Quality Educator






Strategies for any Subject

Teachers, I have used each of these strategies in my classroom (some more than others) and found them all to be successful. I encourage you to find something new here and try it. Use the resources listed or email me if you have questions.

What is it? How to do it How it helps Further resources
  • Copy a text and tape the pages together to form a horizontal scroll.
  • Have students mark blocks of text using markers, highlighters, and/or colored pencils.
  • Further mark the scroll to emphasize what matches your teaching objectives, such as key vocabulary or cause and effect.
  • Scrolls can be mounted on butcher paper for more extensive note-taking or summarizing.
  • Accommodates visual and kinesthetic learners
  • Shows how text features such as subheadings, captions, and diagrams help readers by connecting them to the text they are related to
  • Motivation -- presenting text in the scroll format is novel and motivating
Flyswatter Game
  • Project "answers" on the board (or write them).
  • Divide students into two teams, giving each a different colored flyswatter.
  • Have one representative from each team at the board.
  • Call out a question and the first to swat the correct answer earns a point for their team.
  • I've used this to practice or review material, including math facts, vocabulary, and locations on a map.
Gestures and Mini-lectures
  • Make up a gesture or action to go along with a key concept or vocabulary term.
  • Teach the students and have them repeat back to you with the gesture. (Insist on 100% participation!)
  • Have students "teach" a partner.
  • Increasing the number of times and ways students encounter a word or concept increases their retention
  • Forcing students to teach each other what they've just learned from you every 3-5 minutes keeps them engaged.
  • Accommodates kinesthetic and interpersonal intelligences
  • Give students a writing assignment specifying the Role, Audience, Format, and Topic (or options for those areas).
  • Facilitates understanding of various viewpoints
  • Great for content area writing
Graphic Organizers
  • Have your students fill out a graphic organizer before, during, or after an activity.
  • You can give students a copy or have them create their own.
  • Find just a few you like and use them repeatedly so your students focus on the information, not the new picture.
  • Easily organizes information
  • Helpful for visual learners
  • Can become a great pre-writing tool
Collection of Graphic Organizers from TeacherVision
  • Similar to graphic organizers, have your students record and organizer information using a folded paper format.
  • Folding paper is motivating
  • Information stays organized
  • When used for study, kids have to manipulate the information, engaging their senses.
Foldables from Catawba County Schools
Accountable Talk
  • Teach kids one or two accountable talk strategies at a time.
  • Post sentence stems for reference.
  • Monitor discussions, tracking student use of talk strategies with checklists.
  • Sentence stems give all students a starting point for communicating their thoughts.
  • Facilitates learning in a social, cooperative way without letting it become socializing
I created these Accountable Talk Posters.
Choice Boards/Menus      
Kagan Structures
  • Structure cooperative learning to engage all children
  • Provides easy-to-use structures
  • Prevents "We're in groups- now what?" syndrome
Kagan Structures PowerPoint
  • Create a rubric for a project by starting with observable descriptors of an A project. Then lower the quality for lower scoring projects.
  • Show the class the rubric when giving the assignment (or create it with the class).
  • Design rubrics with an even-numbered scoring system, so it's less tempting give the middle score. I prefer a 4-point scale.
  • When students know what an A project looks like, they're more likely to strive for and achieve it.
  • Rubrics provide support for student grades.
  • Rubrics can allow for more projects and performance assessment.

  • Write one numbered question on each of a set of note cards.
  • Place one card on each student desk.
  • Have students number their paper and write the answer to the question on their desk.
  • After a certain amount of time, call out, "Scoot!" Students then rotate to a new place and answer that question. Continue until students have completed the rotation.
  • Movement is brain-friendly.
  • More motivating than a worksheet
  • Given a topic, fill in an alphabet grid with related words.
  • Can be done individually or as a class
  • Can be used before, during, and after reading
  • Great alternate for a KWL for a social studies or science unit
Alphabet Grid