Saturday, December 31, 2011

Attention Middle School and High School Bloggers

Secondary Solutions is hosting a linky party to encourage teachers of grades 5 on up to connect in the blogosphere.  If you teach fifth grade or higher and have a blog, head over to Secondary Solutions and get connected.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

My New Year's Resolution: Simplify

I want just one New Year's Resolution this year: I want to simplify my life.  As I reflect on 2011 and plan ahead for 2012, I know I don't want to start 15 new projects this year.  I want to be able to focus on what is important to me.  This may lead to emptying my closets of things I don't use.  This may lead to clearing my schedule of activities that are no longer purposeful for me.  This may lead to ignoring housework for an evening so I can watch my stepdaughter's favorite program with her.  I am ready for 2012.

Live Love Laugh

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Second Time in a Week

For the second time this week, I have received the Liebster Blog Award.  Thank you Jennifer at Best Practices 4 Teaching for passing it along.

Best Practices 4 Teaching

Asking Good Questions

I read Seth Godin's blog every day.  I wanted to share with you the post called Q & A from yesterday, because it inspires me as an educator.  He believes that children lose the ability to ask good questions as they get older.  I want to keep asking good questions.

Update: 2/11/13 Questioning strategies is a part of the Charlotte Danielson Framework.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Whoever Wrote This Didn't Teach Real Students

I am convinced that the people who wrote our vocabulary curriculum have not spent time in front of actual students. If they have, they certainly haven't read aloud the script they expect me to read in front of real children. They would instantly recognize their mistakes.

"Mandate" is a word that if said to a group of ten and eleven-year-olds will bring an end to any serious discussion of vocabulary.  If you don’t believe me, try it some time and see what happens.

Explaining to students what a schwa is, will bring out the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in all of us.  For several weeks this vowel sound was a part of the vocabulary lists and for several weeks I had students yelling out “schwa!” in high pitched warnings of attack.  Then I found out that I still had several students who didn’t know Ə was a vowel sound.

When I noticed “dic” was a word part to be sorted the next week, I abandoned fidelity to the program.  This is why I write my own curriculum.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Belated Thank You

Earlier this week, Lori from Conversations in Literacy awarded me the Liebster Blog Award for new bloggers.  

Conversations in Literacy
I neglected to thank her, but I will remedy that today.
I would like to pass along this award to other new teaching blogs.  Please nominate your favorite candidates in the comments.

Quote of the Week -- December 25, 2011

"Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat."
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Merry Christmas to my Christian readers. May God bless you and your loved ones with His grace.

Photo by paparutzi

Friday, December 23, 2011


At a recent technology training, I was introduced to Storybird.  I have yet to use it professionally, but I started some collaborative stories with my nieces who live on the opposite coast and will be moving to London soon. 

Do you use Storybird in your classroom?  I would love to hear some management strategies from teachers who don't have a class set of computers.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Meet Charity Preston

Attention Teacher Bloggers:

If you are going to be in the Fort Meyers, FL area early next week, Charity Preston of the Organized Classroom Blog would love to meet you.  She is also the coordinator of Teaching Blog Central and she teaches the video course Teaching Blog Traffic School.

Monday, December 19, 2011

What I Did on My Winter Vacation

I plan to read, write, rest, clean house, and host Christmas Dinner.

What about you?

Photo by paparutzi

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Quote of the Week -- December 18, 2011

"Data is not information,
information is not knowledge,
knowledge is not understanding,
understanding is not wisdom."

Clifford Stoll

Friday, December 16, 2011

Watch Dogs

Recently our school started participating in the Watch D. O. G. S. program.  On the first informational evening we had 165 men show up.  I am excited to see what will happen.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Groundhog Predictions

If you teach third, fourth, fifth or sixth grade, you are invited to join my class in Groundhog Predictions.  We will be tracking the weather from February 2- March 20.  I have taught this lesson for several years.  This year I want to have other classrooms in other states participate.
Groundhog Predictions is available at my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

Groundhog Predictions is also available at my Teacher's Notebook store.

I hope you enjoy this activity with your class.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Monday, December 12, 2011

Does Anyone Hate Writing Sub Plans As Much As I Do?

My husband came down with a horrible cold this weekend.  I really do not want to get sick.  This is the last week before winter vacation.  The worst part of my job is writing sub plans.

I have a feeling I am not alone.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Quote of the Week -- December 11, 2011

“Let us not be content to wait and see what will happen, but give us the determination to make the right things happen.”
Horace Mann

Saturday, December 10, 2011

New Beginnings

"For many people, what is important about education is what is easily measured. Test scores are up: good job. Test scores are bad: needs improvement. I am not the first to propose that this system is leaving out important goals for public education. This blog is my public declaration that I plan to reclaim the art of education."  Art of Public Education, May 3, 2011

I have been teaching full time in the public schools for 21 years.  About year 14 I started getting tired of it.  Year 15, I went to the retirement seminar to see how long I needed to hang in there.  I decided to keep going to year 20.  I am still here.

Those of us in public education are teaching in difficult times: the intersection of higher expectations and fewer resources both in the system and in the neighborhoods we serve.  I started writing to add a positive voice to what teachers do every day.

I decided to change the name of my blog, not because I am ending my career in the public schools, but because I want to celebrate the best of education everywhere.  I hope you join me.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Free Teachers Pay Teachers Winter Holidays Ebook

I had the opportunity to participate in this years Teachers Pay Teachers gift to the teaching community.
Download your Free Teachers Pay Teachers Winter Holidays Ebook.

Quote of the Week -- December 4, 2011

"The person who says something is impossible should not interrupt the person who is doing it."
Ancient Chinese Proverb
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