We all like breaks. I took a mini-hiatus from blogging to devote more time to my CASA kiddos. It's beautiful and emotional all at the same time.  But for you teachers, especially if you're a public school teacher, the break was pretty much needed for your physical and mental health. I hope you were able to take advantage of the healing a break can give you. Unfortunately, next week begins a new year and for most of you, the end to your winter break. And darn it! I have to say it again, it brings a lot of the unknown. COVID decided to mutate again into Omicron. Political issues might not have been addressed. Your kids who need SEL might need to be re-triaged. You have to be ready with your "bring it! I got this!" face. Pooh on that. It's tough enough to return from a break without all this other stuff facing you. Now, more than ever, you mustn't STRESS about turning cartwheels lesson plans. You need to review. But you need not go into crazy detail and start com...
Change Sings by Amanda Gorman   As teachers, we know how important it is to provide opportunities for social-emotional learning and development in a child the fact that they can make a difference in the world. One young lady has done that and has inspired adults, and this book can inspire kids as well. Amanda Gorman is not only the youngest poet who has recited her poem at the U.S. inauguration but is also the first youth Poet Laureate in the United States. She was raised by a single mom who was an English teacher and has revealed she has an auditory processing disorder and speech disorder. To practice her speech development, she sang.  Your students with various abilities can probably relate to the struggles of overcoming speech issues.  But to the book..... The illustrations by Loren Long are fabulous. Gorman refers to singing often. Another great aspect of the book that is unique to music is Long's use of musical instruments in the illustrations and the mentioning of diversity b...
  Bulletin boards . You might totally love them or totally hate them. You may love the process of putting them up, but hate the end result. OR, you might hate the process, but love the result. Or, you might put up the bulletin board paper and leave it blank until a colleague is tired of it and slaps something up for you. However you slice it, when you get down to it, bulletin boards add a special aspect to teaching. We know visuals are important, based on various studies. We also know that time is precious. You just might not have the TIME to keep changing bulletin boards. You also know the length of a student attention span. If you don't call attention to what is on the board and never change it, it languishes like the dust bunnies behind the piano. If you have several bulletin boards, are you wasting your time keeping the information fresh? Why not create interactive bulletin boards? OK, I don't mean interactive like virtual or digital, but bulletin boards that can be utilize...