A fun alternative to the desk

Do your students struggle to stay seated? A great differentiated classroom will have not only great variety in teaching materials, strategies, and formats, but in the environment itself. To meet the needs of diverse learners, try offering changes in lighting like using lamp lighting or natural lighting at times.

It’s time to (groan) assign a group project

Do your students dread working on group projects? Do you spend too much time trying to figure out who will and won’t work well together?  We found this great visual on Math Teacher Mambo’s blog; it provides a rationale for group work and some gentle encouragement to practice communication and social skills. We think this tool […]

Starting the year off strong

I could not resist featuring these wonderful interviews about the first days of school on Education Week. My favorite part was Rick Wormeli’s recommendation to start the year off with high expectations and challenging content. Which pieces resonated with you?

FUN FRIDAY: Get spin-spired

We found this project from the blog Lil Blue Boo and thought it would be such a neat addition to any teacher’s classroom. Some of the choices on this spinner are “on cloud 9”, “a firecracker”, and “Ironman”. You could use these ideas or create a more classroom-centered theme. For instance, an English teacher could […]

Helping students use time wisely

Learning how to use your time effectively is an important life skill. Why not help students learn it early? Sarah of Mrs. T’s First Grade keeps a Time Wisely Chart to teach time management to her first graders. Her chart is a simple hanging panel with pockets; students have their own pocket labeled with their […]

Settle down

Have students who need a little “escape” now and then? Miri from Here We Are Together uses a Mind Jar to help her learners feel more calm and settled. Her jar is made of glitter glue, hot water, glitter, and food coloring. When you shake the jar, it take a few minutes for the glitter to […]

FUN FRIDAY: Time in bloom

Spring is in the air, and here’s a wonderful visual support idea from I Do, We Do, You Do for those students who are just learning to tell time or are having a hard time figuring out that pesky minute hand. This is a version of a visual we featured in From Tutor Scripts to […]

Hand signals

You’ve probably heard about using hand signals in the classroom in order to cut down on disruptions. Penny Pinching Teacher shares a few that she uses with her fifth graders, like three fingers shaped in a ‘w’ to signal when they need water, and holding a pencil in the air when they need to have […]

FUN FRIDAY: Outside voice or inside voice?

Support your students who have difficulty remembering when they should speak in whispers and when they can speak a bit louder. Create a noise-0-meter like the one made by Mrs. Johnson. Many of your visual learners will be able to “hear” these cues better than verbal cues/directions. Want even more ideas? Scroll down on Mrs. […]

What students want

Students usually know what the teacher wants but do you know what your students want? The bold and clever teacher at teachitwrite recently asked her students to share their top requests of teachers on a piece of paper. The top three responses she received were: