Intentional Classroom Design: Purposeful versus Pretty

When scrolling through beautiful images of classrooms on Instagram and Pinterest, vibrant colors, well-coordinated themes, and lots of decor accessories catch my eye and surely equate to lots of traffic.   I’m a big fan and can find myself pining for more money and more time to recreate the same amazing aesthetics in my space.  A.J. … Read more

What’s Your Superpower? Consider Twitter…

On July 6, 2017, two of my PLN buddies, Ellen Deem and Mark Weston co-hosted a #WhatisSchool Twitter Chat on educators and superpowers.  Recently, Lia Gyore, the author of Reflections of an Evolving Teacher posted Why Twitter? and it made me think of my story which led me to the conclusion that I do in fact have … Read more

Two Words For Every Educator’s Tool Kit

Regardless of your role in education, there are two words that need to be in your tool kit:  #YouMatter!  The hashtag was started by Angela Maiers and you can read more about her mission here.  I’ve never met Angela Maiers (#yet), but an #EduHero in my district, Brendan Fetters, has and he’s posted reflections here … Read more

Give Me 5s: Love ‘Em, Love ‘Em Not

“Give Me 5” is traditionally used by the teacher to quickly get the class’s attention.  You can read more about it and download a free visual to display in your classroom here.  The very cool thing about a student-led classroom is that this privilege is given to the students!  The idea comes from Paul Solarz’s … Read more

Teaching Growth Mindset with Famous Failures

Lucky for me, lessons on Growth Mindset were embedded in our Methods in Mathematics course at NC State CED with Dr. Valerie Faulkner, so it just became part of who I am as an educator.  Reading Carol Dweck’s book and Mindsets in the Classroom probably helped as well; and it didn’t hurt that the district rolled … Read more

Every “Owie” Deserves the Same BAND-AID, Right?

I’ve always wanted to teach the BAND-AID lesson but never got around to it until the beginning of the 2016-17 school year.  I’m pretty sure I got the idea from other teachers during an online Learn Like a Pirate book study when we were discussing the Marble Theory and other community-building ideas.  This lesson is … Read more

Starbucks My PD Please

Free-choice seating (allowing students to choose their seat) with flexible-seating choices (comfortable seating) has been a welcome wave of change in 21st Century classrooms.    Cemetery-style desks are being replaced with yoga balls, wobble discs, Hokki stools, and more.  If you’ve been in a Starbucks recently, you’ll notice the different options available to chat with … Read more

Count Your Marbles: They’re All There in Theory

I’ve always wanted to teach my kids about the Marble Theory, because I actually believe it to be true, but never got around to it until this school year.  The idea comes from Paul Solarz‘s book, Learn Like A Pirate in the section on Peer Collaboration pictured to the right.  In order to demonstrate, I … Read more

A J the Inspiriter

Guest blogger Lynn Cashell is a 4th Grade Teacher at Bethel Springs Elementary School in the Garnet Valley School District, located in Delaware County, PA.  Lynn has been teaching for 21 years, the past 15 in 4th grade. Her first role in the district was as the Instructional Support Teacher. Lynn is certified in Elementary Education, … Read more

You Graduated! You’re a Teacher! Now What?

I’m honored to introduce you to guest blogger, Katie Robinson.  Currently the Technology Integration Specialist at Episcopal Collegiate School in Little Rock, Arkansas, she serves students and faculty in grades 6-12 and has close to 12 years experience in education.  Before moving to Little Rock, she taught 7th, 9th and 10th grade English in Memphis, … Read more