Angela Watson

how to tell people no

On my way home from the TpT conference last Saturday, I overheard a random conversation between a JetBlue flight attendant and a passenger. It’s now the topic of a blog post here, so I suppose that’s a lesson to all of us that even our most off-handed words can have a tremendous impact and reach. We […]


separate ponds of educators

I have never had the option of having a single, tight-knit group of friends. When I was growing up, my dad was in the army. We moved every 3 years, and so did all my classmates. That sounds kind of traumatic, but it was the only life I knew and I enjoyed the adventure of it […]



Every time I go to a conference, I say that the best part was connecting with the people I admire, learn from, and care about. I think that was ten times as true for the first TeachersPayTeachers conference held last Friday in Las Vegas. These are the ladies (and a few gents) that I connect with […]


strategies for helping kids be successful with project based learning and student direct learning

I mentioned in my ten takeaways from #ISTE2014 post that I wanted to write a bit more about some of the problems teachers are encountering with project-based and student-directed learning. Even though we believe deeply in helping kids uncover their passions, ask and pursue answering their own questions, and take ownership over their learning, the […]


Follett Classroom Connections eBooks

I’m proud to have Follett Learning as a sponsor and supporter of this blog (you might recall my posts on the annual Follett Challenge which awards $200K in tech resources to schools), and today I’m going to share with you their newest add-on service to the free Follett Shelf platform. It’s called Classroom Connections, and it’s a set of instructional tools […]


#ISTE2014 Atlanta

I’ve always thought the term “re-entry” to our regular lives after an ISTE conference was a bit dramatic, but it really does feel that way this year. 16,000 educators in one building is…intense. Now that I’m back from Atlanta and scrolling through my notes, I’m going to try to condense everything down to 10 main take-aways. These are not necessarily the most […]


GameUp by BrainPOP

I don’t often talk about my work as the Educational Content Creator for BrainPOP because a lot of what I do is behind the scenes stuff that probably isn’t that blog-worthy. But I absolutely have to share with you this really cool game that I’ve been working on with the GameUp team for months because I think […]

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group work

Do your students hate group work? If so, they’re not alone. Personality conflicts and a wide range of abilities within the group often create results like this: Here’s a strategy to make it easier for you to form effective groups for a project or activity and differentiate the work that students do within their groups: 1) Pre-assess students […]


why teachers don

If you had a dollar for every time you’ve heard that, right? It’s amazing how many people are unaware that most teachers spend their summers working a second job, teaching summer school, attending professional development, and/or doing curriculum mapping. And nearly all of us spend at least part of our summers working more unpaid hours preparing for the fall […]


John Lodle picture

Remember the Follett Challenge I featured here back in January? John Lodle is chair of the English department at the winning school, Belleville West High School in Illinois, where he has taught for the past 20 years. In today’s post, he’s kindly taken time to share the initiative that earned them the grand prize. The faculty at Belleville worked together […]

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always a teacher

I can’t believe it’s been 5 years since I wrote this post about the (hilarious?) adventures of my very first job interview in Manhattan as an instructional coach. I also can’t believe that next June will hold my 20th high school reunion. Time flies and all that. I want to make a confession here. With each passing year, […]


highly decorated classrooms study

You’ve probably read some version of the study that has gone absolutely viral on social media in the last few days: Heavily Decorated Classrooms Disrupt Attention and Learning In Young Children. But have you seen the classroom used for the study? The bottom image shows the researchers’ idea of “highly decorated,” which looks like a pretty typical […]


Awakened online book club and Bible study

Last summer, over 600 teachers participated in the online book clubs for Awakened: Change Your Mindset to Transform Your Teaching and The Awakened Devotional Study Guide for Christian Teachers, and I’m excited to run the study again this July! I want to warn you–the format of the book club is pretty laid back, but the […]


secrets of teachers who love their jobs: stay in awe of the learning process

Staying motivated at the end of the school year can be tough. I hope this latest post from the teachers who love their jobs series will provide some inspiration! Fifth grade teacher Angela Kiser joins us today to share her tips for enjoying teaching. Thank you, Angela, for taking the time to impart such beautiful, wise words. 1. Tell us about […]

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Entrepreneur on Fire podcast: Angela Watson shares her journey

I listen to a lot of podcasts while I’m working around the house and exercising, and Entrepreneur on Fire is my go-to when I need a bit of motivation for writing. It’s a daily free podcast which was voted best in iTunes in 2013. Listening to John Lee Dumas interview inspiring people like Seth Godin and […]


alternatives to reading logs: authentic ways to manage students

Let’s face it: reading logs are boring, and most kids hate writing down the titles and authors of books they’ve read in order to “prove” they’ve done their required 20 minutes of reading time at home. Here are some more authentic ways to hold students accountable for their reading time and foster a love of books. Please […]


6 ways to connect with kids during the last week of school

The final days of the school year can feel like a whirlwind, and there have been many years in which I felt like I didn’t take enough time to enjoy my students and give our time together the recognition and closure it deserved. Here are six ideas for grades K-5 to help you connect with […]


Passionate Learners by Pernille Ripp

I knew even before I read it that Passionate Learners: Giving Our Classrooms Back to Our Students was going to become one of my favorite education resources and something I would recommend to every teacher I know. That’s because I’ve been following Pernille Ripp’s incredible blog for many years. She consistently cranks out thoughtful reflections on […]


Wibki home page bookmarked favorites learning games

I’m always on the lookout for great free tech tools for teachers, so I was excited when Wibki reached out to me about reviewing their site. Wibki is a completely free tool for saving and sharing your favorite websites, and it’s especially nice for teachers because it’s an easy and highly visual way to bookmark […]


10 smart ways to end the school day

I was recently a guest on the Teacher Aid program of BAM! Radio talking about the dismissal strategies I shared on the Tips and Tricks for Arrival and Dismissal Routines page. I was joined by Jen Carey, Melanie Taylor and Kristen Vincent, who had some wonderful tips for making the dismissal process go more smoothly. Click here to listen to […]