Jelly Bean Lesson Ideas

It’s spring, April is coming, and our thoughts turn to—jelly beans! National Jelly Bean Day is April 22. Yay! In spring, however, students often get spring fever. Use jelly-bean fever to help combat this enormous obstacle to learning! You’ll find your students reengaging all over the place when you implement one or more of the […]

An Amazing App for Student Authors!

Get Students to Publish Their Writing I had the opportunity to attend OETC (Ohio Educational Technology Conference) in Columbus, Ohio, with my writing team from Simple Solutions. It was exciting to be around teachers who are passionate about their students and what they do every day. For every teacher I met, I know there are […]

Meet Reading Comprehension Goals for Students in Third Grade

The ability to read impacts all aspects of life, but above all, reading is essential for learning. That’s why schools and districts all over the country set rigorous reading proficiency goals for students in the primary grades. From preschool through third grade, children are learning to read; by fourth grade, they are reading to learn, […]

National Day on Writing

Tomorrow, October 20th, is the National Day on Writing. This “holiday” came about as an “initiative built on the premise that writing is critical to literacy.” Each year since 2009, NCTE and other collaborators gather at writing events, in classrooms, and online to bring the necessary attention to such an important conversation. Here are a […]

baseball

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

As my profile states, I am a Cleveland Indians fan. Inhabitants of Northeast Ohio understand what that means. You see, we have witnessed a lot of exciting baseball in our town, and we have come REALLY close to winning it ALL. But it’s been 70 years since we’ve won a World Series. My 88-year-old mother […]

Gratitude: Thank You Notes

On a recent episode of ABC’s “The Middle” Frankie finds a bag of unfinished and long overdue thank you notes under her son, Axl’s, bed. Horrified by her discovery, she issues her ultimatum. As long as he is living in her house, he is to finish the notes! Yes, it’s comedy, but in the end, […]

Gratitude and Happiness

It’s hard to go a week without hearing or reading some reference in the news about the positive effect of gratitude on our well-being. Or maybe I am just tuned in to reading articles that focus on this subject because I find the research so fascinating. (Hence, the topic of this blog.) In January 2018, […]

Harry Potter

Harry Potter: A Rich Source of Descriptive Language

A recent trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios had me thinking back to my first Harry Potter memory and the treasure trove of descriptive language found in the series. Do you have an early Harry Potter memory? Mine was the summer of ‘99. I heard Oprah Winfrey talking about a […]

Light the Olympic Fire

Light the Olympic Fire With the Winter Olympics soon approaching, opportunities to incorporate Olympic themes into the classroom are timely and endless. Sadly, it’s becoming a fact of life that in the teaching world we don’t have much time for “fun stuff” anymore. Activities that are fun must also be valuable, educational, and efficient. Here […]

Family

Family Tales and a Simple Graphic Organizer

Remember When? Family Tales and a Simple Graphic Organizer Get kids involved by having them write a favorite family story they can share with others this holiday season. Here’s a way to use the holiday tradition of storytelling to get your students writing and give them an opportunity to connect with family members, near and […]