Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Long Time, No Post

I know, I have been neglectful...I've been quite busy, visiting schools from Michigan to Texas to Florida and conducting all kinds of PD for teachers. This week I am off to SDE's Reading, Writing, Math, and More Conference in New Orleans. One of the sessions I'll be doing is about using technology to reach struggling learners. As I was putting the last minute touches on my presentation, I came across an really comprehensive resource produced by the Florida DOE that I just had to share. I think it will have value to any teacher, not just those with students who struggle so check it out. I've linked it here .

I'm off to Las Vegas for SDE's I Teach K!, I Teach 1st!, Power Up, and Differentiated Instruction Conferences. Maybe I'll see you there!

Friday, April 25, 2014

I'm Not a Math-er But This is Great

Okay, so let's just say that math is not my strong suit. I can do sale math (this skirt is 25% off) and I can do recipe math (doubling or splitting), but that's about where it ends for me. This morning, however, I saw Richard Byrne's latest blog post (his blog is fabulous - check it out!) all about a math and photography project some third graders are doing in Canada. I love it and am going to share it with anyone who will listen including my Singapore Math friends at SDE (Staff Development for Educators) in hopes that they will share it with participants at the Singapore Math conference in Las Vegas in July. Read about it here - there's a calender of things you can do for the month of May. Happy clicking!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Appleseeds Blog - New From SDE!

My friends at SDE (Staff Development for Educators) has a new blog that discusses educational trends and strategies for addressing them. This week, I was a guest blogger. I've linked it here so you can take a look at my post: Getting to the Core of Reading Comprehension. After you've read it, scroll down and check out the last couple of weeks from other experts in the field. Check Appleseeds each week for something new. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Promoting Science

It being Earth Day and all got me to thinking about science and education and how to get students interested in science and the rest of it's colleagues that make up STEM. Then, I came across an article that has been sitting in my inbox a while and I felt I should share it and it's premise. Here's a link to the article about a site from 3M and Discovery Education. The premise is simple: get kids interested by making it relevant. We've been spouting that for years and this site starts to make that easier. So, after your Earth Day celebrations are over, give it a look-see.

Friday, April 4, 2014

It's National Poetry Month So Do Something Poetic

You may or may not know that poetry has been in my blood since I was 7. That's when I wrote my first poem. I don't remember what is was about and it likely wasn't an award-winner, but it started me on a journey that goes on to this day. My mother has my first books of poems (of course she does, she's my mother). I wrote each one on lined notebook paper then glued each to colored construction paper and tied the whole thing together with thick yarn. I gave it to her for Mother's Day. It still sits proudly on the bookshelves in her living room with some other poetry books I wrote (and was lucky enough to find a publisher for in Crystal Springs Books ) 30 years later.

Writing poetry is what brought me into the world of professional writing. I first wrote for students who needed things they could read and then it went wild from there. My first published book of poems led me to write 3 more, to have the opportunity to speak to teachers all over the country, and likely, to writing this blog in a round-about way.

So, what I'm saying is this: evoke a love of poetry in students and you never know what will happen. This week the folks at Edutopia had a great post to get you started. I've linked it here. Check it out and have fun this month!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

If I Only Had a Brain

Well, okay, I do have one and I try and keep it challenged. We should be doing the same things for the brains of our students. It's Brain Awareness Week and the folks at eSchoolNews had an interesting (and brief, so take a minute to read it!) article with some facts about the brain. Within the article there are related links that might be of interest.

Earlier this week I was in Columbia, SC speaking at a PK/K conference put on by my friends at SDE and I was sharing a few brain tid bits that hit home for those eductors: when students use both hands to learn or practice a skill or concept, they are more likely to remember it (so pipe cleaners are better than paper and pencil for kids trying to remember letter forms) and ball tossing boosts thinking (write math facts, vocab words...on beach balls and toss those around, asking students to identify, read, complete, or answer the item their right thumb lands on). The latter tip came from Eric Jensen and his book Brain Compatible Strategies - worth a read.

Take care of your brain and your brain will take care of you.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Comparing George's Stories

President's Day is coming and a great activity to get your students doing some critical thinking is to compare a few books about a president. I am thinking of George Washington in particular. There are a few great and quite different books out there that chronicle his life, or some part of it: George Did It, Big George are two of my favorites, the latter being new in the last year or so. Choose a more traditional biography to add to the exercise, like those written by David Adler. See what your kids come up with - let them do the talking and see where it takes you.  Have fun!