Angela Watson

You can’t do it all, but where can a new teacher really cut corners?

The question I’m answering today is one of the most blunt and honest questions I’ve ever received from a teacher. She wrote: “Everyone knows that a first year teacher is not going to perform at the same level as a 30 year veteran. I would like to be intentional about where I am cutting corners […]

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The weather is just starting to turn cold in Brooklyn (I haven’t even had to wear a proper coat yet!) so it’s a little hard to believe Thanksgiving is just around the corner and 2015 is coming to a close. This has been a year of seriously big projects for me, now that I really step back […]


balancing teaching and family during the holiday season

It’s always tough to strive for great teaching AND a great personal life, but that battle seems to ramp up exponentially during the Thanksgiving and winter holidays. If you’re feeling pulled in a million different directions, check out the tips below to help you prioritize and make time for what’s most important. Don’t feel pressure […]

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5 attention grabbers

At this point in the school year, many of us have lost of the patience and enthusiasm for refocusing kids in a playful way and fallen into the trap of just barking at the kids (“No talking!”)  or pleading with them (“I need quiet! Waiting for quiet!”) all day long. But ironically, it’s more tiring […]


fraction math partner games

Math centers or workstations where kids are all involved in different activities are a fundamental part of many elementary classrooms. But centers are also a tremendous amount of work for the teacher, as both differentiation and assessment can be time consuming and difficult. Are the kids really learning? Are the activities on an appropriate level for each student? […]


Teacher Halloween costumes (cheap and easy to make!)

Last year, I shared my favorite teacher Halloween costumes based on book characters. This year, the costume ideas you’ll find aren’t limited to book characters. I picked out the costumes that seemed easiest to put together because who has time to get their hands dirty (or glittered?) while constructing something elaborate. Fortunately, low-cost and simple does not mean boring! Check it out:  Minions Dressing […]


Lisa Dabbs truth for teachers

Do you wish you had more support and encouragement from other teachers in your school? Consider virtual mentorship!  My good friend Lisa Dabbs is on the Truth for Teachers podcast today sharing why she’s so passionate about new teacher mentoring, and how you can get involved (as a mentor or mentee) in her free New Teacher Mentoring Project. […]



Videos are great for boosting student engagement and communicating ideas in a powerful way. However, they can be problematic when you only want to show portions of a video, especially if students are watching the video on their own without your guidance. Navigating around and skipping over sections  can be time consuming and frustrating, not to mention […]


How teachers can beat the October Blues

I know that October can be a really tough month for teachers, even though that’s not really talked about much. My fabulous and hilarious friend Roxanna Elden, who’s a high school teacher in Miami and author of the book See Me After Class, was one of the first people I’ve heard address what she calls […]


Celebrate National Day on Writing with a free Google Hangout for students

This year’s National Day on Writing is October 20. And what’s a more fitting way for students to celebrate than by talking with a real author about the process of writing a book?  Your 3rd-5th grade students are invited to a free Google Hangout with award-winning children’s author Kate Messner! Kate Messner is the author of […]


Extreme student behavior: 7 traps to avoid when NOTHING seems to work

A teacher named Kerri recently emailed me to ask: What do you do for that student that continually chooses to misbehave? We have tried everything but nothing fazes him and it’s sending a message to to the other students in my class that I have a different standard of behavior for him. I feel like […]


classroom makerspaces

Makerspace is a rapidly growing trend in schools across the country, but to be honest, I’ve never implemented one myself, and I can’t quite picture the logistics of orchestrating a Makerspace. How do kids know what to do? How can you find out what they’re learning? How do you make time for that with all the […]


how to prioritize teaching tasks when everything seems urgent

I believe it’s possible to be a great teacher while still having a great personal life. But that requires knowing how to figure out what’s most important, do it well, and let go of the rest. Prioritizing tasks is the foundation of using your time effectively and working more efficiently. Here are 7 strategies to help you do that. […]


fire prevention month

October is National Fire Prevention Month, and I’ve partnered with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to share some wonderful free resources you can use to help you integrate fire safety procedures into your instruction. Sparky’s Brain Busters App (Featuring Multi-Player & Classroom Modes) One of the newest resources from the NFPA is their free mobile app, Sparky’s Brain Busters. iPhone users […]


Can a teacher work a 40-hour week and do a good job?

Whenever I mention a 40-hour workweek for teachers, people tend to have one of two objections. Either they think it’s not possible, or they think it’s not aspirational—that you can’t do a good job in 40 hours a week, so you shouldn’t even try to attempt that as a teacher. I believe that a 40-hour […]


Follett’s Lightbox finds approaches to learning for all teaching styles.

Mitch Coulter is here today to share how Follett’s new Lightbox tool can you help adapt your instruction for students’ learning styles AND your own unique teaching style. Follett is a long-time supporter and sponsor of The Cornerstone, and I’m proud to help spread the word about this new tool they’ve released.    One of my favorite […]


getting real about grit

“Grit” is a huge buzzword right now that’s used to refer to perseverance and resilience. Many schools are rushing to adopt grit curriculums and character education programs so they can teach their students about how to put in the effort and determination that’s needed in order to be successful. But here’s the thing about grit. […]


Excellent tips for improving rubrics--why didn

I’m always in search of simple, time-saving rubrics that make it easier for kids to understand how they’re being assessed. Today, I’ve invited middle school principal and former Language Arts teacher Dennis Kafalas to share some awesome strategies he’s developed for making your rubrics easier to use AND higher quality. Thank you, Dennis! Correcting student work with a rubric […]


positivity and innovation alienating coworkers

A Truth for Teachers listener named Deb recently wrote me and said, As I was listening to Dave Burgess’ truth for teachers about collaborating with colleagues who don’t support your creativity, I was thinking about my own situation. I am fortunate to work with 5 other wonderful third grade teachers. The issue we have as a […]


30 most comfortable shoesfor teachers

Teaching involves a lot of standing and walking around, and without comfortable shoes (okay, even WITH comfortable shoes), that can be pretty hard on your body. I recently asked my followers on Facebook to share the most comfortable shoes they’ve found for teaching, and got a wide range of responses regarding sneakers/tennis shoes, ballet flats, […]