Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Works for Me Starting School Tips by Teachers for Teachers

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Managing Student Work and Notes
From Kathleen Marshall (, a second grade teacher at Juanita Elementary School in Kirkland, Washington:

"Several years ago I saw a great idea to use multiple pocket folders to manage homework and home/school notes. I checked the price of these folders, and they were $2.99 each, which didn't fit my budget. I created the same kind of folders using cheap pocket folders when they hit the before-school sales at 10 cents each. Here are my directions: I use our school binding machine to cut the slots for the cover of the folder on the fold. I take a second folder, usually a different color, and turn it inside out so the pockets are on the outside. Then I take the two open sides and cut them on the binding machine. When I put one inside the other, the cuts line up, and I can attach the plastic binding. Now I have a book that has four pockets. I create labels for each pocket, such as ‘homework to do,’ ‘finished homework,’ ‘notes for home’ and ‘notes for school‘. Parents know to look for their child's student planner with homework assignments written inside the folder every night. Additional folders can be added if more pockets are needed. These folders cost 20 cents per child, plus the time and plastic binder. They seem to last most of the year but are inexpensive enough to replace mid-year. Laminating the covers does extend their life but isn't necessary. It makes life much easier for children and parents to see work arrive at home and school safely."

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More Organizing Paperwork Tips

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Answer to Teacher Interruptions
From Kathy Johnson (

"The Daily 5- Fostering Literacy Independence" in the Elementary Grades by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser outlines the answer to teacher interruptions. The book explains how to teach students to work independently allowing the teacher time to work with individual students or small groups. The authors give specific instructions on how to begin and manage their system. I’m so glad I came across this book this summer, because I'll be implementing this plan for the upcoming school year and have high hopes!"

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Question of the Week: Teaching Time
From the Works4Me Worker Bees:

"Telling time is an essential, real-life skill, but it’s often addressed only when teachers can make some spare time for it. What strategies do you use to teach and reinforce this skill?"
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Group Math Projects
Heard Last Week in the Works4Me Lounge:

"I need ideas for group math projects in grades eight through twelve. Please share your ideas with me. I am really new at creating group math projects."

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