Over to you: Hints from teachers

Penny trick

Tape a penny to the underside of your staple gun when putting up displays. This will prevent the staples from going into the wall too far, and will make it much easier to remove the staples when you take down your display. It will also save you from those awful cuts you get from prying them out of the walls.

Louisa Green

Big dice

Use square tissue boxes to make dice: cover each side with plain paper and add spots, numbers, letters, colours, pictures, words, instructions, names, and so on. Safe to throw and useful in learning games, PE, circle times and when taking turns or choosing partners fairly. Sides can be re-covered easily for new use and, when they fall apart, they are easy to replace.

Debbie Chalmers

Hands down

To focus the class when I am asking questions, I don't let them put up their hands. Instead, I use a deck of cards that has each child's name written on it. The children don't know who will be asked next, so they have to listen to every question. This helps to prevent relying on those who normally focus well, or avoiding those who you think might not know the answer.

Shane Rae

* We will pay pound;30 for each tip printed. Send brief ideas for teaching, admin or how to cope in school to TES Primary, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1W 1BX, or e-mail primary@tes.co.uk. Please include your full name and school or home address.

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