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Rekindle Your Passion for the Profession
Has teaching to the test eroded your passion for the profession? Nancy has a small challenge, and a unique suggestion, to help you get excited about what you’re teaching and to infect your students with the same Passion Fever!
Read Aloud Commandments
Ms. Cashell reads aloud to her class on a daily basis and encourages parents to continue reading with their children even after they learn to read independently. She shares Read-Aloud Commandments from Mem Fox.
Reenergize Students' Bodies and Minds
When Ms. Ryan notices students beginning to stare off into space, she has a variety of strategies to help get her class back on track. She has physical activities that reenergize their bodies and pedagogical strategies that jolt their intellects.
Repeat Expectations
The best strategy I have found for students who always have to have the last word is the Broken Record Technique.
Record & Track Behavior with Masking Tape
Ms. Ortiz has a nifty way of tracking and recording student behavior. Using her own shorthand and a bit of masking tape, she’s able to record accurately all the data she needs to make proper evaluations.
Recycled Waste Paper Project
This fun spring project gives students real experience with recycling and reusing common classroom waste and helps them understand the importance of keeping the environment clean and safe.
Relevant Science
When I was the science lab teacher, I wanted to make science relevant to the daily lives of my students. I created a large display in the hallway called...
Recess IEP
When I taught preschoolers with disabilities, I did indoor recess once a week in order to focus on specific IEP objectives. Here are a few ideas which could work with other student populations as well.
Rigorous Exploration
As a proponent of assessment for learning, I do not give extra credit because that gives students and parents the wrong message.
Reader Response Blogs
In order to encourage additional reading outside of class, the 6th grade English teachers at my school post a weekly reading assignment on a class blog...
Realia Connects Students with History
Whenever I am teaching about a bygone era, I try to have things from that time period in the classroom. The term for this kind of stuff is called realia.
Reading Stamina
In my school, we use stories and passages to prepare for our state test. When the stories are long...
Reading Aloud Guidelines
The following guidelines will create a safe environment for students to read aloud...
Re-establishing Routines
When the school year began, our new principal and a committee of teachers came up with procedures for the hallway, lunchroom, bathroom...
Read and Ride
Our school started a new ‘Kids Read and Ride’ program this year for students to ride exercise bikes while reading fun magazines and books...
Rules for Success
Along with the help of the school counselor, I created Rules for Success for two difficult children I had in my class.
Read to Myself
I adapted what I learned in "The Daily Five," by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser.
Recommended Read: "Nineteen Minutes"
I recommend the book Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult.
Relating to the Text
Sometimes small connections can make a world of difference in gaining students' interest.
Reusable Flashcards
I make reusable flashcards by laminating blank index cards and then writing on them with dry erase markers...
RAT Short Answers
"Recently, one of my colleagues remembered a neat way to help students understand how to write a short answer.
Read, Write and Think
"My students absolutely loved a lesson on Shape poems using the Shape Poem tool that is on the readwritethink.org Web site.
Raining Management
In my class, there are many activities, projects and lessons going on all at once. In order to allow each student the freedom to move about as needed...
Random Index Cards
I read in NEA Today to use Popsicle sticks to randomly call on students. As a high school teacher with over 100 students, I use index cards instead. I have the students put their name and something un...
Random Volunteers
I have come up with a system that is random and eliminates the idea of a teacher's pet or favoring boys over girls, etc.
Rating Participation
I design rating scales based on positive participation criteria that I think is important, but difficult to grade. Each nine weeks, students complete a self assessment in one ink color and I use a dif...
Read Share Pairs
One of the ways I get my students to enjoy reading independently is by having an activity I call Read Share Pairs. I ask each student to give me the names of five other kids in the class (at least one...
Read To Lead
Here's a new way to pick classroom helpers. I read stories to my students everyday. Each morning I write several sentences on the board from the stories I read to the class the previous week. I random...
Reading Across America
In addition to the many school wide activities for Dr. Seuss's birthday last year, my classroom was cleared of all the furniture and we made a colored masking tape outline of America on the carpet. St...
Reading Buddies
Our K-2 teachers have a reading buddy program with our sixth grade classes in which a younger student is paired up with an older one.
Reading and Baseball
Our middle school participates in the Kane County Cougars' Ozzie's Club, which is a reading incentive program sponsored by the Class A, minor league baseball team Kane County (Illinois) Cougars that r...
Reading and Spelling Station
One of the stations I use during reading has markers, colored sentence strips, scissors and the students' current reading book. On Mondays, I select spelling words from the coming week’s reading mat...
Reading and Writing Site
I just found this website, www.nwrel.org/eval/index.html, and it's spectacular! This web site has prompts, rubrics for writing, reading and oral communication, as well as a load of research about teac...
Reading Assignment Accountability
In elementary school when students are learning to read, the more practice they can get, the better. I give a nightly reading assignment and provide a parent sign-off sheet in their homework folder in...
Reading Calendar
I give each of my students a calendar to be taken home nightly and returned daily. The parents record and initial the title of the story or book their child reads each night. I also note children's bi...
Reading Comfortably
We are involved in a reading program that gives the classroom teacher a t-shirt when their class becomes a model or master classroom. What do you do with all of those teacher t-shirts that you have? M...
Reading Discussions
Students in my first and second grade literacy groups enjoy discussions about the books they've taken home and read. A reader shares his/her story. Peers are given 'question bubbles' with the words - ...
Reading Festival
I have seen reading festivals done in two different ways. First teachers volunteer to read a story to a group of students and their parents. They read to the students in their own classroom and after ...
Reading in the Halls
For Read Across America, we took time at the end of the day and every single student and teacher sat in the hallway and read for thirty minutes. It was awesome! Our principal feels that we should do t...
Reading Month Guests
During reading month (January), we invite guest readers to read to each class. We invite local politicians, the fire chief, police chief, school administrators, local merchants - anyone I can think of...
Reading on Tape
As a student teacher, many years ago, I had to figure out a way to deliver the content of social studies and science to all kids, including the non-readers. My solution was to tape record someone narr...
Reading Packets
I have my students make a packet with four sections called predicting, clarifying, questioning, and summarizing to use as we read novels. One day I might have them make a prediction and the next day, ...
Reading Partners
When I teach older students, I pair them as strong and weak readers. Then I teach them three types of paired reading. The first type is called 911 in which help is given to the partner only when asked...
Reading to High Schoolers
I like to chose a selection from one of my 'Chicken Soup for the Soul' books to read aloud to my junior/senior high students. I wear my tall striped 'Dr. Suess' hat, and then one of the students gets ...
Reading to Students
Any down-time in my classroom generally turns into chaos. I have solved this problem by reading to the kids each day when the lesson is completed. This also gives me the option of always having someth...
Reading Race
To foster a love of reading, I made a large race track out of bulletin board paper and had the kids color in race cars that I printed from the Internet...
Breakfast Club
When approaching test preparation, Ms. Dekmar keeps in mind that good study habits must be learned and practiced. So she created a Breakfast Club, where students can study together and learn from each other under her guidance.
Real Life Math
I have a math activity that I just started and it's been very successful so far. I recently had to purchase a major appliance, so I did some comparison-shopping. I talked to my class about this, and w...
Recess First, Then Lunch
I was involved in a study at my school two years ago. We researched and studied the lunch plan. We discovered (American Dietetic Association Magazine, September 1996) that children eat more lunch when...
Recess Passes
I like to go around and check my students' progress as they're working. So I could remember which students were done enough for recess time, I made up bookmark-size laminated passes, which I hand out ...
Recognition of Achievement
As a first grade teacher I was in a great position to see my students succeed as they progressed through school. I kept my class list each year and as I read or heard about any achievement a child mad...
Recognizing Quality Writing
I use a banner screen saver message on our classroom computers to recognize quality writing. They are easy to change so whenever one of the resident users of a computer does something outstanding, I c...
Recommended Books for Language Arts Teachers
My suggestion is to invest in two books. They are In the Middle and Lessons that Change Writers. Both are by Nancie Atwell who is a very thoughtful, well prepared teacher who used reading and writing ...
Recommended Reading for Student Council Advisors
I took a leadership class from Lois F. Roets and received two books from her that I think would help anyone who plans to help organize a student council at their school. One is was written by Dr. Roet...
Recommending Classroom Books to Other Teachers
As you prepare to present information about your literature book, you might consider the positives, minuses, and interesting or PMI model. Your presentation would include all the positives or areas of...
Recorded Reading
Some of my parents do not have the time to ensure that their children read nightly so I send home a mini tape recorder Monday through Thursday. My students return it in the morning with 20 minutes of ...
Recorded Spelling
"I have a non-English speaking student from Bangladesh and a Spanish student with non-English speaking parents.
Recording Completed Assignments
I have found a great way to keep kids on task and to record completed assignments. I give my students 3x5 note cards on which they write their names and class period. As I teach, I walk around the cla...
Recycled Paint Trays
I encourage my students to recycle and as part of a real world application, I use recycled items in my classroom. I take the cup holder trays I get from McDonalds and place yogurt containers in them. ...
Recycled Transparencies
If your school is lucky enough to have its own laminating machine, then collect the ends of the laminate to reuse on the overhead projector. Recycling the laminate saves on the cost of blank overhead ...
Recycling Books
Secondhand book stores will issue credit for books that you give them. I ask parents to donate their used books and I trade them at the used bookstore. The bookstore issues me credit to obtain paperba...
Recycling for Art Activities
Take advantage of your school's recycling program for free art supplies -- cardboard, plastic bottles, boxes, and, of course, paper. Pick a topic (statues, bridges, diorama based on favorite book, mob...
Recycling Lamination
Used laminating film makes great overhead sheets. I simply go into a copy store and inform them that...
Recycling Paper
Our school's recycling program (funded by the sale of aluminum and used printer cartridges) provided inexpensive green wastebaskets with swinging lids for each classroom in our district that agreed to...
Recycling Paper Egg Cartons
It's easy to recycle paper egg cartons. In the spring, cut the egg container apart into separate cups and clip them all until they have four points. Have the children paint them, put a pipe cleaner...
Recycling School Supplies
Many students do not want to save their old school supplies such as crayons, colored pencils, rulers, erasers, pencils, paper, and other items at the end of the year. In many cases, these items just g...
Recycling Student Supplies
When my students clean out their lockers at the end of the year, I roll a cart up and down the halls behind them. I ask them in advance to donate any usable supplies. I collect half-used spirals, some...
Red Ribbon Collection
During Red Ribbon Week, our district holds a district wide canned food drive that's aimed at getting 100% participation from the staff and students. Our theme is 'I Can Be Drug Free'. The food is coll...
Red Ribbon Week
Here are some ideas of activities to do during Red Ribbon Week which is a 'Just Say No To Drugs' program during the last week of October: 1) Have the students trace one of their feet on red paper, cut...
Reducing Zeros
I developed a strategy to reduce the number of zeros in my gradebook from students choosing not to do assignments. Every three weeks, I print progress reports for students to take home to parents to s...
Reeling In Student Work
The last time I dragged tables around my room in order climb up and hang student art projects from the ceiling, I remembered the pictures of the old tenement buildings with clotheslines suspended acro...
Reflections on the Quarter Past
When report card time approaches, I ask my students, without submitting their names, to reflect and write short notes on what to change, delete and add to the class. Sometimes students have insight th...
Relating Rules to Children's Reality
Year after year students hear and see posted the classroom standards (rules of proper behavior) their teachers require. I have achieved far more compliance to rules since I started relating them to wh...
Releasing Tension Due to Violence
This is a way of putting the recent shooting in Colorado into perspective for young children who often feel that what they see on TV will happen to them next. Our classroom walls are covered with pegb...
Relieving Teacher Stress
Three years ago I worked for an awesome principal! A week before testing, she scheduled a masseuse to come and work the neck and shoulder areas. She set up a small room in the school with candles, sma...
Remembering Names
A colleague shared this great idea with me. When former students come back for a visit, those of us with muddled memories often have difficulty remembering their names. My friend suggested getting (or...
Remembering the Daily Objective
When students get home from school, their parents are likely to ask them what they learned in school that day. So, everyday I write, Today I learned... on the board. I complete the sentence with one i...
Reminder Board
At my middle school, students receive either a progress report or a report card every four weeks. At the end of each cycle, I look at the list of students who have had to be 'reminded' about a class r...
Reminder Board/Time Monitor
I was always forgetting meetings, assemblies, etc. until I started using my 'Reminder Board.' It's a great way to inform students of the day's special events and keep us on schedule. The 'Reminder Boa...
Removing Temptation
My students work in groups of four and during test times there is quite a temptation for eyes to wander. I make my students responsible for keeping their papers covered. Whenever I see answers uncover...
Removing Transparency Ink
The best way to clean overhead transparency ink off your hands is to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with a cloth or paper towel.
Renaissance Club
How about getting some kind of Renaissance program started? I think it's a national program, perhaps just for high school, but something similar could be done locally. At my high school, our group cal...
Repeated Readings
I have a communication system that works well for children who are experiencing reading difficulties. I present a short book to the student, have the student read it to me, and then send it home in a...
Repeating Directions
I've struggled with students being confused after I give directions for independent work. Many of the students get right to work on an assignment, but some sit in their seats and do nothing. I race ar...
Respond Signals
Instead of having students raise their hands to answer questions, I use other signals. Using thumbs up or down, response cards, fingers to signal an answer with choices or heads up/heads down allows a...
Responsibility Grade
Many of the same students were forgetting their materials for class so I implemented a responsibility grade. Each student starts with 100 points at the beginning of the six weeks. They loose 3 points ...
Responsibility Grades
An approach I use when I have a particularly unruly group is something I learned from my cooperating teacher when I was student teaching. Students earn a responsibility grade each day in class. They s...
Responsibility in Drama Class
Ms. McElroy has a unique way of addressing special needs students in her theater class, using a variety of tasks that contribute to class productions, and help students feel important, achieve success, and behave well in the classroom.
Responsibility Rests with Students
In my classroom I have 3 plastic file boxes labeled 'Spanish 1,' 'Spanish 2' and 'Spanish 3-4' (my classes). Each file box has separate slots and contains a file folder for each day of the week, label...
Restroom Breaks
My kindergarten children are learning to raise their hands to speak, so I wanted a different, yet quiet, signal for those who need to use the restroom. My children now raise their hand with the pointe...
Restroom Sign-Up
Ms. Lee uses a whiteboard to track the comings and goings of students leaving the classroom on bathroom breaks. This open and transparent system allows students monitor themselves, and it everyone knows when it is their turn.
Return Papers to Student Mailboxes
One thing that has really helped me organize papers and things to go home is to have student mailboxes. The ones I have are old drawers that were once used for storage at our school office. Toward the...
Returning Library Books
To help my kindergarten and first grade students remember to bring back their library books, when they forget them on 'library day,' I...
Reusing Transparencies
When using the same overhead material for several classes, I use a blank sheet on top of the original to write answers. That way I won't have to rewrite the original.
Reviving Dried Out Markers
How many times do you end up throwing out markers because a student left the cap off? Ms. Ritzman has a special trick to revive dried out markers without diluting the color. Read about her 30 second solution.
Reviving Dry Erase Markers
Ever have one of your dry erase markers dry out? Just use a pair of pliers to remove the tip and turn it around. You are good for another round of teaching.
Reviving Old Paint
As an elementary art teacher, I am frequently moved to a new building. I inherit a collection of old tempera paint every time I move. To manage the paint, I purchased a quart sized freezer storage con...
Reward System
At the beginning of the year I hang small paper bags on a side bulletin board, one for each period, block, or subject. Each time I grade papers I put my initials in the upper corner of any paper recei...
Rewarding Good Behavior
Ms. Hubbard distributes her very own currency, which she calls the denominations Hubbucks, to students each quarter. Being unprepared for class or breaking rules can be costly, but accruing spare Hubbucks can be rewarding in more ways than one.
Rewarding Good Grades
Our school is in an area of low socio-economic status. A small reward can sometimes pay large dividends for students who don't have much. For example: If a student makes the honor roll (As and Bs) in ...
Rewarding Positive Behavior
I reward the students who ARE complying instead of punishing those who are not. I keep a running tally of...
Rewards, Special Stickers and Incentives
I buy blank address labels and print them on my computer to use as rewards, special stickers and incentives. Print Artist, Print Shop and other good graphic programs allow me to make wonderful sticker...
Right Side of Paper
To help students learn which side of the paper to use, I stick white (loose leaf notebook) reinforcement stickers on student desks. Then, if holes in student papers match up with the stickers they kno...
Ringing in the New Year
In order to maintain effective classroom management upon returning to school after winter recess, I review and discuss school and classroom rules and behavior expectations.
Road to Good Talking
At the beginning of each school year, I put up a bulletin board that is essentially a road with sign posts or stopping points along the way.
Rolling Carts
At my school, we are expected to clear our entire classroom at the end of the year. This can be a pain since we may have to change classrooms and find a new nook for regular items such as pens/pencils...
Round Robin Review
Students of all ages love to practice in round robin form. I have a set of note cards with a multiplication answer on the top and a question with the next problem on the bottom. For example, one card ...
Rounding Up with Meter Sticks
This week I was trying to help my students understand rounding to the nearest ten. I noticed they kept looking up to the number line I have on the wall. Then I got the idea to give each pair of studen...
Rubric for Grading Notebooks
I used to spend days grading my students' notebooks. A few years ago, I designed a rubric, which breaks down the notebook grade into classifications and specifies the maximum number of points each cla...
Rubric Labels
I use address labels for self-assessing rubrics. I set up a simple 1-5 scale and then list the skills or ideas to be graded for the assignment. For example, a writing assignment rubric might look like...
Rules on Video
My drama class is producing a video tape of class rules and behavior. I assigned a different rule to a group of two or three students. They have to write, practice, and perform a skit demonstrating ap...