Teaching Is Problem Solving

Some great ideas from Toni’s classroom

by Rob Schoen | February 12, 2018
Blog

We spent some time in Toni Laughrey’s classroom in December. She had so many creative ideas in play in her classroom, we thought we just had to share some here. Here are a few of our favorites.

Using a chalkboard-painted surface in the classroom.

Support collaborative work and communication with a chalkboard table. Toni turned an old table into a chalkboard table with some chalkboard paint. This provided a great space where we saw teachers and students working collaboratively. Chalkboard paint is available at many department and home improvements stores, and prices range from $6-$15. Here’s one site we found to create both a table and then tips on painting it.

Greet your students with fun, individualized notes they can’t miss. Toni used a dry-erase marker to write encouraging notes to her students directly on their desks. What a great way to boost morale! Dry erase markers are widely available, in a local department store or office supply store. Here’s an example of another teacher sharing motivational notes with her students as well!

Who says you can’t write on your desk? Toni turned her desk into a whiteboard desk! She used it to lay out the plan for the day for the substitute teacher, but this can be a great way to leave notes for yourself, too! Did you know there’s dry erase paint? Check out how this couple transformed an old desk into one with a dry erase surface. Dry erase paint is available from several manufacturers, so check out your local home improvement store – there are also rolls of dry erase material you could apply to your desk as well!

Individualized notes for students using dry erase markers
Transforming a desk into a whiteboard surface

What creative ideas have your students enjoyed? Do you have any tips for our T.I.P.S. (Teaching is Problem Solving) readers? Share in the comments, on our Facebook page, or on Twitter!


Robert C. Schoen, Ph.D., is the Associate Director of LSI’s Florida Center for Research in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (FCR–STEM), as well as the founder and director of Teaching is Problem Solving. His research involves mathematical cognition, the mathematical education of teachers, the development and validation of educational and psychological measurement instruments, and evaluation of the effectiveness of educational interventions.