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Stress Busters
No one ever said your first year of teaching would be easy In fact, you're probably daunted. Fret not: we have some practical tips that can keep new teachers healthy and sane.
Students Stay Current and Challenged with
Teaching students to appreciate current events is essential, but not always a class favorite. This tip can help you keep students current with the news but not want to snooze.
Setting High Expectations and Believing In Students
Teaching hard-to-reach students - especially in the higher grades - can be daunting, but this very thoughtful tip may help you recognize their potential and uniqueness and help THEM see it, too.
Stopping Student Interruptions
Have a student who constantly interrupts? Reinforce good behavior by giving these students what they crave the most: one on one time with a caring adult.
Students Who Refuse To Do Work
Trouble getting students to finish work? Meet them halfway with this tip to help you get a quality finished product even from your most resistant self-starters.
Second Grade Stand-Up
A lesson with laughter: one educator's tip to help you make Friday a fun day while students learn skills that will shape them for life.
Summer Snowball Fight
Breaking the ice with snowballs in Summer? This educator's first-day-of-school "getting to know each other" tip is a favorite even with high school students!
Summer Reading Wish List
It's almost like Christmas in June! One educator's unique tip that can help keep students reading all summer long.
Six Ideas for a Great Finish to the School Year
The end of the school year can be so chaotic and end so abruptly, but one educator shares her tips to make sure your last days before summer vacation are meaningful and memorable.
Summer Screen Time
Most teachers send home a summer reading list; Ms. McGrath sends home a summer viewing one.
Storing Posters
If you have metal filing cabinets, you’ll appreciate Ms. Cox’s ideas for packing away posters.
Sometimes the Best Answer is No Answer
When Anne's math learners want to know the answer to a problem, she sometimes doesn't answer and encourages something else instead. Read about the tip that fosters great exchanges with students working together to determine a problem's solution.
Switch It Up
Sometimes you just need to boost the fun-factor in your classroom. Here's a great tip we got when we asked our Facebook friends how THEY accomplish it.
"Sense"ible Heart Art
You will "heart" Ms. Postman's creative way to introduce even the youngest learners to the five senses, while they create a sweet piece of art for Valentine's Day.
Social Learners
Students with social learning challenges can become your challenge as well. This eduactor gives you some insightful tools you may not have tried yet.
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.
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 a 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, Ms. Scruggs notes misbehavior and rewards good behavior.
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.
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.
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, where students make a special lunch for another student for our class picnic.
Shaped Bubble Experiment
Studying bubbles is a fun way to learn and review the scientific method. Ms. Postman offers a two-part tip to design a science experiment that her students love.
Staging the Early Childhood Classroom
Ms. Postman says there are two critical elements of classroom design when working with special needs students in preschool (IPOP) and kindergarten. Read more about her tip that helps children try new tasks and interact with different students.
Simple Rules
Ms. Postman wanted to simplify her classroom rules, as lists of rules should be short. She narrowed her rules down to one word: Respect. Read more about the set of rules that started with a song.
Self-Addressed Student Letters
On the first day of school, Cyndy has students write a letter to themselves that will be given back at the end of the school year.The students really get a kick out of seeing how they have changed from that very first day.
Seating for Needs
Ms. Postman lets her students choose their seats for the first week of school. This helped her get to know her students in many ways, not just their choice of friends. Read more about "Seating for Needs" and see if Ms. Postman's tip works for you!
Learning Difficult Vocabulary
Elizabeth C. shares a few vocabulary strategies that are not only fun, but really help the students remember tough words from their reading. Read more about "Learning Difficult Vocabulary", here.
Sharing Books Every Day
Kath prefres prefer to keep her elementary students in five rows. She assignes days of the week to each row and incorporates this into her tip for reading assignments, lining up, etc.
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.
Spanish Skit Dialogues
Amy G. likes to help student pairs construct skit dialogues at the end of a unit with recycled and current content and vocabulary. With props and preparation, this fun activity also serves as an effective learning experience.
Summer Packet Helps Retain Learning
Ms. Cashell teaches low-achieving 4th-graders so she knows summer work is critical. Read about how she keeps them motivated to sharpen their math skills after the school year ends.
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
Ms. Shine includes extra credit problems on her quizzes and tests, but does not let the students know which problems count for extra credit. This way, the extra credit question is not optional and students sometimes get a pleasant surprise!
Spanish and Technology
Ms. Neff-Encinas started offering a new one-semester elective to 8th graders. It combines Spanish with technology and by using four themes that kids love, she sees great results in collaboration, story-telling, and planning.
Selecting Partners and Groups
Ms. Wells decided to take a "gamble" when it came to pairing and grouping students. Read about how she uses poker chips to accomplish those two tasks and more!
Sight Word Practice
Ms. Moss has a creative idea for helping her students with word recognition. Read about how she uses bingo cards in a hands-on game that children really love.
Stocking Stuffer Books for Teachers
Looking for the perfect - and useful - gift for a colleague? Here's a great list ideas from educators just like you.
Safekeeping Box
It's almost every teacher's dilemma: how to keep kids from bringing distracting toys and items to class. Ms. Greenwood came up with a creative idea that cuts down classroom interruptions, as her students learn quickly to not bring distracting items.
Safety Ideas
School safety is more important now than ever. Ms. Burrell's school created a Safety Committe that is very proactive. Read about their strategies and procedures that may work for your school.
Safety Measures on an Open Campus
If you teach at an open campus, safety and security are high priority. Ms. Spengler offers some procedures that her school has in effect that help them stay very aware of everyone's safetly.
Saving Paper
Reducing paper usage not only saves money but it's a great model for students to reduce and recycle. Ms. May offers some great tips that can help you do both.
Saving Student Notes
This educator teacher 10th and 12th grade. She saves her 10th-graders' note sheets, so when she sees them as 12-graders, both she and her students benefit. Find out how.
School Festival
Here's a great way to get parents involved and get those hard to reach parents out to see the school. And it's a lot of fun, too!
School Maps
To help students feel comfortable, Ms. Kohler has them draw their surroundings. Students practice their map-making and drawing skills as they compose renderings of their surroundings and the layout of the school building.
School Notes
Ms. Ramsey found a great way to communicate easily with parents and students off school hours. It's easy, fun and best of all - free!
School Store
During lunch, Ms. harmon's students run a school store in her classroom. Not only do they learn money skills, they vote on how to spend the profits. Read more about how this tip branched out into more educational opportunities for her students.
Ms. Peterson help parents connect with their child's school experience by posting the week's plans and messages on this website. Read more her tip and parents' appreciation for this resource.
School-Wide Celebration
Celebrate reading with these tips from Ms. Shlegle. From costumes, to school parades, to local celebrity appearances, her school goes all out during Read Across America week.
School-Wide Hall Pass Policy
Here's a great tip from Mr. McCormick that has greatly reduced the number of wanderers in his school's hallways.
School-Wide Mock Election
By incorporating this tip, Ms. Dasenbrook's students have become much more involved in the political process and have deepened their understanding of the importance of the civic responsibility to vote.
Science & Science Fiction
Here are some great tips to get students hooked on science. Find out the ways that Mr. Fatuzzo uses to enrich and enhance his curriculum.
Science Olympiad
Are you a science teacher looking for more curriculum than worksheets and 'cookbook' labs? Here's a tip from Ms. Dyer that can help. Read more about the Science Olympiad with 20 different topics in which your students can become experts.
Science With Mrs. Frizzle
Here's a tip from Mw. Craighead on how to look like Mrs. Frizzle of the Magic School Bus without having to spend a lot of money on your wardrobe. Your students will love it and will be able to guess what you'll be teaching next.
Scientific Inquiries
In the beginning of the school year, Ms. Locke uses the scientific process for a creative - and fun - icebreaker activity. Her students become detectives, collborate with each other, and work in teams.
Scoring Guides
Grade inflation can occur from either student or administrator pressure. To eliminate these pressures, Mr. Mason developed evaluation criteria to preede tasks. Read more about his "Scoring Guides" and see how it improves their future work.
Screen Saver
Ms. Hebert's classroom has five computers. For screesavers, she doesn't use pretty pictures. She uses a humourous message that students strive to prove wrong.
Screen Saver Spelling
To reinforce spelling or vocabulary words each week, Ms. Knutsen employs this simple strategy.
Screen Savers
Ms. Crutcher's computer is connected to her classroom TV. She takes advantage of the big screen to create messages for students. Read more about her Screen Savers idea!
Screening Young Readers
As a reading coach for children at risk, Ms. Coyner has to be on top of the best screening and assessment resurces available. She has had great success with several, and is sharing them here with you.
Searching for Landforms
Ms. Gail has created a multi-media activity for her learners that not only serves them, but an element of this tip helps her future students learn about a critical piece of her class. Read more about "Searching for Landforms"!
Seasonal Trees
Ms. Russell's bulletin board tip lasts all year long. Find out how she decorates and redecorates a 3-D tree that serves as learning activities, creative inspiration, and even a service project for her students.
Seating Arrangements I
Mr. Fehringer has a unique way of assigning seats that eliminates his need to maintain a seating chart. Find out about the tip that results in a lot less complaining ans why students soon realize that where they sit is just the luck of the draw.
Seating Arrangements II
Incorporating a reading table in a classroom seating plan can be challenging. Ms.Sanders came up with a desk layout that lessens distractions and best of all she can monitor the entire class.
Seating Chart Deluxe
Here's a great way to make sure your substitute has a clear idea of where students sit, how to pronounce their names, and more. Read about why Ms. Miller's "Seating Chart Deluxe" really is deluxe!
Seating Charts and Grading
When Beaudin makes seating charts, she write students' names on post-it notes and places them on a paper with desks drawn on it. read more about this tip that gives her a fast way to record student grades.
Seating Chart on Screen
A colleague of Ms. Sanders shared this seating chart tip and now she's sharing it with you. Read about why her students now quickly find their new places when they enter the room!
Second Chance Referrals
Ms. Powell believes in second chances, especially when it comes to discipline. Find out how she stops many students from further offenses and how she sees to it that parents get involved as well.
Secret Chair
Here's a creative - and fun - way to improve attendance: lure students with prizes! Read about the "Secret Chair" tip and how it's resulted in great attendance in Ms. Raman's class.
Secret Number
Here is a great tip to reinforce basic math concepts. It starts with a student writing a "secret number" on an index card. Students go through a series of math excercises and the winner gets a prize. Can Ms. Wilson's tip wrork for you?
Secret Story Words
Ms. Roehr came up with a vocabulary and writing activity that starts with students taping piece of paper to each others' backs. Find out how this game - that kids love - reinforces word learning while everyone has fun.
Secret Student Behavior
A trick Ms. Hughes uses to ensure good behavior is to tell the class that she will be watching a certain student without naming that student. Good behavior gets a reward and since no one knows who's being watched, everyone usually behaves!
Secret Test Number Codes
This tip is not only a time-saver for Ms. Truelove, it's a way she can save paper, too. Best of all, when she posts grades, students can't see everyone's grades - only their own.
Secret Word
Is there a secret word that unlocks the key to getting students to do their home work? In Ms. Zelenda's class there is! Find out more about the "Secret Word" and how homework efforts can lead to a class celebration.
Seeing the Future
In her fifth- through eighth-grade resource class, Ms. McQuestion-Burg's students describe themselves now and in the future using artwork and words. This project helps them open their eyes about their futures, and sparks lively conversations together.
Self Portraits
When Ms. Sellers did a unit on self portraits in her art class, she called on her colleagues for help. Read about how the shop class also chipped in to make sure each artist had his or her own station ready to render themselves on canvas.
Self-Esteem Books
Ms. Ferguson puts an esteem-building twist on "Student of the Week". Read about the projects that students create in support of their classmates. This activity takes practice, but Ms. Ferguson says students catch on quickly because they love it.
Setting Goals
Ms. Teetor started a Raise Your Grades Club for the third- through fifth-graders at her school. Read about her tip and how students get recognized for their progress while learning and practicing the value of goal setting.
Shape Boxes
What does laundry detergent have to do with Math? Ms. Kinyon will show you, with this creative way that she uses detergent boxes to teach her second-graders about shapes.
Share Day
This variation of "Show and Tell" fosters Ms. Robinson's students' communication skills and allows kids to get to know each other when school starts. Best of all, it opens the parent-teacher communication door in a fun way.
Sharing Language Skills
Ms. Naveau found a great way for her elementary school French learners to practce their skills, she she enlisted her local high school students. Read about the local pen pal arrangement that helps them learn technology tools as well!
Sharing Lesson Plans with Students
Mr. Brovarone started letting his students know what they'd be doing each day of the current week.This weekly "syllabus-style" approach not only helps students see the big picture, but helps them be prepared and curious about what's next.
Sharing Seating Charts with Students
Getting students into assigned seats the first day (and every time she changed the arrangement) was always a hassle for Ms. Edwards. So, she tried something new. Read more about the tip that helps her learn names, take attendance, and control behavior.
Sharing with Soldiers and Sailors
Ms. Goodney's classes take time at the holidays to remember our active service men and women who won't be home or the holidays. Find out about this service project that serves as lesson in social studies and gratitude.
Sharing Works4Me
Ms. Kane thinks mentor teachers should be sure to share the NEA Works4me web site with their new teachers. We agree!
Shaving Cream Clean-Ups
Ms. Dacus combines clean-up with a math lesson, but her tip doesn't stop there. FInd out why she keeps a can of shaving cream her classroom for both activities!
Sheets for Shelves
At the end of each year, Ms. Bechler puts out the call to parents for bed sheets. Find out how she uses them in an essential summer storage strategy while modeling recylcing to students.
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
Sometimes you can encourage even the most reluctant learners to participate, and this edcuator found that out by listening and obseriving very closely. Find out how you might bring out the inner student in the one you think you can't reach.
Shoe Bag Organization
You probably know this challenge: supplies such as pencils, glue, and scissors getting lost in students' desks. Find out how Ms. Dold came up with an inexpensive way to teach children to respect each other's property and self-monitor their supplies.
Shoe Buddies
Tying younger students shoes for them can not only take up your time, it delays them learning how to do it for themselves. That's why Ms. Allen came up with "Shoe Buddies". Teamwork and practice works for her students - and her!
Shoe Holders Make Great Mailboxes
Ms. Smith's shoe holders-turned-mailboxes creates open communication for students who may not want to verbalize their thoughts. It also serves as a conduit for communicating with parents. Students love having their own space for these important things.
Shoe Rack
Ms. Beach's students really enjoy using puppets for entertainment and storytelling. Read about her tip that provides smart storage when she's not using the puppets and easy accessibility when it's puppet time!
Short Vowels
The short vowel sounds can be hard to remember so here's a mnemonic tip that can help. Best of all, it's not "babyish" and it's easy to remember.
Showcase Portfolios
Ms. Turk works all year long with her students and their parents for end-of-year conferences. She allows students to conduct the conferences and do presentations. A wonderful way to end the year!
Signing Answers
Ms. Gambrel teachers her students the American Sign Language signs for certain letters at the beginning of the school year. Find out why, and how it keeps order and reduces noise levels in her classroom.
Signing for Restroom Breaks
So that the class isn’t interrupted for restroom requests, Ms. Aver has students use the American Sign Language sign for "R". A simple nod from her and a student may leave. This tip even comes with an easy way to keep track of who's left the room.
Signing Out Materials
Signing out for faculty supplies from a binder doesn't always work, as many educators can attest. Ms, Carithers came up with this up that allows teachers to see at a glance where certain materials are, and how to efficiently plan for signing them out.
Sign-Up to Make-Up
Ms. Bouk was having trouble keeping track of students and their make-up tests or quizzes. That's why she created this tip that places responsibility on students and also provides a great opportunity to communicate with parents.
Silent Praise
Ms. Aaycock encourages positive praise without a lot of noise. Read about how her entire class recognizes their fellow students for doing something great. Even parents love this!
Silent Reading Baskets
Ms. Reinacher wanted to reduce the amount of time it took for her students to select a book for silent reading. Read about the morning routine she created that saves classroom time throughout the day.
SLANT Strategy
Ms. Garland incorporates a univerity-level strategy to manage her class. Read about "SLANT" and how it keeps students engaed and motivated while helping to prepare them for high school and beyond.
Sleeping Bag Readathon
If you want students to enjoy reading, why not make an afternoon of it? With snacks and sleeping bags, Ms. Boc's students occasionally curl up with a good book.
Sleeping Students
When you notice a student struggling to stay awake, how do you handle it? Here are five strategies from Mr. Foley that might help you navigate this awkward (and sometimes insulting) dilemma.
Smack It!
Who would think that using a fly-swatter could help students learn vocabulary words? Ms. Matic knows it does! Read more about her "Smack It!" tip to build vocabulary.
Smelling Like Roses
In Ms. Lord's art room, mess is an everyday occurrence. To get kids to help in the clean-up effort without the worry of harsh chemicals, she uses bubble bath! Find out why it works so well for her and why students love it, too.
Smiley Cups
Getting students to complete homewoprk assignments can be a big challenge for any educator. This educator helped solve that problem with bathroom drinking cups! Read more about :Smiley Cups", here.
Snacks for Everyone
When Mr. Beyer realized that not all his students; families could chip in cash for classroom pizza days, donute mornings, etc., he came up with a tip that not only helps students participate in "food days" but also helps build character and gratitude.
Snacks for Subs
Some days, substitute teachers are called very early in the morning and have long drives ahead of them. Ms. Chambers shows her gratitude with this gesture.
Snake Review
Reviewing for tests in any subject can be boring especially if using worksheets. Ms. Reid came up with something that her students love, and yours might, too. Read more about "Snake Review".
So You Want To Be A Millionaire
Here's a fun and effective test review inspired by a popular TV quiz show. Mr. Beyer's science learners love it.
Social Studies Basketball
When it comes to reviewing for a test, Mr. Deilein's tip is a slam dunk. "Social Studies Basketball" gets kids moving around and makes test prep fun. Best of all: rewards for everyone!
Social Studies/Writing
Ms. Covino developed a social studies/map skills/language arts project for her class. Students design an island of their choice, and from there apply skills across the curriculum to their project.
Socks and Tennis Balls
Do you work in an older building and you're looking for ways to cut down on "old building" classroom noises? Ms. O'Brien says tennis balls and tube socks work for her, and best of all, her idea models recycling for her students.
Song Formulas
Help your students remember math formulas through song writing. Ms. Salisbury did just that with the slope formula. See if you recognize the tune, then challenge your students to pen their own.
Soothing Classroom Lights
Ms. Kidd is a special education teacher who wanted to change how harsh her fluorescent classroom lights were. Here's a great tip that helped calm her students who were otherwise overstimulated.
Space Savers
Classroom space can be a problem; especially in the lower grades there are a lot of manipulatives. To solve the problem, Ms. Roberts came up with this tip: a space saver and a timesaver all in one!
Speakers List
Ms. Covino loves to stimulate class discussion, but needed a mthod to stop students from blurting out their opinions and comments. Find out how her "Speakers List" tip has worked for her and even works in different age groups of students.
Special Effort and Participation Grades
In Ms. Price's art class, effort and participation count for something. That's why she incorporates both into her grading scale. Read about the method she uses that creates a level playing field to all, regardless of talent and ability.
Special Class Labels
Ms. Stapleton was looking for a timesaving way to organize her planning book. The tip that she came up with also works on her displayed class schedule and helps students glance at the day's agenda.
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 complements and supports a recent reading selection.
Special Students
Ms. Sloane came up with a fun tip to help students get to know one another when school starts. Find out how she uses small paper bags in an activity that shows students how special they are - inside and out.
Spell it Right
Ms. Queen-Hurt created this unique spelling activity based on the TV game show "The Price is Right". See why her students' spelling marks are at an all all-time high after they "COME ON DOWN!"
Spelling Race
Ms. Routzong came up with this game that helps even her lowest spellers learn their words each week. Best of all, it's also set up to foster teamwork and good sportsmanship. Read more about the "Spelling Race"!
Spelling Review
Mr. Yanke has created a spelling review that doesn't just improve spelling skills. "Spelling Review" also promotes teamwork and collaboration. Best of all: a treat for the winners!
Spelling Scatter Graphs
This learning activity starts in the beginning of the school year. Once a week, students are asked to spell words on a list they received when school started. Results are graphed, not graded, and this method has improved spelling skills greatly!
Spelling Signs
Mr. McMahan come up with a spelling activity that his first-graders love. Find out how he incorporates chanting and American Sign Language into an activity that helps his young spellers remember and learn.
Spelling Test Bingo
Ms. Hugo made studying for spelling tests fun with Spelling Test Bingo. Read about why her class loves this game and how it's a great help to those that need to review for spelling tests.
Spelling Test Modifications
Ms. Spicer offers these spelling test modifications that can work for struggling students and even for those students that are more advanced.
Spelling Through Drawing
Ms. Grant has a student with an extremely low reading ability. Spelling was a challenge as well. But she did not give up on reaching him, and found the connection: through art. Read more about "Spelling Through Drawing". This tip is special.
Spelling Vacation
When Ms. Finotti's spellers get 5 A's on spelling tests, they get a vacation! On their time off from spelling they "vacation" doing other learning activities. This tip is loved by her colleagues and students alike; it's a win-win for everyone.
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
Oh what a wondeful web we weave, when we give some praise and then receive. Find out how Ms. Dannels' use a ball of yarn and "weave" a way to end the year with good thoughts about everyone in the classroom.
Spilled Paint
Ms. Webb uses a method for mixing tempura paint that saves a lot of time during cleanup or in case of accidental spills. Read more about how she takes a lot of the hassle out of "Spilled Paint".
Spray It Clean
Ms. Ross says it took her 17 years to think of this very simple way to efficiently clean transparencies. She's sharing it here to make sure you aren't making the same "mistake" she was!
SSR Comprehension
Ms. Hutton found that some of her students were pretending to readduring SSR time. But she nipped that in the bud with this tip. Now, she hears from parents who note an increased interest in reading at home!
SSR Motivators
Educators know that daily sustained silent reading (SSR) is important, but it's sometimes hard to keep kids on task. Here are two very simple ideas from Ms. Pason that work for her and that her students love!
St. Patrick's Day Fun
From a scavenger hunt to cross-curricular activities to music to green glitter and more! Ms. Claggett's students get the luck of the Irish when it comes to learning all about St. Patrick's Day!
Stamp Motivation
When Ms. McLaughlin realized how much students love to have their work stamped, she decided students should earn them. Read about her tip that motivates her students and saves her saome valuable time.
Standardized Test Vocabulary and Questioning
When Ms. Ralabate's school realized students were't performing well on standardized tests because they weren't with the test's vocabulary or questioning format, they incorporated these strategies.
Standing in Class
During class discussion or questions, Ms. Collins found that where she stands in the room makes all the difference. See how her strategy keeps the student who is speaking (and her!) from losing focus and how it motivatesothers to participate!
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
Ms. Formisano came up with this tip for creating a unique bulletin board background for a unit on the solar system. Find out how to create lovely stars, comets and galaxies as the perfect backdrop for your planets and solar system posters.
Start a School Newspaper for Younger Students
Mr. Tozier worked in a combined middle school and high school and found a great way to reach younger students: started a school newspaper! The 7th and 8th graders feel like they matter, too - and who doesn't like to see his or her name in print?
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
Are you thinking about starting an honor society at your school? Ms. Altherr has compiled the information you need to start a chapter
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
Kids are germ carriers and many teachers get sick the first year or two of teaching until they build up immunity. Ms. Solomon wants to pass along this simple but very important tip to help you and your collegues stay healthy.
Steno Notebooks
Ms. Boone found that a great way for students to copy class notes, write grammar sentences, and write spelling tests. Her idea takes up little desk space and is easily carried to and from school!
Stick Grouping
Here's a tip that makes it easy to establish activity groups. Find out what Ms. Shelton does when students enter her classroom that works for her!
Sticker Board
Here's a tip from Ms. Bluhm that motivates her students in her different classes to work hard. Best of all: games and music await the winning class. Read about how the hardest workers become the biggest winners.
Sticker Rewards
Kids love stickers, and kids love treats. Read about this sticker reward system and how good behavior can earn your students both!
Sticky Note Taking
Just when you thought you'd heard every use for sticky notes, here's another! Find out how Ms. Lowe uses them to help keep her students on task.
Stocking the Class Treasure Chest
Ms. Solano reaches far and wide at school and in the community for trinkets for her classroom treasure chest. Read her tips. You might be amazed at what parents are grateful to part with, and the price couldn't be better!
Stop and Learn
Ms. Fraser works with students with emotional disabilities in a classroom with no doors. But she's found a simple way to keep students who like to wander from leaving the classroom.
Stop and Listen
When your class is loud and out of control, Mr. England wants you to try this tip. He says students learn to become astute listeners, and you can continue your lesson in a quiet classroom.
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
Have you ever created the perfect bulletin board and when it's the time of year to put it back up you've forgotten how you arranged it? Here's a simple solution from Ms. Hurd that works for her!
Storing Magic Markers
It never fails when you use magic markers in the classroom, you're bound to lose some of the caps. Ms. Englehart found a way to store them so that no caps go missing. Check out her tip.
Storing Posters with Paper Towel Sleeves
Don't throw away those paper towel or toilet paper cardboard cores! Ms. Leet found a good reuse for them is in storing posters. Best of all, the cardboard is free and elementary students love to bring in all you can use!
Storing Supplies
Ms. Rhoden saves containers from drink mixes, chips, etc., and uses them for classrrom storage. The price can't be beat and it's a great way to model reuse to students.
Story Map
Many students have difficulty coming up with writing topics. Mr. Nielsen uses with great success a memory nudge idea he calls “Story Map.”
Story Problems
Here's a math enrichment tip where Mr. Pitrelli truns the tables on students and had them create an assignment. The assignments are distributed and the students wo created them "grade" the problem. Kids and their parents both love this activity.
Story Train
Teaching beginning writing can be easier when using a visual. Geryl uses an analagy that may seem a little silly but the formula works and her students have been producing well written paragraphs!
Strategic Assignment Collection
Too many students creating a log jam turning in their work inspired Mr. Rogers to come up with this tip. He created three places around the room where students find folders and assigned slots. Result: efficient paper collection!
Student Bulletin Boards
Ms. Johnson recycles brightly-colored tee shirts into bulletin board backgrounds to shocase student work. Students love having their own designated space for display and this is a great way to model recycling and reuse.
Student Checkbooks
Ms. Mellon gets a check company to donate starter checkbooks, so that her students can learn how to write checks. They earn "money" with good performance on assignments and tests. Her students shop, budget, and love this real world experience.
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
Ms. Kardatzke noticed her fifth-graders being mean and teasing each other. To promote positivity, she came up with "Put Ups" that students create for each other as holiday gifts. Find out how "Put Ups" can foster friendships and deter teasing.
Student Control of Learning
Here's a tip that offers students an opportunity for personal expression and requires using a small piece of information that they DON'T have. In this way, it's their choice to learn the missing information, and it really sticks!
Student Folders
Find out how Ms. Castoria uses magazine holder cartons to lighten her load (literally) and save time. This tip works so well for her, her colleagues are doing it, too!
Student Goals
This guidance counserlor's tip is a great way to teach students about setting and keeping goals. Find out about "goal cards" and why many students are proud of what they accomplish by the end of the year.
Student Held Passes
Ms. Kemp started using this hall pass tip to prevent her students from wasting time. She also found that it teaches them responsibility and best of all: it saves her lots of time.
Student Heritage
Ms. Pollack's students speak a variety of languages and come from different countries and backgrounds.To help them appreciate each other, she come up with these ways to bridge - and celebrate differences.
Student Homework Responsibility
To help students be responsible for their homework, Ms. Schiffelbein has a form letter ready for paretns, but with a twist: the students write the letter. Read more about this tip and see if it will work for you.
Student Information and Communication
Ms. Baughman's tip will help you easily retrieve important student information should there be a system failure or other loss of stored info. Bonus: this tip can also help you be prepared when it comes times for parent conferences.
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
Even though it's hard to give up control of class, there are great ways to plan well while asking for student input. Ms. Tanzer explains a few here and how she makes it work for her.
Student Leaders Help Facilitate Differentiated Instruction
Ms. Hundley teaches students who are at-risk of not graduating from high school. The best method that she has found to allow for differentiation is to use other students as experts. She explains the process and the rewarding results, here.
Student Led Review
An educator learned this review technique in a workshop, and says it was fun! Find out why turning the tables and letting students lead their own review can really work for you!
Student Made Study Guide
To help the students review for their semester final, Ms. Jantzen has groups of students create overhead transparencies with important points they've studied. Find out what's next in making the Student Made Study Guide wirk for her!
Student Name Tags
Do you spend a lot of time and money at the beginning of the year creating students' name tags? Well, Ms. Weathers found an extremely easy way to get away from the hassle of buying expensive tags or cutting, writing, and laminating. Check it out!
Student Notebook
A simple 3-ring binder is how Ms. Bohn keeps track of phone calls, visits, conferences, notes sent home, etc. It's proven invaluable for her at conferences and provides a consistent place to keep records.
Student Notebooks
Mr. Rowe's eighth-graders are just getting used to the idea of 'staying organized', so he helps them by employing this idea. Read about his "Student Notebooks" tip with benefits that go far beyond having neat, organized notebooks.
Student Numbers and Recording Grades
Ms.DeCarlo cuts down on the time it takes to record grades by doing this at the start of each new school year. Read about this time-saver and see it it can work for you.
Student Punch Cards
Tracking bad behavior to issue consequences is sometimes hard to keep up with. Ms. Costner came up with this tracking method and says it's the best way in her twenty years of experience to do so.
Student Reward Cards
Kids love stickers, but they don't always love to do homework. Ms. Allen worked out a "punch card" reward system using stickers that her students love - and she does, too.
Student Stories
Here's a neat way to help parents connect with their child's school experience. Ms. Fielder has her students involve family members in a writing assignment that works for her!
Student Superstars
Sometimes things get too hectic to recognize individual achievements, so Ms. Wiggins started a 'Superstar' bulletin board. Read about her tip and how it's made her students try hard on their work.
Student Survey
With 150 students, Ms. Bergthorson needs an efficient way to learn names and get to know her students. She acheives both with her "Student Survey". Find out why students love it, too!
Student Teacher Gifts
When Ms Maitland asked her students to each donate an item they thought the student teacher would need, the results were overflowing and heartwarming. Read more about this gesture that could work for you and your student teachers!
Student Teacher Library Tour
Being a new student teacher is daunting. That's why media specialist Ms. Baldauf gives them a personal tour of the school library, pointing out the professional section to inspire them, and a detail of all the services they can expect.
Student Teacher of the Week
Ms. Whittlemore's class honors "Student of the Week" each week, but when she has a student teacher, he or she is the first to be honored. Read more about this tip that could help you give a nice, warm welcome for your student teachers.
Student Teacher Shower
Ms. Higley and her class found a special way to honor and appreciate student teachers at the tend of the year. Parents are eager to help and students love to participate, too. Read all about "Student Teacher Showers" to see if can work for you.
Student Teachers Send-Off
Here is a great send-off for student teachers that allows them to spend their precious few dollars for real teaching materials.
Student Teacher Training
Having a student teacher is a great learning experience. Here are some hints from Ms. Coons to help make that experience great.
Student Work Display
Ms. O'Neill found changing bulletin boards and logging in assignments to be very time-consuming. That's why she created this bulletin board tip where she can tell at a glance who has not turned in his or her work. It works for her!
Student Sticker Labels
Students unlabeled supplies and belongings soon get lost and "lost stuff" drama ensues. That's why Ms. Sutton came up with this tip that she employs on the first day of school, that she says 'works wonderfully' all year long.
Students and Teacher Planning Together
At the beginning of the school year Ms.Vazuez prepares a list of the possible stories to be read. There's a class vote on which get selected. This always works well; students appreciate the opportunity to have a say in what is read.
Students Are Motivated
Ms. Shortridge has a valuable piece of advice: don't assume students are not motivated. In this tip, she spells out some thoughtful ways that you can reach them.
Students Create Spelling Sentences
Ms. Schiff came up with a routine to reinforce spelling words - and her students love it! Best of all, she's noticed that this exercise encourages students to be more creative when doing their homework.
Students Creating Test Questions
Ms. Ortino teaches low-performing middle schoolers with behavior problems. Read about this great set of tips she developed to help her students be accountable for their learning, as well as decrease their negative behaviors.
Students Distribute Assignments
Ms. Sekera's file-folder method of tracking assignments and papers works for her. Best of all, classroom helpers take initiative and responsibillity, saving her lots of time!
Students Explain Their Learning
Ms. Hamilton's school stresses writing across the curriculum. She created a "Math Chat" booklet activity for her students to illustrate and write about math problems. Find out how it prepares students for assessment tests and why they really enjoy it!
Students Get Paid
Here's a tip that teaches a valuable life skill. Ms. Samson has her students "punch in" on a "time card" they create for themselves. They learn about gross pay, deductions, sick days, etc. Read more about "Students Get Paid" to see if can work for you!
Students Give Spelling Tests
Ms. Crellin came up with a neat way to make sure that her students can read the week's spelling words, use them in sentences, and develop public speaking skills.
Students Sell Books
To conincide with Ms Kominek's monthly book report assignment, she celebrates reading with a "book sale". Students have two minutes to "sell" their book to classmates, and "compete" for their "dollars".
Students Solving Disputes
When two students have a quarrell, Ms. Greenberg doesn't separate them - she does the opposite! Read more about her tip and how surprised you might to fond that students can often solve their disputes by themselves.
Students Training Teachers
Ms. Woletz's school's staff developmental time is scarce, but new technologies for teachers need to be learned. Solution? Enlist students! See how Ms Woletz teaches her students to give educational presentations, and why her colleagues love it, too.
Students' Year-End Evaluations
Show your students that their opinion counts with this tip from Ms. Poerio. Find out why she has her students evaluate part of her job as a teacher and why she loves this activity almost as much as her students do.
Study Hall Attendance
Ms. Woletz's school has an alternate-day schedule with several groups of study halls. Taking studey hall attendance was a challenge until she came up with this colorful idea that has proven to be quick and efficient!
Studying for Quizzes
When Connie realized that her 7th-graders didn't have a grasp of how to study for quizzes, she purchase highlighters and walked students through a set of exercises to hone their study skills. Read about how her idea works for parents, too!
Studying State Symbols
Mr. Pitrelli works a research and creative activity into teaching his state's symbols to his fourth-graders.They also pretend the Governor has appointed an important project to his class, which becomes a school hallway feature!
Stump the Teacher
Ms. Duncan found a clever way to hone her students' spelling skills by turning the tables and having THEM find words for HER to spell. She modeled the steps to spelling a word, while the students garnered leadership and dictionary skills. Win win!
Substitute Box
Mr. Randall's hands-on program that he teaches is not always easy for a subtitute to navigate. Find out what he keeps in his "Substiture Box" that works well for the class - and the sub - when he is out.
Substitute Reward System
Students' behavior when there's a substitute often goes awry. Here's a great tip from Ms. Snyder that helps the sub maintain class decorum while having fun doing it. Read more about "Toothy" and see if it can work for you.
Substitute Teacher Introductions
Here's a great tip from a substitute teacher who knows first-hand how to set the tone for a quiet and productive class. Find out the two things she does at the beginning of the day that makes the rest of the day go by smoothly!
Substitutes and Student Names
Being a substitute isn't made easier by not knowing the names of students. So, this teacher prepares a way for the sub to learn students' names quickly, because saying the student's name gets respect quickly, too. See how it's done.
Subtracting on a Measuring Tape
Ms. La fee came across a really clear way to teach subtraction after just completing a unit on addition. By using a measuring tape, she helps children visualize "taking away" numbers. Read more about her tip and why it works for her.
Summer Sketch
As an alternative to perennial 'What I Did Last Summer' essay, Ms. Rutherford offers her students the "Summer Sketch" activity. Find out how they summarize their summer without words.
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
Ms. Clagget's class has monthly celebrations that are held at lunchtime, allowing parents time to attend. The celebrations are tied to a study learning or research activity. Best of all, fter student presentations and discussions - sundaes fr everyone!
Super Simple Whiteboards
Ms. Duso found that the easiest, most convenient white boards to use are made from heavy duty sheet protectors. Find out why it works as well as the real thing, and best of all: no need to worry about maintenance!
Supervisor Monitor
When Ms. Roker found herself constantly reminding her classroom monitors to do their job, she enlisted a "Supervisor Monitor": Student have to earn the position, so now they do their jobs without prodding!
Supply Tree
Ms. Grotemat came up with a creative way to get parents to participate in providing classtroom supplies. Find out how she turns her bulletin board into the "giving tree" which is always succesful!
Supporting Kindness
Most students are afraid of getting caught misbehaving. In Ms. Gilmore's school, kids get "caught" doing good deeds! 'Caught You Being Good' cards are awarded andredeemable for treats. Find out how you can start catching do-gooders in the act!
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
Ms. Myers found a way to keep her science learners motivated by putting them in the spotllight. If they correctly answer her weekly "Surprising Science Question", the whole school knows about it. Find out how!
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
Ms. Schmitt believes in second chances. When students turn in an assignment, she conferes with them on what could be improved upon. That's where this tip comes in: they have an option to turn it in as is or have a "do-over". Grading is easier this way!