It Will Take MORE Than Gun Control-A Closer Look at Our Students, Parenting, & Respect

This is a very different blog post for me.  As many of you know, my blog is filled with teaching tips, ideas and tricks to help other teachers. I often share posts about some of my new products that may assist you in your classroom.  Honestly, I had to think long and hard about posting this one, but as a teacher who is on the front lines with students on a daily basis, I knew I had to share this.

Like so many others, last week my heart was torn once again by another school shooting. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School faced an incomprehensible tragedy no parent, teacher, faculty member or administrator should ever have to bear.  Just like all of our schools, everyone has their procedures for their "code red"; we drill, we discuss, and we practice state protocols for a "God forbid" moment. MSDHS did everything they were suppose to do and followed all their protocols; however, as Cynthia Rylant said, "But those with an evil heart seem to have a talent of destroying anything beautiful that is about to bloom."  There was only so much the teachers and faculty could do in these few moments, and they did their best, as all of us would do.

In the following days, the voices of the Majory Stoneman Douglas High School students, parents, teachers, and faculty raised their voices and have called, yelled, and screamed for government action on gun control.  I am so proud of these young students for standing up for their school, their peers, their lost friends and the nation.  I ask my students all the time to stand up for what they believe in, to speak up, and to advocate for oneself and others.  It is refreshing to see this take place; unfortunately, we tend to speak louder in a time of tragedy. This was a teachable moment for me: Speak up NOW, not LATER.  

Creating and Planning a Digital Escape Room & Breakout for Your Classroom

Hi Teacher Friends!

Happy February! I am sure many people have their fingers crossed that the groundhog will not see his shadow and forecast six more weeks of winter; however, for the Northeast, in two weeks we have Winter break! Woo hoo! I hope you have wonderful, relaxing plans.

Have you been thinking about creating your own escape room for your classroom, and do not know where to start? Have you seen the digital escape rooms, to use on IPads, Chrome Books, and other technological devices and would really like to create one? I know it seems like an extremely overwhelming task to create an escape room, and most teachers do not know where to start when creating one.  I am going to give you some guideline tips before you start the planning and process of creating one.

My Favorite English Language Arts Websites I Use All the Time!

Hi Friends!

I hope you are having a wonderful January!  I know the weather has been tricky and a quite a trial for some areas the last few weeks.  I wish nothing more that this blog post finds you safe and comfortable in your home.

I was sitting in my classroom browsing my usual websites, and I said to myself, "What a great blog post this would be for my fellow English teachers!".  I constantly use a group of websites for a variety of reasons that are worthy of sharing.  Any English teacher knows, in the Language Arts world, we are dealing with many subcategories of "English".  There is grammar, mechanics, writing, reading, and all the rest. The websites I am going to share are extremely helpful in my classroom on a daily and weekly basis.  They spark ideas, lessons, activities, and sometime I just use the resources for ancillary material.  I hope these are helpful to you too!

Teacher Tips in Making 2018 the Best Year Yet in the Classroom!

Happy New Year all my teacher friends, viewers and readers!  I hope your holiday was special and brought your family happiness & and health. 

 I wanted to kick off the new year with a collaborative blog post from a variety of teachers who teach different subjects and grade levels and have them share tips in making 2018 the best year yet in the classroom. Whether you are a seasoned or new teacher, learning from other teachers is one of the best ways to gain knowledge and ideas for your classroom.  I have been teaching for 18 years, and I can tell you my most fruitful and most educational professional development is when other teachers teach and share a topic or idea.  These are by far my favorite professional development classes; I love learning from other teachers!

These wonderful teacher-authors have amazing tips to share with you!

6 Ways to Create Warmth & Joy in Your Classroom in December

Happy December, Everyone!

I am so excited to join 27 teacher bloggers in the 12 Day of Christmas Blog Hop and Giveaway.  We are all discussing six ways we create comfort and joy in our classrooms, and you can check out all of these bloggers right HERE.  You will get to meet all the bloggers, and see the schedule of all the blog posts.  In addition, we are giving away four pretty amazing prizes!

Raffle #1 (December 3rd) - $25 to Barnes and Noble
Raffle #2 (December 6th) - $75 to Target
Raffle #3 (December-9th) - $100 to TpT
Raffle #4 (December 12th) - $200 GRAND PRIZE to Amazon

You can enter the giveaway right HERE!

6 Ways to Create Warmth & Joy in My December Classroom

1.  Instilling Kindness:

Besides being an English teacher, one of my most important goals as a teacher is to instill kindness in my students.  I had the opportunity to teach Character Education for a few years, and we spent a tremendous amount on this subject.  In my classroom, I make sure it is repeated and learned.  

Last year, I created a kindness calendar, and started a campaign called, "Ignite Kindness." Check out the free calendar HERE.  Feel free to use in your classroom! My 8th grader created a hashtag on Instagram for this purpose.  
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