Fall Teacher Tips

Fall has arrived. Have you noticed that some of your students get energized when the chilly weather sets in? You might need to break up your schedule into smaller blocks when this happens. You can use brain breaks to help get your students back on track.

One seasonal break I like to use is "hot pumpkin". It is played like "hot potato" only I use a pumpkin. I found the foam pumpkin at Dollar Tree. Students sit in a circle. Give one student the pumpkin. Play seasonal music. When the music stops, the student holding the "hot pumpkin" is out of the game. Continue playing as long as you have time or until you get down to the last student holding the "hot pumpkin". Students need to be quiet to hear the music which is an added bonus.

You can control the music or you can let each student as they are caught holding the "hot pumpkin" have a turn controlling the music. When you organize it this way, you have a little time to pass out papers or do other teacher-stuff.
Eyes on me? Sometimes it pays to be a little silly.  I found the buggy eyes headband at Dollar Tree.  Wear this during your lesson when you need your students' attention and I'm sure their eyes and ears will be focused on you.

How do you keep your students' attention?
Looking for Fall ideas? Check out my Pinterest boards.

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Play-Doh Ideas: Morning Tubs - Number Sense, Math Facts, & More

Looking for new ideas for morning tubs?  Play-Doh has so many uses in the classroom.
At the beginning of the school year, I like to start the day with Play-doh and cookie cutters.  It is an open-ended activity that students love which means easier good-byes from mom and dad.  Students are engaged, laughing, and chatting with other students at their table which makes it easier for mom and dad to leave.  Best of all, Play-doh warms up their muscles that they will be using for schoolwork.  
Did you know that September 16th is National Play-Doh Day? Mr. McVicker invented play-doh as a wallpaper cleaner. His sister-in-law was a nursery school teacher. She was looking for a project for her class when she found the wallpaper cleaner. Watch this video to see how this teacher influenced Mr. McVicker's company in a big way!
Looking for morning tub ideas? Play-doh, ice tray, and scissors is a fun way to students work on number sense and strengthen fine-motor skills.
Practice math facts with play-doh, scissors, and a deck of cards. Students can write the math fact on a dry erase board.
Add a few odds and ends to your Play-doh tub and let your students' imagination go wild.  Let your students either take a picture of their creation or draw it.  Write words that describe it.

How do you use Play-Doh?

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