Monday, June 21, 2010

Works for Me: Tips by Teachers for Teachers 6/21

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Making Vocabulary Come to Life
From Barb B.:

“This year, I borrowed an exercise from the drama department to use as a vocabulary tool. Students performed improv (drama and comedy) to illustrate new vocabulary words. One prompt was.. ‘You are on an airplane and you meet a new person. As you are sharing your life story, use 10 vocabulary words.’ We also used a round-the-room kind of improv where each successive student had to talk about a vocabulary word. Each new student started the monologue with the next letter in the spelling of the vocabulary word. To me, this exercise seemed just like many of the other activities that we had done during the year, but when we added the dramatic features such as using a sad voice when you talk, pretend you are driving the car while you are talking, etc., it really came alive for the kids.”

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Browse Tips on: kinesthetic learning, vocabulary

Teaching Organizational Skills
From D. Sullivan, a second grade teacher:

“This is a procedure that works really well for me to keep dismissal less hectic. Homework assignments are written first thing in the morning as part of the ‘morning work’ while I am taking attendance and checking homework. Any books needed to take home that may not be needed in class that day are immediately placed in book bags, as a class, on my ‘countdown’. During the day, as we use a book, like the reading book or their math book, and there is a homework assignment in that book, it is placed in their book bag immediately after we finish using it. This is done before taking out the next book. If they put them in their book bags as a class on my countdown, it gets done. Lunchboxes are placed in the book bag as soon as we return from lunch. I write any notes I have to send home during our specials time and staple them to the agenda book where homework is written and parents sign. I place the agenda book in the student’s book bag. Doing everything as we go along throughout the day, takes just a few minutes. It becomes routine for the students and teaches organization skills. This daily procedure has us ready to go at the end of the day when the bell is about to ring.”

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Browse Tips on: dismissal, organization, classroom cleanup

Question of the Week: Summer Plans
From Steve Meyer:

“Hey Teachers! What are you doing this summer? I will be participating in a PD program in Utah learning about dinosaurs and Astronomy. I will also be chasing after our new puppy, gardening and taking long bike rides.”

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We’re looking for great ideas on other topics, too:
Smooth Dismissals
What Did You Learn About Teaching?Taming the Paperwork Tiger
Summer Reading
Featured Post, Cluster Grouping
From Denice Dodge:

“My class will consist of gifted students along with my other students. We are starting something called ‘cluster grouping.’ Does anyone have any information and/or comments about cluster grouping to help me out? I would really appreciate it.”

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