Teaching Tips and Tricks
- Connect kids in different grades – e.g. through buddy reading activities
- Middle years teachers often do 2 full weeks of team building – pods and teams are the focus of middle years
- What do students do when they come into your classroom each morning? There are many ways to take attendance
- Attendance strategy: attendance question on the smart board and students drag their names to the possible answers
- My mentor teacher calls each student’s name and says good morning to them
- Have several handouts (in all different formats) for any one exercise so that students can pick the handout that is structured the best way for them – they can all be on one table together so there is no stigma associated with which handout you pick. None of them are the modified or easier version -it’s not like one student is getting a “special” handout so that takes away the stigma.
- Put books up around the room to make it seem less sterile (don’t leave the books on the book cart)
- It’s a nice idea to have a classroom blog that parents can access.
- “Show me with your fingers how many more minutes you need” – before transitioning to next task
- Always help your most vulnerable readers and writers first
- Walk and talk is a good strategy
- Strategies to get students’ attention back / to communicate to them you need them to be quiet – if you can hear me say “shh” (and the shh spreads around the room). Show me your moose antlers, unicorn pointer, Dr. Evil zip, jingling bells, having White Fang jingle the bells, etc.