This is my 13th year teaching public school. Like most things that matter it has taken time to achieve what feels like some level of mastery. This past year I found it helpful to keep a small section of my whiteboard for writing down ideas and solutions.This is important because many times I forget about “light bulb” solutions that take things like a trip to Staples or laminating to make happen. Here are some teaching strategies and tools I plan to use in the 2011-2012 school year.
- Teach higher volume in answering voice – Teaches all and reduces class boredom.
- Fruit: Our school gives each class a basket of fruit every day that is provided by a private grant. My rule: must eat all 10 minutes prior to recess or no recess.
- Random Non Volunteer Cards. Begin use on day 1. #’s work better than name cards.
- #’s on desk a priority that requires maintenance make a dedicated spot where you can maintain the numbers when kids pick them off etc. Make replacing damage they do an easy task I am prepared for.
- Plastic “glass” overlay for desk to show observation papers etc. Helps with focus and anxiety over the unknown.
- Homework is Focus Reading Comp etc. packets. Also Scott Foresman Math. CFU first thing in am with questions. They must be ready to answer my question of “why.”
- Have a central location to file report cards etc. Organization takes effort but saves mental and physical energy in the long haul.
- Desks rows and “away” areas for troubled students. Protect the rest.
- Pick days to stay after school and do copies. This will avoid traffic jams there and hence discouragement. Take the let downs away before they happen.
These are just a few things I plan to implement to make my year better. Have you taken the time to reflect upon your year last year? What worked and what didn’t?