Kindergarten Teacher


Online Reader QR Code Center!

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I recently shared two sets of 50 Online Readers for young kids (here and here) and Jeannine Freeman shared with me this amazing resource with QR codes that link to many of the books. She was gracious enough to allow me to share it here. You can connect with her on Twitter @TechTimeWithJ9 or on her website

Find the QR code document here!



Classroom Cribs


This is a guest post from Erin Klein, AJ Juliani and Ben Gilpin.

As we look towards the 2014-2015 school year, one question continually jumps out to me as an educator: How do our learning spaces impact our students?

As a new English teacher I remember getting into my classroom for the first time. I set up the space like classrooms I had seen before; I got my lesson plans in order; packed the filing cabinets with resources; started to make copies of overhead slides; put together an area for reading and stacked the shelves with books I had picked up in college or from my parents house.

Then the students arrived, and all my plans went out the window. I realized very quickly that the type of teaching I had been exposed to and grew up with, and the type of teaching taught at many undergraduate programs…was quickly becoming a past practice. That’s not to say many of the pedagogical and instructional strategies I learned don’t stick with me today (the good ones always will) but these students were different learners than I was…and at the time I was only 22 years old.

Flash forward nine years and the classrooms look very different in my same school district. In the two years since my district began a technology initiative our classrooms have evolved once more. Throughout this process I have tried my best to stay on top of where education is headed and what are the emerging “next” practices. Yet, one area that needs to be improved and is often overlooked is our learning space designs.

How We Design Our Classroom Matters

Brain-based learning theory has been around for a long time, and it has been used to improve the classroom experience in many schools around the world. However, I was shocked how hard it was to find great resources on re-designing learning spaces when I started down the path of re-designing my own school’s learning environment.

Luckily, there are a number of creative and inventive teachers and leaders who have designed their spaces with purpose. In order to share our own work with learning spaces, and the awesome work of others in education, we’ve started a new website:

Classroom Cribs is our hub for “brain friendly learning spaces”. Our mission at Classroom Cribs is to enhance pedagogy and the learning experience with brain-based classroom designs that students will love. And that is the main point. We can (and should) create better learning environments for our students. Spaces that are centered around research and what works.

We recently launched and would love for you to visit and join over 1000 educators who are learning more about learning spaces from our newsletter. And to kick things off, we are starting the first ever “Classroom Cribs Challenge” on August 14th.

The Classroom Cribs Challenge

Remember MTV Cribs? We thought, what if that same concept of Cribs…met the classroom! From August 14th to September 14th we’ll be running a challenge that anyone can join. Here’s the details:

1. Rethink your learning space with the student in mind. What changes will enhance the learning experience?

2. Redesign your learning space and show us how you did it: Take pictures and video.

3. Create a 3-min “Cribs” video showing off your new learning space. Include a 250 word (or less) rationale for “why” you made the changes.

4. Submit your video, rationale, and bio to have a chance to be featured on our site and win great prizes!

How to Get Started

Come visit today and join our newsletter. We’ll keep you updated with new articles, videos, and more free design resources sent straight to your inbox. Then when August 14th rolls around, we’d love to see your learning space transformation as part of the Classroom Cribs challenge!


Resources for Ditching the Behavior System

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This post is simply blog posts and resources I find that support getting rid of the color chart or behavior system. I keep hearing many people want to remove these systems but don’t know where to start or are forced to use them. Hopefully these resources will give you the inspiration needed to try it or give you resources to talk with your admin about removing them in your class. I will continue to update this post as I find resources! Please add resources in the comments and I will link them!

Blog Posts:

Confessions of a Former Rewards Addict

Put Your Name on the Board: A Tale of Why I Gave Up Classroom Discipline Systems

Moving Past Behavior Charts

Why I Will Never Use A Behavior Chart Again

Chuck the Chart Part 1: But Why?

Chuck the Chart Part 2: Behaviour is Like Reading…

Chuck the Chart Part 3: Talking to Your Administrator(s) 

Reward Free Year

I Lied, We Do Have Treasure

Be Brave: The Only Rule in my Class

“Behaviour Management” : Not systems, but relationships

Too high a price: why I don’t use behaviour charts

So I Gave Up Punishments and My Students Still Behaved

How Do You Reward Students When You Don’t Believe in Rewards


Punished by Rewards – Alfie Kohn


If you can read this…


I love this, had to share

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The Ultimate Summer Reading List for Teachers by Scholastic

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Great list and of course I am honored to be mentioned in the post!

The Ultimate Summer Reading List for Teachers


Top 13 Pictures of 2013

I love photography and hope you don’t mind me sharing some of my family pictures from this year. My top 13 pictures of 2013 (no particular order)


Bram (3rd grade) finished his first triathlon!


Beach fun in Destin!


Each year we try to attend at least one Aggie Football game.


We spend many days at the lake each summer. Tubing is always a favorite activity.


Gage (1st grade) loves baseball and we enjoy watching him play.


My oldest Aidan (7th grade #57), played football for the first time. Very proud of him for being brave and trying something new.


Bram hit his first home run this season.


Aidan is a Fourth of July baby and each year we have a cookout on his birthday. Friends, fun and fireworks.


Exploring the creek is another summer activity we do often. 


Bram dancing with Cinderella at Disney World. 


Spring break in Ruidoso, NM.


Happy, happy, happy


Gomez, Tx!


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