College Ready

Sharing strategies for student success, college readiness and academic coaching

A Love Letter to Teachers…or…What a Teacher Does

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Happy Teacher Appreciation Week to all of you amazing educators. Thank you for guiding, mentoring and inspiring students every single day. For the smiles you share. The hugs you give. The belief you have that every single child needs just one caring adult who believes in them. Thank you for being the change. You make all the difference.
With love and admiration~~Lisa
#ThankATeacher

College Ready

What a Teacher Does

Encourage, Influence, Guide, Inspire…and so much more.

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What a Teacher Does

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What a Teacher Does

Encourage, Influence, Guide, Inspire…and so much more.


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Make Blended Learning Work: 10 Conditions for Success

Blended Learning:
Improve. Implement. Plan.

Have you wanted to start implementing Blended Learning in your classroom? This infographic gives you the scoop on what Blended Learning is all about, from the ground up.

What part of Blended Learning could you implement in your classroom?

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The Big Reveal: This is the Most Dangerous Book in America

In yesterday’s post, I included an image of 40 books that have been banned and today, I promised you the title of the Most Dangerous Book in America… and here it is. Drum roll please…

He’s charming. He’s bald. He’s a baby in a diaper. He’s CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS…

That’s right. The #1 spot on the Top 10 Most Frequently Challenged or Banned Books for 2012 goes to none other than the irrepressible, irreverent Dav Pilkey and his erstwhile tralala’ing Captain Underpants.

I get it. Parents don’t like potty mouth and they don’t like the word Poop. Or boogers. Or diaper-wearing babies that make fart jokes. But guess what?? Kids do! Boys and Girls do! Reluctant Readers do! And that’s all that matters, in the end, is the reading. We need to hook kids into reading, and kids love these books.

Let them read. Please. Parents and  teachers, I implore you to simply let kids read what they love. And hey, I’ll let you in on a secret: a few silly poop jokes never hurt anyone.

So go ahead. Live Dangerously and read this book or any other banned book. Celebrate your Freedom to Read!

xo, Lisa

“We shouldn’t teach great books. We should teach a love of reading.” B. F. Skinner


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Live Dangerously. Read!

 Celebrate Banned Books-read one of these 40 books that have been banned or otherwise challenged.

Biggest surprise? Charlotte’s Web. But maybe an even bigger surprise…the #1 Most Banned Book of 2012. Think you know what it is? Post your guess in the comments and I will let you know on Thursday.

For now, I’ll give you a hint–it *is a children’s book. Ok, I’ll give you two hints–it is not pictured here. Good luck!

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xoxo,

Lisa (aka, The Happy Teacher)

Teaching with Soul

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Teaching with Soul

I Learn Everyday. I Teach.

Every teacher knows this. We are Always Learning. In fact, we learn from our students each and every day.

We know that teaching is not about the teacher, it is about the students. The students are the focus of the classroom, and the students are why we are there. Each one of them comes to us with dreams and it is really a gift that we are given to be there to help them find their path to pursue those dreams.

Teachers–you are truly golden.

xo, Lisa


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Public Education: It makes society collectively smarter

“Let me explain why I LIKE to pay taxes for schools…” by John Green

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On Teaching a Love of Reading.

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On Teaching a Love of Reading.

“We shouldn’t teach great books; we should teach a love of reading.” B. F. Skinner

This is my truth…always has been. Always will be.

AND, it’s why my son, in 2nd grade, read the entire Captain Underpants series. Even though the school library wouldn’t stock the books, (something about the word booger and/or atomic wedgie in every title, I guess). Even with a mom with an MA in American Literature. Yep. I encouraged him. Heck, I even bought ’em for him!

Because when you want to read…when you love to read…when you can’t wait to turn that next page to see what comes next…You Read.

And that’s all that matters, in the end. The reading.

B.F. Skinner had it right!

           Teach a love of Reading.

                  Amen & hallelujah.

Oh, and PS: Full disclosure–I had to look up the correct spelling of “booger.” Guess it’s been too long since I have read a Dav Pilkey EPIC novel! 🙂

So, tell us…how do you make sure your students or your children want to read? Are there books they would read again and again? Books they love but you hate? We’d love to hear from you in the comments. 

Sept. 2014 Postscript since this post was originally published: Dav Pilkey’s Captain Underpants series has claimed the top spot on the Most Frequently Banned Books list for two years in a row, 2012 and 2013. All the more reason to live dangerously…read!

Feel free to follow me here, or on Facebook, Tumblr or Pinterest, for more short but sweet posts, freebies, teaching ideas and fun images about literacy, reading and education, with a side serving of inspiration. Because we could all use a little more inspiration. Right? Right!

11 Ways to Do a Random Act of Kindness This Summer

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11 Ways to Do a Random Act of Kindness This Summer

OK, you got me!! There are only 10 items on the list. The 11th one is up to you! What ideas do you have for performing a Random Act of Kindness this summer? May I suggest “Read to a Child“? It is simple, costs nothing but a little bit of your time, and can make all the difference in the world.

But, hey, anything you do is gonna make you feel all warm & fuzzy inside…so, go for it…

Start a Kindness Chain…

Because once you start it…kindness ripples out like water in a pond, spreading farther and farther. And that’s 100% scientific fact. Yep, I swear!! Kindness is contagious!

So what’s YOUR #11?? Let’s add some ideas to this list. Add your suggestions here. Thanks! 🙂


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Keep it REAL–4 Easy Steps to Determine Source Credibility

The problem: Not all sources are created equal.

The solution: Keep it REAL–4 Easy Steps to credible & authentic source material.

When it comes time to do research, most of us (not *just our students),  reach for our phones and just “Google it.”

Yet, when it comes time to incorporate source content into their writing, we want students to go beyond that one easy step. Our students have an enormous amount of  information at their fingertips. And therein lies the difficulty. They literally carry around so much data in their smartphones, it’s enough to make a grad student’s head spin, let alone a frosh college student, or the high school set.

As we know though, all internet sources are NOT created equal. From paid links, to content farms and the like–what steps can students-and the rest of us–take to analyze a source for credibility? By using this handy chart with the mnemonic REAL , they will be able to sort through a lot of the “junk” that’s available and find a nugget of REAL, and credible information.

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The four quick and easy steps are: Read the URL. Examine Content. Ask about the Author. Look at the Links.

Use an in-class discussion to educate students on the importance of each of these four categories, using the chart as a guide while you talk. Have a variety of articles related to the same topic, but from different websites, ready to look at on your smartboard, so students have a visual for the type of comparisons and analysis that is involved.

There are other approaches to this question of source credibility. However, I’d rather give my students a quick and easy tool that they are likely to actually remember and use, then a long, pragmatic list of filters and variables that will cause their eyes to gloss over.

So, when it comes to source credibility, let’s help our students keep it REAL. What do you think–is this an approach that would work in your classroom? Or in your own professional writing? If you’re a student, would this method help you? I’d love to hear from you!