Friday, July 8, 2016

Grab Your Free 2016-2017 School Year Calendar!

When I was teaching, I searched everywhere to find the perfect calendar for my students, but I just couldn't find one that worked. I wanted 8 1/2 x 11 monthly portrait-style pages that would fit in a 3-ring binder, and I also wanted large blocks for writing in the dates and events.

Eventually I gave up the search and decided to make my own. To create more space for writing on the weekdays, I made skinny blocks on the weekends. It turned out to be exactly what I needed! When I started my Teaching Resources website, I decided to share it with other teachers and it was a hit with them, too!

The School Year Calendar starts with July of the current year and ends with June of the following year. Each year I update the calendar with the correct dates as well as new clipart and fonts to give it a fresh look. The calendar pages are in color, but if you prefer black and white copies, just change your printer settings to the B&W mode.

Sign up here to download your free copy of my 2016-2017 School Year Calendar!

Friday, June 24, 2016

How to Get Organized and Keep the Joy in Teaching

Most new teachers begin their careers with passion and enthusiasm, excited to be able to work with children and to make a difference in their lives.

Unfortunately, that passion for teaching is too often buried under a crushing load of paperwork and job responsibilities they could never have imagined!

Enthusiasm is quickly replaced by a feeling of being overwhelmed, with way too much to do and never enough time to do it all. Piles of papers stack up everywhere, with no time to file anything away properly, and the number of messages in your inbox seems to grow exponentially!

What do you do? Spend 60 or 70 hours a week on schoolwork, only to realize you didn't make a dent in your total workload? Or should you do just enough to get by so that you can have a life outside of school?

No matter how much you love teaching, working 70 hours a week is a fast track to teacher burnout. But doing the bare minimum isn't the answer either. While it does give you a little more time at home, you start each school day feeling disorganized and overwhelmed. Over time, you'll start to feel guilty about neglecting your students and you'll feel increasingly ineffective as a teacher.

The Key to Unlocking Work Life Balance
Thankfully, there's a better way. The solution is to implement specific strategies to help you get more done in less time and achieve a healthy work/life balance. Sounds like an impossible dream, but I've discovered that it IS possible to find work/balance, and you won't have to sacrifice your effectiveness as a teacher. The key is knowing where to find these strategies and how to implement them effectively for the best results.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Attend the Teaching Resources Summer Conference for FREE!

Were you planning to attend the Teaching Resources Summer Conference in Virginia Beach this July? Maybe you'd LOVE to attend, but you just don't know how you can swing it since your school won't pay your way.

Don't give up hope, because if you're a public school teacher in the U.S., you might be able to get your registration, food, travel, and lodging covered with a DonorsChoose grant! They've just announced a program to allow teachers to submit requests for professional development funding.

If you're interested, drop everything and write that DonorsChoose proposal now! You need to submit your proposal as soon as possible in order to get it funded before the conference which takes place on July 28th and 29th. The DC guidelines say that you must submit the proposal 2 months in advance.

Get Energized at the Teaching Resources Summer Conference
What??? You didn't know I was presenting a workshop this summer? No worries! Just click over to the Teaching Resources Summer Conference page to read about it. I'm teaming up with Pat Calfee, a former elementary teacher and awesome presenter, to offer an exciting two-day event that's sure to get you pumped up and energized for the 2016-2017 school year.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Task Card Tales Plot Twist!

Who knew that planning a webinar could turn out to be such an adventure? Here's the backstory about why Rachel Lynette and I had to cancel our task cards webinar. You can also find the dates and times of our next TWO task card webinars!
Who knew that planning a webinar could turn out to be an adventure! Maybe that's stretching it a bit, but I sure felt like I was in the middle of a crazy adventure last night when a severe storm blew up at my house hours before Rachel Lynette and I were supposed to go live with Power Up Learning with Task Cards!

One of my favorite quotes is "When something goes wrong in your life, just yell 'Plot Twist!' and move on!" That saying describes what happened perfectly! Rachel and I experienced a plot twist in our webinar plans, and we've just moved on!

Task Card Tales and a Plot Twist
Before I tell you the story, I have to admit that we went a little overboard in packing the webinar with loads of activities and strategies for teaching with task cards. We just couldn't help ourselves! The more we talked, brainstormed, and  planned, the more tips, strategies, and resources would come to mind that we HAD to include!

So even though the presentation should have been finished long before yesterday, we were still working on it hours before the live webinar. Our plan was to combine them into one PowerPoint before the presentation, which seemed reasonable at the time. In retrospect, it wasn't the brightest plan in the world!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Task Card Talk: 6 Strategies to Boost Learning

Discover 6 cooperative learning task card strategies to foster meaningful discussion. You can also sign up for a free live webinar with Laura Candler and Rachel Lynette, Power Up Learning with Task Cards.
Register for a Live Task Cards Webinar!

Lately it seems that task cards are everywhere! If you don't believe me, search for teaching resources on virtually any topic, and count the number of task card sets that pop up in your results!

If you're new to task cards, you might not realize that they've actually been around for many years. Back in the day, task cards didn't look as cute as the current Pinterest-worthy creations. However, no matter what they look like, task cards are really nothing more than worksheets in a fun format! Because the academic content has been divided into manageable chunks, task cards seem less intimidating than a paper-and-pencil assignment.

This handy format makes task cards perfect for partner work and team work because they help kids focus on one problem or one question at a time. Years ago, I created task cards by writing questions or math problems on index cards. But that method was too time-consuming when preparing enough for each team to have a set. To make the process easier, I created a blank template with 6 or 8 empty boxes and I wrote or typed the questions directly onto the page. Then I printed one copy per team and cut the cards apart with a paper cutter. Those task cards weren't pretty, but they worked!