Past Teacher Tips 



View Teacher Tip of the Week HERE! 


Have a button or nametag that says “Ask Me!” on it.

Then, when students finish early and their work is correct, give them the button or nametag and let them help others!

– Carrie Culpepper, Bellaire Elementary 

Build your bulletin board to last.

Every school has its own requirements for bulletin boards. Some principals want them changed every month, some bimonthly, and a few, it seems, want them reworked every week to resemble an exhibit at the Louvre. Whichever it is, you’ll likely need to adhere a background to the bulletin board before you post your students’ work. Instead of using paper as the background, which you’ll have to replace every two to three weeks, find a large piece of fabric. Not only will the fabric look better than paper, it will last for several months, saving you the time and energy you would’ve spent redoing it every few weeks.

~Staff Submission


It’s easy for inclusion students to get ignored in the classroom. Let your inclusion students know up front, before class starts, that they will be answering questions that day, and give the cooperating teacher non-verbal clues when you are getting ready to ask the student a question.

~Josh Lansdale, Inclusion Teacher


As ALL kids…especially the little ones, they get very “antsy” after having to sat still for a specified amount of time. In my classroom we do what is called Brain Breaks. These breaks give students the opportunity to release that “extra” energy. When I want my students to come back and re-group….we do yoga poses, when I want them to really release that extra energy, I’ll go to YouTube and have them do one of the Kids Dance 2 videos. Their favorite is Despicable Me! I even join in with them…they love seeing their teacher get down too! !

– Natasha Whitehorn, Barret Paideia Academy




As the school year is about to end, I make sure my students are still actively engaged in the lessons. As they easily get bored, I make sure I give them multiple opportunities to be successful. From answering worksheets, to small group rotations to computer hands on activities, and recess in the playground, there are a lot of reasons for kids to enjoy the remaining days of the school year.

– Marlyn Pangatungan, Oak Park Microsociety Elementary School



Secretly have parents or teachers write notes of encouragement for the first day (or each day) of testing. Have it on their desk when they walk in. We’ve been doing it for years and our kids’ faces just light up! It’s a great way to start their day!

 -Carrie Culpepper, Bellaire Elementary



There are several components under the Managing Classroom procedures listed.

One of the  ways I accomplish this is to have two student helpers each week. At the tardy bell, a student helper begins counting 1-60. Students must have their notebooks and are writing bell ringer’s before 60 is reached or their name goes on the board. The student helper then reads the Bell Ringer question and calls on other students for answers. This can lead to student to student discussion ( a 4 in  questioning and techniques) At the end of class, the other student helper makes sure tables are quiet, cleaned and this person releases students from class. (a 3 in  Managing classroom)
After two weeks of this, it becomes routine and students beg to sign up to be the class starter or releaser. By the time, observation comes around, students know exactly how this works and it is an established procedure.
– Cristi Cantor, Broadmoor Middle School 

Before ILeap testing each day, I give my students a “smart pill”.  I tell them the “S” on the Skittles stands for “smart”.  They love it, and it’s a good ice breaker/motivator.One of the components for a 4 rating on the Danielson model is to have a student led classroom.}

-Sherry Cordero, Shreve Island Elementary



It is getting very close to testing time. Here is a tip for you. Im certain that you all have been given practice test booklets. It might be beneficial to go through the book and visit with the way the questions are worded. To help my 8th grade students, I took both questions from the old Leap and the Common Core Leap practice bookls, placed the questions on one sheet and  we reviewed them when necessary. It is important that students clearly understand the jagon of the test and the way that test wirters write. With each question, have students tell YOU what the questios mean to them on their level, Also, have them to circle or underline important vocabulary words that might show on the LEAP from year to year. Later, administer a mock Leap test using the same jargon and vocabulary you pulled from the practice test and see the differnce in their answers and resposes. The mroe they are in tune to the writers of the test, the better they will do. Good Luck.
– Greg Carter, Walnut Hill Elementary/Middle


P.S. mla annotated bibliography maker.