When students are given the gift of a three-day weekend, it’s always fun to make sure they know why they’re getting that extra day off. Surprise your students with a pop quiz, and a reminder of the great service each of our presidents provided for our country. Grab your free, editable quiz here.
Our school is installing a Parent-Teacher Hotline, a telephone system that allows teachers to record messages to their parents, and parents can call in, enter the classroom I.D. number, and hear the teacher’s message regarding homework, upcoming activities, permission slips that need to be returned, etc. We’ll be using ours to include a Home Activity for the Week, a simple learning activity designed to involve parents in the learning/teaching process.
Self-hardening clay is available in five pound boxes at hobby stores, dries on its own when left uncovered in about a week, and is paintable. This clay is great for a first-time art project if no kiln is available, and dividing the five pound cube into eight equal sections gives students a large enough piece to make a small coiled pot.
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.
A little real-world exercise for your kids: do you have one of those cans of bolts, nuts, screws and washers sitting around the house that you just keep intending to sort out so you won’t have to dig through it when you are looking for a bolt to replace the one that just fell out of the lawnmower but you never get them sorted because you spend all of your time grading papers? Bringing it to school and getting your kids to do it isn’t as far fetched as it sounds. A little time digging through those odds-and-ends can sharpen their visual acuity, teach them the difference between a metal screw and a lock washer, sharpen their sorting skills and help them see how a large task can be accomplished with persistence.