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Showing posts from April, 2017

Guest Post - Interactive Word Walls

To continue my little "guest post" series with my amazing first grade team, I bring you a beautifully written and well thought out post on Interactive Word Walls!

A first grade teacher and the team leader was kind enough to take some time to put together the following post.  I hope you enjoy!

My name is Luz Jasmine Arias (@Luzjasmine1) I graduated with my bachelors in Bilingual Education in 2010 and I received my Masters in Reading from Texas A&M Commerce in 2012.  I have been teaching at Barron Elementary for 6 years now and I absolutely love it.  Working with my students is my biggest blessing and I am so blessed to be able to do what I love to do!
                                              Interactive Word Walls
In the spring semester of 2016 our principal sent two teachers from each grade level to the Interactive Word Wall training with Julie Jackson provided by our school district.  It was there when so many of our eyes were opened as to what a word wall should be…

Goals

One of my favorite questions to ask students is - "What do you want to be when you grow up?"

It's simple

It's old

You might hear it on Sesame Street.

It's not innovative

But I am always taken aback when they don't have an answer for me.  Sometimes, they literally have NO IDEA.  I understand if it's a K-2 student, but in my opinion, students in 3rd grade and above need to, at least, have some idea.

I wanted to be an NBA player when I was a kid.  In high school, I was a 6'3", slow, had a pretty good jump shot, could never dunk a basketball and, like my best friends to this day remind me, was never a real stud in the weight room.  It didn't take long before I realized the whole NBA thing wasn't going to pan out.  BUT, before I realized that, I had a goal.  I had something to shoot for.  I had a path, and while I didn't always stay on it, I knew where it was and I had people to help me get back on it.

What do you think kids that have n…

Guest Post - Google Classroom

This is the second installment of a little "guest blogger" series on this ol' blog.

The wonderful information below is provided by a 1st grade teacher at my school, Tania Hiserote-Santiago (@Mrs_TSantiago).  Mrs. Santiago has been teaching for 7 years. This is her fifth year teaching in a first grade bilingual class. She taught 2 years in a second grade monolingual class in Houston prior to joining our school district. She recently got her GT certification by the state of Texas. She has served as a Science Curriculum writer and translator for the Writing curriculum as well!

In order to work towards reaching her T-TESS goal, Mrs. Santiago knew it would be helpful if she could share resources with other teachers in our building who shared a similar goal. She created a Google Classroom to help her do just that.  Enjoy the post below and don't forget to follow her on Twitter!

Why Google Classroom? Google Classroom offers many advantages for an educator seeking to learn a…

Guest Post - Flexible Grouping

Our first grade team went out on a limb this year and tried some new things.  All in the name of figuring out and delivering on what students need to be successful.  I want to highlight what those teachers did and talk about some roadblocks they came across while implementing these new way of doing things.

I asked if they would like to blog about their experiences and I heard..


I asked if they would like to write a post on my blog and they eagerly signed up!

My first guest blogger is Kayla Casillas - @MrsCasillas_1st.  Mrs. Casillas is currently in her 6th year of teaching and this is her 3rd year teaching 1st.  Mrs. Casillas also taught ELA/SS in another district before joining ours!

While the whole group decided to go with flexible grouping this year, Mrs. Casillas volunteered to write the following blog post.  I certainly hope you enjoy and learn something!

This year in First Grade, our grade level has been using flexible grouping in guided reading to help meet the needs of all …

Restorative Morning

Some kids come to us in the morning, not ready to learn.  Not ready to "do school".  They are upset, angry, tired, hungry, frustrated, etc.

Does that surprise you?

Probably not.

What are you doing about it?  Morning work?  Have students sit at their desks, silently, and watch morning announcements?

Do we expect the students who come to us in a state of mind not conducive to success at school to just, get it together?  I would argue the opposite of the "get it together" mindset.  We are educators and we educate more than just the academic side of our students lives.  We are also responsible for equipping our students to be socially and emotionally resilient.  Intentionally.  Like, actually TEACHING students how to be mindful of their feelings and what to do when they aren't 100%.

At the elementary school I am fortunate enough to be the Assistant Principal at, we have had some teachers put Morning Circles into place.  The first part of these circles is a sim…