Saturday, February 27, 2016

Dr. Seuss and IEPs

Next week is Dr. Seuss' birthday, so I thought I would share this oldie found {HERE}. Anyone else have a ton of IEPs to write over the next few weeks as we approach the end of the school year?


Saturday, February 20, 2016

Why be normal?

I'm sure if you are on Facebook you've seen the pictures floating around about people NOT being weird.  It drives me crazy!!  Why?  People ARE weird.  Everyone gets all offended for being different.  We need to embrace what makes us unique and special.  If unique and special equal weird, then embrace it.  We are all weird because there is no one else on this planet exactly like us and that's what makes this word so amazing.  God created each and everyone of us to be unique with our own set of gifts.  Many times the things that make people weird are what enables them to change the world.

What do Einstein, Mozart, Newton, Darwin, Jefferson, Michelangelo have in common?  It is believed they all had autism.

Did you know that Einstein was considered of low intelligence as a child and had a tutor?  He failed his college exams.

What about Mozart?  Did you know that he was unable to carry on a conversation with others?  He was described as being very active and made repetitive movements.  Loud sounds also made him physically sick.

Newton was described as quiet and didn't enjoy talking with others. He didn't have friends.  He would get so involved in his work, that he would forget to eat.  He was also very routine focused.

Thomas Eddison was considered a difficult child and kicked out of school.  He was full of energy and was unable to focus in school (ADHD?).  He was homeschooled where he was in charge of his education.  He loved to read and would devour book after book.  By the time he was a teenager, he was already inventing.  He worked for 30 months straight on the light bulb.

Many famous people suffer from mood disorders such as bipolar or depression.  Did you know that Jim Carrey, Drew Carey, Abraham Lincoln, Harrison Ford, John Denver, Beethoven, Mike Wallace, and many others suffered from a mood disorder.  They used their experiences to bring joy to others, teach others, and generally make this world better for others.

The point is this:  ALL of these people were considered weird.   Many were thought of as disabled.  This weirdness is what made each of these people talented in their individual field.  They had someone cheering for them and teaching them to harness their weirdness.  Be that person for the weird students in your classroom.  You may just help the next Einstein,  Mozart, or Lincoln reach their full potential.

Be weird.  Change the world!


Thursday, February 18, 2016


I'm blessed to have an amazing principal that gave several teachers in our school an incredible opportunity.  We got to spend the day at the Ron Clark Academy.  

We all know after a few (or 17) years of teaching, it gets tough.  We tend to get buried in our "to do" lists and lose a bit of the passion.  Well, this guy has a LOT to say about that and several other topics that really hit home.  We spent the day watching some outstanding teachers do what they do best; teaching.

Some of my takeaways from RCA:
1.  Be a runner.  If someone tries to slow you down, help them catch up with you.  If they refuse, tell them to get out of your way and keep running.

2.  No matter where you teach, you're going to have to work with difficult parents.  Don't let their craziness get to your heart.  Consider each difficult encounter as a new "badge" on your teacher sweater.  Many times, parents just want to be heard and don't know a better way of letting you know that.

3.  Don't medicate children with attention issues.  Give them drums and teach them how to use them.  

4.  Movement is essential.  (It's not just a good idea, a fad, a time filler, but an ESSENTIAL part of educating children.)

5.  NEVER be negative.  Negativity is POISON and has the ability to spread like wild fire.  If someone complains or speaks badly of another teacher/student, DO NOT agree with them.  This only encourages them.  Instead, be BOLD and tell them you don't want to hear it and walk away.  Then, battle their negativity by showering your colleagues/students with positive comments.  

6.  When you cheer for your colleagues and encourage them, it changes the culture of your school.  It becomes a caring community that fosters learning of all students and teachers.

My favorite part of the day was having lunch in the "Great Hall."  I'm a huge Harry Potter fan and my children and falling in love with the series of books.  It truly was a magical lunch.  We had numerous students to introduce themselves and help us throughout the day.

If you ever get the opportunity to spend the day at RCA, take it.  It will give you a fresh perspective on teaching.  

Teaching is magical.  You ARE changing the world, my friend.  The question is, "What kind of world are you creating for us?"


Sunday, February 7, 2016


We love teachers!  We want to help you get ready for Valentine's Day and the end of the year.  A group of teacher sellers have put some of their best resources on sale for $1.  All you have to do it search #teacherlove2016 on Teachers Pay Teachers or click {HERE} to go to the search page.

Want to know what I have on sale?

Head on over and stock up.  Happy Sunday!


Thursday, February 4, 2016

Comparing Fractions Using the Butterfly Method

Do your kids struggle with comparing fractions with unlike denominators?  Most do because it's so hard.  Since I started teaching my kids using the butterfly method, they are all pros.

I start the lesson by getting the kids to think about the denominator and what it really means.  I teach them the bigger the denominator, the small the piece that each person gets.  Once my kids understand this concept, they can easily compare fractions with like denominators.   The problem comes when the denominators are different.

I have my kids draw a butterfly shape with the fractions.  This just helps them keep their numbers straight when they cross multiply.

How does cross multiplying work?

We are finding equivalent fractions with like denominators.  When the denominators are the same, you compare the numerators.  Easy, right? 

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