Bit of a random post with some of my top tips. Hopefully you’ll find something useful!
I love using whiteboards in my classroom – for spellings, tables, brainstorms, drafts, games, maths introductions etc. But whiteboard markers and erasers can be very expensive. For markers I usually ask the children to bring in one and I also have a small selection if they forget. But for erasers I started using black ankle socks (Penneys) about 2 years ago and they work perfectly and are really inexpensive. (I think a pack of 5 pairs – so 10 erasers costs 2/3 euro!) I’ve had mine for the last 3/4 years and they are still perfect!
2 in 1
I know most people probably know this already but its still one of my top tips! When photocopying a worksheet/resource – use the combine feature (2 in 1) so you can fit two A4 sheets onto one page. (They shrink to a5 size and with a little trim using the guillotine will fit perfectly into a copy.)
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Here's a sample of part of our maths trail! It's designed for our school playground! So many questions based on the yard covering lots of different areas from time to addition and subtraction, looking at odd and even numbers, length, shapes etc! The children really loved it and got to practise and revise lots of different areas! #maths #iteachtoo #mathstrail #teacher #outdoorclassroom #numeracy #teachersofinstagram #teachersfollowteachers
‘Oh that looks great! Can I borrow it?’
‘Yes of course – no problem’
Never to be seen again! Teachers are like magpies – we love new resources/ books etc. and when we borrow them we often forget about them/where they came from. So I label everything – from books in my library (obviously only the ones I’ve bought myself) to resource books, resources etc. so its clear who it belongs to so when someone finds it they will hopefully give it back…
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I absolutely love this Comprehension Box from @prim_ed_publishing – I got this one as a gift but my school has purchased lots more this year and all my colleagues agree that they are great! There are different levels depending on the ability of the students, there is a story and then questions on the back which only require a letter to answer (so the kids love them too as they don’t need full answers so there’s not a huge amount of writing!) and they are self correcting! I use them once or twice a week and they are a massive success! #comprehensionbox #literacy #prim-ed #iptrecommends #irishprimaryteacher
I love timers – both for the classroom and for my own time management (both teaching related and non teaching related). In the classroom, I usually set timers when I want the children to get something completed, I display the timer on the board and it keeps the children focussed (most of the time). Usually I use class dojo for this (as when the timer ends it buzzes and then stops. I find the google one annoying because it won’t stop until you reset it!)
For school jobs like correcting copies I set the timer to keep myself focussed and I find I always get it done in the time I’ve allocated to myself. Without the timer, it usually takes me three times longer. (I also use it at home for things like washing up etc.)
This is an idea that a colleague shared with me this year and it works brilliantly. When the children are working quietly I choose 1 child who is really focussed and on task. That child then earns dojo point and they become the ‘quiet monitor’ for the next two minutes. They then pick the next child and this continues until the task is completed. This gives me the time to work with individual children or with a small group without constant interruptions and it gives individual children a mini break to walk around the room too.
These are my top tips – do you have any more? Comment below!