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Best Practice

Teacher Tips
2 Edition
OHS Best Practice Teacher Tips Volume 2

“Education is not something that is done to you; it

is what you do for yourself. Much of education
may be compared to weight-lifting; when you lift
weights to prepare yourself for a sport, you do not
see immediate results. The weights are back
where you found them – nothing changed there!
Your body will not show the positive changes right
away. In fact, if anything is evident, it is the
soreness of your muscles! Yet you keep on
because you know that ultimately you will be a
better athlete if you lift weights properly. So, to, is
education. Your teachers are here to help you “lift
weights properly” with your minds. Through their
guidance, you can develop your abilities to
remember and reason. The opportunities for jobs
that you might want to do depend almost entirely
on your giving yourself a good education! Be
helpful! (The Greatest Servant) said, ‘The greatest
among you is the one who serves the rest.’ We
learn best when we try to teach what we know to
~Jennifer Agan On Behalf Of the Entire
Ooltewah High School Faculty and Staff

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Curriculum & Instruction Pages 4-14

Pages 15-
Chapter 2 Assessment
Pages 24-
Chapter 3 Technology
Pages 27-
Chapter 4 Communication

Classroom Atmosphere &

Leadership Pages 30-
Chapter 5
(formerly Classroom 46

Pages 47-
Chapter 6 Literacy
Pages 54-
Chapter 7 New Teacher Sanity Savers

Pages 61-

Index by Author Page 99

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Chapter 1 – Curriculum & Instruction

If a child can't learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach

the way they learn. ~Ignacio Estrada

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Teacher Tip
Bates Sticky notes work well to teach substitution or
composition of functions (anything that you plug
something else into). Write what you are substituting on
the sticky note and physically stick it where you are
substituting in.
Blassingame Try to use literary pieces that appeal to young people
when you work out your English or dramatic curriculum. It
helps to build relationships with students and reduces
discipline problems through personalization.
Briggs Use different learning styles at the end of each book and
incorporate learning stations to embed the material to
help students own it.
Bush I use sticky notes to explain a specific problem to a
student and then they can stick the example straight into
his/her notes.
Cates Try to bring students into the discussion by using
students’ names in the material. Even those who may not
be paying attention, begin to seek out the meaning of
different items. This engages the students on a very
personal level. Try to involve students to stimulate
schema before you begin a unit. This provides a personal
connection with the text. You must be careful to manage
the conversation so that it doesn’t get off task. Great for
personalization. Have students act out parts of concepts
to incorporate them in a physical manner.
Chilcoat After studying a company, the students come up with a
new product for that company to promote. They will
present the product as a class.
Chilcoat Trash-ball – Divide the kids up by some common trait
(house number, shirt color, age, etc…) but create
heterogeneous groups. Never single a student out. Ask
the first group a question. The kids discuss the answer to
the asked question (this provides peer re-teaching) and
come to consensus. If they get the question correct, they
can shoot the paper wad to through the hoop. They get
one shot per question correct. If the first group does not
get the question correct, the question is given to the next
group. There are shot lines that determine the point
value. Creates greater cohesion within a class. They are
never in the same group. The size of the group is dictated
by the absences that day.
Cline In English we often have long lessons involving stories in
which it is very easy to lose the students' attention and
cause them to have a glazed over look on their faces. I

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have found that one to help keep them involved in the

lesson is to break up the lesson into smaller portions and
use different teaching methods for each portion. For
instance, I may start out reading and call on random
students to respond orally to questions I ask or comments
I make. The random selection of students keeps them
alert for fear of being called on and having no clue what
to say. I may then have them break into small groups for
the remainder of the story and do some sort of activity
like create their own questions while they read. I have
also found that giving strict time limits when they are
working on their own or in groups is extremely helpful.
Collins During my many years of teaching a foreign language, I
have come to the conclusion that it is BEST not to rely too
much on any one adopted textbook. There is a wealth of
materials that can be used outside of, or in addition to,
the regular textbooks. For example, I have found
excellent materials in magazines, creative workbooks,
newspapers, computer web sites, short novels, and ideas
from other good teachers. I believe that it is well worth
the time it takes to search for other materials and to
create tests different from those provided by the
publishers. Be creative and plan more successful lessons
from a variety of materials.
Cook Rulers of Art – Even thought this is an activity used in art;
it can be easily adapted to other content areas. Obtain a
box of plain wooden rulers. Have students randomly pick
names of artists from a cup. They must research the
artist and give a simply biography. Have students draw a
typical piece of art from the artist on one side of the ruler
and the name of the artist in the style that they used on
the other side of the ruler. Once finished, collect all rulers
and toss them onto a table for groups to place in
chronological order.
Cook Because all students do not finish assignments at the
same time, it is important to provide meaningful time
fillers that teach a skill they will need for the class. In art,
I provide a homework packet that gets progressively more
difficult that teaches students how to look at a piece and
draw it. This could be easily adapted to a packet that
teaches study skills.
Denton From Scott Lang (premier student leadership guru): “You
get what you give. Have high expectations for everyone
across the board. If your expectations are less for them,
they will give you best. Challenge the best kids. The
bottom will be pulled up. Don’t teach to the middle. Win-

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Win: If kid can’t play their part, everyone is affected.

Hold kids accountable to help each other.” We must raise
our expectations of our students.
Eaves Watch as many programs and read as much as possible to
provide real-world connections to your content.
Eaves Use personal stories to bring your content to life.
Farley Constantly tie previous material to new work. This
prevents the students from doing the “brain dump.” Also,
it provides a way for students to create connections
between concepts.
Franks When you know what things look good on a college
application/resume, why not incorporate those things into
your class? Service learning looks good and it not hard to
implement as long as you have the training. By having
the students write a two-page reflection on the activity, it
makes them think about the experience instead of just
doing it to get it completed.
Even if you can’t build it into the curriculum, all teachers
can encourage students to volunteer in their community.
Fuller Have students work on quizzes or writing assignments as
a group with individual parts.
Gatewood Using learning pods to perform activities activating
different learning strategies and have the students move
around the room to perform the assignments. Put
students together and allow them to develop concepts.
Use interactive games to create a collaborative learning
environment. Providing a book on audio and have
questions to stay on track. This provides accountability
and keeps them on task.
Hadden I like to make flash cards with different colored paper to
distinguish between the sets. Flash cards are a good way
to practice individual steps in a longer process.
Hernandez Matchbook foldables are a great way to review previous
chapters. This activity can be used in all subjects and is
fun for the students. For a demonstration, click the link:
SIA.html. Make sure that you have Apple QuickTime
Hernandez Three-step Interview
Three-step interviews can be used as an introductory
activity or as a strategy to explore concepts in depth
through student roles.
Purpose: To engage students in conversation for the
purpose of analyzing and synthesizing new

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Description: The Three Step Interview is a cooperative

structure that helps students personalize their learning
and listen to and appreciate the ideas and thinking of
others. Active listening and paraphrasing by the
interviewer develops understanding and empathy for the
thinking of the interviewee.
1. Students work in pairs. One is the interviewer, the
other is the interviewee. The interviewer listens
actively to the comments and thoughts of the
interviewee, paraphrasing key points and significant
2. Student pairs reverse roles, repeating the interview
3. Each pair then joins another pair to form groups of
four. Students introduce their pair partner and share
what the partner had to say about the topic at hand.
Hughes I used this as a “relationship” tool plus I am trying to get
speakers and I infuse their career interest as I teach
vocabulary, literature, etc…
1. Where will I be next October and what will I be doing?
2. Where do I hope to be in two or three years? Will I
have graduated?
3. Will I have taken the GED?
4. Will I be attending college? If so, what will I be
studying or what program will be my goal?
5. Will I be going to work full time and school part-time
or only working?
6. Will I be on my own, having to pay my own rent?
7. Will my family allow me to continue to stay at home
without paying rent?
8. What are my strongest skills or assets that I can bring
to an employee? What can I do to make a living?
9. Do I have any special training that will help me
survive financially in the world?
10. Do I have one person I believe I can count on when
life is tough and I need an “encouraging word?”
Hunt I do not do bell ringers, instead, we start every day with a
review. By doing this, the students have to recall the
information from the day before which helps them focus
in on what you are about to talk about. Especially with
history, the students often have a difficult time
connecting the dots, this really helps. In addition, the
repetition helps them transition the information from
short term memory to long term memory.
Kelley Start with a problem. Talk about the problem.

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Incorporate as many diagrams and real world examples as

possible. Use open-ended questions to encourage
thought in many directions. However guide the discussion
to move them toward the answer while not giving them
the answer. This gives them an opportunity to engage in
the material on a more personal level. Try to incorporate
as many of the previous learning as possible in an
assignment to reduce the amount of “brain dump.”
Lemon I use as many visuals as possible. If the topic is
quadrilaterals, I use four sticks to represent a
parallelogram which can easily be changed into a kite.
When we covered the topics of volume and surface area I
had the students make prisms, cylinders, and cones which
had to have a given volume. Students react positively to
something they can touch and see.
Mann Try to use as many analogies as possible when you cover
Mann Use as much differentiated instructional methods as
possible. Remember that to differentiate the instruction
can be based upon the academic level of the students
(aka ability grouping), the interest areas of the students
(adjusting a lesson to support their particular interest
areas), and learning style (kinesthetic, auditory, visual,
Ohnemus Effective Questioning Techniques
a. Pose the questions first,
b. Before asking a student to respond, allow 7-10
seconds before expecting a student to respond.
(Most teachers wait only 1-3 seconds before
expecting a response.)
c. Never answer your own question. (If the students
know you will give them the answer, there is no
incentive to answer you.) I had to wait several
minutes the first time around before they knew I
was serious about not giving in and handing them
the answer. It was a horrible few minutes, but after
that the wait time did decrease…
Use follow-up questions to self-correct and achieve
OHS Staff – How to Differentiate Instruction
Thursday • Jig-saw questions and answers to the novel being
Thirties studied (group all A’s together, group all B’s… once
they are proficient with the material they were
responsible for, have them combine their information
with the other parts of the group)
• Have students act out skits from the novel

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• Put students into a group activity developed by student

• Use individualized instruction, group work, and utilize
visual and auditory options
• Incorporate more technology into instruction
• Group students for games by ability level
• Tie in current events into your curriculum for more
• Post key terms for the day
• See students individually to clarify major areas of study
• Use texts with highlighted portions for certain students
• Use organizers for note taking
• Provide materials in multiple languages
• Provide multiple methods for students to express their
• Develop and utilize rubrics
• Change teaching style every 20-25 minutes to vary the
• Develop more online activities for learning
• Fit in student taught lessons
• Incorporate more cooperative learning opportunities
• Assign projects with small groups and assess using a
presentation where a variety of materials will be
• Allow more student choice in topics with presentations
to the class, video performance, or written prompts as
an assessment of learning
• Offer more options for research papers
• Have students create a portfolio of their work
• With a documentary, allow many options for the
product: interviews, photography, music…
• Use journaling to practice language skills
• Incorporate a differentiation of location for instruction
(get out of the classroom)
• Utilize flash cards for concept attainment
• Mix groups from time-to-time to give students a
different perspective
• Allow a differentiation of difficulty in projects
• Utilize graphic organizers instead of rote notes
• Allow students to attempt projects on their own before
jumping in and taking over
• Work with tools of the trade to discover the rules of the
• Incorporate more demonstrations
• Incorporate more hands-on opportunities

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• Use examples and illustrations based on students’

interests to provide clarity
• Match stronger students with weaker students and
incorporate individual peer instruction to help fortify
student weaknesses
• Have students create posters from graphs on topics
• Employ the “I am” poster to present a personalized
description of who everyone is at the beginning of the
• Incorporate acrostic posters of student names using
Spanish adjectives of what the person is like
• integrate “wait time” into lessons when questioning is
being utilized
• Attempt to decide three fundamental skills that all
students can master. Once they have demonstrated
mastery, develop a task in which the students can
create a creative, original product
• include a multi-sensory approach to learning
OHS Staff – How to improve active engagement in your classroom
Thursday 1. Instead of working the same old worksheet at their
Thirties desks, divide the class up into groups and have
each group find the solutions to different parts of
the worksheet then have each group share their
2. If students must memorize a lot of sequential
information, put the information on sentence strips
and have the students (in pairs or small groups) put
the information in sequential order.
3. Have students retell your lesson as if it were a short
children’s story. If you use a chapter in a book,
divide the chapter up and have different groups tell
their part.
4. Have students create mobiles that show
relationships between information.
See item 17 in appendix for more ideas.
OHS Staff – How to make a lesson “sticky” using the SUCCESs Model
Thursday (from Teaching That Sticks by Chip & Dan Heath)
Thirties 1. Keep the lesson Simple – Simplicity isn’t about
dumbing down the content, it is about prioritizing.
2. Use the Unexpected – Before your lesson can stick,
your students have to want it.
3. Make the lesson Concrete – When students
experience the concept for themselves it sticks.
4. Make sure the lesson is Credible – When your
content is shown in a real-life situation, they see its

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5. Incorporate an Emotional element into the lesson –

By getting emotionally involved; they can connect
to the lesson better.
6. Use Stories to illustrate your content – Stories are a
simulation that leads to inspiration which creates
The more things you incorporate into your lesson from
this list, the stickier the lesson will be.
Ooltewah Problem Solving Strategies List
Professional The faculty members of Ooltewah Elementary School,
Learning Ooltewah Middle School, and Ooltewah High School
Community collaboratively compiled a list of strategies any student
can use when they become stuck as to how to solve a
problem. See appendix item 20.
Phillips Give students an opportunity to get up and move during a
class. Have an inside/outside circle for sharing
information—homework check, test review, etc. The first
time may prove hectic, but keep trying it until they get
used to it.
Pitts Tips on Making Learning Groups More Effective
1. In most classes, groups formed by the teacher are
more successful than those put together by
students themselves. The teacher can better
balance a group with certain abilities, learning
styles, etc., while students tend to choose their
2. Although it is sometimes difficult to do so in large
classes, four to six members is probably the most
effective size for a learning group. Larger or smaller
than that tends to lead to inequities in work load,
3. Plan for groups to remain together on various
assignments throughout the semester. This
repeated interaction will lead to more cohesiveness
and a better work atmosphere. It is also a good
idea to rotate assignments within the group so that
one person is not always the spokesperson, the
secretary, etc.
4. Arrange for each group to do a variety of
assignments including written work as well as oral
5. Allow for groups to evaluate each other as well as
other groups in assessing grades.
6. At times, it might be interesting to experiment with
group tests, group research projects, etc.
7. Make sure students know that the group work will

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be a large enough part of their overall grade to

make it important to them and worthwhile. Too
many students tend to dismiss group work as being
merely a time-killer.
8. Monitor each group consistently to see that the
group is on track and that each member is
Pitts Newspapers can be a valuable teaching tool and their
content can lend itself to almost any subject area. In
English I like to use headlines to teach puns and idioms as
this word play is so often used to draw attention to a
story. Through the years I have made a laminated set of
headlines that illustrate certain types of phrases and
literary terms.
Pitts It is also interesting to study the writing techniques used
in headlines, specifically no “a’s, an’s, and the’s” and
many action verbs. Students gain valuable writing
practice by writing sample headlines for newspaper
stories from which I have removed the headlines. In
reverse, it is also fun for students to create original news
stories with information taken from just a headline.
Silva Incorporate physical activity and analogies into
assignments to create connections with students.
Turner I use more seminars now in my teaching. I provide
students with the material I wish to cover, and give them
questions, issues, or topics. Then after they have had time
to read and answer questions, we break into group and
have discussion. This lends itself to more productive
discussion and helps keep the discussion focused.
Students are aware they are graded on their paper
answers and their verbal answers as well.
Webster Contemporary Issues: I use a scavenger hunt with clues
about specific articles. The students have to locate the
articles, write the headline and a brief summary.
Webster Psychology: When we study the anatomy of the brain,
students pick partners and draw each other’s brain. They
stand against a wall, outline each other’s profiles, then fill
in the areas requested (such as the brainstem,
cerebellum, etc.) and label them. I usually have them
write, for example, ‘Ben’s Brain — artist: Jessica). The
kids get a kick out of it.
Whitener Inside/Outside Circle
1. Students stand in two concentric circles, inside
circle facing out, outside circle facing in.
2. Students face a partner, share on a topic, question

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being asked by teacher or index cards can be used.

3. Students praise or correct each other.
4. Students turn and rotate X number of places
(determined by teacher).
Can be used to review vocabulary words/definitions or
math facts

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Williams Co-Teaching Models of Inclusion

1. Team Teaching – This involves whole class
instruction or heterogeneous grouping. One
teacher teaches part of the lesson and the other
teaches another to the entire class. This can also
be accomplished when one teacher leads an activity
and the other leads another activity.
2. Station Teaching – This requires the class to be
divided up into at least three groups that will rotate
around to different activities or lessons in the room.
Each teacher would be responsible to
teaching/leading a certain lesson/activity as each
group rotates to that lesson/activity.
3. Alternative Teaching – This requires the class to be
divided into two unequal sized groups. In this case,
each teacher would teach different things and
participate in different activities that only the group
that they are working with will participate.
However, it is imperative that this method not
become a scapegoat for the same students each
time as they will then be labeled and inclusion will
4. Parallel Teaching – In this method both teachers will
teach at the exact same time and the classroom is
divided into two equal sized groups. The same
content is taught to both groups, but may be
presented in different ways. This is a great way to
incorporate more differentiation into instruction.

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Chapter 2 – Assessment

The lasting measure of good teaching is what the individual

student learns and carries away.
~ Stanford Erickson ~

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Teacher Tip
Bates Use a homework sheet for each chapter and stamp it
daily. The class warm-up is on the board and while they
are working on the warm-up, you stamp their homework
sheet. The stamp signifies that they have shown all of
their work and have attempted every problem. Hardly
ever check every single question. The homework sheet is
taken up at the end of the unit as it is stapled to the
homework all together. They want the stamp more than
anything. From time-to-time, give a homework quiz to
check for accuracy.
Blassingame To encourage team work, give group grades. Each
member must help the others in the attainment of the
grade. Provides that everyone wants to encourage the
others to do well. By allowing them to choose their group
members, if there are people that don’t tend to work, they
have chosen their members. This puts the responsibility
back on them
Bothman If you want to know if your students are taking good notes
and doing their homework, try a homework quiz that
allows them to use their notebooks but nothing else. This
ensures that students keep an organized notebook and
you can spot check for notes and accuracy of homework
problems. See appendix item 7.
Bothman Using graffiti wall instead of KWL chart to see what kids
already know about a topic; Portfolio as final project
include examples of work and reflect on the work of the
portfolio. Students must present their portfolio to their
parents. This is raising the expectations of everyday
work. Graded with a rubric which is given to students
Bothman Use essential questions effectively by only having one or
two per lesson. Leave them posted even after the unit is
completed and refer back to the questions and by making
compare/contrast connections between new material and
previously learned material.
Chilcoat Provide a handout to improve student presentations that
takes into account their body language during the
presentation. See item 14 of the appendix.
Collins Another tip that I use is called “Question of the Week.” I
only do this for my first block class (Spanish II) in order to
greet them and to practice Spanish at the same time.
They are usually so tired and want to be passive in class.
On Monday, a part of the “warm-up” is to list the
“Question of the Week” on their class list of students that

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I have given to them earlier. (They use the same class

role for several week’s questions.) They then have to get
up and ask two students the same Spanish question, and
get a response. They check off which students they have
asked on their list. From Tuesday to Friday, I greet each
at the door and ask each student the “Question of the
Week.” I help them if they have trouble with the answer.
Then, as students come in, they ask two different
students the very same question and check off their
names. The constant repetition of the question and
answer helps with long-term memory and helps me get to
remember each student’s name. This gets each student
involved at the beginning of the class.
At the beginning of class, I ask a few students whom they
asked and have them do so again so that the whole class
can hear. These are some of the questions we have used
so far this term (in the target language.)
I do believe that any teacher could come up with good
questions related to your subject matter or to lessons
recently taught. We will put many of these questions and
answers together for a conversation with a partner that
counts as a test grade.
Cooper Revisit material even after the unit is finished. Debrief
tests/essays without student names to assess what was
wrong with the assignment.
Curtis Be careful not to test to the top even if you teach to the
top. You should test to the middle.
Fuller Be sure to ask lots of questions at all levels to force
students to prove their understanding of the content that
you have presented and facilitate critical thinking.
Haupt In Business class, I give a quiz before the day of Test so
they can tell what they need to work on.
Ingle To increase the difficulty of a multiple choice test, add a
fifth choice for each problem/question:
“E. None of the above answers is correct.”
This decreases the odds of guessing correctly from 25% to
20%, and places doubt in the mind of the student so that
they are given more incentive to actually work out the
problem, check it for accuracy, and be able to mentally
defend their work – especially on those problems where
“E” is the correct answer.
Kelehear When I grade a test and record on my grading program, I
also write the current average on the test. In this way,
the student sees how the grade affected his overall grade

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and also keeps the students for asking me about their

average....They know that the current average will be on
the next test.

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Mann Bloom’s Cubes

1. Obtain a cube template online and place the six
levels of Bloom’s taxonomy with question stems or
key verbs on each side
2. Put students into groups of 3-4 students and have
them roll the cubes to dictate the type of questions
they will create from the lesson/chapter/unit you
have taught.
3. This can also be used as a test review with the
added incentive that you my use some of the
questions the students create on the
See item 18 in appendix
Mann Fly swat Formative Assessment: Write some of your
vocabulary terms that you have gone over that day on the
board. Have the class divide up into groups based upon
the number of fly swatters that you have. Have the
students race to swat the correct answer. A variation of
this could be to use the tiles on your floor and have
multiple sets of vocabulary at one time. This way the
entire class could engage in the activity instead of one
person from each group at a time. As long as you take
the information that they give you and use it to either
change the way you teach a topic or as an indication of a
need to re-teach, it is a form of formative assessment.
Mann Summary Ball (Formative Assessment)
Obtain a beach ball with multiple colors (the fall is the
best time as they will be on clearance at most stores). Do
not inflate the ball completely to prevent injury and
damage to your classroom. While you are teaching a
lesson, demonstrate a concept, or play a movie, create a
list of the most important things you are conveying. At
the end of class, begin by tossing the ball to one of your
students and have them (within 3 seconds) state a fact,
concept, or idea that they learned during the lesson. If
the student is able to do so, they pass the ball to the next
student and they repeat the process. If the student that
catches the ball cannot give a proper response, they must
pass the ball to another student and then sit down.
Remember, no responses may be repeated. To keep the
seated students engaged, they must write down all of the
responses given by the students who are standing to
ensure that no one repeats an answer. This continues
until there is only one student left standing. You can
reward the student for their good listening skills with
some small token (candy, 10-finger woo, points on a quiz,

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etc…). This also works if used after a field trip.

Mann Effective Questioning Techniques (Formative
1. Plan your questions ahead of time to provide
structure and direction to your classroom
2. Be very specific in the phrasing of your questions.
This does not mean that questions can’t be open-
ended. It simply means that they need to be
answerable with some sort of defense of the answer
3. Ask questions in a logical and sequential manner to
facilitate the absorption of the material.
4. Ask questions at a variety of cognitive levels, but
pay particular attention to adding more high-level
questioning to your discussions. Higher level
questions could be based on the revised Bloom’s
Taxonomy levels 4-6 or on Webb’s Depth of
Knowledge levels 3-4.
5. Follow up student answers with questions that
require them to clarify their initial answers, but
don’t repeat their answers. You will encourage
more students to pay close attention as they know
there will only be one shot at hearing the response.
6. Provide at least 5 seconds of wait time after you ask
a question to give students time to think.
7. At the same time, do not answer your own
questions. Simply clarify the first question or ask
probing questions to ascertain the response you
8. Be sure to use questions that encourage all
students to participate in the discussion. Here is
when paying particular attention to the body
language of your students comes into play.
9. Encourage your students to ask their own questions
as this transforms a teacher interrogation into a
facilitated discussion.
Mann When you use a multiple choice or short fill in the blank
test, have students fold their papers in half long ways.
Have them number their papers beside the edge of each
side. When it is time to grade them, all you have to do is
stagger stack the papers across your desk and you can
grade many at the same time. Just put your answer key
in a different color; personally, I always preferred using a
purple marker. Once you place the key at the beginning
of the staggered stack of test papers, you can grade five

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or more answers on each paper at a time.

Moorhouse It is easy for some students to over rely on the teacher
and have you running all over the room helping students.
To cut down on this, give each student an index card. On
one side draw a green smiley face which means, “I
understand and can do this by myself.” On the other side
draw a red frowning face which means, “I need help.”
When students are working on independent assignments,
they can place the appropriate side of the card on their
desk. This tells you at a glance who needs help and who
does not. It also indicates which students can help others.
Moses To check if your students are taking good notes, I
sometimes give quiz that allows them to use their folders,
but nothing else. This ensures that students keep an
organized folder and you can spot check for notes and
accuracy of information.
Murray “Back Side, Left Edge”
I collect a number of homework or daily grade
papers that have many short answers to grade. I instruct
students to turn their ordinary lined paper to the BACK
side. Then they are instructed to number their papers
down the back side, at the left edge. Then they write their
answers right beside the number. Normally, students can
get up to 25 answers at the “back side, left edge.” If there
are more than 25 questions, they can fold their paper and
number from 26 – 50 down the center fold of the back
side of the paper.
How does this save time and eye-strain? I prepare
my answer key in exactly the same way as the students
number their papers. Now I can place the student’s paper
right beside the correct answers on the key. If the
students had answered the questions on the front side at
the “red line,” their answers would be separated from the
answer key answers by an inch of more of space. That
method makes marking the papers slower and increases
eye strain because your eyes have to keep going back-
and-forth to see both the answer key and the student’s
OHS Staff – Formative Assessment Indicators
Professional 1. Create a set of red, yellow, and green circles for
Development each student. During instruction, the teacher can
Session ask where is your understanding and the students
would respond by holding up the appropriate circle.
Red means, “I don’t understand at all.” Yellow
means, “I need more examples, but I am starting to
understand.” Green means, “I understand and you

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can go on to the next concept.” Note: these will

last longer if they are laminated and you can
purchase loose leaf binder rings to clip the sets
2. Create a white circle/square/triangle… with true
written on the front and false written on the back.
This can also be accomplished by laminating two
different colored shapes together and placing a
large T for true on one side and a large F for false
on the other. As you ask questions in class have the
class hold up what they believe to be the correct
3. Create a series of light bulb cutouts in different
colors with the letters A-E on them. Make sure that
all the A’s are the same color and so forth. This
allows you to ask multiple choice questions and
students can hold up what they think is the answer.
These too last longer if laminated and can be
clipped together using loose leaf binder rings.
4. You can have students use individual or group
whiteboards to show their understanding. These
can come from large, inexpensive pieces of shower
board that can but cut down for free at either
Lowe’s or Home Depot. One sheet can yield a
classroom set as the pieces are 4’ by 8’ and costs
around $12.
OHS Staff – “Ticket to Leave” – at the end of class, it is imperative
Thursday that we take time to gauge how much of the lesson was
Thirties understood. The Ticket to Leave allows teachers to ask 1-
2 questions that are answered on the slip by the students.
As students leave, they drop their “tickets” with you. This
activity becomes a form of formative assessment is that
you take the slips to see where holes in their
understanding are to re-teach the next day. This MUST
affect your instruction on the next day. See Item 13 of
OHS Staff – How to Differentiate Assessment
Thursday • Provide a variety of questions from rote memory to
Thirties application of concepts
• Introduce the concept of peer or self evaluation as part
of the grade
• Use performance tasks to allow for the success of
students who do not typically perform well on paper
and pencil exams
• Create some problem-based learning activities into the
curriculum to encourage independent thought and the

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engineering process
• Implement electronic or paper portfolios to show
student work and growth over time. If this involves a
defense of the items within the portfolio it also allows
for critical thinking and presentation skills to improve.
(see appendix items 1 and 2)
• Consider using a learning journal or learning log to
gauge student understanding of your content
• A student interview is an easy way to assess the
learning of a student. However, it requires either
another teacher keeping the class going or another
assignment to keep the class engaged while interviews
take place.
OHS Staff – Standardized Test Power Verbs
Thursday These are the verbs that are found on every standardized
Thirties test. Some students don’t perform well on these tests
simply because they do not understand what the question
is asking. Therefore, these words should be on posters
around the classroom as a part of your word wall. See
item 5 of the appendix for an article concerning these
words and item 6 of the appendix for a set of posters.
Peck Using performance tasks with rubrics to alternatively
evaluate student work. Grade the positives and ignore
the negative. Mark what is correct and not what is wrong
on a paper. Always correct first and praise second.
Pickett For student engagement, give students projects with open
ended results. An example from my class would be a
design project (bridge, robot, catapult, etc …) where they
have only general instructions and a test of the design in
the end. These projects leave the student feeling “thrown
in the deep end of the pool” but once they get their
bearings, the challenge engrosses them. They thrive and
throw themselves into the project when the results are
truly their own. If you do this, it may be scary for some
students (and for you) because the project itself may
completely fail due to circumstances beyond their (and
your) control. This possibility of failure seems to level the
playing field and engages poorer performing students as
well as the rest.
Pickett Find time at least once each week to give immediate
personal feedback on your student’s work. Many students
worry about whether they are getting it right in the
moments of doing, but lose that interest by the time they
get back graded work. I have students show me a drawing
and I look at it and mark it up immediately, explaining
their mistakes or offering praise as I do. They can then

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take what I have explained and correct the current work

and apply it to the next drawing. This gives them
guidance when they are the most receptive.

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Smith, M. “Whip Around & Pass”

Begin by asking a general question about your content.
The only rule is that everyone MUST answer the question.
As you whip around the class, allow students to say pass
only one time. This pass provides for adequate think
Turner Using the worksheet that must be completed as an exit
slip to ensure that students remain on task all period long.
Stand at the door and look students in the eye. If they
don’t have their assignment, they must stay in class until
it is finished. Write them a pass to their next class.
Weathers To review for an upcoming test, I will tell the class where
in the book they can find where each question on the test
was derived from. For example I will say, “Question one
on the test came from page x and paragraph #.” Students
are to read the whole paragraph. Think about the main
idea of the paragraph. Then students are to make their
own test. Provide a question from the paragraph, then
answer their own question that they wrote from the
paragraph. This is a daily/homework assignment that
must be completed.

Students are excited, because they feel they are getting a

real gift, which they are. It brings them to the book, and
the enthusiasm about reading the text book is amazing.
Webster On Fridays we play ‘Jeopardy’ on the board sometimes. I
divide the class into 2 teams and list categories like
‘Sports’, ‘Business’, ‘Local’, etc. and ask questions that
get progressively difficult, like they do in the game show.
Other times I’ve played ‘Bingo’ in much the same way,
just using a template I have on my computer and filling in
different items, depending on what we’ve studied.
Wood See appendix item 11for a variation of a writing rubric. I
like it because it is divided into categories. Also, I find the
key questions particularly helpful.

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Chapter 3 – Technology

“Technology can change your classroom dynamic. It can engage

students and hold their attention and foster exploratory learning,
creative learning, life changing learning.”
~ Emily Witt ~

“There are a lot of positive uses to the technology in the

classroom. The ultimate objective is to find the right path for
students to maximize learning.”
~ Diana Oblinger ~

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Teacher Tip
Carpenter, D. Swapping the use of the math lab with a math teacher to
have access to computers and light boxes.
Hamrick In Microsoft Word, there is a track changes button which
allows a teacher to write comments on papers without
having to write all over papers. Provides a paperless way
to edit student work without the stacks of paper on your
Use the above website to create word walls and various
posters and designs. The more times you type a word in
the box, the more prominent it will be.
Students can also create comments describing
Mann Purchase a Microsoft fingerprint pad for your passwords
on your computer. It makes log-in go very quickly and
students don’t have the opportunity to watch you type in
your password and break into your files/websites…
Mann If you need a quick PowerPoint on a topic but don’t have
the time for all the bells and whistles, there is a good
chance that someone else has already created it on the
web. To search for a PowerPoint, simply type the topic
followed by a space and filetype:ppt in the Google search
box. Ex: “differentiated instruction” filetype:ppt
Mann Jefferson County Schools in Dandridge, Tennessee has
one of the most comprehensive websites of teacher
resources that I have seen. The fact that it is a Tennessee
school district also means that their materials are already
correlated to our state standards. You can find them at:
Mann If you are looking for help in diversifying your lessons, you
will find not only definitions and examples at the Akron
Global Polymer Academy website, but also video clips to
show you the methods in action.
Mann Sometimes when you have ESL students in your class, it is
hard to find good resources for them in their language.
Also, when you meet with a parent, the language barrier
can pose multiple problems. I find that Babelfish is one of
the most accurate translation sites.
Mann If you are looking for strategies that fit the Activation-
Cognitive Teaching-Summarizing Strategy framework, a
great site to explore is:

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Mann If you are looking for tips on improving student written

assignments, the Online Writing Lab (OWL) is great.
Mann The Wisconsin Literacy Education and Reading Network
System is a great site to use to increase your repertoire of
various teaching methods.
Mann If you are looking for articles to facilitate more reading
comprehension concerning current events, you may want
to subscribe to the daily articles from
Mann Downloading a movie for a PowerPoint presentation
1. Install Real Player from
2. When you see a movie clip online that you like, a
button will appear above it asking if you want to
download the clip.
3. Select yes and save the clip to your hard drive. It
will automatically save inside your video folder in
another folder labeled Real Player Downloads.
4. When you have created your slides for your
PowerPoint, select which one will contain the movie.
Mann How to Make a Poster Using Excel
Do you think Microsoft Excel is just for math and science?
You’re wrong! You can use Excel for a number of tasks
and activities that have nothing to do with numbers. How
about making colorful posters for your classroom, for
See handout 15 in appendix
Myers Eggspert review using Jeopardy template that can be
found online.
Reed Teacher and Online Grade Reports to improve
parent-student-teacher-case manager-coach
Sandusky for any area is a great resource. There is a
minimal fee.
Van Prooyen Here are some tutorial web sites for student use:
Multiple subjects: &
Math: (great for high school math) (shows step by step solutions)
English: (writing helps)

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Chapter 4 – Communication

“The colossal misunderstanding of our time is the assumption

that insight will work with people who are unmotivated to change.
Communication does not depend on syntax, or eloquence, or
rhetoric, or articulation but on the emotional context in which the
message is being heard. People can only hear you when they are
moving toward you, and they are not likely to when your words
are pursuing them. Even the choices words lose their power when
they are used to overpower. Attitudes are the real figures of
~ Edwin H. Friedman ~

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Teacher Tip
Athey Continue to tell students how good they are, how much
they have learned already, and how good they are going to
do on tests.
Bledsoe Check email daily to ensure that you don’t miss important
information. Many times parents will email and wait for a
response. By checking and responding to email daily, the
lines of communication stay open between the classroom
and home.
Carpenter, D. More is not always better. Do not just volunteer for
everything because it is a good cause or because no one
else will do it. To do a few things well is much more
effective than doing many things at a sub-par level.
Henson See appendix item 8 for tips on successful parent/teacher
Jarvis It is vitally important that any and all communication
between home and school is documented with not only
who you spoke with, but also what was said. This can be
used to prevent misunderstandings and confusion that
may arise later.
Jarvis In some cases, it is better to have an administrator or
counselor present during a parent-teacher conference.
This can only be accommodated with sufficient notice.
Kelley Use student’s names with educated titles to encourage
students to aspire for higher.
Mann Don’t forget your walls when you begin to think about
communication. Your walls speak to everyone as soon as
they enter your classroom. Be sure to put positive posters,
life affirming quotations, and encouraging words on your
Mann Before parents arrive for a parent conference, create a
folder with samples of graded work and current grade
report from the student to be discussed. Use a table if
possible, but not your desk as it reduces the distance
between you and the parent both real and perceived. It is
also wise to have a table with butcher paper, crayons, or
colored pencils to keep any smaller siblings busy yet
supervised during your meeting.
Always start out with positive statements concerning the
student. Remember that a parent-teacher conference is
most effective when there is a two-way flow of information.
Take copious notes from what the parent says. Also, do
not end the conference until a success plan for the student
has been crafted by all three parties (teacher, parent, and

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Mann As a courtesy, follow up conferences or other parental

correspondence to ensure that all questions have been
answered and to thank parents/guardians for their time.
This should take place no longer than a week after the
correspondence, but you should give the parent/guardian a
day or two to digest the information. This would also be a
good time to give feedback to the parent as to whether the
success plan made during the meeting is making a
difference for the better.
Mann Whenever possible, have the student lead the parent-
teacher conference. At the very least, have the student
present. This reduces misunderstandings and hearsay that
becomes convoluted when messages are passed from
teacher to student to parent and vice versa. By having the
student lead the conference, they must explain their grade
and answer questions posed by both the parent and the
teacher. This method also reduces the confrontational
atmosphere that sometimes accompanies parent-teacher
Pickering On those occasions when a note must be sent home, try
this. Take a business envelope and write, do not type, the
parents name and address without a return address. Next,
use a stamp on the envelope — running it through the
office stamp machine slows the letter down. Take your
letter to the Main Post Office on Shallowford Road on a
Friday afternoon. If you were able to secure the parent’s
correct address, it should arrive on Saturday morning.
Most parents get the mail out of their mailbox on Saturday
as opposed to other days of the week.
Army ROTC As the purpose of ROTC is to grow leaders, teaching them
Dept. how to communicate is crucial. The ROTC instructors use
a variety of source material to give students help in
effective communication particularly when it entails the
presentation of a project or information. See item 22 in
Williams, A. It is imperative that all email correspondence concerning
exceptional education students be kept on file. This can
provide evidence not only of the existence of an individual
education plan, but also of compliance with it.

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Chapter 5 – Classroom Atmosphere &


“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The

superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”
~ William Arthur Ward ~

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Teacher Tip
Athey Raise your expectations of students and their
responsibility level to raise their achievement.
Bates Course Assignment Sheet –Every day I write on the
board the date and assignment, (written assignments,
lecture, or discussion, whatever we do for the day.) I give
the students a table chart where there is a place for the
date, section, page, and assignment for them to fill in and
keep in their notebooks. I also keep a copy in my
notebook. When someone is absent we all have at our
fingertips what we did yesterday. Also, I stamp this sheet
when I check to see that homework assignments were
completed each day. This sheet also provides a place for
grades to be input for each assignment and helps students
keep track of their grade in class. See appendix item 3.
Bean From day one, begin building relationships with your
students. Spend the first few days just getting to know
your students and telling them about yourself. Use index
cards to learn more about your students. Such as the
Where were you What is your favorite
born? food?

What is your name?

What is your favorite What are your plans

type of music? aspirations after high
“They don’t care about how much you know until they
know how much you care.”
Blough Use student work to decorate your room. It gives students
a sense of pride that their work is being highlighted and it
gives the room a sense of ownership for the students.
Briggs When taking attendance, only mark down a date when
students are absent. This makes it really easy to count
T4T, instead of marking who is present and absent
Briggs Use a timer when you want students to stay focused on an
activity. This is especially important during group work
when a lack of focus can easily derail an assignment.
Buchanan From Capturing Kids Hearts: “Ask kids three questions: 1.
How do you want to be treated? 2. How do you think your
teacher wants to be treated? 3. What part do you have in

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the conflict that is occurring in the classroom with the

teacher/another student? Then as a class, How are we
going to deal with our conflicts? The class creates the
method and everyone in the class signs off on it along with
the teacher. This creates a contract that sets expectations
for all conflict resolution. However, you must be vigilant
and consistent in its use to ingrain the principles.
Eventually, once these principles are ingrained, the
students begin to take ownership for its enforcement. Be
open to discussion/dialog about situations.”
Buchanan TEACHER TIP: L0G – IN Students are required to log –
in daily on a sheet provided for each of them. They
keep these sheets in their notebooks. They receive a
sheet for each month. To hold the students
accountable for keeping up with their log – in sheets,
the teacher randomly takes them up to be graded. The
purpose of the log – in is to begin teaching the kids the
responsibility of keeping important records that can be
used as a reference point. In this case, each day the
student is in class, they must log – in on their sheet one
or more of the following ways.
~ Dressed out (DO)
~ Dressed out but not participating (DNP)
~ Not Dressed Out (ND
~ Not Dressed Out Properly (NDP)
~ Absent (done upon returning to school)
~ No School (holiday / snow day / etc.)
See Item 16 in appendix
Bush Call on kids to answer questions that you know are off-task
to re-engage them in the learning process.
Carpenter, J. Building self-esteem is important. Differentiate
assignments by ability level and praise students when they
are successful. They will work much harder when they feel
like they can accomplish the work.
Claborn Give the students a weekly agenda and structure the time
so that it follows the agenda. No surprises. Daily, write
the agenda on the board.
Claborn The power teaching score board keeps kids engaged in the
classroom. Everyday is a new game and the students like
to win, so for the most part they participate and stay
focused. There are a few who don’t and those individuals
are the ones who remain in the independent list and serve
detention so they can practice following the rules.
Eventually, they get tired of being singled out and they ask
to be removed from the independent list. The only way to

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get off the list is by following the class rules, so if they are
able to go an entire class period without breaking the
rules, they can get off the independent list for the next
class period.
Claborn Know your students well and relate to them on a personal
level. If you have a personal connection with the student,
they will perform better in your class. Keeping dialogue
journals with students in where they can express
themselves and you can respond without being judgmental
is a great way of getting to know your students. Writing
nice notes in the progress reports, making an occasional
phone call to the parents to let them know how well their
kid is doing in class, showing up to extra curricular
events are all excellent ways to win a student over.
Clavin I begin each class period with a 5-10 minute journal warm-
up activity. Students have a one-subject notebook they
use for this purpose, and I collect the notebooks and grade
all entries at the end of the course. Warm-up activities
may be a question about material covered the previous
day, a set of ACT practice questions, or an open-ended
question to gauge students’ understanding or opinion of a
topic. Students know they are to begin immediately on the
warm-up once the tardy bell rings. During the time
students are working on the warm-up, I take attendance,
check homework, etc.
Clavin To take care of makeup work for absent students. Create
a form template with the student name, date and the topic
covered in class. Type in info or copy and paste lesson
plan on form. Staple any handouts to the sheet. Improves
accountability for students.
Coggin I give one weekly great each week called a Work
Skills grade. Everyone starts with a 100. The 100 is
composed of 20 points a day in a 5 day week that students
get for being present and on time, on task, in dress code,
acting respectful, having a good attitude and participation
in the class discussion. If a student is absent, I have their
parents send me a note on the return day of school stating
the reason for the absence. If I don’t get a note, I deduct
the total points for that day. If they are tardy, I deduct 10
points for that day. If they put their head down, I also
deduct 10 points. If they have any violation of dress code,
poor attitude, etc, I deduct points. This grade helps offset
other grades and give the students who might not do as
well on a regular assignment a chance to bring up the
grade. I have almost zero problems with students and I
feel the Work Skills grade helps their attendance, attitude

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and work ethic. Employers on our advisory committee

have told us at different times that we needed to work with
students on these skills.
Collins Each week in every class, I ask for a volunteer to be the
class leader for the whole week. All the student has to do
is to get the “warm-up” started and to help me pass out
papers when needed. The “leader” is required to get to
class as soon as possible and to pick up an envelope
placed at the front board. Inside I have written what that
student is to write on the board and any other directions
needed for the warm-up. In my class, the directions are
written in Spanish. Very little time is wasted that way, and
most students know what activity begins the class. Each
week the names of the class leaders are left written on the
board until the end of Friday’s lesson when a new leader
volunteers for the next week. I consistently reward the
leaders with extra credit points. So far, I have always
found a volunteer and have not had to use the same
students twice in one term. I want everyone to have a
chance to volunteer. During the lesson and at the end of
class, these leaders often help with other easy tasks, like
erasing the board, taking down signs, passing out
homework, etc. Students feel important when they see
that they are listed as leaders, and everyone can do what
is asked of him or her.
Collins “Question of the Week.” I only do this for my first block
class (Spanish II) in order to greet them and to practice
Spanish at the same time. They are usually so tired and
want to be passive in class. On Monday, a part of the
“warm-up” is to list the “Question of the Week” on their
class list of students that I have given to them earlier.
(They use the same class role for several week’s
questions.) They then have to get up and ask two
students the same Spanish question, and get a response.
They check off which students they have asked on their
list. From Tuesday to Friday, I greet each at the door and
ask each student the “Question of the Week.” I help them
if they have trouble with the answer. Then, as students
come in, they ask two different students the very same
question and check off their names. The constant
repetition of the question and answer helps with long-term
memory and helps me get to remember each student’s
name. This gets each student involved at the beginning of
the class.
Curtis Use index cards as time cards to keep track of attendance
and daily grades. The students come in and take their

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card off the board mark their attendance and pass it back
in. The cards that are left are absent.

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Denton Be consistent. Begin every day with the same

expectations. Recognize that all students do not have the
same abilities but expect everyone to achieve at their
highest level. If an assignment is due, do not extend it on
the day it is due. This punishes the conscientious student
and rewards the slothful one. It also
reinforces procrastination – a trait that will not serve them
well in any aspect of life. If we, as teachers are consistent,
our students will more likely model that behavior in our

Most importantly, remember to laugh at yourself and smile

at others – it makes the day much more enjoyable.
Eaves Make the kids want to come to class daily by relating to
their interests. Create positive correlations between your
content and their everyday lives. Be observant of changes
in student behavior as this may be a way to cement
relationships with students.
Gamble Each student picks a partner and if your partner is absent,
you get two of whatever and place it in their partner’s
folder on the wall. Student must sign the front of the
folder when they return and when they go over 5 days
absent, the signatures go into a gray box that indicates the
amount of time-for-time that they owe.
Gentry Many students with ADHD fidget during class. Allowing the
student to keep his hands busy with a squeeze ball helps
the student concentrate and release excess energy. Also,
during the block give the student a time to move around
with physical activities or a time to stretch.
Hadden When you stamp assignments sheets, use multiple
different kinds of stamps or a variegated stamp pad with
alternating colors. Randomly choose a bell ringer to count
as a homework/assignment grade.
Haupt I try to sit “at-promise” students close to my desk to help
with communication and encourage them to ask questions.
Hollingsworth See appendix for 8 simple rules for motivating students.
Hutsell Be sure to post your classroom expectations. When
problems arise, allow the students to have some input into
how to solve the problems. When they have input into the
rules that govern them, they will take ownership of the
rules and the class.
Jackson To get the attention of a large number of students rather
quickly, use the clap method. For example say, “If you can
hear my voice clap once. If you can hear my voice clap
twice.” As long as a few students hear you and are

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clapping the others will join in as well. However, you may

want to vary this strategy a little by changing the number
of claps or how the actually respond. This method works
best if the teacher speaks at a lower tone.
Lyons Keep a hard copy of lessons as well as on the computer.
When students are absent, upon my giving the assignment
the item, highlight the paper copy box. This gives proof
that you gave the assignment.
Mann During first block when students are usually sluggish,
spray peppermint or citrus air freshener in the room.
Peppermint and citrus activates the brain and reduces foul
odors. In a class that is too hyper to concentrate, spray
lavender or vanilla in the room. These scents tend to calm
the brain. The same effects can come from using music in
the classroom. When students are lethargic, play Motown
to get them moving mentally. When students are overly
excited, play classical music with a lot of violins to calm
them down.
Mann To ensure that students were prepared for quizzes, I
required them to trade me their group assignment for their
quiz. If they did not have their assignment, they could not
take the quiz and received a zero for both assignments
until they were completed. My grade program made it
very easy to simply code the assignments as missing
which printed out in a report.
Mann I prefer three-ring notebooks with tabs to file cabinets for
filing. Each unit has its own notebook which includes all of
the originals for group assignments, notes, handouts,
quizzes, labs, tests, alternative assignments for students
that require them, and any PowerPoint/video/laserdisc
information I may need to present that unit’s information.
It also includes all the keys for assignments and
assessments under a separate tab that can be easily
removed when the notebook is in use. This keeps
everything in one place and any notes that I make to
change things for the next time can be placed in the
notebook on a sticky note.
Mann Student notebooks can really help students stay organized.
I required a minimum 2 inch three-ring folder with six
dividers. Each divider had a different purpose (1 – Science
2 – Formulas and Sample Problems, 3 – Notes and
4 – Group Assignments, 5 – Quizzes, 6 – Tests and Exams).
The table of contents was located on the inside left cover.
This allowed me to take a timed notebook assessment by

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asking for random assignments from each section. As long

as their notebook was arranged correctly, students could
easily find all of their assignments and get their grade.
Mann Create a set of signs to place outside your classroom that
indicate your class’s location just in case someone needs
to find you. For example, if your class is in the library
anyone that goes to your class will see where you are.
This is especially helpful when the office is trying to locate
a student.
Mann Print out your seating chart and place it inside of a glossy
sheet protector on a clip board. This way you can walk
around the classroom and make notes about students and
take attendance while still actively supervising students.
You can wait until the end of the day and record all of your
observations or between classes. Once recorded, you can
wipe the sheet protector clean and start over.
Mann Don’t waste time handing out papers (unless they are
tests). Have a set location in the classroom, preferably
near the door, for students to pick up their graded work
and hand in assignments. As long as you empty the hand
in container each class, you needn’t waste precious time
taking up work.
Mann A way to get kids to class on time is to require that the last
person to class each day have to give a summary of what
was learned the previous day as well at the end of the
period to summarize what was learned that day. The
summaries should only take between 2-3 minutes.
McGuirt (a great one for the art room but not recommended for every

I believe that a “kid” approved room atmosphere is

very important. I’ve found that by allowing students to
help decorate the classroom they feel like they are an
important part in creating a room atmosphere that they
approve of. What I’ve found to work in my art room is . . .
when a student has all of his/her projects handed in and
his/her daily behavior is appropriate, he/she can paint 1
block (of my wall) of his/her choice in my room. This block
can reflect his/her personal interest (team names, club
logos, personal style, etc.). In doing this, students are not
only rewarded for positive student behavior but they also
create an environment that they want to walk in to day
after day.
Murray While standing by one’s classroom door is a requirement
for all teachers for disciplinary purposes, this time is often
the most valuable time of the day for developing

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personalization with students. Often an observant teacher

can study the “body language” of his/her students as they
come to class and identity students who are struggling
physically or emotionally. If the teacher follows up on such
observations with a simple question expressing interest in
and concern for the student, problems that might occur
later in the classroom may be avoided. Also, the teacher
may learn of serious problems that the student is
experiencing that may call for school staff or parental
Nelson Hand out class rules and expectations, make student and
parent sign it, and return it. Keep it on file until the middle
of next term in case a parent or student wants to know
why they failed.
OHS Staff – From Teach Like a Rock Star by Hal Bowman
Professional Classroom Leaders are…
Development 1. Are long-term thinkers who see beyond today’s
Session lesson.
2. Are interested in more than just what happens in the
3. Put equal emphasis on “intellectual development” as
well as “personal development.”
4. Do not accept the status quo.
5. Understand, believe, and are committed to the
world-changing, exponential effect of education.
OHS Staff – From Teach Like a Rock Star by Hal Bowman
Professional Emotional Associative Conditioning
Development 1. Step 1: Determine their most desired emotional
Session state (kid specific). Ask – What is the most
important thing for you to have in your life right
2. Step 2: Put the student in a position to successfully
access the emotional state he/she desires most.
(Examples: “I love being with my family.” Therefore
this kid needs more group work. OR “I want a car so I
can go where I want.” This kid needs more choice in
3. Step 3: Provide support and guidance to guarantee
4. Step 4: Link the student’s emotional state to you by
a. Helping the student make the connection
between success and emotional state
b. Providing public or private recognition
c. Providing teacher recognition with a
physical touch
OHS Staff – Your students will adapt to whatever values are present.

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Professional For example, if being in dress code is something that you

Development value, students will be in dress code while in your class
Session and when they see you in the hallway. Make sure that your
classroom rules match your values.
OHS Staff – Wretched Masses
Thursday • Snapshot of this Student: This is your typical
Thirties whiner. “I can’t do it” “This is too hard” “This is too
much work.” This is the kid that hides behind the
others hoping you won’t call on them. They are usually
either quiet or extremely obnoxious. They don’t
understand the material and constantly complain that
the class is too hard for them.
• But, why do they act this way?: They harbor
deep feelings of inadequacy and really cannot do what
you are requesting of them. Their brain does not have
the confidence to believe that they are capable of
being successful on the assigned task; therefore, they
do things to divert attention away from their poor
• Scenario 1: You have an effective class
management system whereby free time is earned for
completing assigned class work. John never gets his
work done and therefore never gets free time. You feel
badly, but a rule is a rule. John and you are both
• Scenario 2: When you give Gail an assignment, all
you hear is “I don’t understand,” or “I can’t do this!”
She makes little effort and has literally given up. She
is having great difficulty reading the grade level texts
yet does not qualify for any special programs.
• What can you do to help this student?
o Make sure that they already know the answer
before you call on them to give them confidence
o Give them specific guidelines with the freedom
to choose their own subject
o Group students according to ability
(sometimes heterogeneously and sometimes
o Pair up higher and lower level students for
peer support
o Break down the assignment into smaller
sections for more opportunities for success and
to make the assignment less overwhelming
o Allow them to write their questions about the
material on an index card without their names.

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Take up the cards and address the questions on

the cards without indicating who wrote the
o Options from –
 Be Reassuring
 Give Specific Praise
 Challenge Illogical Statements
They May Make
 Help Them Reframe Failure into a
Stepping Stone to Success
OHS Staff – Attention Seekers
Thursday • Snapshot of this kid: This is your class clown.
Thirties This child calls your name so much during class that
you want to change it before the day is done. If you
walk into the hallway, there is no telling what you will
find them doing to entertain the class when you return.
• But, why do they act this way?: Some students
need your attention and the attention of their
classmates as well. For whatever reason, they get the
idea that they are either being ignored or are not
receiving the percentage of your time that they
• Scenario 1: You teach a lesson and then give a
follow-up worksheet to be completed by
all pupils while you conduct individual student
conferences. You are frequently interrupted with
questions, and are unable to give your undivided
attention to specific students during the individual
discussion sessions. You find yourself increasingly
angry at the class.
• Scenario 2: Patrick is constantly calling your name.
Even when he knows the answers to the questions, he
needs your assurance that his answers are correct.
You are sick and tired of reprimanding him for talking
out loud without being called upon first.
• What can you do to help this student?
o Give positive attention for positive behavior.
Be careful not to give negative attention.
o Give them a responsibility in the classroom to
help them feel important
o Speak to them one on one (privately)
o Ignore it to a certain point
o Appeal to their sense of fairness
o Use humor to redirect their attention

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o Give them preferential seating

o Another option from - Do not
wait for misbehavior to happen. Do not take good
behavior for granted. We do this with teenagers.
We come to expect good behavior, and overlook
their efforts. When a child demonstrates good
behavior, notice it. Look for it. The more you
notice, the more you will find. You will get more
good behavior in the future. Anyone can catch
children being bad. Turn this around. Catch them
being good. It’s not easy. It takes practice.
OHS Staff – Control Freaks
Thursday • Snapshot of this Student: This child will push
Thirties your buttons daily. They must always have the last
word and even if they don’t they will simply go back to
their seat talking about how wrong you are to their
classmates. This child is typically argumentative and
• But, why do they act this way?: Many of your
students have an inordinate amount of control in their
homes. They may be raising younger brothers and
sisters as well as themselves and, as a result, are
calling the shots and making major life decisions. Then
they come to school and cannot understand why
everyone, including you, will not dance to their music.
• Scenario 1: Jane angrily enters your classroom.
She has just been reprimanded by another teacher for
“fooling around” and has had the privilege of eating
lunch in the library revoked for the rest of the week. In
your class, she is refusing to do work, calls out and
continues the behavior from the other class, adding to
it her complaints of unfairness. The class is in danger
of not earning the class reward of an extra recess
period for having completed all of your assignments.
• Scenario 2: Melissa is demanding and
argumentative. If you say the sky is blue, she says it’s
brown. She is always calling her peers inappropriate
names and when reprimanded shrugs you off and
refuses to listen to your requests.
• What can you do to help this student?:
o Be flexible
o Give them as much choice as possible (such as
how to complete an assignment)
o Give them a situation to control that will be

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positive for the classroom.

o Give them some supervised control in the
o Allow them or appoint them as a group leader.
o Appoint responsibility for their and possibly
other groups actions.
o Options from
 Here’s the absolute, no-fail way to win
every power struggle with every kid every
time: Don’t struggle for power. Think about
it. The minute an adult wrestles with a kid for
power, they’ve immediately lost. And, the
younger the child, the more true that
statement becomes. To give you an image,
you want to take your “sails” out of their
wind, so to speak. Here are some specific
tips and tricks to use instead of getting
caught up in the “Yes, you will”-“No, I won’t”
battles when everybody loses.
 Have your class or group establish rules
about the number of talk-outs per hour, and
to create a standing policy about what to do
when problems occur. Without a
recommended number for kids to follow,
some won’t be able to discern a reasonable
number on their own. Young people need
practice providing self-governance most
adults don’t need that practice. With this
intervention, not only do you shift the
problems away from being adult-kid to kid-
kid, but you are aiding your kids to practice
essential self-management skills.
OHS Staff – Entertainment Junkies
Thursday • Snapshot of this Student: This is the kid that
Thirties comes to class and does little to nothing. They
constantly complain that the class is boring and are
often found asleep, texting on their cell phone,
listening to their I-pod, or watching a movie on their
video game instead of working on class work. This
may also be the kid that hits kids as they pass by just
to get a reaction.
• But, why do they act this way?: In many
classrooms, students sit for long periods of time
without any active engagement of their brains. Their

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brains are not getting enough oxygen and they may

yawn repeatedly, fall asleep, or think of other things
while the lesson is being taught.
• Scenario 1: Dr. Wong is disappointed in his
students’ reactions to his teaching. Though he has
some attentive and interested students, the majority of
students look bored in his class, with that glazed-over
look in their eye, and a surprising number skip class
• Scenario 2: Duane is bored with school and with
you. He is frequently caught sleeping in class or at the
very least with his head on his desk. He is
unmotivated and puts out little effort. When not
sleeping, he is looking for ways to bother the other
students so that they cannot complete their
assignments either.
• What can you do to help this student?
o Offer a variety of activities with some that
incorporate movement
o Change activities often
o Give them special responsibilities
o Appoint them to be goal creators, small group
leaders, peer teachers, or tutors of other students
o Incorporate cooperative learning strategies
o Use hands-on and visual activities
o Use color coded charts
o Options from
 Consider asking questions that promote
deeper thinking, rather than generic
questions such as “Are there any questions?”
 Breaking up a lecture with questions and
other activities will help keep students alert,
interested, and learning while forcing
students to think more deeply about the
concepts and leading students to take more
responsibility for their own learning
OHS Staff – How to Differentiate the Classroom Environment
Thursday • Rearrange desks to promote learning
Thirties • Use the board more effectively
• Rearrange the desks into a circle formation to facilitate
group discussion
• Vary the seating arrangement from time-to-time
• Examine your space, time, and materials available to
become more flexible

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• Involve the students in discussions about how to make

the environment work for their needs
Phillips Keep a log of minor incidents with a student who is
constantly uncooperative. That way you have plenty of
documentation when you write the referral. One incident
may not seem significant to an administrator, but a pattern
will show them you are not just in a bad mood the day you
write the referral.
Pickett I have a “student center” in my class. The assignment for
the day is written on the board near the station. There are
files for them to store their work in (completed or in-
progress). The pencil sharpener is in that area too. This
gives the students a routine feel to the classroom. They
can check the board for daily work so they know how to
get started and they know what to do with their work when
it is done or where to store it if it needs to be worked on
the next day.
Pickett Set-up the expectation of teamwork. Set up extra credit
on assignments if teacher sees the student helping
Ricketts Many times, early in the morning students are not fully
awake and a bit lethargic. One remedy for this situation
can be the use of simple nursery rhymes that they must
respond to such as, “If you’re happy and you know it clap
your hands.” As simple as it seems, it puts a smile on
students’ faces and wakes their brains up to work.
Sampley Watch students closely for the signs of depression so that
early intervention may take place. Some of these signs
• Being unusually irritable, grumpy, hostile, easily
frustrated, or having angry outbursts.
• Having unexplained aches and pains with no medical
• Being extremely sensitive to criticism due to a
feeling of worthlessness. This is particularly
prevalent in high-achieving students. This may lead
to uncharacteristic tearfulness and frequent crying
• Becoming less social that before or a sudden change
in friends.
Sandusky To keep kids up to date upon an absence, give kids a
calendar of topics (basically a lesson plan). To provide
handouts, there is an area by the door organized by day.
When they come in, they just look in the slot and pick up
the handouts that they have missed on the days they were

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Sandusky Administratively we must inform students of time-for-time.
She created a form to keep track (see appendix item 4).
Give it out at each progress report. Kids must sign off as
proof of their fulfillment of the requirement.
Seebach Challenge students to positively influence peer pressure.
Become positive leaders for change. Be careful to applaud
the students who may not get the A or B in class, but we
know that worked very hard to get the D that they did
earn. We must encourage them even if they are giving
100% and they only hit the D or C. Don’t forget their self-
Slack Kids must believe that you care about them as a person
before they will accept that you care about them as a
Smith, W. Last year I gave a grade called a work skills grade and
didn’t realize how well it worked until I chose not to do it
this semester. I give students 20 points a day that
consists of attendance, dress code, participation, and class
work. If they choose not to do these things on a daily
basis then I take points off and it could result in low daily
grades each week. For some reason I chose not to do it
this semester and I wish I had. They actually want to
have 100 work skills grades each week and want to know
why they have points taken off if they see a grade lower
than 100.
Smith, W. Put rules or steps for problem solving on your wall in
different colored sentence strips to draw attention to them.
In fact, decorate your classroom with bright colored
posters and artifacts to make the room more cheery.
Everyone benefits from attractive surroundings.
Smith, W. Put up all student work to encourage self-esteem. Nothing
gets a kid’s attention faster than seeing their work on
display for all to see. It also encourages better quality
work because they know it will be on display. This also
provides student ownership within the classroom.
Turner When assigning groups, consider creating single sex
groups to encourage more concentration on the activity.
Veenstra See appendix item 10 for article on the myth of the
troubled teen
Wellness What we have started to do in Wellness for kids who
Teachers decide not to dress out is have them go through a chapter
in our Wellness textbook and answer the review
questions. This will give them something to do that is
related to the class and state requirements as well as

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allowing us to give them some credit for the class work.

This will hopefully deter kids from not dressing out but if
they get to 5 days of this then we will refer them to an
administrator and or parent.
Wilson A better way to take role – use a seating chart and
mark attendance on the chart for the week. If a child is
not in their appropriate spot mark them absent. When a
kid is absent, place the assignments that they have missed
in the folder that also contains the seating chart.
Wilson Do a daily log on the board. Everything written in past
tense of what was already done. The last thing in the log
is the homework for the day. By writing it in past tense,
when kids copy it in their notebook daily it makes sense. If
you don’t get to it all, transfer the item to the next day’s
Wilson Something that has helped me in organization is to have
each student to keep a supplies envelope which contains
colored pencils, ruler, and drawing pencil for lab. The
students pick the envelope up at the start of the block, use
it, and return it to the storage box at the end of the block.
Saves a huge amount of “pass out” time and makes the
students responsible for their own supplies.
Wiram When I see the majority of the students in my classroom
complying with a classroom rule and some not, I seek out
a student that is in compliance. Then, I exuberantly
compliment that student. The ones that are not in
compliance get the hint and align themselves accordingly.
There is a lot of power is positive peer pressure. All
students want to be complimented authentically. This
method works well as long as you don’t always pick out
the same student. You cannot play favorites. The
students see right through this tactic and will resent the
student and your rules.
Wright Keep a desk-size calendar and document handouts, topics
covered, etc on the calendar. The students are informed
that they must check the assignment calendar on the first
day of school. This places the responsibility on the child to
obtain their makeup work and raises accountability.
Wright Every time that I collect an assignment from a class, I
require that anyone who does not have the assignment
write on a full sheet of paper that they did not turn it in to
me. They have to write their names, the assignment name
and the date. They have to state in writing “I did not turn
in page 200 # 1-35” for example. I make sure that I get
either the assignment or the notes from every student. To
ensure that they do this, I do not let them pass the papers

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to the front. I walk to each desk and collect it myself. I

keep these notes on file for documentation and parent

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Chapter 6 – Literacy

“Dancing in all its forms cannot be excluded from the curriculum

of all noble education; dancing with the feet, with ideas, with
words, and, need I add that one must also be able to dance with
the pen?”
~ Friedrich Nietzsche ~

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Teacher Tip
Behling Use music to teach your content vocabulary. I create a sheet
with the lyrics but vocabulary missing. Have students listen to
the song a few times and then attempt to fill in the appropriate
word(s). For this method to be effective, it must include the
active vocabulary that the class is using currently.
Carpenter, D. Use debate to help students gain a personal interest in the
material. Incorporating M.U.N.
Hughes Place names of students inside of sentences that are used to
teach the material. This provides more personalization. Have
students write a small introduction about themselves and use
this to construct teaching material.
Mann When deciding which literature to use, try to incorporate as
much teenage voice as possible. If children can relate to the
author, they will be more willing to listen to what the author has
to say.
Mann S.P.A.W.N. (Special Powers, Problem Solving, Alternative
Viewpoints, What If?, and Next)
The purpose of this activity is to encourage the examination of
complex issues and to extend student thinking in their writing.
1. Have students read a passage of text.
2. For the S of S.P.A.W.N., students are given special powers
to change some aspect of the text or topic and they must
explain what they changed, why, and the effects of that
3. For the P of S.P.A.W.N., students are asked to write
possible solutions to the problems presented in the text.
4. For the A of S.P.A.W.N., students write about a topic or
retell a story from a unique point of view.
5. For the W of S.P.A.W.N., students respond to a change
that the teacher has made in the text similar to step 2.
6. For the N of S.P.A.W.N., students must predict what topic
will come next or what will happen next in the story with
their rationale for their statement.
7. The first time you introduce S.P.A.W.N., you will have to
create individual writing prompts for each letter. As they
become more proficient at it, students can create their
8. In science, this could concern an experiment. In history, it
could be an event. In P.E. it could be a game strategy.
Mann I Have…Who Has…
The purpose of this activity is to engage students in vocabulary
instruction and increase their fluency and retention.
1. Use the template found in the appendix as item 19
2. The teacher must create a set of these cards while being

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sure that the definition or description on the bottom of the

card does not match the vocabulary tem at the top of the
3. The first student will begin by reading the “Who Has…”
statement at the bottom of their card.
4. The other students in the room must all pay attention as it
could be any of them that has the vocabulary term that
matches the definition or description that was read.
5. If a student has the term that matches, they stand up and
say, “I Have…” Then they proceed to read the other part
of their card (Who Has…)
6. This continues until all of the cards have been read
7. If done correctly, you will end with the person you started
Note: This can be done as a whole class or a smaller group
activity. Also, you may want to have the student compete
against other groups or classes to get the fastest time. This
requires that everyone pay attention because if someone else
does not know the answer, it increases the team’s overall time.
McIntyre Outcome Sentences
At the end of each presentation, I have students reflect on their
work and what they learned as a result of their assignments.
Their answers are compiled in their notebooks in a journal
section. This allows students to really think about their
assignments even after they are over instead of just getting a
grade and forgetting all about it. I use outcome sentences as
starters for this reflection activity. You may want to start your
sentences with:
• I learned...
• I was surprised...
• I’m beginning to wonder...
• I feel...
• I discovered (or rediscovered)...
• I now realize that...
• I would someday like to...
• I cannot agree with...
• I would like to find out more about...
• I reevaluated my assumptions about...
• I was proud of the way...
• I conclude...

• I better appreciate now...

Miller Use the students’ own original written compositions as an
opportunity to provide reading material that is interesting to
their classmates. My students write original stories in French
and I correct them and type them up in a compilation with their

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classmates’ stories. Then, we have a reading day and read all

the stories. They are motivated to create original, creative
stories and the other students are eager to see what their
peers have written. Vocabulary and grammatical forms always
occur that we have not yet studied, so I footnote it and we
discuss it when we read the stories. This is a teachable
OHS Staff – Tea Party Protocol – Pre-Reading Activity (a National School
Thursday Reform Faculty product)
Thirties 1. Select a series of quotes from the upcoming text
2. Give each student a quote and allow 2 minutes for them
to reflect on the quote.
3. Then have each student share their quote with two other
people and discuss their quotes in 2 minute intervals.
4. Finally, have the whole group share their quotes for a
group discussion and reaction session.
OHS Staff – Say Something Protocol – During Reading Activity (A National
Thursday School Reform Faculty product)
Thirties 1. Divide a long piece of text into parts.
2. Assign each student a partner.
3. The students read through the portion of text either orally
or silently.
4. After the reading of the section is finished, one partner
turns to the other and says, “say something about the
section we just read.” Once the first speaker has “said
something,” they swap roles.
Rules for “Say Something” Responses to the Text
a. Can make a prediction
b. Can ask a question
c. Can clarify something their partner
d. Can make a comment
e. Can make a connection
f. If a student cannot do either of a-e, they must
reread the section
5. After the first section of text has been read and discussed,
they move on to the next section and the process begins
OHS Staff – “I’m Thinking” Select a piece of text generally no longer than 3-
Thursday 4 pages from your textbook or some other source of
Thirties information. Highlight on your copy the most important
sentences in the text ahead of time. Provide a graphic
organizer for students to fill in as they identify each sentence.
Divide students into groups of no more than 3-4 students and
provide a way for students to call out answers as a group. You
will read only the first few words of the sentence and the groups

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will compete to be the first one to find the sentence in the text.
Keep score on the board or overhead. When groups find the
sentence, they will add it to their graphic organizer for that
section’s notes. Provide some sort of incentive for the group
that wins (i.e. candy, time to talk, etc…)
OHS Staff – Word Splash
Thursday Select a series of terms or phrases from the text students are
Thirties about to read. Place these terms on a poster board or on the
overhead. Have students predict from the words/phrases what
the topic of the text might be. This is a great way to pique
interest in the text.
OHS Staff – Shared Inquiry
Thursday 1. Select a piece of text that must be read prior to the
Thirties discussion and create a series of questions to facilitate the
discussion. There should be at least one of each type of
question, factual, interpretive, and evaluative.
2. Using a graphic organizer (see item 21 in appendix), prior
to discussion, have students: a) write one item from the
text they agreed with, b) write on item from the text they
disagreed with, and c) write one item from the text they
had questions about. Also, have them answer the factual,
interpretive, and evaluative questions in the “Post
Reading” boxes.
3. Arrange all students in a circle allowing them to face each
4. Go over the Rules for Shared Inquiry
a. If you did not read the text, you may not join the
b. No third-party opinions about the article are allowed.
c. Only discuss the text provided.
d. You must listen to the other participants and
respond directly to them.
e. Expect the facilitator to only ask questions.
f. Your ideas/opinions must be supported directly by
the text.
5. Begin the discussion by asking your factual question. The
students must not only answer the question, but also
provide the source in the text for their answer. Continue
on through each of the other questions.
6. Remember, students can disagree with others’ answers,
but must provide their support from the text.
7. After the discussion is over, have students re-answer the
factual, interpretive, and evaluative questions in the “Post
Shared-Inquiry” boxes.
8. To summarize, ask students if they still agreed with their
original answers and what new insights did the discussion

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Note: This is best done with material with a little controversy or
if the questions you ask are a bit controversial. Just remember
the students have to be the ones doing the inquiry.
OHS Staff – Closed Word Sort
Thursday 1. Select 20-25 words that are crucial to the text that you will
Thirties read. Copy each of the words on separate index cards or
pieces of construction paper. If you plan to use the words
again, it is best if you laminate the words in advance.
2. Decide the categories that you will use to sort the words
and print them on pieces of paper that are of a different
color than the words themselves.
3. Divide the class into groups of 3-5 students and give each
group a set of words and categories.
4. Give the students about 10 minutes to sort each of the
words into the categories that you provided.
5. After that time, you can either walk around and check
their answers and point out words that may be misplaced
or have groups look at other groups’ word sorts.
6. Once this part of the process is complete, have the groups
reconvene to decide if and what changes need to be
made. Then have each group write a rationale for the sort
they made.
7. At this point, have the students read the material the
words came from and then make any changes needed to
their sorts.
8. Finally, have each team write a rationale for the words
that they placed in each category.
Note: If you would instead like to do an open sort, you would
simply leave out the step of providing the categories ahead of
OHS Staff – Three Levels of Text Protocol – During Reading Activity (A
Thursday National School Reform Faculty product)
Thirties 1. Appoint a facilitator and a timekeeper for each group of 3-
4 students
2. Have students silently read the text provided and note
any statements/terms that they agree with, disagree with,
or have questions about (basically anything that sticks
3. Level 1 – Within each group, each student will share their
statements/terms (less than 1 minute each)
4. Level 2 – Within each group, have each student share the
reason they chose their individual statement/term (3-4
minutes each)
5. Level 3 – Once everyone in the group has shared and

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given their reasons, decide as a group which is the most

important statement or term and explain how it ties in
with the topic/lesson being learned. (10 minutes)
6. Share each group’s findings with the class as a whole.
Peterson Use of Journaling at the beginning, middle, or end of class.
Peterson No matter how old our students are they love to be read to!
Find any opportunity to read to students!
Phillips Even when I was in the regular classroom I always began the
year by teaching students HOW to study for my subject. Too
many times we assume students know how to study already.
Languages are skills, just like sports or playing musical
instruments. I have to teach students that they must PRACTICE
the skill on a daily basis to be successful. Each chapter the first
month or so of class I would show them a different way to study
and practice. The whole class would practice that way for that
chapter. After those first few weeks, I let students choose how
they liked best to study and expected them to do it each week.
I tried to teach a different way for each modality of learning—
visual, auditory, tactile, etc.
Rice This year I added a journal section to the notebooks my
students must keep. Each Friday we take time to make a
journal entry. The subject of the journal entry must be
something learned that week. No restrictions on what was
learned or where it was learned. I check notebooks/journals at
the end of class on Friday’s. In addition to being a literacy
exercise, this journal assignment encourages student’s
reflective thinking and provides a record of their development.
Silva Journals as they relate to art. Students bring in objects to create
art about. Then they write a reflection of what moment in time
the items were taken from and how they applied to the artwork.
Fold paper into 8 boxes. The journal comprises writing ideas
that are presented in class, proof of active listening, etc…
Increased accountability on both sides. Focuses on the process
instead of the output.
Sloan In sociology, we use current event from news articles to practice
writing and critical thinking skills. We also use them to foster
discussion and encourage reading comprehension.
Sloan The students compose the word wall in the class which
reinforces the use of vocabulary. Many times they include
pictorial clues to the definition of the terms on the wall. We
then refer to the word wall throughout the chapter, unit and for
some words the entire semester. This helps them speak the
language of the content better and fosters great
Turner For my English students I am keeping a Writer’s progress log.

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The students must list those skills that they missed on the first
essay and correct those mistakes. It is noted on the rewrite and
the chart if the student has then mastered the skill. If not the
student may need supplemental work from the grammar book
or a further rewrite.
Chapter 7 – New Teacher Sanity Savers

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The

superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”
~ William Arthur Ward

“What office is there which involves more responsibility, which

requires more qualifications, and which ought, therefore, to be

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more honorable than teaching?”

~ Harriet Martineau ~

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Teacher Tip
Agan Always be flexible.
Blassingame To survive teaching one must be positive in attitude, flexible in
planning, and able to laugh at yourself and others.
Cook To save paper, create a check off sheet of all of the assignments
you will complete in a semester on one sheet of paper that
students will keep in their notebooks. Include not only the
assignments, but also the categories of the assignments. Use
this same sheet to keep track of progress reports. By keeping
track this way, the students always know what their grade is in
class and also they know at a glance what they are missing and
what is coming up next.
Cooper When you can leave very organized and detailed instructions for
a substitute teacher, your can actually enjoy a day off. See
appendix item 12 for template.
Eaves Always expect the unexpected. In other words, be prepared for
an activity that worked well today not to work tomorrow. Always
have a back-up plan.
Delaune Organize homework ahead of time onto an assignment sheet.
When students return after homework is assigned, have them
show that the assignment was completed. When this proof is
provided, stamp the assignment sheet at their desks while they
complete the class warm-up activity. At the end of the
week/chapter/unit, all you have to check for is the assignment
sheet and not all of the individual papers. If a child does not
have a stamp for a certain assignment, they must produce it on
that final day or they lose points on that week’s/chapter’s/unit’s
Hadden I like to put Word documents in columns on the front side, copy
it, and then copy them front and back. I cut the page in half and
have a front and back half page on half sheets in order to save
paper and copy costs.
Ingle To make inputting report card information easier, make sure that
you put your attendance information on a computer for easy
James Money and how it is handled has a way of causing more issues
with employment than any other area. Although this is not a
comprehensive list, here are some ways to stay out of trouble:
• Log all money received from students and turn it in at the
end of each day.
• To prevent a conflict of interest, do not sign off on other
bank accounts such as those for booster clubs. A booster
club must have a president and treasurer for that reason.
• No personal reimbursements will be issued for more than

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• Fundraiser requests must be turned in 3 weeks in advance

as it takes that long for the superintendent to approve the
• If a student brings you a check for more than the amount
that was requested, you cannot give change out of your
log bag. This check must either be returned to the student
to be reissued by the parent/guardian with the proper
amount or the student must wait until the check clears and
a refund will be issued by the bookkeeper.
• Make sure that you follow all of the proper purchase order
Mann Always begin with the end in mind. Know what items are going
to be on your final exam or at least what standards must be
covered on the final exam. This will allow you to make up your
final exam as you go along through the term. Turn your tests
into test banks using Exam View and you can create an exam
easily that covers all of your content from the term.
Mann If you find an activity/lesson/handout/etc… that worked
particularly well, place a post-it not on it to remind you to use
that activity. Also, if you find that an activity may work better if
you make some changes, note that on the post-it so you will
remember what to change the following year.
Maupin To prevent theft, lock all of your personal belongings up and do
not leave students in your classroom without supervision. Do not
give your keys to students to enter your room without your
presence regardless of how trustworthy they seem. Also, to
maintain the safety of the building, do not prop open outside
Myhan Here is my time saving tip for teachers!
Know when the copier is in use.
This is no joke! Learn when most of your colleagues are using the
copier. You can sometimes wait 15 minutes to make just a few
copies. Your copies have to be made, so you wait, stuck in line
with a thousand other things you could be doing to prepare for
the next day. About midway through my first year of teaching, I
realized that the copier was never in use during the first few
minutes of class. If you hurry to the copier you can beat all of
those teachers who dared to use the restroom first!
Naylor Create a checklist of assignments that allows students to know at
a glance what work they are missing. When the check list is kept
by the teacher, it allows the teacher to make notes about the
student or assignment to be added to the gradebook later.
Reynolds I have had trouble with students not having pencils in class. I
put out a can of pencils for the students to borrow and tell the
students that they must leave their cell phone in my box to

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remind them to return the pencil. When I started to do this, no

one wanted to borrow ( or take) my pencils anymore!
Peterson Use your planning period to plan lessons and grade papers.
Phillips Paper for copies is ordered by the department heads each
semester. Get copy machine number from Mrs. Bledsoe. Get
keys to rooms from Mrs. Lyons.
Rice It is helpful to know where the copy machines are located and
how to operate them. Copy machines are located in multiple
areas of the building: 1 in upstairs new wing teacher workroom,
1 in downstairs new wing teacher workroom, 2 in main teacher
workroom, 1 upstairs circle in small cubby hole near math
Rogers One of the practices that I have used for many years and that
has received a fair amount of positive feedback from students
and parents is the practice of returning tests, quizzes, and lab
reports the next day, graded. This, sometimes is difficult to
accomplish. The tests consist of T/F, Completion, Multiple
Choice, and Essay questions, along with 3 to 5 problem
solutions. Most of the students, however, seem to appreciate the
extra effort. The return of the test and the accompanying
debriefing session serve as an excellent "line of demarcation"
between major topics.
Rox Ooltewah High School Library Information
About the Library
Ooltewah High School’s library is located on the second floor,
under the dome in the main building. We have over 15,000
books in the library. We also subscribe to magazines that
students can use for research or for reading for pleasure. Last
year, we served over 479 classes in addition to 11,516 students
who came in on their own.
The library has an automated catalog. This means that we no
longer have a physical card catalog to tell us what books are in
the library. Instead, this catalog information is available on
library computers. Our current catalog program is Concourse by
Book Systems.

 We require a pass, signed by a teacher making an
assignment, for students who come to the library, except
for students who come with their class or who come during
their lunch.

 During Directed Studies, students may come to the library

with a pass, signed by a teacher making an assignment.

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The student should check in with their Directed Studies

teacher first and sign out of Directed Studies before
coming to the library. The student must then present the
pass to get into the library and sign in the library for
Directed Studies.
 Please do not send students to the library without an
assignment requiring the library. We usually have classes
or testing going on in the library, and we have Directed
Studies classes that meet in the library.
 We reserve the right to ask students to leave the library.
We may also close the library for testing from time to time.
When we are closed, no students are allowed to come in
for any reason.
Signing Up for Library Time
 There is a large calendar hanging on the door in the library
office area on which teachers can sign up for library time.
We have a lot of classes using the library so please sign up
as early as you can. We ask that you sign up in pencil. If
you do not plan on using the time for which you signed up,
please erase your name so another class can use the
 If you need to have your classes do research in the library,
we recommend signing up for 2 days.
Signing Up for Library Equipment
 There are 2 equipment sign up books in the library
 Mobile Lab: One book is for the Mobile Computer Lab.
The Mobile Lab is a cart with 25 laptop computers available
for teacher checkout. The Mobile Lab is normally housed in
a back storage area of the library. When you sign up for
the Mobile Lab, we ask that you send 2 reliable students
(or you may come to get it) to take it to your classroom. In
the classroom, the lab will need to be plugged in to two
separate outlets (on different breakers) and the router will
need to be plugged into an Internet port in the wall. It is
best to plug in the cords with the power off, then turn on
the power switches on the cart and on the router. When
you are finished with the Mobile Lab, please return it to the
back door of the library to be put away.
 Other Equipment: The other book is for various library
equipment, such as televisions and video or DVD players,
the LCD projector (aka, a box light) or digital camera.
 We have a large collection of videos in the library. These

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videos tie into the curriculum. Only teachers may check

out these videos; we do not circulate them to students.
There is a notebook with an alphabetical list of our videos
in the library video office. Videos can also be looked up in
the automated library catalog. We ask that you check out
videos you want to use in advance of the day you will need
them in order for you to have time to review them.
 If you want to use a video that we do not have in the
library, you will need to fill out a video approval form and
give it to Mrs. Graves for Mr. Foster to approve. We
encourage you to keep a copy of the signed video approval
form for your records.
We have a number of handouts for students and teachers. These
- Summer Reading List
- MLA Citation Style
- Library Brochure with information about electronic databases
- How to access the Biography Database at the Chattanooga-
Hamilton County Bicentennial
- Social Issues websites
Freshman Orientations
 We are available to give 2 orientations to Freshman English
 The first orientation introduces students to the OHS library.
Information covers where to find material in the library as
well as library rules and how to check out books. This
orientation can include a library scavenger hunt.
 The second orientation covers how to access electronic
databases in the Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL) and
how to evaluate websites. This orientation can include an
exercise in using this information.
 We can also incorporate information on plagiarism and how
to avoid it in either orientation. We can combine
orientations, or we can create a lesson or handout on a
topic that is useful to your class.
Equipment and Locations
 Copiers: in the teacher workroom where you sign in, in
the new wing downstairs teacher work area, in the new
wing upstairs teacher work area (science workroom), in the
upstairs circle work closet (203A), in the library (when not
in use by students)

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 Ellison Die Cut Machine: In room 211

 ScanTron (NCS Pearson) Grading Machine: In the
upstairs circle work closet (203A) and in the new wing
downstairs teacher work area.
 Forms for NCS Pearson Machine: In the video office of
the library. Please write your name, the form you are
taking, and how many on a piece of paper and put it in the
box by the forms. This is on a self-serve honor system.
Let a librarian know if forms are running low.
 Laminator: In the office area of the library. Please call
ahead if you need to use this since it takes 20 minutes to
warm up. We charge your department $0.25 per foot of
laminating film used.
 Integrade Grading Program: Available on the
computers in the teacher workroom, on several computers
in the library, on the middle computer in the Guidance
area, and on computers in teachers’ rooms. The
Technology Contact (currently Ann Rox) can load it on a
computer in your classroom.
Acceptable Use Policies
These forms must be signed for each person each year.
 Every person who uses a computer at Ooltewah High
School must have a signed Acceptable Use Policy on file
with the library. These forms should be distributed with
other student forms in your Directed Studies. Signed forms
should be returned to the library. The librarians keep a
record of all forms received and send out lists of student
names periodically. Before you bring your classes to the
library for research, you should make sure all your
students have turned in an Acceptable Use Policy form or
some of them may not be able to use the computers.
 Teachers must also have a signed Acceptable Use Policy on
Sampley Keep all contact information for parents up-to-date. Make sure
that contact information includes: parent name(s), cell phone,
work address, home phone, and home address.
Substitute Preparing for a substitute includes having a copy of your class
Teacher roles, a folder with copies of the assignment already made, and
lesson plan that engages students that the substitute can help
them complete. This can be easily accomplished by simply
leaving an answer key or a solution to the assignment. A profile
of students that will need extra time/help/attention or special
consideration as well as which students would be particularly
helpful in each block is also very helpful.

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Item 1: Student Portfolio Final Project Information Sheet
Item 2: Portfolio Grading Rubric
Item 3: Course Assignment Sheet
Item 4: Time-for-Time Notification Form
Item 5: Somebody Needs You, Power Verbs Help Ensure
Test Success
Item 6: Power Verbs Mini-Posters
Item 7: Sample Homework Quiz
Item 8: 25 Tips for Successful Parent Conferences
Item 9: Motivating Students: 8 Simple Rules for Teachers
Item 10: Interview: Richard Lerner (Myth of the Troubled Teen)
Item 11: 6+1 Traits Writing Rubric
Item 12: Substitute Guide
Item 13: Ticket Out the Door Template
Item 14: Giving Presentations Handout
Item 15: How to Make a Poster Using Excel
Item 16: Daily Log Template
Item 17: Dale’s Cone of Active Learning
Item 18: Bloom’s Cube Template
Item 19: I Have…Who Has… Template
Item 20: Problem Solving Strategies List
Item 21: Shared Inquiry Template

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Item 1 Student Portfolio Final Project

What is a portfolio?
A portfolio is a purposeful collection of student work that exhibits the
student's efforts, progress, and achievements in one or more areas of the
curriculum. It should represent a collection of students' best work or best
efforts, student-selected samples of work experiences related to outcomes
being assessed, and documents according growth and development toward
mastering identified outcomes.

What should be included in the portfolio?

• Choose four* projects that have been completed during the
course of the semester to include in your portfolio, at least two
individual projects and two shared projects.
• Use the reflection documentation section on the rubric to reflect
on each of the projects.
• Use the final summative reflection (Reflective Essay questions on
the rubric) to share how all of the projects combined have helped
you grow as a learner.

*If you choose to work with a partner to showcase your portfolio, you must
choose six projects to showcase. At least two individual projects for each of
you and two shared projects.

How will I showcase my portfolio?

You will defend your portfolio to some of the OHS faculty and your
peers. This will require that you explain your project choices for the portfolio,
briefly summarize the projects, and how the reflection process has helped
you grow as a learner. This can be accomplished in any format (i.e., speech,
power point presentation, digital or e-folio, etc.).
When will my portfolio be due?
The portfolio will be due after the End of Course Test is administered,
at the end of the semester.

Why is a portfolio important?

Portfolios can enhance the assessment process by revealing a range of
skills and understandings one student’s parts; support instructional goals;
reflect change and growth over a period of time; encourage student, teacher,
and parent reflection; and provide for continuity in education from one year
to the next.

How will my portfolio be graded?

The portfolio will be assessed using the rubric attached and will be
worth five percent of your final grade. This includes your documentation,
your self-reflection, and your parent/guardian’s reflection.

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Item 2
Portfolio Grading Rubric
Title page (including your name, date, teacher's name, and the
5 name of your portfolio. Should be typed.)
Documentation Include your projects and their
summaries in this section. With each document or
20 project, you must explain why you chose that piece and
why it is a reflection of your best work.
This can be a couple of paragraphs each.
30 Reflective essay (Answer the questions listed below)
Parent/guardian reflection and signature (see
20 questions below) Parent/guardian must sign to receive
Self grading the portfolio You must give yourself a
10 grade and explain why. Be thorough in your
Showcase Presentation of the portfolio to a panel of
OHS faculty and peers.
TOTAL (Possible Score = 100 points)

Student Reflective Essay Questions (Typed): I expect very thorough

and thoughtful answers. I expect well written and complete sentences in the
form of an essay.
1. How much responsibility did you take for your learning? For example, did
you use the book, look at examples in the book, and supplement class
lectures with additional resources to help you complete the projects?
2. Name three things about pre-calculus/mathematics that you did not know
before in relation to the content of the course.
3. In group project assignments, what role did you find yourself? Is this a role
you wanted? How could you have worked within a group better? Why?
4. Is there anything that you can take from this class and how do you think it
could impact your life (even in a small way)—this does not have to be
content related? Or perhaps is there something you learned about yourself
through taking this class?
Parent/guardian reflective questions:(These do not have to be typed)
1. What did your sibling/child do well when explaining what they learned?
2. The piece of work from their portfolio that I found most interesting was…
3. What did you learn about your child after reviewing their portfolio of what
they consider their best work?
Please have the parent/guardian sign their name at the end of the

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Item 3 Assignment Sheet


Date Section Page Assignment Stamped Grade

# of Assignments___________

Total Points________

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Item 4 Time for Time Notification

The following student _______________________________________ has been

notified of the need to serve time for time to successfully complete this
This student is in my ______ period class, during the ________________
Failure to serve time-for-time will result in a failing grade, and the course
must be repeated to earn credit for graduation.

Number of absences ___________

Number of tardies _________ [three (3) tardies = 1 absence]

Total absences ___________ [five (5) absences are allowed]

_________hours of time-for-time owed.

Student signature/date to signify notification of Time-for-Time Status

The following student _______________________________________ has been

notified of the need to serve time for time to successfully complete this
This student is in my ______ period class, during the ________________
Failure to serve time-for-time will result in a failing grade, and the course
must be repeated to earn credit for graduation.

Number of absences ___________

Number of tardies _________ [three (3) tardies = 1 absence]

Total absences ___________ [five (5) absences are allowed]

_________hours of time-for-time owed.

Student signature/date to signify notification of Time-for-Time Status

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Item 5
Somebody Needs You
Power Verbs Help Ensure Students’ Test Success
This strategy for improving student test performance is one that
Larry Bell includes in his book Twelve Powerful Words That Increase
Test Scores and Help Close the Achievement Gap.

In my experience I have often found that students will miss questions

on a test not because they don’t know the answer but because the test
vernacular was different from what they were accustomed to on tests their
teachers gave. That awareness has led me to create a list of 12 “Power
Verbs” that, when students know them, can make powerful differences in
test scores. The 12 words are often seen on standardized tests but they are
not normally used or discussed by classroom teachers on a daily, or even
weekly, basis.
It seems unfair to me that students might take the same kinds of tests
all year long. They get use to tests that are all true-false questions, or tests
that are constructed in any certain way. Then, when the big test comes,
those students have to take a test that is very different from tests to which
they are accustomed. And then we blame parents for the poor test results.
Or the students’ economic situation. Or… But I have found that when you
put the same kinds of words -- Power Verbs that empower students and
teachers -- on regular teacher assessments as appear on most standardized
tests, then you have given students a tool that will vastly improve their
chances for success.
Many of the at-promise students in your schools are like I was when I
was a kid. Neither of my parents finished elementary school. They could not
have helped me with some of my homework and some of these power terms.
But if a teacher will spend 7 to 10 minutes a day introducing these words,
they can have a big impact on test results. If a teacher includes these words
on the tests she creates, that can make a big difference. If a teacher models
the words in his classroom questioning techniques, he is preparing students
to succeed on their tests. If a teacher challenges students to use the power
verbs to create test questions of their own, then students’ awareness of and
comfort with those words increases. It makes sense to me that it is hard for
a student to pass a test if he or she can’t “read” the test. Doesn’t that make
sense to you?
Many schools I have worked with tell me that their test scores have
been very positively impacted because they introduced their students to my
12 Power Verbs. Simply stated, students exposed frequently to the 12 Power
Verbs do better on state tests than those who are not as familiar with them.
To put it a different way, maybe you can ask yourself this question:
How many times did you teach something that you know you taught well?
You know your kids understood it, yet on the test day one of your best
students raised her hand to ask, “Can you tell me what this question

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means?” You know you can’t answer that question when state tests are in
progress, so you know that student doesn’t have a snowball’s chance of
getting it right if she can’t even tell you what the question is asking.
Let me give you an example: A student runs into a question that says
something like - From the passage, what would you infer the author’s point
of view to be? A student who doesn’t know what the word infer means is
dead in the water. Will it matter how well the teacher taught the material
(author’s point of view, in this case)? Will it matter how well the teacher
reviewed the concept before the test?
What you have here is a classic case of a Power Verb that trips up
students. By using my 12 Power Verbs each day, an including them on tests,
you can help students achieve success. My book, Twelve Powerful Words
That Increase Test Scores and Help Close the Achievement Gap, includes 88
ways in which teachers, administrators, and even parents can introduce and
reinforce this vocabulary so students never fear the words and so they will
have much more confidence when they sit down to take state tests. These
12 Power Verbs will allow students to start with -- to be familiar with -- some
words that normally might confuse and frustrate them so that when they see
other words like them they are more likely to tackle them.
Every educator should take my 12 words and look around for other
“power verbs” that might trip up students in their subject area or at their
grade level. They should do something every day to make up for the lack of
vocabulary with which many students come to school.

My friends, somebody needs you.

Larry Bell Copyright © 2007 Education World®

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Item 6 Power Verb Posters


take apart


check for likeness

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check for differences


paint a picture with words

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study and judge


make it clear

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put the parts together


Next ?

make an educated guess

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of the
+ Tail
= Cat.

draw a conclusion



give only the important


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give reasons for your



present facts in a
step by step sequence

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Item 7
Sample Homework Quiz

Name: ___________________________________

(H) Pre-Calculus Quiz: Homework/Notebook Chapter5 (10 pts)

Directions: Do not open your textbook. Open your notebook and find the
following problems. Copy all your work in the space provided. Include the
problem, all your solution steps and the answer. No credit will be given for
just the answer.

Notes Chap. 5 Sec 1 Ex 4b HW p. 324 # 7

HW Trig Equations Worksheet HW Trig Equations Worksheet

(Verifying Trig Identities) (Magic Squares) Problem # 2
Problem # 1

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Item 8
25 Tips for Successful Parent Conferences
Working for a Common Goal: Academic Success
Communicating with parents is one of the most important things we do as
teachers. When we can work together with a child’s parents toward common
goals, we improve the atmosphere for learning.
Most successful teacher-parent teams begin with a conference, usually one
conducted before there’s a real need to meet.
Of course, while parent conferences can be one of the most helpful
techniques in a teacher’s “bag of tricks,” we also know that sometimes they
can be a discouraging waste of time -- or even turn into ugly confrontations.
Here are some tips to help make your parent conferences productive and
1. Invite both parents
Encourage both parents to attend conferences when possible.
Misunderstandings are less common if both parents hear what you have to
say and they'll be able to gauge the kind of support both parents give the
child. Remember that both mother and father may not be available.
Increasing numbers of Kansas children live in single-parent homes. Even with
two parents, both parents often work outside the home.
2. Make contact early
You'll get your relationship with parents off to a good start if you contact
them early in the year, perhaps with a memo or newsletter sent home to all
pupils. Give parents an outline of what their children will be studying, and let
them know you’ll be happy to meet with them, and how and when they may
contact you for conferences.
3. Allow enough time
Schedule plenty of time for the meeting. Twenty to thirty minutes is usually
adequate. If you’re scheduling back-to-back conferences, be sure to allow
enough time between them (10 minutes or so) so you can make necessary
notes on the just-conducted conferences and prepare for the upcoming one.
4. Be ready for questions
Parents may have specific questions. They’re likely to ask:
• What is my child’s ability level?
• Is my child working up to his/her ability level?
• How is my child doing in specific subjects?
• Does my child cause any trouble?
• Does my child have any specific skills or abilities in schoolwork?
5. Plan – Get your papers organized in advance
Assemble your grade book, test papers, samples of the student’s work,
attendance records and other pertinent data ahead of time. Have in mind a
general but flexible outline of what you're going to say, including a survey of
student progress, a review of his or her strengths and needs, and proposed
plan of action.
6. Greet parents near the entrance they’ll use
You'll alleviate anxiety and frustration and make parents feel more welcome.

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7. Get the name right

Don’t assume that Jennifer Peabody’s mother is Mrs. Peabody. She could well
have been married again since Jennifer was born. Check your records ahead
of time to make sure you’ve got the parents’ names right.
And don’t assume that the wrinkled gray-haired gentleman coming in with
Johnny is his grandfather. It could be his father or an uncle. Politely ask.
Double check names so you don’t talk to the Smiths about their son “Stan”
when their son’s name is “Steve.”
8. Avoid physical barriers
Don’t sit behind your desk or force the parents to squeeze into the children’s
desks on the front row. Arrange conference table seating, if possible, so
you’ll all be equals together.
9. Open on a positive note
Begin conferences on a warm, positive note to keep everyone relaxed. Start
with a positive statement about the child’s abilities, work or interests.
10. Structure the session
As soon as the parents arrive, review the structure of the conference -- the
why, what, how and when -- so you’ll both have an “agenda.” (Remember, of
course, that parents often come with their own agendas or questions they
want answered, so you’ll have to be flexible.)
11. Be specific in your comments
Parents may flounder if you deal only in generalities. Instead of saying “She
doesn’t accept responsibility,” pin down the problem by pointing out
“Amanda had a whole week to finish up her book report, but she only wrote
two paragraphs.”
12. Offer a suggested course of action
Parents appreciate being given some specific direction. If Jane is immature, it
might be helpful to suggest that her parents give her a list of weekly chores,
allow her to take care of a pet or give her a notebook to write down
assignments. (Of course, when you offer advice, let parents know you’re only
making a suggestion.)
13. Forget the jargon
Education jargon phrases like “criterion referenced testing,” “perceptual
skills” and “least restrictive environment” may be just too much double-talk
to many parents.
14. Turn the other cheek
It is unusual to run into parents who are abusive and hostile, but it can
happen. Try not to be rude, regardless of how you may be provoked. Hear
out the parents in as pleasant a manner as possible, without getting
defensive. If the situation is threatening or you begin to feel uncomfortable,
end the conference immediately or call for assistance.
15. Ask for parents’ opinions
Let parents know you’re interested in their opinions, are eager to answer
their questions and want to work with them throughout the year to help
make their child’s education the best. Confirm that you want to work
together in the best interests of the child.

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16. Focus on strengths

It’s very easy for parents to feel defensive, since many of them see
themselves in their children. You’ll help if you review the child’s strengths,
solutions and areas of need, rather than dwelling on criticism or stressing
17. Use body language
Nonverbal cues set the mood of the conference. Smile, nod, make eye
contact and lean forward slightly. You’ll be using your body’s language to let
parents know you’re interested and approving.
18. Listen to what parents say
Despite the fact we spend nearly a third of our lives listening, most adults
are poor listeners. We concentrate on what we’re going to say next, or we let
our minds drift off to other concerns, or we hear only part of what a speaker
is saying. You’ll get more out of a parent conference if you really listen to
what parents are saying to you.
19. Ask about the child
You don’t want to pry, of course, but remember to ask parents if there is
anything they think you should know about (such as study habits,
relationships with siblings, any important events in his or her life) which may
affect his or her schoolwork.
20. Don’t judge
It may not always be possible to react neutrally to what parents say — their
values may be very different from yours. Your judgment of parents’ attitudes
or behaviors can be a roadblock to a productive relationship with them.
21. Summarize
Before the conference ends, summarize the discussion and what actions you
and the parents have decided to take.
22. Wind up on a positive note
When you can, save at least one encouraging comment or positive
statement about the student for the end of the conference.
23. Meet again if you need to
If you feel you need more time, arrange another meeting later rather than
trying to rush everything before the kids get back from art class.
24. Keep a record of the conference
You may find it helpful later to have a brief record of what was said at the
conference, what suggestions for improvement were made and so forth.
Make notes as soon as possible after the conference while details are fresh.
25. Keep confidences
Parents will tell you information they would not share with anyone else. Do
not share “amusing” stories about the student’s family with family or
colleagues. Your funny story could cause pain to those you have tried most
to encourage.

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OHS---Parent/Teacher Conferences

Date_____________ Student____________________

Those Present:
1. ___________________________________ 2. ______________________________
3. ___________________________________ 4. ______________________________
5. ___________________________________ 6. ______________________________

Student/Parent Concerns:
1. ___________________________________________________________________________
2. ___________________________________________________________________________
3. ___________________________________________________________________________
4. ___________________________________________________________________________
5. ___________________________________________________________________________

Teacher Concerns:
1. ___________________________________________________________________________
2. ___________________________________________________________________________
3. ___________________________________________________________________________

Plan of Action:

1. ___________________________________________________________________________
2. ___________________________________________________________________________
3. ___________________________________________________________________________
4. ___________________________________________________________________________
5. ___________________________________________________________________________
6. ___________________________________________________________________________
7. ___________________________________________________________________________
8. ___________________________________________________________________________
9. ___________________________________________________________________________

Student Signature

Parent Signature ________________________________________________________

Teacher Signature

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1. What are the student's spare time activities? Reading? Music? Socializing?

2. What examples the parents see at home of the student’s progress or learning at

3. What does the student say about school? The Teacher? Other students?

4. What chores or responsibilities does the student have at home?

5. Who does the student spend time with at home? In the neighborhood?

6. Are there recent or past events in the student's family which may impact
readiness to learn?

7. What do you find to be the most effective discipline for the student at home?

8. What are the child's strengths? Weaknesses? How do the parents hope the child
can grow?


1. The ways that the student participates in class and in which kinds of activities.

2. The degree of self-control the student exhibits and ways all can encourage this

3. How the child is accepted by and interacts with other students and other adults.

4. The ability of the student to handle grade level expectations, materials and

5. The subjects or topics in which the student has shown interest.

6. The ability of the child to express thoughts orally, in written or aesthetic forms.

7. The student's emotional "position" at school. Usually happy? Serious and intent?

8. What should the teacher know to be effective in helping the student? What can
parents do?

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Item 9
By Lana Becker and Kent N. Schneider, East Tennessee State University or
Reprinted from The Teaching Professor
by permission from Magna Publications, Inc., Madison, Wis. Subscriptions and submissions at
August/September 2004

Principles of Accounting has the reputation of being a "hard and boring"

course. It is difficult to motivate students to invest the time and effort
necessary to succeed in the course. To meet this challenge, we have
assembled a list of eight simple rules for keeping students focused and
motivated. These rules are not original, and they aren't just for those of us
who teach accounting classes. Indeed, most of these time-honored
suggestions apply to any course students find hard and boring, and we think
that makes them broadly applicable.

Rule 1: Emphasize the most critical concepts continuously. Reiterate these

concepts in lectures and assignments throughout the course. Include
questions relating to these critical subjects on every exam, thus rewarding
students for learning, retaining, and, hopefully, applying this knowledge in a
variety of contexts.

Rule 2: Provide students with a "visual aid" when possible to explain

abstract concepts. A significant proportion of today's students are visual
learners. For these students, a simple diagram or flowchart truly can be more
valuable than a thousand words in a text or a lecture.

Rule 3: Rely on logic when applicable. Point out to students which

information is merely "fact" that must be memorized and which course
material is based upon "logic." Show students how to employ logical thinking
to learn and retain new information. For example, in the double-entry
bookkeeping system, "debits" equal "credits," and debit entries cause assets
to increase. These are "facts" or features of the system; they are not based
on logic. However, once the student accepts the system, logic can be used to
operate within the system. Continuing the example, if debit entries increase
assets, it is logical that credit entries will cause assets to decrease.

Rule 4: Use in-class activities to reinforce newly presented material. After a

new concept or subject has been presented via text reading, lecture, or class
discussion, allow the students to put the concept into action by completing
an in-class assignment. These assignments can be short, but they must be
developed to ensure that the students understand the critical concepts

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underlying the new material. Typically, the most learning takes place when
the students are permitted to work in small groups, to refer to their text and
notes, and to ask questions of the instructor while completing the
assignment. If these in-class assignments are part of the course grading
scheme, class attendance also improves.

Rule 5: Help students create a link when teaching something new. If the
student can link the new material to something already learned, the odds of
learning the new material are greatly increased. Examples of possible links
include: prior material learned in this course (e.g., the critical concepts
described in Rule 1), material learned in prerequisite courses, and real-life
experiences of the students outside the classroom.

Rule 6: Recognize the importance of vocabulary in a course. Students often

struggle with new vocabulary in many courses, especially introductory ones.
To succeed in these courses, students must become comfortable with the
new terminology. As subjects are presented, new and/or confusing terms
should be identified and introduced to the students. Present real-world
definitions and alternative terminology, in addition to textbook definitions.
One way to help students assimilate the course vocabulary is to create a
living glossary on the instructor website where new terminology is added,
explained, and illustrated throughout the course.

Rule 7: Treat students with respect. Patronizing behavior may be expected

in primary school teachers, and drill sergeant strategies may be effective in
military book camps. However, most college student will not respond well to
these techniques. Give students their dignity, and they will give you their
best efforts.

Rule 8: Hold students to a high standard. If students are not required to

maintain a specified level of learning and performance, only the most highly
motivated students will devote the time and effort necessary to learn. In
contrast, maintaining high standards not only will motivate student learning,
it will also be the source of student feelings of accomplishment when those
standards are met.

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Item 10
Interview: Richard Lerner
The Tufts University developmental scientist challenges the myth of the
troubled adolescent in his new book, "The Good Teen"
• By Eric Jaffe
• Smithsonian magazine, September 2007
How did teenagers get such a bad rap?
You can go back to the time of the Greeks and find teenagers causing
problems. The scientific study of adolescence began in 1904, with G. Stanley
Hall, one of the leading psychologists in the United States. Hall believed that
all of our ancestral adult stages were compressed into a single life span, and
that adolescence was the period when we went from being beast-like to
civilized. He started adolescents off with this perception that they were
biologically constrained to be in "storm and stress"—his phrase. For most of
the 20th century, people used this model not only to study adolescents but
describe them, to talk about them as dangerous to others.
When did people start shifting their thinking?
As early as the 1960s research began to show that only a small
minority of the pathways through adolescence were characterized by storm
and stress. But even today, if you ask typical parents why their kids are
doing well, they say, "They're not taking drugs, they're not engaged in
unsafe sex, they're not drinking alcohol, they're not engaged in crime." We
all too often define young people as being positive because of what they're
not doing. That's a very dispiriting message.
Tell us about the "5 C's."
The 5 C's are competence—not just academic but social, vocational
and health competence. Confidence. Then character, that it's fundamentally
important to do what's right. Connection, or working collaboratively with
parents, peers, siblings, teachers, coaches. Finally, caring, a sense of
compassion or social justice.

How do we foster these?

Through programs that embrace three characteristics: sustained
relationships between adults and young people, teaching knowledge and
skills to navigate the world and—this can be the most difficult—allowing kids
to use those skills in valued community and family activities. Let your kids
plan family vacations with you. Let them help set the menu for dinner. Or, if
the parents give resources to charity, let young people help make that
decision. And even though school administrators wince when I say this, let
young people be on school boards. Let them sit on the Chamber of
Can we take what we know about "positive youth development" and
implement it anywhere to anyone?
The rule in human development, though it took a long time to
recognize, is diversity. Every person is different, even monozygotic twins. No
two people are in same place at the same time across their lives. You meet

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Al Gore at a presentation of An Inconvenient Truth and you sell your Jeep and
buy a Honda hybrid, which is what I did. My neighbor didn't, and he still
drives an SUV. We all come to any after-school program, any educational
program with a different history. Where you are will depend on how far you
can go. But the fact of the matter is, humans retain plasticity [the ability to
change] across all their decades. There really is no young person that can't
be improved. How much can they be improved? In what areas? How greatly
they can be facilitated? That depends on a host of individual differences. But
there is no young person who, in principle, cannot be enhanced.
How come some kids with these good characteristics still engage in
problem behaviors?
The reason is, there are multiple determinants of behavior. The most
popular activity kids engage in is sports. In sports you might get a message
of competition: the only way you win is by your opponent losing. However, in
youth development programs you get quite a different message of
cooperation and collaboration. If a kid is engaged in sports and youth
development programs at ten years old, he might be a little confused by
these two messages.
Isn't a bit of rebellion OK?
Is some testing of limits good? Well, yes. Kids need to know how to
deal with failure or blocked goals.
What can be done to reverse the myth of the bad teen in the mind
of the general public?
Policy makers get re-elected by decreasing crime in their district, by
lowering teen-pregnancy rates, not by promoting confidence in young
people. People tell me all the time, the only way to change policy in this
country is to give a politician a problem they can solve. I'm saying there are
not just problems, there are possibilities of positive characteristics in kids.
That won’t change unless members of our communities begin saying to
politicians, yes, we want to prevent, but what are we doing to promote?
Can you sum up your findings in one sentence?
The capacity for young people to develop in positive ways, and to
make important differences to themselves and others, is phenomenal.
What kind of adolescent wants to grow up and study adolescence?
No one's asked me that, ever. I always wanted to be someone working
with young people. I thought I would be a phys-ed teacher and a track coach.
Then I went to Hunter College in the Bronx, which is now Lehman College. I
didn't fit in as a phys-ed major. I went home one night with the college
bulletin—I lived in Brooklyn and had an hour-and-forty-minute train ride. I
was looking through the bulletin, it said: art, biology, anthropology. Then I
get to psychology, and it said, the psychology of personality. I'm 17 years
old. I go, hey, I have a good personality. It said, social psychology. Hey, I like
parties. It said, the psychology of sex. Wow, that I know I like. I came in the
next day, went to the registration and said I’m declaring as psychology
major. And that was it.

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Item 11
6+1 Trait ® Writing Rubric Name:
Description: 6+1 Trait ® is the property of Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory. Used by
5 3 1
Ideas This paper is clear and The writer is beginning to As yet, the paper has no
Key Question: Did the focused. It holds the reader's define the topic, even clear sense of purpose
writer stay focused and attention. Relevant details and though development is still or central theme. To
share original and fresh quotes enrich the central basic or general. extract meaning from
information or perspective theme. the text, the reader
about this topic? must make inferences
based on sketchy or
missing details.

Organization The organization enhances and The organizational The writing lacks a clear
Key Question: Does the showcases the central idea or structure is strong enough sense of direction.
organizational structure theme. The order, structure, or to move the reader Ideas, details, or events
enhance the ideas and presentation of information is through the text without seem strung together in
make it easier to compelling and moves the too much confusion. a loose or random
understand? reader through the text. fashion; there is no
identifiable internal

Voice The writer speaks directly to The writer seems sincere The writer seems
Key Question: Would you the reader in a way that is but not fully engaged or indifferent, uninvolved,
keep reading this piece if individual, compelling, and involved. The result is or distanced from the
it were longer? MUCH engaging. The writer crafts the pleasant or even topic and/or the
longer? writing with an awareness and personable, but not audience.
respect for the audience and compelling.
the purpose for writing.

Word Choice Words convey the intended The language is functional, The writer struggles
Key Question: Do the message in a precise, even if it lacks much with a limited
words and phrases create interesting, and natural way. energy. It is easy to figure vocabulary, searching
vivid pictures and linger in The words are powerful and out the writer's meaning on for words to convey
your mind? engaging. a general level. meaning.

Sentence Fluency The writing has an easy flow, The text hums along with a The reader has to
Key Question: Can you rhythm, and cadence. steady beat, but tends to practice quite a bit in
Feel the words and Sentences are well built, with be more pleasant or order to give this paper
phrases flow together as strong and varied structure businesslike than musical, a fair interpretive
you read it aloud? that invites expressive oral more mechanical than reading.
reading. fluid.

Conventions The writer demonstrates a The writer shows Errors in spelling,

Key Question: How much good grasp of standard writing reasonable control over a punctuation,
editing would have to be conventions (e.g., spelling, limited range of standard capitalization, usage,
done to be ready to share punctuation, capitalization, writing conventions. and grammar and/or
with an outside source? grammar, usage, Conventions are paragraphing repeatedly
1 – exhaustive, paragraphing) and uses sometimes handled well distract the reader and
2 – Extensive, conventions effectively to and enhance readability; at make the text difficult to
3 – Moderate, enhance readability. Errors other times, errors are read.
4-5 – Very Little tend to be so few that just distracting and impair
minor touchups would get this readability.
piece ready to publish.

Presentation The form and presentation of The writer's message is The reader receives a
the text enhances the ability understandable in this garbled message due to
for the reader to understand format. problems relating to the
and connect with the message. presentation of the text.
It is pleasing to the eye.

A service of the Utah Education Network Comments, e-mail:

Item 12

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Substitute Guide

Teacher’s name: _________________

Date of absence:_________________
Teacher’s schedule and room assignment:
Block 1: Block 3:
____________________ ____________________
Block 2: Lunch:
____________________ ____________________
Owl Time: Block 4:
____________________ ____________________
Agenda (please write this on the board for students to see)

Notes to the Substitute:


Reliable students: Teachers who can help:

Block 1:
Block 2:
Block 3:
Block 4:

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Attendance Procedures:

Location of Seating Chart: ___________________________________

(See reverse side)

Dear Substitute Teacher:

I am very grateful that you have agreed to cover my classes. I have very high
expectations for all of my students. We normally have a well-disciplined learning
environment. Students stay in their assigned seats and complete assignments as
directed. Please leave detailed notes on how each class met these expectations.

Thank you and have a great day at Ooltewah High School.

Kim Cooper





Owl Time (Activity Period):

Additional information I need to know:

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Item 13

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Item 14
Giving Presentations
Body Language- what you say without speaking
• EYE CONTACT is the most important
• Do not mess with your hair or nose
• No gum
• Use some gestures, not theatrical, just natural
• Use your visual aid (it is an AIDI!)
• Professional Dress-tuck in your shirt, etc
• Don’t fidget
• Hands and arms: with and without notes, speaking or not
• Don’t move around, well, maybe a little
• Don’t lock your knees
• Stand tall
• Shoulders back
• Chin up
• DO NOT LEAN on anything
• No hands in pockets
Voice- the sounds that are actually made by your mouth
What you say
• Watch for vocalized pauses (is it a word or a grunt?)
• Use language you are comfortable with
• Transition between partners or topics

How you say it

• Not too slow, not too fast
• Move your lips = no mumbling
• Loud enough for everyone to hear
• Smile!
Random tips:
Try to be interesting…give a presentation that you would want to listen to.
Take a deep breath and keep going… we all mess up!
Practice the day before…the order, the words, the technology

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Item 15

How To Make a Poster in Excel

Use Excel and Follow these easy steps:

Following these steps will create a poster which will be as wide as two pieces
of paper and as long as two pieces of paper. You will create it using Excel
and after printing it simply assemble the 4 sheets into one great poster!

Easy Steps:
1. Open Microsoft Excel.

2. Go to FILE on the menu bar and choose PAGE SETUP.

3. At the Page Setup Screen, Page Tab, select SCALING and set it to 200%

4. Now select the MARGINS Tab and change all Margins to .5 and the Header
and Footer to zero and Click OK.

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5. Now you will see the Excel worksheet. Remember 4 rectangles mean 4
printed pages. (See highlighted blue area)

6. Begin making your poster - you can add text, graphics and all the usual
Microsoft Office Tools (like word art, clip art and even other objects)

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7. When you are done with your poster, save it and print. It will print on
several sheets and you will simply trim as needed and glue together.

No need to buy a poster printer - this will work for many purposes... how
about instructions for centers or specific programs, students can create
motivational posters (choose quotes and illustrate and print), share student
electronic projects, and so on!

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Item 16

STUDENT: _________________ BLOCK: _____
MONTH O F : _____________________________
Item 17

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Dale's Cone of Active Learning

Dale's Cone diagrams effectiveness of learning according to the
media involved in learning experiences. The chart illustrates the
results of research conducted by Edgar Dale in the 1960s.
According to Dale's research, the least effective method, the top
of the cone, involves learning from information presented
through verbal symbols, i.e., listening to spoken words. The
most effective method, the bottom of the cone, involves direct,
purposeful learning experiences, such as hands-on or field

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Item 18
(Recall or recognition of
specific information)
Key Verbs – tell, list,
describe, relate, locate, write,
find, state, name, identify,
label, recall, define,
recognize, match, reproduce,
memorize, select, recite, draw

(Grasp of given information)
(Judging the value of ideas, (Putting together ideas or
Key Verbs – explain, convert,
materials, and methods by elements to develop an
interpret, outline, discuss,
developing and applying original idea or engage in
distinguish, predict, restate,
standards and criteria) creative thinking)
translate, compare, describe,
Key Verbs – judge, select, Key Verbs – create, invent,
relate, generalize, summarize,
decide, justify, argue, debate, compose, predict, construct,
put in your own words,
verify, recommend, assess, design, imagine, propose,
paraphrase, demonstrate,
discuss, rate, prioritize, devise, formulate,
visualize, find out more about
critique, evaluate, defend hypothesize, originate

(Using strategies, concepts,
principles, and theories in new
Key Verbs – solve, show, use,
illustrate, construct,
complete, examine, classify,
choose, interpret, make,
change, apply, produce,
calculate, manipulate, modify

(Breaking information down
into its
Write a component parts)
story of your own
Key Verbs – analyze,
using all of your vocabulary
words. Add examine, compare,
an illustration
contrast, investigate,
when you are done.
categorize, identify, explain,
separate, advertise, take
apart, differentiate,
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Item 19
I Have…Who Has… Template

I Have… I Have… I Have…

Who Has… Who Has… Who Has…

I Have… I Have… I Have…

Who Has… Who Has… Who Has…

I Have… I Have… I Have…

Who Has… Who Has… Who Has…

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Item 20
Ooltewah Professional Learning Community
Problem Solving Strategies List
1. Use a graphic organizer
2. Sketch a picture
3. Read the end of the problem first, and then work
4. Look for clue words
5. Validate your answer with peers (Cooperative Learning)
6. Re-read the problem
7. Assign symbols to give facts
8. Determine what you know and what is unknown
9. Identify important info vs. distracters and eliminate
10. Identify variables that can lead to doubt
11. Use simple arithmetic
12. Number line
13. Visualizing
14. Cooperative Learning
15. Underline key words
16. Estimate
17. Assumptions
18. Look for “gaps” in information
19. Check answer
20. Use previous knowledge
21. Ask questions
22. Code the text
23. Underline the question

It is our goal that you can use this strategies list in your classroom when
working on difficult problem-solving with your students. As we all know,
sometimes, the answer isn’t as important as the value of the process. 

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Item 21
Shared Inquiry
Key Details in Text (to support What I agreed with…

What I disagreed with… What I still have questions about…

Factual Question Interpretive Question Evaluative Question

Post Reading Answer Post Reading Answer Post Reading Answer

Post Shared Inquiry Post Shared Inquiry Post Shared Inquiry

Answer Answer Answer

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Item 22 Oral Presentation Skills

A Practical Guide
Adapted from a handout written by C. Storz and the English Language
Teachers of the Institut National de télécommunications, Evry France.

I. Preparation and Planning

A. Who is my audience and what is my goal?
B. What equipment will I need?
II. Structure of an Oral Presentation
A. The Beginning or the Introduction
1. Get the audience’s attention and signal the beginning
2. Greet the audience and introduce yourself
3. Give the title and introduce the subject and objective
4. Indicate when questions from the audience will be fielded
5. Make a transition between the introduction and the body
B. The Middle or the Body
1. What will I talk about?
2. How in depth should I go with my information?
3. How do I plan to arrange my ideas/points? (sequential,
4. How will I keep the audience’s attention?
C. The End or Conclusion
1. Content
2. Dealing with difficult questions
3. Summary of part 2

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III. Visuals
A. What media will you use?
B. What should you put on a visual?
C. Text to put on a visual including size, layout, font and size, and
D. How many visuals should you use?
E. How should you present a visual in a presentation?
IV. Creating Interest and Establishing a Relationship with the Audience
A. Give unusual facts or statistics
B. Audience participation
C. Use a variety of media
D. Ask rhetorical questions
E. Emphasize/Highlight important items
V. Body Language
A. Why is body language useful?
B. Exhibit positive body language
C. Avoid negative body language
VI. Voice and Pronunciation
A. What is pronunciation?
B. Use your voice and inflections to create meaning, importance and

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Index By Author
Agan 55 Lyons 36
Army ROTC Dept. 29 Mann 9, 18-19, 25, 26, 28-29, 36-37, 48-49, 56
Athey 28, 31 Maupin 56
Bates 5, 16, 31 McGuirt 37
Bean 31 McIntyre 49
Behling 48 Miller 48-49
Blassingame 5, 16, 55 Moorhouse 19-20
Bledsoe 28 Moses 20
Blough 31 Murray 20, 37-38
Bothman 16 Myers 26
Briggs 5, 31 Myhan 56
Buchanan 31-32 Naylor 56
Bush 5, 32 Nelson 38
Carpenter 25, 28, 48 Ohnemus 9
Carpenter, J. 32 OHS Staff 9-12, 20-22, 38-43, 50-52
Cates 5 Ooltewah Professional Learning Community 12
Chilcoat 5, 16 Peck 22
Claborn 32, 33 Peterson 53, 57
Clavin 33 Phillips 12, 43, 53, 56
Cline 5-6 Pickering 29
Coggin 33 Pickett 22, 43
Collins 6, 16-17, 34 Pitts 12-13
Cook 6, 55 Reed 26
Cooper 17, 55 Reynolds 56
Curtis 17, 34 Rice 53, 57
Delaune 55 Ricketts 44
Denton 6-7, 35 Rogers 57
Eaves 7, 55 Rox 57-60
Farley 7 Sampley 44, 60
Franks 7 Sandusky 26, 44
Fuller 7, 17 Seebach 45
Gamble 35 Silva 13, 53
Gatewood 7 Slack 44
Gentry 35 Sloan 53
Hadden 7, 35, 55 Smith, M. 23
Hamrick 25 Smith, W. 44-45
Haupt 17, 35 Substitute Teacher 60
Henson 28 Turner 13, 23, 45, 53
Hernandez 7-8 Van Prooyen 26
Hollingsworth 35 Veenstra 45
Hughes 8, 48 Weathers 23
Hunt 8 Webster 13, 23
Hutsell 35 Wellness Teachers 45
Ingle 17, 55 Whitener 13
Jackson 35-36 Williams 14, 29
James 55-56 Wilson 45
Jarvis 28 Wiram 45-46
Kelehear 17 Wood 23
Kelley 8-9, 28 Wright 46
Lemon 9

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