"Learning, Teaching and Leading "

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales 2014!

Posted by on Nov 27, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

There is no better time to save on all those items you have on your wishlist.  If you enjoy shopping at TPT or Teacher’s Notebook take advantage of the extra discounts offered during the Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday Sales !

Click the images to visit my shops and start saving!

Teacher’s Notebook Sitewide Sale Begins on Black Friday 11/28-12/1!


Teachers Pay Teacher Sitewide Sale Begins on Monday 12/1 and ends 12/2!



Enjoy the savings!
Teaching with Nancy

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Learning Spaces: What does your classroom say about you?

Posted by on Nov 23, 2014 in 21st Century Teaching & Learning, Learning Spaces | 2 comments

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit classrooms in a neighboring school district with a group of administrators from the school district where I work.  The focus of our learning walks for the day was on learning spaces.

When I think about learning spaces, many different things come to mind.

  • How is a 21st century classroom set up?
  • What features would you expect to see?
  • What does your classroom say about you, the teacher?

more importantly .  . . 

  • What does your classroom say to your students?

As an administrator I visit classrooms daily.  Students do not need to be in the room for me to know what kind of learning goes on in the classroom.  The way the classroom is set up and organized is evidence of the type of teaching and learning that happen there.

Here are some pictures I took while on my “field trip”, others are pictures of teachers I know that have shared their classroom photos with me.  When you view these different learning spaces, what stand out to you? What do these classrooms speak to you?


Learning Spaces

Learning Spaces

Learning Spaces

Learning Spaces

The way teachers sets up their classrooms says a lot about what they value.  Does your classroom foster creativity, collaboration and innovation?

What does your classroom say about YOU?

Teaching with Nancy

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Developing Phonological Awareness Using QR Codes

Posted by on Nov 22, 2014 in 21st Century Teaching & Learning, EdTech, Phonological Awareness, QR Codes | 1 comment

Developing Phonological Awareness Using QR Codes

I don’t know what your experience is with QR codes, but I hope by the time you finish reading this post you will be excited about using them with your students.  I had a blogger friend ask me if I would write a post for her site about using QR codes to help students develop their phonological awareness.  After writing the post I thought I would be a good idea to share it on my own blog too.

I’ll share some ideas, resources and then give you all the information you need to create your own QR codes.

Audio QR Codes

QR (Quick Response) codes can be scanned using a free app on any smart device. For phonological awareness activities, I create QR codes with audio.  Basically, students scan the QR code with their smart device and listen to the recording.  When I learned how to do this I got pretty excited.  Just think about it for a moment,  the possibilities are endless.  You can record anything and in any language.

Try it out for yourself!

I am a visual person to a fault.  If you are anything like me, you need to see it and try it out yourself to understand exactly what I am trying to describe to you. If you don’t already have a QR code reader on your smart phone or tablet, download one.  My favorite QR reader is called QR Code Reader and Scanner,  it is free and works great.

Here are a few examples for you to test out.

QR Code Initial Sounds

This is a free download. Click here to download your copy for your class.

QR Code Rhyming

This is a free download. Click here to download your own copy for your class.  This activity is also available in Spanish.  Click here for the Spanish version. 

QR Code Syllable Sort

Besides these examples you could record two words and have students determine if they begin with the same sound.  Instead of initial sounds you can have students listen for the medial or ending sound.  With a little brainstorming, I am sure you will discover that the possibilities are limitless.

QR Code Resources

I am going to share two places you can find free QR resources if you are not yet ready to create your own.  On my blog I have a free download section where you can find a few free QR stations I’ve created.  Another place you can find a ton of ideas for using QR codes in the classroom in general is a Pinterest board I have.  Every time I come across a unique way to use QR codes I pin it there.  If you follow the board you will have access to everything I find.

Follow Teaching with Nancy’s board QR Code Learning Stations and Classroom Ideas on Pinterest.

Creating Your Own Audio QR Codes

I’ve created a website I use for times I facilitate professional development on this topic.  On this site you will find everything you need to know to create your very own audio QR codes.  There is a section with tutorials that includes a video I created that will show you every step.  Even if you do not consider yourself to be super tech savvy, don’t worry you can do this!

QR Codes in the Classroom Header Medium 3

If you have never used QR codes in this way I hope I have inspired you to at least investigate them a bit more.  If you already use QR codes in your classroom, I hope I have shown you some new ideas you can begin using with your students.

Teaching with Nancy


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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
Doodle Elements_Zig Zag Crunch Header

Use these Spanish materials to learn and write about the history of Thanksgiving.

Dia de Gracias for blog post

Doodle Elements_Zig Zag Crunch Header

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

Gobbling Up Numbers Blog Image

Doodle Elements_Zig Zag Crunch Header

Grab these FREEBIES while you are here!

Enjoy the savings!

Teaching with Nancy

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