Classroom Tips You'll Love

Happy Valentine's Day! It's Megan from I Teach. What's Your Super Power?  To celebrate the fact that you survived this day filled with kids on a sugar high, we thought we'd share some classroom tips we use to make our lives a little easier.  Fourteen tips exactly in honor of the day of love.

1.  Stop telling them to line up quietly.  It doesn't work anyway.  I started using call backs (Third grade-->rocks!)  We do the call back three times, and then that's it.  I tell them three hints is enough for anyone to line up properly and quietly.  After three hints, it's time to go to the back of the line.  Click here to read more callback ideas.

2.  You know those little color sticker dots?  Put them on their desks.  One of the teachers at my school does this.  Orange dots-get the papers for your table.  Green dots-collect the recycling.  You get the idea.

3.  Kids forgetting to put their names and numbers on papers?  Have them turn then into you in number order.  This means they can't just put their paper at the top of the stack.  They have to find the correct place in the stack.  Bonus?  Helps them with the concept of betweenness.  Double bonus?  They will hunt down the kid that did not write his/her name or number because it messes up the stack.

4.  Where are those darn kids?  I use a chart to keep track over everybody.  You can read about it here. I had so many people ask me about these, that I put an editable one in my store.

5.  Drowning in papers?  Keep them organized.  I love these magnetic pockets from Lakeshore.

6.  Do your kids ask you to do 100 things a day?  I need a new copy of my reading log . . . can you help me find the sequel . . . remember when you ran out of passes and told me you'd get me one . . . .  And you immediately forget everything because you're already doing 100 things.  Have them leave you a post it note on your desk.  I hate these little notes on my desk, but I don't let myself remove them until I've taken care of it.  Problem solved.

7. Tired of looking for the papers you copied or the book that goes with your lesson?  Make sure you have a place to put everything and put an end to those frantic searches.

8.  Need ideas for quick writes?  Try using Bing.  You can read more about it here.

9.  To help your students differentiate between independent work time and partner/group work time, use music! For independent work time, I play classical, relaxing music. For partner/group work time, I don't play music. This helps the students distinguish between the two without reminders!

10.  Have students "Ask 3 Before Me". They will then seek out three different students for the answer before coming to you. Great for questions like "Where do I turn this in?" and "What are we supposed to do next?" You can read more about it and a download a poster here.

11.  Use numbered files to organize student forms and info. It's a great way to keep track of student work for RTI or parent meetings. Want to read more? Click here.

Teaching Maddeness
12.  Number your students on the first day of school and spend time teaching them to line up in numbered order quickly (make it a game and time them). Have them line up in this order each time they line up - it is quick to tell who is missing at fire drills or when lining up from recess. Also have them put their numbers on all papers. Make one classroom job "teacher's assistant" and have that person put all papers from the turn in basket in order at the end of the day. Those young teachers-in-training love it, and it saves you a ton of time!

13.  Have different colors of folders available for students to store work in when they are finished with their work. Students use a crayon to color in the corner of their work as I assign it so they know which assignment goes into the blue folder, the purple folder, and we even draw a peace sign for the 60's folder! Read all about it here.

14.  Students not putting their names on papers? Have them put a star on the paper next to their name and number as verification they made sure their name was there. Give extra credit points for students with the star. Of course, students don't know that you don't give the extra credit for every single assignment.

What do you do to make your teaching day a little easier?


  1. I just started using numbers and I am loving it so far. Thanks for more ideas to use with the numbers they already know.
    Frampton's FUNdamentals

  2. Everything we do in my class is by numbers too! It makes things so much easier. Thanks for all the helpful tips.



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