Your Best Tip

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by paperheart, Jun 24, 2007.

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  1. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    I remember last summer, we had a thread with general tips. I know it is still pretty early, but I thought it wouldn't hurt to start it. (I'm bored. lol.) Lets see how long we can keep this thread going. :)

    Here is mine for starters:

    If you are not crazy about your students drawing on your board pick a day that they are allowed to do it. My fourth graders knew that Wednesdays were Chalkboard day and looked forward to it. (They could use it around dismissal time.) I was happy to only deal with extra chalk dust and, later, the use of my expensive dry-erase markers once a week and not have to tell the kids "no"--they just knew.
     
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  3. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    Grade papers right away.

    I've had days where I don't and the pILE UP! eeeek.
     
  4. etcetera83

    etcetera83 Cohort

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    Make all your copies the week before - you never know if the copier will be down!
     
  5. jnation

    jnation Companion

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    Assign as many jobs as possible to the students--gives you more time to do what needs to be done and gives them a sense of responsibility.
     
  6. meatball77

    meatball77 Comrade

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    Go over your rules on the first day and make sure that they are clear. Have a procedure for everything.
     
  7. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Don't take ANYTHING for granted- Model it!
     
  8. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Always have a back-up or rainy day plan. If there's a power outage, the server is down, you're having a rough day, or you don't get your copies in time, make sure you have something you can whip out and do on the spot.
     
  9. Bitsy Griffin

    Bitsy Griffin Companion

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    Do not assume they know anything. If you want them to push in their chairs, show them how and then practice.
     
  10. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

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    Become friends with the janitorial staff, the clerks, the counselor, etc. Anyone who can help you.

    Don't be afraid to ask questions!
     
  11. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    I try & get my planning done by Thursday so Friday I can spend my prep making copies for the next week. I then put everything in a file for the correct day of the week.

    I then make it a habit to leave the file out for the next day, along with my plans, so if I have to call in unexpectedly, the sub can find everything.
     
  12. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Dont sweat the small stuff.
    Make just a couple of rules and drill them on
    those rules.
     
  13. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Did you let them use colored chalk or just the regular white or yellow?
     
  14. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    The best tip I've received from a mentor teacher is to plan much more than you think you will need. You can always drop stuff, but adding it is much more difficult.
     
  15. Bitsy Griffin

    Bitsy Griffin Companion

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    That reminded me, I keep a file-drawer of classroom sets of problem solving work. not too terribly hard, but not easy either. Great when something runs short and helps with those problem solving skills.
     
  16. sarahthree

    sarahthree Rookie

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    Obviously you should document everything -- my advice is to get the carbonless copy paper so that if you need to write a quick note to a parent at the end of the day, you only have to write it once and you've got a copy to keep for yourself. Last year if I remembered at the end of the day that I wanted to give J's mom a quick reminder, I would type up the letter so I could save a copy for myself, but the printer would always manage to jam up or refuse to print so I'm pretty excited about having carbonless copy paper on hand next year for situations like this!
     
  17. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Use an online gradebook!
     
  18. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    whatever I had on hand.
     
  19. Emma35

    Emma35 Connoisseur

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    I have a template on my computer that I do my weekly lesson plans on. I usually finish my plans on Thursday for the following week. I then email a copy of them to my home in case I want to look them over the night before or more importantly I have them at home in case I call in sick. I can just then type up a more detailed sub plan, email it to the office and they print it and hand it to the sub.
     
  20. MissMcCollum

    MissMcCollum Companion

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    I've lived by this since I was an aide in an LD Resource room, then as a sub, in student teaching, and I plan to use it in my own class as well:

    When all else fails, do a read aloud.
     
  21. ITeach4Him

    ITeach4Him Comrade

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    This isn't my idea...maybe I read it somewhere on here? ;) Anyway, it is great.

    Keep a sheet of file labels on your desk. When discipline problems arise, note it on a label. At the end of the day, just peel off the label and place it in the students record/file for documentation. Saves you time having to stop class to do this or trying to remember to do it later.
     
  22. TeacherGrl7

    TeacherGrl7 Devotee

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    Agreed!! There are days when the kids are so antsy you just can't get anything done. I learned this year that every once in a while it's okay to accept that and fall behind for the day. If they're going that crazy, they aren't learning what you're teaching anyway- why make them and yourself crazy? A good book will pass the time and calm them down. So you miss a few minutes of instruction, but everyone's nerves are still intact. Well worth it!
     
  23. teachingmomof4

    teachingmomof4 Groupie

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    Document everthing. Document when you call parents with the date, time, student, and reason for calling. Also state whether you left a message or not. Parents are good at saying that you never called when you did.
     
  24. Ms. Jane

    Ms. Jane Companion

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    Have emergency sub plans so that if you get sick you don't have to go in to the school or fax some plans in.
     
  25. Kat53

    Kat53 Devotee

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    Have a package of cute thank you cards in your desk. These always came in handy when students would bring the occasional flower or anything else. Also helpful when someone from your staff does something nice for you, etc.
     
  26. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Whenever you get angry or upset with a student, imagine your principal or the parent of that child standing behind him as you correct him. Would your tone of voice/word choice/body language be the same? Are you behaving professionally? If not, will you be able to defend the way you are behaving to the parents/administrators later?
     
  27. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    Treat every child as you would want a teacher to treat your own- with kindness and compassion.
     
  28. Jame

    Jame Comrade

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    Something that has really helped me is during work time, jot down answers on a postette and then, walk around checking the first five-ten problems on each student's paper. I usually put a star on correct problems and give them a chance to take another look at any missed ones. Cuts down on after hours checking and gives an opportunity to check for understanding. Older students love to help check and can help out if you need to stop to help struggling students. Can also,after allowing enough time for all students to do several problems, write some of the answers on the board for the students to self check. Again, helps keep them from doing a whole page incorrectly. :)
     
  29. TXTeacher4

    TXTeacher4 Companion

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    Cut felt into small squares and use as erasers for the students' dry erase boards.
     
  30. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    Allow kids to choose classroom jobs for EVERYTHING!!! Have a helper check in homework daily, clean the floor at the end of the day, turn off lights/lock door when you leave, correct papers daily (so the papers don't pile up on you), run morning meeting (calendar activities), electrician (to check if computers are left on @ the end of the day, turn off lamps in reading area etc.). I can go on and on!!! My 2nd graders did almost everything. They felt responsible for their own classroom which made them want to take care of the classroom more. It wasn't my space, but theirs. Their levels of independence went sky high!!!;)
     
  31. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Besides, I could use a good maid.... Hahah... No, just kidding, I'm with YT all the way.. teach responsiblitlity. If they feel ownership, they will have pride in things.
     
  32. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    A little bunch of maids can never hurt... LOL!!!! No, I know what you mean Frizzle. The homework checkers always did a great job for me. They would even get on other kids who didn't write their names on their homework or who left their homework in their bookbags etc. I didn't have to say a word. LOL!:D
     
  33. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

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    Here are a few...

    Have your desk be your own area. Not only does it keep the kids from getting germs in your area, it cuts down on kids nosing through personal papers, and keeps them from taking your personal supplies (hopefully!) I don't even let the kids sit in my desk.

    Keep the tissues far away from your desk. Make your desk trash can just for your use, and in fact put everything the kids want to touch far away from an area you might be in. Only thing I keep near my desk are the take a pencil/return a pencil cups. Those get sprayed w/ Lysol daily. In fact, I spray my desks every afternoon w/ Lysol

    Keep a box w/ change, snacks, and personal items in your desk. It will be a life saver. Also keep a tide stain remover pen in there too :)

    Keep some plants in your room- crack a window too if possible. Fresh air really helps cut down on illnesses.

    Boy- I sound like a germaphobe huh... Guess it came from me being so sick my first year teaching!
     
  34. meatball77

    meatball77 Comrade

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    Kids are just as happy with goldfish crackers, pretzals and fruitloops as they are with candy and they're much cheaper and healthier.
     
  35. wdwteach

    wdwteach Cohort

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    Make a me box for yourself. I put in change for the soda machine, M & M's, microwave popcorn, tea bags and hot chocolate packets. I also put in mints and cough drops. Put in anything you could use in a bind or on a not so great day.
     
  36. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

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    I also buy a case of bottled water when school begins and store it in a cabinet. People laugh until they are paying .50 a bottle, and I am drinking it for free.

    I also suggest that you keep advil or some other meds someplace safe. You will need it sometime, and when you do, no one in the building will have anything lol.
     
  37. Lesley

    Lesley Habitué

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    I kept a small jar of vaseline and a bag of q tips for when their lips were dry and cracked. Just dab the q tip in the vaseline and give it to the child.
     
  38. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Don't forget feminine (sp) supplies in a drawer, just in case. An extra pair of nylons, any medicine you may need. I keep my migraine meds and other such supplies locked in a drawer with my purse.
     
  39. ~Nicole

    ~Nicole Comrade

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    Anytime I make a master copy of a worksheet I make a copy in colored paper also and fill in the answers. This way I can tell which one is the answer guide (and don't accidently copy the wrong one-don't ask).

    I also make a diagonal line with highlighter on the master. The highlighter won't show up when I make copies and it saves me from giving out my master.
     
  40. ancientcivteach

    ancientcivteach Habitué

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    Get a class set of puzzle books (word finds, crosswords, sodukus) for after testing (standardized or other) you-absolutely-must-be- quiet-until-everyone-has-finished time. There are fun puzzle books at the dollar store, so a class set is only about $25 and will last for years.
     
  41. holliday

    holliday Comrade

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    I teach middle school and find that the students benefit from having a written copy of my rules & procedures to keep in their folders. We go over it the 1st day and again throughout the 1st month. I also give them a quiz over it to show them just how important I think they are.

    Whenever someone breaks a rule or ignores a procedure, I have the student look up the correct behavior and consequence on the handout so they can be reminded. This also helps them not take the consequences so personally since they see them in black and white on a page, layed out for everyone the same.

    ...It's also nice to show parents and administrators whenever a question arises about classroom managment.
     
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