Attention!!

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”― Mark Twain

Moral: Strive for exemplary!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Ability group or not to ability group? Who wins? Who looses?

Coming soon I hope to post research and evidence for and against an often debated issue of the best way to group students for learning.  This includes RtI.  Let me hear from you.  What do you think is the most effective strategy?  What are some challenges or successes you've had?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Reading to be be inspired and to self- educate about new changes.

Last summer I read a few books about different reading strategies and books on leadership.  This summer brings a professional need to educate myself about the new teacher evaluation system and brain research. 

Charlotte Danielson has written multiple books about best practices of exemplary teaching.  In our state of Illinois, evaluations are widely based on her research and models.  We have known for a few years that these changes in our evaluation system were going to take place.  I remember a few years ago a Superintendent and myself attempted to discuss this with fellow educators. They dismissed this as not important.  I sure hope they are taking notice now! Their jobs depend on it!

Below is one of Danielson's books I downloaded to my Kindle.  I hope to start reading it soon.


In addition to Danielson I've also been inspired to revisit the research of Robert Marzano and his team.  His website has been recently revised, www.marzanoresearch.com/site.  On his website anyone can sign up for the newsletter and weekly emails.  I personally enjoy reading and learning more about research that can help my students and colleagues. Stay tuned for more on this.

Lastly, our 3rd Grade teacher has been motivated to use "The Daily Five" in her classroom this year.  I'm looking forward to using it within other classrooms also.  I found my copies on www.amazon.com. Paperback and Kindle version...I got both! ha

Sunday, June 9, 2013

It's been nearly a year!

I can't believe it has been nearly a year since I updated my blog. Life threw me several curve balls in the past 11 months and my priorities shifted a bit. Last May I was hired to be a Reading Teacher and Instructional Coach in a new district.  Instead of a classroom I have an office.  Wow, what a switch! We had two major health scares and now a new baby on the way! So, it's been a busy time. Hopefully I can get back to posting helpful and inspirational tips to all of you.

The  teacher blog world has exploded and become so wonderful.  I feel like a dinosaur in this realm. I will meet it's challenges and be bringing you more cool stuff.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Common Core Standards Link- Science is here!

Common Core Standards are vital for teachers to know and use for curriculum and instruction planning.  I would appreciate if anyone would be willing to share how your school is preparing for full implementation.

Common Core Standards- Science is here!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Laugh of the Day Activity- Common Core


In our 6th Grade Reading Class we will share in a minute or two of laughter with a “ Laugh of the Day”.  Every child will have the opportunity to read or share their weekly jokes to the class.  The same child is responsible for being the “Comdedian” all week.  We will have a rotating schedule to help keep us on track.  5 jokes should be submitted by the student 1 week before their spot in the rotation and approved by the teacher.  Jokes must be pure, age appropriate and non -discriminatory towards individuals.
We will keep these jokes and publish them at the end of the year.  Joke books and websites will be available for students as resources.

6th grade Common Core Standards: RI.6.5 & 7, W.6.4,8,10

Team Teaching improves learning?

Does Team Teaching really improve learning?  You bet it does.  Not only is Team Teaching a proven teaching strategy it also helps teachers to learn to work together for a common purpose.  It goes without saying that a team can be hard to be apart of if there is a kink in the process.  Excellent collegue leadership and in-tuned Administration are a plus. 

While reading Leaders of Learning by Richard DuFour I found the 4 P's of success in people working together for student and school achievement.

" Success doesn't just happen.  It's the result of 4 P's, Planning, Preparation, Performance and Perseverence."

 Food for thought.

5 Princples of RtI

When planning and preparing for your year of RtI requirements there are five ideas to keep in mind.
  • "All children can learn!"  Even if it's the simplest concept no matter what age they are.
  • "Quality assessment informs instructional practices."  Purposeful assessment(s) should be the compass of your instruction. 
  • "Quality teaching makes a difference. " It's a no-brainer that children need to have teachers and leaders who are knowledgeable about pedagogy and how to best teach/reach students.  For a few years I have said that a "warm body and a teaching certificate doesn't qualify them to teach children in our classrooms".  I have been a witness to teachers who got their jobs for who they are in a community rather than their abilities.  Sometimes the teacher employment process can be an unfair one... grr, I digress!  Please see some of my other posts for further opinionations on "quality teachers".  :)
  • "Positive relationships within the classroom maximize learning."
  • "Educators must work as a team." 
These principles are from a book I read this summer.

RTI SUCCESS, Proven Tools and Strategies for Schools and Classrooms. Written by Patricia Whitten, Kelli Esteves and Alice Woodrow, ISBN: 13-978-1-57542-320-3.