Advice Given Freely Here!!

Discussion in 'New Teachers Archives' started by TeacherRW, Jul 7, 2006.

  1. TeacherRW

    TeacherRW Cohort

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    Jul 7, 2006

    With so many newbies to the teaching profession on this site and asking lots of great questions, I thought perhaps the experienced teachers could offer up some advice in this post as well as to individual posts.

    So, here goes a couple of little tidbits that I have to share...

    ~Use cheap fabric for the backing on your bulletin boards instead of paper. They rarely fade, do not get holes in that don't "kind of" repair themselves, and can be washed and reused. I will change the borders but leave the background color up year-after-year. Whew! Much easier.
    ~Permanent marker can be removed by fingernail polish remover. Just make sure not to take the finish off of what you are cleaning.

    :D Add on, ladies and gents...
     
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  3. Texas Gal

    Texas Gal Companion

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    *One of the best things about using fabric - you can tear it! Just make a little cut where your bulletin board ends and RIP away. All of those frayed ends are under a border, so it looks so nice and lasts forever. (Don't by stretchy material as it will start to sag. Walmart has those LONG things of fabric for a dollar in all sorts of colors.)

    *Don't laminate everything. Most classrooms get a glare on at least one wall, and it makes the decorations cute but not user friendly. It would be better to have to buy a new alphabet chart every other year than to have one hanging that no one can see.

    *Keep things like deodorant, small sewing kit, safety pins, tylenol/midol, and even tweezers in your desk. You'll soon find out why! :)

    *If your school has extra copies and will allow you to do this - get extra copies of your teacher editions and keep them at home. That way you are not lugging them back and forth. We used to have 6 classes in my grade level and we went to only 4. There were 2 extra copies and I asked to keep one at school and one at home. This was so nice!

    This is all I can think of ?!? I'll post more if something crosses my mind. Have a great year!
     
  4. MelissainGA

    MelissainGA Groupie

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    Go to the hardware department in Wal-Mart. Buy a can of "OOPS". It will be the best investment you ever made. It removes permanent marker from laminated games, it takes it off when the student grabs the permanent marker and uses it on the whiteboard and best of all it's very cheap.
     
  5. kidatheart

    kidatheart Habitué

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    Thanks so much for your suggestions!! Very good ideas.
     
  6. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Sometimes I wish I had my own copy machine. :rolleyes:
     
  7. Trice2006

    Trice2006 Rookie

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    Thanks for the idea of using fabric for bulletin boards. Never really thought of using it, but will consider it now.:thanks:
     
  8. ABall

    ABall Fanatic

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    Jul 7, 2006

    also to remove permanant marker go over it with a dry erase marker and wipe off.
     
  9. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    Don't go hog wild and buy, buy, buy...get what you need to start the year and then re-evaluate future purchases.

    Glue clothespins to cement walls for easy display of student work. Spacing them so two clothespins hold up each paper in the top corners is best.

    Bulletin board titles do not have to be made of those die cut letters you may typically think of. You can simply use your own handwriting, a marker and construction paper and its much faster and looks great.

    Make a cute bulletin board by using Goodwill or old curtains and framing the board with the curtains like its a window...adorable!

    Have an in and out tray and make a procedure for returning papers (makes a great student job).

    If you laminate items like name tags, posters, die cuts for bulleting boards with student names (like a welcome to class board) etc. you can write on them with markers and then erase the marker with nailpolish remover at the end of the year to reuse again.

    Use an embroidery floss container (the 8.5 x 11 inch plastic container sold for about $1.99 at craft stores and has little square compartments) for the odds and ends that otherwise get lost. It fits in a drawer wonderfully. Mine has desk supplies like paper clips, safety pins, rubber bands, etc. It also has coins, compact feminine supplies...When I collect money from students I put it in the one larger compartment until I move it to a more secure location.
     
  10. lueylizard

    lueylizard Rookie

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    Jul 8, 2006

    BUY

    Buy clear packing tape to fix classroom books and other things, wood glue for shelves, and have a small hardware set handy.
     
  11. wdwteach

    wdwteach Cohort

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    I wish I had my own paper cutter. I am always forgetting to cut my paper beforehand and end up folding and cutting with scissors.

    I always make a box of stuff to take care of MYSELF for back-to -school! tea bags, sugar packets, micro popcorn, change for the soda machine, emergency M&Ms, . . .
     
  12. Texas Gal

    Texas Gal Companion

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    heehee - gotta love those emergency M&Ms. Seems like I have emergencies DAILY when those are in full supply... ;)
     
  13. srh

    srh Devotee

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    Jul 9, 2006

    Have a small vase tucked away somewhere....I got a flower or two a few times last year! The kids love it when they see you fill up the vase and put in the gift they brought to you!
     
  14. kidatheart

    kidatheart Habitué

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    Jul 9, 2006

    Excellent idea!
     
  15. TeacingnTN

    TeacingnTN Rookie

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    Jul 9, 2006

    Fantastic thread!! Please keep 'em coming!! A newbie like me really needs all the helpful hints I can get!! Thanks!
     
  16. Sarah5483

    Sarah5483 Companion

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    Jul 9, 2006

    Make it a point to keep your desk and other teacher areas organized. Take time at the end of each day before you leave to put everything back, get rid of clutter. You will definitely feel better coming to work each day when your things are organized. I'm not a very organized person, so the times when I did finally sort things out and clean off my desk truly did make me much happier about going to school. Once, my mom came to visit me and spent the afternoon organizing my storage closets in my room and I was seriously so excited about it. I would feel happy about going to school and it lasted the rest of the year b/c once she did that, I made it a point to keep the rest of the room organized as well.
    Also, get some of those lysol wipes or maybe a cheaper brand. I use them to wipe my hands from the overhead pens or right before I eat lunch and it's also good for cleaning off sticky desks. Our students ate breakfast in the classroom so the wipes came in handy on days with bagels and jelly.
     
  17. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I have gotten a lot of use out of plastic trays that you can buy in the dollar store or even CVS. I've used them to put out craft materials, for use with wet projects, under my pencil sharpener to catch all that dust, under plants, to hold loose puzzle pieces .... I've had the same ones for about 4 years. I think I'll invest in some new ones this year and save the old ones just for gluey/sparkly crafts.
     
  18. AChancetoTeach

    AChancetoTeach Comrade

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    Thanks for these great ideas. I've been going crazy trying to get things ready for school!
     
  19. TexasAggie2323

    TexasAggie2323 Comrade

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    Jul 9, 2006

    Here is one that my wife started for a bunko party and will carry on into my classroom.

    You can cut off silk flowers and use florist tape to tape it to your pens. They look like a flower bouquet on your desk which is nice but they also have a use in the classroom.
     
  20. srh

    srh Devotee

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    HAHA! One of my students gave me a gift after some tutoring sessions--a painted flower pot (with my name!) and half a dozen of those pens...pink flowers! It is SO cute. And no one will walk off with one of them for keeps!!
     
  21. wdwteach

    wdwteach Cohort

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    I agree with cleaning up at the end of each day. You will thank yourself in the morning.
    Also I think baby wipes are GREAT to have around. Kids can clean their hands, desktops, and glue spills with them.
     
  22. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    Students make great professional organizers. Let them help you. My fourth graders, particularly one girl, were fabulous with their messy teacher. They literally forced me to choose what to do with each and every loose paper on my desk. I would have just stuck half the pile into the new "for now" pile.

    I make a few of those flower pens for me for next year so I don't lose them around the room. The students made them as mother's day gifts....quick and easy. though making the pots was a pain.

    another tip: use a timer for things like painting pots. Some kids will want to paint and repaint and wash the paint off and repaint again if you let them. The timer keeps them moving.\ When you use a timer..Enforce it well. Don't say, "okay just 2 more minutes..." It loses its value.

    Stockpile water...especially when you have bad tap water and can't rely on drinking that. Never go without water.

    And here's one from a Doctor's perspective. Teachers have more bladder problems than average folk. When you have the opporuntity to use the bathroom, take it. Over the long term, you'll have less of those sorts of problems. (seems obvious but when you are busy its hard to remember, right?)
     
  23. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    Jul 9, 2006

    Some days when the room is a mess or perhaps the afternoon before a parent's night play the "Trash Game". Students must pick up as much trash from the floor or anywhere else you designate before you say stop. The student who happened to pick up the paper/trash you secretly preselected wins a prize. Make sure you tell students not to push or run becuase they will literally go nuts to get as much trash as they can to win the darn prize. Keep the game sacred though. I played it maybe 6 times all year. The Janitor always smiled on those days.
     
  24. zoerba

    zoerba Comrade

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    Here's something I learned from my mentor teacher during student teaching that I will definitely do.

    You know how students are always wanting to sharpen their pencils at the most inappropriate times? Well, put a cup of pre-sharpened pencils on your desk so that anytime during the day a student needs a sharpened one, they simply take one from the cup and leave the dull one NEXT to the cup. At the end of the day you simply sharpen all the dull pencils and put into the cup for the next day! This works wonders. If students have 'special' pencils or ones they don't want to share, they are able to sharpen them before and after school, as well as at lunch/recess.

    Chenelle
     
  25. srh

    srh Devotee

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    zoerba--I do that pencil thing in Kinder (learned from my last Master Teacher...) I use those cylinder Kleenex boxes that were out for a short time, and decorated one with "hospital" pictures. That's where the "sick" pencils go. At first students just like getting up to get one, but it wears off. (I keep our sharpener up on a high shelf, because I CANNOT STAND classrooms where kids are up constantly sharpening!!)
     
  26. SpecialEdVA

    SpecialEdVA New Member

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    Thanks for all the great ideas! I am a first year teacher and new to this site as well, and I have really learned a lot all ready!
     
  27. ellen_a

    ellen_a Groupie

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    I kept a 3-ring binder in my room; everytime the school (or I) sent home a note to parents, I would keep one copy, hole punch it and date it, and stick it in the binder in chronological order. This way I had a record of what went home when, and if I needed to double check something (like a modified schedule) I could do so easily. The teacher next door made fun of me--she always threw her extra copies out immediately--but more than once she came over to consult the binder during the year.
     
  28. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    Make a spreadsheet with all the students info on it as soon as possible into the school year. It makes doing paperwork much easier and quicker. Include at least name, phone number, bday, student number.
     
  29. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    I did this almost daily...you need to pick up 3 things off the floor before you get your backpack. 25x3= a lot cleaner floor!!!

    IF you teach lower el...songs help with transitions...When we would line up to go some where we would have a seasonal song or 2 I taught. I would start singing then they would join in at the end knew they were quiet & ready.

    I did a family homework every month and displayed on our hallway bulletin board...everyone loved them!!
     
  30. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

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    * Keep "SHOUT" in your room if you teach PreK/Kindergarten--otherwise all your clothes will be ruined*

    * Get yourself signed up for teacher discount programs at every place possible, Joann Fabrics, Kinkos, Office Max, Staples, Borders, Barnes and Nobel etc...*

    * If you teach for a public school you should have at tax-exempt letter--keep it with you (but only use it for school stuff)--you can use it for classroom supplies etc.*

    * Look for areas that you can get donations for your classroom (especially if you work with low-income students) a lot of my kids have VERY small home libraries so I work hard to get books in their homes.*

    * Keep a visual schedule of your day if possible *
     
  31. MissB

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    What is family homework? That sounds interesting.
     
  32. AChancetoTeach

    AChancetoTeach Comrade

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    Since this is the place for all your ideas :) can someone tell me what kind of paint you can use on posterboard and laminate over it successfully? I saw posterboard paint, but it looked too thick and I didn't know if you could laminate over it. Is tempera paint better? (My cutouts are fairly large and it would take too long to use magic marker.) Thanks in advance for your help!
     
  33. Tulips

    Tulips Rookie

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    I love the fabric bulletin board backing idea. They have lots of very cute fabrics....that look WAY better than faded plain paper. Thanks for the ideas. They are very helpful and help to get me thinking about the long list of things that I will need for my classroom.
     
  34. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    Fabric can be very cheap in the walmart remanant bins especially when they clearance them. I refuse to pay more than $1.75 for a yard. Often, I buy them for less than a buck from the clearance rack.

    not sure about the poster paint issue...
     
  35. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Someone on another thread, or maybe this one, said not to get the stretchy fabric, but that is what I use. I like it because it stays flat and I can adjust it so easily.
     
  36. Texas Gal

    Texas Gal Companion

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    Upsadaisy - that was me. I used it the last few years, but I had an interesting situation and maybe yours is different. I had a large wall with nothing on it. I put a large piece of material on it and put border around it. I was going to use this as a permanent bulletin board where the posters on it did not change. Maybe it is the Texas humidity, but I found that the fabric started to "give" as the year went along. It started to sag and flow over the bottom border. It didn't look horrible, but it was not as crisp and clean-looking like I would have liked. That is just my experience.
     
  37. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Oh, on a wall. That would be harder to keep stretched. I used so many staples around the perimeter under my border that it wasn't going anywhere! I found that I really like to have the navy blue background. Things show up on it very well.
     
  38. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    Have a set of emergency sub plans for the day you wake up sick--you won't want to write them then and you'll be really glad they are there. Keep the lesson/activites general, run off all materials needed and keep in a folder. oh and show a colleague where it is so you can just call that person in the morning and ask them to give it to the sub.

    once you make it once, you won't need to recreate it every year since it is a general plan to be used at anytime.
     
  39. Cyndi23

    Cyndi23 Companion

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    Have a "daily schedule" template and assign a student in one of your earlier classes copy down what you are doing for the day and stick it in a notebook. Have the notebook available to absent students to they can see what they missed that day.
     
  40. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

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    Jul 14, 2006

    Make 2 copies of your emergency cards at the first of the year. Punch a hole in the corner, and o-ring them. Then keep one copy at school (I put mine in my clipboard) and one at home. Then you can write on the back when you call the parents/what you talked about as well. Always comes in handy!!!
     
  41. trulyblssd

    trulyblssd Companion

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    Jul 14, 2006

    You all have some great ideas, but what about high school...I don't think they want thier work posted on the wall.
     

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