Wednesday, July 14, 2010

FEA and CTA to host EDUCATORS Institute

The Florida EducatorsAssociation (FEA) alongside School District of
Palm Beach county Classroom Teachers Association (CTA) is hosting it’s FIRST annual REGIONAL Summer Institute to be held in Palm Beach County!!!

This conference is FREE to ALL public school teachers but space is limited so if you are interested- SIGN UP FAST!!

The first 25 participants to sign up will receive a gift!! There will be prizes and gifts handed out all week long and the institute will host a hot breakfast and lunch on the first and last day of the institute! Each session will be worth a certain amount of Master Service Plan points- so check the FLYERS- if you are interested in attending and submit the paperwork ASAP!!! Not only will you learn the latest research in reading, behavior, math, family-school communications but you will also have loads of FUN!!

Click on the link below to access the documents!!


Friday, July 2, 2010

New Literacy Resources!!

Check out my new recent posts on EducatorsHelper re: Student Literacy Centers. There are PDF's that you can download- Here is the link that will take you directly to the page with the information and post!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Using Music to Enhance Instruction!!

For the entire lyrics = please visit the link given at the bottom of post- Lots more songs to download for FREE available...

Students- no matter what age group- learn concepts quickly, when music is integrated into lessons. I have often used music with Language arts, Math, and Science- and have found that my students LOVE to listen to the songs and quickly memorize lyrics, which seems to help them master the content faster. Plus- it's much more fun to teach when you get to sing...

Here's another idea- Let your students change the lyrics for other topics/concepts! For more songs and FREE songs to download each month- Go to Make sure to sign up for their newsletter- and each time they post a FREE song for downloading- they'll send you an email, with a link... It's awesome!!!!

one of the GREATEST Math and Tech sites...EVER!!!

The link above will take you directly to Robert Fant's website!! Make sure to let us know what you think!!

Robert Fant has the GREATEST Math site and TECHNOLOGY integration site for teachers out there!! So- If you are a Middle or High School Math Teacher- This is the site you will want to list as a FAVE- and if you are into integrating technology into instruction- you're going to definitely want to list this as a FAVE and bookmark it under a few different lists... It has several tutorials and examples of student work- so if you are not sure how to use the example of tech that are listed... there are plenty of examples to show you how to use them in your classroom!!! Check it out today!!! You'll definitely want to use it for this upcoming school year...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Resource for New Media in the Classroom | Edutopia

A Resource for New Media in the Classroom Edutopia

This is a great resource for educators. We now need to teach content and prepare students for 21st century businesses, which we don't even know what that will look like, but we know students must be able to use and adapt to technology. This resource, created by Edutopia, is a great tool! Download it and check out other fabulous resources, including "Schools that Work" and sign up for the online community to develop new relationships with educators around the globe!

**Don't forget to click on the link above to download the PDF-
10 top tips for teaching with New Media- from Edutopia.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Webquests are FUN and might be a great tool for the end of the year!

Are some of you packing your classroom to move? I know it's difficult to transition to a new school and yet have to teach at the same time but sometimes we all have been placed in these situations where we need to do this! We need to pack an entire classroom and get it ready to move by the end of the last day (yes this is true... sadly) and yet we have to continue to teach our students too. Do we get paid additionally to stay above and beyond those paid hours to continue working to pack up that entire classroom, that could consist of 20 years of teaching?? NO- we don't get paid extra and I don't know about other educators but I know that Florida educators with over a decade of experience make about $43,000... which isn't much when you have a family of four to feed.

So the question remains... how do you attempt to resolve this situation? How do you pack an entire classroom and continue to teach at the same time? I think a WEBQUEST for the class, could be a great solution for the time being... You can present the information, integrate it with some summer reading choices, and then allow students to choose partners for the activity. Then have them take turns using the computers to access the WEBQUESTS. If you don't have enough computers, pull some books from the media center to allow students, who are not on computers , to find information until they have a chance to access the computers. Rotate the groups every 15-20 minutes so that students have enough time to research their topics.

Here is a link to assist you in finding some wonderful WEBQUEST topics:

As far as the topic of Teacher pay: Check back tomorrow to Read the upcoming post re: Diane Ravitch's letter to Legislature and watch her video.... then pass it to every educator you know.

If we are proactive and united... a change will begin to emerge.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Do you DEWEY?

Are you a librarian looking for Dewey materials for this coming school year??

I've been helping out in our school's media center to organize some books and I must's been a long way since I "deweyed." I had forgotten all about the Dewey system, how it works, the beautiful art of organization and systematic placement of books into departments based upon topic. It's really amazing to think about this amazing feat when you look at tens of thousands (or even hundreds of thousands) of books- yet every year- librarians across the world do it daily!

Here are some resources you can use to help orient your students to the Dewey system. (btw... I have never taught this skill to my students- but plan to in the future... I do see it as useful and I wish I had memorized the numbers myself!)

Here are some links to help you plan for future instruction: (powerpoints on the system itself- kid friendly) (great link to Dewey bingo- Dewey poster- and other items for your media center, library, classroom library, or homeschool library!!) (a list of more resources) (resources broken up by grade level) (powerpoint presentations on the Dewey decimal system)
 (even more resources than you could ever imagine- there is a GREAT ThinkQuest activity which would be great to use- however you need to sign up for an account first- which you will need an administrators permission)

The above resources will keep you busy for a good while... If you need more- Let me know and I will post more resources for you on this website but for now... have fun!

Monday, May 3, 2010

A GeekyMomma's Blog: Wiffiti: Interactive Personal Billboard

A GeekyMomma's Blog: Wiffiti: Interactive Personal Billboard

You must check out this post from GeekyMomma's blog (by the way- she is a mom (I'm pretty sure of that) and I am- 100% sure- she is not a geek-but if knowing your stuff about integrating technology into education is being 'geeky' then maybe we'll let her get away with it ...

Saturday, April 10, 2010

go to my new blog....

I've moved my blog to ......

Please bookmark my new page as I won't be updating this blog any longer. I am not able to access it other than to add posts- I can no longer see the blog itself...(virus takeover!!!)

Thanks for being a continued follower of LivingLeaners!!

Friday, March 19, 2010


This has been the first time in almost a month that I have actually been able to get to my blog!! I couldn't access it because it had been infected with some kind of virus... Everytime I would click the link to it...I was redirected to some crazy ad- (which of course- I did NOT put there!!!)... So where was google in all of this- trying to help me??? I don't even know!!

Well- here's the deal- I've now had to create a new blog (as I thought this one was caput- no more-finito- adios!) so I'm giving you the link to it... It's much prettier on the eyes anyway thanks to  If you ever need someone to design a site for you... better check her out first!!

Like I's the link to my new blog- and website to match- Educator's Helper!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Read Across America- March 2nd

Will you be reading 'across' America? Did you also know it's Dr. Seuss's birthday too???!! (It really is Theodore S. Giesel's birthday on March 2nd)... Is it just a coincindence??? Nope... Read Across America was purposely planned on Dr. Seuss's birthday because of his books and their ability to inspire children to read.

Schools across the country
celebrate this special day
by reading their favorite books
and dressing up in a funny way-
some will wear a crazy hat,
some wear their pajamas to school,
some dress up as Thing 1 and Thing 2...
so tell me... what special thing did you do??

The 4 silliest entries will receive a Lorax book and character- FREE- for their classroom!!!
(only one entry per classroom please!!!- remember to send your school address teachers!)

Last school year we celebrated a "Read In Day" where I had all the students where their pajamas to school, bring in their favorite Seuss books, a blanket or sleeping bag, some even painted their hair red and white... it was great!! We had such a blast... I think we had almost every single Seuss book represented that day... and it was one of the most special days of my career!

Monday, January 25, 2010

ENVIRONMENTAL Education- High School Challenge

 Announcing the 2010 Classroom Earth  
National High School Challenge
(I received this in my INBOX today and thought ... I MUST pass it along... an opportunity to receive up to $4,000!!!)

Announcing the 2010 Classroom Earth National High School Challenge

Apply now for the 2010 National High School Challenge, a program encouraging teachers to incorporate environmental education into all subject areas through innovative teaching strategies. Teachers from around the nation can receive up to $4,000 to make their ideas become reality.

Teachers from all subject areas should apply.

Deadline is Monday February 22, 2010.

Classroom Earth’s mission is to increase the ability of high school teachers to integrate environmental education into curricula so that students are prepared to be a part of environmental solutions.

For details and to apply go to: 


Jessica Culverhouse

Program Manager
National Environmental Education Week

National Environmental Education Foundation

4301 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 160
Washington, DC 20008
V (202) 261-6484
F (202) 261-6464

Knowledge to live by

Become a "Follower/Member" of this site and stay updated!!

If you're like me- you probably check out lots of blogs looking for materials that will help you in your classroom or even for your studies. I want all visitors to know that I continually update the site, so if you want to stay updated, please make sure to quickly add yourself as a FOLLOWER! This way- anytime I add links or a post, or need to tell you about an amazing new tool out there that could save you tons of time, you won't miss out on any of that. If you are a NSTA member- make sure you add yourself as a member as I will be adding LOADS of Science information on how to use foldables inside Science Journals, how to integrate children's and young teen literature into your science lesson plans, and much more exciting SCIENCE information! (YEAH for Science~!!)

I hope this information will help you on your search for information in the vast universe of the www and the http... it's such an endless place of information, let me help you do the searching!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Science in the Classroom

When I was a student, science wasn't my favorite topic. Actually I HATED it!! It was boring, complicated, and I thought it was something I wasn't really good at!! Mostly, it was a subject that was lectured by my teachers and then, guess what?? We got a worksheet to fill out!! I retained nothing of what I learned in elementary science. In elementary school I have absolutely NO memories of a teacher conducting hands-on experiments in any of my classes. That is something that disturbs me on many levels... the first being that perhaps I'm developing dementia.

Could it truly be possible that I do not remember anything from elementary school? That can't be it!! I have other memories of my years in grades playing the recorder and the clarinet, dancing on stage (and getting ALL the steps wrong!!), reading books, writing, playing on the playground, and I can even remember where every classroom was located, the layout of the cafeteria, the clinic, and the courtyard! Which brings me to my second disturbing revelation... I could have been a doctor!! I thought I was never smart enough in science but that wasn't it at all; it was due to a lack of exposure.

I hadn't had the experiences that drew me in and sparked my curiosity (which later developed into a passion) by my teachers lecture style format to deliver the information. Had I experienced the process of INQUIRY and the use of hands-on ACTIVITIES, my life would be completely different today. 

After I became a more "seasoned" classroom teacher, I made sure that I incorporated as many inquiry-based activities as possible. I don't want to rob children of any experiences that will develop them into the future scientists and mathematicians that they may possibly be. I had written numerous grants to allow for the purchase of materials, I asked local businesses for donations, parents purchased lab coats and eye protection. Students would put on their lab coats and they truly felt like scientists- it is such a wonderful feeling to know you are changing the ways in which students see topics such as science and to have girls fascinated by insects, and looking through microscopes at the wing of a fly and not screaming "GROSS!" It's pure joy and love!!

I know that I may not make tons of money and I never did become a doctor but the world does work out the way it should- because I'm fulfilled in my work and making a difference everyday! So even though I might have been cheated out of a great science education- at least it lead to a greater good in the end.... (a lesson learned!!)

I will be posting some books that you can actually download and look at that have AWESOME Science activities, as well as links to sites that provide standards-based lessons!

ONE MORE THING: If you are not a member of NSTA- National Science Teachers Association- I highly recommend that you become a member and support all your fellow colleagues. Joining NSTA was one of the best decisions I made as a teacher and I've been a member for many years!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

DreamBox Learning

I shared this with some other educators today... I'm often searching for resources (more often than blogging- unfortunately) that will help students/children and their teachers. When I come across something that I think is amazing- I will always share it with anyone who will listen!! Well, if you have a child struggling with math (grades k-5) then you must try the following website...

Dreambox learning (after doing my research) was developed by technology specialists alongside elementary educators. It's not just another site with 'games' to play. These games are actually individualized and tailored per student/child... and all the lessons that have been developed are based on NCTM's (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics) standards. As a parent and/or teacher (I decided to get both subscriptions) you receive updates about each child's progress, unlike other programs where you have to log-in to check the status and progress... Dreambox will send you each student's status!!

Here's another aspect that I LOVE about this website... It will alert you as to how long it has been since a student or your child has logged on. (For example, my daughter hadn't logged in for a few days and I received an email letting me know... in a nice way... )

OK... I know I already said I LOVED the site but here's another great thing you need to know about Dreambox... the BLOG... a m a z i n g !!! This is one of the rare newsletters that I actually wait anxiously for in my "INBOX"... Why?? Their Newsletter includes links to other sites, book recommendations, ebooks, links to free activities, lessons to use in the classroom, activities to use at home to support learning, resources for monthly themes, kid-friendly events occurring online at amazing sites like NASA,  NCTM, and loads more...

One more thing... a math calendar of events will keep you busy all month long. Leave it on your fridge or print it twice so you can post one on your bulletin board too- Here's the link to January's calendar... (anyone have a kazoo???)

I hope you check it out and find it useful as well. Let me know what you think... I believe in their product, as have others such as the Association for Education Publishing- they awarded Dreambox the Golden Lamp for Technology Innovation!

Learn why Dreambox is quickly becoming THE interactive math-technology tool to help support students!!

Using Comics in the classroom and Have your portrait drawn too!!

If you read the previous post about "Boy/Challenging Writers" then you will be up to date on why I am providing the following link to Ryan Alexander-Tanner's website. He is an artist who specializes in comics and I found him, luckily, through AERA! I had asked him if I could use his comics in the classroom to help my writers develop ideas, creativity, and even some dialogue...

I think comics are a GREAT way to engage writers. You will find that every single student, unless they've worked in groups, has generated an original idea for the same picture. Please make sure you ask for permission if you use an artist's work in your own classroom and follow copyright rules.

If you click on Ryan's "obligatory blog" you will find a link to have your portrait done... I was brave and had mine drawn... It's amazingly similar to my picture!!!

Wow- he's really good!!! Make sure to look at his comics and drawings... I wish I had that kind of talent!!!!

NAP book: Ready, Set, SCIENCE

THIS QUIZ is sooo much FUN!!

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