Thanks to everyone who linked up last week! I really enjoyed reading all of your great tips! If you would like to join in the fun, please read the details about linking up here! There was a bit of confusion last week so PLEASE read the guidelines before linking up (links that do not follow the guidelines will be deleted). I had a lot of fun coming up with new tips for you all this week so I hope you enjoy them! I also LOVE, LOVE, LOVE reading your comments! If you find one of my tips helpful or have something to add please let me know about it in the comments.
Any other teachers out there obsessed with labeling? I love to "feel" organized! I really like Avery labels (and I'm not being paid to say that:) because you can use them for so many things! These labels (Avery labels 16281) are self-adhesive tabs. You can download a template, type up your labels and print them out. I just attach the labels to regular office paper, hole punch it and place it in my binder to use as section dividers. I love how easy it is and how I don't have to worry about losing my labels with those slid in section dividers that always seem to fall out! It's super easy to switch them out as well! You just peel off the sticker and place a new one on. These labels have 6 different colored tabs so you can even color-code if you want!
Teach your students how to follow directions. Most students learn how to follow directions early on in life by simply being told to do certain things (i.e. "Bring your dishes to the sink", "Brush your teeth, then put on your pajamas and go to bed"). However, I'm sure you have encountered a student or two who can't seem to remember how to follow even the simplest of instructions. When I was teaching 4th grade I would give my students a "following directions test" such as this one. Not only did we have some good laughs but I think it made a lasting impression on them. Throughout the remained of the year I could say, "Now be sure to read each question carefully as you remember what happens when you don't!" If you really want to be sneaky (and make an even bigger impact) you could throw in a few of these questions on a REAL test! Keep them guessing so they always have to follow directions carefully! I believe that when you are intentional about teaching students how to follow directions, you will also find that they are improving their critical thinking skills. Just think how much better they will be able to solve logic puzzles! Your students will enjoy learning to follow directions with these fun free activities (primary grades and beginning and intermediate) from Dr. Erica Warren (she also has more that are paid products). I also have a few critical thinking activities that you can check out here (my favorite is the sequencing sort skill center and the logic puzzles).
Most teachers these days have a blog but when it comes to editing the HTML code it can be a scary thing since there is no "undo" button! I am one that learns by doing (trial and error) so inevitably there have been a few times I've really messed things up (when it comes to code). I finally got smart and starting taking screenshots of the code before editing it just in case I messed it up so I would be able to put it back to what it was. When I replace code I also do a "Command X" (or cut) instead of delete so I can re-paste it back in if the new code doesn't work.
Here's a fun little tip for class presentations, plays or skits. Have a student "director" use a hollywood slate board to call out "Action!" after a 3 second countdown. Another student can then start rolling the film (the video camera is a McDonald's toy). This is a great way to involve more students if your play or skit doesn't have enough parts for everyone.
When I was little I used to love fruit until my brothers told me there were worms in my apples and ants in my raisins. I haven't touched fruit since! My husband thinks I'm crazy. Now it's a texture thing for me. I know...I have issues, lol! People always ask me, "Not even strawberries?" or "Not even watermelon?" to which I respond, "Well, I love fruit snacks and I drink apple juice!" Hehe! Their next question is, "Do you feed your kid's fruit?" and the answer is YES!!! Thankfully, my kids LOVE fruit (I don't let them around their Uncles - haha)! One of my son's favorite fruits is bananas. I learned this trick in Costa Rica while observing monkeys (or maybe someone just told me ;) Monkeys actually open bananas from the bottom which is much easier. If you pinch both sides of the bottom the peel comes right off. Works great!
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