One of our readers asks: “I have never had a problem with peanut allergies with my students, but a friend just ran into it for the first time in a VBS. She used something with peanut butter for a prize, and had an irate mother. What do you do about this problem? Is this something we should think about before using ANYTHING with peanuts/ peanut oil, etc? Or is it the parent’s obligation to notify us of any allergy?”
The Lawrence Looping Project is not a technique new to Wichita, but it is to our school. We have several pair of classroom teachers who make up “loops”; in my case, I have fourth grade this year, with my partner teacher teaching her fourth graders from last year again as fifth grade. Next year, I will keep the students from my class and teach fifth grade, and my looping partner will begin her new loop with a fresh class of fourth graders. While some benefits reportedly include giving special ed students a more stable learning environment, I am particularly looking forward to a more long-range curriculum, and for dealing more effectively with students who, say, spend nearly a whole year just getting up to speed on basis math skills, only to go out the door just when things were beginning to get on track.
When Teachnet Contributor, Chantal Latour, sat down to personalize her students’ report cards, something was missing. The list of report card comments that used as starters and had spent years compiling was gone. Chantal explained her situation to the members of the Teacher-2-Teacher forum and was overwhelmed with responses. Nearly 300 adjectives and phrases are available here for your use.
We have had numerous requests here at Teachnet.Com for a library of downloadable, printable certificates and awards. As we work towards creating such a library of PDF files and blacklines for you to use, we now make our first contribution to the library online. Read on for information on how to request your own certificate.
This is the third year for using the Ticket System in my room. The idea is that each student has a ticket they keep at their desk, a ticket I’ll take from them as a form of punishment or discipline. I keep track of how many times each student loses a ticket during the grading period, and reward those with no lost tickets.
When a student has been absent long enough that someone has to stop in and pick up work for them, it’s a good time to reach in your box of word puzzles and brain teasers to send along a little “fun” activity as well. In addition, you might want to keep a selection of get-well cards, or write a quick note to them on personalized stationery to make them feel special.
When dividing your class into teams, skip the unfair practice of having team captains pick favorites. Have students line themselves up chronologically by their birthdays, but make them use sign language to communicate their birthday.
If you allow your high school students a way to offset that one test they bombed out on, consider making extra credit a proactive, rather than reactive, choice for them. Post at the beginning of the course, or hand out along with the syllabus, a list of projects or activities they can complete to boost their overall grade. But assign point value on a sliding scale: a project worth 10 extra points the second week of the semester might be worth 6 points halfway through, and only 4 points when there are two weeks left to go. It might force them to do extra work before they need it, or realize the value in not procrastinating.
Reward your students with popcorn when they finally make it through their multiplication tables, to illustrate how steam and pressure can have explosive results, as an incentive to go one day without getting in trouble in the lunchroom or simply because it’s Friday. Popcorn is quick and easy to make, doesn’t cost much money and, no, a microwave oven is not required. Hot air poppers use no oil and empty into a bowl while they’re popping; if you like lots of oil and butter on yours get the motorized kind with the stirring wires where flipping the whole thing upside down turns the lid into the bowl. Dump your popped corn into a large bowl or bag, then walk around using a cup to pour popcorn onto paper napkins on your students desks. Be prepared to have someone ready to sweep the floor when you are done.
We’ve all known for a long time about soap and shampoo bottles that can be put to use in the classroom holding glue, water, whatever. Having just started wearing contact lenses, we’ve discovered another: the cleaning solution bottle. Smaller in size than soap bottles, with a flip top cap that won’t get lost, these are great for glue, but you may want to use a small drill bit or a red-hot nail to make the hole larger. Anyone who wears contact lenses goes through this solution regularly, so have them save the bottles for you.