Today, May 1st, is National Signing Day, the deadline for students across the nation to send in their commitments to the colleges or universities that they will attend the following academic year.

The First Lady, Michelle Obama, launched the Reach Higher initiative on May 2, 2014. Reach Higher is a celebration intended to mimic the celebration high school athletes experience when they sign to a college.

We, at GCPS, see it as an opportunity for us to celebrate ALL of our seniors as they commit to completing their education beyond high school in any fashion they’ve chosen.

GHS wanted to join in on this day of celebration and we asked all seniors to wear their college colors, JROTC uniforms, or any other logos that indicate their plans after high school. Today, we will be holding a brief assembly for our seniors to give them words of encouragement to finish the year strong as well as give them the opportunity to join seniors across the nation as they globally announce their plans after high school and commitment to complete their education by tweeting/posting pictures of themselves adding the hashtag: #ReachHigher.

Showing our support of the GHS graduating class of 2015! Ms. Scott and I sporting the colors of our Almae Matres.

Don’t Pack Your Bags!

Don’t Pack Your Bags, YET! Finish well.

My favorite lines of this piece:

  1. “If you need an upcoming test to validate whether you should teach or not, you’re sending the wrong message and forgetting why we’re in this profession: to teach. Don’t pack your bags too soon.”

  2. “You teach with your life and your actions.”

  3. “Remember your noble calling, teachers. It isn’t easy, but it IS worth it!”

“The Cool Cat Teacher” blog is one of my favorites. If you have the time, please peruse. You WILL find something to take away from it.



Shark Bait…Ooooh ha ha!

One of the cool aspects of my job is that I witness awesome teaching in action at the elementary level. Having 17 years of secondary experience, I never thought I’d enjoy the variety of songs and phrases teachers use to gain their students’ attention so much! I firmly believe that elementary teachers in Goochland County are true experts at classroom management. They’ve built procedures into every facet of the day. When I read through this article, I just knew I had to share. (I particularly like Betsy M.’s mascot idea and #s 17, 38, and 49!)

50 Fun Ways to Gain a Student’s Attention

Should QAR be part of our Common Language?

Question Answer Relationship (QAR) is a reading strategy that is broad enough to tackle critical thinking and comprehension in all grade levels and every content area thus supporting the reading skills of all students across the curriculum…even in math and science! :-)

This article is a 5-minute read and includes a 10-minute instructional video. As you read, ask yourself if QAR should be “common language” articulated vertically and horizontally throughout the county and just think of the implications it might have…!

I Can’t Remember!

Recent brain research provides evidence that the brain, once thought to be rigid, has the ability to be molded, oddly enough,…through PRACTICE! No wonder the old adage “practice makes you perfect” has held credence for so many years!

Those of us who are sometimes “absent-minded” can actually mold our brains to become “present-minded” (if I may use the term loosely!) and all we have to do is practice using our working memory skills. The sites below may provide an avenue to understand why working memory is important in learning and ways to improve it.

Working Memory and Academic Skills

Why Increasing Working Memory Helps Your Child at School

Five Tips to Improve Working Memory

(Disclaimer: A few recent studies have shown that practice alone may not make you perfect. According to one study, other factors affecting your “perfection” include innate ability and intelligence.)