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Dreu Adams

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And the winner is… Pinteresting Teacher Blog Contest Winners.

Posted by Dreu Adams on Feb 27, 2012 1:25:00 PM

We’re pleased to announce that 1,264 teachers entered the Pinteresting Teacher Blogs Contest over the last few days, and we have two lucky winners:

Meagan E. Teresa P.  
Meagan E. Teresa P.

Congratulations to both of you!

Both teachers have received a $200 Amazon gift card, simply for sharing our collective teaching resources on Pinterest! We want to thank each and every entrant for pinning our blog at! We invite you to stop by often and let us know how we’re doing.

Until next time, may you always find the good information that you seek!

Have a great day.

Tags: Pinterest Contest

Teachers, Pin it to Win it on Pinterest!

Posted by Dreu Adams on Feb 23, 2012 10:40:00 AM

Pinteresting Teacher BlogsJoin in the fun on Pinterest to share valuable teaching resources and you could win a $200 Amazon gift card! The “Pinteresting Teacher Blogs” Contest* runs now through Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012 at 10 pm ET. Hurry and enter today!

Get teaching tips and advice from the following blog sites:


Sunny Days in Second Grade
Technically Invisible
Laura Candler's Teaching Resources
Sub Hub
Teaching in the Early Years by Shelley Gray
Cooperative Learning 365
The Organized Classroom Blog
3rd Grade Gridiron
The Lesson Plan Diva
Fabulous 4th Grade Froggies
The Cornerstone for Teachers

Here’s How it Works:

1.Simply create a board on your Pinterest page called “Pinteresting Teacher Blogs.”

2.Re-pin all of the pins from the contest board to your board, and then come back and fill out the following entry form ( that’s it. Your url will be entered in a random drawing to win one of two $200 Amazon gift cards! Check back to the contest pin to see who the winners are shortly after the contest ends Sunday, February 26, 2012 at 10 PM EST. It could be you!

We ask that you please show your gratitude by stopping by each blog to become a follower or to leave a comment. It would be so appreciated! Thank you, and good luck!

*This contest is in no way endorsed by Pinterest.

Congrats to the winners Meagan E. and Teresa P. - notified via email

Tags: Pinterest Contest

A Simple Change Can Do Wonders for Struggling Students.

Posted by Dreu Adams on Jan 28, 2012 6:39:00 PM

the Organized Classroom BlogKimber Peterson, a mentor for the Marygrove MAT program for three years and a 15-year teacher, was  today's guest blogger for The Organized Classroom Blog. Kimber’s guest post, A Simple Change Can Do Wonders for Struggling Students, really drives home the need for teachers to take the time to organize and manage every bit of their classroom time, to the benefit of both teacher and student.

Is there some routine in your day that you could modify in order to make a difference in a student’s development?  Sometimes making a SIMPLE change in your daily routine can have more benefits than you ever imagined.

Be sure to head over to The Organized Classroom Blog for Kimber Peterson's post as well as other insightful articles from Charity Preston, author of The Organized Classroom Blog. By the way, Charity will be the special guest speaker at our free webinar event Wednesday, February 15, 2012.

Space is limited. Be sure to reserve your spot today!

FREE Webinar: Overcoming Organizing Obstacles: Classroom Tips and Strategies with Charity Preston.

Tags: Guest Posts

MAT Alums: Participate in a Focus Group and Earn a $25 Gift Card!

Posted by Dreu Adams on Nov 4, 2011 4:45:00 PM

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Can we talk? Marygrove College Master in the Art of Teaching (MAT) program is looking for alumni and current students willing to participate in a focus group session this week in your area. Participants will receive a $25 gift card for their time.

The purpose of these Focus Groups is to help us continue to improve and enhance student experiences at Marygrove College. Focus groups will be conducted during the next week in Atlantic City at the NJEA Convention, and in Columbus, OH.

Please join us at one of the locations below. Light refreshments will be served. We look forward to seeing you and appreciate your valuable input!


Saturday, Nov. 12
Brio Tuscan Grille
1500 Polaris Parkway
Columbus, Ohio
Time: 1:30-3 p.m.

New Jersey/NJEA Convention:

Thursday, Nov. 10
Sheraton Atlantic City Convention Center Hotel
States Boardroom
2 Convention Blvd. Atlantic City, NJ
Time: 5-6 p.m.
(Please stop by the Marygrove MAT booth #834 for a pass to the event)

If you-- or a colleague of yours-- is a working teacher who is considering an online Master in the Art of Teaching degree, please contact Marygrove MAT at 855-MATMARYGROVE today!

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Tags: Alumni

Visit Our Booth at the NJEA Convention Next Week!

Posted by Dreu Adams on Nov 3, 2011 9:32:00 AM

Working teachers, visit the Marygrove College MAT booth at the 2011 New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) Convention in Atlantic City, Nov. 10-11
NJEA Convention 2011Working teachers who are looking to enhance their professional careers with an online Master in the Art of Teaching (MAT) program should visit the Marygrove College MAT booth at the 2011 New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) Convention in Atlantic City, Nov. 10-11. For teachers around the nation, becoming a Master Teacher is a great way to enjoy an elevated level of job security and career advancement in tough economic times.

Our booth is number 834, located adjacent to New Jersey Center for Teaching and Learning. We are easily accessible from the Technology Demo area, so please find us and check out what’s new with our program. We are asking alumni to please stop by the booth to sign up for a focus group session on Thursday, Nov. 10 at 5 p.m.  You will receive a gift card for participating!

According to the NJEA, the convention is the largest educational gathering of its kind anywhere in the world. The 157th annual convention is expected to draw tens of thousands of visitors— members, teachers and educational support professionals who participate in over 300 seminars, workshops, and programs. A huge exhibit area features more than 700 vendors and exhibitors. It’s the place to be!

Be sure to check out “High Tech Hall” at the NJEA Convention. It grows bigger and more technologically advanced each year. High Tech Hall will feature a Teacher-to-Teacher Learning Lab, offering key insight into how other educators are utilizing technology in their schools and classrooms.  It will be a great place to learn and share. Be sure to post a comment on our blog or even Tweet about what’s new! 

"Marygrove College believes in New Jersey's dedicated, hard-working teachers," says Diane Brown, Academic Director, Marygrove MAT.  "Teaching has always been an uphill battle and recent legislation has made it even more difficult.  I look forward to shaking the hands of my colleagues at NJEA."

Founded by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Marygrove College is an historic brick and mortar school rooted in the Catholic tradition; we have been educating teachers in Detroit since 1917. The college was among the first teaching schools in the U.S. to offer a graduate “distance learning” program for working teachers in 1990.

Today, our online MAT program has served more than 28,000 graduates who have gone on to advance the caliber of education for K-12 students, and enhance the trajectory of their careers.

Marygrove’s online MAT program:

  • Provides compassionate, personalized instruction at a pace that’s right for you
  • Offers a lock-step format, so you can quickly earn your Master’s Degree in just two years
  • Assigns you a caring Mentor who will guide you all the way through
  • Allows you to link the latest developments in educational research to your own teaching practice.
  • Empowers teachers to deliver effective instruction to pre-K-12 diverse learners, including those with special needs.

Based on end of program student evaluations in June, 2010, we are proud to report that 90 percent of our graduates recommend the program to other teachers.

Working teachers, visit the Marygrove College MAT booth at the 2011 New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) Convention in Atlantic City, Nov. 10-11
Call 855-MATMARYGROVE and let us know that you’ll be attending the NJEA Convention. We’ll schedule a time to discuss the program at your convenience.

Tags: NJEA Convention

Three Fun Classroom Reading Strategies for Struggling Students.

Posted by Dreu Adams on Oct 29, 2011 7:49:00 AM

Reading Strategies for Struggling ReadersThere are many reading strategies for struggling readers that can pay huge dividends. The following three reading strategies for struggling readers can be easily adapted into what you are already doing in your classroom to reap great rewards.

Word Work...with a Twist. Although there are many ways to help a student learn and master the basic skills of word analysis; the basic practice of segmenting, blending, and decoding is often the most beneficial. However, if the approach is always the same, students may become disengaged with the activity, therefore not maximizing instructional time. A few simple changes can make this activity as fun as it is beneficial. Think about different materials you could use; letter cards, dry erase boards, sticky notes, chalkboards, anything that provides enough of a change to keep the child engaged in a routine activity. Many teachers have had students write with shaving cream, directly on their desks! The smell is generally pleasant, the shaving cream cleans the desks, and kids get a tactile experience.

An effective method for segmenting, blending and decoding can be found through Words Their Way. Here is a link you might find helpful

If you are focusing on a certain phonetic pattern or sound family, adding a simple "word search" through a teacher-selected text will reinforce basic word work skills. Students also like to monitor what they've learned and which skills they've mastered. Consider keeping a record of each word work skill the child has mastered on a spreadsheet and refer to it during each word work lesson to show growth and maintain excitement about the routine practice.

Readers Theater for All. Research has proven that Readers Theater, performed in groups, is beneficial to improving reading fluency due to practice, confidence and the focus on rate, expression, and phrasing. Sometimes struggling readers are left out of Readers Theater practice because teachers find that emerging or simple scripts are often hard to come by. We’ve found quite a few leveled, free Readers Theater scripts such as By practicing and participating in Readers Theater, struggling readers will gain confidence in their reading abilities.

Add Words to Wordless Picture Books. There are many high quality wordless picture books that can be used to support reading strategies for struggling readers - the “Carl” the dog books by Alexandra Day are a great example. All of the books are mostly wordless, relying on the details of the illustrations to tell the stories. Give a struggling reader the chance to inspect and study the wordless book and discuss with the child how the story can be told using illustrations. After the student has a grasp of what the storyline may be, have her dictate the story to you, a parent, or an older “reading buddy.”If you use a computer to record the story, you can print out the dictation and cut it to match the book's illustrations. A few paper clips on the bottom of each page and you've turned a wordless picture book into a book a struggling reader can read! Here’s a great link for wordless picture books:

For more interesting ways to engage readers in the classroom, download our Free Guide on Explicit Word Analysis, and boost reading comprehension for every student at every level!

Download our K-6 Reading Comprehension B

Tags: reading strategies

Making the Internet Educationally Relevant for Students.

Posted by Dreu Adams on Oct 22, 2011 7:48:00 AM

teacher as curator

Teacher as Curator.

The Internet is a big, big place. Students usually know more than teachers do about Internet browsing. Even the youngest of children have amazing access to everything on the web. The challenge for K-12 teachers is directing them to the sites that best support the work they’re doing in class. With the entire Internet just a search term away, how can teachers best guide their students?

In 2007, author and theorist George Siemens wrote a blog post calling attention to what was then referred to as, “networked learning” and postulated that learning would be at the heart of Web 2.0 and would outlive “the temporary buzz and hype of all things 2.0.” (August 24, 2007, About half-way down the article, Siemens turns his attention to the role of “the individual formerly known as teacher.” Siemens discusses the teacher’s role as moving beyond the “sage on the stage” or “guide at the side” dichotomy into a set of responsibilities and challenges more in tune with those of a museum curator. 

We propose that good teachers have always been curators of information. Our challenge now, however, is to both guide students to appropriate learning experiences as well as to teach students how to shift and sort through Internet experiences to determine whether a particular experience is valuable on an individual basis.

Teacher as Curator means taking time to look at, potentially, thousands of web sites and blogposts, searching for that one, best application for your students. Good places to try are those connected with the adopted text books, those offered through trade book publishing companies like Scholastic, and those you find by typing in the topic of interest into a search engine. Sometimes a fortunate search term will lead you to a site filled with a wide variety of useful applications. Some of our favorites are: 

The National Library of Virtual Manipulatives hosted by Utah State University has 100+ Java Applets which allow students to use math manipulatives to solve math problems. The free site is sorted by domain (Number and Operations, Algebra, Geometry, Measurement, and Data Analysis and Probability) as well as by age group (pre - K – grade 12).

BBC – There’s nothing like government funding in the United Kingdom to create a great web site. This site is amazing and includes “Bitesize” videos and simulations perfect for classroom teachers. Our favorites are in the science section. Here’s the one on Friction.

BrainPop is a subscription site with short, cartoon movies about a huge variety of topics. There are always a few free videos and one free game. They are under the “featured” heading or in the “Free Stuff” section. BrainPop comes in Espanol, too – one of the few sites that does.

Finally, Timez Attack by Big Brainz is a math game that deals with all four basic functions (multiplication and division now, addition and subtraction as of December 2011). There is a free version which teaches all of the facts, with pre and post tests, as well as much more intricate versions which are reasonably priced. The best part about this game is that it was built by gamers who understand the importance of fun for children in learning.

Most K-12 classrooms fall somewhere between high tech and high touch, a balance that is healthy and productive. If you would like information on how to supplement your in-class lessons, download our Free Marygrove College Master in the Art of Teaching (MAT) Guide, Extension of the Classroom, and start engaging your students with our time-saving, teacher-tested ideas!

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Tags: Classroom Strategies, teachers

Halloween Party Ideas to Promote Everyday Math Learning Experiences.

Posted by Dreu Adams on Oct 20, 2011 1:42:00 PM

Halloween parties should be a fun break for students. But having a little structure in place can help teachers prevent their classroom parties from running amok. Elementary school parties can easily combine fun with learning. So today we’re introducing a new Math Halloween game that primes first and second grade students for learning multiplication with skip-counting. It is a game teachers can use year-round, as part of your Everyday Math lessons. And we know you’ll find it an excellent math activity for concrete, hands-on learners.

Our Master Teacher, Christina Bainbridge created this wonderful Math Halloween Party Game that you can download on her blog. It pairs candy with counting. You’ll love that they are practicing math. Children will love that they’re allowed to keep their winnings! 

Marygrove MAT Master Teacher Christina Bainbridge's new Math Halloween gameThe trick to managing a sane Halloween party with a couple of dozen children is assembling work stations. The best treat teachers can give themselves on Halloween is a helpful room parent or two to assist! Have a different craft or activity for every sixth child, so if you have 25 students, plan on roughly four work stations. Make one of them the refreshments table, to avoid a mad dash to the food!

If weather permits, Relay Races are a traditional favorite, and again, are managed easily in small groups. For a fun twist, you can have a Zombie Relay, where children wobble, sway and stumble to the finish. How about a black cat relay, where children compete on all fours? Or a witches relay complete with a broomstick to fly on? Use your imagination, so you can capture theirs.

If you are concerned about too much sugar—and only you can discern what best fits your class, has a great blog from Patty Murray about celebrating a healthy Halloween. She suggests turning the focus from sweets to Halloween-themed school supplies such as pencils, erasers or other dollar store finds.

Who says party snacks have to be all candy? Try trail mix with dried fruit and pretzels—forget the nuts—too risky for little allergic ones. Raisins, berries, sliced fruit and dips all offer good alternatives to candy. Give older children a wooden skewer and have them assemble their own fruit kabobs—that’s a good ten minutes of activity right there!

Middle School Students Like Halloween, too

Halloween parties for middle school children are harder to plan, as some students find Halloween childish, and others aren’t ready to let go. Middle school parties are a great way to establish classroom community by simply having some down time to talk with one another, and share ideas.

Why not engage students with an ice-breaker that gets them talking about something content related. How about making a cliché graveyard to work with your writing instruction? It is a fun oral and writing exercise that asks students to identify a list of clichés that they can “bury” all year, and promise to never use in their writing. Phrases such as “not so much” and “at the end of the day” can be written on “tombstones” made of construction paper and posted to a bulletin board.

Simply passing out carmeled apples to older students—children who are accustomed to years of a big production on Halloween— is a thoughtful gesture. We need to wean them slowly! For many age appropriate Halloween learning ideas, check out TeachHUB’s blog on Classroom Activities for any grade. There are some great ones here for older students.

With a little forethought and a lot of creativity, Halloween can be a productive and memorable holiday for children of all ages. Happy Halloween!

Tags: Everyday Mathematics, math literacy, mathematics literacy, Classroom Strategies, Math, math teachers, Christina Bainbridge

Got math? Support math literacy in the classroom.

Posted by Dreu Adams on Oct 13, 2011 2:00:00 PM

math literacy link up 250x166Math focus walls, math libraries, and math book read alouds name only a few ways to instill mathematic literacy in your K-5 or Middle Grades 6-8 classroom.

We posted a blog from our Master Teacher Christina Bainbridge this summer on Math Focus Walls, and it generated a lot of interest from teachers like you. Join us today in a Math Literacy Linky Party, and give us your best ideas for creating Math Focus Walls, Math Libraries and other ways you incorporate Mathematics Literacy into your classroom.

Teachers can really use this information, so we will compile all of your answers into a special, free downloadable guide! Now’s your chance to get published on a hot topic for K-12 Teachers! Pass the word to your colleagues.

Let’s link up, collaborate, and share our math classroom strategies and experience with each other!

For the link-up to work properly, you’ll need to ensure the following:

  1. The link you submit needs to link back to your specific post for this link-up, not your general blog URL.
    Please Note: You cannot enter a simple blog address (e.g. The link must contain a path to your specific post on math literacy strategies (e.g.

  2. Link back to this post using a permalink in your post. That’s it!

Once the link-up closes, we’ll combine the collaborative advice into a guide and distribute it to everyone that participated. You will then have a composite of positive current teaching practices that you can use, and share with your colleagues throughout the year!

If you do not have a website and still want to share your ideas, that’s great! Simply offer your idea in the comments section of this blog, and we will include it in the Math Literacy Guide, with proper credit.

The following list suggests some topics to address, however, please feel free to create a post on your blog that focuses on your personal math literacy tool or resource.

  • Mathematics Literacy for K-5
  • Mathematics Literacy for Middle Grades 6-8
  • Math Focus Walls that keep concepts top of mind for students
  • Math Libraries that instill a greater understanding of and love for mathematics
  • Ways to use Math across the content areas
  • Math Book Read Alouds
  • Books that you recommend for math literacy

Our last linky party on Bucket-filler techniques generated several pages of wonderful tips and insights. Let’s see if we can top that! We value your input. Your participation serves as your permission for us to publish your material, and in turn, we will drive users to your website.

Tags: Classroom Strategies, Math, linky party

Moving forward to Digital Classrooms

Posted by Dreu Adams on Oct 6, 2011 9:18:00 AM

As technology advances into the K-12 classroom structure, we will be updating you on all the latest news – to keep you abreast of what you can use, plan for, or even dream about. Classroom Aid, Inc.'s Jessie Chuang curates recent global tech news around digital classrooms in the article below. Thank you, Jessie!

This post is property of Classroom Aid Inc.. It's licensed under Creative Commons. Classroom Aid is looking forward to a new education era by leveraging technologies and connected minds around the world.

These are some reports about the digital textbook program and one-to-one initiatives in classrooms lately:

NC state edtech research on laptop initiatives in six states (Published on March 15, 2011) is a summary of research on Laptop initiatives across six states, including Florida’s Leveraging Laptops, Maine’s Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI), North Carolina’s 1:1 Learning Technology Initiative (NCLTI), Michigan’s Freedom to Learn (FTL), Pennsylvania’s Classrooms for the Future (CFF), Texas’s Immersion Pilot (TIP), and Henrico County, Virginia’s Teaching and Learning Initiative.

Laptop InititiveTextbook-free schools share experiences, insights (published on September 7, 2011; By Jenna Zwang, eSchoolNews)

  • “One of the things we noted in hearing back from teachers is that with these devices in their hands, students were able to engage [in] independent learning and were able to get instant feedback based on their own performance…” and “it freed up the teachers to circulate in the classroom.”
  • “These devices provide new opportunities for both students and teachers, and so we need to do a good job in terms of making sure that teachers have the support they need so they’re not just using [the iPads] as a textbook replacement."
  • "Vail School District in Tucson, Ariz., was one of the first in the nation to trade textbooks in for laptops seven years ago. The district used its textbook money to buy the laptops, forcing teachers to instruct differently because they didn’t have textbooks." ... "Baker plans on transitioning some schools to a mixed-delivery system that will include some school-owned devices for students who need them, but also a “bring your own technology” model in which many devices are supplied by students and parents." ... "He encourages schools looking to implement one-to-one computing programs to examine equipment for educators as well as students." ... "could include video projectors and other technology."

Many US Schools Adding iPads, Trimming Textbooks (published on September 3, 2011; By STEPHANIE REITZ, abcNews (AP)

  • Apple officials say they know of more than 600 districts that have launched what are called "one-to-one" programs, in which at least one classroom of students is getting iPads for each student to use throughout the school day. Nearly two-thirds of them have begun since July, according to Apple.
  • The trend has not been limited to wealthy suburban districts. New York City, Chicago and many other urban districts also are buying large numbers of iPads.
  • The iPads generally cost districts between $500 and $600, depending on what accessories and service plans are purchased. By comparison, Brookfield High in Connecticut estimates it spends at least that much yearly on every student's textbooks, not including graphing calculators, dictionaries and other accessories they can get on the iPads.
  • They're especially popular in special education services, for children with autism spectrum disorders and learning disabilities, and for those who learn best when something is explained with visual images, not just through talking.
  • The districts need to ensure they can support the wireless infrastructure, repairs and other costs that accompany a switch to such a tech-heavy approach.

Here is a white paper about digital content by Intel: Digital Content in the K-12 Classroom 

Digital learning environments are the key to addressing what one might call the “three C’s” of learning; 21st Century schools are charged with teaching students to:

Consume (read and interpret text and imagery)

Collaborate (share what they’ve learned and work with others to extend their knowledge)

Create (demonstrate understanding by synthesizing and using higher-order thinking and creativity skills to build new content)

Our nation’s financial crisis has forced a number of states to reconsider the role of textbooks in the classroom. Many states offer schools the flexibility to spend previously earmarked funds on things other than textbooks, a number of states have actively moved to encourage the development of digital alternatives. In California, for example, Governor Schwarzenegger launched the Free Digital Textbook Initiative to “give school districts high-quality, cost-effective options to consider when choosing textbooks for the classroom.”

In Texas, state textbook funds may be used to purchase technological equipment necessary to support the use of electronic textbooks or instructional material. Georgia has similar legislation, too.

At the same time, digital content offers states and districts the potential for genuine savings by cutting back on an expensive line item and replacing it with a better and less costly alternative. No longer will schools need to rely on an “all or nothing” adoption approach that forces them to select — and stay wedded for years to — a single text from a single provider. Instead, they will have the opportunity to pick and choose “best of breed” solutions from a variety of sources and pay incrementally for updates as they are needed.

Different kinds of digital content or tools with examples are listed in this report, and several case studies on forward-thinking districts that have incorporated rich digital content into their vision for teaching and learning. We can see a pedagogy shift in this revolution. And of course districts should make the best use of open educational resources (OER)!

SmartClassrooms is an educational technology portal provided by Queensland government (Department of Education and Training) and loaded with all the information about integrating technologies in classrooms. This edition of "Smart Classrooms Bytes:” 21 steps to 21st Century 1-to-1 success, provides a summary of resources available to teachers and administrators who have commenced or are considering implementing 1-to-1 student laptop programs.

For reference, you might find this post helpful: It's a digital world, why not digital textbooks?

The views and comments presented within do not necessarily represent the views of Marygrove College or the Master in the Art of Teaching (MAT) program.

Tags: technology in the classroom

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