Freebie Friday: Hallowe’en Bingo

 We LOVE Halloween.  We are busily are getting our costumes prepped to be in New York’s Halloween parade.  We have our house decorated and we are in right spirit.  We kicked off the Hallowe’en season by heading up up to Sleepy Hollow, New York a few weeks ago to nerd out at Washington Irving’s home (the author of A Legend of Sleepy Hollow). We topped off our weekend escape with a Headless Horseman themed haunted house. It was amazing and both events get our resounding endorsement.

Earlier this week the Yellin Center showcased my free Hallowe’en resource (you can find the full article below). It is a fun Bingo Game.  It follows all the traditional rules of Bingo.  However if you need a refresher the free download from my Teachers Pay Teachers Store has all the details you need. Happy Halloween!

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Home Reading Program and Log

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Another resource is up on The Jordan Project Teachers pay Teachers Store this week.  Today’s resource are the series of handouts I used to organize my home reading program.  At the start of our home reading program I would send home the Reading Log Handout, which outlines the expectations of our reading program as well as tips for reading with a child in the home.  The log would be packaged with an appropriate reading level book in a large zip lock freezer bag.  When the time came, for my extra avid readers I would simply print off and add extra reading log pages to their home reading package.  Below you can read the handout I sent home to parents which outlines the simple but effective structure of my home reading program.  From there, head over to the store to download the entire Home Reading Package.   Continue reading “Home Reading Program and Log”

Tools for a Paperless Classroom

 My latest post is inspired by a dear friend who is an even greater teacher than she is friend (and that is saying something).  This isn’t the first time she has inspired me to write, but over the summer, Linh and I began talking about our professional goals as we headed toward the new school year.  Hers was to create a paperless classroom leaving me in awe of her passion to tackle just a big feat. If any teacher can do away with pencil and paper Linh surely can.  After a little research I discovered there are a variety of tools to ensure her success.  You can head over to my article at the Yellin Center for Mind, Brain and Education, or find a copy of it below.  Enjoy and good luck to all you tech-saavy educators out there making a difference in children’s lives and diminishing your environmental impact. Keep doing you! Continue reading “Tools for a Paperless Classroom”

Back-to-School App Roundup for Teachers

 Well the start of school is upon us, and your social media accounts are undoubtedly  being flooded with adorable, toothless back to school photos from all the proud mamas and papas out there.  Teachers, however, are also gearing up to kick off the new school year.  This week they will be meeting the newest heard of young people entrusted to their care.  As such, I put together a great list of some of my favourite digital tools out there that make a teacher’s life a touch easier.  You can head over to my article posted at the Yellin Center for Mind, Brain and Education where you will find my write up accompanied by videos on each of the apps.  Below you will also find a copy of my commentary on the merits of each tool. Happy back to school, and an even happier school-year!

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Digital Assessment Tools for Teachers

 I have another article posted for the Yellin Center! Below you will find a copy of my latest piece. Enjoy!

Digital Assessment Tools

Assessment is a large, important, and oft-debated necessity in education. The traditional view of assessment hinged strongly on summative evaluations –  assessments after the fact, such as a comprehensive exam or final paper. However, the current best practice in evaluating learning is to deploy frequent and thoughtful formative assessments, where teachers build in “check-in points” during the learning process that can be used by instructors to improve their teaching and by students to improve their learning. The goal of this evaluation framework is to inform the educator of what specific needs are present in their students and whether they need to augment their future lessons in response to those needs. It is important to note that the post-evaluation reflection and intervention is the defining feature of a formative assessment. Measuring student performance or collecting data is not formative unless you use the information to help your students.

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Top Five Resources for Special Education Teachers

IMG_5079The past month I had been asked by a few sources to cull my bookshelves and devise a list of my tried and true manuals for special education.  One list I comprised for my former University will be coming out to showcase 10 exceptional resources.  However, today, for the Yellin Center, I whittled and augment my list down to a mere five texts that make my life as a Learning Specialist a touch simpler. In my article, which you will find below, I elected to focus on technical texts, rather than teaching resources.  The literature detailed in the article are resources on the current research and practical strategies for applying the best practices in learning theory.  I hope they are as helpful to you as they have been for me. Continue reading “Top Five Resources for Special Education Teachers”

Khan Academy is growing and I for one am excited!

khan You might be familiar with Khan Academy as a free, online resource to help students in grade K through 12 master difficult mathematical concepts.  However, Khan is quickly turning into so much more.  Through a series of excellent partnerships Khan is rapidly expanding the breadth and range of topics they cover.  Khan’s latest partnership is with the CollgeBoard to bring free, dynamic, robust SAT prep to anyone with internet access.  The conversation around this innovative, and disruptive resource is that perhaps this will have the power to level the playing fields for all college seniors in the country and better prepare them for college. However, Khan’s test prep ventures don’t stop with the SAT. Khan Academy currently also offers free, digital resources to help students prep for the GMAT, MCAT, NCLEX-RN (nursing exam) and CAHSEE (California High School Exit Exam). But Khan isn’t just focusing on standardized test prep in order to help make America’s students college ready. Khan Academy has also curated a wealth of resources to help students navigate the intricacies of college admissions. This takes Khan’s merits beyond the mathematics classrom, making it an invaluable resource for any high school student, guidance counselor or dynamite teacher.

Read more about the great things Khan is doing in my Article for the Yellin Center in New York City.

Article on the Best Learning Apps

1432058554The Yellin Center just released their most recent newsletter.  The spring edition features an article I wrote on my favorite learning apps.  There are so many high-quality, educationally sound learning apps available to parents and educators. However, it can be a daunting challenge to navigate the plethora of tools and cull out the ones that will be of value to a specific child or need. In the article I have highlighted and rationalized my top choices digital tools that build skills in Math, Reading, Writing and early Literacy. Enjoy!

My Side of the Mountain Novel Study

41GI0OcvOZL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Last week we headed to the Catskills for the most perfect, cozy, blissful weekend escape.  My nerdy inner elementary school teacher was as about the relaxation and she was about the setting of Jean Craighead George’s My Side of the Mountain in the real.   To give a little context to my unabashed enthusiasm, when I taught grade 5 I devised an entire My side of The Mountain unit plan.  It is hands down one of my favourite novel studies to do with a group of upper elementary school students.  The story is set in the Catskills, and centers around the theme of survival in the wilderness.  So as you know I believe in experiential learning. So naturally when I was teaching in the Northwest I made sure to infuse activities that got my students out in their natural environment to ensure the book really came alive.  It really is one of the best books to create interactive, authentic learning experiences around.  So while away this past weekend,  I snapped a handful of pictures throughout our trip that I can put together in a slide presentation for fellow teachers to use to help their students visualize the setting of My Side of the Mountain.  It is now up on my Teachers pay Teachers store. Continue reading “My Side of the Mountain Novel Study”