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Sticky Practice Quiz Questions
Test review CAN be fun! Ms. Bulin proves it with a strategy that requires only sticky notes and Smart Board or blackboard. The whole class gets involved together, but individual roles are varied and random.
Silent Pencil Sharpener
Tired of that noisy pencil sharpener or the line up of kids in front of it? Find out how Mr. Emerson’s simple and silent solution to this common problem.
SPORTing Your Rules
“A good management system will change your life and help you meet your objectives,” says Ms. Shad. It sounds like a splendid, if not imposing, endeavor, but she boils the process down to something quite simple with the acronym SPORT.
Smart Number Lines
Ms. Cashell shares ways she uses the timeless number line and her Smart Board to help students understand fractions, decimals, temperature, time and other abstract concepts.
Storing Posters
Hate crunched up, ripped posters when you pull them out in September? Try this end-of-the-year storage trick that will help you keep your posters neat, organized and ready to go when you return from summer break.
Shelf a Day in May
According to Chinese proverb, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Ms. Grace begins hers with a single shelf in the month of May.
Successful Substitute Procedures
Ms. Baluch made life in the classroom easier for substitute educators by developing a rating system for the class and actually practicing it with her students before the substitute ever set foot in her class.
Sing to Settle Students
Expectant mothers play music to unborn children in the womb. Newborn parents lullaby babies to sleep. Ms. McTaggart has a similar strategy for motivating students to stay on task and respond quickly to her commands.
Students Collaborate on Substitute Prep
Ms. Bergman uses a cooperative strategy to plan for her absences, working with students to create plan for her substitute. Students take responsibility for their own learning, and the substitute is prepped for an easier day.
Students Share Pieces of Writing
Rather than sharing an entire composition, Ms. Ortiz asked students to share small snippets of their writing at the end of class, a technique that encouraged participation and boosted creativity.
Spokes on the Wheel Writing Graphic
Jane shows her students how to choose a writing topic for the center of the wheel and write supporting sentences to that topic on every spoke. Read more about how she gets their ideas rolling toward a great essay. It is as easy as riding a bike!
Science Study Group
Ms. Postman formed a popular study group in her science class. During part of the recess period, her struggling students meet with her to play science games and get some extra interactive study time.
Student-Led Teaching
When his class needs a motivational boost, one of the ways Mr. Emerson likes to reengage his students is by turning the tables on them. Find out how he puts them in charge of the lesson, so they can teach each other, while he sits back to enjoys the show.
Substitute Square Expectations
This reward system allows substitute teachers to establish authority quickly and maintain order in the classroom throughout the day. With construction paper and a bag for a random drawing, she notes misbehavior and rewards good behavior.
Students as Scientists
Ms. Postman offers advice to fellow science teachers for dealing with squeamish students who don’t want to get their hands dirty in the lab.
Student Number Job Assignments
Christine has a creative way to assign classroom jobs randomly and fairly throughout the year. Read more about her system for choosing classroom helpers and how she builds acceptance for some of the unpopular jobs.
Stepping on Parents’ Toes
Amy requests your thoughtful responses to questions about parent responsibility.
Summer and School Safety
Karla ends the year with a bulletin board topic called Summer Safety. Read about how she starts the year with a time saving variation of the same topic.
September Summer Box
I keep a box labeled ‘September’ in which I put copies of ..."
Student-Published Bound Books
Ms. Rush encourages her students to turn their unpublished stories and poems into published and illustrated bound books. Read how they create fabulous books that become keepsakes from this school year.
Secret Pal Shoebox Lunch
For a fun activity to mark the end of the school year, we have a shoebox lunch.
Shaped Bubble Experiment
Studying bubbles is a fun way to learn and review the scientific method. First, I do an experiment with bubbles...
Staging the Early Childhood Classroom
There are two critical elements of classroom design when working with special needs students in preschool (IPOP) and kindergarten.
Student-Planned Field Trips
To create a stress free environment on a field trip, have the students take a large role in the planning. Not just where to go, but how to go...
Simple Rules
I wanted to simplify my classroom rules, as lists of rules should be short. I narrowed my rules down to one word: Respect.
Self-Addressed Student Letters
On the first day of school, students write a letter to themselves that will be given back at the end of the school year.
Seating for Needs
I let the students choose their seats for the first week. This allowed me to get a feel for which students needed preferential seating — for whatever reasons. I created a seating chart and...
Learning Difficult Vocabulary
I learned a few vocabulary strategies that are not only fun, but really help the students remember tough words from their reading. One strategy is to take the word and create a...
Sharing Books Every Day
I prefer to keep my elementary students in five rows... Not only does the row with the corresponding day get to line up first, but on that day they get to share...
Starting the Parent-Teacher Conference Dialogue
Ms. Sanders offers advice for conducting parent-teacher conferences at the high school level, including a question she always uses to start the conversation with parents.
Seating in the Shape of E
I like most students to face the front of the class, so I usually arrange my desks in the shape of the letter ‘E’. I place the desks into three rows...
Spanish Skit Dialogues
I like to help student pairs construct skit dialogues at the end of a unit with recycled and current content and vocabulary. I encourage the students to base their conversation on...
Summer Packet Helps Retain Learning
I teach a 4th grade math class with low achieving students, so summer work is critical. I give them a packet that...
Stop the Copying!
Rampant copying was one of Mr. Miraglia’s biggest classroom management problems. Find out how he used his blog to stop the cheating and elevate the quality of his students’ homework at the same time.
Secret Extra Credit
I include extra credit problems on my quizzes and tests, but do not let the students know which problems count for extra credit.
Spanish and Technology
I've started offering a new one-semester elective to 8th graders this year. It combines Spanish with technology and uses four themes for project-based units.
Selecting Partners and Groups
I teach foreign languages, so I use interactive groups very frequently.
Sight Word Practice
I use sight word bingo cards to help my students with word recognition.
Stocking Stuffer Books for Teachers
I love Rafe Esquith's books Teach Like Your Hair's On Fire and There Are No Shortcuts.
Safekeeping Box
Sometimes children bring things from home to play with, which makes it harder for them to pay attention. I decided to resolve this problem by creating a Safekeeping Box. I found a medium-sized box wit...
Safety Ideas
We have a Safety Committee that meets and reviews all accidents and incidents that have been reported. Some steps that have been taken to make our school more secure include: ID badges for all staff m...
Safety Measures on an Open Campus
Since we have an open campus, one set rule we have is that all students must have a buddy whenever they go anywhere on campus: clinic, office, errands, etc. All adults wear an identification badge as ...
Saving on Classroom Materials
Educators in my city have a group on The Freecycle Network (http://www.freecycle.org/). [As of today, Freecycle has 4,343 groups with 4,969,000 members who all give (and get!) free stuff in their home towns.]
Saving Paper
To save on paper use, I do the following: * I laminate pretty laser papers and papers that I embellish with stickers, punches, stamps, computer clip art. I post messages on these papers, using markers...
Saving the Master Copy
Have you ever used the master of a test or worksheet before you realized it? I've found a little trick to solve that dilemma. Just use a fluorescent yellow marker to write 'Master' on the top of the p...
Saving Student Notes
When I teach grammar skills to my tenth graders, I save their note sheets and return them to the students in their senior year...
Scavenger Hunt at Open House
Each year at the beginning of the year, my teaching partner and I put together a small scavenger hunt for the fourth graders to do at open house with their parents. This activity makes the students re...
School Festival
One way we involve our parents in activities is by having a fall festival. Every year, we have each teacher or group of teachers come up with a game for the students to play and we turn our hallways i...
School is a Job
At the beginning of the school year I tell my students to think of school as their job. What goes on in school everyday can be applied to the real world of work. If students are talking when someone e...
School Maps
Students practice their map-making and drawing skills as they compose renderings of their surroundings and the layout of the school building.
School Notes
To communicate easily with parents and students, I post a message on www.schoolnotes.com. I can list my assignments for the week or direct kids to a favorite web site. It's easy, fun and free!
School Store
During lunch, my students run a school store in our classroom selling candy and school supplies. They learn to operate the cash register, count money, do inventory, interact with customers and read in...
Schoolnotes.com
I help parents connect with their child's school experience by posting the week's plans and messages on schoolnotes.com. This is an excellent way to communicate with parents and they can email me with...
School-Wide Celebration
We did a full day celebration for American Education Week that was very successful. We had students and teachers come to school dressed as their favorite book character. We had lots of Harry Potter an...
School-Wide Hall Pass Policy
The basis of our school-wide hall pass policy is our student planners. My school requires that all students have a student planner (designed and produced by an outside vendor). When setting up the pla...
School-Wide Mock Election
I have organized our school's mock election every fall for the last five years, involving about 20 teachers and 400-500 students. We follow the guidelines from the National Mock Election (www.national...
Science & Science Fiction
In order to get students hooked on science, I use SciFi video tapes. These classics from the 1950s to the 1990s are used not only to motivate the student, but also to enrich and enhance the curriculum...
Science Olympiad
Our middle school has sponsored a Science Olympiad team for the past 4 years. This program is in almost every state and is a way to involve students who are interested in science and problem solving. ...
Science Timelines
As a way to teach science as an ever-changing body of knowledge, I have the students do a science timeline along side of a personal timeline. They thoroughly enjoy the research we do on the Internet a...
Science With Mrs. Frizzle
Here's a tip on how to look like Mrs. Frizzle of the Magic School Bus without having to spend a lot of money on your wardrobe. Cut out designs in felt (like trees showing the four seasons, the water c...
Scientific Inquiries
At the beginning of the school year I do a science experiment called, 'Who is Ms. Locke?' After a review of the scientific process, I tell the students they have to go around the room to see how much ...
Scoring Guides
Grade inflation can occur from either student or administrator pressure. Principals want to see better grades and students attempt to increase their grades without doing any extra or better work. In o...
Screen Saver
My classroom has five computers but we do not have any pretty pictures for screensavers so I wrote the following on my computers...
Screen Saver Spelling
To reinforce spelling or vocabulary words each week, I put them on my desktop screen saver. When the students glance at my computer they see their words in yet another context! I change the font and t...
Screen Savers
My teacher station computer is connected to my classroom TV, and I change the screen saver weekly. I usually use the Marquee Screen Saver to say something that I want my students to remember for the w...
Screening Young Readers
As a Reading Coach in a rural school serves some children at risk, I have found the PALS (http://pals.virginia.edu) (Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening) Pre K assessment, which is available fro...
Searching for Landforms
I have a project where my students use the Internet to search for information on a landform. They use my web page to access the worksheet that they need to complete. They copy this worksheet to their ...
Seasonal Trees
Before school starts, I put up a 3-D paper tree by bunching up colored butcher paper and stapling it onto a blue background. The tree begins the year with apples. I put the students' names on them and...
Seating Arrangements I
I number all my desks from one to whatever. Then, I place numbers in a hat that corresponds to the number of desks in the classroom. As students walk into the room, they pick a random number. This is ...
Seating Arrangements II
I find that putting regular chairs in a semicircle around me to teach reading takes away the barrier of a reading table. I arrange my students' desks in small rows close to the front of the room. If I...
Seating Chart Deluxe
I draw a graphic of the tables in my classroom, with my desk identified to give orientation to the user. I copy and laminate several copies. I write in the names of the students on the laminated sheet...
Seating Charts and Grading
When I make seating charts, I write students' names on post-it notes and place them on a paper with desks drawn on it. Then, I put the chart in a sheet protector. This works very well because students...
Seating Chart on Screen
A colleague gave me this great idea for seating charts. She makes a chart on the computer and enters student names.
Second Chance Referrals
At my high school, behavior problems are eventually written on a 'referral' and sent to the discipline officer for that grade level which then goes on the student's permanent record. I send out a pare...
Secret Chair
I drew a poster with a cartoon of an empty chair entitled, 'Secret Chair'. Sometimes before class starts, I randomly select a chair and place a sticker underneath it. When the students enter and see t...
Secret Number
I use this idea to reinforce basic math concepts. One student (leader) secretly writes a one, two, or three digit number on an index card. The rest of the class sets up individual chalkboards with a h...
Secret Story Words
I put names of people, places, things and vocabulary words from the story we've read on small pieces of paper and tape them to my students' backs. They wander around the room asking their classmates q...
Secret Student Behavior
A trick I use to ensure good class behavior when walking in the halls, at assemblies, etc. is to tell the class beforehand that I will be watching a certain student without saying which student.
Secret Test Number Codes
When I copy my tests, I number them according to the student number given in my grade book by the publisher. This way, I know which student has which test at the end of the period. I use less copy pap...
Secret Word
To motivate my students to hand in homework on time, I choose a secret word such as wonderful. Every day that the entire class hands in homework, they get one letter of this word on the board. When th...
Secured School
We have a secured school during class hours. There is only one entrance unlocked during school hours, and that is to allow entrance through one office door and to exit out the other door. When parents...
Seeing the Future
In my fifth through eighth grade resource room this year, I had the students describe themselves now, in five years and in ten years using artwork and words. The students were expected to list thought...
Self Portraits
When students do a self portrait they should be able to look in a mirror, so I asked my students and colleagues for old mirror tiles. I had 1/8 inch maysonite cut into 12x12 backing boards which I att...
Self-Addressed Stamped Envelopes
My students aren't always perfect at getting necessary information home to their parents so I request five self-addressed stamped envelopes when I send home my school supply list. These envelopes make...
Self-Esteem Books
Each week we draw a stick to select a Student of the Week. I then have all of the other students write an affirmation to this student. Their affirmation letters have to focus specifically on the chara...
Setting Goals
I started a Raise Your Grades Club for the third through fifth graders at our school. After each report card, students chart their grades and set goals for their next report card. The students that wi...
Shape Boxes
I ask my students to save empty laundry boxes. I especially like the ones with handles. I send the boxes home with white butcher paper to be wrapped. The students and the parents wrap them so that the...
Share Day
I do a variation of Show and Tell in my first grade class called Share Day. The first day of school I bring a family picture and briefly talk about it. I invite the children to ask questions and remin...
Sharing Language Skills
My elementary French students have electronic French pen pals at the high school. By regularly emailing each other, the elementary and high school students get to practice usage of technology and thei...
Sharing Lesson Plans with Students
I recently started letting my high school science classes know what we would be doing each day of the present week. I type up a Monday through Friday list and briefly include what's on tap for each da...
Sharing Seating Charts with Students
I always assign seats for the purposes of helping me learn names, taking attendance and controlling behavior. But getting students in the proper seats the first day (and every time I change the arrang...
Sharing with Soldiers and Sailors
Just before the holidays, I had my students collect and mail out generic 'Happy Holiday' cards to soldiers in the Navy and Army. They signed and wrote a note in the cards but no personal information w...
Sharing Works4Me
Mentor teachers should be sure to share the NEA Works4me web site with their new teachers. They will be happy to have this great source of workable ideas. I'll be sharing it with mine!
Shaving Cream Clean-Ups
Shaving cream will remove pencil and pen marks from desk tops. I put shaving cream on each child's desk and then we do some form of leaning activity with the cream. For example, I ask students to draw...
Sheets for Shelves
At the end of each year, we are asked to cover our shelves to keep the dust, etc. out. Why not use old bed sheets instead of using all the good bulletin board paper which in most cases cannot be recyc...
Shell Candles
If you live near a beach or have access to a collection of large sea shells, this is a great holiday craft idea in which students make personalized tea lights as gifts for a loved one.
Shirt Story
A little reluctant 2nd grade reader that I work with was exceptionally proud of a t-shirt his Mom had brought back for him from a trip. He happily told me all about it with puffed chest so I could see...
Shoe Bag Organization
I teach second grade. Pencils, scissors, and glue always seem to get lost in the students' desks. I hang a clear vinyl shoe bag with each student name on the front of each pocket. The students keep pe...
Shoe Buddies
After winter break, I tell my students that I came down with a virus during vacation and can't remember how to tie shoes. I write down the names of the children who can tie on a 'Shoe Buddy' list. Whe...
Shoe Holders Make Great Mailboxes
I bought an over the door shoe holder (the kind that has a pocket for each shoe) and hung it behind my door on the wall. I put pictures of my students on each pocket so they have their own mailbox. I ...
Shoe Rack
My students really enjoy using puppets for entertainment and story telling. The puppets are readily available and easy to choose when a shoe holder is used. I use the kind that sets on the floor (or u...
Short Vowels
The short vowel sounds can be hard to remember so I teach my students the sentence, WAX MELTS IN HOT SUN. This has the short vowel sounds in order, it's not babyish and it's easy to remember.
Showcase Portfolios
I work all year along with my students and their parents at putting together a showcase portfolio. These portfolios include student work samples that the students, the parents and I have chosen to inc...
Shuffle the Cards
To avoid calling on the same students, I put each student's name on an index card. Throughout the year, I continue to shuffle the cards and use them to call on students. Absences or other needed infor...
Signing Answers
I teach my students the American Sign Language signs for the letters A through K (held at chest level) the first week of school. When we go over state mandated test items, I call for a show of hands a...
Signing for Restroom Breaks
So that the class isn’t interrupted when students need to use the restroom, my students use a sign language R to ask permission. Simply cross your middle finger over your index finger. I then nod or s...
Signing Out Materials
I found an easy way to have teachers sign out materials from a Literacy or Math Closet. All storage bins have the title of the item written on a laminated card, which is stuck to the bin with a piece ...
Sign-Up to Make-Up
In the past, I have had trouble keeping track of students and their make-up tests or quizzes. This semester, I created a Sign-Up to Make-Up clipboard. My students must sign the clip board with their n...
Silent Noise
Particularly useful at the start of the school year or on days near special events when students are talking during introductory instructions, I tell them they can keep talking, just without sound. It...
Silent Praise
I encourage positive praise without a lot of noise. When someone does something great, we do 'The Aaycock Seal of Approval'. Everyone puts their hands together and claps silently three times, holding ...
Silent Reading Baskets
My students used to waste a lot of their silent reading time picking out their books so I purchased a plastic basket for each student. When my students arrive in the morning, it is their job to pick o...
Silent Signals
My most frequent interruptions are for permission to use the lavatory, get a drink of water or get a tissue.
Six Traits of Writing
I have tried various ideas for the 6 Traits of Writing using literature. What I do is to have the students keep a writing journal that goes along with the story I have selected. I provide the writing ...
SLANT Strategy
At the beginning of each semester I teach a University of Kansas strategy called SLANT.
Sleeping Bag Readathon
Our third grade teachers and I periodically have a Readathon. This is an afternoon of nothing but reading. The kids bring in bags of reading material: books, comic books, magazines, etc., their sleepi...
Sleeping Students
As you walk about the classroom spouting rhetorical magic, you are sure that everyone is enthralled with the day's lesson. Yet, when you look out over the sea of young faces, you see that one head is ...
Smack It!
Here's a fun way to review vocabulary. Write a variety of vocabulary words all over the board. Divide the class into two teams and choose one representative from each team to come up to the board. Giv...
Smelling Like Roses
In my art room, mess is an everyday occurrence. In order to have my students help me clean up without worrying about harsh chemicals, I use bubble bath to clean up my tables. The bubble bath is dilute...
Smiley Cups
Here's an idea I came up with to motivate students to turn in homework. I put large smiley faces on plastic bathroom cups and I place a cup on the students' desks that completed the homework. They kno...
Smooth Sub Day
When a shortage of subs happened, I was drafted to sub in fifth grade. At the end of the day in order to participate in ten minutes of reward time, the students had to write on a card one thing they h...
Snacks for Everyone
To show my appreciation to the school staff that made my job as a teacher easier, I would bring in snacks for the custodians and secretaries once or twice a year. Snacks also play an important role wi...
Snacks for Subs
I always leave a couple of quarters for the substitute to have a juice, pop or snack on me. Some days, these subs are called very early in the morning and have long drives ahead of them. This is just ...
Snake Review
Reviewing for tests in any subject can be boring especially if using worksheets. I came up with something that my students love! I call it Snake. I write fifty problems on numbered index cards. No ans...
So You Want To Be A Millionaire
For a test review in science we play So You Want To Be A Millionaire. Instead of one person answering all the questions, I pick students at random. No one knows who will be picked until after the ques...
Social Studies Basketball
My students really enjoy reviewing for a social studies test playing this game. A basket is placed against the wall. Pieces of tape are then put on the floor, starting close to the basket and then goi...
Social Studies/Writing
This year I began a new social studies/map skills/language arts project with our class. Students design an island of their choice, name it, and include: key, scale, longitude and latitude, compass ros...
Socks and Tennis Balls
I teach in an older building and my classroom is not carpeted. To cut down on the noise of chairs on the floor, I have put old tennis balls on the legs of each chair. This really keeps the chairs quie...
Song Formulas
I have had good luck helping my math students remember important formulas by writing songs about them. They usually think it's silly until it comes in handy when they are taking a test. Sometimes we'l...
Soothing Classroom Lights
To help take the edge off of the harsh, industrial, fluorescent lights, I take blue theatrical gels and cover over some of the tiled ceiling lights. Since blue is a calming color, covering the lights ...
Space Savers
Classroom space can be a problem; especially in the lower grades there are a lot of manipulatives. To solve space problems we buy small wash tubs and load them with things. They can be stacked quite n...
Speakers List
Sometimes during whole class discussions, students are tempted to just call out their opinions. This is especially true if they are passionate about the topic or concerned about having a turn to speak...
Special Effort and Participation Grades
I teach art and find that effort and participation grades are fair because of varying degrees of student talent. At the beginning of the six weeks, everyone starts with a 100. When I check roll...
Speaking Out of Turn
I am working with my mentor teacher, Lea Griffin, who has many classroom management techniques. One of my favorites is when she asks one student a question and other answers. She says to the student t...
Special Class Labels
I make labels on the computer that say lunch, gym, music, library, etc. to stick in my plan book. This saves a lot of time and looks very impressive if done in different colors. I also typed up the na...
Special Friday
The final Friday of each month is special because students are allowed to get creative, kinesthetically. Small group of students plan an outdoor activity that compliments and supports a recent reading selection.
Special Needs Students
Inclusion can be a frightening concept. Teachers wonder how they will accommodate students with special needs into a regular classroom. Many of us do not have the time to make many accommodations, but...
Special Students
I have a tip to help students see just how special everyone truly is on the inside and out. Have every student decorate the outside of a small brown paper sack with the things they love, hobbies, etc....
Spell it Right
I play the game Spell It Right with my second and third graders. I place my students' names on tongue depressors. I pull two names to be the next contestants to, Come on down! I give them a spelling w...
Spelling Race
This game helps even the lowest spellers learn their words each week. I divide the class into two teams, trying to pair the spelling ability equally. I call a spelling word and one member from each te...
Spelling Review
When I review for a spelling test I put the class in groups of four. I mix all levels together and give each group member a number (one to four). I have Popsicle sticks in a can with those four number...
Spelling Scatter Graphs
At the beginning of the year, I give my students a list all of the words they will need to know how to spell. They each have a folder with the list and a graph of the words in a sheet protector. I sel...
Spelling Signs
When teaching my first graders their spelling words, I chant the letters in order, and I teach children how to fingerspell the words using American Sign Language.
Spelling Test Bingo
My class plays Spelling Test Bingo. I created a blank Bingo board and made copies. The students number the boxes as they pick where to write the words. After all the words are given, they may fill in ...
Spelling Test Modifications
Here are some spelling test modifications that can work for struggling students and for those students that are more advanced. Have the students look for sound and letter patterns in their spelling wo...
Spelling Through Drawing
I have a student who has an extremely low reading ability. He had a list of ten spelling words for the week, and that was challenging for him. He could not pass the test on Friday. He, of course, was ...
Spelling Vacation
As an incentive motivator, when my students get an A on their weekly spelling test, I place a star sticker beside their name on the Spelling Stars chart. As soon as a student accumulates 5 stars, they...
Spending Spree from Catalogues
Ms. Townsend uses leftover holiday catalogs, fake checkbooks, and a system for awarding students with play money to teach them financial literacy. Students have periodic spending sprees, and the year culminates in a class auction.
Spider on the Floor
Ms. Perry uses inexpensive spider rings to complement this read-aloud activity that gets young students moving and signing while learning about spatial relationships and prepositional phrases.
Spider Web of Compliments
"On the last day of school, we sit on the floor on blankets or small carpets to autograph yearbooks, T-shirts etc.
Spilled Paint
When mixing powdered tempera paint, use one part liquid hand soap and three parts water. This makes clean up a lot easier and helps with the laundry in the case of spilled paint.
Spongy Vocabulary Review
To review vocabulary in any subject, take strips of masking tape and tape them to a rectangular sponge. Use a marker to write the vocabulary words on the tape. Have the students toss the sponge around...
Spray It Clean
When using an overhead projector, instead of having to keep getting a wet paper towel or cloth to wipe off the transparencies, I keep a spray bottle of water and a roll of paper towels by the machine....
Spreadsheet Grades
I am a substitute teacher, and thought I would offer what my children's middle school teachers do to keep parents informed of test scores. At the beginning of the school year, the teacher makes up a s...
SSR Comprehension
Some of my students were less than excited about SSR time. I found that often students were pretending to read but were really just turning the pages, with little or no comprehension of the story. Now...
SSR Motivators
Everybody knows that daily sustained silent reading (SSR) is important, but it's sometimes hard to keep kids on task. Here are two very simple ideas: After reading, I have the students buddy up for a pair share time. I gi...
St. Patrick's Day Fun
I always have fun with my students on St. Patty's Day. During the week leading up to March 17 we study Ireland, and our Media Specialist assists the students in finding answers to our Irish Scavenger ...
Stamp Motivation
It's amazing how motivated students get for a stamp on their papers! I have dozens of ink stamps. I stamp homework assignments and drafts of essays before they turn them in. Students need a stamp to g...
Standardized Test Challenges
Some of our seventh grade tests measure curriculum my school teaches in eighth grade. What a challenge! Some of us stop what we are doing and teach mini-units on the topics during the month preceding ...
Standardized Test Familiarity
I believe the key to a good working relationship with parents and students, when it comes to testing, is there should be no surprises. Parents should be assured that...
Standardized Test Formats
One of the major problems with standardized tests is the format. After I present information, I tell my students how the test will find out whether they know the information and give them examples. Fo...
Standardized Test Vocabulary and Questioning
We've realized that sometimes our students don't do as well on the standardized state tests as we think they should because they are not familiar with the test's vocabulary or questioning format. For ...
Standing in Class
When engaging in class discussion or questions, I always move to the opposite side of the room from the student who is talking, leaving most of the class between us. This keeps the student (and me!) f...
Stapled Friday Folders
Too many loose papers cluttered desks and compromised communication with parents, so Ms. Meyer implemented daily and weekly routines that make use of mailboxes, folders and a stapler.
Stars, Comets and Galaxies
Here's a tip for creating a unique bulletin board background for a unit on the solar system. I take a black or midnight blue roll of bulletin board paper and cut it to the size I need. I then take it ...
Start a School Newspaper for Younger Students
If you work in a combined middle school and high school, you might be looking for ways to reach out to younger students. Here’s an idea: start a school newspaper. If you already have a school newspape...
Starting a Biotechnology Course
Biotechnology is one of the hottest topics in the life sciences and more high schools need to add such courses to their curriculum. Numerous careers that utilize skills acquired in this area are avail...
Starting a Middle School Student Council
Mr. Jeffery offers sound suggestions for educators wishing to start or improve their middle school student council.
Starting an Honor Society
The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) sponsors the National Honor Society and the National Junior Honor Society. At their Web site, you will find the information needed to st...
Starting School and Eating Right
The new school year means saying good-bye to your free time, but you don't have to sacrifice your healthy eating habits. Following this tip now will save you some stress when Fall is in full swing!
Staying Healthy
I work with new teachers in elementary schools, many of whom get sick the first year or two of teaching until they build up immunity. One of the tips I pass along to them is to never pick up a student...
Steno Notes
I acquired stenographer notebooks in which my students copy class notes, write grammar sentences, and write spelling tests. Most students have never used this type of notebook, and they try to write n...
Stick Grouping
I vary my classroom groups by greeting each student at the door with a craft stick. The tips of the sticks are color coded according to the area of the room they must go to or the activity they must w...
Sticker Board
As a specials teacher, I see my students only once or twice a week for half an hour. To motivate my classes to work hard, I have a sticker board with each classroom teacher's name on it. Every class p...
Sticker Rewards
I award stickers to my students for good behavior. They have a chance to earn two stickers a day, one for morning behavior and one for afternoon. Once they accumulate ten stickers, they are rewarded w...
Sticky Note Taking
I find that using square sticky notes for note taking is a wonderful way to keep my students focused. They use them to keep notes on specific sections of our social studies text and as a place to writ...
Stinging Celled Animals
This experiment requires balloons and yarn. Give students a balloon and ask them to blow it up and tie off the end. Give them a 5-12 inch piece of yarn and ask them to tie it to the end. When the stud...
Stocking the Class Treasure Chest
I put out an 'all call' to teachers and parents (through an article in our school newsletter and the teacher's lounge bulletin board) accepting donations of any 'clean out your toy box' items, willing...
Stocking Your Class Library
It was only in the last few years of my teaching career that I truly felt I had enough variety in ability and interest level for my classroom library...
Stop and Learn
I work with students who have emotional disabilities, autism, or mental retardation and their teachers to develop ways to include the students in mainstream classes. One of my elementary schools has n...
Stop and Listen
This can happen only a few times during the school year, but it's well worth doing! When the class is loud or out of control, or when you simply need the direct attention of your students, ask them to...
Stop to Read
"On Dr. Seuss Day [also known as NEA's Read Across America], we volunteer to read to children at one of the big malls.
Stopping Late Work
I agonized for years about students turning in late work. Taking off a percentage for each day an assignment was late turned into a nightmare. Now, my students are allowed to turn in one assignment...
Storing Bulletin Boards
Many times when you develop a good bulletin board that you would like to use another year, you store the pieces but later forget the arrangement. A simple solution is to take a picture of it and then ...
Storing Magic Markers
Here's a little tip for storing magic markers. I take an old bowl and fill it with Plaster of Paris. I insert the markers cap down with about 1/2 of the cap in the plaster and let it set. When it's dr...
Storing Posters with Paper Towel Sleeves
I recently discovered that the core cardboard from paper towels or toilet paper placed over a rolled up poster work great for keeping posters neat and tidy. Just slip the core over the outside of a ro...
Storing Supplies
I save containers from powdered Gatorade, potato chips, coffee, Bisquick and flavored tea. I use them to store all kinds of supplies and keep the supply cans on the shelf for the children to use. The ...
Story Map
Many students have difficulty coming up with writing topics. A memory nudge idea I use to great success is called a 'Story Map.' I model this for my students by drawing a bird's eye view of a place th...
Story Problems
Here's a math enrichment tip. Each month my students write an original multiple step problem-solving question using a theme. For example, in October they can make up a problem about Halloween. The stu...
Story Train
A friend shared with me recently how he teaches beginning writing. He uses the analogy of a train and has a train posted on his classroom wall that goes around the room as a visual. The engine is the ...
Strategic Assignment Collection
I found a convnient way to turn in student work alphabetically. I use a wire rack in which I can put folders upright. I have three of these racks placed strategically around the classroom. Each studen...
Strategies for Success
I spend a lot of time connecting what we do in the classroom with the world of work. For example, students' supplies are their tools for their current job. If they are unprepared, I remind them that i...
Structuring Independent Reading
The team teachers I worked with while student teaching required the students to read 20 minutes per day 5 times a week. They could make up time on the weekend but could only read 20 mins per day for c...
Student Behavior Log
I keep a weekly log on student behaviors. It's a form of a diary in which I note students' infractions of rules, disruptive behavior, and failure to do homework or activities in the classroom. Each st...
Student Bulletin Boards
I have many bulletin boards in my classroom. I prepare a bulletin board for children's work that changes every two or three weeks. I staple fabric on the board so it stays bright and never fades. A so...
Student Cards
I take attendance quickly by having a poster with pockets in which each student has a number on the pocket (like their number on your roster). Then I place an index card with their name and a sticker ...
Student Checkbooks
My students learn to use checkbooks. I get a check company to donate starter checkbooks that have a few pages of a register and about ten checks. The kids earn money for their account by doing homewor...
Student Comments for Conferences
To prepare for parent-teacher conferences, Ms. DeBerry has her students complete a worksheet in which they evaluate their learning goals and progress. Find out how she does it and how she uses these worksheets as the basis of her meetings with parents.
Student Compliments
In fifth grade, sometimes students are more interested in being mean to or teasing each other than in treating people respectfully. To help promote looking for the good in each other, we do 'put-ups' ...
Student Control of Learning
I design an activity that offers opportunity for personal expression and that will require students to use a small piece of information that they DON'T have, such as a vocabulary word or a verb tense....
Student Creation
Our students use nouns, adjectives and participles to create a diamond-shaped document about themselves. They open a word processing document and follow these directions: * Do not change the font, siz...
Student Folders
I have my English class journal each day to settle them down while I organize the lesson. I didn't want heavy journal books since I take them home to respond. I purchased five magazine holder cartons ...
Student Goals
I ask students to set goals at the beginning of each school year. As a guidance counselor, I do not see the students every day but keep their goal cards and return them at our last session toward the ...
Student Graded Tests
This suggestion comes from 28 years in the classroom. 1) Design tests that can be graded on a Scantron. 2) Design quizzes that can be graded by the students. I tell them to hold up their test in the a...
Student Held Passes
I started using a hall pass to prevent my students from wasting time. They're only allowed two passes every nine weeks and if they want to leave the room; they are required to use one of these passes....
Student Heritage
My students speak a variety of languages and come from many different countries and backgrounds. To help them appreciate each other, I have them fill out a form which includes their names in English a...
Student Homework Responsibility
To help students be responsible for their homework, I devised a letter to the parents on which the students must fill in the blanks. The first paragraph starts, 'I am writing this letter to you becaus...
Student Information and Communication
To help set up your homeroom, keep a three ring binder with plastic report cover pocket sleeves for each student. Keep the sheet that each parent fills out the first week of school with home informati...
Student Information Card File
At Open House or Meet the Teacher Night, I distribute index cards labeled with each student's name. I ask parents to write their current address and phone number on their child's card. I also ask each...
Student Information Cards
On the first day of school, I give my students an index card to fill out while I'm making a seating chart. I ask each student to write down their name, home address, phone number, the languages they s...
Student Information Cards
Ms. Lorand uses a nifty procedure for gathering and storing student information cards. Using a hole puncher and a single ring binder, she’s able to keep them within reach at all times.
Student Input into Planning Lessons
In a recent tip published by Works4Me, Margaret Martin tells us that 'Educational Leadership, a publication of ASCD, has a whole issue devoted to the idea of student participation in the planning of l...
Student Leaders Help Facilitate Differentiated Instruction
I teach 8th graders who are at-risk of not graduating from high school. The best method that I have found to allow for differentiation is to use the students as experts. When we are doing individual w...
Student Led Review
I just learned this technique in a workshop, and it was fun! Kids take a sheet of paper, fold it in half the long way and then in half twice the other way, giving them eight sections...
Student Made Study Guide
To help the students review for their semester final, I divide the class into the number of units we have covered. Each group has about twenty-five minutes to prepare one overhead transparency with al...
Student Name Tags
At the beginning of the year or even during the year, teachers spend a lot of time on student name tags or name plates for the desks. I discovered an extremely easy way to get away from the hassle of ...
Student Notebook
I keep a three-ring binder on my desk with a page for each student. The page contains important info on each student, like parents' names, work phone numbers, siblings in the school, and such. I also ...
Student Notebooks
Like many of us, I require that students keep a notebook of all their work relating to the class. Many of them at this age are just getting used to the idea of 'staying organized', so I help them by p...
Student Numbers and Recording Grades
I cut down on the time it takes to record grades by giving each student the number corresponding to her/his name in my grade book. Each new year I give students these directions: (1) Make a box on the...
Student Numbers I
I always put my students in alphabetical order at the beginning of the year. When I do this I give each student a number. They use this number all year and include it on everything they do, putting it...
Student Numbers II
I give each of my students a number according to their listing alphabetically. This helps with the following tasks: (1) When papers are put in numerical order I can easily find which is missing and pa...
Student Numbers
When I set up my files at the beginning of the year, rather than writing the student's name on the tab of the file, I assign each student a number and write the number on the file tab. In this way, I can use the same files for a few years.
Student Pictures
With so many students to keep track of during the year, I have included a small picture of each child on my five seating charts with tape under each for when I change seating. I staple a sheet of tran...
Student Punch Cards
I am in a team teaching situation with three other teachers. Two of us teach math and science and two of us teach language arts and social studies. In order to keep up with the behavior and work ethic...
Student Responsibility
When I know I am going to be absent and there is sufficient time, I call a student at home and ask her/hem to assist the substitute in whatever ways are needed. More often than not, I call on students...
Student Responsibility
I like high school students to control when and if they may attend to business such as calling home, rest room, locker etc. It places the responsibility with them, where it belongs. However, I want so...
Student Responsibility
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...
Student Reward Cards
I give each student a 3x5 card decorated with a sticker. These are called their punch cards. I keep them in a basket by their mailboxes and whenever they return homework, I let them give themselves a ...
Student Slates
Our maintenance department is replacing all our old chalkboards with 4'x8' tile board from the local builder's supply store. This gave me an idea! I had them cut one of these boards into 12 squares, w...
Student Stories
I help parents connect with their child's school experience by having the students do reports on themselves called, IT'S MY STORY AND I'M STICKING TO IT. The students are required to write their favor...
Student Superstars
Sometimes things get too hectic to recognize individual achievements, so I started a 'Superstar' bulletin board. When any of my students makes 100 on a test or special project, it gets put up on the b...
Student Survey
With 150 students, it's hard to get to know their names quickly. I start off the year with a student survey. The questionnaire is copied double sided, has a space for a student picture, and asks stude...
Student Teacher Gifts
This year we asked our students to each donate one item they thought would be useful to our intern when she began working in her own classroom. We left the ideas to the students so they could indulge ...
Student Teacher Library Tour
I give all new student teachers a tour of the library media center and particularly point out our professional collection as a source for ideas and inspiration. I also give them a letter that describe...
Student Teacher of the Week
Every week we honor a child for 'Student of the Week'. Honored students bring in favorite pictures, collections, a favorite book, a pet and anything that will help us learn more about them. This is th...
Student Teacher Shower
My class throws a shower for our student teacher at the end of the term. I secretly invite the parents to contribute anything the student teacher might be able to use. I send home a suggestion list th...
Student Teachers Send-Off
When our student teachers complete their time with us, we fill a bag full of goodies: stickers, e-z grader, bulletin board stuff, etc. We each give a teaching tip that is fun, easy and appropriate for...
Student Teacher Training
Having a student teacher is a great learning experience. Here are some hints to help make that experience great.
Student Welcome Packets
On the first day of school, I give my students: a welcome packet containing a short letter from me to their parents, identifying myself and explaining the focus of the course; an abbreviated syllabus,...
Student Work Display
I find changing bulletin boards and logging in assignments to be very time-consuming. This year, I used one big wall in the hall by my room for a permanent bulletin board. All students did a name plat...
Student Sticker Labels
"As soon as I get my class list, I take file folder labels and make an entire sheet with each child's name.
Students and Teacher Planning Together
At the beginning of the school year I will prepare a list of the possible stories to be read, along with the names of the authors. (Our literature book has six units of about five stories each. Each u...
Students Answer Questions
When I need 'space' during report card time, I select a responsible student or two to be my official 'answerers'. Any student who has a question about what work to do, or how to do it, directs their q...
Students Are Motivated
Do not believe everything other people tell you about students! Assume they will be motivated. Find out what kind of music they like and use it; relate it to other music or topics. Create projects tha...
Students Create Power Point Presentations
My students create oceanography Power Point presentations on the computer. Some of the topics the children have chosen in the past are The Titanic, submarines, hurricanes, The Bermuda Triangle, and fa...
Students Create Spelling Sentences
Part of my weekly spelling homework assignment is to have my students write a sentence for each spelling word. When I give my spelling tests, I say the word, use it in a sentence and repeat the word. ...
Students Creating Test Questions
I teach middle school students who function below grade level and who have behavior problems, all within a self-contained classroom. To be effective, I am constantly looking for ways to help my studen...
Students Distribute Assignments
I have a file folder for each class sitting on the bookcase next to my desk. Any papers to return are put into those folders, as are any papers for student absentees, put in the folders by another stu...
Students Explain Their Learning
Our county stresses writing across the curriculum. Each of my students makes a 'Math Chat' booklet and designs a cover with mathematical pictures. Once we have learned a concept such as perimeter, I g...
Students Get Paid
At the beginning of each quarter, students in my advanced computer classes create a time card for themselves. Each day students record their attendance just as one would at a job. Each class period co...
Students Give Spelling Tests
My students take turns giving the weekly spelling test to the class. I draw their names from a hat to determine who will be the spelling test reader. This responsibility makes sure that all students c...
Students Sell Books
I require a book report once a month from every student. I like to vary the report format so this month my students will try to sell their book. The students will have two minutes or less to try to pe...
Student Sticker Labels
"As soon as I get my class list, I take file folder labels and make an entire sheet with each child's name. On the first day of school, I give each child a sheet with his/her name on it,
Students Solving Disputes
When I have two quarreling children who come to me, each telling me their side of the story, the first thing I ask them to do is to sit together somewhere away from the other children so they can have...
Students Training Teachers
Our school has a severe shortage of staff development time, so I try to use my students to promote computer use throughout our district. One of the programs that I teach is PowerPoint, which is softwa...
Students Writing About Students
When things get out of hand in the classroom, I take a break and have students write all the good things about each other student in the class. Then write the name of each student at the top of a piec...
Students' Year-End Evaluations
I ask my students for their opinion on the activities and special projects that were assigned during the school year. They list the major projects, assignments, or novels that...
Study Buddies
To motivate my students to complete their homework, I set up a system called Study Buddies. The study buddies make up little notes or quick phone calls to their peers as a friendly reminder. This also...
Study Hall Attendance
Our school has an alternate-day schedule, which causes three groups of students to be in study hall: * Every day students; * Monday, Wednesday, and alternate Fridays students; * Tuesday, Thursday, and...
Study Hall/Time Out
Our four fourth grade classes have a rotating study hall/time out schedule. One of the four teachers stays in to keep study hall/time-out during recess. A child is required to stay inside for misbehav...
Studying for Quizzes
I find that many students do not yet have a grasp of how to study for quizzes. I purchase highlighters and write specific words that will be included in the next quiz on the board. Students are instru...
Studying State Symbols
In social studies, my students study our state's symbols. The students are given minimal information on the symbols, so in order to expand our knowledge...
Stump the Teacher
Several years ago, I taught a sixth grade language arts class. Most of our spelling words came from the literature stories we read. A couple of times there were no words to use, so I had each student ...
Sub Folder
I keep a substitute folder on my desk. The folder contains copies of the roll, lesson plans, a list of responsible students and blank sheets for the sub to write me a report on the day's happenings. I...
Substitute Box
I teach a hands-on program that is not always easy for a substitute, so I have a substitute box in my room. I include promotional copies of science magazines that publishers send out. I make up readin...
Substitute Folder
I have a folder in my desk that's always there and ready for a substitute. In the front pocket I have referral slips and corridor passes. In the back pocket I have attendance rosters, seating charts a...
Substitute Locator Notes
Recently, the flu felled 18 of our teachers at once, including 3 from our science department. That's three subs with NO sub plans! Now that the chaos has settled, we've compiled a single folder of eme...
Substitute Notebook
At the beginning of the year, I compile a notebook for those days I have a sub. I include copies of class schedules, attendance forms, discipline policies, and procedures for everything from bathroom ...
Substitute Reward System
"Subs need to establish a goal/reward system during their day or even one class period. I have used 'Toothy' with elementary classes.
Substitute Teacher Introductions
I stand at the door to meet the pupils. I ask each child, 'And who are you today?' They tell me their name and I let them pass. This helps me to get to know the children and sets the tone for a quiet ...
Substitutes and Student Names
The gruesome task of being a substitute isn't made easier by not knowing the names of students. So, I prepare strips of paper to lightly tape beside the list of name in the roll. When each student rep...
Subtracting on a Measuring Tape
I have used many different manipulatives to teach addition and subtraction but this year I came across a really clear way to teach subtraction after just completing a unit on addition. Give each child...
Subtraction and Counting Division
With NCLB and annual assessments on the horizon, teachers are concerned for their students who cannot solve division calculations and do not know all their multiplication facts. If the student has sim...
Summarize, Question, Clarify and Predict
Good readers summarize, question, clarify and predict. They summarize what they've read by locking it into their short-term memory and constantly monitor their comprehension by unconsciously questioni...
Summer Reading
With summer vacation just around the corner, I thought I'd send a suggestion for summer reading. The books listed at Our Kids (http://www.our-kids.org/books/okbook.htm) are not what we think of as bea...
Summer Sketch
As an alternative to the often assigned essay on 'What I Did Last Summer', I provide students with a 4 inch square in which to draw a sketch of a summer memory. The results are so delightful that some...
Summertime Reading Assignments
I feel that sending home mandatory summer reading can turn away the kids who don't like to read. I don't particularly enjoy starting my year correcting summaries or book reports either. I suggest...
Sundae Celebrations
I have monthly celebrations that parents are invited to attend. These celebrations are tied to a study learning or research activity. For example, September is National Ice Cream month. My students wo...
Super Simple Whiteboards
"I have found that the easiest, most convenient white boards for my students to use are made from heavy duty sheet protectors.
Supervisor Monitor
I have permanent student monitors every three weeks but I used to have to continually remind them of their jobs. Now I have a supervisor monitor whose job is to make sure the other monitors are doing ...
Supply Tree
At Back To School Night, I post a large tree cut out of bulletin board paper. I punch out leaves on our Ellison machine. On each leaf, I write a needed item (highlighters, bags of hard candy, folders,...
Supporting Kindness
In my peer support class, we often discuss how often we receive negative feedback from others and how infrequently we are complimented. I devised...
Supporting New Teachers
Ms. Benson has been the new teacher several times in her career, and she remembers the feelings of isolation and being overwhelmed. Read about how she support new teachers in her school and makes them feel welcome and accepted.
Surprising Science Questions
I have a large bulletin board in the science lab entitled, Surprising Science Question of the Week. Every week, I put a question on the board along with a picture clue that the students much research ...
Survival Kits
This survival kit for students contains useful, practical items that also hold special, metaphorical meaning. Included items are free or very inexpensive.
Swapped Papers
On the day that my students turn in a major paper, I have a mini-conference with each of them as they hand in the paper. I check to see that the paper has all of the required elements. This takes just...
Swat That Spot
I can't take the credit for dreaming up this game, having learned it at a family and consumer science conference. My students love reviewing for tests this way. You need to purchase 2 new fly swatters...
Switching to Trimesters
Years ago our high school tried the trimester and stayed with it for several years. We did 4 periods a day, thus a student could earn 6 credits per year. Problems occurred with transfers in and out, s...