Angela Watson

Huge list of crazy things teachers say

Kids say the darndest things. But teachers do, too!  Between bathroom conversations, weird smells, bizarre use of school supplies, and suspicious animal noises coming from backpacks, how could you not? I posted the above image on my Facebook page and asked teachers to share the craziest thing they’ve ever heard come out of their own […]

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15 easy book character costumes for teachers

What better Halloween costume for a teacher than one which promotes a love of books? I got really into the idea when I taught in a district that didn’t allow Halloween costumes and instead encouraged kids and teachers to dress as characters from children’s literature. We held a Book Character Parade around the school to show off our […]

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Yes, the October Blues are a real thing. If you’re feeling completely discouraged right now and don’t know how you can possibly make it until June, that is completely NORMAL.

If you’re feeling completely discouraged right now and don’t know how you can possibly make it until June, that is completely NORMAL. In October, the optimism that comes from having a fresh start at back to school has faded, the holiday breaks are still weeks away, and the rest of the school year looms ahead […]

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working memory games that improve kids

Are there kids in your class that struggle with multi-step directions and need frequent reminders about what to do? Or students who lose their place in texts, struggle to copy information and take notes, and forget what they were just taught? If so, there’s a strong possibility that the issue might be something that you […]

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Don’t discount your ideas: YOU have practices worth sharing!

My post on discovering the 2×10 strategy has gotten over 200,000 page views in the past week and 35,000 shares on Facebook and incredibly, is still going strong. Literally thousands of teachers were just as impressed as me by the simplicity of the idea. We all know we need to build relationships with kids, but we […]

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How to make time for relationship building, establish a rapport with students who don't like you, and more

So the 2×10 “miraculous” behavior management strategy really resonated with a lot of teachers. It’s a simple method for making the nebulous goal of relationship building much more concrete and achievable—simply spend 2 minutes a day for 10 consecutive days talking with a challenging student about anything she or he would like. Though many people indicated […]

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Britten Follett

Britten Follett, Director of Social Media and Web Content at Follett School Solutions, is here today to share information about this year’s Follett Challenge. It’s a great opportunity to share the good stuff that’s happening in your school and reward teachers and students for their hard work! Follett is a longtime supporter of The Cornerstone […]

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This is as close as it gets to a miracle solution for students

In the eleven years that I’ve been writing on this site, I don’t think I’ve ever, ever used the term “miracle” in relation to behavior management. But lately I’ve been hearing a lot of teachers talk about a strategy that might be as close as it gets. If you have a student for whom no other solutions […]

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If this article doesn

I’m not usually the type of person who tells other teachers what they MUST and MUST NOT do. This post is pushier than usual, because I’m more passionate about this topic than usual. Being a connected educator has transformed my teaching and added so much joy to my life that I want every discouraged and […]

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Hear the Unshakeable presentation at 2 conferences this October

Have you ever had a message that you felt compelled to share with the world? Something that you felt passionately that EVERYONE needs to know, a burst of insight and new understanding that changed your life and now you want it to change the lives of all the people around you? I’m sure it’s no surprise […]

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Free app Sparky and the Case of the Missing Smoke Alarms

October was always my favorite month when teaching PreK: a trip to the pumpkin patch, a walk in the neighborhood to collect leaves and other signs of fall, and of course, a visit from the local fire station to show off the fire truck. Though the kids were having fun checking out the truck and […]

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Encouraging Teachers on Facebook: accepting new members until Oct. 8. Nearly 10,000 strong!

UPDATE OCTOBER 9th: Our fall enrollment period is now over. The group will re-open to new members for another two weeks in the spring. Want to be notified when the next enrollment period begins? Subscribe to the blog via RSS or email, or subscribe for occasional site updates and newsletters. Just over a year ago, I created the Encouraging […]

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school morale

Most teachers don’t get nearly enough recognition and appreciation–so why not celebrate each other? Start by selecting the fastest and easiest method that faculty currently use to communicate with each other. If all staff members are required to access and use a social media account or learning management system(LMS), utilize that! Otherwise, a simple email […]

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writing and publishing books for teachers: video plus more resources for anyone interested in education book publishing

If you have been thinking about writing a book for teachers but have no idea how to begin or break into educational publishing, I’d love to share my story with you. Dr. Will Deyamport III interviewed me about educational publishing for his podcast, The Dr. Will Show. In the video below, you’ll hear me speak about: How […]

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secrets of teachers who love their jobs: make a difference for kids in poverty

Today’s post is the latest from our Secrets of Teachers Who Love Their Jobs post series. Caitlin is here to to share her teaching journey with us and how she stays excited to go into the classroom each day. Thank you, Caitlin! 1. Tell us about where/what you teach, and how many years you’ve been in the […]

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the person doing The talking is the person doing the learning!

On Twitter, I recently shared an excellent article by Justin Tarte called 5 Questions Every Teacher Should Ask Him/Herself. The first reflection question Justin recommends is: Who is doing a majority of the talking in your classroom? It’s the person who is doing the majority of the talking that tends to do the most learning, so what […]

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Register your students in grades 9-12 for this free online financial literacy game to teach real life budgeting. Top scorers will win $3 million in classroom grants and student scholarships!

Disclosure: H&R Block has been a longtime supporter of The Cornerstone through their financial literacy initiatives. They have compensated me for helping them spread the word about these free resources for teachers and kids. The H&R Block Challenge is a completely FREE teen financial literacy program in the form of an online game. Through this game’s […]

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(Blog post) The best parts of teaching are yet to come! Don’t judge the entire school year by your first few weeks

If you absolutely hate the first few days (or even weeks) of school, you’re in good company. I was discussing this with some friends yesterday and we all agreed that the start of a new school year is the least rewarding time to be a teacher. You don’t know your kids yet, and they don’t […]

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the one trait rubric system for teaching and grading writing

I used to spend hours grading students essays and felt extremely frustrated by the subjectiveness of my system. It was very difficult to think about all six traits of effective writing–ideas/content, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions–at one time while grading. I’d often get sidetracked by mistakes in one area, such as spelling or […]

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dealing with parents who want to transfer their child to another teacher's room

Having a parent ask to move a child to a different classroom can be a huge blow to a teacher’s confidence. And it’s an issue that nearly every educator will face at some point–if not at multiple points–in their career. Sometime parents don’t like the fact that you are forcing them to address issues they’ve tried to […]

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