About Me

This song, The Change, explains the reason I am a teacher . . .

Hi! My name is Emily, and I have been an elementary school teacher since 1999. I am currently a technology teacher at The Hollys in Denver, Colorado, and I have taught 2nd grade, kindergarten, Reading Recovery, and ELL. I am a graphite certified educator and mentor, I am symbaloo certified, and I am a freelance writer for www.shmoop.com. I have a bachelor’s degree in English with an emphasis in elementary education and an ELL endorsement from the University of Northern Colorado. I have been trained in Reading Recovery (Colorado State University), and I have a master’s degree in creative arts in curriculum and instruction from Lesley University. I began my doctorate through Walden University focusing on literacy in the primary grades, but I only finished a year of my Ed.D before my sweet little boy was born in 2012.

Beautiful to have a family pic

I have been married to an amazing man since 2005, and my beautiful family became complete when we had our miracle baby! He has recently been diagnosed with autism, and he amazes me, touches my heart, makes me smile, and teaches me new things everyday. He is absolutely our most precious gift!

Literacy and differentiation have always been my passions in education, and a few years ago I added technology to the list. I love the way technology differentiates for EVERY learner and allows for creation that was never dreamed possible before! A year or two after my son was born, I left the classroom and started teaching technology to students and teachers.

I love to learn, and I love to share my learning with other passionate educators! I’m really looking forward to connecting with you!

CSM_certification-educator-digital_citizenship-MED    CSM_certification-educator-SMALL     symbalooCertifiedLogoFINAL

10 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Hi Emily:) I am currently in a MED program in Manchester, NH. My goal is to be an elementary school teacher someday:) In the class I am taking right now I am putting together an action research project and my topic is on classroom clutter and students attention level. I was really inspired with your classroom organization and wondered if you had any words of wisdom or advice you could share in regards to classroom organization.

    Thanks so much
    Kris Fenchel

    • Thank you so much! I’m sorry it has taken me awhile to respond to your comment–I’ve been on maternity leave, and I haven’t had a lot of extra time to get to the computer! I guess my best words of wisdom are to create a space that you enjoy being in everyday and a place that makes you feel relaxed and comfortable. As teachers, we spend a lot of time in our classrooms (a lot more than we should!), so let it reflect your unique personality, just like you do at home. If you would not cover every inch of your wall space with “stuff” at home, then don’t do it at school. There are many other ways to share and post info for the kids. Think about your favorite book store or library compared to the inside of a McDonald’s. Although the bright colors and “stuff” at McDonald’s is fun, where would you rather go to read a book or study for a test? There’s nothing wrong with bright and busy places, but you want to think about the purpose for your environment. Make sure your classroom reflects your purpose and expectations for the best learning environment. Good luck with your action research plan! I’d love to see it!

  2. Oh my goodness so glad a friend of mine found your blog, this is my first year teaching (hired halfway thru my internship to long term sub) so next year I will have my own classroom and I got so many wonderful ideas from you!!! Thank you for sharing! I love your bookcases, did your husband build?

    • Thank you so much! Yes, my husband did build my bookshelves for me. He’s so handy! If you’re handy or have a handy husband too, we can let you know how he built them. If you live in CO, he builds them for others too, but they’re too big and heavy to ship. Good luck with your new classroom!

  3. I wanted to surprise my daughter for her classroom and have my husband help me make the bulletin board awnings you showed. Can you give me directions on making those?


  4. Hi,
    I am currently a teacher candidate and i am designing a fairy tales and fables unit for grade 2/3. I am having trouble thinking of a diagnostic activity for my class for the fables component- my summative is to have them write their own fables. Now, my diagnostic will be me assessing what they already know about fables, and it should link to my summative. i am just having trouble thiking of an interesting way to assess what they already know. any help would be appreciated!

    • No problem! I have a few suggestions for you, and I use them all throughout the unit. I have the students fill out the fairy tale & fable text map for stories that are already written and for ideas for their own fairy tales. This lets you know if they can identify the elements in this type of writing. You can also have students tell or retell fairy tales vs. writing them. This would probably be a good pre-assessment because it would give you a good idea of whether or not they understand the elements of a fairy tale well enough to include all the important pieces in the retelling of their story. By retelling a story first, it takes out the writing portion which is another skill, and a good one to use as the summative assessment as you said. By focusing on the retelling only in the beginning, it lets you see what they know about elements of a fairy tale without the writing interfering, which it tends to for some kids if their writing ability doesn’t match what they know. Retelling as a per-assessment in the beginning gives you the ability to integrate some great technology! If you have access to iPads, toontastic is a great app to use for retelling fairy tales. You could also have kids design their own pictures & use the show me app to have kids record their retelling using pictures they created. Then a written fairy tale of their own using the same elements in their own writing is a perfect summative assessment! To have an authentic audience for their fairy tales, you could throw a fairy tale ball in which they share their original fairy tales!

  5. Hi,
    I LOVE your classroom decorations. I’m in the process of redoing my classroom and would like the aqua/turquoise color your used but I can’t find that color of fadeless butcher paper. Wondering exactly what color I should be looking for and where you got it.
    Thanks for the ideas!

  6. Just came across your site and LOVE it…you have some really neat ideas that I’ll be using this year! Question…I saw your “Literacy Work Station Cards” and I was wondering if you know what “font” you used for those? I love using different fonts for different things and I really like that, so thought I’d ask. Thanks so much for sharing all these ideas on your website:)

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