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New Learning with ClassFlow

I have always loved learning new things. For me, being an effective educator means continuous learning.  For the past month I have been immersed in learning all about a free online learning platform called ClassFlow through the process of becoming a paid ClassFlow Ambassador! Check out this short video for a general overview. My TOP 3 Reasons for Loving […]

A New and Improved KWL

Last year I had the opportunity to be on a team to submit and review materials for the Smarter Balance Digital Library. I was impressed with the process and quality of the submissions I reviewed. If your state is part of the Smarter Balance Consortium, I suggest checking out the resource. I have decided to […]

Educators Construct Learning

Professional learning opportunities for educators should mirror what we want to see in the classroom. A 21st century learning environment has multiple opportunities for students to connect, communicate, collaborate and construct learning with others, both within the classroom setting and the world beyond. Yet, too often, educators are asked to sit through passive learning opportunities. […]

Exercise Your Writing Muscle?

During the month of March, I  participated in the Slice of Life Story Challenge developed by  Two Writing Teachers. The challenge proposed was to write a blog post each day during the month of March. Today is March 30th and this marks my 25th post for the month. Yes, I missed a few days during the month. Life […]

“Let It Go” Close Reading

I have had  amazing opportunities helping teachers figure out close reading procedures to implement in their classrooms. The students have loved this lesson using the lyrics of the Disney song Let it Go! Last year I wrote a post titled Close Reading: Am I Getting Close. Over the course of the year I have refined […]

Family Reading Night

Recently a friend contacted me for some literacy ideas to share with parents to help promote the love of reading. I know if one person has this question, many others do as well. I have found blogging to be an excellent tool for sharing ideas and gaining new ones! In this post I will share […]

The Blank Page

Today I’m reminded of a quote a colleague recently shared from Pathway to the Common Core by Lucy Calkins, Chris Lehman and Mary Ehrenworth. Novelist and award-winning publisher, Margaret Atwood, was quoted on page 106. “The fact is the blank page inspires me with terror. What will I put on them? Will it be good enough? Will […]

Beyond Leveled Readers: A Lesson from Candy Crush

I have been on the same level for two weeks. I am frustrated and want to move on. I have the skills to attempt other levels, but I’m forced to stay where I am. I want to try new things and learn new strategies. Sure there are a few things I struggle with, but I […]

Global Collaborative Dialogues

cc licensed flickr photo shared by BrianCSmith I am a learner. Everyday I strive to learn something new. Today my new learning came from @twahlert when I attended a session she did on Transitional and Transformational Technology – two ways that student engagement can be measured with technology. As she describes on her website: Transitional: A transitional level of […]


I recently introduced teachers of English language learners to a variety of technology tools that can be integrated into the classroom. These tools are actually beneficial for all classrooms. It has been said many times that as teachers we are preparing students for THEIR futures, not our past. We need to take a hard look […]