Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Works for Me: Tips by Teachers for Teachers 1/5/2011

Ringing in the New Year

From Janine P. Riggins, a second grade teacher at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. School Complex in Atlantic City, New Jersey:

“In order to maintain effective classroom management upon returning to school after winter recess, I review and discuss school and classroom rules and behavior expectations. Students have most likely spent the holidays visiting friends and relatives and have gotten away from the normal school routine. By reviewing class rules and routines, students are gently moved back into the swing of the school day. Students work in cooperative learning groups and create collages of favorite gifts or favorite moments from the break. Students work together to list their New Year's resolutions. This is also a great time for students to set behavior and/or academic goals for the remainder of the school year. Rather than 'clamping down' or 'getting tough' on kids, I take advantage of their energy and excitement at the New Year and use it to my advantage. Students enjoy the activities, and I am sometimes surprised at the results.”

New Beginnings

From Carol Cirtin, a third grade teacher at Otterbein Elementary School in Otterbein, Indiana:

“An annual poem I have my third graders memorize is a wonderful reminder for the whole year. I have students who tell me when they are graduating from high school that they recite it to remind them of important things.

New Beginnings, by Helen Steiner Rice:

How often we wish for another chance
to have a fresh beginning
A chance to blot out our mistakes
and change failure into winning.
It does not take a new year
to make a brand new start.
It only takes the deep desire
to try with all your heart.
To live a little better
and to always be forgiving
To add a little sunshine
to the world in which we are living.
So, never give up in despair
and think that you are through,
For there's always a tomorrow
and a chance to start anew.

“My students memorize this poem every year and do it within a week. We also recite it on the morning announcements. I have students that stop by to recite it in 4th, 5th, and 6th grade and have even had it recited at graduations! What a wonderful way to start a healthy new year!”

Question of the Week: Sports x Academics = More Learning?

From Alain Jehlen, NEA Staff:

“Many students love sports more than academics. Have you found ways to integrate sports into math, reading, science, or other academic subjects so you can make use of that passion in your classroom?

Or the reverse: Have you integrated academics into sports?

Share your ideas and see what other educators are doing. We'll share some responses in the March NEA Today issue on the Works4Me page.”

Featured Post

Jack Hartmann Moves to the Music

From Diane Postman, a teacher in Yorktown, Virginia:

“If you want to make learning ‘physical,’ combine it with music. I highly recommend Jack Hartmann's CD's. His songs involve movement and are on topics such as science, geography, phonics, and more. Research shows that singing helps parts of the brain to make connections. Combining music and movement can help to reach students with varying learning styles and strengths according to Howard Gardner's 9 Intelligences.”