Don’t Forget the Fiction!

Elementary school teachers all across the United States are facing a major problem: a time shortage.  It seems like every year teachers are asked to cram more and more content into the school day. With more reading, math, and writing requirements being squeezed in, other important subjects such as science and social studies often fall to the wayside.  Most schools argue that reading and writing … Continue reading Don’t Forget the Fiction!

Watch out Kindergarten, Here I Come

Kindergarten is changing and parents are feeling pressure to prepare their children for their first school experience. While some may fret that reading and doing addition are prerequisites for kindergarten these days, your child likely possesses many of the skills he or she needs to be successful as they begins school. As a Kindergarten teacher for over 20 years, I can tell you exactly what … Continue reading Watch out Kindergarten, Here I Come

The BIG Plan: Making Meaningful Connections and Setting High Expectations During “WIN” Time

Throughout history, schools have always been the vessel for change, whether it be to meet the demands of curriculum, to meet the world standards of education or for the needs of students. We here at Taylor Mill Elementary introduced a big change for our students during the 2017/18 school year. We introduced “WIN”—a daily time set aside for ‘what I need’ as a way to … Continue reading The BIG Plan: Making Meaningful Connections and Setting High Expectations During “WIN” Time

Success. It’s Found in the Small Stuff.

My dad is the youngest of 5 children. He was only three when his father died suddenly.  My grandmother was unable to care for them, so they were placed in the Covington Children’s Protestant Home until she was able to support them. Afterwards, they lived in public housing in Covington. My dad struggled as a student and was told by some teachers that he’d never … Continue reading Success. It’s Found in the Small Stuff.

How I Build a Classroom Environment that Communicates High Expectations and Love

In college, I had a very goal-oriented job. Therefore, it required working with people and encouraging them to want to learn more about and invest in our product. Did I believe in our product? Absolutely. Did I truly believe it was beneficial? Absolutely. Not everyone did, though. I needed more than knowledge and belief in the product to bring my customers on board. I reflected … Continue reading How I Build a Classroom Environment that Communicates High Expectations and Love

Teacher Efficacy: Because You Just Can’t Give Up On Kids

At my school and among my professional learning network, we have been having a lot of discussion lately surrounding teacher efficacy. Teacher efficacy is easy to explain — not always easy to collectively and genuinely live out. Teacher efficacy is a teacher’s belief in his or her own capabilities to get results in the classroom. I wrote a guest column that was recently published in … Continue reading Teacher Efficacy: Because You Just Can’t Give Up On Kids

3 Ways I Implement Whole Brain Teaching in My Classroom

Whole Brain Teaching (WBT) is an interactive form of instruction that presents information to students in short chunks using hand gestures. The chunked information is content-based and loaded with vocabulary. Students then mimic the presentation of content back to you or teach it to their peers. The idea behind incorporating motions with words is that it engages all parts of the brain, creating a more … Continue reading 3 Ways I Implement Whole Brain Teaching in My Classroom

Being a Teacher Means Continuing to Learn

KY teachers are selfless, giving, intelligent, passionate, & dedicated. I can give you 3,601 examples of KY teachers who have gone above & beyond requirements in order to have a greater impact on student learning. I wrote a guest column that was recently published in Kentucky Teacher about the meaningful process of becoming a National Board Certified Teacher. Read it here: Being a Teacher Means Continuing … Continue reading Being a Teacher Means Continuing to Learn

From Baseball Mom to Professional Learning – My Twitter Journey

My journey with Twitter began in 2009 when I followed @scottbaseballl to find out practice times, which uniform needed to be clean and if game time had changed. When you have sons playing high school sports, they don’t always communicate the details in a timely manner. Twitter prevented many tense moments at the Laughlin Homestead during baseball season. I was in love with Twitter. Once … Continue reading From Baseball Mom to Professional Learning – My Twitter Journey

Why We Teach

I was selected to be a guest author for the NAEA (National Art Education Association) Choice Based Educators division.  It was great fun to write!  This is a national publication for all NAEA members.  I totally fangirled out because I got to correspond with Anne Bedrick who is my teaching hero, and I have followed her work for well over a decade.  My article: Why … Continue reading Why We Teach