I have been teaching (and loving it!) since 1997. I taught 3rd grade for 19 years and kindergarten for one year (so far!) I was an education adjunct professor for 11 years at Le Moyne college in Syracuse, New York. I taught a required methods course to pre-service teachers. My top priority was teaching my college students to use multicultural trade books to teach reading, writing and test taking skills. I have also held workshops to help teachers with test prep and to train them to use my SIMPLE system for teaching reading and writing.
I have always been a creative person, and I have been making up worksheets and activities for my students since I began student teaching in 1995. I am an "orange" personality type (google "True Colors Personality Test" or email me for info!), so I like things in my classroom to be creative and fun for my students. I am incredibly grateful to all of the students who have inspired, motivated and challenged(!) me over the years to become a better teacher.
In 2002 I was honored to receive a Human Rights award from our community's city council. Using multicultural literature to promote diversity and empathy is an important part of my third grade curriculum.
I went back to school in my 30s to get my teaching degree. I had two young children, so going to college was an interesting challenge! I have a Master's degree in Elementary Education and Reading from the State University of New York at Cortland.
In 1999, I created a story mapping graphic organizer called Story Man. Story Man was designed to help students become better readers, writers and test takers. I published a teacher resource book in 2006 titled ELA Instruction Made SIMPLE; SIMPLE Steps to Reading and Writing Success. The Story Man story map is a child friendly graphic organizer/visual scaffolding tool that allows teachers to holistically teach or review over 20 essential language arts skills AND 27 Common Core Learning Standards.
English Language Arts, Balanced Literacy, Creative Writing, Specialty, ELA Test Prep, Life Skills, Critical Thinking, Classroom Management, Professional Development, Character Education, Writing, Reading Strategies, Holidays/Seasonal, Back to School, Christmas/ Chanukah/ Kwanzaa, Valentine's Day, Martin Luther King Day, St. Patrick's Day, Tools for Common Core, Earth Day, Informational Text, Handwriting, Close Reading