Advice Given Freely Here!!

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

  1. Teri22G

    Teri22G Rookie

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    Jul 14, 2006

    I suggest you do not put a kleenex box on your desk Put it in another spot faraway from your desk so when the students need a kleenex, they are not bringing the germs directly to you. I also put a garbage can and waterless soap back by the kleenex, and I teach them in the beginning of the year to wash their and throw away their kleenex right there. You may go through a lot of kleenex, but stay healthy and so do the kids.

    I suggest reading First Day of School by Harry Wong. He has wonderful advise, especially about getting a routine for your students right away.
     
  2. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jul 14, 2006

    I keep my own tissues and hand sanitizer at my desk. The kids use them as far away from me as possible. It is such a habit that if I hear someone sneeze in a public place I find myself muttering, "Wash your hands".
     
  3. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Jul 15, 2006

    My best advice: Chocolate in the desk drawer, pop & water in my own personal fridge. Go to the bathroom every chance you can. Make sure you take care of yourself. Get plenty of sleep, or at least go to bed & get up at the same time every day. (My dr.'s advice.)
     
  4. etcetera83

    etcetera83 Cohort

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    Jul 15, 2006

    Instead of letting kids wash their hands in the restroom, have a child squirt hand sanitizer for each student. This is a lot faster and not nearly as messy.:)

    Hanging folders or mail slots for each child makes filing weekly papers and handing them out much easier.
     
  5. JustWondering

    JustWondering Companion

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    Jul 17, 2006

     
  6. DotyMath

    DotyMath Rookie

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    Jul 17, 2006

    I keep in my classroom:

    *a tool kit (hammer, screw driver, small nails, etc - put your name on it LARGE PRINT - these will be borrowed A LOT)
    *latex-free bandaids (saves trips to nurse, but check with nurse first, some schools have policies about this)
    *Expo board doctor (takes off permanent marker from white boards, transparencies, and just about anywhere else it 'ends' up)
    *air fresheners - lysol spray and glade scented oil fan (does the best for getting the scent out into the room)
    *ant spray and any other bug spray
    *four of five trashcans spread all around the room (easy access - no need for trash on floor)
    *puzzle books (sudoku, word searches, fill ins, mazes, Penny Press Variety puzzle books are great for middle/high school)
    *bag of smarties candy and blow pops (it's AMAZING how a little thing of smarties can be an incentive for many things - may not work for all schools)
    *I also keep an empty soup can with pens, pencils, and other things I find on the floor.
    *I like to use a CD player with classical music sometimes.
    *I always keep a teacher stash of headache medication locked up in my cabinet (again, these will be used by all the teachers down the hallway)
    *refrigerator and microwave (I know these aren't allowed in every school - but it is nice to have one)
     
  7. jennyd

    jennyd Companion

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    Jul 23, 2006

    These tips are all fabulous! I'm SO planning on using so many things I've read about. Thanks to those who've posted already :p
     
  8. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    Jul 30, 2006

    As you meet your co-workers jot their names and what they said they did on a list and anything physical about them to jog your memory. This will be very handy when a morning announcement says to turn certain paperwork into Sue Myers and you don't remember if she is the Secretary or the Counselor.

    Do keep the list in a private spot so it doesn't create an awkward moment.
     
  9. Texas Gal

    Texas Gal Companion

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    Jul 30, 2006

    Yes - the Tylenol and Midol are for TEACHER use. I didn't clarify that - but you NEVER give kids medication. That is the nurse's job! Sorry if I didn't make that clear...
     
  10. etcetera83

    etcetera83 Cohort

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    Jul 30, 2006

    I don't know if anyone mentioned this, but my class plays Magic Trash. I quietly pick out a piece of trash and do not tell the kids. They then pick up trash and I look at it as they throw it away. The person who picks up the piece I had in mind is the winner and gets a small treat.

    Also, keep a small duster and broom in the room so kids can "clean" when they ask if they can do something.
     
  11. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    Jul 30, 2006

    We play Magic Trash exactly as you descibed--love it--only I just call it The Trash Game. The principal was really intrigued when students begged to play "the trash game". lol

    Another tip is to Label your broom and everything else with your name--it gets borrowed once people know you have it :)
     
  12. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 31, 2006

    OK, this one is incredibly limited.

    OVer my 20 years in the classroom, I've chaperoned at least 40 trips, most of them overnight. (Speech & Debate States and Nationals, London & Paris, Disney, ski trips...)

    Some things I've learned:
    a) Teenagers do NOT take baths. If you're doing bed checks, one of your kids is "taking a bath" and you hear the water running, start a conversation and don't end it. At some point, you're going to have to knock on the door and check on the poor darling, for fear that she's having a problem. AT that point, her roomies can tell you where she really is.

    b) Forget what they're wearing. You can tell when a teenage girl is really in her room for the night when she has taken her makekup off.

    c) A morning with no wakeup call is a recipe for a long night. Be sure that there's some reason they NEED to be up at a certain time. In NY state S&D finals, there's always one round the second day before any elimination rounds. That way, everyone has a good reason to be in bed at a fairly reasonable time.

    d) Permission slips should include allergies and other pertinent info. One time one of my kids wrapped herself around a tree, fractured a rib and punctured a lung on a ski trip. (And the trip organizer was out to lunch with another of the nuns) Luckily, I had all the info I needed at the hospital, and they were able to give her all the help she needed as soon as they contacted her parents.
     
  13. etcetera83

    etcetera83 Cohort

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    Jul 31, 2006

    Alice - Thanks for the tips. We'll be planning our first overnight trip this year for our fourth graders!
     
  14. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 31, 2006

    Well, I'm hoping the whole makeup thing won't apply.

    What some chaperones do (although I've never done it myself) is this: sometime after curfew, they use masking tape to tape each of the door shut from the outside. The kids can still get out in case of an emergency. But if you do a midnight or 3am check and there's broken tape, someone is in a LOT of trouble!! The kids know the procedure ahead of time. The downside is that it's a warning to any psycho around that there are kids in the room. But I'm assuming that they'll be well warned to lock their doors anyway.
     
  15. wonkaboyaz

    wonkaboyaz New Member

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    Jul 31, 2006

    This also works for homwork packets. I would date them before copying and sending them home (if turned in really late, you know when it was sent home).
     
  16. srh

    srh Devotee

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    Jul 31, 2006

    The last few replies (overnight trips) made me think of a funny one.

    When my daughter was in HS, she ran track and XC. On a trip down south for a huge meet, some of the boys messed up bad. The coaches had used the tape thing for the hallway doors, but it didn't keep them off the balcony area! They got a little rowdy in the wee hours, and started throwing things off the balcony onto the cars in the lot below. I think it was just water balloons or something like that, but the point is, it left a mess all around, and caused a problem with management. Boy, did they get it from the coaches.
     
  17. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 31, 2006

    Yeah, personally I'm a bigger fan of being on patrol until the kids are idone for the night. Then again, the debators I've always chaperoned have worked hard to get to States & Nationals-- they're fairly easy to chaperone.
     
  18. TexasAggie2323

    TexasAggie2323 Comrade

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    Jul 31, 2006

    Sorry that I have been gone for so long. I have been at coaching clinics and things. My time is at a premium but I do have a question so I ventured back here because I know you all know your stuff. Also congrats to everyone on their new job!

    Do yall have any suggestions for how to organize for a traveling teacher?

    I just found out yesterday that my school is going to have so many kids next year that 7 of our teachers will not have a room. Since I teach 7th grade social studies which does not really require its own room (It is not a testing year and much of the information is easy to learn) I will not have my own room. The only thing that I have is my coaches office which I share with 6 other coaches (tight space).

    I need to figure out a way to
    - Take roll (I like kids to sit in the same place and take roll by looking at a piece of paper that has all of their seating arrangements on it). I am worried that the teacher will re-arrange her rooms which wastes my class time
    - Keeping track of papers
    - Having things organized so that I can spend the beginning of class with my students instead of setting up equipment. I think that listening and getting to know your students between the bell and the start of class is one of those things that gets my students ready to learn for me. I do not want to lose that aspect but I do not see how I can get all of my things ready when all of my classes will be in a different room.

    I am kinda upset about this but since there is not anything I can do I will just try to solve the problems and get on with business. I am not the most organized person in the world but I will have to be if I want to survive this year.
     
  19. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 31, 2006

  20. Suburban Gal

    Suburban Gal (formerly Elizabeth) Banned

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    Jul 31, 2006

    Nice! Very, very nice! I like. Really I do. It's a shame the other teacher thinks its funny,
     
  21. TexasAggie2323

    TexasAggie2323 Comrade

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    Aug 4, 2006

    Thanks for the link. The more I think about it, it may be a blessing in disguise. I will really get to know the other teachers and as a Texas History teacher I won't need very much board space and the teachers are supposed to give me some space in their room for that.

    The problem is that I have to max 4x everything that I need as far as classroom wall things.
     
  22. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Aug 5, 2006

    I was talking to a teacher yesterday and she told me that she numbers her students and then she numbers everything in her classroom that the students use but stay behind if they have to leave. She does this on their cubbies/coat hooks and any books that stay behind. I liked the idea of writing numbers instead of names on curriculum that will be staying at school when the child leaves, this way she just has to tear out the used pages and the new student can continue to writie in the same book. She has her students used coiled scribblers instead of composition books for writing.
     
  23. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Aug 6, 2006

    -Your gradebook belongs to YOU. Don't ever let a parent skim over the grades. If he or she wants to know his child's grades, hand him an index card and read them off. It's a violation of the other kids' privacy.

    -If a large number of kids have failed a test, you have one of two problems: either your test was too hard/long/interupted (as in "fire drill")-- in which case you want to curve it. The other explanation is that the kids don't know the material. In most cases, that means you need to re-teach, then re-test. (The occasional class of older kids that doesn't study is another issue!) A great curve is 20 pts + 80% of the original grade. You can play with the 20/80 thing if you want, as long as the two numbers add up to 100.

    -I like writing failing grades in red in my gradebook. It makes it easy to see who isn't doing well at progress report time.
     
  24. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    Aug 6, 2006

    I remember the masking tape thing from my high school days. Though you really need to consider if the hotel rooms have balconies that this idea may not be a good idea. I know of a girl who tried to go from one hotel room to another by using the balconies. There was a wall between one balcony and her friend's balcony so she tried to climb over on the outside of the balcony rails, fell, and was killed. :(
     
  25. wdwteach

    wdwteach Cohort

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    Aug 6, 2006

    In upper grades, I let kids redo papers with failing grades one time. I gave them full credit for the 2nd try because I really wanted them to learn the material and also the value of doing something well the
    1st time. It also leaves very little excuse for parents & students that want to blame low grades on the teacher
     
  26. srh

    srh Devotee

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    Aug 6, 2006

    I like that, wdwteach! It does seem like enough of a deterrent to just make them do it again! And it makes the grading easier....
     
  27. Jenni

    Jenni Rookie

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    Aug 7, 2006

    In my college classes actually they fix the roll issue by having students sign in. To make this simple you could have a list of student names premade and put it in a book with the date and have students sign off that they are there. I'd make them do their full name rather then initials to prevent students possibly signing for another while the other skips class. You'd most likely be able to tell. Also, you can count students each day right before you start and make sure the names on the list and the number line up. Also, depending class size it is usually kind of obvious when I student is missing.

    To keep track of papers get a file box with wheels and then put folders in it with each child's papers. At 7th grade it should be a simple matter of putting the kids folders on your desk or some other area and having them collect them when they enter class. Then, have them pass them up after they put in whatever is due. If you don't want to collect right away you could go around with a grade sheet and just check off who has it done that way students aren't completing work while you're teaching.

    If the teacher who has the class before you understands your needs they may be able to set up for you or leave things set up for you. Such as a projector. Also you could have all your materials in a folder or a tote for that day. Then just switch out materials from day to day or week to week.

    I hope these were some new suggestions as I didn't get a chance to read much of the link posted for you.
     
  28. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Aug 7, 2006

    Another thought... in many of my college classes, the students sometimes arrived before the professor, and we typically rearranged the desks to be the way we know our prof wanted them for class. I wonder if you could have your students be in charge of that if they get to class early? If you make it clear to them in the beginning that you really need their help, they might be willing to have the desks how you want them on their own.
     
  29. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Aug 7, 2006

    Be careful about that. Attendance is a legal document; it could conceiveably be used in court if the student is accused of doing something while he was supposed to be in your class, or if one divorcing parent is accusing the other of not making the child attend school.

    I won't sign my name to any attendance that I haven't done myself. I have a seating chart, it takes less than 2 minutes to scan the empty seats, and I know I can vouch for it.
     
  30. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Aug 7, 2006

    At my school we aren't allowed to have students take the attendance.
     
  31. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    Aug 7, 2006

    ***White boards are great and expensive. Go to the lumber yard buy a sheet of smooth white paneling. ---called white tile board…. Our lumber yard cut it up in smaller sizes free. (about 11 by 12 inches) don't remember for sure. Or maybe your high school shop teacher will cut it for you. Next with sand paper sand around the edges just enough to take off the sharp edge. A boys top of a sock ---makes a good eraser. You need a white board, a white board marking pen and sock top for each student. Teacher gives a math problem, spelling word or whatever. When student has an answer they hold up the board. You say correct erase or try again. Our boards get lots of use.

    To add something different to free reading. Make some "Whisper Phones" Take two piece of curved plastic PVC pipe and a short straight piece to attach them together. It will look like a telephone receiver. Students whisper read in one end and can hear themselves with the end that is at their ear. Whisper phones help build fluency.
     
  32. Jenni

    Jenni Rookie

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    Aug 11, 2006

    I think the fact they have signed would be enough in most courts. If you keep the sheets for proof I think in most cases it would be the students problem if they wrote the wrong name. Also, after you learn the kids by name and face you wouldn't need this. You just glance over your roster and check off who's there, or write down who isn't.

    In the preschool room I have been working in this summer I have had up to 20 kids under my direct care and we have to check off every half an hour who is there. It isn't that difficult to do, and we have absolutely no seating chart at all. All my middle school teachers knew all their students after a couple weeks in. And my college professor, who has more than a middle school teacher, was required to know first and last names compared with faces of all her students by the end of the second week. Seating charts are not always possible and what do you do in the rare times you go out with your class if you don't know them all well?

    Also, in defense of my first mentioned method, I already mentioned you can easily check if it is correct by counting the list as soon as the students pass it in. If a student signed for another there will be less students then names on the list. Therefore you really can vouch for it.
     
  33. srh

    srh Devotee

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    Aug 11, 2006

    Well, I wouldn't be comfortable relying on "the student signed it." The teacher is the one accountable for what happens in the classroom, not the children. I guarantee that if an issue arises, the student will not be in as much trouble (at least with the principal and district!) as the teacher would be. Something to think about. And as far as court, having come from a long background with federal court, don't EVER assume!! Perceptions can be surprising, and sometimes what seems so obvious to the participants is lost on those who make decisions! And as Alice alluded to, if there is a custody dispute or argument over which parent is taking care of the kids, believe me, you don't want to be in the middle! Hold everyone to strict standards and save yourself some grief!
     
  34. TexasAggie2323

    TexasAggie2323 Comrade

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    Aug 11, 2006

    I have a sign in sheet. They sign it if they are here and I check it to make sure that it is correct. I still have to look at it but it still saves me a TON of time especially since I am travelling.
     

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