grow crops.
Plastic Bags
Here's an easy way to store plastic bags in the classroom: Take a gallon milk jug, cut out a sizable hole in the bottom and stuff it full of bags. The kids can pull one bag at a time out of the top of...
Plastic Lids
I get multiple uses out of plastic lids and would like to share a couple of them. I keep white glue in reused liquid hand soap bottles with the squeeze top, and children squeeze a small amount of glue...
Plastic Seating Charts
As a special area teacher, juggling more than five hundred kids in twenty three homerooms, I've found lots of shortcuts to manage grades.
Playing the Stock Market
In our classes we are having a friendly competition using the stock market. Using the web site 'E-trade' students invest approximately $30,000 in several types of stocks. Each day we check their marke...
Pocket Attendance
I quickly take attendance by using a pocket chart. I write each student's name on both sides of a card in two different colors. As the students walk in, they flip their name card over. I know which st...
Podcasting Book Response
To encourage reading among our high school students, I have collaborated with the Reading Workshop teacher. In place of one book response essay, each student creates a podcast book review. These are p...
Poetry Reading
I never mention the word poetry when I start this unit. We start with prescription poetry. Everyone must write their name, two adjectives, two adverbs and then their name again. Everyone is a poet as ...
Point and Read
I ask my young readers to point to the words when they read. This helps them attend to the print and really read. To help my children remember to 'point and read' during their guided reading groups, I...
Point Cups
I recently augmented the behavior management system (token economy) in my classroom. All students at my school (K-12) have daily behavior charts. Their teachers are to keep the charts with the student...
Point of View Reports
Many times my students want to do a book report on a book they really enjoyed in 6th grade. I discourage that practice because introducing students to new authors is my priority. However, when I am ab...
Points for Conduct and Attendance
Every written test I give to my students includes ten points for conduct. Points start counting in between tests. I erase bad conduct and let them try again for another period. There is always the opp...
Poison Words
For a change of pace, we do something we call Poison Word. Before we start reading aloud, I choose a word the children will come across in the story they are going to read. (The idea is to choose a wo...
Pokemath
To get one of my students interested in math, I had him bring his Pokemon cards to school and write math word problems using the characters and information. After writing the problems, which also incl...
Policy Letters
When one of my students does not hand in an assignment, I send a letter home to notify the parents. The letter reminds them of my assignment policy and suggests that they check with their child or me ...
Political Groups
I seat my students in groups and each group votes on a name that is a state capital. One student in the group is the governor and the rest of the citizens are state representatives. I am the president...
Political Ice Breaker
I collect a variety of old buttons and bumper stickers from various elections. I select the ones that pertain to the topic that I want to discuss and put them in a paper bag. I ask a student to draw o...
Pop Questions
I always struggle with a way to get kids to study for content area tests, especially social studies. There are a few who never read the assignments so a review before testing is the only way to insure...
Pop Your Top and Read
My students love Pop Your Top and Read Day. Each student brings a soda or juice drink and a book to class. We all find a comfortable reading spot around the room and on the count of three everyone 'po...
Popcorn Reading
I use a game called Popcorn Reading to help teach oral reading. When I have students read a passage, they only read as much as they can handle, and then say...
Popsicle Sticks
I create a bucket of sticks for each of my classes. Using popscicle sticks, I write each student's name on one stick. The bucket can be anything - coffee can, stadium cup, cottage cheese container. I ...
Portfolios
I use portfolios in my classroom. I keep my students' papers organized by having both a working and a showcase portfolio in clearly labeled folders. If a student has a piece of work he/she wants to ke...
Positive #2 Pencils
I give my students tips on how to pass standardized and teacher made tests. To reinforce those tips, I give each student two #2 pencils. On each pencil I print a test taking idea such as 'Read and Fol...
Positive and Negative Numbers
Here’s a fun game to teach positive and negative numbers operations using a deck of cards. It leads to lively discussions, as students must justify and explain their answers.
Positive Come Backs
I make every effort to make sure kids are not abusive but sometimes abusive comments slip through. I remind them that if someone calls them a name, they should respond with something like, 'And what a...
Positive Participation
I have used the following two techniques which created positive participation in my classroom. One way is to use a Koosh ball. I like to start by throwing it to a student who does not participate ofte...
Positive Peer Pressure
I work in a Title I school with a high poverty rate. Many of our students need an extraordinary amount of structure and motivation. I have developed a ticket/point system for my class. Each group of 4...
Positive Phone Calls
In the month of September, call all your students' parents and give them a positive message. Avoid having the first phone call home be about a problem. Establishing a positive relationship with the pa...
Positive Relationships with Law Enforcement
I advise a 9th grade mentoring program that teams juniors and seniors with small groups of freshmen. The purpose of the program is to help these new ninth graders have a smooth transition between midd...
Postcards to Students and Families
I send postcards to students and their families to thank them for gifts, get-well messages, birthdays, etc. I found I could make the postcards myself. I take birthday cards, thank you cards, etc. and ...
Posters and Charts
I keep my posters and charts on a chart stand for all my students to read. I punch two holes in the top for the metal rings allowing me to change the posters and to also let the students read them. I ...
Posters for the Asking
An excellent way to get free posters and informational booklets is to write government embassies and consulates (listed in many phone books) or their tourist offices. For information on states, write ...
Post-it Flags
I found the Post-It Brand Tape Flags an excellent and inexpensive way to have students reach information in their textbooks quickly and easily with minimum difficulty. The flags can be moved daily as ...
Post-It Note Subs
As a sub, I need to get students' attention readily and keep them focused on 'good behavior.' I put a brightly-colored Post-It on everyone's desk the first part of the day. The students then write the...
Post-It Notes
To make seating charts for my classes, I write student names on mini-post-it notes and then stick the notes to the inside of a manila folder. It's so easy to change my seating arrangement and the stic...
Power Sharpening
I have six electric pencil sharpeners distributed throughout the classroom. When students enter in the morning, they turn in assignments and sharpen 3-4 pencils to use throughout the day. We call this...
Power Writing
I ask students to choose one of two words from an overhead. I time them for one minute and ask that they quickly jot down any words that they can associate with the given word. At the end of the time,...
Practice Interviews
We give students the opportunity to experience a formal interview. Faculty and peers interview students interested in becoming a peer leader, asking about their strengths, weaknesses, and reasons for ...
Preliminary Drawings
My students do preliminary drawings and then I take a quick look at them. I verbally tell them all the obvious things that they can do to improve the quality of the drawing. Most just listen to what I...
Prepared for Birthdays
I want to make sure that I'm prepared to give every student a special birthday. I keep store bought icing, sprinkles, and packages of large graham crackers on hand for a quick and easy treat. The birt...
Preventing Left-Handed Smudges
To prevent my left-handed students from becoming discouraged when their writing is smudged, I use a slight slant board for them to put their work on. You can use a large 3-ring binder for a slant boar...
Preventing Shout Outs
To prevent distracting shout outs, my students use sign language and gestures taught on the first day of class. I reinforce the signs throughout the first week. If a student needs to use the restroom,...
Preventing Whiteboard and Overhead Mistakes
A way to prevent accidentally using a permanent marker on a whiteboard or transparency is to create a tactile reminder. I wrap some masking tape around the permanent marker. If a mistake still occurs,...
PRIDE Points
Our middle school developed a school wide reward program aimed at encouraging good behavior and taking the focus off of the negative. Students receive PRIDE points for good behavior in the classroom, ...
Professional Communication Tool
I purchase blank business cards for the computer to create a professional communication tool for my parents. On the business cards, I print my name, assignment, school, the school phone number and e-m...
Progress and News
Halfway through each grading period, I print out individual progress reports using the E-class program. On the back of the students' reports, I print a classroom newsletter explaining what we're study...
Progressive Seuss Book
We write a school-wide Dr. Seuss-type book. Each class writes a chapter. We have four sections of each grade and the book will begin in kindergarten. The children collectively write a chapter and send...
Project Hyperlinks
I set up a 'Start Page' for my second grade students which hyperlinks all the websites that they need for a project so that they can just click on the link and go. They don't have to waste time typing...
Proof of Purchase
Every school year, I ask that all D or F papers be signed by parents. I want my students' parents actively involved and knowing how their child is doing throughout each grading period. When a child re...
Prop Writing Prompt
Here's a good writing prompt to use for almost any reading: 'Imagine that you are prop master for a play based on the piece we just read. What props would you bring on stage? Whose prop would it be an...
Protecting Copies
I use clear sheet protectors for my copies. I often have two pages that I need to copy and the sheet protectors let me keep the front and back pages together. After copying, I can slip the plastic pag...
Protecting Worksheets
I like to use math worksheets in directed class lessons by having students answer the questions/problems on another paper, and then give out the same worksheet as independent homework. The trouble is ...
Prove It!
Prove It is a reading game I play with my students and advocate for parents to play at home too. It is more than a game. It is a vital step toward learning to gain meaning from text by skimming. After...
Proximity Praise
When a student is off task or misbehaving, you can often remedy the problem by complimenting another student, near the offender, for being on task, quiet, etc. -- highlight whatever you like. Usually ...
Pumpkin Geography
Ms. Croff takes advantage of the pumpkin harvest to bring hands-on geography to her students. After she teaches about hemispheres, the seven continents and major bodies of water, students create their own painted pumpkin globes.
Puzzle Reading
Ms. Fraser found a wonderful way to help her students to read more carefully. She creates pre-reading puzzle activities that take students on a journey through the assigned reading.
Puzzles
I buy puzzles that relate to the subject I am teaching. For example if I'm teaching World Geography, I buy a map of the world. I keep one puzzle out at a time and tell the students they may only work ...
Puzzles for Process
I use puzzles as an introductory activity for setting up cooperative groups, or starting a new unit. I find it builds thinking skills, cooperation, and self analysis/reflection. I use puzzle for each ...