Teacher Tips - Miscellaneous

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Miscellaneous Teacher Tips

The Teacher's Corner Resources Class Photographer Grades Any
A fun and easy way to capture your classroom memories throughout the school year. You will need either a digital camera or old cell phone. (You might be able to put these on your Back-to-School Wish List, or write a grant for them.) Assign two or three students in your classroom with the job of "Class Photographer". (Having more than one student responsible for this will increase the likelihood that someone will remember to take photos.)

Have students download/upload their photos and have edit and/or delete any needed photos. The "final cut" photos can be added to an online location where all families will be able to access them - such as a shared Google Drive folder or a Dropbox account.

One thing to remember about something like this is that you want to make sure all of your students have the necessary media release forms on file. You will also want to encourage parents to only download the photos and not post them to social media accounts.

The Teacher's Corner Resources Box Recycling
There are a number of things you can do with recycled boxes. Inexpensive portfolios and storage boxes are just a couple.

  1. Inexpensive Portfolios: For this project you can use any type of box that is large enough to hold the hanging file folders and is made from heavier cardboard. (I have also used slightly larger boxes, done a little cutting to them and taped them back together.) The most important thing to do is take measurements of the exact hanging files you will be using. Remember that the folder will need to clear the box and the middle of hanger will rest on the edge of the box. Once you have the boxes, you can use either wrapping paper or contact paper to cover and decorate them.
  2. Storage Boxes: The size of these boxes will depend on what you, or the students, will be putting in them. Be sure to have some wrapping or contact paper on hand to make them look fancy! You can combine several of the same size to make various compartments.

The Teacher's Corner Resources Organize those papers going home!!
Too many papers for too many kids? Use these helpful tips to keep them all organized.

At our school we send home a 'Friday Folder'. The students decorate an oversized brown, clasp envelope (9"x12" envelopes aren't large enough for some of those big projects). We run each through the laminator. The kids know that they get ONE laminated envelope for the year. The trick was organizing the papers that go home in this folder. We send homework papers, and notes about activities, as well as notes from the office. I purchased a plastic basket made for hanging file folders, along with a file folder for each student. I put the files in alphabetical order according to first names.

This makes the filling easier for students and aides. Everyone knows that when there is something to go home, we put it by the 'Friday Folder File'. I always have students who are eager to do the filling and it has worked great. No important papers have been lost anymore!

The Teacher's Corner Resources Password
Here is a great game to play with your class during the days surrounding testing.

I was talking with a friend the other day and we were sharing games that were good to do during testing (we started last week).
Needed: nothing but a blackboard and chalk
1. Divide the class into two teams.
2. One member of each team comes to the front of the class, stands against the blackboard and faces the class. Above their heads, write a single word.
3. The students standing at the front of the class take turns calling on their own teammates to give them a one word clue.
4. After the clue is given, the person at the front gets one chance to guess the word. If the word isn't guessed, it's the other team's turn. Encourage students to call on teammates who haven't had a turn. Clues given must not contain any part of the word that is written on the chalkboard, nor may it be a tense of the verb if a verb is used.
5. Points are earned by a team if the word is guessed, or if a member of the other team says the word accidently, or if part of the word is used by the other team. If a team goes twice in a row (because they get so excited!), it is the other team's turn to go twice. Barb M.
Submitted by: Barbara D. Martin & Mardi Plancich

The Teacher's Corner Resources Share Day
Here is a fun variation of "Show and Tell."

"I do a variation of Show and Tell in my first grade class called Share Day. The first day of school I bring a family picture and briefly talk about it. I invite the children to ask questions and remind them that questions start with who, what, why, when, where, and how. I send home a letter to the parents explaining this activity, the kinds of things children can share (stuffed animal, awards, family pictures, a favorite song, a joke, etc.) and the day their child will be asked to share. The students enjoy this chance to learn more about each other, and I enjoy watching them hone their communication skills."
Submitted by: Debbie Robinson, a first grade teacher at Patrick Henry Elementary in Heidelberg, Germany. This tip was published in the NEA's Weekly Tip Newsletter.

The Teacher's Corner Resources End-of-the-Day Clean Up
I use "seconds" as a way of getting students to clean up. At the end of the period or end of day each item left on the floor counts as 30 seconds off their recess. After the first day of 3 minutes off recess we rarely have to stay in more than 30 seconds anymore. They really enjoy picking up their "seconds".
Submitted by: Leslee Whalley

The Teacher's Corner Resources Markers & OFF
Don't worry about marker writing smearing. Instead of using dry erase markers on things which you do not want to smear, use Permanent marker and then keep a bottle of OFF insect repellent (other kinds might work) and spray on and wipe off! I use this on my birthday chart. I also use this daily with a large sheet of laminated paper.
Submitted by: Stacy Edge

The Teacher's Corner Resources Minature Toolbelt Organizer
Help clear desks of clutter. Use a minature tool belt tied to each desk. This can serve as a wonderful subject/various notions organizer and it frees the desk of clutter and accessibility as needed.
Submitted by: Sarah Woods - Meridian, MS

The Teacher's Corner Resources Puzzle & Game Organizer
Reuse other items to help keep things organized. I have many boxes of games and puzzles in my classroom and many times the boxes break. So, a way to keep your games together is to REUSE an old tissue boxes and place the pieces inside the opening on the tissue box. I also glue or staple pieces of the old box onto the tissue box to show what is inside. This way you are saving a tree and keeping your classroom neat and organized!
Submitted by: Nicole Sciarrino

The Teacher's Corner Resources Test Review
An idea for a review that will appeal to all the children and allow them all a fair chance to participate.

When I had my class review for a test I knew I had to come up with something that would appeal to all the children and allow them all a fair chance to participate. I decided to make it somewhat competitive this way it will keep their interest.The first place team would receive 5 extra points on their test, 3nd place would get 3 points and 3rd place would get one extra point. I called this Garbage Can Review.

I would divide the class into 3 teams. With each team having a captain that I would choose. Each student would get a chance to be the speaker, the actual person who would give their team's answer. 3 Students from each team would each get a chance to shoot a paper ball into the garbage can from a designated distance away.(this would be rotating) If all 3 students made their shot the question would be worth 5 points, 2 shots in worth 3 points and 1 shot in would be worth 2 points. If no shots were made it the question would only be worth one. The team gets to discuss the answer as a group while the other groups also discuss their possible answer. If the question is answered right then they receive their points and the next team goes. If they are wrong the next team has a chance to answer for those same points.

I know this may sounds  a little unconventional but this allowed all students to participate somehow. If they were not able to help with the answer they were at least able to help their team score points.
Submitted by: Lynda Day - Astoria, New York

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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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