Thank you to everyone who participated in our Tips & Tricks giveaway on Facebook! You provided us with so many awesome classroom tips and tricks that we wanted to collect them all to share with our blog readers. Below are just a few of the top comments:
We asked: What part of your classroom library are you most proud of and why?
I provide a 15 minute block of time specifically for reading in my preschool classroom. Each child chooses their book and a “reading buddy” (which is a beanie baby animal) to read their story to. The most popular thing for a preschooler to say is “but I can’t read!” My response to them is to take a picture walk through the book and make up a story to tell their “reading buddy.” It makes this time special and meaningful to my 4-5 year olds. There is a lot of imagination building here! –Alina Loguidice
I’m proud of my classroom library because it is USED! I have their books divided into reading levels pre-primer to 8th grade level for a Title 1 fifth grade class – which took a long time to do. Any time spent in sprucing my library corner is time well spent when my students learn to love reading!!Students continue to read books, lose books, I replace with current reading material – it grows and grows to keep up with their wish lists. LOVE sharing my love of reading to my kids!! –Valerie Reeve Kelly
I am most proud of my kindergarten classroom library because the bulletin board and other materials are book reviews written/drawn by my students to help their classmates choose a book to read! –Michele Marie Moore
We asked: If you could share one piece of advice with a new teacher about fostering a collaborative classroom environment, what would it be?
Teach collaboration from day one. When the classroom can work together, the rest of the year tends to go a bit smoother. –Stephanie Marquez
Build a classroom “community” where students feel safe to share ideas and opinions smile emoticon Be flexible and consistent!!! -Brittney Thomas Chavez
For the past 5 years I have created classroom jobs and allow students to apply for these positions every 2-3 weeks. I also create activities that have students working in groups to choose different positions for completing the task. My desks are rearranged each quarter, so that students work with each other. Students help create activities and final assessments, for collaborative learning. They enjoy giving their inputs. I do select groups during the first semester, but at the beginning of the second semester I let students choose. It surprises me how they learn fairness and really think about their choices when selecting group members. I also have students assess their performances and group peers through evaluation sheets while working in collaborative groups. I will say to new teachers be creative and involve your students in your collaborative planning. Students are SO EAGER to be a part of their learning, they just never get a chance in some classes. New teachers you will enjoy working with your students and begin to build great relationships! Teaching is a calling and an AWESOME GIFT, that I thank God for blessing me EVERY DAY! Have FUN! –Cherrie Moye
We asked: What is your top tip for keeping your storage closet organized?
have several tubs/baskets for each item and paper tray organizers for construction paper or copy paper. Depending on what grade you teach, you could have some students (the trusting, eager to help students) help organize one specific part. I used to have a student that loved organizing my construction paper when it got messy–that was the best! 🙂 –Brittani Moody
Use a dry erase sticker to label tubs. This will allow you to easily add or change the label of the tubs. –Julie Weaver
Remove all “inherited” items from your closets/cabinets and place your personal items inside in clear bins. THEN go through the items left for teachers past and make a decision that you WILL use the item or WILL NOT. Place the keep items in the appropriate bins already in place and give away the other items. –Patti Mejia
We asked: What’s your #1 ‘can’t live without’ item at your desk?
Framed pics of MY kids…my whole world. They remind me that all of my students are somebody else’s whole world & I want to do my best for them, because I want my kids’ teachers to do the best they can for my kids. –Sandi Gutierrez
My hole-punch. I reward students with a “punch” on their 3×5 card. Sometimes I just wave the hole punch before asking a question to get the best responses. –Becky Brandon
As a middle school teacher, the one go to thing at my desk that gets teenagers weirdly motivated is my Mr. Sketch Markers. I use them to initial completed papers and the scent surprisingly motivates them to get my signature, just so they can sniff! Also, the bright finish of the markers creates an eye-catching display as we create our interactive student notebook. I do not begin a new school year without a fresh package of Mr. Sketch. My classroom was broken into recently by young men and they took brownies, sodas and my beloved markers. Isn’t that a testament to a great product for this aged group? –Beth Boggess Rickerts
Share your own Classroom Tips & Tricks in the comments below!