Waiting for Superman is a documentary that analyzes the educational deficits of inner-city schools. This documentary was really empowering. I heard about this video from one of my friends in the Ed.D program. She was giving a presentation about the leadership style of Michelle Rhee. If you are not familiar with Michelle Rhee, she was the chancellor of the Washington, D.C public schools from 2007-2010. The interesting thing about Michelle is that she had only taught three years before becoming the chancellor, she had no Ph.D and have never ran a school district before.
If you are interested in watching Waiting For Superman I have attached a link I found on Vimeo.
Behavior management can either make or break a school year. Good teachers know this and spend the first few weeks teaching students classroom routines and expectations. It is important to start teaching positive behaviors from the first day of school and then revisit it every so often throughout the year (especially after Christmas break).
Each year, I look for new and unique ways to help my students understand what positive behaviors are and how to avoid getting caught up in negative behaviors. As a teacher, I have noticed that even very well behaving students can get caught up in negative behaviors from time to time. This is why I decided to write the picture book, The Garden in My Mind. I have found that this picture book really helps my elementary age students understand how to make positive choices because it explains these behaviors to them in a way in which they can relate to.
In addition to the picture book, I also created a teacher's guide. This activity guide is packed with great resources. These activities teach Common Core skills as well as help students learn to make positive choices.
To pre-order you copy of The Garden in My Mind click the books below.
Have you ever noticed that the majority of chapter books children are reading have only European-American main characters? Well I have, and I have set out on a journey to locate culturally relevant text that my minority students can read and relate to. In the past, I have found it difficult to integrate culturally relevant text into my existing curriculum. For example, when I am planing a new writing unit, I look for a great read aloud that exhibits the writing style or traits that I want students to emulate in their own writing. Typically, I will pull out one of the tried and true books off the shelf. Although these books are wonderful, I would like to use this read aloud time to introduce culturally relevant text to my students. In the past this has been very difficult, that is until I stumbled across Kidslikeus.org (Just so you know, I have absolutely no affiliation with this site). Now when I am planning a poetry lesson, I go to their website, click on genre and scroll down to poetry. Now I have a list of great poems and books of poetry to read aloud to my students. Many of the books listed I have in my classroom, the ones I did not have I checked my library for. For the books that my library did not already have, I sent a list to my wonderful librarian. She is awesome about using any funds to purchase books that teachers request. A little about Kids Like Us: Kids like us is a website geared toward providing students with quality texts that they can realte to. As their About Us page reads "We believe that one of the keys to becoming an expert reader and writer is having access to outstanding books that reflect, value, and celebrate our lives." Click on the logo below to read more about this site.
Typically I try to keep this blog light and fun with quick ideas that teachers can implement immediately in their classrooms. Today however my post will be a little different. For those of you who personally know me, you know that my interest of study lies in closing the achievement gap of our African American youth and school reform in low achieving schools. I wanted to share a little bit of information with those of you who are interested, in hopes that these videos or articles might inspire you to help make the change within your classroom, school or district.
You do not have to be a teacher to initiate change within your school as you will see from some of the examples below.
Hey friends, today I am thankful for my wonderful husband, awesome students and blogging friends. As a way of showing my appreciation, I am going to participate in the Cyber Monday sale. I typically do not run sales on my TPT account because I price things so low already, but I wanted to say thanks to all the wonderful teachers out there. Don't forget to visit my TPT store this weekend.The sale begins this Saturday and runs through Cyber Monday and Tuesday. All you have to do to receive the discount is enter the promo code: CYBER. I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Click the logo below to head over to my TPT account and begin shopping
After much debate, North Carolina parents, teachers and students have decided that on November 4th, 2013 we will rally together to fight for better mandates for education. Originally Wake County teachers proposed a walk out on this date, but after much debate and well fear, teachers decided it would be best to "walk in". During this "walk in"North Carolina teachers will attend the next local board meeting along with many parents and even students to express their concerns. I for one feel a change coming in North Carolina education. Not only are teachers dejected, but so are parents. I am thankful that these parents are standing up and being the voice for teachers. In my school, our PTA has rallied together to express how valuable teachers are. It's times like these that I fee proud to be an educator. I am asking that everyone show their support for educators over the next few days. Please don't forget to wear red this Monday!
The first week of school was very exciting. This year I am teaching gifted classes and I am also the literacy coach which keeps me pretty busy. In addition to going to college and working on my own side projects. I am really enjoying my new students though. They are so funny and great listeners! Every year the first few weeks of school are difficult for me. I am afraid that I have forgot how to teach over the summer. I know it sounds crazy, but I feel like I just worry that my lessons will be too short and that I will have nothing to do. I know this is not true because I am actually better on my feet, but sometimes fear isn't very realistic.
I am loving being the literacy coach so far. I enjoy being able to help teachers and give them things that they need. This week, I have been pulling grade levels to teach the students about The Habits of Mind. I know that my students love the HOB and are really taking them seriously. I really want to make sure I am effective in my role as literacy coach so I would love to hear from all the teacher out there. What things do your lit coaches do that have really helped you? What things do you wish your lit coaches would do to help you with your job? What areas of instruction do you think teachers would like more PD in?
Last but not least, next week I am going to be hosting an Erin Condren giveaway! I know, I know control your excitement! Her stuff rocks! Don't forget to visit my blog Saturday to see how you can enter to win!
Here's a sneak peak at some of Erin's wonderful products
Don't forget I have a awesome giveaway going on right now, if you are not already entered please do so by the 7th. Enjoy the rest of your long weekend!