Education Tips

Great Tips of Teacher

At  you'll find many ideas submitted by teachers to the Teacher-2-Teacher listserv. The tips are arranged by topic within categories; the categories include Classroom Decor, Classroom Management, Getting Organized, Classroom PR, and Back to School. Here are just several of the teacher tips you'll find in this great resource. But, remember, these tips are just the "tip" of the iceberg!

  • Classroom Management -- SURPRISE! Pick out a surprise activity, such as an extra recess or a small treat, then write "SURPRISE" on the chalkboard. Throughout the day, if the class gets noisy or students are out of their seats without permission, erase a letter starting at the end of the word. Add missing letters when everyone is behaving well. If the complete word is intact at the end of the day, students get the surprise.

  • Getting Organized -- Organize Those Stacks of Paper. You've got bunches of papers held together with those giant-sized paper clips, and the stack is so thick, the clip is all twisted out of shape. Use spring-type clothespins instead. They stick out to the side when you have all the stacks piled up on your desk, and you can tape scraps of paper to the clothespins to identify what's in the stack.

  • Classroom P.R. -- Weekly Parent Activity. Our school is installing a Parent-Teacher Hotline, a telephone system that allows teachers to record messages to their parents. Parents can call in, enter the classroom I.D. number, and hear the teacher's message regarding homework, upcoming activities, permission slips that need to be returned, etc. We'll be using ours to include a Home Activity for the Week, a simple learning activity designed to involve parents in the learning/teaching process. But you don't need a high-tech scheme to pull this off. Dream up a short activity, run off copies, and send it home with students.

  • Back-to-School -- To Tell the Truth. Have each student write down three sentences describing himself or herself. For example: "I have attended 11 schools," "I have an aunt and an uncle both named Laverne," and "I love to vacation in CancĂșn." The catch is, two of the statements are true and one is false. The students then share their three statements with one another or the entire class and vote on which they think are true and false. You are sure to learn some interesting trivia about your new students.

  • Classroom Decor -- Bulletin Board Headlines. Whether you buy ready-made letters or cut your own for bulletin boards, there are some tricks for putting them up. If you're centering the head on the board, mark the center of the board with a piece of tape, then lay out the letters on a table. Find the center of the headline, and begin putting up the letters from the center, working your way out to both ends. A mistake often made is to space letters too far apart. Headline letters are usually set tighter than small letters; it won't hurt if the letters touch. Rounded capital letters like O and C are really taller than squared-off letters like A and M. Make sure they extend beyond the imaginary top and bottom lines formed by the other letters.


The Idea for many Areas of Classroom Managements  Web site includes a number of great ideas from teachers who've used them! Some of the best tips from this Classroom Connection site include:

  • Organization. Make a substitute folder early in the year. Include class lists, fire drill rules, seating charts, alternative schedule information (like late-day schedules), and a generic plan for the day. Then create a form on the computer for your regular class schedule. On this form, you can also include the location of teacher's guides, a list of helpful teachers, procedures from the office, and your discipline rules.

  • Bulletin Boards. Collect baby pictures and current pictures from your students. Place the baby pictures on one side of the bulletin board and the current pictures on the other side. Give each baby picture a number and each current picture a letter. Have a contest to see who can correctly match the pictures. A variation is to do this with pictures of the staff and faculty on a bulletin board the whole school can access.

  • Icebreakers and Energizers. Play People Bingo! Make a 5 x 5 grid, like a bingo grid. Write "FREE" in the center space. In all the other spaces, write things such as "Born in another state" or "Youngest child in family." Fill in all the grids with items of interest to the students. Make a copy for each student. Have the students get the signature of a person who meets the criteria for each block. The first person with a completed card wins.

  • Grading. Break writing assignments and other long projects into several small steps. Then grade and record these steps in class as you move from one student to another.


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Education Tips

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