Saturday, August 16, 2014

Three Bright Ideas to start the school year

We are so excited to be linking up for this month's Bright Ideas blog hop! This hop is chock full of pin-worthy ideas to improve your instruction & make your teacher life easier. (And zero product plugs, we promise!)

This month, we are sharing three bright ideas that we love!

I cannot tell you how this idea has saved me.  It is ...well, it left me speechless.  I really don't know where the idea came from or who thought it up, but they are brilliant- genius even! And it is so simple! My friend, Lora, literally changed my teaching life when she shared this idea with me.  Not joking! 

I will NEVER teach without doing this ONE thing EVER again!  Interested yet? If you use this tip, you will never have nameless papers again!  I promise. One word........... HIGHLIGHTERS! 

  • Buy some cool colored highlighters.
  • Put them in a container by your turn-in tray.
  • Teach students how to highlight their name before turning in their papers.

BOOM!  Simple! I have done this for 2 years, and it so works! My students will literally walk up to the turn-in tray, get out a highlighter, look at their paper, and then walk silently back to their seat to put their names on their papers.  It is almost enough to make a grown teacher cry. 

Okay, do have to teach students not to "write" their name in the "pretty" highlighter colors or add rainbow effects to their papers.  And maybe I have had one or two papers without a name. But I swear folks, you will never have to decipher whose "4" or "9" or whose handwriting that is again!

Not every school has enough money for wireless notebooks and tablets.  My school sure doesn't! We still have our regular old computers.  And until they go, we still have bulky headphones with lots of wires. A hot tangled mess that upsets my delicate teacher OCD! So the question is what to DO with the headphones. Do you put them on the monitor?  On the chair?  Lay them on the table?  Each presents a problem.  

Here is a neat (pun intended) solution.

  • Purchase some of the Command Adhesive Hooks (or something similar).
  • Place the hook on the side of each monitor.
  • Hang the headphones!

HA! Take that you warped wires of messiness!

How many times have your students forgotten their passwords to the hundred different websites they have logins for? Mine forget all the time. I've seen a lot of solutions to use in class, but what about at home? With the increase in technology use at home (especially since I use the flipped classroom model in math), students need a reminder of these passwords at home too. Enter printable labels!

I just print these labels out and stick them in the front of each student's agenda. Then, as I introduce new websites, students write their usernames and passwords on the sticker. These are the 2"x4" Avery labels, and they're a great size for my needs. I decided after the fact that I wanted our class website on the sticker too, so I just used the small return address labels. (Oh, and next year, I'll proofread before I print, so they say ABCD instead of ABDC! Oops!)

If you enjoyed these Bright Ideas, please join us on Facebook (Kristen, Juliet), Pinterest, or any of the other links at the top of this page!



    An InLinkz Link-up


  1. I loved all of your tips! Pinning! Thanks so much for sharing.

    Mrs, Rios Teaches Second Grade

  2. I just pinned this! I had so many students turn in their papers without names this year.. I am going to use the highlighter trick now! Thanks so much ladies!

  3. I started having students highlight their names last year, and it was a tremendous help! I love the hook on the monitor idea. Thank you!

    Fit to be Fourth

  4. Love the hook on the computers. We teach our kids to just put them on the desk but this would be much better!

    Jennifer from Simply Kinder

  5. Great ideas! Love the hook on monitor to wrangle the headphones! Will have to give the highlighter trick a try. Kids love the highlighter so I think this will be something they enjoy doing too! I like the password label idea but think I'll put it inside their homework folder. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Love the password labels to go home! Those command hooks would be so usefful for the headphones the school has (I bring my own in ziplock baggies). They maybe wouldn't break as quickly. Great ideas!!

    Terri Izatt

  7. Thanks for sharing your management tips. Headphones and cords = a tangled mess. Great idea.

    Kathy Griffin's Teaching Strategies

  8. I put all the passwords in agendas, but I hadn't thought to put them on labels. I normally cut them out and tape them in. Labels is such a smarter idea. Thanks for the tip!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'


We LOVE to read your comments, and prefer to reply by email so that you will receive our responses. Make sure you're not a "No Reply Blogger" or leave your email address in your comment.Thanks for stopping by! :)