Writing my way through the school year!

Archive for July, 2013

Classroom Management Skills to Help You Survive the Year!


Is it really that bad? You’re doomed? Don’t panic, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have a chance to turn things around. You always have another chance. Some can turn it around during the school year, and some have to wait for a fresh start. Either way, it’s not hopeless.:)   READ MORE

Beginning of the Year Student and Parent Questionnaires using Google Forms!


I got the idea to create student and parent surveys from a teacher on Twitter a few years ago. I used to create them on paper, and then I was introduced to Google forms. Love it! READ MORE

SmileMakers: They Enjoy Making Teachers Smile!

I was planning on ordering a new mailbox for my classroom this year. As a matter of fact I had ripped out a couple of pages from various teacher catalogs. I had them stockpiled on the desk in my study. I figured I would finally make my choice as we got closer to school. READ MORE…

Increase Student Engagement with Skype in the Classroom!


This was a Guest Post written July 2012 on Free Technology for Teachers.

It’s always amazing to me how educators, can grab hold of something that wasn’t developed with us in mind, and make it our own. We have a knack for doing that, and we’ve done it with Skype. With Skype, educators are knocking down classroom walls,allowing our students the chance to hear from experts, and creating global learners. READ MORE…



Can You Hear Me Now? Listening to Your Students’ Behavior!

When I saw this photo posted on WeAreTeachers facebook status, I had to share it. “The kids who want the most Love, will always ask for it in the most unloving of ways.” It speaks to so many of our kids. It spoke to so many of the kids I have had over the last 28 years. Are we listening to their behavior? Do we hear what they are trying to tell us?  READ MORE

I Am Not a “Highly Effective” Teacher!: Student Test Scores Have Spoken!


I found out today that I am an only an “effective” teacher as opposed to “highly effective.”

I received my summative evaluation in June and I received a Satisfactory. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think “I’m all that and a bag of chips”, but I felt I deserved more than a Satisfactory. So, I challenged it.READ MORE

It’s Not a Competition:Teachers and Sharing!

I think we all know them.  You see they have done a wonderful lesson or project with their students, and you excitedly ask for the details? Alas, the details are never forthcoming.READ MORE…


photo credit: pfala via photopin cc

The Teacher Code of Silence:Yeah, We Have One Too!

You know you saw it. You saw her go up one side of him and down the other. You felt so bad for him. But what did you do? You walked past, eyes averted, hoping to save him from further embarrassment. She looked at you, eyes locking, and shared a smug, “Yeah, I got him”, enveloping you in her meanness.READ MORE

Have You Ever Left a Bad Taste in Your Parents’ and/or Students’ Mouths?


One day, many,many years ago, I traveled back to Brooklyn to visit my former colleagues. Afterwards, I took the subway downtown to do some shopping. As I waited to cross the street, a van pulled up. The woman rolled down the window, glared at me, and shouted, “There’s that b#%&* who gave my daughter a hard time!”( A vision of flailing fists flashed before my eyes) I didn’t recognize the woman. I couldn’t begin to tell you who her daughter was, but obviously this is how I was remembered.READ MORE




photo credit: arimoore via photopin cc



Challenge Them All!:Giving Every Kid a Chance to Feel “Smart”!

Something I try to avoid doing in my classroom is pigeonholing my struggling students. I know they’re struggling, the rest of the class knows it, and they know it. So why add to their discomfort, frustration, and downright misery, by excluding them from challenging assignments? Why do we assume they can’t do it because they don’t read well, have difficulty solving math problems, or any of the other number of reasons, we separate them?READ MORE…

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