These are some truly great ideas from creative teachers all over the USA. They are super "insider tips," terrific teacher "tricks of the trade!"

If you have a Teacher Tip, please e-mail me at and be sure to add your name, grade you teach and state you live in. (If possible a photo would be great!)

Boo Boo Lotion


Use “Boo Boo Lotion” along with your “Boo Boo Binder” to make minor “owies” feel better fast! Take small bottles of lotion you get from hotels and put a Boo Boo label on them. Place them in a basket next to your sink and when a child has a minor injury they can but a little Boo Boo lotion on it to make it feel better. Thank you Cindy Yaverski of Crete, Illinois for this great idea!


Super Scents or "Smellies"

Use scented chap sticks or lip balms from the dollar store to reward children for doing a “Scentsational” job! Simply rub a little lip balm on a super child’s hand and they can smell it all morning. The scent lasts a lot longer than scratch and sniff stickers! Try: Super student strawberry or I’m proud of you pina colada! Thank you, Stephanie Noland for sharing this idea at the National K conference in Florida.


Sight Word Name Necklaces

Use a plastic name badge and glue beads or jewels around the edges. E-600 glue works best. Place the word of the week inside the badge. As the children walk in the classroom have them read your word, when children ask you to tie their shoes or give a push on the swings, have them read the word! You can even make two and have your “special person of the week” wear it too! Thank you, Pam Peters from Lakewood, California for this darling idea.


Toilet Paper Roll Cell Phones

Take empty toilet paper rolls and cut two slits and push down the center. (See photo) decorate with paint or markers. Add a key pad for the numbers available in my book,  Soaring Into Space. Slide in a bendable straw for an antenna. I use this project when teaching telephone numbers or during my space unit for space phones. Add a label with the child’s phone number to the back of the phone. Thank you, Tere Fieldson from Los Alamitos, California for this fun tip!


Hershey Bar Measuring

Did you know Hershey bars are exactly one inch long? They are a fun way to introduce measuring to your children. Thank you to C.C. Bates of Atlanta Georgia for this fun idea. My kindergartener’s loved measuring (and eating) with the chocolates. For more fun math ideas see my books Musical Math and the Calendar and Beyond.  


Kiss Your Brain Book

After singing "Dr. Jean’s Kiss Your Brain" song, Vanessa Levin of Carrollton Texas makes this darling classbook. A wonderful way to greet your children each morning!


Wake Up The Word Families

My good friend Kim Adsit of Warner Robbins Georgia shared this darling idea. I came right home and made it! Paint a house on a cookie sheet (see photo) place magnetic letters in the windows to “wake up” the word families. If you are interested in more fun phonemic awareness activities, try my books Phonemic Awareness Songs and Rhymes for Winter Spring and Fall! To purchase a cookie sheet like this contact Jamie at



Shower Curtain Twister

This fun teacher tip comes from Tawyna Powers of Oldsmar Florida. Take a clear shower curtain that has pockets on it. Place ABC cards (capital and lowercase) in the pockets. Children step on the matching pairs. Try rhyming picture cards, color words and pictures, numbers, shapes , whatever you can think of! Purchase the curtain at The Great Indoors (


Questions or comments?
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