teaching exchange...
Download this teaching method and its components to your desktop computer. You can save these files to your desktop computer, then edit them, print them, or sync them to your handheld to use in the classroom!

Your handheld can automatically convert Word or Excel files into Pocket versions. See Mindsurf Networks Handhelp for further downloading or syncing instructions.

Download Teaching Method

Download Method 1:
Agenda Template

Download Method 2:
Vocabulary Quiz

Download Method 2:
Multiple Choice Quiz

Download Method 3:
Checklist Template

Download Method 4:
Homework Template

Five for Five: How to Gain Five More Minutes of Teaching Time Per Class

Ever wondered how you might steal time from the administrative part of running your classroom so you could have more time to teach? Just try any one of the following Mindsurf Methods to discover extra minutes in your day-or better yet, use all five.

Grade Level(s)

Standards Connections
National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) for Teachers (International Society for Technology in Education), Standard V. Productivity and Professional Practice/C. Apply technology to increase productivity.

Mindsurf Methods
Instant Agendas
Walk-In Warm-Ups
Work Group Checklists
Homework Handling
Mind the Time

Mindsurf Method 1: Instant Agendas
Even when you write the class period agenda on the board, students somehow miss seeing it. Here's how to bring it to their attention.
  1. On your handheld, go to File Explorer and create a new file called Agendas.
  2. Download the Agenda Template and save it in the Templates folder on your handheld.
  3. Go to Programs>Pocket Word. Select Tools>Options and choose the Agenda Template as your Default Template.
  4. Each day before class, launch Pocket Word and this agenda template will open. Modify it to reflect the day's class activities.
  5. Go to Tools>Save Document As. On the Save As screen that opens up, type the class name and date [e.g., Algebra101-Feb15] as the Name, and choose Agendas as the Folder. Click OK.
  6. As your first two students file in, beam the day's agenda to them (along with the Walk-In Warm-Up from Method 2 and the Work Group Checklist from Method 3, if you are using these). Each student can beam the worksheet to two more students until everyone has the file(s) on the handheld.
  7. Each student should then take his or her seat and review the agenda for one minute before beginning the first activity.
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Mindsurf Method 2: Walk-In Warm-Ups
Get your students focused on learning right away with a quick handheld activity, such as a quiz, brainteaser, or instant essay question. Here's how:
  1. On your handheld, go to Programs, select File Explorer, and touch Edit>New Folder to create a new folder. Name this folder Warm-Ups.
  2. Download the sample warm-up activities into the folder. The Vocabulary Quiz Template and the Multiple Choice Quiz Template include several basic activities/quizzes that you can modify to fit your daily needs.
  3. Before your class begins, open one of these templates, modify it for that day's activity and Save As a unique file name, incorporating the date (e.g., Quiz-Feb15) in your Warm-Ups folder.
  4. See Method 1, Step 6 for instructions on beaming the warm-up to students as they come in the door.
  5. Let students work for 2-4 minutes after class officially begins, then have them save their work under a unique file name (e.g., Quiz-021001[StudentName]).
  6. Collect work by having each student beam his or her documents to your handheld. You can review the completed warm-ups as students proceed with the next activity.
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Mindsurf Method 3: Work Group Checklists
A self-assessment checklist can help keep student work groups focused on correctly completing the tasks at hand.
  1. On your handheld, go to Programs, select File Explorer, and select Edit>New Folder to create a new folder. Name this folder Checklists.
  2. Download the Checklist Template and save it in the Checklists folder on your handheld.
  3. Before each class in which you'll use group activities, launch Pocket Excel, select Checklists, and open the Checklist Template. Modify the checklist to reflect the day's group activity.
  4. Go to Tools>Save Workbook As. On the Save As screen, type in Checklist[date] as the Name, and choose Checklists as the folder. Click OK.
  5. When your students have formed their work groups, beam one member of each group (the designated recorder) the checklist. This student will be responsible for recording the group's progress on each task-including the group's self-assessment of its work.
  6. At the end of group work, each group should verify its completed checklist, then go to Tools>Save Workbook As, and add the group name to the file name.
  7. The group should then beam the checklist to you for consideration as you hear the group's report or assess its final product.
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Mindsurf Method 4: Homework Handling
Streamline homework management by using the tools on your handheld-and your students' handhelds-to create and deliver homework assignments.
  1. On your handheld, go to Programs, select File Explorer, and select Edit>New Folder to create a new folder. Name this folder Homework.
  2. Put an inbox on the corner of your desk or attach it to the wall near the door for printouts or other hard-copy work.
  3. Download the Homework Template document into the Homework folder. This is a basic Pocket Word document that you can modify for your daily needs.
  4. Before each class-or once a week, if you know in advance what the week's homework assignments will be-open the Homework Template in File Explorer> Homework, type in details of the assignment, and go to Tools>Save Document As. Name the document for the day it is due.
  5. At the end of class, when it is time to give your students their homework assignment, you can beam the appropriate document to them (following the pattern in Method 1, Step 6).
  6. The next class period, you can have students beam their homework to you as they walk in the door or when they turn in their warm-ups. At the same time, have them turn in any hard-copy work to your hard-copy inbox.
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Mindsurf Method 5: Mind the Time
Here's a surefire way to keep your students-and yourself-on schedule during class.
  1. On your handheld, choose Settings>System. Click on Clock.
  2. On the Alarms tab, check the first box.
  3. Tap on Description and type Time to Work.
  4. Choose the days of your class by tapping them.
  5. Tap the time, and set it for exactly five minutes after your class begins (or however much time you want to allow for all warm-ups and preliminaries). You can set the time by moving the hands of the clock or choosing the time from the drop-down menu.
  6. Tap on the bell symbol, and choose the type of alarm you want. Definitely choose a sound, but you may also want to Display message and Flash light.
  7. Repeat this process for a Wrap-Up alarm five minutes before the end of class.
  8. If you want students to keep their own time, guide them through the process of setting these same alarms on their handhelds...but you may want them to turn the Play sound off to avoid cacophony!
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