"Learning, Teaching and Leading "

Aspiring Administrators

Posted by on Nov 12, 2014 in 21st Century Teaching & Learning, Leadership | 0 comments

TWU Panel Photo

Former TWU Graduate School Panel of School Administrators

As you all know I am a new administrator. I completed my master’s degree in educational leadership at Texas Women’s University (TWU) in December of 2013.

You can imagine how excited I was when a former professor asked me if I would be part of a panel of TWU graduates now serving in an administrative role. I am all about helping others get ahead, and love to guide and help people towards reaching their dreams and goals.

For a little over an hour, the panel I was on answered questions put together by a group of aspiring administrators currently in their last semester at TWU.

They came up with really good questions. There were a couple of questions that stood out to me.

Question 1

One question was about what the administrative team can do to cultivate a positive school climate. That is so important, in fact, too important to leave to chance. You do not need to be in an administrative role to know that school culture can make or break a school.

3 things an administrator can do to cultivate a positive school culture:

1. If and when at all possible, involve teacher in the decision-making process.
2. Provide PD choices. One size does not fit all!
3. Appreciate and acknowledge teachers verbally and tangibly! Notes of appreciation and surprise snack delivered to their door work wonders on my campus.

Question 2

Another question that was asked was, “If you could tell an aspiring principal one thing, what would that be?”

This one is pretty simple for me. I would say, “Keep growing!” Learning does not end when you get your diploma. Learning is life long. I tell teacher all the time, “Do not depend on your administrators or school district to develop you professionally.” That may sound strange coming from someone who is in part responsible for developing and delivering PD at the campus level but I mean it.

I highly encourage teachers to seek out learning opportunities that interest them. This is something I practice personally. For example, just this past month I spent one Saturday attending EdCamp Dallas and another Saturday attending TCEA Emerge. No one said I had to go, most times I go alone to these things because sadly many people around me are not interested.

As a campus administrator, I feel a greater responsibility to continue to learn and grow.  As an instructional leader, it is my job to know and keep up with the latest trends plus, I am kind of an Ed. Tech. geek, I love learning how others are using technology in their classrooms to engage students and boost learning.

Office vs. Classroom

Teaching is a DIFFICULT job. I have been out of the classroom for 4 years now. I can tell you first hand, the most important things that happen in a school do NOT happen in the office, it happens in the classroom!

As I grow and learn in my new role, I hope those around me view me as a leader that is there to support and propel them.

Teaching with Nancy

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Turkey Time ELAR, SLAR and Math Stations

Posted by on Nov 10, 2014 in Kindergarten, Literacy, Math, PreK, Preschool, Research, Social Studies, Spanish, Thanksgiving | 0 comments

Get your ELAR and math stations ready for the Thanksgiving season with these fun and easy to prepare stations! Grab them while they are on SALE 50% OFF!  This is a special price only available on my blog!  Sale ends 11/12/14! 

Turkey Time ELAR Blog ImageDoodle Elements_Zig Zag Crunch Header

Stations are available in Spanish too!

Turkey Time SLAR Blog Images
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Use these Spanish materials to learn and write about the history of Thanksgiving.

Dia de Gracias for blog post

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Your students will love learning all about the numbers 0-10 with these fun math stations!

Gobbling Up Numbers Blog Image

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Grab these FREEBIES while you are here!

Enjoy the savings!

Teaching with Nancy

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Fall Bilingual Blog Hop

Posted by on Nov 6, 2014 in Thanksgiving | 0 comments

Bilingual Blog Hop November 2014

This weekend I have linked up with some amazing bilingual educators from around the globe to bring you this fabulous Fall bilingual Blog Hop.

I absolutely love Thanksgiving. I love its origin and the meaning behind this wonderful American holiday. Every year as family comes into town we enjoy spending time together and give thanks to God’s for His abundant blessings over our lives.

The freebie I created for this hop, will only be available for free this weekend during the hop. This is a lesson on the origin of Thanksgiving. It will take students from the first Thanksgiving celebrated in Plymouth, to Presidents George Washington’s proclamation of a day of thanksgiving in 1789 and later President Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Day proclamation in 1863.

There is so much that can be gleaned from both of these history proclamations. Reading both proclamations will lead to great classroom discussions about an attitude of gratitude, the culture of America and important events that have shaped Thanksgiving into what it is today.


 I hope you enjoy using these materials and learning about this part of American history with your students. I appreciate your feedback.

 Be sure to visit all these other bilingual blogs to grab some more fantastic freebies.

next stop
Teaching with Nancy

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Change. Teach. Learn. Grow: Emerge Conference 2014

Posted by on Nov 2, 2014 in 21st Century Teaching & Learning, EdTech, Emerge Conference, Tech Tips | 1 comment


EmergeI had a great weekend of learning at the TCEA Emerge conference on Saturday.  It is always more fun when you learn along your friends.


I was able to lead a session on QR codes and augmented reality.  My technology did not cooperate with me but I did my best to present and share my ideas with the group.

Here are resources from some of the sessions I attended:

Genius Hour


PD Revival


Interactive Tech Apps


Best Apps Pinterest Boards


Just when I thought the day could not get any better, I won a door prize!

Nancy Alvarez

Now I need some time to explore all the new things I learned!



Teaching with Nancy




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Confession of a Pinterest Addict!

Posted by on Oct 27, 2014 in Pinterest | 0 comments


Confession of a Pinterest Addict!


I must confess I am ADDICTED to Pinterest! If you are not using Pinterest, I must warn you, it can be addicting for some!

Here is why I love Pinterest and why I think you will too!


1.  Ideas, Ideas, and More Ideas! 

I have found some amazing ideas on Pinterest.  Have you ever had someone ask you where you got an idea and found yourself responding, “I saw it on Pinterest”?  That would be me!

As a teacher, I often found myself isolated.  Once you close your door you are on your own.  Pinterest allows you to see what other teachers do in their classroom.  You can find projects, bulletin board ideas, anchor charts, lessons, and just about anything you can think of and some!

2.  Images

I am a visual person to a fault.  I learn best and understand things when they are in picture form. Pinterest is very visual so it is ideal for me.

3. Ease of Use

It is so easy to use Pinterest.  I have the app on my phone and I can snap a picture of something I don’t want to forget and save it for later. It is like a portable file cabinet filled with everything I like.

4.  Private Boards

I love the private board option.  I can create separate boards for each of my kids and pin birthday and Christmas gift ideas that only I can see.

5. Collaboration

I love working together with others. Pinterest allows for collaboration among people with similar interest from all parts of the world.

A few years ago I created Pinterest boards for every theme we taught on my campus.  Pinterest made idea gathering and planning so much easier because teachers could pin their ideas in a centralized location for everyone to see.

6. Organization

By creating separate boards for different themes, topics and interest, I am able to keep my ideas organized.  I can also rearrange my boards and put them into any order I want.

7.  Comments, Like and Send a Pin

Pinterest allows you to comment on pins, like pins and share pins with others.  When I come across a pin I think would interest a friend, I can send it to them privately.

8. Unlimited Boards! 

How many Pinterest boards are enough?  I may not be the right person to ask.  I have nearly 200 boards!

 If you are an early childhood educator always looking for fresh ideas, consider following me on Pinterest.  I pin mostly free lessons and good ideas I come across.


I can probably come up with 20 more reasons why I love Pinterest.

I love Pinterest

Now that I have confessed to my ADDICTION to Pinterest, I am ending this post so I can go pin some more! LOL

Visit Teaching with Nancy’s profile on Pinterest.


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