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Proximity Strengthens Your Lessons
How can you manage your technology tools and effectively walk around the classroom addressing learners and establishing authority? Enlist a student helper! Ms. Roach's tip keeps you plugged in AND connected to your class.
Putting Away the Put-Downs
What a great way to get your students started out treating each other with kindness! See how a collection of Post-it notes can help your classroom stay connect on positive ways - even when situations turn negative.
Paper Plate Awards
Ms. Gross fashions "awards" made from simple paper plates to show her students that she recognizes their contributions to class, achievements, and/or special talents.
Prepare Now for Back to School
How you pack up your classroom at the end of the year can put you ahead for the next school year. Read this veteran educator’s tips for easily preparing her room and files for the fall.
Parade of Learners
Mr. Grasso plans an opening day activity at his school that gets parents, educators, and the whole school involved. Students are the stars of the show, complete with adoring fans and paparazzi.
Parent Involvement
It's no secret that parental involvement can be the key to a successful school year. This Maryland educator has some great tips to get parents engaged in the process and keep them involved.
Positive Rewards for Repeat Offenders
Ms. Huffman has found a few ways to tease out the good behavior in her most challenging students. Find out how she encourages her “repeat offenders” to curb their bad behavior.
Peer Homework Game
This retired middle school teacher used a game to motivate students to do their homework (and do it well!). The best part? She no longer had to cajole her students; positive peer pressure worked its magic – and students loved it. Find out how.
Positive Side of Portable
Diane doesn’t wait until the last day to start prepping for the end of the year, but she has two simple ideas to make grading and cleanup much quicker and easier. She keeps focus on teaching and learning, even as the year winds down.
Peers Mentoring Peers
Ms. Postman believes that a well-behaved class is best achieved when students monitor their own behavior, an approach she facilitates by establishing a culture of teamwork and positive rewards. Plus, it leads to a nifty classroom decorating idea.
Pinning Grammar and Mechanics
This high school teacher uses humor to keep her students engaged with her grammar and mechanics lessons. She started a Pinterest board with examples of humorous, real-world grammar mistakes. Find out how she did it and how you might use Pinterest too.
Learn the Alphabet with Numberlys App
Mr. Kriegh uses an interactive book called The Numberlys with her primary students. The book teaches students about using the alphabet by intercutting brief, very simple interactive games for each new letter of the alphabet as the story is played out.
Paired Valentine Poems
At this school, the upper grades pair up with students in the younger grades to generate Valentine poems for loved ones. Each pair uses an interactive poem tool to get the creative juices flowing.
Peer Mentors for New Students
Ms. Cahsell offers some wondefully welcoming ways to help the "new kid" acclimate in the middle of the year. From the principal to student mentors, everyone gets involved. Ms. Cashell says within weeks, it's hard to believe the "new kid" was ever new.
Private Grades
In order to respect the privacy of my students’ grades, Ms. Carr employs this strategy when handing back papers.
Proactive Success
Being proactive early on sets everyone up for success. Yvonne's students' first assignment sets the stage for parent-teacher communication. Best of all, it lets parents know that she is on their side, and wants their kids to success and thrive.
Cooperative Literature Groups
When Ms. Day is teaching about different types of folk literature, she uses a "jigsaw" activity that ends up in groups of students helping other groups of students. Best of all, students don't just interact with each other they teach each other.
Polygon Rap
A math lesson performed by students and uploaded to Teachertube? It works for Ms. Mims when she teaches about polygons. Read more about it here.
Planting Happiness
Ms. Griffith's class doesn't just read and write about Springtime - they actually bring the curriculum to life. Read about her tip that made one of her students exclaim, This is the BEST day of my LIFE!
Park Your Questions
“Hold that Thought” has a new meaning in Kate’s classroom. Her students park their questions until she’s ready to answer them. It’s a fun and simple way to catch random items that might otherwise have been forgotten.
Pimp Up Wikis or WebPages
Ms. Burton offers soem great websites for educators looking to "pimp" their wikis or websites.
Plagiarism Movie
When setting the tone regarding copying and cheating as the new school year begins, Barbara shows this movie to her students.
Pets on Vacation
Classroom pets are part of the overall learning experience, but what happens to them on weekends and vacation breaks? Ms. MIller's tip not only provides for the animals' care, but teaches allows for her students to be a part of the process.
Proper Research Reduces Plagiarism
Looking for ways to curtail cheating and copying in your class? Ms. Fedderke offers a solid strategy to teach students about the repurcussions of plagiarism while honing their individual researching skills.
Provide the Plot
Teaching students to read beyond the basic understanding of the storyline has always been a difficult task. Here's a tip from Ms. Wolcott that may improve your students' analytical literacy skills.
Pop Up into Reading
Here's a strategy that Ms. Hazzard finds really draws reluctant readers, particularly reluctant ELL boys, into reading.
Professional Discussions
Classroom needs are different. Ms. Lo found a website that provides a way for her to share ideas with teachers who share the same interests and concerns.
Packing up the Classroom
Ms. Kanute likes to leave up fun, encouraging posters until the very last day of school. She also shares a storage system that makes packing up bulletin board content very efficient for Summer preps. Read about her tip, here.
Pascal's Triangle Enhances Number Sense
Mr. O'Brien uses Pascal's triangle on his bulletin board in a manner that creates enthusiasm and interest in his students. Read more about his tip and see if it can work for you!
Peppy Test Prep
Standardized tests jitters and anxiety are very common - for students AND staff. Here's a fun way to get everyone jazzed up to perform.
Packing up the Classroom
"I strongly dislike bare walls, so I only take down content-related posters right before finals start.
Ms Smith's tip has a the acronym name P.A.T.H. (Positive Attitude Toward Homework). She created it as a way to improve a poor percentage of homework completions. Read about her idea that now yeilds a 90% homework completion rate!
P.A.U.S.E. stands for Pedaling Across America Everyday. Ms. Smith's students take turns pedaling on a classroom exercise bike while others read sliently. When they "P.A.U.S.E.", more fun leanring begins. Read about it, here!
Painted Windows
Here's a great idea for those that are artistic and would like to make their classroom look exceptionally alive and wonderful. It's easy do do, lots of fun, and cleans off with ease.
Paper Collection Procedure
Here's a time-saving tip from Ms. Kovach that establishes order when distributing and collecting papers from her students.
Paper Predictions
Ms. hamdorf uese Newspapers in Education in her math class. She's found many ways to create engaging statistics lessons.
Parent Interests
Mr. Edwards found that parents love to share their knowledge and experiences with their child's class. So, he came up with this tip that utilizes parents' talents to enhance his students' learning experiences.
Parent Links
Ms. Forsythe helps parents connect with their child's school experience by utilizing a voicemail system. Parents can stay on top of student schedules, assignment due dates, and curriculum.
Parent Newsletters
Ms. Postman's "Parent Newsletters" fosters open communication with parents as well as a chance for each parent to ask questions, participate, and get responses.
Pre-Conference Parent Night
Ms. Heatherly helps parents connect with their child’s school experience by inviting them to a pre-conference a few weeks after school starts, an activity that helps pave the way for parent-teacher conferences later in the year.
Parental Involvement Homework
Homework for the whole family! Ms. Shlegle helps parents connect with their child's school experience by sending home weekly parental involvement homework.
Parental Involvement in High School
Ms. Ratliff keep parents involved by inviting them to class to work with their child in lab activities. Not only does this improve her parent-teacher communication, but her students learn that their parents are pretty sharp!
Parents and Reading
Mr. Brisco's school implements a reading program for students and their parents. Local businesses love the idea so much they fund refreshments for the monthly activity. Best of all, Mr. Brisco notices the positive impact it's having on students!
Parents and Technology
Not all parents are as tech-savvy as their children are. Mr. Hunt offers a convenient way to encourage parents to use technolory.
Parents' Handbook
After years of struggling to give parents all they information they need, Ms. Neary finally discovered a good approach. Her parent handbook establishes reasonable expectations for parents and puts them at ease from day one of the school year.
Parent/Teacher Conference Preparation
Ms. Bonfilio recommends a nine-point checklist to help you best prepare for and conduct parent-teacher conferences.
Participation Cards I
At the beginning of the year, Ms. Matz establishes a system that saves a lot of frustration when choosing students for groups and activities. Best of all, her tip appeals to their sense of fairness and eliminates the frantic hand raising.
Participation Cards II
To help monitor class discussions so that everyone participates, Ms. Shoemaker employs this tip. It's a system that helpsstudents make conscious decisions about participation and allows others time to speak.
Participation Popsicle Sticks
Ms. Heiss uses Popsicle sticks to encourage 100% class participation. Read about how she uses them to make sure everyone gets a chance to participate.
Participation Tickets
Ms. O'Donnell uses a set of tickets that are pre-made and have the children's names on them for participation. Every child gets a chance to participate every day!
Passes and Hugs
Here's a very nice way to make new colleagues feel at home and welcomed. Best of all, this is a gift keeps on giving.
Passing Compliments
What a nice idea to get students to accentuate the positive about each other. Ms. Kelley times it for Valentine's Day. Read about this tip that might work for you any time of year!
Each week in reading we focus on the sound of a consonant. During the week when we learn the sound of 'P,' we use a 'password' to enter the reading circle. The password is any word that has the initia...
Parental Expectations
Homework for Mom and Dad! Ms. Donnelly's assignement for parents gives her great insight for the year, and gives parents a look into the goals that they and Ms. Donnelly set for their kids.
PBS TeacherLine
Professional development courses are wonderful, if you can fit their schedule into yours. Ms. Lo found a website that is rich in development content, but that you can work on as your time allows.
Peer Behavior Management
I find that children do best when they manage themselves and their peers rather than having the adults exert too much control.
Peer Pressure
Heading off bad behaviors and warding off bad influences before they strike is easier said than done. But Ms. Koening allows the student to participate in the prevention of making bad choices with this tip. Check it out!
Pencil Check-In
As Ms. Gaji greets her students each morning, she also checks that they are prepared for class, a time-saving effort that simultaneously gives her students one-on-one attention and ensures that are ready to learn.
Pencil Pots
Ms. Dill has a great way of making sure that borrowed pencils are returned at the end of class. It not only works for her, but students get excited about their role in this tip. Read more, here.
Pencil Sharpener Jokes
Ms. Jurus has students who are are anxious before tests, and the noisy, annoying pencil sharpener, which studnts flock to just before the test, drowns out her instructions. A calm, quiet solution is only a joke away.
Periodic Table Web Site
Mr. Sharp like likes to use a Periodic Table resounrce that shows basic element information as well as real-life uses. Read more about it, here.
Permanent Graphing Grids
For permanent graphing grids, Ms. Jacobs laminates a grid chart and uses it as a whiteboard would be used. Best of all, easy cleanup!
Permanent Grids
This educator says graphs on the overhead have never been easier when this tip is employed. Read about it here and see if this tip can work for you.
Personal Invitations
Parental participation means the world to educators. To help parents connect with their child's school experience, Ms. Agnew uses a personal touch - read about her thoughtful strategy to get parents to participate.
Personal Notes
Here's a thoughtful way to let students know how they did each day. Best of all, this tip from Ms. Roker comes with strategy a to make sure no students gets forgotten.
Personalized Nametags
What a great way to get to know each other at the beginning of the school year! Read about Ms. Pullie's ice-breaker idea with a built-in graph lesson!
Personalized Plates
Ms. Schmitt's students love the first assignment of the year. It's a fun way to get to know each other and is a big hit and the first parent open house.
Photo Flash Cards
How does Ms. Lewis identify each new studen name by the 2nd day of school? With this terrific tip!
Pictorial Substitute File
Ms.Beaulieu leaves this helpful item in her substitute file so that the sub can learn their names faster.
Picture Books
Here is a tip that Ms. Larsen uses for getting to know her students. Best of all, this activity is also great for opening week and gets parents involved and participating right away.
Picture Lunch Count
Ms. Pickering created a quick way to take lunch count. It saves her lots of time at the beginning of the day and it works for her!
Picture Stories
I take digital photos of things going on around our school. I print a copy for our photo wall but I also insert the photo in a Word document and save the file with the names of the students in the pic...
Pictures of Learning
I have been teaching for twenty years and have always taken photos of my students to use during conferences.
Pictures on Index Cards I
I have index cards with each student's name and a picture. I use these cards to tell on students randomly. They also help substitutes quickly put names with faces.
Pictures on Index Cards II
Every year before school starts I take a copy of last year's yearbook and photocopy the incoming class photos. I have the students fill out 3x5 cards with the usual information about parent's names, h...
Pictures on Seating Charts I
Our school receives digital student pics (on CD) when we do our annual school pictures. It takes a little time, but I copy my students' pics as PICT files and insert them in my seating chart made up i...
Pictures on Seating Charts II
Using pictures taken from students’ school IDs, Ms. Florence makes a seating chart that helps her – and any substitute educators who teach her class – to match faces with names and cut down on confusion and problems.
Pioneer vs. Modern Schools
My students study pioneer school life and compare it to modern day education. The students do computer research and create an original poster showing the comparisons between modern and pioneer days. B...
Pizza Portfolios
On the first day of school I give each student a pizza box turned inside out. The student decorates the box and writes his/her name on the top and each side. Every two weeks, the child places a piece ...
Place the State
I use computer games in class. Our fourth grade social studies curriculum revolves around the history and geography of the U.S. Sheppard Software offers...
Place Value Town
I developed a mat to help my students finally understand place value. I created a city block called Place Value Town. Reading Road, at the top of the mat, is a one way street from left to right. The s...
Place Value with Playing Cards
Here’s a fun math game played with ordinary decks of cards that teaches place value and differences.
Plane to Mexico
My first graders are taking an imaginary trip to Mexico. Yesterday we made suitcases from file folders and decorated the front with the Mexican flag. Today we will get our boarding passes and board th...
Plank Ownership
On the first day in a new facility, I wondered how to give the kids unique memories. As we dismantled the old building, I marveled at treasures found in back corners. I wanted my students to leave som...
Planned Prep Time
Our planning time is bargained and is part of our working agreement. Every teacher gets 200 minutes of uninterrupted personal planning time per week, wherever possible that 200 minutes should be durin...
Planning Activities 3 Years in Advance
It's always challenging to teach our gifted kids but so rewarding too! I've been doing this for 11 years now, K to 7. I currently have four schools. Our program is set up as pull-out enrichment. I see...
Planning Together
The number one thing that has helped inclusion work for the classroom teachers and myself seems to be joint planning. Our school could not budget this but my creative instructional assistant Karen Cla...
Plant Sale Project
Ms. Graff’s project-based learning activity incorporates science, writing and math, as students grow varieties of plants from cuttings, seeds and bulbs. There are several payoffs, but a great Mother’s Day gift might be the best.
Planting “Corn”
This fun – and tasty! – activity helps young students better understand how Native Americans helped the Pilgrims grow crops.
Plastic Bags
Here's an easy way to store plastic bags in the classroom: Take a gallon milk jug, cut out a sizable hole in the bottom and stuff it full of bags. The kids can pull one bag at a time out of the top of...
Plastic Lids
I get multiple uses out of plastic lids and would like to share a couple of them. I keep white glue in reused liquid hand soap bottles with the squeeze top, and children squeeze a small amount of glue...
Plastic Seating Charts
As a special area teacher, juggling more than five hundred kids in twenty three homerooms, I've found lots of shortcuts to manage grades.
Playing the Stock Market
In our classes we are having a friendly competition using the stock market. Using the web site 'E-trade' students invest approximately $30,000 in several types of stocks. Each day we check their marke...
Pocket Attendance
I quickly take attendance by using a pocket chart. I write each student's name on both sides of a card in two different colors. As the students walk in, they flip their name card over. I know which st...
Podcasting Book Response
To encourage reading among our high school students, I have collaborated with the Reading Workshop teacher. In place of one book response essay, each student creates a podcast book review. These are p...
Poetry Reading
Make poetry palatable and enjoyable to high school students by easing into your unit, starting with prescription poetry and having students work their way to a full-fledged poetry reading.
Point and Read
I ask my young readers to point to the words when they read. This helps them attend to the print and really read. To help my children remember to 'point and read' during their guided reading groups, I...
Point Cups
I recently augmented the behavior management system (token economy) in my classroom. All students at my school (K-12) have daily behavior charts. Their teachers are to keep the charts with the student...
Point of View Reports
Many times my students want to do a book report on a book they really enjoyed in 6th grade. I discourage that practice because introducing students to new authors is my priority. However, when I am ab...
Points for Conduct and Attendance
Every written test I give to my students includes ten points for conduct. Points start counting in between tests. I erase bad conduct and let them try again for another period. There is always the opp...
Poison Words
For a change of pace, we do something we call Poison Word. Before we start reading aloud, I choose a word the children will come across in the story they are going to read. (The idea is to choose a wo...
To get one of my students interested in math, I had him bring his Pokemon cards to school and write math word problems using the characters and information. After writing the problems, which also incl...
Policy Letters
When one of my students does not hand in an assignment, I send a letter home to notify the parents. The letter reminds them of my assignment policy and suggests that they check with their child or me ...
Political Groups
I seat my students in groups and each group votes on a name that is a state capital. One student in the group is the governor and the rest of the citizens are state representatives. I am the president...
Political Ice Breaker
I collect a variety of old buttons and bumper stickers from various elections. I select the ones that pertain to the topic that I want to discuss and put them in a paper bag. I ask a student to draw o...
Pop Questions
I always struggle with a way to get kids to study for content area tests, especially social studies. There are a few who never read the assignments so a review before testing is the only way to insure...
Pop Your Top and Read
My students love Pop Your Top and Read Day. Each student brings a soda or juice drink and a book to class. We all find a comfortable reading spot around the room and on the count of three everyone 'po...
Popcorn Reading
I use a game called Popcorn Reading to help teach oral reading. When I have students read a passage, they only read as much as they can handle, and then say...
Popsicle Sticks
I create a bucket of sticks for each of my classes. Using popscicle sticks, I write each student's name on one stick. The bucket can be anything - coffee can, stadium cup, cottage cheese container. I ...
I use portfolios in my classroom. I keep my students' papers organized by having both a working and a showcase portfolio in clearly labeled folders. If a student has a piece of work he/she wants to ke...
Positive #2 Pencils
I give my students tips on how to pass standardized and teacher made tests. To reinforce those tips, I give each student two #2 pencils. On each pencil I print a test taking idea such as 'Read and Fol...
Positive and Negative Numbers
Here’s a fun game to teach positive and negative numbers operations using a deck of cards. It leads to lively discussions, as students must justify and explain their answers.
Positive Come Backs
I make every effort to make sure kids are not abusive but sometimes abusive comments slip through. I remind them that if someone calls them a name, they should respond with something like, 'And what a...
Positive Participation
I have used the following two techniques which created positive participation in my classroom. One way is to use a Koosh ball. I like to start by throwing it to a student who does not participate ofte...
Positive Peer Pressure
I work in a Title I school with a high poverty rate. Many of our students need an extraordinary amount of structure and motivation. I have developed a ticket/point system for my class. Each group of 4...
Positive Phone Calls
In the month of September, call all your students' parents and give them a positive message. Avoid having the first phone call home be about a problem. Establishing a positive relationship with the pa...
Positive Relationships with Law Enforcement
I advise a 9th grade mentoring program that teams juniors and seniors with small groups of freshmen. The purpose of the program is to help these new ninth graders have a smooth transition between midd...
Postcards to Students and Families
I send postcards to students and their families to thank them for gifts, get-well messages, birthdays, etc. I found I could make the postcards myself. I take birthday cards, thank you cards, etc. and ...
Posters and Charts
I keep my posters and charts on a chart stand for all my students to read. I punch two holes in the top for the metal rings allowing me to change the posters and to also let the students read them. I ...
Posters for the Asking
An excellent way to get free posters and informational booklets is to write government embassies and consulates (listed in many phone books) or their tourist offices. For information on states, write ...
Post-it Flags
I found the Post-It Brand Tape Flags an excellent and inexpensive way to have students reach information in their textbooks quickly and easily with minimum difficulty. The flags can be moved daily as ...
Post-It Note Subs
As a sub, I need to get students' attention readily and keep them focused on 'good behavior.' I put a brightly-colored Post-It on everyone's desk the first part of the day. The students then write the...
Post-It Notes
To make seating charts for my classes, I write student names on mini-post-it notes and then stick the notes to the inside of a manila folder. It's so easy to change my seating arrangement and the stic...
Power Sharpening
I have six electric pencil sharpeners distributed throughout the classroom. When students enter in the morning, they turn in assignments and sharpen 3-4 pencils to use throughout the day. We call this...
Power Writing
I ask students to choose one of two words from an overhead. I time them for one minute and ask that they quickly jot down any words that they can associate with the given word. At the end of the time,...
Practice Interviews
We give students the opportunity to experience a formal interview. Faculty and peers interview students interested in becoming a peer leader, asking about their strengths, weaknesses, and reasons for ...
Preliminary Drawings
My students do preliminary drawings and then I take a quick look at them. I verbally tell them all the obvious things that they can do to improve the quality of the drawing. Most just listen to what I...
Prepared for Birthdays
I want to make sure that I'm prepared to give every student a special birthday. I keep store bought icing, sprinkles, and packages of large graham crackers on hand for a quick and easy treat. The birt...
Preventing Left-Handed Smudges
To prevent my left-handed students from becoming discouraged when their writing is smudged, I use a slight slant board for them to put their work on. You can use a large 3-ring binder for a slant boar...
Preventing Shout Outs
To prevent distracting shout outs, my students use sign language and gestures taught on the first day of class. I reinforce the signs throughout the first week. If a student needs to use the restroom,...
Preventing Whiteboard and Overhead Mistakes
A way to prevent accidentally using a permanent marker on a whiteboard or transparency is to create a tactile reminder. I wrap some masking tape around the permanent marker. If a mistake still occurs,...
PRIDE Points
Our middle school developed a school wide reward program aimed at encouraging good behavior and taking the focus off of the negative. Students receive PRIDE points for good behavior in the classroom, ...
Professional Communication Tool
I purchase blank business cards for the computer to create a professional communication tool for my parents. On the business cards, I print my name, assignment, school, the school phone number and e-m...
Progress and News
Halfway through each grading period, I print out individual progress reports using the E-class program. On the back of the students' reports, I print a classroom newsletter explaining what we're study...
Progressive Seuss Book
We write a school-wide Dr. Seuss-type book. Each class writes a chapter. We have four sections of each grade and the book will begin in kindergarten. The children collectively write a chapter and send...
Project Hyperlinks
I set up a 'Start Page' for my second grade students which hyperlinks all the websites that they need for a project so that they can just click on the link and go. They don't have to waste time typing...
Proof of Purchase
Every school year, I ask that all D or F papers be signed by parents. I want my students' parents actively involved and knowing how their child is doing throughout each grading period. When a child re...
Prop Writing Prompt
Here's a good writing prompt to use for almost any reading: 'Imagine that you are prop master for a play based on the piece we just read. What props would you bring on stage? Whose prop would it be an...
Protecting Copies
I use clear sheet protectors for my copies. I often have two pages that I need to copy and the sheet protectors let me keep the front and back pages together. After copying, I can slip the plastic pag...
Protecting Worksheets
I like to use math worksheets in directed class lessons by having students answer the questions/problems on another paper, and then give out the same worksheet as independent homework. The trouble is ...
Prove It!
Prove It is a reading game I play with my students and advocate for parents to play at home too. It is more than a game. It is a vital step toward learning to gain meaning from text by skimming. After...
Proximity Praise
When a student is off task or misbehaving, you can often remedy the problem by complimenting another student, near the offender, for being on task, quiet, etc. -- highlight whatever you like. Usually ...
Pumpkin Geography
Ms. Croff takes advantage of the pumpkin harvest to bring hands-on geography to her students. After she teaches about hemispheres, the seven continents and major bodies of water, students create their own painted pumpkin globes.
Puzzle Reading
Ms. Fraser found a wonderful way to help her students to read more carefully. She creates pre-reading puzzle activities that take students on a journey through the assigned reading.
I buy puzzles that relate to the subject I am teaching. For example if I'm teaching World Geography, I buy a map of the world. I keep one puzzle out at a time and tell the students they may only work ...
Puzzles for Process
I use puzzles as an introductory activity for setting up cooperative groups, or starting a new unit. I find it builds thinking skills, cooperation, and self analysis/reflection. I use puzzle for each ...