When I was substituting as a teacher or a teaching assistant, a question would sometimes come up that we did not have the answer to. I developed this LUL or Look Up Later form which can be filled out by a student at the time of the question, but looked up later during a lull. The look up can be performed using a web browser either individually by the student, or as a group activity for the class. Once the answer has been found, the LUL form is completed and posted or presented to the class.
When I was long term substituting for a teaching assistant in a 4th grade classroom, I noticed that the students would play black jack and/or poker during their snack break. I decided to develop a game that the students would enjoy playing while learning at the same time. The students were learning number place values and were working with large numbers in the millions. The game is called FAMOU$ MILLIONAIRE$. It is based on a game that was in the math resource book, but I modified it so that the students would play the game as groups of famous millionaires (Business Moguls, Sports Stars, Movie Stars, etc.) hoping that it would interest them. The PDF contains playing mats and scoring sheets. You will need to be able to print on 11"X17" paper to print the game.
One day when I was substitute teaching in a special ed classroom, a teacher asked me if I would enlarge a workbook page on the copier for one of her students. I showed her how she could quickly create custom worksheets using Microsoft Excel. This file is very much like the one I created for her that day, but it also automatically creates an answer page too. I am working on the next version which will allow the user to create subtraction and multiplication worksheets too.
This is an image of an antique map of North and South America from 1780. I was working as a teaching assistant in a 4th grade classroom and I used this to give the students an idea of what maps looked like when they were hand drawn and developed without sophisticated equipment.
A couple of years ago I was asked by a neighbor to help out with the local elementary schools book fair which had a rocketry theme because one of my hobbies is building and launching model rockets. The school had a student body of over 800 students and a little table with some model rockets would not make much of an impression. I decided to call NASA and local aeronautical firms to see if I could have someone come with demonstration materials such as a space suit or something along those lines. Unfortunately I had very little notice and there was not enough time to arrange something like that. I came up with the idea to host a NASA film festival. The film festival required very little funds because I was able to acquire the video tapes from a local NASA Educator Resource Center (see my links page for a list of locations by state) and I projected the videos using the schools equipment. Between the short videos we had a question and answer session and students who participated were awarded with prizes (freeze dried space ice cream). You can download the flyer I created for the event.
Another neighbor came to me and asked me if I would help the PTO create a poster to help raise funds for an addition to the elementary schools playground. She wanted to have a thermometer to show progress as funds were raised. I came up with the idea of using a rainbow to show progress. I created the poster and had the printer laminate the poster so the students could use markers to color in the rainbow as funds were raised. Much more apropos than a thermometer. You can download the poster I created for the fund raiser.