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Teaching Grammar with Real Writing Samples
In the old days, it was an overhead projector. Today it’s a smartboard, and Jane uses hers, along with samples of students’ writing, in a three-step process for teaching the rules of grammar and punctuation.
Take Care of You
Every educator knows that teaching can stress you out and leave you with little to no free time. Conne C. has some sound advice that can help you take back the things you enjoy!
Texts to Trusting Relationships
Communication and trust that are key to fostering student success, yet connecting with parents still remains a challenge for many educators. Savvy teachers like Ms. TerLouw are discovering new ways of creating meaningful parent-teacher relationships.
Teaching about the Universe
Testing Tactics
Chewing gum in school? During tests? Ms. Cashell makes an exception to the rule. Find out why and read about her other testing tactics that help students relax, concentrate and perform their best.
Tips for Walking in the Hall Quietly
Ms. Gross assigns classroom jobs to help her class walk silently in the hallways. Learn how a Line Leader, Tapper, Door Holder, and setting landmark stopping zones help her students move from classroom to classroom smoothly and silently.
Two Routines to Keep Students Focused and On Task
Ms. Ortiz has two suggestions for taming a talkative classroom and keeping students on task. One is a simple classroom management routine, and the other a slight variation to a common teaching method that makes all the difference.
Transition Technique
Having trouble getting students to quiet down quickly and focus when you transition to a new activity? Ms. Ortiz shares an entertaining and effective strategy — and students will love singing along with you!
Two Truths and a Lie
Here’s your students’ chance to delight in telling a fib. Find out how Ms. Howe’s call plays this poker-faced icebreaker game — your class will love it too.
Top Ten Icebreaker
What’s so great about going back to school? Lots of things. And Ms. Orman challenges her students to name them, using an activity that would make David Letterman jealous.
Trimming Lamination
Are you tired of sticky laminating film sticking to your scissors? Here’s a special trick to stop the stick!
Team Teaching Aviation & Flight
Ms. O’Brien shares her school’s strategy for team teaching a unit on flight and aviation. Several teachers from all disciplines work together. This model can be applied to other thematic units and a variety of grade levels.
Teaching Visual Learners
When you speak to your class do your students hear what the Peanuts gang hear when adults talk? Ms. Mims has a good suggestion for breaking through the noise and reaching visual learners.
Turn the Tables on the Tantrum Thrower
Find out how this principal turned the tables on a young student with a penchant for temper tantrums. This simple yet creative solution changed the bad behavior for good, and it only took three tries!
Teach “Real World Skills” with Theater Activities
Learn how this drama teacher uses theater to help her students develop teamwork and presentation skills. Beth takes you through the three steps of writing skits, performing them, and assessing the final production.
The Bell Game
Ms. Cashell teaches her students about the advantages of being quiet and staying focused with the “Bell Game.” The entire class plays together, challenging each person to focus on listening and remaining quiet.
Three Incentives for Good Behavior
Distribute coupons for good behavior, award bonus points for completed assignments, and give whole-class mini quizzes. Everyone in the class has the same opportunity to earn bonus points as long as they are doing what they are supposed to do.
Teddy Bear Journals
Ms. Davis found a way to encourage her young students to write more at home. They take turns bringing home a teddy bear for the night and then write about their sleepover in a group journal.
Three Interruption Tokens
Many classrooms seem to have a student who craves attention and constantly interrupts. This simple idea guarantees that the student will get attention, but with boundaries and limitations that make it convenient for you.
The Maze Team Builder
Christine begins the year with a team building puzzle, using masking tape to create a maze on the floor. Students work in teams to navigate through it as fast as possible. Read more about how she uses this activity to break the ice and build community.
Thank You Staff!
Ms. Cashell’s students make and send thank you cards to the staff at the end of the school year. Her students choose a staff member and send a thank you card on behalf of the class. Read how a small act of kindness touches others.
Traffic Light Classroom Setup
A classroom setup that works for me is what I call the Aisled Traffic Light.
Celebrating the Five Senses
This to teach or review the 5 senses can be used with any primary grades, preschool, and perhaps even elementary students.
Time Management for Teachers
Our grade level team meets once a week at lunch for planning. If there are special materials required for projects or lessons...
Talkative Class
If the class as a whole talks too much, I have had good results with talking to them as a group and explaining that...
Three Dimensional Math Project
After my geometry class completes surface area and volume lessons, I give them eight sheets of construction paper and they construct a 3D person...
Teaching Organizational Skills
This is a procedure that works really well for me to keep dismissal less hectic. Homework assignments are written first thing in the morning...
Teacher Report Cards
At the close of the year, my students list their favorite activity in each subject, favorite read aloud and reading circle novel, what they....
Trading Germs
This lesson is a twist on an AIDS lesson I saw. I explain that people can carry flu and cold germs and can infect other people even if they themselves don't feel sick. You’ll need flour, baking soda...
Ten Questions to Start the Year
Ms. Skid, a retired high school teacher, suggests excellent conversation starters that will engage students and elicit great responses to help the class learn more about each other.
Tattle Box
I was having major problems with students tattling. I devised a way to end constant interruptions by decorating a shoebox, making a slit on the top, and putting it in a prominent place in the room.
Teacher as Environmental Model
A teacher is a great environmental model as he/she recycles paper, wallpaper books, egg cartons, plastic bottles for paints, plastic containers to hold science activities, and by not throwing anything away until is it totally used up.
Two Person Book Report
Reading together doesn’t have to stop with primary grades, so Ms. Bonfilio encourages families to bond over books with these great suggestions for reading aloud together and a unique two-person book report.
Tennis Ball Containers
I find using tennis ball cans to store small games pieces, etc. works well.
To Space and Back
To prevent winter doldrums, we are participating in the NASA cloud cover project. The CERES satellite passes...
The Cay
My partner and I team read ‘The Cay,’ a story about two castaways on a tropical island, to our sixth graders.
Teacher and Substitute Responsibilities
As a principal, I ask teachers who are taking extended leave to provide thorough plans for only the first two weeks of their absence.
Token Behavior
I reward good classroom behavior by giving my students ten small tokens on Mondays.
Teaching with Love and Logic
A discipline program called Teaching With Love and Logic has many great techniques to deal with most discipline problems.
Tidy Technology Tools
I was struggling to keep up with all of the pieces and parts that accompany the technology tools that I use in my room...
Teacher as Environmental Model
"A teacher is a great environmental model as he/she recycles paper, wallpaper books, egg cartons, plastic bottles for paints, plastic containers to hold science activities, and by not throwing anything away until is it totally used up."
Tense Shifts
"I have tried to get my students to stop using tense shifts for years. I finally found a way: remove 'ing' verbs.
Taking Off Quietly
"I was reading an educational magazine when I stumbled across an article in which the teacher themed her classroom like an airport.
Tacos and Burritos
While teaching in a culturally diverse school, my students suggested that we fold papers like tacos and burritos. This was amusing to students and got the job done.
Tai Chi Moments
To break up concentrated, focused, and on task time, I have my class mirror my tai chi movements. A good friend's master teacher taught me the fundamentals. You have to start with the basics and work ...
Take a Card...
Since I do a lot of cooperative group activities I am always looking innovative ways to put students into groups. This is one of the ways which really worked for me. You will need a deck of cards. Bef...
Take Home Test
Periodically I give have my students a 'take home' test. The twist is I have them TEACH their parents or guardians the chapter we have just covered. I give them a list of 15 items and they must pick 8...
Take It Apart Party
Mr. Jeffery offers sound suggestions for educators wishing to start or improve their middle school student council.
Take One Box
“I have a box labeled, Take One, that I place where students can see it as they come in to the classroom. If there is something in the Take One Box, students know to take one before they sit down. The...
Take-Home Boxes
One tip I have found helpful in my classroom is to use cereal boxes as 'take-home' containers attached to the desks of each student. When I send my letter to students and parents in the summer, I ask ...
Taking Notes
I do not lecture to middle school students. I have the students take divided page notes as we read. We stop periodically as we are reading, and I show a PowerPoint presentation on the important items....
Taking Notes at the Zoo
On a field trip, it's usually difficult for students to take notes because they have to juggle note paper or clipboards at each exhibit. When we go to the zoo, they make 4x6 index card books and they ...
Taking Part in Silent Reading & SSR
I also had difficulty with kids wanting to take part in silent reading or listen to me read aloud. I tracked down an exciting read aloud that was age appropriate and made sure that each time I read, I...
Taking Turns on the Computer
I have found a way to schedule the computers in my class in a way that is fair and equitable. At the beginning of the year, I purchase index cards in a spiral package. I write down the names of my stu...
Taming Bad Behavior with Improv
I have found that improvisational activities provide a unique opportunity to bring classrooms together, especially if you’re having difficulty with students who have emotional and/or behavioral proble...
Tangled Strings
A coworker of mine came up with a tip for keeping those mobile strings from tangling. Put the strings through straws (the same length as the string). The straws will stop the strings from tangling. Fo...
Tattling
To cut down on the number of tattling episodes in the classroom, I punch out construction paper shapes, enough for one per student each day of the week. I use a different cutout or color for each day....
Teach Me Tuesdays
Each week I choose a child to present something to the class that they know how to do. Students have shared a craft, sports, cooking, sign language, etc. with the class. The point is that they get to ...
Teacher Appreciation Day
Toward the end of the school year, when PTA is asking what they can do for teacher appreciation ideas, ask them if they would come in before school starts and put up bulletin board paper for the teach...
Teacher Business Card
We help families connect with school by sending a teacher business card with our August welcome letter. The card contains our names, phone numbers and email addresses along with the statements: Commun...
Teacher Business Cards
I had business cards made up with my name, school address, phone and fax numbers and email address. Originally, I just gave them out at the meetings and conferences I attended but now I give them out ...
Teacher Egg Hunt
A teacher Egg Hunt (plastic eggs filled with candy) at a faculty meeting is a great tension breaker. Prizes can be given for finding the Lucky Egg or for finding the most eggs. Teachers play as hard a...
Teacher Empathy
A good way to instill empathy for the teacher is to have the rowdy or bored student teach a lesson for 20-30 minutes. The student becomes the teacher and I become the student that sits in his/her seat...
Teacher Evaluation
When a teacher in our district earns an unsatisfactory evaluation, the principal and teacher sit down and together make an improvement plan for the following year. The plan generally has 5-8 specific ...
Teacher Name Badges
Our school district uses name badges that hang from lanyards (our classroom door keys hang from the lanyards too). The lanyards are usually custom made with the school's name on them (and are in the s...
Teacher Rules
Even teachers need to follow rules. Find out how one fourth- and fifth-grade educator uses this concept to help students understand the importance of rules.
Teacher Supplies
Our county sets up a new teacher store using leftover supplies and things retiring teachers want to share. All newly hired teachers are invited to a luncheon by the county, and the WCEA sets up the fr...
Teacher Test
Ms. La Masa helps her students learn more about her with a pop quiz on the first day. Questions detail her personal interests, and students make guesses before she reveals the answers.
Teacher Timesaver
You may have heard the adage, 'Never handle a piece of paper more than once.' My advice is to live by that.
Teacher Uniforms
I have chosen to wear a uniform look to coordinate with my students' attire, and it's given me a deeper understanding of the kids' various points of view on uniforms, including sometimes being a littl...
Teacher Visit
In order to make a writing assignment on how to give sequential directions meaningful to my students, I send a letter home to parents asking them to provide their child with a map showing how to get f...
Teacher Yearbooks
To make new teachers feel welcome, we photocopy the teacher pages of the previous year's annual and give it to each new person. Under the pictures, we add first names and nicknames. This really helps ...
Teacherline
PBS has established a website at http://www.pbs.org/teacherline/ called 'Teacherline' that provides help in integrating technology into classroom instruction and I love it. This site features famous t...
Teachers are People Too
We all have those students in our rooms that make it their mission in life to disrupt the teaching and learning process. I believe they do this because they see us as teachers, not individuals. When t...
Teachers Make Mistakes Too
I deliberately make errors when I read to my class. When we read together and the kids are following along in their own books or on their own papers, I sometimes reverse the words. For example, if the...
Teaching 1,000
When trying to teach my children the concept of 1,000, I tried to think of an item I could collect 1,000 of that would be cheap and practical, as well as renewable. I came up with the idea of collecti...
Teaching African American Literature
During the Revolutionary Period I teach the basic pieces of a persuasive argument and some logical fallacies, which we try to recognize in traditional writings; then I like to go to Frederick Douglass...
Teaching Alliteration
I use Metric Day as an opportunity to teach alliteration. I distribute a chart to my students that has the letters M-E-T-R-I-C written across the top. Down the sides, I write the words adjective, noun...
Teaching Diversity
There are wonderful resources for teaching about diversity and anti-bias work on the Web. The following three are particularly worthwhile. Starting early with teaching respect and anti-bias behaviors ...
Teaching Elapsed Time
Ms. Taylor helps her students grasp the concept of elapsed time by playing a game of Walk Around the Clock, using a clock drawn on the floor. She dictates a story problem, and students walk around the clock to find the answer.
Teaching Fractions
This is a tip for teaching fractions and dividing things into equal parts. I purchased several commercially prepared kits of fractional parts that are in the shapes of circles, squares and rectangles....
Teaching Geography Theorems with Manipulatives
I feel that the Pythagorean theorem is far too important to try to teach as a concept, but a perfect place to use manipulatives and investigate the relationship of squares and their summation. I use o...
Teaching Kids about Money
It's never too early to start teaching students about money. There is a wealth of resources/organizations, websites, books, and games that teach saving, spending, and investing skills to kids.
Teaching Kids to Crochet
Every year I teach my students to crochet using the four basic stitches. It develops the dexterity of their fingers and improves their handwriting. I teach them during the noon break or before school....
Teaching Leadership Skills
One potential resource for leadership skills materials is to contact your local Boy Scout office. Go in and look at the literature and ask for name and phone number of the person that does Junior Lead...
Teaching Life Skills
I instruct students in linear measurement by creating a biscuit quilt. The students are first introduced to the ruler and how to measure to the inch. Upon mastery, they are given the directions for ma...
Teaching Parts of Speech
To help the students with their writing, I have the children brainstorm for different parts of speech. I start by asking them to name nouns reminding them of proper and common nouns. As they call them...
Teaching Parts of Speech
I make three columns on the board entitled People, Places, Things and ask the kids for nouns to put under the headings as I write them. We continue with the list as students take turns sitting at the ...
Teaching Quotation Marks
In my class, we read novels out loud. I am usually the narrator during the first semester and the students read what is inside the quotation marks. I talk about how quotation marks tell what the chara...
Teaching Recipes
As a way of keeping track of all the great ideas I see and read about, I have a recipe box labeled with the different aspects of teaching. The labels include bulletin boards, management, organization,...
Teaching Students to use Email
I show students how to use email using heart chain messages. We discuss how positive thoughts make all of us feel good. I send messages to the students and they are required to check their email daily...
Teaching Thinking Skills
I gather puzzlers and problems from the Internet, middle school math magazines, old textbooks and other publications. Each day, I put a challenging problem on the overhead and give my students time to...
Teaching Vocabulary with Power Point
I use Power Point to present new vocabulary in my classroom. The Spanish words and their English equivalents or pictures continuously scroll across the TV monitor during the class period. For example,...
Teaching with TV
My earliest memories of television being using as a teaching tool was when we went to the cafeteria together with several other classes to watch Mr. Wizard as part of our science lesson for that week....
Teaching Personal Finance
I have my students create a budget simulation by writing bills for a typical family of 4. The students also choose a fictitious job with a typical wage for this area. All this is done with research by...
Team Folders
I learned a system from a wonderful mentor many years ago that serves me well. I never spend class time handing back papers, I never lose papers, and handing in papers is quick and a team effort. The ...
Team Web Page
Our cross-curricular team is implementing the use of a Team Planning Web Page for students. It includes a clickable Web calendar that is used to post project and test dates, our team newsletters in Ad...
Technical Resolutions
To help my students review and practice using ClarisWorks after Christmas break, I have each student make a list of New Years resolutions. Each resolution has to be in a different font and a different...
Technical Writing
I apply life skills vocabulary and writing into my curricula. Using the language that students will need to understand in the workplace, I teach form writing. My students learn to complete employment ...
Techniques for Music Review
To review note reading, I toss a lightweight ball around the room. I call the students' name then point to the note on the board for them to identify it. When teaching notes, students can use their ha...
Technology Integration
I have developed my own web site for the use of my students in the area of chemistry. I developed tutorials on my local links and also have specific remote links for them to use. To help them further,...
Teen Violence Resources
I have been writing about adolescents since I started my publishing work in 1987 and know of a number of resources relating to teen violence. One authoritative source that is being used in high school...
Teens & Tweens in the Community
We are working on a program locally to get teens and tweens involved in the community. One area is to match up computer savvy kids with elderly and disabled neighbors who could use their knowledge to ...
Tell It to the Frog
Working with kids ages 7-8 provides plenty of opportunity for them to tattle on one another. I finally got tired of sitting at my desk and hearing someone shout out, 'I'm going to tell the teacher!' s...
Tell Mr. Bucket
I use a small plastic bucket to address the issue of tattling. I decorate the bucket with a sad face, a nose, eyes and some big ears. After I discuss tattling with the class, I tell my students that i...
Tempera Paint Secret
Here's a secret I found when using tempera paint on things other than paper. When we make turkeys or rabbits from milk cartons, I found that tempera paint often flakes off the waxy milk cartons after ...
Temperature Check
My kids always used to complain when recess got canceled because it was too cold out. This year, I made a thermometer out of construction paper, leaving room on the side to write notes. As we experien...
Tennis Legs
I was once passing a classroom in my hometown elementary school and noticed these fuzzy yellow 'antennae' at the ends of the chairs that were upside-down on the desks (for floor cleaning purposes). We...
Test Autopsies
Whenever I give a major test, the kids have a chance to improve their scores by doing a test autopsy. They correct their mistakes and then write a half page reflection on why they did so poorly and wh...
Test Chant
I have a chant that we do before we take a test, whether one of the state tests or a weekly spelling test, to relax my students. It's a little silly, but the kids do ask for it if I forget: We're goin...
Test Exercises
I use brain activities during major testing times. I start by placing a sheet of blue paper the size of the students' desk on their desks and a peppermint candy. The students don't have to eat it if t...
Testing for Comprehension
I find that students' reading comprehension on written tests is poor because they only rely on their memory. To force students to look back at the text for answers to comprehension questions, I requir...
Testing Practice
I prepare my students for standardized tests beginning in September in several ways. I prepare all tests and quizzes, including spelling, in a standardized format. With my math chapter tests, I requir...
Tests as Opportunities
Mr. Smerilson has a unique way of describing and referring to the various tests his students face throughout the year. With a few carefully chose words, some students who dreaded tests now look forward to sharing their knowledge with him.
Textbook Labeling
This tip is one of the most beneficial things I've done in all my years of teaching in a self-contained classroom. Upon receiving new textbooks, I number them in sequential order along with an L for L...
Textbook Search
A good way to start off the year is to have students use their textbooks to find the answers to about 20 questions. This can be done individually or in groups. Set a certain time period for them to fi...
Thank You Acrostics
Students in this German foreign language class write their own word puzzles; extension activities transform the puzzles into great refrigerator art.
Students Prepare a Thanksgiving Feast for Their Parents
Ms. Wilson’s project-based learning activity incorporates science, social studies and math activities, plus a field trip to the store. Kids have fun learning, and parents reap the rewards.
Getting in the Spirit of Thanksgiving
Ms. Blanton uses a variety of activities (creative writing, historical research, a classroom cookbook) to help her students get into the spirit of the holiday.
Giving Thanks Essay
This writing activity centers on the theme of giving thanks, emphasizes the writing process, and allows students the freedom to express their own personal thoughts and experiences.
The Ecosystem
In the beginning of the school year, I introduce food chains to the students by having everyone, including myself, recite I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. We all have a good time with that humo...
The Egg Carton Trick
I use a paper egg carton to hold a perfect dozen markers. Turn the egg carton upside down, poke a hole with scissors into each circle and cover the top (which is now the bottom) with duct tape so that...
The Er Sisters and Oy Boys
To help reinforce the 'er', 'ir', and 'ur' sounds, I have each child cut out paper dolls. They are holding hands and are labeled the 'Er Sisters.' They color them and put the sound on each doll's shir...
The Eyeballs Have It
Ms. Hollingshead makes ghoulish use of the plastic toy eyeball-straws sold at Taco Bell during the Halloween season, as her students make their own eye-popping books.
The Flip Chart Trick
Turn any old notebook inside out, make a base out of cardboard to fit and attach it with duct tape. Flip charts have a million uses. I use mine to tell whose turn it is to use the computer, who gets t...
The Fluorescent Envelope
I have a sign-in sheet next to a box of folders for each subject. The kids initial the completed assignment on the sign-in sheet and put their assignment in the appropriate folder. I highlight any ass...
The Goof Jar
This is a wonderful method to keep students focused even on the details of lessons, an understanding that everyone makes mistakes and that it's okay and acceptable to make mistakes because that is how...
The Important 'S'
It's so easy for Spanish-speakers to omit the 3rd person singular 's' on present tense English verbs. So on some days I walk into our 9th grade ESL class with a giant wooden 'S' (about 8x 5), hand it ...
The Los Angeles Theory
Occasionally I need to remind parents that no matter how long it takes, their child can learn the proposed standard; it just takes some longer to learn than others. To help them understand learning is...
The Magic Ring
I was working with a child who would not speak. I gave her a magic ring. I told her that whenever she wore the ring, she could talk. At first, she began to talk just in our classroom. But later, I all...
The Paper Shuffle
Here's a technique for allowing kids to try new ideas in a risk-free setting. I have my students write an idea on a paper without putting down their name. Then I ask them to pass their paper around wi...
The Present
Ms. Hostetler has a great writing lesson that takes advantage of the holidays. Her 7th-grade students write four different types of paragraphs around a common holiday theme, gift-giving.
The Quiet Game
I use the Quiet Game with my third graders. This not only encourages them to stay in a reasonably straight line, it helps them to remain quiet in the hallways. I select a student to monitor the class....
The Reading Train
To get students to read more, publish the title of their book on a 'Reading Train' in the classroom. I cut out paper trains and post them around the room. I have students write the book titles they've...
The Sky's the Limit
As an introductory activity, I have my students create their own ceiling posters. On their poster, they draw whatever says something about themselves. They include personal photos, cutouts from magazi...
The Spirit of Giving
I teach a lesson on how to graciously receive a gift. I bring a wrapped gift to class containing a brightly colored pair of socks. I set the scene by telling the children about my little nephew Matthe...
The Support a Teacher Needs to Be Successful
I have thoroughly enjoyed If You Don't Feed the Teachers They Eat the Students: A Guide to Success for Administrators and Teachers, published by Neila A. Connors, Ph.D, Incentive Publications, Nashvil...
The Water Cycle
Poetry that rhymes helps readers to remember scientific concepts from September to September. Elementary school children will absorb the water cycle through this memorable word song. The Water Cycle: ...
Think-Pair-Share
One activity that helps reluctant speakers is the think-pair-share activity. After asking students to think about their response, then they pair up with a partner and share responses together. Then, w...
Third Tile
I have my students walk on the 3rd tile from the wall. This keeps the line straight, and the students have a reference point of where they need to be. When the line is not straight all I say is, '3rd ...
Three Before Me
Students often want to depend on the teacher to give them the answers. I say, 'Did you check 3 before me?' 1 - check your book; 2 - check your notes; 3 - check with your partner;
Three Folders of Different Colors
Homework problems? I suggest starting with three student loose-leaf folders of different colors. Folder #1 stays at school. In Folder #1 goes all the daily and weekly assignments to be completed. It i...
Three Good Kids
As we all know, students behave differently with a substitute teacher. To generate a more positive and productive session when I'm gone, I ask the substitute teacher to leave me the names of exactly t...
Three Hole Original
Like most teachers, I like to be organized and save things for future use. When I have an original worksheet that I want to make sure gets filed where it's supposed to go, I three-hole punch it. This ...
Three Musketeer Groups
This tip is a variation of the 'heads together' or 'buddy buzz' concept to get students engaged. Each person in the room finds two other people to form a group of three. When the group is formed all t...
Three Ring Binder Organization
I taught my students how to use their binders to do much of their school work each day in class. We begin by organizing the binders with notebook paper and dividers labeled for our subjects. Students ...
Three Ways to Improve Comprehension
I talk about reading as an internal picture making activity. I often talk to my students about making movies in my head when I read. Secondly, I model reading for pleasure and talk to my class about w...
Three-Dimensional Figurines
For my seventh grade social studies class, I developed an interactive game to help my students understand ancient civilizations. I made three-dimensional villagers out of wooden spoons, decorating the...
Ticket System
I am a retired teacher but I couldn't resist offering this suggestion that worked for me. I had students that wanted immediate attention as they entered the room, or while I was with another student. ...
Time Capsule
I begin the school year by doing time capsules with my students. They include their height, a handwriting sample, a math timed-test (multiplication facts) some predictions (both individual and class) ...
Time for Partners
My students have a clock with 12 numbers. Each person picks a 12 o'clock partner and then we go to 1 o'clock etc. When we are finished, each person has a clock with names by each number on the clock. ...
Time Savers
My students pick up handouts from a small table on their way into class, which has eliminated the need to pass out papers. I recycle notebook paper (students are usually willing to donate the 'good' p...
Time Saving Text Book Distribution
For Ms. Kelsey, numbering her textbooks prior to the first day of class is the lynchpin for several classroom procedures: numbering and grouping students, tracking supplies, and more.
Tip for Concessions
I learned this 'neat' trick from another teacher and I was amazed at how simple it was. I ran our basketball concession stand along with another teacher for 16 years and had the problem of pouring the...
Tissue Paper Bleeds
I found this art project when I worked as a volunteer teacher's aide for the Hopi Headstart program on the Hopi Reservation. It's easy enough for headstarters, but my 5th graders and I have enjoyed do...
Tissues
I've supplied tissues for my 'non-handkerchief-carrying' students for years. But recently, I found a neat toilet tissue dispenser which I was able to attach to the classroom wall. Now the custodians s...
Title Predictions
To help students with comprehension, I have them make predictions about what events might take place in the story based on the title of the chapter. I positively reinforce all predictions given. Once ...
TLC Box
I alleviate many trips to the school nurse by keeping a special TLC Box stocked with Band-aids, anti-bacterial soap, Purell and laminate Hug Coupons.
To Return and To Correct
I create two folders for each of my classes marked 'To Return' and 'To Correct' and place them in a slotted holder on my desk. I write the class periods in bright marker on the tabs to easily tell the...
Tobacco Awareness
We were asked to spend some time on Tobacco Awareness and I came up with the activity, 'Making a Cigarette' using this short list of poisons emitted when smoking a cigarette: arsenic (found in rat poi...
Tooth Canisters
I save the canisters that film comes in for my students who lose teeth. Yes, middle school students still lose teeth and they always like to share the fact. I make a big deal about the event and prese...
Toothpaste Whitening
If your white board had become smudged and dirty looking over the years, it can be cleaned with small amounts of toothpaste. Simply put a very small bit on a cloth and polish as if you were polishing ...
Topic Sentence Toss Across
Students really struggle with the idea of beginning a paragraph with a topic sentence, so I play a silly game to get the idea across, literally! If I assign an essay that needs three body paragraphs (...
Topical Talking
I got this idea from a fellow special ed. teacher. We have many students who frequently want to talk about subjects that are completely unrelated to the lesson at hand, and it can be very disruptive. ...
Top-It
I teach a class of struggling math students and differentiate almost daily to meet them at their levels. I try to keep things up beat and fun by having students play different versions of the same gam...
Total Class Involvement
I have found that I can use the TI-83 overhead projection device for Calculator-Based Laboratory (CBL) activities and still involve the whole class. After cooperative group assignments, I have one mem...
Touch Typing Skills
An easy and effective way to keep kids from looking at their hands while they are typing is to cover their hands with a box. I use the lids of copy paper boxes. I cut them in half and they fit perfect...
Tracing Hearts
What better way to trace a heart than from a heart shaped box of candy? Remove the candy and save the top and bottom of the box. It is the perfect shape and very sturdy.
Trading In Pencils
When students' pencils need sharpening, they raise their hand and inform me that they need a pencil. I exchange a sharpened pencil for the dull one. All pencils are then sharpened by me after school a...
Training from Local University
Our school is across the street from California State University Long Beach. We go on walking field trips to their new Performing Arts Building for plays like 'Charlotte's Web.' We walk to their Japan...
Transition Song
To help kids from becoming too excited in between activities, I often use a song to indicate a transition, with various selections depending on the moment and my own mood. I teach the students to imme...
Transition Tactics
A couple of my students have difficulty transitioning to other locations within the school, and difficulty when sitting without something for their hands to do.
Transition Time
Students are often slow to transition from one subject to the next. Requesting students to open their books to a particular page, to head their notebook paper, etc. can result in many minutes of waste...
Transparencies
I solve the age-old problem of writing on Xeroxed transparencies by placing a sheet of the write-on type of acetate on top, which allows me to both write in the spaces on the transparency and keep the...
Transparent Protractors
Each year before I start my geometry unit I run off a class set of protractors made on transparencies. I lay the protractors right on the glass of the Xerox machine and copy them onto the transparency...
Traveling Binders and Saturday School
In order to keep records of student behavior and late assignments, our school has devised a simple record keeping system. Each teacher has a binder which travels with their class where ever they go. T...
Traveling Files
I have to keep student work organized because I am a traveling teacher. Several years ago, I bought a large box of colored file folders. Each semester I make a red OUT folder, green IN folder and a ye...
Traveling Teacher Tips
Last year (after 20 years of teaching), I had to spend a year as a 'traveling teacher.' I have the following suggestions for those who have to do the same. 1) Purchase a portable dolly (some call thes...
Traveling Through the Solar System
I have a wall that looks like the solar system that I use to encourage good behavior. The students each have an astronaut with their name on it. Every morning the students start on Earth or further ou...
Traveling with a Home Base
This is my first year traveling. I bought two rolling crates. I organize loose papers into manila folders and hanging files, as well as a few themed binders. I have one crate for each school and use o...
Tricky Twelves
A student taught me the 12's trick a few years ago when multiplying numbers two through nine by twelve. Here it is: 12 x 2 = 22 + 2 = 24; 12 x 3 = 33 + 3 = 36;12 x 4 = 44 + 4 = 48;12 x 5 = 55 + 5 = 60...
Trigonometry Song
Sing to the tune of Jolly Old St. Nick: Angles in trigonometry aren't so very hard, / Sine of zero is a zero, 30 is one half, / Forty five has square root 2 over 2 you see, / Sixty is root 3 over 2 an...
Trimester Open Houses
We're on trimesters and unfortunately we have new groups of students each trimester. I write a short note inviting parents to an open house for my class for 30 minutes in the second week of each trime...
Try a Semi-Circle Instead
I never have students line up in a straight line before entering the room. Instead, I have them line up in a semi-circle facing the door. That way, right when I open the door, I can see all of the stu...
TV Generation
With today's kids spending more time in front of the TV than ever before, I have decided, 'If I can't beat em', join em'.' Through the uses of technology I use my classroom computer to take notes with...
Twenty Study Questions
I have a 20-sided die (check math department or gaming store) placed inside a clear container. This container keeps the die on the tables and makes it easier to pass. Before a test, I prepare 20 quest...
Two Cents Worth
I learned this technique at Red River High School in Grand Forks, North Dakota, while observing other teachers as part of an in-service. The economics class was going to discuss a video they had watch...
Two Classes in Same Desks
I team teach two first grade classes, which means that throughout the day, I have two students sharing the same desks. I color code everything. The morning class is marked with red and the afternoon w...
Two Methods for Storing Posters
I use two different methods for storing posters. I use large, clear, two-handled, portfolio-style poster holders (about $13 each). I purchased mine from a catalog, but they can be also found in most s...
Two Ways to Know Each Other
I use two different ideas to start off the year. One is to have the students look around the room until they make eye contact with someone they barely know. Each pair sit together and talk for a timed...