Latest Posts

What Do Teachers Really Need??

To quote Led Zeppelin, “It’s been a long time since I rock and rolled.”  At least that is how I feel right now.  It HAS been a LONG time since I have written a blog post! Shame on Me!  I am sorry.  I let life get in the way, and I shouldn’t do that, but I think most would agree that we all do.

What do teachers really need? dont eat the pencil blog post

But I am back to writing and have been back to school for 6 weeks.  We start earlier than most schools around the country because we are on an extended year schedule.  I have, to be honest, it has flown by!  I love the extended schedule and the two-week breaks in Fall and Spring, but I absolutely HATE starting school at the end of July.

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How to Motivate Them When They Don’t Feel Like IT!

I have a bone to pick with someone.  The problem is I am not quite sure who it is.  If you are scratching your head right now, so am I!  Maybe I should back up a little and give you the whole story.

I dont feel like it

As we move towards the end of the school year, everyone (including me!) gets a little over excited, unfocused and lackadaisical about school.   Unfortunately, the focus fades much much before we are finished with all the academic tasks that need to be complete by the end of the year.

Because it is my job to pull everyone back into the reality that we are STILL in school and are STILL supposed to be learning, my entire day consists of fighting the uphill battle of motivating everyone in the room to stay on task, and finish up their assignments.  

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5 Things to Help Students with ADD Thrive in the Classroom

I would be willing to bet you that every classroom in America has, at the very least, one child with ADD in it.  Maybe they haven’t been diagnosed yet, but they have the symptoms loud and clear.

5 things to help students with add thrive in the classroom

As teachers, it is our job to “level the playing field” for these kiddos.  Some people, mostly outside of education, think that this means cutting assignments in half or making assessments less difficult.  It doesn’t mean either of those things.  Most accommodations for students with ADD have nothing to do with the actual curriculum or material they are studying.

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5 Things You Must Do When Parents are Upset!

Wow!  It was a long week.  We had state testing all week.  I got pink eye, had to have a tough conversation with one of my students’ parents, and this parent pretty much told me I had no business in any classroom!!! OUCH!!

ANGERdoesn't solve anythingbuilds nothingbut can destroy everything!

It was a tense situation.  I would like to tell you some wild story about how I told her off too, but I didn’t.  I was professional, respectful even though I was mad as hell!!!  This week is the inspiration for this post:

3 Things You MUST do when a Student’s Parents are Pissed!

(pardon the language!)

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3 Ways to Prepare for The Dreaded Teacher Observation

I hope you had a great weekend!  I am back at it again with the A to Z Blogging Challenge!!  Today is brought to you by the letter O!

My “O” stands for Teacher “Observation” & “Ounce” of Preparation

Said NO TEACHEREVER!!! dont eat the pencilIf you are a teacher, I bet you just felt your stomach turn when you read that.

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M is for Motivation (Teacher Motivation)!

Fridayyyyyyyyyyyy!!  Yea!  Today’s letter from the A to Z Blogging Challenge is M.

M atoz blog challenge

My “M” is for “Motivation.”

A while back I wrote a post about student motivation, so today, I chose to write about teacher motivation.

What motivates teachers??

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An Open Letter to All First Year Teachers

It is L day for the A to Z Blogging Challenge! And my L stands for Letter.

An Open Letterto all First YearTeachers donteatthepencil

Dear First Year Teacher,

Congrats!  You are finished jumping through all those hoops the school of education demands that you pass through and you have landed a job!  Those are major accomplishments that should be celebrated!!  

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K is for Kinesthetic Learning!

Today is K day at the A to Z Blogging Challenge!!  My K stands for:

dancing star kinesthetic learning

K is for Kinesthetic Learning!!donteatthepencil!!

Huh?  I know, right?

Over recent years in the education, there has been much research on learning styles, and the different ways individuals best retain new knowledge.  I think most people have heard of visual learners (learn better with pictures, graphs, charts), and auditory learners (learn best by hearing information), but not everyone has heard of being a Kinesthetic learner.

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I is for Individualized Education Plan

I am trying to catch up with my fellow A to Z Blogging Challengers

atoz blogging challenge donteat thepencilTechnically, today’s blog post is J.  But I am on the letter I.





I am going to go back to my years as a special education teacher (in three different states) and make My I:

Individual Educational Plan or IEP

Everything Parents Should know IEP donteatthepencil

It is probably one of the most misunderstood documents in educational history.  So we will start from the beginning.

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3 Alternatives to Homework When They Never Turn It IN!!

Its H day of the A to Z Blogging Challenge!  My H stands for Homework.  Yes, that lovely part of all schooling that makes student groan!  

H is for homework dont eat the pencil

As a teacher, I have had many experiences with assigning homework with most of them being negative.  My first year of teaching middle school math, I assigned my first homework assignment to the students about 2 weeks after school began.  It wasn’t a difficult assignment.  It consisted of about 5 problems that we had practiced that day in class.  Honestly, I didn’t think much about the assignment until the next day.

The following day when I asked everyone to get out their homework, I was astonished when NO ONE had it.  Wait.  I mean, NO ONE did it AT ALL.  Not one or two students who forgot–  oops!  

dont eat the pencil homework post

I am NOT exaggerating when I tell you, NO ONE had done ANY of it.  WOW.  At first, I thought maybe there was some kind of community emergency.  A tornado? Flood?  So I asked my students why they didn’t complete the assignment.  Their responses were all very lackadaisical and honestly, they really didn’t seem all that concerned about not returning to school with their homework in hand.

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