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We Have Much to be Thankful For…As We Celebrate Our Three Year Anniversary, We Take A Look At Some Of The People We Have Met, Who Also Strive To Make A Difference

As we celebrate our third year as a company, we have much to be thankful for.

Over the past three years, we have written a handful of academic eBooks that continue to sell…thank you to our readers ūüôā

We have been blessed to have met wonderful people and companies via Twitter and Facebook and this blog, that have an amazing impact on education like Ocean House Media, @Pragmaticmom , @MovingSmartNow, and Writers Digest to just name a few.

Fortunately, we have been asked to provide professional development numerous times throughout the school year these last three years and we have almost reached 35,000 views on this blog and our website receives thousands of hits per week…thank you!

More recently, we have struck¬†up some good dialogue with people in the publishing industry who are giving us good advice and recommending agents for us to seek out for our Unlock the Teacher series we have been collaborating on with Dr. Lick, M.D¬†and Dr. Letscher, Ph.D.¬† We are quite grateful for all the advice and recommendations…thank you!

As we prepare for this Thanksgiving holiday, we want to say we are THANKFUL to each and everyone one of you, who allow us to do what we love and encourage us to do more.

May your holiday be blessed!

Denise and the rest of the Unlock the Teacher LLC team

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6th Grade Teacher Makes Science Fun with Cell Process Cartoons

Who said science wasn’t fun?
While in a school today (St. Mary School Royal Oak, Michigan), I stopped to look at these fabulous displays of creativity.  Not only was this hallway display colorful and creative, it was educational and funny!
 
¬†A simple, yet effective and creative way to teach the process of a cell.Students after reviewing lesson with their teacher¬†Mrs. Lapenta, they were given the rubric for a “Cell Process Cycle¬†Cartoon”.¬† Students had to incorporate the vocabulary given and create a cartoon strip displaying the process reviewed in class.¬†Thinking “Outside of the Box” can take learning to new and exciting places for you and your students.
 
We would love to share your classroom Best Practices with our readers. Please email me at denise@unlocktheteacherllc.com¬†a brief synopsis of lesson and a jpg or two.¬† It is in this collaborative process, that we all grow as educators…as parents…as a society!¬† Good ideas are meant to be shared.¬† We try to share them as often as we can!
 

"Outside of the Box" teaching is good for all stakeholders in the learning process!

 

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,
Denise
 
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Filed under Best Practices from Awesome Educators, Science, Sharing the Good

4th and 5th Grade Teachers Share Great Trade Books to Utilize when Teaching Personal Narrrative Writing

Mrs. Snyder and Mrs. McNish are two teachers that are sharing this wonderful list of trade books to be utilized at home or in the classroom when teaching personal narrative writing.

"Apple Picking Time" by Michele B Slawson

This is a wonderful story about a little girl named Anna, who is determined this year to fill her apple apron.  It is sure to delight all ages.

"Lost and Found" by Le Marche

This wonderful book includes three short stories that incorporate a dog. It is full of emotion and descriptive details.

"Painting in the Wind" by Patricia and Emily MacLachlan and Illustrated by Katy Schneider

This is a beautiful book in both words and pictures.  The paintings allow the reader to see the story come alive.

"The Trouble with Wishes" by Stanley

This is a weird but funny story sure to make your class laugh!  However, it is a story that comes with a real message that we should be careful with what we wish for, that sometimes what we need most is right in front of us.

"Up" by LaMarche

I loved reading this story to a group of 4th graders and to my daughter who is in 2nd grade.  This is a beautiful story about a boy named Daniele, called Mouse.  Imagination and determination is delicately woven throughout this tale and is a pleasure to read.

In all of these books, students while listening, can identify emotions, small details, dialogue and descriptions as the words are creatively placed together to tell wonderful stories that have something to teach or remind us all.

Thank you to Mrs. Snyder and Mrs. McNish at St. Mary’s School in Royal Oak, Michigan for sharing these great books with us.

We encourage any and all to please share ideas, suggestions, lessons and recommendations with us here at our Unlock the Teacher blog.  It is in the collaborative process, that we will succeed in preparing a better tomorrow for our children of today.

Have a super week!

Denise

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Common Core State Standards Initiative

As one who gets extremely excited about curriculum, I thought I would share some words of wisdom on education that I found from the Common Core State Standards Website. I understand after many years in the education system, how easy it can be for educators to get discouraged when a “new” trend or a “new” must follow philosophy comes along…that all must follow under the auspices of what is best for our children. However, after working with a few educational teams this past school year on curriculum alignment and aligning curriculum to the new CCSS ELA and Math model, I am even more impressed with the initiative and the direction it is pushing towards on behalf of our children.

A funny thing is, I believe the CCSS model is even more complimentary and gracious to us educators than many state standards. As an ELA teacher, I find the comprehensive breakdown of grammar per grade refreshing…not to mention the recommendations of literary works to enhance lessons. However, the icing on the cake for me was the recommendation of utilizing Shakespeare in the classroom…I used Shakespeare’s plays for years in the classrooms I taught and the students just enjoyed it! In fact, one year I had a group of seventh grade girls who found joy in practicing writing and speaking in Old English.

The true mastery is in the teacher and the reflective practices he/she uses to capture the unending teachable moments throughout the school year.

Great quotes taken from the Common Core State Standards Initiative
Benchmarking for Success documents:

“We are living in a world without borders. To meet the realities of the 21st century global economy and maintain America‚Äôs competitive edge into the future, we need students who are prepared to compete not only with their American peers, but with students from all across the globe for the jobs of tomorrow.”

“Nations around the world are facing a new education imperative, and many are seizing the historical moment to provide their citizens with better opportunities and stronger economies.”

“Governors recognize that new economic realities mean it no longer matters how one U.S. state compares to another on a national test; what matters is how a state‚Äôs students compare to those in countries around the globe. America must seize this moment to ensure that we have workers whose knowledge, skills, and talents are competitive with the best in the world.”

For additional information on Common Core State Standards that all but a few states have adopted visit http://www.corestandards.org/

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,

Denise

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Filed under Achievement Gap Blogs, Common Core State Standards "Nuts & Bolts", Curriculum Resources, Professional Development Workshops for Educators, Sharing the Good, Teacher and Administrator Workshops

First Graders’ Second eBook “Katie’s Horse Adventure” is Now Available at Barnes and Noble.com~All Proceeds Go Towards Promoting Literacy at Elementary School

"Katie's Horse Adventure" an eBook Written by Kids for Kids

First Graders’ Second eBook¬†Katie’s Horse Adventure¬†is Now Available at Barnes and Noble.com Thank you¬†to everyone who has supported the Katie’s Farm Adventures series.¬† All Proceeds Go Towards Promoting Literacy at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Elementary School.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/katies-horse-adventure-olqm-1st-grade-class/1104176954?ean=2940013605886&itm=1&usri=katie%2bs%2bhorse%2badventure

We have been busy working on additional eBooks to donating to elementary schools for the 2011/2012 school year…stay tuned!

If your school would like to have Unlock the Teacher LLC come in and facilitate one of our writing workshop for a class or series of grades, we would be happy to come and share this wonderful writing process that gets children so excited about writing and reading their own work.

Recommendations are available upon request.

I wish everyone a fabulous summer filled with many learning moments~

Denise ūüėČ

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Filed under "Katie's Farm Adventures" eBook Series Donated to Promoting Literacy, Blogs that Inspire Us, March 2011 Promoting Literacy Campaign, Recommended Books to Read, to Learn, to Inspire, Unlock the Teacher eBooks at Barnes and Noble Online

Unlock the Teacher Wishes Everyone a Happy Easter

May your weekend be blessed!

The Unlock the Teacher wishes everyone a happy and joy-filled weekend!

This is a wonderful time to regroup and refocus on all that is important to you and your families, your company, your school and all that is around you.  Spring is a time of renewal…may each of us find time for peace and quite. Time to renew that which is exceptional and unique to us so we can truly maximize our potential…for the betterment of our children, our future!

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things!

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Check Out Two Great Sites for Creating Free Apps

When we travel into middle and high schools to teach our “How To ePublish for Teens” Workshop, when we talk about Angry Birds and the successful business plan behind it, one of the main questions asked is where can one develop free apps online.  There is a plethora of sites.  We posted two sites on our Facebook page, that provide a detailed step-by-step process. 

For all of the students who read our blog, we thank you and appreciate all your input.  However, please do not utilize any of the free app, free publish websites alone if under 18 years of age.  Have some fun and create with a parent or parent’s approval…be smart and safe!

May we seek knowledge in all things,

Denise

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Filed under Educational Apps for Supervisors, Educational Websites that are FREE, Hot Topics in Education, Student or Industry

“Katie’s Farm” to “Katie’s Farm Adventures” Promoting Literacy Campaign

All Proceeds Dedicated to Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Literacy Fund

My mother named this series of paintings, Katie’s Farm.  Her birth name was Catherine and when she visited her grandparent’s farm, they would call her Katie.  However, given that there is a fabulous story already in print titled Katie’s Farm, I will be modifying title. I found this to be fitting, given all the amazing adventures Katie enjoys on the farm with her cousins, friends and her favorite horse Sarah.

 
Thank you again for all the amazing support via email, Facebook and Twitter.  We will keep you posted on details and hope that you will begin the thought process of supporting this literacy campaign, through purchase of books to enhance literacy across the curriculum for all these schools.
 
Reading is the foundation that supports all learning!
 
May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,
 
~Denise
 

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Filed under Achievement Gap Blogs, Grants and Funding Resources, Learning is Fun Lessons/Activities

“Sweet Relief of Missing Children”

“Sweet Relief of Missing Children” by Sara Braunstein was recommended today on twitter¬†by author Caroline Leavitt.¬† I am adding it to my January books to read.¬† Check it out if it looks interesting and get back to me on your thoughts if you finish before me:-)¬† For an interesting blog¬†written¬†by a friendly author,¬†check out Caroline’s blog @http://carolineleavittville.blogspot.com/

Happy reading!

Be the difference in the life of a child today!

Denise

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Filed under Blogs that Inspire Us, Recommended Books to Read, to Learn, to Inspire