Category: Teaching Idea

Using PowerPoint ~ Teacher Evaluations Part 1

Using PowerPoint to increase scores on Teacher Evaluations ~ This blog post contains links to two PowerPoint presentations as well as the printables needed for those twolessons.

In the past couple of years, teacher evaluations have become more and more stressful. I admire teachers who can perform under pressure with ease. Since I am not one of those teachers, I have come up with a number of gimmicks [for lack of a better word] to help me remember the one hundred or so components that must be included in an evaluation lesson. I will discuss some of these ideas in a series of posts. Here is the first Using PowerPoint.

Using PowerPoint

Once you begin making PowerPoint presentations with your lessons, you will wish you had started years ago. Moving from one task to another becomes easy with instructions, examples, and a number of other lesson elements posted in the PowerPoint for the class to see. Even a simple PowerPoint with text only can prompt you through a lesson.

Having a lesson run smoothly is especially important when under the pressure of an evaluation. During my last evaluation, I knew the next activity I had planned and was ready to move forward. I then pressed the button to advance the PowerPoint slide and there was a mid-lesson review of the teaching standard, a requirement for our evaluations. If I had not been prompted, I would have completely skipped over this component and been docked a point. [Yeah, PowerPoint!]

I am including two PowerPoint lessons with this post as samples. Download them. Edit them to meet the needs of your students. Then try them in your classroom. All I ask is that you don’t repost these PowerPoints in any form on your websites or blogs.


I used this lesson with an inclusion class of fourth grade students. I have a link to the PowerPoint directly below. You may click the link or the PowerPoint image to download. Below this image is the link to the handouts that go with the lesson. They are a free download on Teachers Pay Teachers.


Analogies PowerPoint

Analogies PowerPoint

Handouts for this lesson are free on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Click this link to receive the printables for this lesson.

Fun with Analogies

Sample Pages from Fun with Analogies

Author’s Purpose

This PowerPoint has three parts. I completed the first two parts with my fifth grade inclusion class before the formal teacher evaluation. Here again, I have included links to both the PowerPoint and the printable resources. The printable is a condensed version of the PowerPoint activities. Although it does not follow the PowerPoint step-by-step, it contains the graphic organizer, response cards, and test. You may click the link or the image to download the PowerPoint.


Author's Purpose PowerPoint

Author’s Purpose PowerPoint

Handouts for this lesson are free on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Click this link to receive the printables for this lesson.

Author's Purpose Graphic Organizer

Author’s Purpose Graphic Organizer


Gay Miller


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Teaching Vocabulary

Teaching Vocabulary

One effective way to teach vocabulary is with index cards. Here’s how:

Step #1

On one side of the index card, students write the vocabulary word in large letters so that it may be used as a response card. For daily practice, students spread their index cards with the words facing up on their desktops. The teacher calls out definitions, synonyms, antonyms, or sentences with missing words. Students locate the correct word and hold up the card. This is a great way for the teacher to check to determine if students need additional practice or if most know the words. Also, each student is participating with each teacher request – ‘the every student, every time theory.’

Step #2

When teaching a new word, I have students create word webs or write definitions on the reverse side of the card. A word such as encyclopedia will need a definition, whereas inspire would be an ideal word for a word web. I usually read the sentence from the text in which the word may be found. The students must use context clues to determine the meaning of the word. As students name synonyms or come up with a great definition, I write it on the board for the students to copy on their cards.

Step #3

Students determine which part of speech the word is as it is used in the sentence from the text. This is written on the back of the card as well.

Step #4

Next I call on volunteers to use the word in sentences. To mix things up, we sometimes write the sentences on the card backs, and other times this is just oral practice.

Step #5

Some words need an illustration. For example, microscope would be a great word for students to draw quick sketches next to their definitions, in place of writing sentences on their card backs. To differentiate instruction, you may have some students draw their illustrations on the front of the card.


Using Index Cards to Teach Vocabulary

Additional Ways to Teach Vocabulary

  • The teacher reads difficult text. One great way to do this is to select a novel the students would enjoy, but could not read independently. Read a few minutes after lunch to the class.

  • The teacher sets up a listening center where students listen to the audio version of the text. Students should follow along in the book while the audio reads the book.

  • The teacher models new vocabulary words on a regular basis.

  • Students create pictures, diagrams, and graphic organizers with vocabulary words.

  • Have the students analyze words by breaking them down by syllables, affixes, base words, or root words.

  • Students name synonyms and antonyms of words.

  • The teacher uses new vocabulary words in everyday speech. Students should be encouraged to use new words in conversation.

  • Students analyze multiple-meaning words.

  • [Teaching Idea]

Have students purposefully misconstrue a multiple-meaning word to make a puzzle for others to solve. See a bulletin board with student work here.

This vocabulary teaching method is simple yet effective.

Gay Miller


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