Best Practices- 1

I have asked experienced teachers for their advice and tips to new teachers. Here were some suggestions:

1.       Have an opening to every class- having the same one/ having a routine gets kids focused.
2.       Use a grade-appropriate nonfiction book to know how much content to teach (ex: science).
3.       Stretch in the middle of the day to let kids get their wiggles out, and blood circulating. 
4.         Fluency buddy tests- every day, have students get with a partner and do a one minute fluency test. Don’t keep track of word count, but get students used to reading out loud for a minute.
5.       Use Promethean Board to do grammar worksheets as a class. Students can edit sentences and choose correct words with Promethean pens.
6.         After each daily journal entry, have students put a star/other symbol to tell teacher and student entries apart.
7.         Have students sign usage contracts before they use special equipment (especially if it will be in the classroom all year).
8.         Have students color in and write fractions for quart jar and clock amounts. (Core: This helps students learn that there are 4 cups in a quarter and that an hour can be broken into 15 minute segments.)
9.         Teach north, south, east and west by changing directions to pass in papers (“Pass your papers to the North today.”).
10.     Count down until the class should be silent. “I want silence in 5…4…3…2…1… quiet.”
11.     Save online activities/web pages to a class website so frequently used pages will be easy to get to.
12.    Have a box or crate set aside for library books. Then when your class goes to the library all books are together for turn in.
13.    Word of the week: a word to focus on; up on a chart for the entire week; after each week, the word goes on the word wall.
14.    Sanitation Duty- each week, a student is assigned to be on sanitation duty. They collect all of the trash cans and put them in the hallway for the janitor at the end of the day.
15.    Rotation game- Give each student a worksheet and have them leave it on their desk. Then each student brings their pencil as they rotate around the room and answer the questions on the worksheet.
16.    Good news- each student gives a piece of good news on their assigned day of the week. This helps address the state core (oral language).
17.    Classroom electrician- in charge of turning on/off the lights when needed.
18.    New students: have old students tell the new students the rules (this is a good review for old students).
19.    Editing – have students edit their work from the beginning of the year. This shows improvement and improves editing skills.
20.   Wait time for questions- wait a few seconds before calling on a student; allow other students time to think about the question. Tap your leg 5 times to count 5 seconds before calling on someone.

Thank you to my teacher friends who helped me put this together!

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