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Teacher Tips for the Classroom

Achievement Award Certificates Grades Any
Download dozens of awards and certificates that you can print out for your students. They are in PDF format that will allow you to type the student's name on the award before you print it. (These certificates are in PDF format.)

The Teacher's Corner Resources Clean Blackboards
"Here is a blackboard tip that eliminates yucky, wet cloths and sponges while keeping blackboards looking like new. I take a clean small towel and put a little bit of lemon oil on it. I place the towel in a Ziplock bag and leave it overnight so that the lemon oil soaks into the towel. After I erase the blackboard, I clean it with the towel and it removes all the chalk dust without leaving any streaks. The blackboards look like new. I add a couple of drops of lemon oil from time to time but there should not be so much on the cloth that it wets the board."
Submitted by: Marilyn Redmond , a second grade teacher at Roland Michener Public School in Kanata, Ontario, Canada. This tip was published in the NEA's Weekly "Works4Me" Email list.

The Teacher's Corner Resources Daily Schedule
Here is an easy way to let your students know what's going on each day. After you have decided on your daily schedule, start thinking artistically!
I used a program that had a large variety of fonts and letter types and created a heading for each subject of the day. After printing the heading out, I mounted them onto a piece of tagboard, just slightly larger than the original heading. I then laminated each heading. I found magnet strips at Office Depot. (They come in rolls and business card size.) I cut them to the needed size and placed them on the back of the laminated headings.
All I have to do each day is place the magnetic heading on the blackboard and write what we will be doing for that subject.

The Teacher's Corner Resources Flipchart Trick
Flipchart TrickTabletop flipcharts can bust your classroom budget! They can be used during small group work, at learning centers/stations, next to your classroom computers, or in a variety of other ways. Here's an inexpensive and easy way to make your own. All you need is a notebook, a little cardboard and some duct tape.

  1. Open the notebook to the cardboard back and lay it on a table.
  2. Lay the cardboard from your notebook on top of the new piece. Trace the shape and then cut it out. This will be the base of your flipchart.
  3. Using your duct tape, tape the two pieces of cardboard together.
  4. You will then need to flip around the notebook to the front cover.
  5. Once again, use duct tape to attach the front cover to the new piece of cardboard. Your flipchart is now ready to use!

Remember to always be on the look out for various sizes of spiral notebooks. You can often find both smaller and larger sizes at craft and dollar stores. Pocket-sized notebooks would make the perfect flipchart for individual students to use at their desk.

The Teacher's Corner Resources Floor Clean-up Games
Make clean-up less of a hassle and more of a game! There are two variations to this game: "Magic Piece of Trash" or "I Spy". Whichever name you decide to go with, you will play them the same way. I absolutely LOVE this game after we've beenn working on a messy project.

  1. Before beginning the game, look around your classroom floor and visually select one piece of trash. Be sure to do this without the students knowing which piece you have selected.
  2. Announce you are playing the game. Students will begin to pick up all the pieces of trash around the room. Remind students that they do not want to throw away what they've collected.
  3. You can either set a timer or just play until see most trash is picked up.
  4. Announce that the game is over and have each child come show you what they have collected.
  5. The student who found your individual piece of trash can earn one of the following: sticker, piece of candy, pencil, etc. (We are a PBiS school, so our students can earn "Bison Stickers" for their behavior. This is what I usually give to kids.)
  6. Remind everyone to either wash their hands or use a little hand sanitizer!

My students usually manage to find trash that I didn't even notice was on the floor! I've had students find used tissues and band-aids. In these cases I show them how to use a clean tissue to pick them up from the floor.

The Teacher's Corner Resources Whiteboard Mistakes
Whiteboard MistakesHave you or a student ever accidently written on your whiteboard with permanent marker? Here's a quick and easy solution! All you need to do is grab a dry-erase marker and just "scribble" over the permanat marker writing. You might find it more effective to make the dry-earse marker scribbles go the opposite direction of your permanent marker (see photo). To help eliminate the chance of this happening, consider labeling all permanent marker with washi tape or color/pattern duct tape.

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NEA 'Works4Me' Contributions: Some ideas were contributed by teachers to the NEA's Weekly "Works4Me" email list - be sure to follow this link to see other great ideas!

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