Tuesday, August 31, 2010

LCEA Works for Me Tips for Teachers by Teachers August 31, 2010


Smack It!

"Here's a fun way to review vocabulary. Write a variety of vocabulary words all over the board. Divide the class into two teams and choose one representative from each team to come up to the board. Give them a fly swatter with which they are to 'smack' the correct vocabulary word upon the teacher's prompting. Whoever smacks first wins a point for their team. Prompts may be English translations, complete the sentence, opposites, synonyms or any other creative question the teacher can make up. This game gets the kids moving! In the event the 'smackers' don't know the answer, the other students (who have been paying close attention) have an opportunity to answer it for the point!"
Getting Organized

Organizing Students' Belongings

"After spending much of the school year nagging a couple of unorganized students to move the piles of 'stuff' from under their desks to their lockers or to the inside of their desks, I came up with a better and more positive solution. I found a plastic crate in which each of them can keep their pile. They feel special because they receive special treatment and the rest of the class no longer has to trip over their materials."

Managing Your Classroom

Get Creative with Lining Up

"Ways to line up that do not include gender are short ways to illustrate that being different is fine. For example, students can line up according to shades of hair from dark to light. I point out that differences exist even among those who think they are alike. Are differences good or bad or just different? Why do we like some things? Name similarities. Or students line up according to birthdays and talk about seasons and bring out the value in seasons and weather. Or students line up according to when they were born and use a map to figure out who was born the closest to the school and who was the farthest away. Are they all from the same city or lots of different places? Does being from someplace different make you special? Is everyone special in some way?"


Parent Night

"I help parents connect with their child's school experience by having Parent Night about two or three weeks after school starts. The parents come to the room and sit at their child's desk. We go through the daily schedule and pull out the books so they can see what we're studying. This is also a great opportunity to discuss my discipline policy. I don't discuss individual students at this time but set up appointments for conferences at a later date. This activity has proven to be very successful."

Using Technology

Parent Email

"I asked parents for their email address in my Beginning of School letter. I entered the addresses as a group, sent a test mail and received several responses. Through email, I can invite parents to school meetings, answer their questions about progress reports and send assignments to sick students. Email makes me more accessible than the telephone and I make it a point to reply promptly. Parents really appreciate this method of communication."