Archive for the ‘Teaching Tips’ Category

Math Manipulative Games

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Math Manipulative Games - Teacher Created Resources

Many teachers know that manipulatives are helpful for teaching math to kids, especially younger kids. Using physical objects is a hands-on approach to learning math that helps kids develop math concepts. Pairing number spinners with counters is a great way to teach math by allowing kids to problem solve and count. Here are some great math games to play using math manipulatives and number spinners.

Addition & Subtraction Manipulative Games for Pre-K, Kindergarten & 1st Grade

Number Spinners & Counters - Teacher Created Resources

Practice basic addition and subtraction facts by having students spin a number spinner, this will be the first value. Then have the students spin again on another number spinner, this is the second value.  Have the students subtract the second number from the first. Have the students state their answers and show them using counters.

Here’s another game you can play using number spinners:

Number Sense and Place Value Game for  2nd – 3rd Grade

Have students practice spinning any of the number spinners and then call out the number they land on. Students can write the number down in word form, to practice the correlation between the word and the numeral representation.

Have students practice this with larger numbers, asking them to spin twice or even three times to make two-and-three-digit numbers. For example, if a student spins three times, and first spins a 3, then a 6, then a 9, he or she should write down the number 369.

Then have them write “three hundred sixty-nine” next to the numerals. Have students practice comparing different numbers they spin. If they first spin the above number (369), then an 8, a 2, and a 1, student should write: 369<821.

Teacher Tips: End of the School Year Organization

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Teacher Tips End of the School Year Organization Teacher Created Resources

Testing is done and you had another fantastic year of teaching! The school year is coming to an end but there’s just one last thing left to do—pack up the classroom! It’s important to do as much cleaning, packing, planning, and organizing in the classroom before the school year ends. It will save you a lot of time and stress when school is back in session. Here are some great end of the school year organization and summer tips that will keep you organized and prepared while you relax this summer.

Chevron Name Tags - Teacher Created Resources

 

1) Store everything in plastic bins with labels. On the label, write down the contents of the box as well as where the box will go in the classroom. This will save lots of time when unpacking at beginning of the school year.

2) Take photos of your classroom. Taking photos of your classroom after everything is cleaned up and empty will help you organize your decorating ideas for the next school year.  Let’s say you found some cute accents, but are having trouble trying to remember what your classroom looks like in order to find the perfect spot for them? Keeping photos of your classroom will serve as a reference and give you a visual of what your next classroom theme will be.

3) Have students keep inventory of supplies in each center or section of the room. (I.e. Group A will keep inventory of how many pairs of scissors and glue sticks you currently have). Once you have this inventory, you will know exactly how many supplies you need for the next school year.

4) Keep a teacher memory book. Add photos of field trips, class photos and more in a memory book. Writing down things like “funniest moments of the year” and “favorite classroom activity” are fun memories to look back on. Having a hard copy book is great keepsake for yourself and the students.

5) Stay involved. Attend teacher conferences and workshops in the summer to keep yourself learning new things. You will be surrounded by like-minded teachers that love teaching just as much as you do.

6) Pin, Pin, Pin. Use Pinterest to pin lessons and projects you’d like to save for the following school year. Create boards and organize them by subject.

7) Have older students or parents help clean up the classroom. Play some music and offer snacks and you’ll see just how quickly your classroom will be clean.

8) Out with the old, in with the new. Let go of any items you no longer need and put in a box with a sign that says “free”. Put the box in teacher lounge for other teachers to take.  Sometimes getting rid of items is difficult, so offering them to other teachers is a great way to reuse and share. This makes room for all the new supplies and decorations you will need for the new school year.

8 Test-Taking Tips for Multiple-Choice Questions

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Test Taking Tips Teacher Created Resources

Some multiple-choice questions are straightforward and easy. Some questions, however, stump even the most prepared student. In cases like that, students have to make an educated guess. An educated guess is a guess that uses what students know to help guide their attempt. Students select a particular answer because they’ve thought about the format of the question, the word choice, the other possible answers, and the language of what’s being asked. By making an educated guess, students increase their chance of guessing correctly. Share these test-taking tips with students before their next multiple-choice test:

  1. Read the directions. It’s crucial. You may assume you know what is being asked, but sometimes directions can be tricky when you least expect them to be.
  2. Read the questions before you read the passage. Doing this allows you to read the text through a more educated and focused lens. For example, if you know that you will be asked to identify the main idea, you can be on the lookout for that head of time.
  3. Don’t skip a question. Instead, try to make an educated guess. That starts with crossing off the ones you definitely know are not the correct answer. For instance, if you have four possible answers (A, B, C, D) and you can cross off two of them immediately, you’ve doubled your chances of guessing correctly. If you don’t cross off any obvious ones, you would only have a 25% chance of guessing right. However, if you cross off two, you now have a 50% chance.
  4. Read carefully for words like always, never, not, except, and every. Words like these are there to make you stumble. They make the question very specific. Sometimes the answers can be right some of the time, but if a word like always or every is in the question, the answer must be right all of the time.
  5. After reading a question, try to come up with the answer first in your head before looking at the possible answers. That way, you will be less likely to bubble or click something you aren’t sure about.
  6. In questions with an “All of the above” answer, think of it this way: if you can identify at least two that are correct, then “All of the above” is probably the correct answer.
  7. In questions with a “None of the above” answer, this of it this way: if you can identify at least two that are not correct, then “None of the above” is probably the correct answer.
  8. Don’t keep changing your answer. Unless you are sure you made a mistake, usually the first answer you chose is the right one.

Find more tips and practice passages in Nonfiction Reading Comprehension for the Common Core

4 Tips on Encouraging Healthy Habits for Kids

Monday, April 14th, 2014

Healthy Habits Pledge_Teacher Created Resources

Incorporating fun physical outdoor games and indoor classroom exercises are great ways for teachers to encourage students to establish healthy habits. The National Health Education Standards & Common Core State Standards aim to support a whole-child approach to education-one that that ensures that each student is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged in their learning. Here are a few tips for establishing healthy habits in the classroom.

 

  1. Share the Healthy Habits Pledge above with students and discuss each line. Challenge students to learn the pledge and share it with family members. The goal here is to inspire the whole family to focus on good nutrition and support healthy habits. Post the pledge in the classroom and review it from time to time as students gain more insights into personal health.
  2. Introduce daily exercise to your students. Use physical activities to start the day and/or to transition from one activity to another. Throw in an extra exercise on tough days, or use more than one when weather conditions inhibit outdoor activity. These short, physical exercise breaks are a positive way to settle students for their day’s work.  And don’t forget breathing exercises! They can be done at any time of day and can help refocus or calm students as needed.
  3. Gather and display reference materials for the classroom on topics of nutrition, fitness, and overall health. Resources might include library or trade books, magazines, posters, and kid-friendly materials printed from government websites.  If appropriate, save links to relevant websites in a dedicated folder on classroom computers.
  4. Encourage students to start collecting packaging and nutritional labels from food products. Explain that they will be learning to read them and using them for comparisons. Establish an area in the classroom where these can be stores or displayed.

For free sample pages, classroom exercises, and ideas see Healthy Habits for Healthy Kids.