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Management > Getting
a Headstart: Classroom Chores
Nicole Stockdale, Teachnet Staff
The summer vacation has barely started for most teachers, yet already
many feel that they must begin planning for the upcoming year. And, even
for those who have a vacation-, school-, or work-free summer, preparing
a little at a time is a great way to avoid stress as the end of the summer
Separate jobs don't necessarily need to be assigned to different people.
Instead, you can assign a specific person to do all the jobs for one day.
This "Teacher's Pet" -- also called an MVP (Most Valuable Person),
POD (Person of the Day), or some variationon of that theme --changes every
day. He or she will be line leader, messenger, phone answerer, etc. Also,
if more helpers are needed, the Teacher's Pet may choose who they will
be. In order to pick the Teacher's Pet of the day, you can go through
your class roster alphabetically. Or, try having two coffee cans, one
filled with tongue depressers for each of your students' names. Every
day, pick out a new name at random from Can 1 and place in Can 2. Once
all the names from Can 1 have been used, Can 2 will be ready for the next
round. The Teacher's Pet idea is also good because if a student does not
perform well or does not like a specific job, tomorrow everyone is free
from that assignment, and someone new is posted. In addition, substututes
benefit because they have one person to count on all day.
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Also: What classroom teachers
can do to increase attendance.
Classifying Galaxies Lesson Plan
With summer in the United States fast approaching, children across the nation are hoping for long hours of swimming provided by clear skies. Many teachers are looking for clear skies, too, as they start summer units on space and astronomy. One great starting point is this lesson plan, geared for grades 5 - 9, on the Hubble System of Classifying Galaxies. The award-winning site offers a comprehensive look at the shapes of galaxies and how theses shapes are used to determine which galaxy category they belong to. All the materials teachers need are provided online, including the lesson plan, prinatble worksheets and answer keys, and images of galaxies. The hosting site, the Science Museum of Virginia, also offers other astronomy websites for you to check out.
The Education Place Activity Search
The Education Place Activity Search is a searchable database of over 400 original classroom activities and lesson plans for teachers and parents. The activites are intended for grades K-8. Visitors can search for them by both grade level and curriculum area. The areas include Math, Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, and Art. Not only is this site quick to download, but its fast search engine allows you to get a lot of information in a short amount of time. You can use it to generate new ideas or to add on to existing lesson plans. Either way, this site will be sure to help your lessons run more smoothly.
Mail a stuffed animal to a participating schools as your classroom's Travel Buddy! This site gives you great ideas on how to choose your stuffed animals (school mascot, endangered animals, etc.) and collaborative activities that go along with the project. These include:
This is a great way to learn about other places and cultures, and it's easy to modify to fit your classroom budget. Have fun!
Belize Zoo Pen Pals
The Belize Zoo is spnsoring a pen-pal program that focuses on the animals of Belize and their conservation. Students must meet the following requirements:
These students should write about themselves; their school,
town, or country; and what they want to know about Belize wildlife. The
Belize Zoo will distribute the letters to rural classrooms throughout
The Well Connected Educator is sponsoring three contests this month for teachers:
short stories: It Worked for Me
Write about your classroom and win one of many great prizes from The Learning Company SCHOOL/SkillsBank Corporation.
ThinkQuest in my Classroom:
Enter the ThinkQuest in My Classroom Contes and win your choice of Broderbund software.
Nominate your favorite educational website (hint hint) in Teachers' Choice and get Educast, software that lets you customize information from the internet.
There is also a forum on internet-filtering software. Should schools use them? You can speak your mind. In addition, there are almost 15 new articles for teachers' summer perusal. Check this site out!