Angela Watson

6 ways to make co-planning lessons more efficient

Lesson planning is too important, challenging, and time-consuming to try to do ALL of it on your own. This is especially true if you’re a new teacher, or new to the curriculum, standards, or grade level. It’s wonderful to utilize the experience of other teachers and time-tested instructional strategies so you don’t have to spend […]


Dr.Susan Neuman | Build children’s literacy skills with a shared book-reading program

Today I’ve invited Dr. Susan Neuman, Professor and Chair of Teaching and Learning at New York University, to talk about the benefits of shared book reading programs. Dr. Neuman helped establish the Early Reading First program and the Early Childhood Professional Development Education Program, and was responsible for all activities in Title I of the Elementary and […]


When is it okay to say you've done enough to help a student?

How much is enough time to give to each student? There are students who have behavior problems, academic challenges, IEPS, family problems, those whose parents you need to catch after school or speak with the principal about… Student issues, dealing with emails, and talking with parents are so time consuming. When is it ok to […]


standard classroom interior

Some of you right now are barely making it through this year, and are so dreading the return to school the following morning that you can’t even enjoy your evenings. The idea of going back to That Place just makes you sick to your stomach. You want to quit more than anything but have no […]


20 ways to enjoy teaching every day…no matter what

Are you in need of an extra burst of encouragement, motivation, and inspiration? In my latest book Unshakeable: 20 Ways to Enjoy Teaching Every Day…No Matter What, I’ve identified twenty different strategies for enjoying teaching on a daily basis. Each one is a different chapter in the book: The idea behind Unshakeable is that you don’t have to wait for teaching […]


cloudschool sample account 1

Imagine how much time you could save if you had a way to create, document, share, and present your lessons from a single place. That is exactly what Cloudschool offers. Cloudschool is a FREE personal learning management system (LMS) that aims to unburden teachers by combining the tasks of lesson planning and lesson delivery on one beautiful […]


Blurred young college students sitting in the classroom with one asleep girl

You know the exact problem I’m talking about: you’re patiently showing a student how to solve a problem or figure out a process, and the student responds by saying, “Can’t you just tell me the answer?” Or you’re responding to a student’s question with questions of your own to try to prompt him or her […]


lies teachers tell

Last week, I shared 10 growth mindset shifts to help you enjoy teaching more, and gave examples of negative, fixed mindset thoughts that can be reframed into something that helps you perceive your job as less stressful and more meaningful. This week, I want to go deeper with that, and talk to you about how […]


Cultivate a growth mindset and enjoy teaching more

Of course I have a growth mindset. I mean…wait. What does that even look like for a teacher?? Growth mindset–the understanding that intelligence and abilities are not “fixed” but can be developed with dedication and hard work–is a concept first defined by psychologist Carol Dweck. Her research has exploded in popularity, and has trickled down […]


The 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club--open to new members for one week only (Dec 26-Jan 3)!

The 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club opened for the first time this fall, and what an amazing couple of months it’s been. This project has been the most rewarding thing I’ve ever created for supporting teachers, because I can’t imagine anything better than more time and more energy for the things that are really important in life. A big […]


organization tips

I’ve invited Calloway House to the blog today to share some ideas for starting the new year by thinking about what works (and what doesn’t) for organization in your classroom. Calloway House is a trusted educational supply resource for teachers and schools with a wide range of classroom supplies and organizational products. The company has […]


finanical literacy game

Money management is an essential life skill. What better way for kids to learn it than through a game that has actual financial rewards? The H&R Block Budget Challenge is a free financial literacy game that does exactly that! Through the program (which is back again for its third year in a row), students can learn personal […]


Classroom Electronics STEAM kit

I recently shared How to Get Started with Makerspaces in the Classroom, and how they’re great for inspiring creativity in children and providing them an opportunity to explore STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math). If you love the idea of having Makerspace in your classroom or making it easier for students to start making at home, KitHub […]


8 tips for making the most of limited tech in the classroom

My name is Rebecca Valera and I have been teaching for about 8 years now. I am currently taking a break to raise my three beautiful children. I specialize in (and what I have mainly taught) math and science for grades 3-8. I have taught in both public and parochial (Catholic) schools in Texas. I […]


teacher gift ideas for the holidays

Shopping for friends and family is easy for me. Telling other people (especially my husband) what I want? That’s always harder. Maybe you’re a tough person to buy for, too. But even if you’re not, I’m willing to bet that you want more awesome teaching resources than your paycheck could ever possibly cover. So if you have a family member who’s been […]


turn a worksheet into a critical thinking activity

Worksheets: we all have to give them, we all hate doing it. Here are 5 no prep ways you can turn just about any lower level thinking or rote practice worksheet (like a multiple choice or fill-in-the-blank quiz, or math drill workbook page) into an activity that’s collaborative and includes higher level thinking skills. The strategies work for […]

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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 […]


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 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 to do […]


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? […]