Forty Tips for Making the Elementary School Day Go Smoothly
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Wear a carpenter's belt during your arts and crafts period the type with many pockets in a row. In these pockets keep extra felt pens, a pair of scissors, a stapler, paper clips, a bottle of glue, and tissue.
Remember, noisy boys and girls are often tired boys and girls. Take a rest before starting the next job (especially on Mondays).
Wear a travel fanny pack on the playground. Put these items in it: latex or plastic gloves; wet paper toweling in a zipped baggie, adhesive bandages, tissues, a whistle, a pack of self-stick notes, and a pencil. Write a note for nurse's help, office help, or whatever else is relevant and stick it to the front of the child's shirt before sending him or her to the office with a capable student assistant.)
Laminate colorful cards with the school name and phone number on them. Have children wear them when going on a field trip.
Make friends with the children's librarian at the public library, and visit there on your way home from school once a week, or once every ten days. The colorful picture books you bring from the library to the classroom will enrich your story time.
Have story time daily. If one story gets the children very excited, follow that one with a quiet story that settles them back down.
Have each student bring in a favorite pillow so they can curl up with a good picture book.
Select computer programs that are enjoyable and skill-oriented.
Have a comfortable Time Out area where a child can go when he or she is out of sorts.
Ask parents (monthly) to send in items for the housekeeping corner so that the play is enriched with a new hat, shoes, cape, and so on.
Shop during After-Halloween sales to purchase costumes that will enrich storytelling, play period, and writing time.
Wear comfortable shoes. If you need to wear dress shoes for an after-school appointment, keep an extra pair in your desk drawer.
Link up with a teacher at an upper-grade level and arrange for a teacher's assistant group of capable student volunteers. Set up a schedule for them to come to your classroom to help during busy times (snack time, outdoor and indoor recess, and during arts and crafts time).
Keep a package of kitty litter under the sink. If a child gets sick and vomits in the classroom, cover it with this material and call for custodial help for clean-up.
Wear a snap-on belt with a pair of latex gloves clipped to the belt. If a child has a nose bleed, gets a knee scrape, or has a problem at any time that involves blood, immediately put on the gloves and then go into action.
Be prepared for minor complaints: cold water on paper towels works wonders. If a child complains of a sore elbow, sore finger, and so on, treat the complaint seriously. Go to the sink, pour cold water on the folded toweling, press out excess water, and give it to the child to put on the spot that hurts. Let the child hold this on as long as he or she needs to do so. It usually makes the hurt go away.
Get a red rope (or dye a piece of clothesline). Red signifies danger. Encircle an area where you do not want children to go. (For example, if glass breaks, mark off the area.)
Keep a mop, extra large sponge, pail, broom, brush broom, whisk broom, and dustpan handy.
Ask each parent to donate a box of tissue and liquid hand soap (regular or antibacterial). When supply is running low, send home another request.
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