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Common Classroom Irritations

Have you ever noticed that the same old problems keep resurfacing year after year in your classroom? Isn’t it funny how the little things sometime put us over the edge? I can always deal with that “special” child, but the continuous line at my desk about drives me crazy. Here are three different classroom irritations which I find to be the most annoying plus some possible solutions to think about before school starts.

A. Children Who Are Always at the Teacher’s Desk


1)  Give the student “question coupons or tickets.” Three is a good number. The child must give you one coupon each time s/he comes to your desk. When the child uses up all of her/his tickets, s/he can no longer come up to to your desk. The students soon learn to “think about” what questions they truly need to ask the teacher.

2)  Stack three cups on each child’s desk which the children change as needed. Green (or whatever color you chose) means the student is on task and has no questions. Yellow means the student needs to ask the teacher a brief question. Red means the student has no idea of what they are doing and needs help. This color requires that the teacher goes and assists the child.

B. Getting a Drink; Using the Restroom

1)  Set the number of times each student may go per the week.

2)  Have a restroom pass so only one student is out of the classroom at a time.

3)  Count when the children are getting a drink at the drinking fountain such as 1-2-3.  This way everyone is given the same amount to time.
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4)  Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer by the door so children may use it before lunch to clean their hands. (Unfortunately, not all children wash their hands after using the restroom.)

C. The Pencil Sharpener

1)   Have a box of pre-sharpened pencils that all the children may use.

2)   Make a designated time when students may sharpen pencils. If you have an electric pencil sharpener, unplug it during the off limits time.

3)   Designate an individual to be the “pencil sharpener.” This can be a daily job in your classroom. This person performs the task of sharpening pencils before school, after school, or during any other designated time.

4)   Have two cups of pencils near the pencil sharpener, one for dull pencils and one for sharpened pencils. When a child’s pencil is dull, s/he places it in the dull cup and takes one from the sharp cup.

   
Greatest Irritations
Do you want additional ideas on how to solve common classroom irritations plus more ideas for the ones mentioned above? Check out the complete resource that fully discusses:

           1)  Children Who Are Always at Your Desk
           2)  The Pencil Sharpener
           3)  Getting a Drink; Using the Restroom
           4)  Tattling
           5)  Stress – Especially at Test Time
           6)  Teasing
           7)  Unmotivated Students


FREE E-Books Just for You

FREE!
Welcome back to school, teachers! The teacher-authors of Teachers Pay Teachers want to wish you the very best as you begin this new school year. We also want to say thank you for supporting our TpT stores.

As a thank you for all you do, 28 secondary math teachers are offering their best tips and free resources for your consideration in the Back to School Math E-Book for Grades 7-12. (I'm on page 19!) We hope you will find inspiration as you read these pages as well as fantastic math lessons, teaching tips and math materials that you and your students will love.

Please note:  Each page of the E-Book features one free resource as well as a back-to-school teaching tip. Some pages highlight a paid item as well.

Need something other than secondary math?
Check out these other Back-to-School E-Books.  Just click on the link!

No matter what you teach, I hope you have a fantastic school year!

A Go Figure Debut for a Señora Who's New!

Holly is another TPT seller from the great state of Ohio (Go Bucks!) She has been a high school Spanish teacher for 15 years. She is a second generation teacher as her father was a math teacher (the best subject in the world!). She prides herself on creating activities that infuse culture with language, are of high interest, and are proficiency based. While grammar instruction is part of her job, Holly believes that experience with reading, listening, speaking and culture are the heart of the language.

Her shining teacher moment is when she receives a message like the one below written by a former student:

Appropriate for Grades 7-12
Holly's Teachers Pay Teachers store, Spanish Sundries, contains over 200 resources. Prices vary, with 32 items priced at just $1.00. One of her resources, a six page handout, is entitled Spanish Number Word Puzzles and was created to help students with number recognition and the spelling of the numbers 1-100 in Spanish. These puzzles also aid in the development of higher-order thinking skills as well as pattern recognition skills - all important factors as students progress through the study of Spanish. 

In addition, Holly's store contains several free resources such as her Vocabulary Hint Template, This is a tool that helps students draw connections between words they already know and words they are trying to learn. Holly states she has used this in her Spanish classes for many years, and that she always receives feedback from her students on how much it helps them to remember new vocabulary.

Holly also has a blog with a very interesting and unusual title: Throw Away Your Textbook.  Take time to head over there and read a couple of her articles, and even if you don't teach Spanish, Holly's store is worth checking out. With over 700 votes and an overall rating of four (the best you can receive on TPT), you know she offers quality educational resources.


From A Different Angle

Here is a riddle for you.  What did the little acorn say when he grew up?  Give up?  It's Gee-I'm-A-Tree or Ge-om-e-try. This is what my students are beginning to study.  I absolutely love teaching this part of math, and it is interesting how the students respond. Those that are visual, love it, but usually, those who do better with the abstract aren't so fond of it.

I have a beautiful, talented daughter who loves languages.  She is fluent in Spanish and loves to write, write, and write.  To my chagrin, she always struggled in math, especially in high school, until she got to Geometry.  Her math grade changed from a disappointing (let's just say she passed Algebra) to an A.  She thought Geometry was wonderful!!

I enjoy teaching Geometry because there are so many concrete ways to show the students what you mean. For instance, when introducing angles, (before using protractors) I use my fingers, coffee filters (when ironed, they make a perfect circle), interlocking plastic plates, the clock, etc. to demonstrate what the various angles look like. Here is an example of what I mean.

To introduce right angle, I have the students fold a coffee filter (which is ironed flat) into fourths, and we use that angle to locate right angles all around the room.  We discuss the importance of a right angle in architecture, and what would happen if a right angle didn’t exist. 
We then use an analog clock to discover what time represents a right angle. Right away, they respond with 3:00 or 9:00. Some will say 3:30, but when I display 3:30 on a Judy clock (comes in handy even on the college level), they see that the hour hand is not directly on the three which means it is not a 90 degree angle.
I also demonstrate a right angle by using my fingers.  What is great about fingers is that they are always with you.  I call the finger position you see on the right, Right on, Right angle.
So are you ready for another geometry riddle?  (I have many!)  What is Orville and Wilbur's favorite angle? That’s right; it is a right (Wright) angle.

Angle Resource
Want more geometry riddles? Check out Geometry Parodies by clicking here. Also, if you are interested in many different concrete ways to teach angles, take a look at my product entitled: Angles: Geometry Hands-On Activities.