New Teachers

Getting Controversial in Discussion?

With 9/11 tomorrow, I've been going debating discussing the current controversy over the Mosque at Ground Zero and the Quran burning protest. It seems like a teachable moment that could spur thoughtful discussion about religious freedom vs. freedom of express and even national security. My only concern is that it's a very controversial topic. Do you think some hot button issues are best left out of the classroom, especially so early in the term?

 | Last comment: Apr 22, 2013 at 6:04pm
Who inspired you?

I'm working on a new site called, specifically for thanking the people who do great things and who influence our lives in a positive way.


We are running a campaign to champion the very best teachers, the ones who've made a lasting impact on the lives of those they've taught. We want to make sure they get the recognition they deserve. Tell us about the teachers who inspired you to go into teaching : who would you thank? Do you have any inspirational, funny or unusual stories to share?


By running this campaign on ThanksTo we hope to raise the profile of the teachers who've helped your communities, show the profession in a positive light and ultimately help to encourage a new generation to go into teaching.


If you'd like to read any of the thanks that people have left to their teachers, or leave a message of your own, go to

 | Last comment: Apr 22, 2013 at 6:02pm
Cold War Museum

I used google sketchup to have the students create a 3D Cold War museum. They were able to put 3D artifacts in each room, do voiceovers to describe each artifact and use animation to take us on a virtual tour. When they were done, they just hit a button and it automatically walked us around the room and the voiceovers explained each artifact. This project incorporated history with 21st Century Skills.

 | Last comment: Apr 22, 2013 at 5:41pm
Contesting Grades

My grades were due this morning. They're posted and done and I AM FREE (for a few weeks at least.)

Since reporting final grades online this weekend, suddenly students I haven't heard from all term are coming out of the woodwork to contest their grades. I'm trying to find the balance between my tough teacher side that is annoyed at these 11th hour ploys and my softy side that wants to make sure students stay in college and keep their financial aid...

How do you deal with students (or parents) contesting grades? Share in the comments section!

 | Last comment: Apr 22, 2013 at 5:40pm
Fun summer school

Twitter seems to be teeming with stories about summer school programs for gifted students filled with fun, interactive lessons that challenge them in waysthat"make sure that a day at camp doesn't feel like a day in the classroom."


Example 1

Example 2


After being jealous that I couldn't be in the camps myself,a few questions occurred to me:


How can I integrate more of these types of activities in my classroom?

Is this what all school would be without the standards/curriculum regulation?

Wouldn't all students benefit from this learning environment?

 | Last comment: Apr 22, 2013 at 5:31pm
You Know You're a Teacher When

You get super excited about a cool pencil sharpener, stickers or bulletin board themes!Just saw this funny group on facebook and wanted to see who else had ideas.

 | Last comment: Apr 22, 2013 at 5:27pm
Holiday Classroom Activites-Suggestions?

Does anyone have any appropriate holiday classroom activities for middle school students? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

 | Last comment: Apr 22, 2013 at 5:09pm
Theme ideas

Looking for ideas for a classroom theme. I really want my class to be the most original in school this year. I just read about a Hollywood theme that was pretty fun.


Any other out-of-this world themes you've used and love?

 | Last comment: Apr 22, 2013 at 4:38pm
Teacher Perks!

Most of us new teachers have to survive our salaries by pinching pennies! Here's a website that shares year-round teacher discounts for all sorts of things including clothing, travel, mortgages and more. Please share any other year-round discounts you may know of. CheriTeacher by Day, Discount Hunter by Night

 | Last comment: Apr 22, 2013 at 4:28pm

I wanted to invite all of the new teachers to check out This website has over 4000 k-12 games ready to be played by your students. You can sign up on the website if you are interested in creating games for your classroom. The website is perfect for smartboards!! This is a FREE resource for students and teachers! Darren McCarty AP US Rochester, NY

 | Last comment: Apr 22, 2013 at 3:15pm
Back to school activities and Classroom management

What are some good back to school activities that you use ? We only have three days next week with children so what can I do that will be beneficial for those three days? I also need to know good positive classroom management strategies and how to teach those strategies?

 | Last comment: Apr 22, 2013 at 3:05pm
Antarctic blog and Facebook page

Inviting all science teachers to join Miami University's Antarctic Connection fan page on Facebook! On December 23, five researchers from Miami University and Ohio State University will travel to Antarctica to study a wingless fly that can freeze; lose up to 2/3 of it's body water; and tolerate wide swings in temperature, pH, and salinity. In addition to the fan page, we'll be detailing our adventures on a blog( Blog posts start December 1, on the anniversary of the signing of the Antarctic Treaty.


 | Last comment: Apr 22, 2013 at 10:33am
Leaving Behind the Trouble Makers

Agree/Disagree:"If the state wants to increase the graduation rate, it should begin by making it easier to kick out the troublemakers."


Orlando Sentinel article

 | Last comment: Apr 22, 2013 at 9:40am
Character Education Games

We have recently made our website more interactive for educators and even parents at home. The character education game section we now offer on our website can be used as an activity in the class, if your classroom is equipped with computers and/or a projector, or at home. It's a fun and simple way to open up discussion for our character traits. You can play the games for free at and to learn more about our character education program please visit http://www.shopcharacter.comWe're always open to new suggestions so don't hesitate to contact us!-Jenny"

 | Last comment: Apr 22, 2013 at 9:19am
Summer School Overdrive

Behavior problems are absolutely out of control in my summer school class. It's so many kids who didn't even want to be here during the school year, so I'm at a loss. I've tried class outside, extremely interactive activities and every other thing I could thing of, but I'm struggling to get them to engage. Any help would be appreciated!

 | Last comment: Apr 22, 2013 at 8:21am
Summer Blues

Does anyone else get the summer blues in the first few days out of school?I am so used to going to school everyday that I feel a little aimless. Today, I started looking up Masters programs when I hadn't planned on going back. I have a feeling that once I get into a good routine, I'll get over this little bout of beginning-of-summer blues, so I'm trying not to jump in head first. Am I the only one?

 | Last comment: Apr 22, 2013 at 6:50am

Hi,TenMarks has launched a math practice and learning program for grades 3-High School and as of today, it's FREE for teachers to use in class or for their students to use at home.The TenMarks approach gives students a variety of problems on each topic, and ability to use hints if they need a little nudge, and immediate video lessons for them to refresh and learn the topic : on the spot. The end result : students refresh what they know and learn what they don't.Teachers choose their own curriculum (mapped to state standards), assign work to students, have it automatically graded immediately, review individual and class performance, and most importantly, take immediate action. TenMarks is super effective and real easy to use : it was designed with the help of math teachers across the country. What's more - it's FREE for the entire class!Check it out at have already received excellent feedback from hundreds of teachers who signed up for the program in the last 3 days, since we launched. We'd be very interested in your thoughts - please share any feedback, constructive or otherwise with me directly.Dan ShermanTenMarks Education, Inc.www.tenmarks.comP.S. I would like to assure you that the purpose of posting in this group is not to spam or promote our commercial offerings. "

 | Last comment: Apr 22, 2013 at 5:44am
Low Math Test Scores! Who can help

I teach at a school with 75% poverty.  We are an older building without all the technology the new schools have.  I am wondering if anyone out there teaches at a school similar to ours who have positive test scores who can help us out.  What are you doing that works.  We will try anything.

 | Last comment: Apr 21, 2013 at 8:02pm
Fall Burnout

Has anyone else reached that fall burnout feeling where you're just trying to keep up with the day-to-day? I hate when I get to these moments in the school year because it takes the fun out of school for me and my students.


My countdown to holiday breaks in on, but I need some "pick me up" ideas to get me back into the school spirit? Any ideas!?!?

 | Last comment: Apr 21, 2013 at 5:08pm
Participation slump

Help! Participation in my class has hit a slump and I need to get things going again.


As we get closer to finals, it seems like everyone is just burnt out and uninterested. What can I do to make these last few weeks before break count?

 | Last comment: Apr 17, 2013 at 3:55pm
Sticking to New Years Resolutions

Next year, I want to come back to my classroom with new years resolutions that might actually stick.


Every year, I pretend I'll stay on top of my grading and never lose my temper and all the things you say when you start a term (it's like the weight loss regiment that starts every Jan. 1 and last until about January 7th), but I'm trying to come up with creative ways to keep it going through the year.


I'm thinking of setting monthly goals and putting them as meeting/alarms in my work email. Maybe just quick notes to refresh my positive attitude, like quoting nice things my students wrote in their Christmas cards or a goal for that school day/week.


What do you think are some good goals to include?

 | Last comment: Apr 17, 2013 at 12:41pm
To Teach Summer School or NOT to teach summer school?

That is the question...With the end of the year at hand, I'm dying for a break from the little ones. I just got offered a slot teaching summer school and I can't decide if I should take it. On the one hand, it's only a half day and it's the best part-time pay around, but I feel like it'll be better for my mental well-being if I take a break from teaching for a few months. What should I do?

 | Last comment: Apr 15, 2013 at 11:34pm

Are you celebrating 09/09/09 in school today? I think I might jump my math lesson to focus on that number just for fun!

 | Last comment: Apr 14, 2013 at 6:47pm
Candy in the Classroom

Are you allowed to have candy in your classroom for Halloween?Every year, we usually do a fun project where we make Halloween treats like popcorn balls or something. A memo went around saying no candy this year because of the school's I understand we need to promote healthy living, but stealing Halloween is over the top, right? I feel like the grinch is stealing one of my favorite holidays. On a more positive note, any ideas for crafts or healthier themed snacks to keep the tradition alive?

 | Last comment: Apr 13, 2013 at 11:31pm
Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!Have your students, administrators or parents done anything to celebrate?

 | Last comment: Jun 03, 2011 at 5:38pm


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