study skills

Using vehicles to create student interest in math and Language Arts
by National Hall of Fame Teacher Alan Haskvitz

Using vehicles is an excellent way to motivate students and to help ready them for real life buying decisions. The following links deal with the various manufactures where students can write for information, obtain pricing information and to harvest compare and contrast data for Common Core related essays.

A listing of all DMV offices.
Finding the office that deals with your state and others can provide information on how old one needs to be to drive as well as the various license fee data that could be used for Common Core math problems. I have used driver manuals to motivate students to read.

Data on fuel economy
This federal site would enable students to select a variety of vehicles and there fuel mileage. This could be used for math as well as to provide statistics for an essay on the best or worst type of vehicles in terms of fuel costs.

A link site to manufacturers who sell cars in America

A listing of vehicle websites worldwide

National Motorists Association
A great source of information on driving and the law.

A listing of car value prices
A good place to find statistics for math problems about the prices of cars and motorcycles.

Where cars are made by location
Great way to teach geography.

Templates to create PowerPoint Learning Games and more
by Alan Haskvitz

An excellent way to provide remediation or for differentiate learning. These sites have easy to use templates to make classroom games using your own subject matter.

Collection from a teacher

Large collection from school district

Lots of links and Jeopardy styles games, too

Weakest link and more style games

These sites offer free music and sounds to spice up your presentations

Free sound effects

Large Link Site




Free Music Archive

Powerpoint rubric idea

Great PowerPoint selection for textbook on Ancient World,7361,592970-,00.html

Ideas for students who finish early

by National Hall of Fame Teacher Alan Haskvitz

One of the most consistent problems for teachers is the decision of what to offer students who finish their work early. In could be as simple and unrewarding as more work or as motivating as solving problems that are related to the assignment or what has been studied in class. Regardless, the work that has been completed needs to be checked for accuracy to make sure the objectives of the lesson were reached. Another area of concern is that the activity does not disturb other students and is not so attractive that students rush through their work to participate. Also be aware that students who don’t finish rapidly may resent those that do and so the activities should not be considered “fun” but provide more depth to the lesson.

A little bit more time intensive is to offer the students a chance to write a letter for information to a state or national travel agency or even a sports team and ask for a decal or other item. The teacher needs to proofread the letter, but they can be sent be email or regular mail. Here is a list of sports teams:

Have an appropriate jigsaw for them to work on individually or as a team. When these are completed they can be glued together and framed and given to the students as gifts at the end of the year.

Depending on he grade level, have appropriate reading books. In each book is a card and the students need to answer the questions on the card and give it to you when they have finished. The questions should include fact based questions, but just as importantly, they should have opinion questions such as , “What do you think the heroes most important decision was?” They hand the card to the teacher who keeps it in a file. At the end of the year the teacher hands back the cards to the students so that can add to their reading file in subsequent years.

Another good approach is to have the students work on word games or puzzles. There are a great many and here are some links to such printables. Students can also create crossword puzzles for other students as well using the subject matter being covered in class.

Allowing students time to finish homework is a frequently used option, but

Working on breaking a code. For younger learners:

click on Chiefs of State. Use search engine word “codes” and when the list comes up click on code one. The site has five codes and answers.

File games are another good activity. Here is an abundant listing of ideas:
Some bulletin board ideas

Create an online book

They can use provided artwork and write their own stories and keep them online. Preview work first.

Have the students listen to stories done by professional readers. Have students use headphones and write a summary

Write and post a book review on a bulletin board is another idea that works for all grade levels. But,  read them first.

List of ideas for early finishers

Sites for students who finish early

For younger students

Teachers and Classroom Discipline

by Alan Haskvitz

National Teachers Hall of Fame

Classroom discipline if probably the most difficult thing for a teacher to master. However, although it may be tiresome there are a few rules that might provide help. First, don’t be a buddy. Secondly, contact the parents frequently for all reasons, good and bad. Third, talk with other teachers about your concerns. It is not a sign of weakness to ask for ideas. Fourth, avoid putting a student or yourself in a corner. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask administration for help. This all sounds so easy, but it never is and there are many times when you go home and can’t leave your work at school. I suggest you check out the stress sites below as well as keep a diary of what happens each day at school, good or not so good. At the end of the school year take a look at what you have written. It may reveal some insights into what worked and what didn’t but more importantly it might just reveal that you may have let a few bad days nullify a lot of bright ones.

Here are some good resources that provide a lot of valuable ideas.

Stress sites

New Teacher Help

Resources for teachers in all areas

Horace Mann offers valuable services in case of an assault

What is your classroom management style?

Take the test.

How to use your time between classes and in the classroom to help control problems.

Set limits

How to use your voice and body to control classes.

Teaching responsibility

Dr. Mac’s site

You must go here and see the oodles of ideas,

Over 400 links to behavior and class management sites

How to make rules

Dealing with the student who does not care

An excellent review of the literature. Check out the summary and what works and does not work.

Controlling escalating behavior problems and possible interventions

Avoiding verbal confrontations

Some good insights from a young teacher including grading ideas.

Ways to check your program and see if it is working

You can handle them all

A terrific site with over 100 potential behavior problems and ides on how to handle them.

Example of letter sent home at start of year.

A nice compilation of information from setting up the classroom to meeting with parents.

Importance of time on task

School safety links

Advise from veteran teachers.

No holds barred here.

Huge array of classroom management links

Ideas about bathroom breaks

Talking about sex in a non-health classroom

Class rules

Examples for each grade level.

Ten activities for creating classroom rules

Information on bullying

Large selection about dealing with bullying

Positive Reinforcement site

Has examples and a quiz.

Rules for working with Paraeducators

Teachers’ organization provides information on behavior and when to contact an attorney.

How to document student behavior


Management problems for children with special traits such as ADD

Classroom adjustments for special education

Working with shy students

Frequently asked questions

Classroom Management and Discipline Sites

Classroom Discipline Help

Tips for new teachers

Student discipline and the new teacher

An interesting article about the frustrations of teaching, especially without a good preparation program.

General articles from teachers

Teachers are always the best sources for information on student discipline.

American Federation of Teachers

Suggestions and tips

Teacher to teacher suggestions

Short slide show on essence of student discipline

Suggested Reading List

Good start for setting up a program

Research on Discipline

Simplified explanation of needed steps to follow

Guide to School Discipline

An example of a school district code

From Canada: A Zero Tolerance Program

Washington State Booklet for Parents

Excellent collection of teacher ideas and articles

Free Educational Games


National Motivational Speaker


For more free online educational games go to

Multiplayer Education Games
Primary Games in math, English, and identification

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