Alarming Time Management Grades Any
A simple way to keep you and your students on time. "When I was a classroom teacher, my class and I would often get involved in lessons, and the time for lunch and specials would creep up on us. In order to help us out, I used a clock radio and set it for the music to come on about five minutes before we needed to be in another location. This warning really helped me with time management."
Submitted by: Bobby Stern Bstern207@email-removed , a curriculum coordinator at Piney Grove Elementary School in Kernersville, North Carolina. This tip was published in the NEA's Weekly Tip Newsletter.
An easy and inexpensive way to record your student observations. I do much of my grading through observation anecdotal records during reading and writing conferences. I write them on the white mailing labels companies use. I usually get the 2" one, but you can find them smaller or larger. You can get them either in long strips or 8x11. Put the Student's name, the date, and the subject on the top. Take the notes. Later, they can be files on a sheet of paper in a binder under the child's name. These are very useful with behavior situations. They are great for conferences, too.
Submitted by: Kimberlee Hannan kimmie0000@email-removed
Tickets and team work with a sports theme.
Submitted by: Michael Miller mrm4mail@email-removed
Conduct Cards Grades Any
With this simple routine, parents and students will always be aware of their weekly behavior.
"I always dreaded hearing from parents about a conduct grade that I gave a student until I came up with conduct cards. Each student has an index card with their name and the week on it. I use computer labels to make them easy and neat. The cards all stay in a file box with several pens in it. Each time a student forgets an assignment or book or breaks a rule, he/she has to sign his/her conduct card. At the end of the week, I put a grade on the card.
The students take the cards home on Monday to get signed by their parents and return them to school on Tuesday. Students who behave positively receive a nice stamp on their card to bring home. I have one that says, 'Give your child a hug today for this good work.' Parents have never questioned a grade that I have given since I started using these cards, and my class is in control."
Submitted by: Suzanne D. Puckett teacher172@email-removed , a fourth grade teacher at W.J. Turner Elementary School in Ft. Worth, Texas. This tip was published in the NEA's Weekly Tip Newsletter.
Keeping Track of Assignments
Need a quick way to check if your students have handed in their work? Here's an easy solution.
Using a word processing program and a standard font, create a list of your students. If you use a number system in your class, you may want to include that as well. This is what the beginning of my list looked like:
MRS. JENSEN'S CLASS
___ 1-Jane Doe
___ 2-Jack Doe
After you have finished one column (or have entered each student's name once) copy and paste the names to fill all four corners of your paper.
To set-off this list, copy on brightly colored paper. Cut the sheets apart, resulting in four copies of your class list per sheet.
As you are collecting forms or assignments, paper clip a copy of your list to the front and simply check off each student's name as you receive their paper.
Submitted by: Jennifer
Use a traffic light tool to manage classroom noise.
Traffic Lights - This is something I use to keep the noise level of my classroom at an acceptable level.
To introduce the concept, I have a discussion with the students about what the different traffic lights mean (red = stop, yellow = slow down, green = go.) Then I tell them that we'll be using traffic lights in the classroom, not for moving traffic, but for speaking traffic.
Then I ask them "What would it mean if I said 'Red Light'?" The answer would be "No talking." I ask similar questions for yellow and green lights, the answers being that yellow means they can ask questions if they raise their hands, and green means they can talk freely.
After this discussion, when you about to start something, tell the students what kind of light they're at. Ex. If I was going to read a book to them, I'd say "Red Light." Once the story was finished, I'd say "Yellow light" and start a discussion with the class.
As well as verbally telling them which light they're at, I also made a spinner which I posted at the front of the room. I set it to the proper color as a visual reminder to the class.
Submitted by: Patricia Pruim - Iskut, BC, Canada
Playing CDs in Class
Some ideas of what to play in your classroom.
I have a CD player in class, and I play music during class time once in a while (usually during art time.) Sometimes, my students get too excited about the music, and they can get a little out of hand. To prevent this, I will sometimes play a Shel Silverstein CD or another spoken CD. The students never know when it's coming, so it's a nice surprise and an interesting change of pace.
Also, the students know it's not a punishment for their exuberance, but a signal that they need to calm down. At times, the students have even asked me to play a Shel Silverstein CD instead of music.
This has also been successful substituting classical music or instrumental music instead of spoken CDs.
Submitted by: Patricia Pruim - Iskut, BC, Canada
Weekly Behavior Report Grades Any
"To keep parents informed of their child's progress and behavior, I send a weekly behavior report home each Monday. The report has a box for each day in which I document both positive and negative behaviors and any grades the student has earned that week. I also note any special assignments. The parents must sign the report and send it back to school. The weekly report informs parents and it's good documentation for me."
Submitted by: Maryellen Eaves maryell@email-removed , a fourth grade teacher at Louisville Elementary School in Louisville, Mississippi. This tip was published in the NEA's Weekly Tip Newsletter.