Positive growth.

Motivation in learning is a huge component! I have high standards and expectations for all of my students. We work HARD and play HARD! I use each opportunity to motivate, encourage and excel my students. I celebrate as much as I can! I am blessed to work with a great Administration at my school! My students will work for fun treats! The Reach for the Stars Program is a gift certificate program, where if they obtain 20 stars they receive a ten dollar or less gift card of their choice. (Roblox game cards are a hit in my class).

Students receive a sticker for 80 percent or better and first attempt.

Teaching with the End in Mind

Spring break is over for us and it is time to get ready for SOL testing! My Fifth grade class will need about two days to come off of ”vacation mode” but we have no time for that! My focus will be maximizing my allotted time for each subject and giving my students that maximum time to practice the material. I have an amazing bunch of students! I have been extremely lucky to have gotten the opportunity to loop up with them from last year to this year. Covid learning took a toll on our learning trajectory and that is why it is so critical to maximize the opportunity to learn hands on. When I state I will teach with the end in mind. My first ”go to” in lesson planning besides looking at the time allotted for each standard of learning, will be what is it that I am wanting them to learn? The Learning Intention and Success Criteria is a huge component of the lesson planning piece. It is also important to review all the material that will be used for the lessons including Google slides, videos, practice material. To be honest, this is not something that I have always done before hand. I would start the lesson material and view it for the first time with my students. This often left me unprepared and scrambling for more information or practice material that aligned with it in case I had students who were more advanced and moved faster than their peers, or students who needed a little bit more practice.

If you have student notes to go along with the lesson plan, prepare them ahead of time for your students. I know that my students still need to practice taking notes, but I remain in control with the material and time allotted. If I did not control the time it would literally take them thirty minutes for one paragraph of notes, and that is not effective. What I will often do is create an Anchor chart and have them put that in their interactive composition notebook. I always have them use colored pencils during this time because ”color” brings life to the paper and to the brain for remembering.

Teaching & Time Management

There has been much debate as to whether we need to add more time onto the school day in regards to teaching students. Our school district has allotted to start school before Labor Day after many years of starting the school year the day after Labor Day. As a teacher of elementary school age students and a student enrolled in a Leadership course At Liberty University my position is that we do not need to add more time to the school day.

I have learned over the years that teaching curriculum with fidelity is a key to academic success. When my lesson is inadequately prepared, I can waste minutes or hourse of academic time allotments looking for things to cover, or researching material to go over with my students. Effective planning and preparation before the lesson leads to many valuable minutes and teaching opportunities added to my lesson time. I prepare student notes for my students, because I have learned that a lot of valuable time is spent having students copy notes that I can provide for effective study material. I do allow students to copy anchor charts and brief notes in their notebooks as we go, but the main core of note-taking is made before hand. I also share my students notes with their parents as well.

In terms of note taking, the Cornell method is an effective way for students to stay organized and the use of the bullet summary method works well for my Fifth grade students.

I do offer tutoring for my students during the school year. I offer intervention during one resource period for my tier three students and our elementary school is participating in an after school enrichment program. We also make this an opportunity to review criteria that student need help with after reviewing their data. Most of the intervention that takes place is in math and science.

Teaching is a ministry, and it is important for teachers to manage their time effectively outside of the classroom. It is imperative that our lessons are planned, but it is also important that we recognize time outside of the classroom is important for nurturing self-care to avoid teacher burnout.

We Remember

I have been thinking about the people that we come in contact with on daily basis, and how our interactions with them can change the way they view other people, life and different circumstances. In teaching, I see how teachers impact a child’s life daily. The true saying it takes a village could not be more true. Personally I have had five children of my own, but I can tell you I have dozens of surrogate children who I have love, mentored, and cherished throughout the years. A child’s ability to learn, think, love and grow is based on how they see themselves, and how they view others. A teacher can have a profound impact on their world view. I sat back tonight and thought about the four-year anniversary of Sandy Hook, and the impact on how that one school so tragically affected by an evil tragedy has we view the safety of our nation, the safety and greatest responsibility of not only educating our youth, but their physical well-being, and emotional growth. I recall stories of how the administration, the teachers, the students, the parents, and community evolved and grew that day. Tragedy will always bring growth, for it must occur for one to heal. I don’t want to think about the specific details of that day, for most of us will never know. I want to think about the awesome responsibility that we have to show our children that even through the horrors of the darkness, there is still light; a light that never can be extinguished because we have a God. God was there that day,  He gave the wisdom to the teachers that were at school that day, to hide them, protect them, comfort them, guide and keep them . We can all say we would have handled it differently, but until you have been in a classroom full of first graders, trying to get them to whisper is a heavy burden often impossible to accomplish.

God says if we ask him for wisdom, He will give it to us! ( James 1:5). Deep in my thoughts tonight, I just wanted to share my thoughts.

Gosh, I am so blessed, I came home from school today. My children came home from school today! Social media is putting out a PSA written from the survivors of Sandy Hook, I wanted to share the link here. It is deep, and personal, and I can honestly see I missed most all of the details the first time I watched it. See it, and tell me what you see! What we see could, no would save a life one day.








Teaching: Math’s Inter-connection with the Bible: Teaching from a Biblical Standpoint.

I wrote this post for an assignment at Liberty the other day. I received a lot of feedback from my classmates so I thought I would share.

One of the most interesting facets of thinking of mathematics and where science originated biblically is to look at the Scripture Gen 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Simply look at the numbers to understand that the Bible is truth, and that it is God’s Word written down explains the relation of the number of this scripture. Gen. 1:1- represent the beginning of all, and the number 1 in both the chapter and the verse of Genesis is the first number in our numbers count.  The Greek word for Genesis means origin or birth. (

In retrospect of the reading, it was clear that teaching math to students as well as all other content subjects is truly a teacher’s ministry. The gift that God gave us when he created mathematics not only began with the number concept, but the ability for a student to recall the same consistent pattern as in a formula to results in the math application becoming a formula or application. Not only does God give all of us the ability to comprehend and recall information as in knowledge and wisdom.

When a teacher is able to touch a student’s ability to grasp and engage in active dialogue that reveals their interest and engages them in such a way that they keep and comprehend not just for the moment but in their long-term memory, this is revelation of God’s gift to us.

The four main tactics in revealing math concepts to a student happens when a teacher is able to reword the math presentation, as if taken the math problem of the print of the page and bring it to life. Engagement of the student happens when the teacher not only shares the history of the math concept, as to where it came from, and when it begin, it concludes when the teacher teaches the student how to apply the concept in their everyday real life situation. Finally, when a teacher passes on the concept of math application to the student and it allows the student to better themselves or makes them academically successful, the true gift of “using the concept to explore the aspect of creation has come full circle.


Loop, K. (2010), Revealing arithmetic: Math concepts from a biblical worldview. Christian perspective, Va. P. viii-xii.


New Trends in Teaching

time and talent pic

Educators are being challenged by several problems involving the method in which they are teaching children in the 21st Century.  The Information Technology era has inundated the public schools by   tasking them to develop new and improved ways to keep up with all the data and information that has been made available due to the Internet and other media sources.

This generation of students is in a time of rapid learning and exchange of Information and Data, so much faster than even one decade before them. I remember when I was in school if we were assigned a research paper, you went to the local library and used the old card catalog box to look up your books needed and then used the Encyclopedia’s at the library. Research paper writing entailed an all day trip to the library, not anymore!

One thing that has not changed is that “reading is the window to the world.” It is the foundational skill for learning, personal growth, and enjoyment.[1]

“The degree to which students can read and understand text in all formats (e.g., pictures, video, and print) and all contexts is a key indicator of success in school and in life.  As a lifelong learning skill, reading goes beyond decoding and comprehension to interpretation and development of new understandings.”

The problem that we are facing in the education arena is that schools are behind in this learning concept. While this method of teaching is being introduced by the Educators, the individual states and Dept of Education has not changed their curriculum to embrace the needs of our students.

The art of teaching has even changed from “back in the day when teachers could really teach” to the era of standardized testing. We seem to have gotten into the method of “memorize and dump” of data to ensure the passing of the SOL testing. (Standards of Learning)

As a teacher I can tell you teaching is hard work! Due to budget cuts, reduced spending, often teachers are left to teach with restricted resources, limited staffing, and ridiculously low wages.

The positive aspect to all this is that we are aware of the trends and statistics of the changing world of education.   The change from teaching traditional research methods over to the newer Guided Inquiry methods is happening. “The ability of our students to draw on the knowledge and wisdom of the past while using the technology of the present to advance new discoveries for the future are being implanted.”[2]

In conclusion, we have students graduating everyday entering the “real world”, while we are behind for them, we are working to prepare our students to think for themselves, make good decisions, develop expertise and implement lifelong learning skills.

[1] American Association of School Librarians, Standards for the 21st Century Learner.

[2]  Ibis



Are You Making A Child’s Behavior Worse?

Thought I would share an excellent article for teachers and parents:

Are You Making Your Most Difficult Students Worse?

By Michael Linsin

Most teachers are hyperaware of their most difficult students—and well they should be.

It’s smart to know where they are and what they’re doing.

But this awareness can cause you to behave oddly around them.

It can cause you to glare and glower in their direction. It can cause you to hover near the edges of their personal space and tense up in their presence.

It can cause you to label them with your behavior.

Because when you act differently around difficult students than you do the rest of your class, you’re effectively telling them that they’re not like other students, that they’re incapable of being trusted and that you expect them to misbehave.

This is a powerful message you may not even be aware you’re sending. Your most challenging students, however, can see the smoke signals from a mile away.

They know when they’re being surveilled, marked, and followed. They know when they’re disliked and resented—or merely tolerated. They know when you have negative thoughts about them and their future prospects.

And they’re quick to live up to their role as troublemaker, to become the very person you see in them.

Although you should always maintain awareness of all your students, if you were to make it a point to behave the same way around your most difficult students as you do everyone else, you would see marked improvement in their behavior.

This includes the same smiles, jokes, and stories. It includes the same nonchalant way you look in their direction or ask about their weekend. It includes the same belief in their ability to listen, learn, and follow rules.

For many teachers, though, this is far easier said than done.

It’s only natural to be cautious and distrustful around students who have repeatedly disrupted your classroom. It’s only natural to linger and eyeball and use proximity to try and stop their misbehavior before it starts.

The solution, however, is simple: From the very first moment of each school day onward, you’re going to pretend that your most difficult students are already well behaved.

You’re going to assume that they will, of their own accord, follow your rules and expectations just like everyone else. And by pretending, by shoving aside any and all negative thoughts you have about them and their previous misdeeds, they’ll respond in wonderful and miraculous ways.

That isn’t to say that they’ll never again misbehave, but they’ll no longer do it to spite you or get under your skin. They’ll no longer do it because they’re fulfilling a prophecy. They’ll no longer do it because it’s expected of them, because it has become part of their identity.

Although improvement can be immediate, in time, and as the rest of your class begins to take up your cue, those ugly labels and beliefs they have about themselves will gently slide off their shoulders.

Their burden will lift. They’ll look you in the eye, unashamed. And for the first time in their school career, they’ll relax into their skin.

They’ll become an integral part of the whole.

A key ingredient in the soufflé.

A certified, accepted, and valued member of your classroom.

Bubbles and Ducktails



I read an interesting article tonight on an education website geared towards teachers. The article spoke of the importance on teaching structure, consistency, and order in the classroom. It spoke of when children start school they must be taught what is expected of them and that expected behavior needed to be modeled. In order for a class to walk down the hall from one class to another it must be modeled for them of the teacher’s expectation of a straight line (3 S line) and “bubbles” in their mouth. (to be silent). So the saying of “Bubbles and Duck tails” teach children that when they walk down the hall they are still,  quiet and orderly.

The reason for the article below is because I was trying to find the study that coincided with what I remembered being taught long ago, that a child is pretty consistent with his behavior and mannerism’s by about the fourth grade. The FBI did a study on children years ago and established that the fourth grade was the turning point for children. I am not saying by any means that any child cannot change bad behavior, but what I am saying is naturally the fourth grade mark is pretty consistent in what I have seen in elementary school education. I will continue to look for that article on that study, and if you find it please send it to me.

Anyways, I am sharing another good article on children from the FBI website.


Keeping Jesus in Public Schools


I remember when I was a little girl going to school, saying the Pledge of Allegiance, and opening up the school day with a Prayer. Times have changed so drastically since then, and not for the better. We have successfully kicked Jesus out of so many institutions, but the scariest is taking him out of the schools! If you want to be honest, school has changed so much since I was a kid, the Principal when we got in trouble had a wooden paddle, and you could expect if need be, that you would get a lick or two and your parents called. Not today, we have successfully taken discipline, and Jesus out of the Public schools, and we wonder why the kids are blowing up the schools and shooting one another. Long ago, the worst thing you had to worry about was getting beat up after school on the way home, a fight one on one.

As a Public School Teacher, we are no longer allowed to talk about Jesus in class. We must respect various religions, and gods that are worshipped other than GOD! Personally, I do not shy away from talking about Jesus with my kids. There have been numerous times that He was in our conversations. I remember one time I was sitting at the table cutting out patterns, and a little five-year old girl came up to me and asked me, “Do you believe in God?” I answered her, “Yes I do, do you?” she happily replied that she did too, and ran off.

Recently in class another student came up to me and said that she was sad because her Grandfather had passed away. Having experienced grief before, I told her that I was very sorry to hear about him not being her with her, but that He was with Jesus. She replied that she knew that, and that it made her feel better.

It may come back to me later, in some words or letter format, but I do not care. I am who I am, because of a living, loving God. He has carried me through so much, and It is with honor and happiness in my heart that I share about Him!

I look forward to my “God moments” in school, how about you?

Sandy Hook One Year Later… Are our Children Any Safer?

This year in the classroom as a teacher, I have really thought about the safety of our children in our Public Schools. Taking the time today to reflect on the senseless tragedy that happened last year ago on December 14, 2012 which killed twenty six people, including twenty school children. One year ago, we all watched in shock and horror at the devastation that one man caused all these families.  We as a Community, State, and Nation promised to make changes to ensure that this never happened again. What has been done?  Have we passed laws regarding more gun control? Is that the mere answer? What about mental health and the public safety of the members of the community? So many things that we could go back and forth on, debating from now until eternity. The bottom line is the children. The children have to be kept safe! We have to know as parents that when we drop them off at school that day, that they will be coming home. I know God has a purpose for all of us. I know that God is in control of all things. I know that this world is evil and full of sin, and that will not change. Change begins on the smaller scale, it begins within the community and state that we live in. Rapid Legislation and new laws are not going to take effect fast enough. There is money in state for our children’s education, but whether it goes to safety and children’s education is the concern.  The Virginia Lottery proceeds and I am assuming other states as well, as suppose to fund the schools. Do they? As an educator, I can tell you if they are, I do not know where it is, and it is certainly not enough. It is a well known fact that the School Budget is dissected on a yearly basis, pulling a little bit more away from the children each year. It also varies from one school district to another, even in the same state. One of the local school divisions has all of their schools secured and locked, and since Sandy Hook has installed door magnets in all the doors to pull the doors closed and locked in a moments notice. The next town over has another School District that are unsecured, having resource officers in the schools for security. Is that enough? Are the teacher’s given the tools they need to keep on the average twenty plus children safe in their care? Are they free to lock their doors in the classroom? Some are, some schools discourage it. Like night and day, different philosophy’s, one school has provided each classroom teacher a baseball bat as protection for their classroom.  

What can you do to help? How can you assure your children and parents that their child is safe? You can’t. You can offer to pray for them and their family, but not during official “school hours” because the J word is not to be mentioned during school. It is amazing, thought that Jesus was probably the first name called out at Sandy Hook. I pray for my kids, I pray for my families. I pray for safety and smart Legislation to keep our communities safe. How about you?
For Further information and research, two mom’s from Sandy Hook, Michelle Gay and Alissa Parker have started a coalition called , “Safe and Sound Schools.” One important gun control legislation that was initiated by the Sandy Hook Promise was defeated in Congress by seven votes. They now have a new initiative called “Parent Together.”