This page is full of teacher tips, gathered from everywhere I could possibly find; from magazines to fellow teachers. Here you will find a little bit of everything; tips for the classroom, quick activities to fill time and ideas for all subject areas. Take what you want and enjoy!

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  • Use shoe boxes stored along a bench to store student's papers. Velcro a laminated name tag on each box for each child. Here they can store all of their possessions. They can also take their name off to use to practice writing their names!
    Thanks to Lisa McCreery
    Kalannie Primary School
    WA, Australia

  • Student Assistance: When you need a new bulletin board put up, some playground equipment put together, or a new shelving unit built, check with your local high school. Shop teachers are often looking for class projects that are a little more meaningful than making another birdhouse or whatnot shelf. Just ask!

  • Birthday Box: Create a reusable, decorated birthday box for children's birthdays. Inside place several treats, such as candy, pencils, stickers, and a birthday sticker. Leave the box on the child's desk so he will be surprised on the morning. Celebrate summer birthdays during the last month of school.

  • Missed-Work Folders: Make missed-work folders for absent students. Staple a file folder into a pocket and add a laminated message "Do the work you missed and return it and this folder to the teacher." When a student is absent, have a buddy tuck class work into the folder for the sick child. The student's work is kept up-to-date without the teacher doing it all.

  • Fishnet Displays: if you don't have enough bulletin board space, use a colored fishnet and clothespin the students' artwork on it.

  • Agenda Folder: Do your kids have a gripe? In a folder write their name, the gripe they have, who the gripe is with and the date. If they solve the problem by the end of the week, cross it out. Every week, look through the folder and discuss the situations and try to solve the problems.

  • Free Time Folder: Place a folder on the student's desk with paper, activities, coloring sheets, etc. that they can do after they are finished with their work

  • Hula-Hoop Center: Turn any floor area in your room into an instant learning center. Put a Hula-Hoop on the floor and place a folder activity and game pieces within the circle. The hoop provides a well-defined work space which can be moved easily at your convenience.

  • Homework Helper: To help get homework to and from school, provide each student with an inexpensive pocket folder. Have students place homework in their folders to take home. Award stickers to children who bring their folders back. The stickers on the folder will serve as a record of each child's hard work.

  • Pencil Can Clatter: Make clatter-proof pencil holders for each table. Save plastic tubs from ready-to-spread frosting. Remove each top and make several X cuts in it. Replace the top and push one pencil in each cut. When the can is knocked over, there's no mess and no clatter.

  • The concept of one thousand: Take your class and a few parent volunteers on a walk to gather dandelions. Ask each child to gather ten dandelions at a time. Place the dandelion bunches on the ground until you have ten rows of ten bunches each. Beginning at one end of a row, have a voluteer pick up and group the bunches in that row as the rest of you chorally count by tens. For each row, repeat the process until you have ten piles of one hundred dandelions each. Then pile, by pile. group the piles of ones hundred as you chorally count by hundreds to one thousand!

  • Measurement: Use brightly colored stick-on dots to help teach the concept of beginning measurement. Attach a straight row of dots to a chalkboard, wall or other flat surface. Using the row of dots, have the children randomly choose classroom items such as their pencils, pieces of chalk, and erasers to measure against the row of dots. Have each child verbalize or record how many dots long each of the objects is. If you have enough dots, consider making a vertical row of dots long enough for children to use to measure each other. How many dots are you?

  • School Visit: Explain to the children that they're going to take a tour of their school. Probe for what and whom they might see. Note their responses to take with you. As the children tour the school, call attention to items included in your notes as those items are seen. Invite them to imagine what they might say about their school. Guide them in identifying and describing their observations of things they did not expect to see.

  • Book Pictures: Select a picture book. Read the title to the children. Without showing the pictures, read the first page aloud. Invite the kids to describe how the picture might look for that page. Encourage them to give details about what they imagine. Show the picture on the page. Help the class describe it and tell how it differs from the pictures they imagined. Continue the activity throughout the story.

  • Without Looking: In a bag, place these items: chalk, pencil, peg, bead, button and paintbrush. Blindfold a child. He or she feels in the bag and removes an item. The child feels it while holding it up for the class to see. They describe the item, and the child guesses it. Then remove the blindfold. The child and the class confirm the name of the item. Put it aside, and place another one in the bag. Continue the activity.

  • Math Count: On separate large cards, write the numerals 1 to 10. Display them in order. Make two or three sets of smaller number cards. Randomly give one small card to each child. Have the children take turns matching their numeral cards with the displayed cards. After a child makes a match, identify the numeral. The child repeats it and claps that number of times. Then the class says the number and claps the corresponding number of times.

  • Shape Pull-Out: Show cutout circles and squares. Identify each shape. Guide the children in describing the shapes. Out of view, place a circle, square, and a related holiday shape (such as a turkey, snowflake, etc.) in a bag. Say "square" and have a child close their eyes, reach in the bag and find and remove the square. The child shows the selected shape. If it's a square, the children name it. If it is not the square, help the children tell why it is not a square, then repeat the activity, substituting other shapes for the turkey or whichever holiday shape was use.

  • Hate the mess of glitter? If you are using glue and glitter or paint and glitter, just add it to the paint or glue and mix! You never have a big mess and no waste!

  • My Book: Have children make their own book with pictures and words. Have them dictate the story and write it yourself at the bottom or side of the page. Use scraps of fur or fabric to add to the pictures.

  • Items to include in a writing corner: ink pads, stamps, stickers, envelopes, tape, pencils, stapler, unlined or computer paper, old typewriter, scissors, folders, postcards, old greeting cards.

  • Items to include in the art corner: crayons, stencils, markers, colored pencils, paint, paper, sponges, aprons, scissors, glue, tape, buttons, magazines, scrap fabric, wallpaper samples, paint samples, yarn, ribbon, old greeting cards, craft paper, tissue paper, cotton, plastic wrap, aluminum foil, leaves, patterns.

  • Items to include in the reading corner: magazines, books, posters. chairs, phone book, letters.

  • Items to include in the science corner: terrarium, plants, pictures of animals, small animals, magnets, fish, magnifying glasses, leaves.



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