Finding Your Mrs. Thorpe

Looking back, as a principal, highlights in my day were visiting classrooms, interacting with students, and witnessing teaching and learning. By far, my students across grade levels were fortunate to have some great teachers, and if I ever had to select the most effective teacher I worked with, indisputably, I could not. Although different in…

Target Notes

Purpose:This graphic organizer is designed to help students expand their thinking while focusing on a main idea, topic, or concept. Target Notes ask students to consider what is at the center of the inquiry. What is the student is aiming to discover? Designed to scaffold students’ thinking, the center circle holds the main idea, topic,…

Literacy Center Resources

Literacy Centers are an exciting, self-motivational way to enhance, develop, or extend learning within a classroom. At literacy centers, students work alone or interact with one another using instructional materials to explore and expand their learning (Diller, 2003). Download Teachers’ Guide

Literacy: 5 Non-Negotiables

Have you ever encountered that one student that, instantly, you knew you’d never forget?  I’m not talking about the coolest kid, the dainty little princess or even the local Doogie Howser type.  I’m talking about that one kid who connected with you in a way no other student ever could—the student who stretched you as…

Put Me In, Coach!

Have you ever wondered why coaches do not play in the game? Instead they prep and prepare the players on the team to run the plays. Coaches watch the field, strategize, and running plays in their head and then send in the players based on their strengths. But what about those players who never make…

Teach like a ROCKstar

School is about to start or has just begun and we are right in the midst of the back to school madness. Most teachers start the process by gathering ideas for their classroom, revisiting the standards, planning the sequence of the first few weeks of lessons, and getting excited about the “fresh” start. Regardless of…

2 R’s: Reflect & Recharge

Do any of those phrases mean anything to you?  If so, then you might just be a teacher.  As teachers, we get super excited as the thought of summer comes our way. We engage in the process of planning where, when, and what we will do with family and friends. One of the true rewards…

My Cup Runneth Over

As a principal at the start of the school year, I was always  excited to welcome my staff back and swop stories of our summer adventures. I would plan all summer, knowing that my team and I had created new initiatives, strategies, and structures that would have my staff working smarter not harder and my students…