Each day, the Art teachers in my school leave easels outside of their rooms with instructions to let their students know what is expected of them once they get into the classroom. A typical message might read:

"It's Amazing Monday! Super artists, meet quietly on the rug, so we can continue our discussion of Post-Cubist lithographers"

(Or something like that.)

Anyway, it it only took me eight years to realize that this would be a very useful tool in the 8th Grade. About seventy-two times each day, I have students ask me what blocks they need to go to and what they will need when they get there. About two months ago, I posted this mini-whiteboard on the door to my classroom with all that information.

Has it solved the whole "Mr.FladdwhatblockisitandwhatdoIneedtobring?" problem?


Has it helped?


I found an old mini-whiteboard in my MightBeUsefulSomeday cupboard.

I glued two magnetic strips onto the back with a hot-glue gun, which worked reasonably well. The only problem was that I can't glue fast enough to coat the whole strip at once before some of the glue cools too much to attach firmly. After a week or two, the strips started to pull away from the back of the board.

I solved this problem with our old friend, KrazyGlue.

It's not pretty, but it works. (The runny, nasty, ugly glue blotches face the door anyway.)

The magnetic strips hold the messageboard onto my steel door. (I learned pretty quickly that I need to hang it pretty high up. Students in my Homeroom like to lean agains the door and they kept rubbing the message off the board.)


I just bought this new toy at the teacher supply store while I was shopping for my gigantic, oversized gradebook.

It is SO cool!

It is called the EZ Grader. Granted, it doesn't have any wires or cables or cool graphics. It's not a Version 1.3 or 2.0 or anything-point-anything. Tragically, it doesn't even have a spokesmodel.

It simply helps you calculate grade percentages based on the number of questions wrong out of a given total. You slide a card back and forth in its cover until you get to the appropriate number of possible points for your test or quiz, and blammo, you've got all your possible grades laid out in front of you.

It's even simpler than the Hello Kitty calculator I've been using for the past couple of years since I found it abandoned in a desk during exam week.

Sometimes, the best technology is the simplest technology.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to make a little pocket for my new friend inside the cover of my gigantic, oversized gradebook.