Heat Wave !

I’m sweating !  I can’t breathe !  It’s soooo hot !  All wonderful phrases I am hearing from my students as here on Long Island we are enduring a heat wave !  How do we get through it ?  Plenty of water, five-minute stretch breaks, and answering some Document Based Questions in the computer lab !

As I am teaching summer school, we have been doing lots of prep for the standardized tests.  Here in New York State the students must pass a Regents Examination in order to get their “Regents” Diploma.  If the students failed the exam in June, they have an opportunity to take it again in August.  So..we practice multiple-choice questions and we go over Miss Webb’s “secrets of taking the Regents exam that are not so-secret.”  It’s that question that is haunting education in 2013 – are we teaching to the test?  Here in summer school, I have to say that yes, we are teaching to the test.  For these 16 and 17-year-old students, they “need” to pass this exam.  So I spend the summer crunching a year-long curriculum into six weeks.  Difficult?  Yes.  Impossible?  Not really.  We focus on main ideas and essential questions a day rather than two/three weeks for one unit.  It is a daunting task with the ultimate goal of having my students be successful.  A topic or idea that they may have not understood during the school year becomes their “aha !” moment for the day.  With only a few students in each class I am able to “individualize” their education which is the hot idea of the educational world today.

In my spare time between preparing my lessons for summer school, I have been working on these great products for my teacherspayteachers store !  This week’s focus was the Age of Exploration.  Again, my products and lessons are all used in my own classroom so I fully put 100% confidence that they work !

This weekend I plan on working on my lessons and attending this girl’s wedding to the love of her life !  I can’t wait to celebrate with another amazing teacher-blogger !

picture10Check out the Age of Exploration lessons here !

Have a great weekend !



Happy Fourth of July !

Hi everyone !

It has been a crazy/amazing last few weeks.  I have been busily ending the school year, cleaning, decorating our apartment, and trying to relax ! 😉  I hope you all have been having a great last few weeks too as the school year ended !

Last week, my family received some AMAZING news…my sister Eileen and her boyfriend Joe, got engaged after 7 1/2 years together !  We are so excited for planning the wedding !

I started the summer school session this past Monday, which is very relaxed but soo important !  These 7th graders really need so much individual attention so it’s great that I can be able to work with them during the summer in a smaller group setting.  We only have about 20 days together, so our sessions are about 2 1/2 hours long a day.  I break the curriculum up to about a unit a day so make sure we cover everything by August.  How do you break up your curriculum when you only have a short amount of time ?  Today, I started reviewing the Government unit and put this product up on my TeacherspayTeachers store.  I had the kids create their own governments and then we discussed the different types including monarchies, oligarchies, and democracies.  Please enjoy and leave any feedback/ideas you’d like !

I hope you all have a FABULOUS Fourth of July !  What will y’all be up to ?!  I’ll be working on some products while enjoying some much needed S’MORES 😉  Enjoy !

ImageEileen & Joe (above)ImageCheck this product out here !

Cheers ! xox


Hi !!

Hi everyone !

I finally did it!  I have been working patiently on my new blog & here it is !

There is so much to talk about, and I can’t wait to get started talking about Social Studies ideas, concepts, & life !

Talk soon !