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Building a Teacher’s Toolbox

Volume 9 Issue 12

Table of Contents:

Pages 3-4: PD Update: all of the upcoming PD through February 14, 2018.  There are many great opportunities to learn new innovative practices that fulfill WIOA requirements.
Page 5: What I Am Reading in the Realm of Rigorous Research, Universal Design
Page 5: Take Your Lunch Break with This Article, Increasing Student Reading
Page 5: Around the World with ESL:    Using Comics
Page 5: Update
Page 6: Quote of the Month
Page 6: For a Laugh
Pages 7-42: Lesson Plan Corner, Updated Lesson Plan Format which includes CCRS, IET (Integrated Education and Training), contextualized learning, career cluster (healthcare), digital literacy suggestions and strategies based in research, SEL (social emotional learning), soft skills and so much more! This month’s lesson plan is focused on wants and needs, economics basics and money wasters.

By |January 4th, 2018|Learning Disabilities|Comments Off on Building a Teacher’s Toolbox

Intro to ESL Reading Smarts

Intro to ESL Reading Smarts

By |November 27th, 2017|ESL|Comments Off on Intro to ESL Reading Smarts

Into to PLATO


By |November 27th, 2017|Assessment, College and Career Transitions, Digital Literacy, Diploma, ESL, Mathematics, Reading, Science, Social Studies, Tutor Resources, Writing|Comments Off on Into to PLATO

Preparing Our Students for the HiSET

Preparing Our Students for the HiSET
Workshop Date: October 20, 2017
Workshop Materials:
HiSET Updates and Stats

HiSET Science

HiSET Social Studies

HiSET Language Arts-Reading

Disabilities and the HiSET Exam

Lesson Plan – The Brass Teapot

By |October 31st, 2017|HiSET|Comments Off on Preparing Our Students for the HiSET

Fractions Really Add-Up

This is a fraction game between two students using a deck of cards. First, remove all jokers and face cards. Explain that the aces equal the number one. Place the remaining cards face down (still in the deck) between the two players.

The first player chooses the top card. This card becomes his denominator. The second card he chooses becomes the numerator. Then, player number two chooses a denominator and a numerator. The players continue to take turns and record their fractions until they add up to one whole or over one whole. This total gives them 5 points. The first player to reach 15 points wins.

Tip from Elise Hood

By |February 15th, 2017|Mentor Tips|Comments Off on Fractions Really Add-Up

Avoiding Assignment Abandonment

Many students need to learn that the word “due” has great importance in the academic world. When something is due, it is time to pass in. If students can master this simple three letter word, then their personal life will become much more manageable. If students can learn that an assignment is due, and if it is not done there are consequences, then they are more readily accepting that bills are due, rent/mortgage is due, and so on.

Here are a few suggestions to reinforce the concept of “due”:

Collect it: when the time is up, collect what the student has done. If they want to finish at home, take what they have done, and let them continue at home, but at least you will have in hand what they have done.
Call home and leave yourself a message.
Text yourself and leave yourself a message.
Email yourself and leave yourself a message.
Back up all computer work.

Tip from Robin Letendre

By |February 7th, 2017|Mentor Tips|Comments Off on Avoiding Assignment Abandonment

The Three-Ring Binder


This is an organizational strategy that allows students to keep all of their materials in one place and accessible. If students can “buy into” this strategy, their academic life can become much more manageable.

To have a three-ring binder work best, students must have it divided into sections, use dividers with pockets, a plastic pouch for pencils, pens, and a calculator, and a calendar.

If a student does not understand the need for organization, then this strategy will not work.

Once the student sees that carrying around a three-ring binder with all of their important notes, papers, and assignments is actually helpful, they are more apt to use it.

Tip from Robin Letendre

By |January 30th, 2017|Mentor Tips|Comments Off on The Three-Ring Binder


Tip From: Robin Letendre, LD Mentor

This is a fun, hands-on strategy that allows students to see their writing take shape.

In this strategy, you will need post-it notes, but if you do not have access to post-it notes, index cards or cut up recycled paper works fine.

In this strategy, you want students to write one sentence per post-it note, index card, or piece of paper.

Tell students to keep in mind this process while they are writing.

Once the students have finished writing on their post-it notes, index cards, or paper, have them place their sentences one by one on their desk.

This is a kinesthetic and tactile experience.  It allows the students to see their writing take place, and it allows them ease in moving sentences around and making edits to their writing, without having to rewrite the entire essay.

Once students have placed their post-it notes, index cards or pieces of paper in the order they want, they are now free to write their good copy.


By |January 16th, 2017|Mentor Tips|Comments Off on Sentence-by-Sentence

Anywhere Bookmarks with Diigo

If you are someone who works on multiple computers and devices during the day, keeping track of bookmarks can be a challenge. http://www.diigo.com is a tool that will allow you to access and create bookmarks from any computer or mobile device. It also lets you keyword tag your bookmarks so you can categorize them and make them easily searchable. You can log into your free Diigo account from any Internet connected device, see all of your bookmarks, and create more from websites that you visit.

I also use Diigo in conjunction with my Twitter account. I follow many educators on Twitter, and often they mention great resources that I would like to use later. Using Diigo’s “Save Favorite Tweets” tool – https://www.diigo.com/tools/save_tweets – every Tweet I favorite (by clicking the star button) will automatically become a bookmark in my Diigo account.

Here’s a video tutorial on Diigo: https://vimeo.com/113965961

Tip from Tiffany Brand

By |January 15th, 2017|Mentor Tips|Comments Off on Anywhere Bookmarks with Diigo

Using Science Videos Effectively in the Classroom

We often use video to bring science from the real world into our classrooms, but how can we ensure that students are learning from these videos? Derek Muller has a great TED talk about what makes up a science video that truly helps students learn science concepts – https://youtu.be/RQaW2bFieo8

He talks about the misconceptions that students often have about common science concepts. Muller’s video site – Veritasium https://www.youtube.com/user/1veritasium – has a great series of videos which shed light on common science misconceptions through discussion – https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL772556F1EFC4D01C

David Rosen from World Education also wrote an article on the Tech Tips for Teachers website about using a mind mapping tool to help students engage with science videos: http://techtipsforteachers.weebly.com/blog/watch-a-video-and-make-a-mind-map-with-coggle

Tip from Tiffany Brand

By |January 8th, 2017|Mentor Tips|Comments Off on Using Science Videos Effectively in the Classroom