Teacher Tips, Freebie, and Ideas

Summer is a good time to reflect about what worked well the year before and what needs to be tweaked.  If you did some reflection this summer you are probably looking for new ideas.

Calendar numbers are one of my V-8 moments - why didn't I think of this earlier? I tape the numbers everywhere - or so it seems - when I organize my classroom at the beginning of the year. I tape them:

  • Mailboxes (see picture above) where students gets notes for home and graded work
  • Above coat hook
  • On the floor to show students where they line up
Calendar numbers add color to the room.  You can also use the thematic ones to add to what you have planned for your room.

Popsicle sticks are one of my go-to manipulatives.  They are cheap, small, and easy to store.  They can be used for:
  • Math counters
  • Math - make geometric shapes
  • Early finishers - keep a cup of these on your tables.  Students can create pictures with them.

Testing your class at the beginning of the year is an extra challenge because your students do not know all of the procedures yet.  How do you give one-on-one tests and keep the rest of your students engaged?  One way you can do this is with an activity like the one in the picture above.  Color by code is fun and a good way to review skills.  The math themed printables in the picture are free.

Displaying students' work in the hallway was always a challenge for me until I figured out the system in the picture above.  Students color a picture to look like themselves.  Then I staple a gallon size ziplock bag to it.  Students can easily slip an assignment that they are proud of in the ziplock bag.  The great thing is the bag will hold many assignments.  Clean out the bag at the end of each month.  Keep them until the end of the year and you have a student portfolio of self-selected work.  You can read more about this bulletin board.                                        

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