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Mustard, Mayo, and Ketchup Folders, Quick-Writes, and other tidbits…

Mustard, Mayo, and Ketchup Folders— While attending a workshop a few weeks ago a fellow attendee shared this–

  • Mustard folder– contains assignments, activities, etc. that students must do.
  • Mayo folder– contains assignments and activities that students may do– think extension and remediation activities. Like creating a non-linguistic representation, establishing relevance to real life, creating a learning map, etc.
  • Ketchup folder– contains assignments and activities that students need to catch-up on.

Maybe a student has been absent? Or needs some remediation or extra practice of a certain topic or area of study? I didn’t catch the name of the lovely teacher that shared this idea, and I have no idea who to credit with creating this, but it struck me as a potentially useful set-up. I know this might be tough to utilize with the 150 eighth graders that you might see each day, so maybe think about trying it out on a smaller scale. Do you have an RTI group that you work with? Or a group of kiddos that struggles with time management or organization?

Quick-Writes Build Up— We know that “quick-writes” are a great total participation technique for students to process information during a lesson. This idea is so simple. When asking students to quick-write–

  • Begin with students writing on a Post-It. Their response will have to be short and sweet for the sheer reason that there is little space to write. Maybe 1 minute on the timer?
  • Feeling pretty good about their responses after a few of those? Move up to notecards. Still small, still not so intimidating, but providing more space to write a little more. 3 minutes on the timer?
  • Then move on to half sheets of paper when you feel like they are really rockin’ this quick-write thing. Baby steps. 5 minutes this time?

My thought is that this could even be done in backwards order during a unit. What do you think about giving students time to fill a half sheet, once you really think they have a handle on the content, and then working down to notecards and Post-its to refine their summaries? Now students will need to pull out the “meat” of the content.

Group Supply Management Idea— Managing supplies in a classroom can really make or break how smoothly a class period runs. It’s all in the little things. Take a look at this idea–
Science teacher in my building, Jake Burskey, uses a method for allowing students to get needed supplies when working in groups. He provides a “chip clip” for each group. When a student needs to get up and get a supply, he or she must wear the clip. This makes sure that only one student is up and moving from the group at a time.

YA Books to Movies— Here are a few YA books to movies, coming out in 2017, that you might recommend to students in search of something to read. There is nothing better than following up a good book with a movie comparison!

  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  • The Death Cure by James Dashner– The ending to The Maze Runner series.
  • Allegiant by Veronica Roth– The book is being broken up into two movies with the first being called Ascendant.
  • An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir


Instructional coach and former art teacher on the hunt for tips, tricks, strategies, and knowledge to pass along.

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