Sunday, August 15, 2010

Creative Classroom - Belated (Of course!)

In the past week I was given a classroom four times the size of my old one, given four new books to read before school starts (teacher manuals but it sounds cooler if I say books) and have been babysitting my younger cousins since Thursday night.  Needless to say I've been swamped with work, and exhausted at the end of the night but I have enjoyed reading the other blogs so I wanted to share so hopefully my ideas will help you too!

When I was student teaching I had some students who really got into the activities (South Carolina history!) or just talked quite a bit so I started giving most of the students sticky notes. On the sticky notes they were allowed to write questions, comments, notes, things they had wanted to blurt out but weren't allowed.  It surprisingly worked quite well, if I didn't have the sticky notes on the kids desk by the beginning of class they asked for them.  You go through quite a few sticky notes but being able to get through power points without the same three kids answering made it worth it.  

I also use file folders for almost everything! At the end of the school year we were working on CRT (our big "what do the kids know" test) review.  We had daily power points which meant daily review too.  I put all ten of the worksheets in the order I wanted, labeled them so the students knew in which order to do them, stapled five sheets to each side and said start working.  It went extremely well! When students had questions I could stop the entire class and say flip to worksheet #3 and everyone knew which worksheet to look at.  I lucked out on the cost because my aunt's friend donated six boxes of file folders to me.  I also used them to keep the reading logs, writing tips, group assignments, etc.  This way all their work was in one place and they were responsbile for it.  The folders never left the room which helped too!  

The last "tip" I'm giving is that I number everything!  I teach seventh grade and this past year I barely had a class set of most of the books needed, so I started labeling them with numbers.  When going through reading I would call out a number and that person would read, answer the question, etc.  I made them responsible for their desks, workbooks, and this way if the workbook was damaged I knew which five students to start with.  

Hopefully these will help!!! 

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