Teaching Tip Linky - Late is still great

I played 2.5 hours of tennis tonight.  That means I'm wide-awake and enjoying my evening by catching up on stalking some of my favorite blogs! So fun!

I re-stumbled across the Teaching Tip linky over at Miss Kindergarten, a fellow SoCal blogger that I had the pleasure of meeting at my very first blogger meet up!

A great idea, indeed, and I'm joining in - late.  But joining in, nonetheless. (Isn't that a fun word?)

So here it goes! I've got two very different tips - one's a practical tip, one's a philosophical tip!

1. Sheet protector white boards.  Do you use white boards in your class? I do! But I hate those bulky, hard ones. So - slip a piece or two of card stock in a sheet protector, and voila! A lightweight, white board that students can use during instruction.  They are so lightweight that my kiddos keep them in their book boxes, and then they're ready to go for my Daily 5 focus lessons.  And yes, dry erase markers erase easily off of the sheet protector! You can also stick other pages in there that your kiddos use every day - like Number of the Day, or fact practice.  Note: You just have to teach them how to hold them so the pages don't fall out. :)

2. It's all about the questions.  This year, my school is doing A LOT of development gearing up for Common Core. Not the actual content - we're learning to facilitate student-focused, organic discussions. I'm no expert by any means, but a few questioning statements I like are:

- Why do you think that?
- What makes you say that?
- Tell me more about that.

It does take a lot of patience and time to get the kids discussing at the level you want, but they do get there eventually, and it's really cool.

One way you could get this started is by using these Visual Thinking Strategies posters. A dear teacher-friend brought these to our school from her previous district.  It's one of the coolest teaching things I've seen!

The discussion techniques then easily transfer into literacy and math.  Awesome!

Okay, if you're a late-bloomer like me, head on over to Miss Kindergarten and link up!

PS: Who's ready for Thanksgiving break!?!?


  1. That Visual Thinking Strat site is such a great find. Thanks for sharing it!!! I'll be back soon to see what else you have up your sleeve :) Merry Thursday!

    Kelley Dolling
    Teacher Idea Factory

  2. I love using photographs for critical thinking and questioning. I haven't played tennis in forever..sounds like a fun way to spend the evening! :)


  3. Love the sheet protector idea. I might be a "late bloomer" too:)

    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers Blog Designs

  4. I've seen her link party, but just haven't had the time to link up yet!! I'm thinking about becoming a really late bloomer... maybe this weekend! :) And I love your questioning statements! What a good reminder about getting students thinking on a deeper level!

    Lessons with Laughter

  5. I love using sheet protectors for guided practice in math! I make math workmats to go inside the sheet protectors for the math lesson of the day. If there is room, I will also put math steps on the workmat.

    Smiling and Shining in Second Grade

  6. I love the website!! Thanks so much for sharing! =)
    Sister Teachers

  7. Great ideas! Glad to have found your blog...I love finding second grade blogs to follow!
    Help Tori get to 500

  8. I found your teaching tip through the linky party and had one of the exact same tips. We began using whiteboards in the sheet protectors this year and I love them! Our goal was to keep from having to pass them out everytime we used them. Now students keep them in their binder so they are ready all the time.. It is working beautifully!

    Live Learn Teach for Life


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