Validation Code

Friday, April 30, 2010

May Events-Teacher Lessons-Resources

Teaching Tip: 13 May Events For Teachers

By: Teachnology Staff
1. May is Get Caught Reading Month
2. May is
Allergy Awareness Month
3. May is
Revise Your Work Schedule Month
4. May is
Volcanoes Month
5. May 1st is
Be Kind to Animals Week
6. May 2nd - Space Day and the start of Drinking Water Week
7. May 4th -
National Teacher Day
8. May 5th -
Cinco De Mayo
9. May 9th -
Mother's Day
10. May 15th -
Graphing Week
11. May 16th -
Weights and Measures Day
12. May 20th -
Biographer's Day
13. May 26th -
National Spelling Bee
14. May 28th -
Last Day of School In 4 States
15. May 31st -
Memorial Day

Weekly Tips for Teachers Issue 511: April 26, 2010
This newsletter is brought to you by, the online teacher resource center.
More Resources at May Themes and Days

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Baseball Math Ideas

The Math Used in Professional Baseball: More than a Game

It is baseball season again and statistics are flying; how math is used in professional baseball to determine all those number that appear after a player's name. Baseball is more than a game it is game of mathematical numbers used to try and determine how players respond in certain situations. For example a batter's hitting percentage is .344 and a pitcher has an earned run average of 5.13.

So lets take a look at the a batter's hitting percentage. The percentage .344 is based on the number of hits - 55, divided by the number of times at bat - 160. So what does .344 mean to the baseball world? A .344 is very good, because it means that a batter will typically get a hit 1 out of 3 times at bat. Batters with this kind of batting percentage are typically the lead off hitter in a line up.

Teams keep all kinds of statistics on batters, such as: number of times at bat - AB, number of runs scored - R, number of hits - H, number of runs batted in - BI, number of walks - W, number of strike outs - K, and batting average - AVG. These are all used to determine the quality of a batter to be able to hit and score runs.

Math statistics are also kept on the number homeruns divided by the number times at bat; the average times a batter will get a hit in specific situations for example, with 2 outs; how many times a batter will hit to a certain part of the field, for example left field; and how many time a batter gets a hit against specific pitchers. Professional baseball players are analyzed using lots of math to develop a statistical picture of the player as batter.

Let's take a look at the pitcher with an earned run average (ERA) of 5.13. The number is determined by taking the number of earned runs - 4, dividing it by the number of innings pitched - 7, and then multiplying that number by 9. So what does the 5.13 mean for a pitcher? It means he is not a highly recruited pitcher in professional baseball; he gives up too many hits that lead to runs. The pitcher is prone to giving up lots of runs and not winning many games. The lower the earned run average the better the pitcher. Now you may be asking what earned runs are; they are runs scored not the result of any errors by the pitcher's team.

What is some other math numbers used to determine the quality of a pitcher, such as: number of innings pitcher - IP, number of hits given up - H, the number of runs given up - R, the number of walks given up - BB, the number of earned runs given up - ER, and the number of strike outs - SO. These are used to statistically develop an overall view of the pitchers.

Other math numbers include the number of times the pitcher strikes out or gives up hits to certain batters. Along with the number of complete games pitched, pitched all nine innings. And then the coveted number of perfect games pitched; which means the pitcher gave up no walks, no hits, no errors, and no runs were scored by the opposing team.

Then there is the entire math related to the actual dimensions of the professional baseball field. The distance to from one base to another is 90 feet, the pitchers mound is 60 feet from home plate, and the distance from home plate to left field is 342 feet, for example. The number of baseballs used in the average baseball game is about 60, due to foul balls into the stands and homeruns.

Math is used everywhere in professional baseball.


Math Worksheet Center Newsletter Source:

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tips to Recycle School Supplies

Tips for Recycling School Supplies from the NEA News and From Sonny Bechler, a special education teacher and member of the Board of Directors for the Illinois Education Association in Libertyville, Illinois:

“Many students do not want to save their old school supplies such as crayons, colored pencils, rulers, erasers, pencils, paper, and other items at the end of the year. In many cases, these items just get thrown out at home. We place card board boxes (the same ones in which our copy machine paper is shipped) in each hallway and label them clearly for each item. The school’s weekly parent newsletter explains to the parents the options that are available to the students if they choose to participate in our recycling school supply program. The last two days of school, the children may contribute to the supply boxes. Usually the boxes for crayons, colored pencils, and markers fill up quickly. We asked which teachers or staff members need extra supplies and those requests were quickly filled. The surplus supplies were donated to area agencies and preschools. We also chose the best supplies for needy students in our school. Hope this sparks an idea for your school.”

Source: National Education Association Works4Me Weekly News Browse All Tips

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Teacher Time Saver Ideas

Teacher Time Saver Ideas

What does being a teacher really mean? For starters, being a teacher means wearing a large number of very different hats, and juggling a myriad of different responsibilities all at once. If you cannot find ways to balance out your priorities and responsibilities, you may quickly find yourself backlogged and unable to stay afloat. Here are ten quick and easy time saver ideas for teachers who need help staying on schedule and completing tasks with timeliness. You will still encounter situations that are beyond your control, but if you implement some of these time saver ideas, your job effectiveness will be a whole lot better.

Organization --

1 - Organize your classroom for better efficiency. Make sure that your classroom is always accessible when it comes to providing the supplies and materials that you will need. In the end, you will feel like you are in greater control if you can easily and quickly find whatever materials and supplies you need. This may require that you take a day to sit down and get organized, or you can take small steps throughout the week to reduce clutter, add organization and make your room and supplies much more accessible.

2 - Organize your students. Some teachers like to try out different options when it comes to seating children for various reasons, including making it easier for names to be remembered. For instance, you may consider arranging the students in your classroom by their last names in alphabetical order. This will make it easier for you to call on a student correctly. Later you may let the children sit anywhere they like, but when getting to know them, having them seated in a prescribed order can be a real lifesaver.

3 - Organize the operations in your classroom. Make a point to plan all of your lessons ahead of time, rather than trying to get everything together when the lesson is ready to begin. A great time to get a jumpstart on the lesson plans for the following year is during your summer vacation. Make sure that complete lesson plans are ready to go, and that you have all of the supplies that you are going to need.

Another great way to organize the operations in your classroom is to create charts and lists for daily procedures. This will save time because your students will not be asking you consistently about what is for lunch, what duties must be accomplished in the classroom, or what will be studied or learned in each day of the week. Keep these charts and lists posted so that you are not constantly digging around trying to find the information that your students are looking for. The best way to save time as a teacher is to run a tight ship operation in your classroom by optimizing and organizing your classroom operations.

Activities --

4 - Ball Trivia - A great way to quiz your students in your free time before class ends, while still engaging them, is to toss a rubber ball to a student while asking them a question about a past lesson. If the student then goes on to answer correctly, he or she will turn around and toss the ball to another student. Let the students ask the questions, as this will both allow them to ask lesson related questions, and answer them, while having fun in the process. This activity works especially well when the students are in a circle on the floor.

5 - Flashcards - Create flashcards for various lessons, with review questions on one side, and answers on the other. You can hold up a flashcard and allow your students to answer the questions aloud, or you can play a game show style game with teams and one student serving as the host.

6 - Tic Tac Toe - Draw a tic-tac-toe grid on a large sheet of paper, and split your class into an 'X' team and an 'O' team, then toss a coin to decide who will play first. You can ask questions to determine whether or not a team can place an X or an O on the board, and this is a great way to quiz your students while engaging them at the same time. Play until one team wins, by answering enough questions correctly that they may place three X's or three O's in a row on the board.

Other Time Saving Tips -

7 - Encourage reading in class. Utilize class time for grading and reading papers and homework assignments by allowing students to read silently, or to popcorn read or tag read if you are reading a specific book in class. Popcorn reading allows students to call on other students for reading, and will allow you to get some grading done since you do not have to direct students to read, or read out loud yourself.

8 - Use printable worksheets. There are thousands of free printable teacher worksheets available online, and finding worksheets that relate to your lesson plan should be easy. Assigning worksheets will save time, because you do not have to plan out specific homework assignments, you only have to run off a few dozen copies of a worksheet that someone else created.

9 - When it is appropriate, allow your students to do peer grading. This is especially useful when it comes to vocabulary and spelling tests. Look at your assessment strategy long and hard, is it efficient for you and good for the children in your class? If your system is working for every involved party, stick with it. If changes are necessary, make them until everyone is happy.

10 - If you are tired, avoid trying to accomplish any important work tasks. When you are working while exhausted, you will be much more likely to make a number of mistakes, which will force you to backtrack. Mistakes can be fixed easily, but at the cost of unnecessary time spent. Get some rest and start up again in the morning, and everybody wins.

Remember you matter, educators make the world go around!

Cynthia Hughes & Carol Bailus (Newsletter Editors)

Worksheet Library Just visit:

More Resources:

Monday, April 19, 2010

Test Prep, Chant, and Ideas

Peppy Test Prep

From Lillie Palmer, a teacher in South Dakota:

“We have a pep assembly for the third and fourth graders a couple of days before standardized testing starts. Two teachers pretend they are cheerleaders and shake pompoms as they give a 'pep' talk about doing a good job on the tests, getting a good night's rest, etc. We have three teachers sit in desks and pretend to be examples of how not to take the test. One keeps turning around and bothering his neighbor, one cries, and one is not paying attention to directions. Another teacher is showing the 'right' way to take the test. Breakfast is provided for students, teachers and classroom helpers on testing mornings. We also borrow an archway from the local hardware store and put Christmas lights on it with a sign that says, 'Entering Testing Zone'. We set it up in the hallway that leads to the third and fourth grade rooms. The lights are on whenever we are testing.”

Test Chant

From Kathy Gaji, a third grade teacher at Brookside Elementary in Binghamton, New York

“I have a chant that we do before we take a test, whether one of the state tests or a weekly spelling test, to relax my students. It's a little silly, but the kids do ask for it if I forget:

We're going to take a test [clap, clap]
We're going to do our best [clap, clap]
We'll do the ones we know
And we'll try on the rest [clap, clap].

We'll work very carefully [hold up one finger, preparing to count to three]
We'll work very thoughtfully [hold up another finger]
We'll work very neatly [hold up a third finger]
And then we'll be THROUGH [say with emphasis, cross hands in front of you and pull them apart and down].

We're going to take a test (clap, clap]
We're going to do our best (clap, clap]
We'll do the ones we know
And we'll try on the rest [clap, clap].

[chant softly and fade away]
We won't hurry.
We won't worry.
We won't hurry.
We won't worry...”

Source: Published by the National Education Association, 1201 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036.
Works4Me Weekly News Ideas and tips by teachers, for teachers

More Resources:

Saturday, April 17, 2010

May Themes and Lesson Plans for Days and Weeks

About Weekly Teacher Tips-Source of Newsletter
This newsletter is brought to you by, the online teacher resource center.

More Teacher Resources: May Day Theme Resources

Graphic by Caleb's Country Corner at

Graphic Organizers for Teachers

Teaching Tip: Overlooked Graphic Organizers
By: Teachnology Staff

Graphic organizers are great visual tools that help sum up concepts and many forms of information. Teachers of all grade levels use them. Graphic organizers are great to use when introducing or reviewing a topic. Everyone grew up with Concept Webs, Life Cycles, and Venn Diagrams. Here are some unique graphic organizers you might want to consider using in your class.

  1. Big Mac Paragraph Format - Great for paragraph writing.
  2. Character Analysis Pyramid - Help students identify major points of specific characters of a story.
  3. Elements Of The Story - This organizer focuses on understanding the tempo of a story.
  4. Lesson Forms Pack - Great help throughout the year!
  5. Lesson Planning Blocks - The perfect way to reduce the stress of a teacher observation.
  6. Main Idea Map - Great to start a discussion.
  7. Multiple Intelligence Lesson Planning - Great for lesson check-ups.
  8. Quadruple Character Map - Kids love these.
  9. SQ3R Chart - Fantastic for understanding long passages.
  10. Theme Comparison - Great for comparing just about anything.

This Week in History

1910: Author Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, past away.

1970: The first Earth Day was observed.

About Weekly Teacher Tips-Source of Newsletter
This newsletter is brought to you by, the online teacher resource center.
More Teacher Resources:

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Fun Review Sheet for Class

How to Create a Quick Review Sheet for Class

As a teacher, you are responsible for ensuring students learn the topics and skills that they need to succeed. Despite the collective groans and protestations from your students, the best ways to analyze how well they are learning the material is through review worksheets and exams. However, there are several ways you can make these review sessions fun.

Race to knowledge!

One fun way to reinforce information is to have worksheet races in class. Create several different printable worksheets, each with different questions and answers. Depending on the student's age, these can have anywhere from four to 10 questions. It is helpful to code questions and answers with an ID number to keep the information organized for you. Divide the class into equal group - four to six students per group usually works best. Have them form groups and elect a runner, and write all the group names on the board for scorekeeping. As soon as a group is finished with the worksheet, the runner brings it up to you. You check it against your teacher worksheets for accuracy, sending it back if there are errors. The first team to complete all questions correctly wins 3 points; second team 2 points, third team 1 point. Repeat for several rounds, with the team with the most points winning a prize at the end.

Class competitions

You can also create an exciting entire class competition. Create a worksheet with a large number of questions. You can reuse questions from homeschool worksheets to make it easier to review. Divide the class into two teams, such as the left side of the room against the right side. Separate the chalkboard into two sections, and have a student from each team come up to the board. You can either read or write a question on the board, and the first student to have the right answer wins a point for their team. If both students get it wrong, the next two students have an opportunity to answer correctly. Keep cycling through until all the questions have been answered and all students have had several turns. If you have trouble keeping the class quiet, you can deduct points for students answering out of turn or cutting in line. The winning team at the end wins a prize.

Bingo fun!

For vocabulary or math skills, your class can play review Bingo. You will need to create a worksheet of at least 24 questions with different answers, which you can develop by reviewing previous assignments. On the board or a transparency, write down all of the answers. Give students a few minutes to create their own Bingo cards, placing answers randomly in squares. Once they have their cards set up, read questions randomly. The first student to mark off a Bingo on their card with the correct answers to the questions read receives a prize. You can then have students clear their boards to start again, or continue playing, depending on the number of questions you have to use.

A good review for students will both challenge them to remember learned skills and have fun. You can also choose to follow up the in-class review by sending home review worksheets comprised of the questions for completion at home. Selecting questions or problems from previous assignments or from the upcoming test can make preparation easier for you - and fun for the students!

Source: Worksheet Library

More Teaching Resources:

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Teachers-Poem-Poetry Month

Teachers are full of patience
Teachers never give up,
And won't let you give up either.
Teachers take students seriously.
Teachers care in their sleep
Teachers see the genius
In every drawing, poem and essay.
Teachers make you feel important.
Teachers also help others.
Teachers never grow old.
Teachers stay famous in their student minds

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Graphic Organizers and Manipulatives

Home of Dinah Zike's
Foldables®, VKV's®, & Equivalency FlipsTM

Unique Graphic Organizers & Manipulatives

Dinah Zike is known for designing hands-on manipulatives that are used nationally and internationally by teachers, parents, and educational publishing companies. She is a frequent keynote speaker and continuing education consultant and presents to over 50,000 teachers and parents every year.

Her book, The Big Book of Books and Activities, won the Teacher's Choice Award for "instructional value, ease of use, quality, and innovation", and has become a teaching methods classic. Most recently, Dinah was awarded the Council for Elementary Science International's Advocate Award.

Dinah Zike is an explosion of energy and ideas. Her excitement and joy for learning inspires everyone she touches. She knows how hard it is to make each day special for children because she taught for over ten years in the public school system.


More Teacher Resources:

Have you ever used foldables from Dinah or your own creation? Please share any good ideas for graphic organizers, manipulatives, or worksheet alternatives?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Earth is Wet: Celebrate the Seasons with Poetry

1. The Earth is Wet: Celebrate the Seasons with Poetry

The Earth is Wet
The earth is wet.
The sky is gray.
It looks like it
Will rain all day.

by Karla Kuskin

See Songs and Rhymes for a Rainy Day,
A Nellie Edge Read and Sing Big Book™

Yes, it rains in Oregon, and once again, we are hoping that April showers bring May flowers! Consider greeting your children at the door with a small poem reflecting the weather or the changing seasons.

April is Poetry Month!

Weave poetry into your ongoing science adventures. Here is our expanding collection for your Poetry "I Can Read" Notebook:

When children memorize, recite, and perform the words of carefully selected poetry, they develop English language fluency with the most exquisite language we speak; they practice high-frequency words and phonics in an authentic context; and, most importantly, they develop a love for the sounds of language.

  • Community is served when children learn things “by heart.”
  • Owning wonderful words enlivens the art of speaking and writing.

What words do you carry on the walls of your mind from childhood? Let's help our children paint words in their own memories that will last a lifetime!


Monthly newsletter from the Nellie Edge Excellence in Kindergarten and Early Literacy site. For more information and resources visit For questions email to

IN THIS ISSUE: 1. The Earth is Wet: Celebrate the Seasons with Poetry | 2. Oviparous and Metamorphosis: Voracious Vocabulary 3. Earth Day and April Science Connections | 4. Mentor Kindergarten Teachers Who Sing and Sign | 5. Real Books for Real Readers! 6. April & May: Salem Kindergarten Cadre Meetings

More Teaching Resources:

April and May Lesson Plans, Activities, Links

Weekly Tips for Teachers Issue 508: April 5, 2010
This newsletter is brought to you by, the online teacher resource center.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Earth Day 40th Anniversary April 22

Earth Day 40th Anniversary

April 22 also marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, and TeachersFirst has hundreds of reviewed resources appropriate for this event. Whether you launch a mini-recycling week in your kindergarten class or debate climate change with your AP science students, your students need the best resources for real world projects and accurate information. Be sure to share these with parents and students to use at home for family-centered Earth Day observances, too.

Earth Day presents a special opportunity to connect classroom curriculum with real-world experience, not only in science but also for lessons in math, language arts, social studies, art, and more. With so many outstanding resources available on the web related to environmental concerns, TeachersFirst's editorial team has hand-selected this group of "Editors' Choices" for their potential to engage and involve your students in both the understanding of scientific concepts surrounding Earth Day and in environmental activism for any time of the year.

Books About Earth Day

Books About Earth Day

50 Simple Things Kids Can Do to Save the Earth
by The EarthWorks Group

Clifford's Spring Clean-Up
by Norman Bridwell

Day and Night
by Maria Gordon

Dinosaurs to the Rescue!
by Laurie Krasny Brown and Marc Brown

Earth Day
by Linda Lowery

Earth Day : Let's Meet the Earth Kids
by Barbara Derubertis

Every Day Is Earth Day : A Craft Book
by Kathy Ross

Long Live Earth
by Meighan Morrison

Over There Was a Tree
by Natalia Romanova

by Gail Gibbons

Tanya's Big Green Dream
by Linda Glaser

The Great Trash Bash
by Loreen Leedy

Where Once There Was a Wood
by Denise Fleming

Why Do We Have? Day and Night
by Claire Llewellyn


National Librarian Day April 16

National Librarian Day

When : Always April 16th

National Librarian Day celebrates and honors librarians. They are among the most knowledgeable people you know. When you visit your cavernous library in search of a particular book, or a specific research topic, they always quickly point you in the right direction. And, they do so with a smile.

Experts of the Dewey Decimal System, your Librarian aids and assists you in identifying and retrieving a myriad of books, periodicals, and reference material. Librarians hold a wealth of knowledge in their heads. Got a subject you are researching? Chances are, the Librarian will point you right to the book you need.

Celebrate the day by sending a card to your librarian. Visit the library today, and make certain to say hello and "Thank you" to all of the librarians.

Source: Librarian's Day Resources

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Math Test Taking Tips, Strategies and Clue Words-TAKS

Math Problems Key Operational Clue Words and Strategies

Students will be more successful on the TAKS test if they learn to watch for key words and translate those into mathematical operations.


What are my key words?

Key Words in Math


increased by

more than
combined, together
total of
added to

how many more, in all, altogether

total amount



decreased by

difference between/of
less than, fewer than


times, multiplied by
product of



increased/decreased by a
factor of (this type can
involve both addition or
subtraction and


per, a, ratio of, quotient of,
out of






is, are, was, were, will be
gives, yields
sold for



Which words in a word problem usually mean that addition is the correct operation to use?

Which words usually indicate that subtraction should be used?

Which words usually indicate that multiplication should be used?

Which words usually indicate that division should be used?

Which words usually indicate equals?


Give two examples of problems about money or time that came up in your everyday life. Were you able to solve them?


· Read the problem entirely
Get a feel for the whole problem

· List information and the variables you identify
Attach units of measure to the variables (gallons, miles, inches, etc.)

· Define what answer you need,
as well as its units of measure

· Work in an organized manner
Working clearly will help you think clearly

o Draw and label all graphs and pictures clearly

o Note or explain each step of your process;
this will help you track variables and remember their meanings

· Look for the "key" words (above)
Certain words indicate certain mathematical operations: