About Teacher Tools Tips

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Should I have a dictionary in my class?


No classroom should ever be without a dictionary or thesaurus. These teaching aids are instrumental no matter what subject you teach. All children should learn how to use these reference books and get into the habit of using them instead of asking the teacher any correct spelling. Merriam-Webster and American Heritage make excellent reference books for school use. American Heritage even has a pre-school dictionary, “My Very Own Bit Dictionary”. Give your students the power to find answers on their own by keeping a dictionary and thesaurus in an accessible, easy to see place in your classroom.

What can I do if there's a bully in my class?

Classroom Bully

Most teachers are experienced enough and smart enough to deal with most classroom management issues. One growing issue, bullying, is a difficult and painful issue to have to deal with on a regular basis. Your classroom management strategy for bullies should be strict and direct. Check your school policies for guidelines. Provide an anonymous means of reporting acts of bullying. Place a box in your class where any student can communicate with you on many issues including bullying. And send a clear message of support for the victim. Your classroom should provide a safe haven for anyone who is bullied.

Is having a calendar a good classroom management idea?

Classroom Calendar

About teacher tools: You can kill two birds with one stone when you place a large, easy-to-read monthly or weekly calendar in your classroom. In addition to teaching your class about the days of week and months, having your students take turns filling in dates with reminders teaches them good organization habits as well. Use this calendar to fill in test days, field trips, holidays, and more. Make this teacher tool calendar part of your classroom decorations by making it colorful and fun. Your students will never again be able to tell you they didn't know a test was coming up.

How can I make days with substitute teachers more productive?

Plan For Substitutes

When you are absent from school, your substitute teacher can become an effective teacher aid if you provide them with the teacher tools they need to work effectively. So, prepare and keep a substitute's folder early in the year. Include general information like the class list, fire drill runes, seating charts, class rules, and more. Then all you have to do when you know you will be absent is to slip in the content you are currently studying or a class lesson plan, and your substitute will think you are a dream come true. And, when substitutes are well prepared and confident, there is less chance that the day will go awry.

Is there one place to go to get a classroom management plan?

Classroom Management Resource Book

More about teacher tools: Why reinvent the wheel by trying to come up with classroom management strategies when Creative Teaching Press has come up with it for you?
The Classroom Management Resource Book is chock full of time-saving, stress-reducing classroom management ideas to help you organize and manage your classroom. There are charts, instructions, checklists, incentive programs and more. All of the material is good for kindergarten through sixth grade.


Evaluations for non-tenured teachers.

The first step when you are being evlauted is not to get nervous. Plan ahead of time and come to school prepared. Make sure that you have copies of everything including your paperwork, lesson plans, unit plans, and the work sheets that the sutdents will use(if applicable) to give to the evaluator. Have pens and pencils ready for the evaluator and a place for them to sit where they can see you interact with the students. Finally, don't rush through the lesson. Just pretend that it is a normal day and that the evaluator isn't even there.



Have a portfolio with examples of each of your student's work. This will come in handy during parent/teacher conferences. Many students claim to be doing "just fine" to their parents, but their grades do not reflect their claims. Having a portfolio available to show parents/gaurdians will let the them see exactly how and what their child is doing. Seeing actual student work has more of an impact than simply showing grades from a gradebook.

How can I get my handouts noticed?

Clip Art

Have you ever wondered what happens to half of the handouts that go home with students in their school bags? If you get the feeling they get scrunched and ignored, try adding clip art to your communications. With clip art, even the creatively challenged can create announcements, passes, bookmarks and more that get noticed. Clip art books contain general classroom imagery, seasonal art and children's themed visuals, and are a valuable teacher aid.

What are the benefits of getting parents involved in the classroom?


One of the most overlooked, yet very powerful teacher tools is parents. Encouraging parental involvement in the classroom shows your students that their success is important to both parents and teachers. Use newsletters, conferences, email, telephone calls, and notes home to reach family members. Let them know what is going on in the classroom and invite them in to make presentations, read to the class, plan an activity or just help out. When parents are well informed, and get involved in class activities, kids do better.

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Guru Spotlight
Carma Spence-Pothitt