Teaching Today publishes innovative teaching tips on a weekly basis. Written with the busy teacher in mind, each tip is concise, practical and easy to implement in the classroom right away. Topics covered in Teaching Today are classroom management, career development, high stakes testing, instruction and planning, parental involvement, reading in the content areas, using technology in the classroom, and portfolio development. Teaching Today also offers free weekly downloads that correspond to the tips. Our free downloads make implementing the teaching tips even easier. Teaching Today provides educational resources for teachers looking for everyday solutions to the challenges of the classroom.
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Classroom Management

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Weekly Tips

Planning ahead and being well-organized are actions that make the hectic schedule of every teacher much more manageable. This week's tips focus on ways to save time in the classroom and keep your classroom organized and running smoothly.

Transitions can be exceedingly time consuming activities in the classroom. They can also be disruptive, interrupting what otherwise might have been a productive class period. Try implementing this week’s classroom management strategies to help ease transitions.

One challenge faced by instructors is recognizing and interacting with all students each class session. Often it is difficult to foster participation by all students in your class. This week, we present tips to encourage individual student-teacher interaction and participation during each class session.

The upcoming school session is nearly upon us and it is time to get in high preparation gear. Make this school year your most productive yet. This week, we offer tips for planning for the upcoming school year.

Creating and maintaining safe and orderly classrooms is an important aspect of effective instruction. Often, teachers find themselves instructing young people who lack skills necessary to cope with anger. This week, we offer tips that can be used in classrooms to teach students to productively and satisfactorily deal with anger. As you read this week’s tips, bear in mind that many times, angry students need to be isolated; they must be removed from the general school population in order to ensure everyone's safety. These tips promote teaching students way to deal with anger preventively.

Invest time in planning and preparation for the upcoming school session during your summer break in order to make your school year focused and more manageable. This week, we offer suggestions for planning for the upcoming school year.

Most states have established a set of academic standards that identify the explicit content that students need to acquire at each grade level. Generally, academic standards describe what needs to be taught, but not when or how to teach it. The following tips will give you guidance on how to use academic standards to determine what to teach and when. Also, your district or site might offer you additional guidelines to follow while teaching to the state standards.

As students progress through middle and high school, even strong readers occasionally need aid in reading new, difficult, or frustrating material. This week, Teaching Today adapts secondary reading strategies from Into Focus to offer a series of strategies to help students before, during, and after reading in content areas.

Rules communicate the kind of atmosphere you wish to establish in the classroom. They set limits for students’ conduct, which allows students to learn effectively. Clearly stated rules posted in the classroom allow you to establish your expectations for how students will conduct themselves. These tips will help you establish and maintain good behavior among students as you teach.

Since no two students are exactly the same, in every classroom there will be students of various abilities and skill levels. This week's tips focus on ways that teachers can intervene to assist the struggling student to improve his or her performance.

The end of the year means that tests and assignments are coming due. Your job is easier when students are on task and prepared for tests. This week's tips will help you give your students valuable strategies for getting through the last few weeks of school.

While most students entering secondary school are expected to read on a secondary level, effective classroom teachers recognize that some secondary students are lagging in reading skills. This week, we provide suggestions for improving instruction for struggling readers.

To give homework or not to give homework? That is a question you will have to answer for yourself. Some subjects seldom include homework for students. Other subjects typically require homework. If you decide to have students do homework for your classes, the following tips will help you manage it smoothly.

School systems apply various descriptors to determine students at risk of failing or dropping out. Unfortunately, necessary procedures often delay interventions for such students. Thus, classroom teachers find themselves working with students in need of serious interventions and at times feel ill-equipped to work with such youngsters. This week, we offer tips to promote positive interactions between teachers and at-risk students.

Creating and maintaining safe and orderly classrooms is an important aspect of effective instruction. Often, teachers find themselves instructing young people who lack skills necessary to cope with anger. This week, we offer tips that can be used in classrooms to teach students to productively and satisfactorily deal with anger. As you read this week’s tips, bear in mind that many times, angry students need to be isolated; they must be removed from the general school population in order to ensure everyone's safety. These tips promote teaching students ways to deal with anger preventively.

As college seniors complete their final exams and prepare to enter college, teachers can give them a farewell present-tips for succeeding in college. Prepare your students for life beyond high school with these tips.

While a course outline and curriculum map are key to effective classroom instruction, daily lesson plans unlock learning for students. Daily lesson plans that work share core ingredients, and this week we offer tips to highlight aspects of effective daily lessons.

Educators are always looking for new and innovative ways to integrate the Internet into classroom activities. One of the most logical ways is to use it to enhance and extend material presented in the course textbook. This week, we look at a variety of ways to use Internet resources to extend textbook content.

Disrespectful behavior by any student is of tremendous concern for those in the teaching profession. Teachers would rather spend time teaching, not managing rude or uncaring students. Can teachers teach respect? Do we allow disrespect to seriously interfere with instruction? Consider strategies to discourage and handle disrespectful behavior by a student before it occurs. This week, we offer a series of classroom management tips for teaching disrespectful students.

Classroom disruptions steal quality instructional time from the school day. While you may be unable to control outside disruptions, you can implement strategies to better avoid disruptions inside your classroom during the class period. This week, we offer a series of tips on minimizing classroom disruptions to maximize time-on-task.

Bullying is a common problem that greatly affects the school environment and student learning. Some adults view bullying simply as a “rite of passage,” but this anti-social behavior is a form of harassment that can result in life-long emotional, physical, and academic consequences. Bullying is defined as any intentionally aggressive behavior involving an imbalance of power, which continues over time. It includes all behaviors that are hurtful to others and can take the form of physical, verbal, non-verbal, or cyber abuse. This week, we offer a series of bully prevention strategies designed to be used in concordance with your school’s disciplinary codes, legal policies, and grievance procedures.

Educators are always seeking ways to encourage students to take more responsibility for their own learning. One simple and effective step is to teach students techniques for monitoring their own learning. Students can be taught techniques for assessing and monitoring their understanding of course content, progress on assignments, and quality of work submitted. Ultimately, these strategies increase student confidence in their own learning. They can also have an indirect outcome: reducing your workload. This week, we offer a series of tips on helping students develop self-checking strategies.

As the international population in United States schools grows, teachers need to embrace and welcome cultural diversity into their classrooms. Student populations in the United States today often reflect the spectrum of culture, language, and religion found throughout the world. While cultural differences among students can occasionally create challenges in the classroom, they should be viewed as opportunities to create positive, trusting relationships. This week, we offer a series of tips on managing a culturally diverse classroom.

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 is probably one of the most far-reaching laws to affect teachers and schools in a generation. Although signed into law by a bipartisan majority, the success—or failure—of the law is a highly controversial and disputed fact among legislators. It is also discussed with great passion among just about anyone involved in public education in the United States. How NCLB savvy are you? This week we offer suggestions for ways that teachers can become more involved and informed about NCLB.

The United States Census Bureau reported in 2003 that nearly 35 million Americans were living in poverty. While poverty no longer means destitution and continual hunger for most impoverished Americans, it does mean that students of poverty face challenges unique to their life experience. Ruby Payne, author of A Framework for Understanding Poverty, states: “We can neither excuse students nor scold them for not knowing; as educators we must teach them and provide support, insistence, and expectations.” By following Payne’s advice, educators increase the likelihood of achievement in spite of economic disadvantages. This week, we offer tips for working with students in high poverty areas.

Students learn more effectively and deeply when they are actively engaged in their learning. This week, we focus on strategies you can use to incorporate "active learning" into the classroom.

Free Downloads

This diagramming handout can be used to help students visually organize concepts and facts that relate to a central theme or topic.

Use the K-W-L (What I Know, What I Want to Know, What I've Learned) worksheet to help students become more actively involved in their reading. They will use the worksheet to identify what they know about a reading subject, what they want to know about it, and what they have learned about it, once they read it.

This handy reference tool can be given to students and/or used as a guide when teaching basic test-taking strategies.

Use this Remediation Plan template to lay out a plan for students who are in need of intervention/remediation. It can be used for high stakes testing situations, if there is no formal remediation plan required by your school or district. It can also be used for mid-semester reviews or project-based work.

This Class Web Site Map template will help you see visually how your site is organized. It will also help you decide where information should logically be placed within the site's structure.

This reference tool illuminates the options one has when conducting a through search by providing a search case using seven of the major search engines.

Use this convenient template to record information that will make any substitute teacher's experience in your classroom a little easier.

Use these transition activities to keep students busy with meaningful work while they are waiting for class to start or another activity to finish.

This WebQuest Lesson Planner will give you an easy-to-use design template for creating WebQuests for your classroom.

Use this Content and Skills Planner to incorporate skills into unit lesson plans. Include several levels of instructional plans in your professional portfolio to show your ability to develop both short and long-term goals.

These easy-to-use entrance and exit passes are the ideal tools to use during the onset and closure of daily lessons. Use them to jog students' memories at the beginning of class and/or reinforce learning at the end of class.

Taking notes in class is one of the most effective ways for your students to understand the material being presented. Go over these useful guidelines with your students and they will be pros in no time!

Help students keep track of their learning with this simple learning log. Learning is enhanced when students know what they are expected to learn and can track their progress in an organized and efficient manner.

This easy-to-use worksheet will help guide students through the initial step of key word clustering.

This guide presents seven easy steps to mastering stress. It is an excellent resource to give to students, particularly at the end of the year.

Use these transition activities to keep students busy with meaningful work while they are waiting for class to start or another activity to finish.

This activity builds reading strategies by asking students to anticipate reading content from a key word list.

Use this activity to lead students through a focused reading activity. By rating their comprehension with multiple rereadings, students learn to apply this strategy to difficult passages.

This guide helps teachers break down an objective statement into its three component parts. It establishes basic guidelines to follow when writing objective statements.

Use this template to write down your lesson plans for block scheduling.

Use this questionnaire to help students gauge their anger management skills. After completion, it can be used in a class discussion about positive and negative responses to anger.

This set of guidelines provides suggestions for developing clear and effective consequences for dealing with students who break classroom rules.

Use these simple suggestions for creating effective classroom rules of your own. We've also included a sample set of rules that can be used in your classroom today.

Use this form to track grades for assigned homework.

This set of suggestions can be sent home to parents trying to help children with homework.

Use this checklist to communicate with students and parents regarding completed and missing homework. Document the assignments that have been completed and those that haven't and share it with them. This allows you to work as a team to help the student get back on track.

Use this evaluation to get ideas for creating your own or use it "as is" by writing your name and the course name at the top. Distribute one to each student and then, you can either elect to stay in or leave the room while students complete the evaluation. When the class has finished, have one student collect and deposit them in a large brown envelope to be given to you.

Use these sample questions when you hold a classroom meeting addressing disrespect in the classroom.

Set the tone for daily learning by establishing educational goals and performance objectives.

Implement changes in attitudes and behaviors through class meetings.

Download your free Task Management Log today!

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Feature Articles

Teachers and parents can help students cope with recent events using the recommended resources provided here.

Most teachers, students, and parents will agree that the quality of their school can be attributed to more than just the curriculum or any one particular teacher or classroom. The positive—or negative—feelings people have about a school are often formed by both tangible and intangible things.

Consider the difference between these two questions:

     What is the answer to this math problem?
     Why is this the answer?

The majority of parents that you encounter as a teacher are genuinely concerned about their children's education. They are interested in assisting schools and supporting teachers to help their students be successful and obtain academic goals. However, a very small percentage of parents present a challenge for teachers.

As the Internet becomes an increasingly pervasive and persistent influence in people's lives, the phenomenon of the blog stands out as a fine example of the way in which the Web enables individual participation in the marketplace of ideas.

Imagine if every time you picked up a newspaper or a novel, you didn't recognize any words or paragraphs, only letters that seem to organize themselves into jumbles. You could recognize the letters, but no words. It might seem like you were reading a foreign language. To different degrees, this is exactly what dyslexics face when they try to process written language.

The amount of homework students are assigned each night varies greatly across grade levels, schools, school districts, and states. Some students come home burdened with heavy backpacks and hours of work to be completed before the next day. Other students are assigned little to no work to be done at home.

Cell phones have become a ubiquitous accessory of high school students since the late 1990s. Initially banned by schools as an unnecessary distraction, events such as the Columbine tragedy and the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 have made most districts reconsider the place of cell phones in middle and high schools.

Digital technology and the Internet are proving to be as effective as methods of ferreting out plagiarism as they are tools for comitting it. This month we look at the ways teachers are using these new tools in their efforts to find unoriginal work.

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