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Showing posts from 2017

Easing Back into the School Year and a $100 TpT GIVEAWAY!

Hello Friends.

Thanks for hopping on over.

The Back to School frenzy has begun!

People have NO IDEA how much time teachers put into preparing for the school year. Purchasing, decorating, researching, printing, laminating, cutting, redecorating, purchasing, adding more, Googling, more purchasing... whew! I'm tired... and that's just in the summertime!

I know that A LOT of prep goes into starting off the school year so that you can be less stressed once it gets going. When I was in the classroom, I always had a couple of things in place to make the first weeks easier for me.

I want to share them with you in hopes that it can ease your load a little bit.

1. Memory Book

I always had kids start their memory book. What? In the beginning of the year??!! Yes! I would have them fill out the beginning of the year information and then stash it away far back in my cupboard for the end of the year. This helped me because towards the end of the year, it's crazy, too! And I used to wait …

How to Keep Kids From Overusing Media in the Summer

I have a love/hate relationship with media. 

I know that's the way the world is going and when you go on a field trip to Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) and they tell you that kids need to start coding NOW if they ever want a job at the JPL caliber, you start to question if you should let your kids just have more screen time to "code", play Minecraft, Roblox, etc to understand the tech world.

But I couldn't deny the results that limiting screen time produced for my family. My kids got a long SO much better. They were more patient with each other...not being able just to "swipe" their sister away to go onto the next screen. They were CREATIVE. And the things they produced... modding nerf guns, painting, drawing. Yes! My son drew and I had NO IDEA that he was the artist that he was until he didn't have the media time to FILL his time. So, he took a piece of paper and a pencil and began to draw. Then this....


WOW, right??!!!  He was 5 yrs old here and looked at a…

How to Bring the Joy Back into Classroom Writing

Hello Friends.

It's near the end of the year. I get it. You are tired. No, no. NOT just tired... but you're actually crawling to the finish line. You're almost there, my friend!

So WHY am I talking about writing at this point in the year? Well, for many reasons.

1. You still want the kids to behave before summer brains kick in and they have forgotten ALL the classroom/school rules
2. You still need some resemblance of order as you wind down your school year
3.  You want to have fun at the end of the year and if you can incorporate some sort of learning ..then HECK YES!

Believe it or not, I have something that will help you with all these concerns AND it's fun, fast, and EASY for you (more on that later)!

I'm not sure if you've ever done journal writing in your classroom, but it seriously was our class favorite when I was still in the classroom! Kids would share their writings with their peers and I would pick a couple kids to read their journal aloud. Kids would laugh…

Depth of Knowledge

Hello Friends.

New Year. New Goals. Now that the school year is well on its way, we all have new things that we want to try for our classroom this New Year.


If you have not incorporated Depth of Knowledge questions/prompts, then now is a great time to start! I can help you (more on that in a bit).

Did you know practicing Depth of Knowledge (DOK) questions/prompts can help improve critical thinking skills? If you're unfamiliar with DOKs, I would highly encourage you to Google it.  I'm not going to go in depth with it's meanings but here they are in a nutshell.

DOK in a Nutshell
There are 4 DOK levels.  Each level reflects a different level of cognitive expectation, or depth of knowledge, required to complete the task.

DOK 1 - Recall and Reproduction
DOK 2 - Skills and Concepts
DOK 3 - Short Term Strategic Thinking
DOK 4 - Extended Thinking


DOK tasks are great to work through with your students. I have found with my own kids that doing a think aloud of my thought process allo…