Thursday, June 11, 2015

It's so Hard to Say Good Bye! School's Out Freebie and PD Opportunities/Resources

I eat, sleep, and breathe Team Newell so...
 it was so hard to say good bye on the last day of school!
It was another AWESOME YEAR! 
This TEAM loved each other, learned from each other, and supported each other no matter what!

I hate letting go each year, but it's not truly good bye ..... because....

Once on Team Newell, Always on Team Newell.
I love living and teaching in a small town! My 1st class of 2nd graders are now 27 years old! 
There is NOT a day that goes by that I do NOT run into one of my students or that I do not read about them through email, Twitter or Facebook. 
I am so proud of ALL of my students!!
Soon I will be teaching the children of my students :) Time flies when you are doing what you love! 

Now that school is out- it's time for an online course! :)
I am an advanced 14+ year SmartBoard user, but I highly recommend this self paced course. I will complete the course by the end of June, but it has already made me more mindful about creating SmartBoard lessons. I am inspired to create new lessons :) If you take this course, you will learn how an effective whiteboard lesson posses the following 5 characteristics. 

Click HERE to view the online courses. 
The Medina County Schools' Educational Service Center provides staff development opportunities primarily for teachers and educators. Although our target online audience is the midwest, previous students have been located in many other states and Europe. The combination of high-quality instruction from ed2go, along with the opportunity to earn university credit, successfully meets the needs of teachers who are required to earn semester hours in order to renew their teaching licenses.

I've got my bags packed and I am headed to Sanibel! Have a great summer!

These books make my carry on a bit heavy! 

Here are a few FREEBIE packs that I created to help next year's students produce, expand, rearrange sentences. Enjoy your summer!

More to come!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Fishy Fractions and Fractions Online

Students create fish tanks and write fractions to represent the fish in their tanks!


This video is good for differentiation. There are 7 different sections about fractions.  

                  This is a fun fraction song!
This video shows occupations that use fractions! What about teachers? I use fractions to analyze data and to guide instruction!

This is an awesome game to practice fractions!


Click HERE to read about previous FRACTION post and download more FREEBIES!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Jazz Up Your Email Signature Line

Want to Jazz Up your school or personal email signature line? 
I am passing along this awesome site from Jim Frye, USEVS Technology Director! Thanks JIM! 
If you'd like to enhance your signature line, here's the process:
  1. Open a new tab and go to:
  2. Fill in the information in the left column you want in your signature line.  You can upload a pic or avatar of your choice.  You can change layout/template on the right side column names.
  3. Click Save.
  4. Choose email type- example: "Gmail" from available email programs.
  5. Click "Select" to highlight all data, then command key+C to copy. (I removed the "get signature like this!" before I copied).
  6. Now, go back to Mail > Settings (under the gear icon) > Signature and remove any signature data you may in there now, and, then paste your newly created signature.  Make sure the box is checked underneath to "Insert this signature before quoted text in replies and remove the "--" line that precedes it."
  7. Save.  If you want more spacing, you can go back to Settings > Signature and move the signature down a line or two and resave.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Stability Balls in Team Newell

Bounce While Learning in Team Newell
Team Newell students say goodbye to regular classroom chairs, and they say hello to twenty new stability balls.

What is a stability ball?         
            A stability ball is a large inflatable ball usually used for yoga and exercise, but it can also be used in classrooms in place of chairs. The ball isn’t used for fun, but rather to help students sit up straight and engage the muscles and the parts of their brains needed to remain balanced on the stability ball. Brain research has shown that there is a link between movement and positive academic performance. 

How do they work?
            When students sit on stability balls, both sides of their brains are engaged in keeping their bodies centered on the balls. And when the brain is stimulated, it's more focused on learning. Not only is the brain better suited to processing new information, young minds are also better able to concentrate on exams, note-taking, class discussions, and other aspects of classroom learning.

            A study published in the October 2003 issue of the American Journal of Occupational Therapy found that students with attention challenges, such as attention deficit hyperactive disorder, tended to focus better when using stability balls instead of chairs. The study revealed that students behaved better and that language skills improved, and that students and teachers preferred the use of stability balls in the classroom instead of chairs. Fidgeting helps children with ADHD concentrate, and just a little movement on the stability balls can meet their demands for expelling excess energy.

How do stability balls improve posture?
            Without a back, stability balls force children to sit up straight and engage in better posture than they might ordinarily in a standard school chair and desk. When students are sitting up straight, they're more likely to pay attention.  A study on the positive effects of students using stability balls in the classroom in the February 2009 issue of Chronicle of Kinesiology and Physical Education in Higher Education noted, however, that a stability ball is not a long-term cure-all for posture, and that bad habits can return because there's no back support to take pressure off the tailbone.  Proper posture at a young age is important because this is when bodies are growing the most. When a child has poor posture, they are increasing their chances of developing spinal deformities. Using a stability ball decreases a child's chance of developing these deformities by forcing them to maintain good posture. The use of stability balls can also help students to become more physically fit because core muscles are engaged and strengthened.

How is it going in Team Newell?
             Just in two months, I have noticed “active sitting” has improved focus, flexibility, coordination, balance and handwriting. The stability balls give students the opportunity to direct their natural kinesthetic energy in a positive way rather than me squashing their need for movement. We incorporated stability ball rules that have allowed movement in a controlled manner without causing disturbance in our classroom. When the novelty wears off, I am hoping our overall performance continues to improve. It is an expensive investigation, but it is worth every penny to try to help students reach their full potential as learners.  

For more information about stability balls, visit:

We have 6 students in our room who have been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD and who are currently taking medication. The stability balls are very helpful!!!
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