Friday, January 30, 2015

Do the upcoming state tests make you feel like pulling your hair out? The stress on teachers is bad enough, but after recently administering a mock test to our students, I feel like they are truly the ones who are going to bear the brunt of the stressful feelings. I watched as all of my kids (gifted, regular, struggling) struggled with the length/complexity of the passages and confusing directions, all while navigating brand new technology skills. I think Superintendent Trisha Kocanda of Winnetka Public Schools in Illinois said it very well. I appreciate her willingness to go to bat for the kids. Well worth the time to read! (Click on the stressed girl!)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

I saw this on Pinterest and thought it was such a clever, cute idea! This testing nonsense has gotten out of hand. Everytime we turn around, I feel like there's another training, video, manual, schedule, etc. being dumped on us. This stress that teachers feel is ultimately going to be handed down to the kids....if we can only remember to step back to see what truly matters......

Monday, January 12, 2015

Product Highlight: Celebrating a Hero!

I like to embrace Dr. King's belief and dream to include everyone! On MLK day, I hand out 3 different scripts for a reader's theater on the life and time of this great leader. The scripts are leveled with a modified, regular, and enriched version to ensure everyone has a chance to participate at his/her own reading level. Students will learn about Martin Luther King Jr's childhood & beginning of his dreams, his work, dedication, & accomplishments as a civil rights activist, and his lasting influence on people today! Grab them by clicking on the picture below!

Monday, January 5, 2015

If you're anything like me, I get a burst of energy right after Christmas (well, it takes a day or so to recover from Christmas festivities but THEN it kicks in). I begin making mental lists of things I need to cover at school, tackle at home, do with my kids, begin for my health, etc, etc. Most years, I start off strong, a few things may stick, but I quickly fall back into the comfort of my old, comfortable routine and the lists are soon shifted to the back, kind of like the leftover Christmas cookies in the fridge. Well, I decided that this year I would make a better effort to keep up with those goals. I realized that my biggest mistake were my "mental" lists....if I wanted to really accomplish any new goals, I would need to write them down and make them official. I found a cute little journal that I'm going to dedicate to this very purpose.
I decided to make a section in the front that would list all of my yearlong goals, ideas, and brainstorms. Next, I would use the rest of the pages to make a weekly "to do" type list. By having my year long goals posted front and center, I'm hoping that they will begin to work themselves naturally into my weekly lists. I'm really hoping that this will help keep me more organized and balanced in all areas of my life. Well, I'm off to visit my list for this week. Here's to a great New Year!