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Best Idea Ever: Sharpening the Punch Line



Education World's Best Idea Ever feature highlights a favorite teacher-tested idea designed to help you teach a lesson, manage a classroom, communicate with parents, impress colleagues and administrators—and amaze them all with your energy and creativity! 


Is your morning pencil-sharpening routine cutting into your day? Is the disruption worse before quizzes and tests? Try this stress-reducing tip:

"Before quizzes and tests, I found that the line for the pencil sharpener was longer than usual. I couldn't talk over the noise of the sharpener, which turned the beginning of class into a disorganized waste of time, and added to the stress level of students who were nervous about the test. To use that wasted time and help students de-stress, I now ask them to wait until after attendance for pencil-sharpening/joke telling time. I make any announcements or instructions needed at the beginning of class, and then announce that students have 45 seconds to get their pencils sharpened and to tell their neighbors a funny joke. Now, pencil sharpeners hurry back to their seats so they can hear or tell a joke. When time's up, I invite one student to share his or her joke. We all laugh and start the quiz on a relaxed note. And I've reduced the time it takes to start a quiz!"


Suggested by: Melinda Jurus

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