Friday, December 30, 2011

Rigor and Relevance

Here is a link to a video explaining the application of rigor and relevance in the classroom.

The Teach 21 Strategy Bank is designed to be a dynamic resource for educators. It contains a multitude of research-based strategies teachers can use to make their classroom instruction more effective, and to address the needs of their diverse students. These strategies have been collected from a variety of sources, including the standards-based units available on Teach 21.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Instructional Facilitator

Although my job is titled Staff Development Teacher I believe that this description for Instructional Facilitator futher defines and clarifies my position. Instructional Facilitator is an individual holding a valid Oklahoma teacher’s license meeting the criteria for a highly qualified teacher who facilitates continuous improvement in classroom instruction by providing instructional support to teachers in the elements of research-based instruction and by demonstrating the alignment of instruction with curriculum standards and assessments tools; develops instructional strategies; develops and implements training; chooses standards-based instructional materials; provides teachers with an understanding of current research; integrates technology into instruction; assists in the implementation of the components of the Ways to Improvement School Effectiveness (WISE) School Improvement Plan.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Meet the Teacher Monday

A Little Bit About Me...
I became National Board certified in 2007 in the area of Middle Child Generalist. I have recently left the classroom to become a staff development teacher for the district at Academy Central.

I Have Been Teaching...
I recieved my Bachelors from Langston University in 2002. I was at Hawthorne Elementary for nine years.

You Might Not Know...
That I was in Jr. R.O.T.C. in high school. I was captain of my squad, and on the drill and rifle teams.

I Am Looking Forward To...
Making an impact on the education of students in a different capacity.

I Need to Improve On...
Communication..I need to learn how to delegate and how to say, "No."

I Can't Live Without...
My laptop, flip camera, digital camera, and document camera.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Critical Issues in EducationReform

Education Reform
These schools are having active conversations about school reform that shows the perspectives of teachrs, parents, administrators, civic leaders, and others as they collaborate on new practices that make real improvements in student achievement.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Brain Pop Gameup

Brain Pop has added a new free feature to its site. These games are free and some have a free Brain Pop movie to go with them. You also can create your own games to play and create an account for your students to create games. For those of you who teach to the myltiple intelligences, this is an easy way to get students to review content while creating a game. Click on the following link to go to the page:

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Defining Mastery

Late Work

How Much Should Homework Count

Redos, Retakes, and Do-Overs Part 2

Redos, Retakes, and Do-Overs Part 1

Formative and Summative Assessments

“When the cook tastes the soup, that’s formative assessment; when the customer tastes the soup, that’s summative assessment.” (Brookhart, 1999)
Feedback That Fits
Chapter 2. Questions and Answers About Formative Assessment

WIDA Focus on Formative Assessment|Wisconsin Center for Education Research|University of Wisconsin–Madison| 3


Check out this website that offers a free site for assessing math readiness in number sense, fractions, and decimals.

Chapters from books:
Front Cover
(Chapters 1-4) By Rick Wormeli. Looking for the link between assessment and differentiation? In Wormeli’s thinking, assessment is a crucial component of the differentiated classroom. With formative assessment for example, we can give students great feedback, but remember that formative assessment also often suggests a need for using different techniques and strategies with our students. This book responds to that need.

Better Learning Through Structured Teaching

Classroom Assessment & Grading that Work

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Great site to use for social networking in a protected environment for students. You can assign work, post polls, etc. on this site. As the administrator you have total control over the content that a student publishes. (I had a student make a comment that was inappropriate and it was immediatly forwarded to my inbox, of course I deleted the students account).


For the last five years my students have published a book using StudenTreasures. Studentreasures provides the templates for each book. The organization request that at least one of the books be a class book and they also request that you give parents and other adults in the students life an opportunity to purchase an additional book by sending home a flyer about the book before it is published.
Student Authors

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Literature Circles

What IS a lit. circle? According to Harvey Daniels' definition: "Literature circles are small, temporary discussion groups who have chosen to read the same story, poem, article, or book...[E]ach member prepares to take specific responsibilities in the upcoming discussion, and everyone comes to the group with the notes needed to help perform that job" (13).

I have always been interested in Literature Circles in the classroom. Over the years I have made attempts to introduce it into my classroom curriculum. The major struggle has been the required curriculum and the focus on basal and directed reading to meet the demands of NCLB and AYP.      However with the advent of Common Core I have a renewed interest in Literature Circle.This year after our state testing was done I introduced Literature Circles to my students. THEY LOVE IT!!
The students can not wait to get into their groups for reading and discussion. I am amazed at how intelligent the conversations are and when I visit the groups they are animated and ready to tell me what they have read, discuss the characters, and show connections between the world, text, and themselves.
Harvey Daniels is the original creator of Literature Circles and here is a link to the research that supports Literature Circles in the classroom
The following websites have resources that support Literature Circles:
Brent Coley:
Laura Candler:
Instructional Strategies for Literature Circles

IPAD Literature Circles

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Thinkquest is a great technology tool to use the students. Thinquest is an online learning platform that helps students develop 21st century learning skills, including communication, critical thinking, and technology. Thinquest provides a project environment that supports collaborative learning within a protected format.

Live Binder for Sensational Science

The binders below contain information to compliment Sensesational Science. Sensesational Science was developed in 2008 and is a premier professional development experience for any teacher in Tulsa and surrounding areas. The University of Tulsa and various Tulsa non-profit agencies are sponsors of the Sensesational Science project.      

Sensesational Science offers a unique workshop experience where teachers are shown how to integrate curriculum across content areas and incorporate community resources in their classroom to meet the demands of 21st Century teaching.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Square of Life

Square of Life: Studies in Local and Global Environments is an Internet-based collaborative project in which students will investigate their local environment and share that information with other students from around the country and the world.

My students participated in this project. It is great for hands-on learning and developing inquiry skills in science.  Students plotted a square yard and recorded what they saw. We then uploaded that information to the website. Now that the data has been uploaded the students will compare and contrast their areas with other schools across the United States.

Here is the link to the completed project:

Discovery Boxes

I recieved a mini grant from This discovery box will make a wonderful addition to my science centers. This grant was posted in mid-April. You must apply the grant to either the medium or the large discovery box. You are also responsible for the difference and the shipping cost but even with that this is a wonderful opportunity for my students to develop their inquiry skills in science and to be introduced to real life artifacts that many may never have the opportunity to observe.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Poverty Quiz

How much do you know about kids in poverty? Take this quiz foun at Brainbased Learning

Gifted And Talented or Twice Exceptional?

I tell the students in my class that we are all "Twice Exceptional"; gifted in some areas and limited knowledge in some areas. I teach all students in my room on both levels and in between the sprectum of "Twice Exceptional". When I  form groups according to readiness they are static and constantly changing to meet the demands of the content, curriculum, and readiness of each student. My students view the resource room as a place for additional help not a place where the "dumb kids" go.
Below are some resources and activites that I use in the classroom to differentiate for all the students in my classroom.
In science I use a collection of different activites to challenge the students and to introduce inquiry and critical thinking skills.
Mission Centers:

Body by Golly
Earth & Space
Scientific Skills
Rocks and Soil
Our zoo has a wonderful tunk program
Rainforest Habitat Trunk
Wetlands Habitat Trunk
In My Own Backyard: Oklahoma's Ecoregions is a thinkquest designed for my students to research the different eco-regions in Oklahoma. Thinkquest is a protected website for students to explore and research on the Internet.

The Socratic Method

"The unexamined life is not worth living."
So today I get an email from the GT coordinator about the Socratic Method. This is one of my number one methods for introducing higher level thinking and reasoning in my classroom. Angela Bunyi has two  incredible lessons on her website that utilizes the Socratic Seminar. Aaron Huey: America's Native Prisoners of War and Remember: The Journey to School Integration by Toni Morrison.
Check it out at .
Here is a link for differentiating instruction using the Socratic Method:
Socratic Seminars:
Guidelines for student participants in Socratic Seminars:
Example of Socratic questions:
Socratic Seminars:
How to utilize Socratic Seminar in Your Classroom:

Friday, March 18, 2011

Ever Had a Day Like This?

This is a great. Sometimes, as teachers, we are hit with a day like this. Enjoy, laugh, and remember, "Trouble don't last always". ;)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Disney Planet Challenge

If you have not had the opportunity to participate in the Disney Planet Challenge, you might want to check it out. I have participated the last two years and my students truly enjoy the experience. It brings the science process of inquiry to life and makes students accountable and responsible.
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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Snow Days and Make Up Time

We were recently out of school for nine days which brings our total to eleven days. Of course the question is how can we make up those lost days? It really does not make sense to tack on the days at the end of the year, I mean testing is over and I and the students just want to go home. Okay, so what makes the most sense--increase the instructional day. But please make it worth the teacher's and the student's time. Thitry minutes is not enough time to really teach anything. Let's have at least forty-five minutes, and I'd really like an hour.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Whitville Community

Your pictures and fotos in a slideshow on MySpace, eBay, Facebook or your website!view all pictures of this slideshow

Classroom Photos

Here are a few pictures of my classroom.

Extended Vacation

Although it has been my intention to keep up with posting on this blog, time has gotten away from me.
In January, the focus was on preparing students for benchmarks and the state writing test and then we were out for two snow days.
In February the focus was on completing the Disney Planet Challenge and preparing to complete our StudenTreasure books for publishing and what happens, we are out an additional nine days for snow. We will be returning to school tomorrow.