Teacher Tip Tuesday!!!

I'm so happy to link up with Hadar at Miss Kindergarten for her Teacher Tips linky!!!! 

Who can't use more teacher tips, right?!!?!? Especially from some amazing teachers and bloggers out there!!! I know I can!!!!!

This is one of the oldest tricks in the book, but I absolutely love it... 


Everyday, we spend the last five minutes of class time cleaning. Everyone has a job. Everyone. And everyone knows what they need to do- the "Germ Control" kids cleans off grimy tables with wipes, "Supply Managers" make sure all of the table caddies are super nice and neat, "Librarians" make sure our classroom library is nice and neat, the "Pencil Girl" collects all of the pencils to take home and sharpen and have ready for the next day!!! You can read about that tip HERE! And everyone else looks for the SECRET TRASH!!! I heart Secret Trash!!! I pick one or two pieces of "secret" trash on the floor and the kids get busy busy on their hands and knees trying to find it! They have two minutes, and at the end of the two minutes, I announce who found the Secret Trash!!!! Sooooooo exciting!!!! Right?!!?! They sure think it is. I think I need a sign that says Keep Calm and Play Secret Trash... And let me tell you, by the end of Secret Trash it looks like our carpet just got vacuumed! And I can sleep at night knowing I don't have to come into a messy floor the next morning. And the night custodian loves us. And we would probably win the award for cleanest floor at the end of the day. And maybe I should just create an award and give it the night custodian to hand out. And he'll definitely give it to us because we deserve it. :-)  (Like Monica on FRIENDS... and her gold star in cooking class 101... anyone...????)  

Here's a little glimpse into our classroom during the last five minutes of school.....

Notice all the kiddies on the floor!!!!! 

Love it.

And this can be a handy dandy little tip for those kiddos who are working on their fine motor skills (i.e. handwriting that looks like chicken scratch with nospaceswhatsoever and R's that look like S's and H's that look like G's...) Is it just me that has these little friends....??? I hope not... There have been so many days during our writing block when I see my friends have done some amazing writing! They can read their writing to me (even when I can't figure out for the life of me what it says) and the content is there!!!! I don't always have time to write what it says underneath because let's be honest here... there are 27 of them and only 1 of me... But by the next day, my little friend forgot what it says and I sure can't figure it out either...rats!!!


Not anymore! We've managed to get around this problem with my iPhone (or iPod or iPad or i whatever that we can record with!). I have them record themselves reading their writing with Voice Memos and viola! We have it there so the next day (and days later) we can figure out what it says! Quick and easy when you can't always be there! I even have a small group of friends who know they need to do this before they put their writing folders away! 

Thanks for hosting this wonderful linky Hadar!!!!



  1. Hi Sandy - I like the recording idea. I always get a chuckle when one of my first graders is reading back to me what they wrote in their journal and they look at me like what does the rest say? Hello! I have no idea either. LOL Greta idea! 2 more days till my break...WHOO-HOO! Miss you and hope all is well. :o)
    Traditions, Laughter and Happily Ever After

  2. I love the secret trash! Thanks so much for sharing! Check out my blog if you get a chance!
    Second Grade is Out of This World

  3. Hahaha! I LOVE the secret trash!! We call it the "Magic Scrap". :) You are not the only one with handwriting friends, either! Great idea to use voice memos, Sandy!

    Second Grade Sparkle

  4. I love that all your kiddos have specific end of the day jobs!

  5. Holy Cow! How have we never thought or heard of "Secret Trash!" Simply genius! And love the idea of them reading their writing. We crack ourselves up when we go to read their writing later and make up our own sentences to try and match their printing. Fabulous tips Sandy!
    ~Christy & Tammy
    Fluttering Through First Grade

  6. Secret trash!! Love it!! Thanks for sharing! =) We're your newest followers!
    -Jackie and Danielle-
    Sister Teachers

  7. Ah, I have one of those indecipherable writers. What a good idea to use a recorder.

  8. Wow, I'm so happy I read this! I can't believe I have never heard of Secret Trash.. I really could have used that game when I taught Pre-K and Kindergarten a couple years ago! I'll have to try it with my 3rd graders soon. I also love the idea of using the recorder for students with "interesting" handwriting. I definitely have one kid in mind! Thanks for the tips!!

    The Resource Room Teacher