5 Teaching Ideas To Transform Your Classroom Now!

Here are my five favorite ideas from the book Teach Like a Champion by Doug Lemov and Norman Atkins.  I highly recommend reading this book.  It has quick to implement suggestions that will make a huge difference in the classroom.

#5.     Exit Ticket

The Exit Ticket is a very short and quick way of checking students’ understanding right at the end of class.  It can be a single question or a couple of quick problems to solve.  The Exit Ticket should be used to guide instruction and inform the teacher if the class is ready to go on the next day or if there needs to be reteaching done first.

#4.     Cold Call

Cold Calling is when the teacher calls on all students, even if their hand is not up.  It is great for keeping student attention.  It can even be used to ask the same student multiple questions in a row.  I have had the most luck with this by having the entire class keep their hands down (which is suggested in the book).

#3.     100%

This is a necessity in all classrooms.  Unfortunately, many teachers don’t realize its importance.  100% is the minimum requirement of participation and cooperation in the classroom.  When I give a direction, I will wait until all students are following it before going on.  This shows the class that I will not tolerate any student choosing to disregard what I say.  This one little step makes a huge difference in classroom discipline.

#2.     Directions

Stand still when you are giving directions.  It gives them importance and makes the students focus on what you are saying instead of what you are doing.

#1.     Format Matters

This one encompasses quite a lot, so I will just go over my favorite parts.  When students are giving answers, require the correct format.  That may be requiring them to correct their grammar or requiring them to add the label to the number of a math problem.

I truly hope you get the chance to read this book.  I came away with a wealth of knowledge and have implemented quite a lot of the suggestions in my classroom with great success.  What teacher resource books have you found helpful?

Joy  🙂

BINGO for Numbers 1-25

There are times I feel bad for my 5-year-old, Chase.  It must be annoying having a teacher for a mom!  I can’t even list all of the times I’ve gone into “teacher-mode” when talking with him or when planning games for us to play…or when buying gifts.

Last night is a perfect example.  For his last birthday, I persuaded his great-grandma to give him a BINGO game (with the cage and balls).  I then removed all of the balls whose number was greater than 25 and made boards with the numbers from 1 through 25 on them.  He is making great progress identifying numbers up to 25.  We are still working on the “teens”, but this is an easy and fun way to practice.

I love playing BINGO with my students and I prefer to create my own games.  I like for every board to have every possible answer.  That way all of the kids are participating and practicing the selected skill for the duration of the game.  It eliminates down time during play.

I promised everyone a freebie, so I am posting the BINGO game I made for Chase for you to download and play.  You will only need to provide chips or markers of some sort to use for marking the cards.  I only created these in black and white so that they could be printed on colored cardstock and laminated.  I find that is much cheaper and easier than printing with color.

Click on the picture above to download the free game.  I greatly appreciate feedback (especially positive – :P).

I also have a version for sale in my Teacher Pay Teachers store that includes tally marks and number words for even more fun BINGO practice!
Have a great day!

Joy : )


Well, my classroom has been entirely boxed up (62 + boxes) and is now waiting to be moved to a different elementary building in my district.  My district is switching from K-3 buildings with one building for 4-5 to all elementary buildings being K-5.  I love the idea of neighborhood schools.  And the best part?  I get to begin at a new building along with my Kindergartener! 

Of course, that can’t be the only change I am anticipating.  I am also expecting my second little bundle of joy (he he…sorry about the pun!).  This little one should arrive at the beginning of September.  Since school in my district starts in late August, I have great concerns about having my room ready and some sort of sub plans ready to go before this babe shows up! 

Right now I am working on brainstorming ideas for next year.  Stay tuned for some freebies for you to download and use!

Joy : )