It Is Time To Get Active! #LetsPlayHSMakeover @DrPepperSnapple @LetsPlay #Ad

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Let’s Play, an initiative by Dr Pepper Snapple Group that provides kids and families with the tools, places and inspiration to make active play a daily priority by building and improving playgrounds and donating sports equipment to groups in need. Although I received compensation for this post, all opinions are my own.     It's no secret that we a huge basketball family. My older son has been playing competitively since he was in the third grade. Being an athlete has give him the tools to stay confident in all areas of his life and it has allowed him to be active on a regular basis. Even though our younger son plays basketball only for enjoyment, he understands that it is also important for him to engage in active play.     As an active family, we were really excited to find out about the Let's Play initiative by Dr Pepper Snapple Group. They are committed to making sure that kids and their families have all the resources that they need to … [Read more...]

Start Organizing For Back To School! #BTSReady @SchoolSpecialty @KidzVuz #Ad

    I can't believe that back to school is right around the corner!  Some states have already started the new school year but here in New York City we don't return until the beginning of September because school ended on June 28th.  Although we still have about a month left of summer vacation, it's never too early to begin organizing for the upcoming academic year.  As a parent and an educator, I have to prepare on both fronts to make sure my sons and my students start off the year on the right foot.     Every year, I depend on SchoolSpecialty.com to help me get all the materials that I need to launch a successful school year beyond just basic supplies like pencils and crayons.  It takes a lot more than just these traditional items to transform our home into a command center to coordinate and prepare for our daily routine once we all go back to school and work in September.     In our home, I have to be very strategic about how I set up our back to school command center because I … [Read more...]

Should Teachers Take Students’ Phones Away On School Trips? #SquashTheBeef #Ad

    This past week, my son went on his eighth grade Senior Trip to Philadelphia.  This was the first time that he was away from his father and I for the whole day in another state.  As you all can imagine, I was a nervous mom all day wondering if he was having a good time and if he was safe.  As parents we want our children to have many wonderful opportunities and experiences but we also want to protect them and keep them safe whenever possible.     Sometime in the afternoon, one of the parents on the trip messaged me to let me know that all the boys had gotten in trouble and their teacher was going to take their mobile phones away for the remainder of the trip.  Now, let me tell you, as an educator of over seventeen years, I am keenly aware of how distracting phones can be when it comes to the classroom.  Had his teacher chosen to take my son's phone away in school, I would have been all in support of it but this was not the scenario and I felt she was completely wrong in taking away … [Read more...]

Are Your Kids Getting Enough Physical Education? #ProtectPE @Voices4HK #Ad

*This post reflects a compensated editorial partnership with Voices for Healthy Kids, a joint initiative of the American Heart Association and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.     There are many factors that influence how children perform academically but I bet many of you did not know that students who receive physical education, or PE, do better when it comes to behavior, academic achievement, and emotional health.  It's important for kids have frequent opportunities to engage in physical activity on a daily basis.  Unfortunately, only 4% of elementary schools, 8% of middle schools, and 2% of high schools provide daily PE or its equivalent for the entire school year.     Racial inequalities and socio-economic challenges leave many schools without resources for PE, but kids shouldn’t have to miss out on the benefits of PE because of where they live or because their schools lack financial resources.  A good PE program is a crucial part of … [Read more...]

Ignite The Genius In Your Child! #eBookPlaza @PreK12Plaza #Ad

*This is part of a sponsored collaboration ̊with the PreK12 Plaza. However, all opinions expressed are my own. #eBookPlaza #PlazaBilingue     I've always loved literature and reading.  These were the very reasons why I became a Literacy Specialist.  I just couldn't imagine anyone being deprived of the joy that comes from the written word and vowed to help anyone I could to become literate.  As an educator who loves being one, I will only stand behind educational programs or apps that spark this love of reading in children.  That is why I am so excited to share the launch of app eBook Plaza on PreK12 Plaza!     eBook Plaza is a new, free, bilingual, multimedia resource, providing teachers with blended lessons supporting English-language standards.  It gives young readers access to hundreds of eBooks in a variety of reading levels that are available in both English and Spanish.  Integrating technology and reading is a match … [Read more...]

Lysol Back To School Science Fair Challenges Students To Expose Germs! #Lysol #Ad

    I can't even begin to describe how many of my students are currently sick with colds.  Along with the change of seasons and the spread of germs, most of them are really feeling miserable.  It's the perfect opportunity to teach them how important it is to wash their hands regularly and to cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze.  Believe it or not, millions of school days are missed each year due to student absences that are caused by illnesses like the common cold or the flu.     Lysol® has partnered with Madison Square Boys and Girls Club of America in New York City to teach students about the presence of millions of germs that invade their classrooms every single day!  The best part is that fourth-graders will be able to quantify these germs through interactive science experiments.  They are learning how germs can flourish on desks, light switches, doorknobs, and school supplies and how they can protect their classroom … [Read more...]

Extend Learning Outside The Classroom! #HowLifeUnfolds @HowLifeUnfolds #Ad

   This summer has been a wonderful one.  I've spent quality time with my boys and my husband and we have dedicated time to take a few adventures together.  While we were having fun, we were also creating opportunities for us to learn together.       After all, you wouldn't expect anything less from an educator with over fifteen years of teaching experience in the classroom.  I've noticed that no matter where we are or what we are doing, we can always use paper and paper-products to inspire learning beyond the classroom.  You'd be surprised how many creative activities and writing exercises can arise from everyday events.     My ten-year-old son's favorite thing to do is illustrate his experiences using crayons and his favorite drawing notebook.  It is such a pleasure to watch him bring his drawings to life.  It's a great way to foster his creativity and to allow him to use visualization to create images … [Read more...]

Kick Off A New School Year With Your Own Teacher Rewards Kit! #TeacherRewardsKit #Ad

    It's hard to believe that it is almost time for back to school here in New York City.  Not only will I be embarking on a new teaching journey as a high school reading teacher, but my boys will be starting fifth and eighth grade.  There are lots of exciting things coming up this year including my son's graduation, searching for the right high school that he will attend, and our younger son's transition into middle school.     As an educator, I cannot stress enough the importance of positive reinforcement when it comes to motivating kids to do their best academically and praising them for a job well done.  Both of our boys are required to complete book reports over the vacation to support their summer reading.  I knew that I would need to make this an enjoyable experience since getting kids to do schoolwork when they are off is like pulling teeth.  That is exactly why I love the Teacher Rewards Kit.  It is full of everything that I … [Read more...]

Inspire Love Of Reading With PreK12 Plaza! @PreK12Plaza #PreK12Plaza #Ad

    Ever since my sons were little, I have tried to instill a love of reading in them.  After all, I am a Literacy Specialist and have been a reading teacher for over fifteen years.  During the school year, it's a little easier to get them to read and write because it is a natural extension of what they are doing in the classroom.  However, it becomes a little harder to inspire them to read during summer vacation.       That is why I love PreK12 Plaza, it allows me to engage my boys in educational activities to warm up before school starts in September.  My ten-year old sometimes struggles with his writing stamina and with getting all of his ideas down on paper.  The PreK12 site allows children to create their own eBook which is the perfect way for my son to see his writing come to life!     My son created his very own eBook on the PreK12 website using some of the things that he has learned this summer as inspiration. … [Read more...]

Science Project Idea: Cloud Experiment

    Those of you who follow me on social media know that, last month, I helped my twelve year-old son with his Science project for school.  Although I am an educator, Science has never been my strongest subject and I struggled to find a project idea that I could help him with while enjoying ourselves at the same time.  We eventually settled on analyzing food dyes in a variety of popular candies.     Next year, when my younger son enters fifth grade, I will have to help both of my boys with their Science projects and I know that it is going to be a lot of work.  As a result, I have already begun to experiment with some fun ideas that I have found online and I'm hoping to choose some of them next spring when it's time for my boys to submit their finished projects to their school's yearly Science Fair.     This experiment is to teach kids how rain happens. Clouds form when water droplets from the earth evaporate into the air. They are … [Read more...]