NELMS Teacher Tips & Articles

A collection of useful tips and advice from teachers for teachers.

Class Time
In order to help students understand that time in the classroom is paramount, I give them each a bathroom and drink "pass" at the beginning of each trimester. The pass has their name and a pledge to stay in class unless they have an emergency. I teach them to ask themselves check-in questions before they ask to use the bathroom or get a drink. If they truly feel they need time out of class for one of these things, I hole-punch their pass and allow them to go. It helps us all stay on track with how much time students are leaving class and helps kids have control over their needs. It has helped increase time kids spend in my room tremendously! Many thanks to A. Logan, Portland, ME

Writers Block
You will encounter students who, out of fear, undeveloped skills, boredom, disbelief, stubbornness, or weariness – will be unwilling or unable to write. When kids won't write or think they can't, it is usually because they haven't been romanced. When they're stuck during writing go back and collect more ideas, read more examples, gather more words. Spend several writing sessions JUST on the motivation and collection stages of writing. From : If You're Trying to Teach Kids How to Write, You've Gotta Have This Book! Marjorie Frank. Incentive Publications. 1979.

25 Clever Classroom Tips For Elementary School Teachers
You'll be the talk of the teacher's lounge with these smart classroom ideas.
Click here.

A collection of useful tips and advice from teachers for teachers.

For my year long project I let the students (grade 8) choose between three types: Research, Science Fair, and Invention Convention.

What topics you ask?
Any school appropriate topics are allowed.Students excel when given some choice. Six years and still 100% participation. That includes a 600 student middle school. Topics from 'the history of bubble gum' to 'do energy drinks effect running performance' to 'a report on the local animal shelter' written from the perspective of the dog. We have our 'Celebration of Learning Fair' in the late spring with over 3000 parents/friends/dignitaries attending at one fair!

David Pabst
NH School Admin Unit #53
Pembroke, NH

I use a "buddy bin" to store handouts for absent students. When students are absent, I still place worksheets on their desks. Their neighbors (the "buddies") write the absent students' names on the papers and bring them to the buddy bin, sometimes adding information about deadlines or additional instructions. The buddy bin is also useful for extra copies of class notes and school notices for absent students.

Emily Case
7th and 8th Grade Teacher
Smith Academy
Hatfield, MA

Post a quotation of some sort and have students respond in journals. Posting ones that students strongly agree or disagree with makes for easier journaling.

Julie Gardner - Grade 8 - ELA/Social Studies Teacher - Presque Isle Middle School


Put up a trivia question of the day in advisory and students begin the day by trying to answer it – put their names next to their answers – get points for each one correct for reward at end of week. Program a large beach ball with content words/phrases – toss to kid – answer where dominate thumb lands – student tosses back to teacher.
Shirley Ferguson


Before we begin our state assessment tests, I have my group do jumping jacks; "touch your head, touch your toes", etc. This gets them up and moving, stretching and usually we can't help but laugh. Brain research shows that when you smile you stimulate your brain. Let the test begin.
Pam LaFountain


Use black socks (new) for erasers on dry erase boards. Kids love them.

With my team, I've been working on creating an inter-disciplinary vocabulary program called "Words are Power" (WAP). The team all contributes words from their subject areas and the WAP words are studied in English class with re-enforcement in the content areas.

Nicole St. James


No Pencil, No Worry!
Adolescents lose things, drop them in the hallway, leave them in their lockers. Missing pencils (or pens) can be a source of stress for teachers and students alike. Rather than punish a child for losing their writing tool, keep a container full at little cost to you. Ask for donations or better yet, ask the custodian to drop off hallway "finds" in your room. You will be amazed at how many you will collect this way. Your middle schoolers have enough to worry about – pencils shouldn't be one.
Janet Gustafson, Timberlane Regional Middle School, Plaistow, NH


If you have a Teacher Tip you would like to share please send it to us!
We will post your tip and give you credit. Thanks

Your Name   
Your School   
E-Mail Addres    

Here is my teacher tip…