Saving the World Through Literacy!

Discovery Education Social Studies Techbook


Discovery Education has a new Social Studies Techbook, which is like an online interactive textbook!

It covers US History from the Civil War to the present. There are great reference materials, an atlas, and clickable interactive components. It really rocks!

Discovery Education is offering a free webinar on March 20. You can check it out and sign up by clicking here.

This would be a great way to begin a flipped SS class for sure!

If you use it, I’d love to hear from you!

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Ummm, you know you should post stuff on a blog, right?

Yup, I get it. I’ve been kind of a lazy blogger lately. It’s so easy to post to twitter and just move on. I’m working on getting my act together again. I still love the mission of this site: Literacy Everywhere…Saving the World Through Literacy!

I’m still learning every day, still in love with being a teacher, still trying to save the world through literacy!

Stay tuned for more postings!

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I love the Nerdy Book Club!

The Nerdy Book Club is a place I like to call home. Teachers, readers, writers, and book lovers of all kinds hange out there and share awesome, awe, and ah-has about great reads and inspirations! 

If you aren’t yet a member (membership is free, you just have to love reading), head on over and check them out!

I was even lucky enough to write a guest post for the Nerdy Book Club. You can check it out here:

Come on, get Nerdy with us! 


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My Orange Duffel Bag


Monday night I went to the Decatur Library to see Sam Bracken & Echo Garrett.
Sam shared his amazing story. His story reminded me of so many of my students. Sam grew up with extreme abuse and in a family that used alcohol and drugs. The amazing part of Sam’s story is that he earned a full scholarship to Georgia Tech, even though he was homeless at the time.
During his talk, we laughed and cried. Sam’s story is a powerful one. So much of it will be with me always. But one thing will never leave my heart or mind. He told us that it just took one person who cared about him more than he cares about himself. One person. That’s what changed his life. Amazing.
As a teacher, this hit me like a bus. I want to be that person for my kids. The lost ones, the lonely ones, the scared ones, the hungry ones, the ones that just don’t have anyone. Sam’s words were a call to action for me. A powerful call to action that reaffirmed my calling as a teacher.

Echo Garrett talked to us about the Orange Duffel Bag Foundation and their work with young people. She shared the sobering statistics about homeless and foster kids that I am too aware of. Most of them don’t graduate from high school. Most jobs require at least that.
These two amazing people touched my heart. We need more people like Sam & Echo in the world.
Check out Sam’s book here:
Check out the foundation here:



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Proud to be Nerdy!

Two Worlds Collide!

Today, my books and bling life and literacy teacher life get to collide again. I love when this happens!

I love reading. Even more that that, I love people who love reading!

So, when I had the chance to write a post for the awesome Nerdy Book Club, I was all in! These are my people! I feel so at home with the Nerdy Book Club. Though I try to visit a variety of blogs, this is the one I never miss!

Check it out here:

I hope you join all the Nerdy Book Club awesomeness! It really is great to be Nerdy!

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Common Core: Woes, Oooohs, & Yos!?

Common Core is Coming…Ready or Not!

education newspaper

I’m curious as to your Woes, Oooohs, and Yos! What do I mean? Let me explain:

Woes: What are you worried about? What is aggravating you? What do you need?

Oooohs: What are you wondering about? What have you heard that needs clarification? What is your “Oh! It would be awesome if …”

Yos: What have you found that is so awesome that you want to yell, “Yo! Check this out!”

I’d love to gather your Woes, Oooohs, & Yos and share them. Together we can do anything!

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Summer Reading Lists #1

I simply cannot wait to have days & days to read this summer, but I know many of my students don’t feel the same way.

I can’t (as much as I try, wish, pray, & dream) make anyone love reading or use magic to zap my non-readers into Reading Rock Stars!

What I can do, and really love to do, is share awesome book titles with students and parents. Maybe one (or two, or three, or more) of those books will click with a kid, or inspire them, or lead them to other books. Hey, a girl can dream, right?

I am not a fan of summer reading assignments for my students. I have tried a million different things (well, maybe not a million, but quite a few) to get kids to read over the summer. Assignments that force reading just don’t work for my students. It’s hard enough to get some of my kids to read during the year, so I sure don’t have any pull over the summer! Most of my kids don’t think about school at all during the summer. Summer assignments get ignored, forgotten, and unfinished. Then they start off a new school year already behind. It is huge DISLIKE all around! So, it doesn’t happen in my classes. I always suggest books, have lists available for students and parents, and hope that they read. If your kids (and parents) participate in summer assignments, YAY YOU! Do what you know works for your students!

Here are a few of the Summer Reading Lists that I’ve seen floating around. I’ll keep posting them as I find more.  

Be sure to check out your local libraries and book stores, too. They always have super awesome things going on-most with prizes! 

If you have a great list or a book you think kids will love, do send it my way. 

Scholastic Summer Challenge

The Teacher Report: 20 Summer Reading Picks

Georgia Children’s Book Award Nominees for 2012-2013 (great list of awesome reads!)


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21st Century Education, Web 2.0, and Flipping My Classroom-Feedback Wanted!

Big news! I’m applying for a grant to Flip my classroom next year! I’m very excited!

I’ve been reading so much about Flipped Classrooms and cannot wait to try it out! I believe it will help increase student engagement and motivation, allow me to differentiate more effectively, and allow me to go full force with the Common Core!

Here’s the shortlist of what I’ve been reading (mainly from

The Flipped Class Manifesto by Brian E. Bennett, Dan Spencer, Jon Bergmann, Troy Cockrum,
Ramsey Musallam, Aaron Sams, Karl Fisch, Jerry Overmyer,

How the Flipped Classroom is Radically Transforming Learning by Jon Bergmann, Aaron Sams

The Flipped Class: Shedding light on the confusion, critique and hype by Aaron Sams

Are you Ready to Flip? by Dan Spencer, Deb Wolf, and Aaron Sams

“The Flipped Class:  Myths vs. Reality” by Jon Bergmann, Jerry Overmyer and Brett Wilie

“The Flipped Class: What Does a Good One Look Like?” by Brian Bennett, Jason Kern, April Gudenrath and Philip McIntosh

Private School Math Teacher Flips Learning by Stacey Roshan

The Flipped Class:  Show Me the Data! by Stacey Roshan

Teachers “Doing the Flip” to Help Students Become Learners

This infographic from is AWESOME!!

Flipped Classroom

Created by Knewton and Column Five Media

Now I’m trying to figure out just what technology to include in the grant. I know that I want the following:

  • Document Camera
  • Digital Video Camera
  • Photoshop Elements and Premier Software
  • Glogster and Storybird subscriptions for my students
  • Headsets with microphones
  • SnapScan Mobile Scanner
  • Webcam (that will move with me/the students)

I’d love to hear your feedback on both technology & your experiences!


The Post Where My Worlds Collide-Chicago Edition

This week I’m in Chicago at the International Reading Association’s 57th Annual Convention.

IRA 2012 Chicago

Two of my favorite things are combined: Reading and Education!

I don’t usually mix my two social media personalities, but this week Books and Bling and on Literacy Everywhere are mixing together in an epic pairing of awesome!

Yesterday, Schmoopy and I took a LONG WALK to see where Merit of the Chicgoland Vampire books lives-Go Cadogan!. Chloe Neill even posted my pic on her blog!

Cadogan House!

This morning, I got to see Dr. Steve Perry speak. He was really inspiring!

Dr. Steve Perry at IRA 2012

Then I met Michael Buckley and he loved the Bling! I’m a huge fan of his NERDS series! He is just as awesome in person as I thought he’d be!

Michael Buckley & the BLING!


Awesome NERDS Signed Copy Bling! YAY!

Next, I heard Nick Bruel speak and got him to sign some Bad Kitty books for me. I even snagged one of his Bad Kitty drawings from his presentation. AWESOME!

Bad Kitty for President! You’ve got my vote!


Bad Kitty Sketch!

Basically, I’m learning tons and fangirling my way through this awesome town! Well, we’re eating a ton of great food, too! Chicago is super yummy!

Here are some more of our fun Chicago pics!

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Silly & Fun Testing Day Slides & Treats!

I always like to post something fun on the board in the mornings before we take one of those dreaded bubble tests.

The kids, even though they are super tough 8th graders (they think they are super tough, but they’re totally still my babies!) LOVE to see what silly thing will be on the board each morning of testing. I also give them a little treat each day at the end of testing. Just something small to tell them how much I appreciate their focus, hard work, and attention to details and procedures during the test. I try to make this yucky thing into something fun!

I know they’ll do well. I’m not concerned about that. We do WAY more than will ever be covered on any bubble test. I’m not bragging, either. I just give them what I know they can do w/o limitations. My awesome kids are amazing. They rock. I make sure they know it all the time! =)

Here are the slides I made this year.  All of the fonts are free from The purchased the images from Lettering Delights (they are so good to teachers-you should check them out! I used to change the words daily, but so many students kept asking what the ones from previous days said. So now I just put them all up on day one and change the silly title and picture every day.

Here is the whole thing, if you want it: Attack that test It is a pdf so you’ll have the fonts.  Attack that test


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