June 2017 - The Classroom Nook

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Teacher Summer Challenge: Getting Your Year In Gear


Holy Moly!

I am bursting with excitement for an announcement that I have been dying to make, and today - I can finally talk about a huuuuge project that I've been working on.

Raise your hand if you participated in my Jump Start teacher challenge that I did last summer.  It was a 30 challenge designed to help teacher break down the over-whelming task of prepping for a new school year in manageable chunks that didn't require them to sacrifice one bit of their summer-lovin life style.  We covered everything from organizing and decorating your classroom to curriculum planning, and more - a LOT more.

I had this vision that I really wanted to help teachers get ready for the school year in a fun, energizing way and knowing that teachers like to connect, share, and inspire each other, I began developing this challenge that I called "Jump Start."  I spent over a month putting it together and then offered it to teachers for free.

I honestly thought that maaaaaybe 50 people would sign up and take the challenge.  But, guess what? I had over 1,000 teachers step up and say "YES!  I'm in!"  WHAT???  That's crazy town.

I was blown away.  We even had a private facebook group that was super active and inspiring to each other with their words of encouragement and inspiration to each other.  I couldn't have imagined a better outcome to the challenge.

Fast forward to May of this year.  I was having an impromptu lunch with my friend May Beth from Brain Waves Instruction.  We both are full-time curriculum writers here in Rochester, NY and we were discussing projects that we were working on and I mentioned how I was gearing up to begin preparations for this year's Jump Start challenge.  I told her how amazing it was last summer, but I was looking to put a fresh new spin on it.

Well- guess what (or, I should say who) my fresh new spin is?  Mary Beth!  She has joined me in hosting the challenge this summer and she has brought some amazingly fresh, fun ideas to the challenge!

Even more than that, we have joined together to form a new passion project called "School Year Solutions."  School Year Solutions is going to be a new place where teachers can find simple solutions to solving their biggest classroom challenges.   And the first challenge we are taking on together is planning and prepping for a new school year.

We're calling the challenge this summer "Getting Your Year in Gear."  It is going to be better then ever and I want YOU to join us.  Even if you joined me last year for Jump Start, you won't want to miss the challenge this year.  By the way - it's a FREE challenge.

Here's a little bit about what you can expect:



If your ready to learn even more about this challenge - hop over to our new School Year Solutions site where you can get all the details about the course and how to sign up.  I hope you will join us this summer!  Just click below to learn more!

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Student Blogging {A New Kind of Journaling}


More and more, teachers are looking for ways to take traditional paper/pencil activities and make them digital.  We've seen interactive notebooks go digital, digital learning guides, and other tasks take a digital turn.

This is a trend that I don't believe is going away any time soon, so we might as well get on board, right?

So, what's next?

In today's post I'd like to share with you one more way that you can put your class-set of tablets, iPads, or chrome books to good use:  STUDENT BLOGGING.

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Using Your Summer to Plan for a Successful School Year



I get it.  It's your summer break.  You want to be sitting pool (or beach)-side with a tiny umbrella drink in your hand.

I want that for you, too.  Really.

But, I also want a stress-free start to the school year for you.

I've been there:  8pm at school- the night before school starts - scrambling to finish up my room and making last-minute copies  That's a big ol' scoop of stress with anxiety on top!

I'm a true believer that slow and steady wins the race.  I believe that you can do a little back-to-school prep at a time (with a little umbrella drink in hand, by the way!) to make large strides in planning a successful school year.

Now before you click out of this post thinking "B2S planning in the summer!?  Aint nobody got for that "  - stay with me for a second.  In this post, I'm going to give you bite-sized nuggets of tips and strategies that will help you plan for your school year AND maintain your summer-lovin' style.


Bookmark this post so you can return again and again to check out a new tip whenever you're ready.  The next time you're sitting in the sunshine with your phone, tablet, or iPad, read up on some ways you can prep now for success later!

I promise - it'll be painless!  Below you will find a library of resources that cover a variety of topics ranging from classroom set-up to launching reader's and writer's workshop.

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