Start Your New Year with This Prize

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole live believing it is stupid.”—Albert Einstein****************

1-10-17-empowered-teacherThat’s the opening quote in The Empowered Teacher: Proven Tips for Classroom Success. This little book is packed full of handy pointers and ideas perfect for starting off the new calendar year.

One lucky reader will win this book. For your chance, post a comment to this blog no later than 11:59 pm EST on January 24, 2017, to tell me what one change you’re making for the new year and how it’s going so far. In the meantime, check out these other freebies and great deals. They definitely can contribute to a happy 2017!  (Update: congratulations to Charlene, who is the winner of our prize.)




Have you seen lately? There’s lots that’s new. More than 7,000 activities (free to schools!) cover preschool, PreK, kindergarten, and grade 1. Visit to sign up.






Get students thinking big with this new series from Crabtree. Your Start-Up Starts Now! gives kids the inside scoop on starting a business. The reading level is grades 5–6, and the interest level is grades 5–9. Learn more.





fund-for-teachersStart dreaming up your summer plans. Fund for Teachers awards PreK–grade 12 teachers money for summer fellowships. Individuals can get $5,000, and teams can get $10,000. Why not try? Visit to get started.


Hoping for a great second half of the school year,


PS: Disney Books is giving away 30 titles each month. Enter here.

29 thoughts on “Start Your New Year with This Prize

  1. I would like to incorporate more technology in my classroom. I tried the Hour of Code, it was a success so now I am going to take some training at the end of the month that to go the next few steps. I am excited to go beyond just the district required programs. I teach Kindergarten so I will start my students on a path to lifelong learning!

    • I am also working on being positive with colleagues. I have found if I write down what I did to react positively, it makes it easier to do it again. I just jot a note in the margins of my plan book.

  2. With close to 700 students rotating through my class once a week, it is difficult to organize student work when teachers decide to use fluid learning groups instead of keeping students in their assigned homeroom classes. Instead of spending precious time looking for student work, the student groups invent a new group/class name. I assign the names to a class time instead of a home room teacher. If a student is moved from one group to another, the student just moves their own work in progress to the new group/ time. I label zip bags with the invented name/time and hang them from a cork board at student height. Students take responsibility for organizing and retrieving their own work. I no longer have to stress over all the different groups, teachers do not have to send a new list of students with every change, and the students take more ownership of their leaning. It is a win, win, win!

  3. Since I teach a pullout gifted and talented program for grades k-3 my room is often crammed with material and kids. To start the new year off I have been ending class a few minutes early and having students quickly organize the classroom – sharpen pencils wipe desks and straighten classroom materials. The students enjoy entering an organized work area and I have added time at the end of the day.

  4. Writing standards on board so students know what they are doing. Also integrating more technology. So far both going okay as long as I remember to write the standard

  5. This year I am resolving to spend more time listening, really listening to my students. I’m going to avoid saying, “we can talk about that later, ” and “not now, we’re doing math, save your personal connection for later today…” Children need to have someone who will give them their undivided attention and listen …

  6. I am trying to keep at least a week ahead in lesson plans, (at least to the extent possible), and trying to attend to other needed paperwork or correspondence asap so I can focus entirely on the students without worrying about missing a deadline.

  7. I am trying valiantly not to take all of my school work home every day. I am attempting to find the time during my school day (using prep time, lunch break) to be as productive as possible so that I can be more available for my own children when I am home. It is not always possible, but I’m trying!

  8. My goal is to have online grades for the week in each Friday night/Saturday morning, where I can also list my missing work…this always surprises me at the end of the grading period, and I must stop that bad habit!

  9. Working on smiles and laughter in the classroom The more I smile the more they smile. The happier we all are the more work we get done

  10. I have started using acts of kindness charts for my preschoolers so when I catch them doing something nice for someone they get a sticker. When they fill up the chart we make a big deal out of it. This has stopped a lot of the behaviors and struggles between friends.

  11. My students have such unique strengths and needs. It is so easy to try to bundle all that uniqueness into one lesson but I am really striving to allow each student to shine in his (I have all boys) own way. It’s a lot more work but the benefits are worth it!

  12. My goal was to become more organized. I start out the year great, but within one week I become an organizational train wreck. Over the holiday break, I worked diligently to get way ahead with lesson plans and all necessary materials, especially in reading workshop (we just implemented it this year). Suffice it to say, I began organizing each lesson in plastic 3-prong folders with clear plastic sleeves. Yes, it’s time consuming; and yes, it’s a bit expensive, but what a difference it is making with my organization. Kudos to my colleague/friend who showed me the light!

  13. As a librarian, and teacher of 2 intervention groups, I have been greatly overwhelmed with planning and grading as well as normal librarian duties. I am trying to give my intervention groups more responsibility for their learning. It is going okay but I still have work to do (and always will!!!).

  14. I am trying to be a more excited, cheerful teacher with more fun activities for my students. I also remind them to treat others as they would like to be treated like God wants us to do!

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