Long before I became a teacher, I was a daughter.  I was a bit difficult.  I stretched my parent's limits, to say the least.  But one thing I always knew for certain was that I was loved.

I always tell people that I had a  "Leave it to Beaver" childhood. For those that don't remember the series, that simply means that I had a blessed and wonderful childhood.  I spent my days exploring, playing, imagining, and learning.  My parents encouraged me by playing games with me, giving me time to play, buying books and taking me on trips.  They believed that the best education came from seeing and experiencing. Every summer they'd load us up in an old pickup and camper and off we'd head for adventure.  Every night I was tucked in with prayers and a kiss.

Although they liked to show us places of interest, Mom and Dad valued school.  They both took me that first day of kindergarten. Told the teacher that if I got in trouble at school, I'd get in trouble at home.  I still remember how I looked up at them in shock and disbelief. They were serious.  Still, I had to test the teacher.  I found that one call from my teacher was enough for me to earn a spanking.  They were fair about it. Never spanked me in anger. Always made sure I knew what I had done wrong (I already had that figured out).  And always told me that this was done in love so I'd grow up to be a person of integrity.  At that point, I didn't care much for being a person of integrity, whatever that was, but I was sorry I had disappointed them.

Dad modeled what a good husband looked like for my sister and I.  He praised mom's cooking, always kissed her when he left and when he came home.  Helped her in the kitchen and with laundry. Spent time with her alone in the morning and evening, thanking God for her and his family as they  prayed together.   They never went to bed angry.  He modeled what a good dad was like by spending time with us.  He was never too busy to talk to us, explain things to us, or take us somewhere.  He was never too macho to tell us how much he loved us.  Some of my earliest memories were of laughter. Dad loved to laugh.

Over the years, our relationship changed. Mom and Dad became my best friends. We still took trips together and got together regularly to play games and visit.  Dad was determined that I learn how to ride a horse. He tried to teach me. I tried to learn. Still, we had some fun on trail rides. Any time I needed something, I called one of them, mostly dad.   Every holiday was spent at one of our homes. Dad loved to make early morning phone calls on birthdays to sing happy birthday. Dad's favorite holiday was Valentine's Day. This was his time to show his girls how much he loved them with a card and box of chocolates.

This year is different. For the first time in my life, I won't get a call or a card from dad.  Dad's heart finally gave out.  We had some precious moments together before he went home.  Dad made sure that I knew he loved me, gave me some final instructions, and told me how much he loved Jesus and was ready to go.  Dad left a legacy of love. For that, I am grateful.



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This blog does not share personal information with third parties nor do I store any information about your visit to this blog other than to analyze (this blog is run by blogger, a Google company so Google analytics are used to provide me with general statistics about my blog readership) and optimize your content and reading experience through the use of cookies.  This blog is published on Facebook and Pinterest sites. This blog is not responsible for their use of cookies. If you wish to turn off the use of cookies you may do so at any time through your specific browser settings.  If you sign up to receive the blog by email, your email will not be added to any other mailing list or sold.  It is simply used to send the blog post to your inbox. No purchases may be made from this website. In order to purchase my resources you must visit the hosting website.   I am not responsible for republished content from this blog on other blogs or websites without my permission. This privacy policy is subject to change without notice and was last updated on August 1, 2019. If you have any questions feel free to contact me directly at kimberlyfrencken@gmail.com

We need to teach our kids how to fail.

For too long, we have protected our kids from failure.  Our society is focused on the winners and we want to make sure our child is one of them.  A winner.  But the truth remains that everyone can't be a winner.  Our kids need to learn how to fail. And how to keep trying, after failure, to succeed.

Failure is part of success.  Failure teaches us to persevere, prepares us to meet challenges, and helps us learn how to be understanding. Failure gives us character.  Failure gives us an opportunity to improve.  Failure is a chance to try something new and different.  Failure helps us to evaluate our strengths and weaknesses and be realistic about our abilities.  Failure refines our strengths, narrows our weaknesses and turns our abilities into assets.

Yet... we remain afraid of failure. We don't try because we're afraid we won't succeed. So we protect kids from failure because of our own fears.  We give everyone a ribbon or a trophy because that is so much easier than learning how to fail graciously.

We help kids too much with assignments. Or, worse yet, do it for them.  We want our students to succeed and the easiest path is the straight line from assignment to completion to grade.  The most educational path is from the assignment, to self-evaluation, to corrections or re-dos, to peer evaluation, to corrections or re-dos, and finally to teacher evaluation with feedback so improvement can be made.  Not an easy path to undertake. Frustrating. Time consuming. But so necessary in the development of a child.

Not everyone can or will succeed in the same way. That's okay. Everyone still needs to take ownership of their abilities or assets and how best they can use them.

Don't let March sneak by without grabbing one of these resources! 
March Folktales

Irish Folktales



GIVEAWAY DETAILS:   

Prize: $100 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card

Giveaway Organized by: Kelly Malloy (An Apple for the Teacher)


Rules: Use the Rafflecopter to enter.  Giveaway ends 2/13/20 and is open worldwide.

Are you a Teacher Blogger or Teachers pay Teachers seller who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your store and social media?  Click here to find out how you can join our totally awesome group of bloggers! 

Enter to win! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway



  Privacy Policy

This blog does not share personal information with third parties nor do I store any information about your visit to this blog other than to analyze (this blog is run by blogger, a Google company so Google analytics are used to provide me with general statistics about my blog readership) and optimize your content and reading experience through the use of cookies.  This blog is published on Facebook and Pinterest sites. This blog is not responsible for their use of cookies. If you wish to turn off the use of cookies you may do so at any time through your specific browser settings.  If you sign up to receive the blog by email, your email will not be added to any other mailing list or sold.  It is simply used to send the blog post to your inbox. No purchases may be made from this website. In order to purchase my resources you must visit the hosting website.   I am not responsible for republished content from this blog on other blogs or websites without my permission. This privacy policy is subject to change without notice and was last updated on August 1, 2019. If you have any questions feel free to contact me directly at kimberlyfrencken@gmail.com


Personalized learning gives a student more power in the content decision making process, while differentiation focuses on the same content, but at different skill levels.   Personalized learning encourages a student to ask what they need to learn.  Differentiated learning addresses the various learning styles and abilities of a student.  Personalized learning creates a learning experience for each student while differentiated learning adapts the learning experiences for each student.

Sounds great, doesn't it?  But... I'm a skeptic and I don't normally just take someone's word for something. I want to see how it fits into my classroom and how it will affect my kids.   So.....

I started investigating and asking some questions.  Asking kids what they wanted to learn.  Answers hit the wall like spaghetti. Only not much stuck.  Most of the educators I talked to were so overwhelmed by curriculum demands that creating personal lessons wasn't even possible, even if they had time to spend creating them after doing all of the other paperwork.  So...

Back to the investigative drawing board.  Yes, it is correct that personalized learning involves creating curriculum for each students' requests, not adapting existing curriculum.  It also takes time to implement and appears to be difficult, if not impossible,  when you have no control over the curriculum.   I never found an answer for my #1 question: How do kids know what they need to learn if they haven't been taught about all of the possibilities they can explore?

It all brings me back to the beginning. I'm no closer to an answer than I was...

Or maybe I am.  Personalized learning has a nice ring to it.  A student-centered approach to learning. Implementing more project based experiences.  But, as I read this my blood pressure rises.  While it creates a nice exploratory experience for my kids, it creates an increase in my stress and work-load.  My students may learn about the learning process, but are they learning what they need to know? Not one student wanted to know about multiplication. No one asked to learn about the Civil War. No one asked for instruction on creating more interesting sentences.  Not even with prompting. Not with creating graphics to guide them in determining what they wanted to learn. Every student request was centered on kid-friendly, fun things.

 I'm all about differentiating instruction to meet the needs of each learner and adapting a lesson to meet their interest is also important, but opening the door to this type of educational freedom seems like opening Pandora's box.   Don't kids need to know what they need to know before they can tell us what they need to know?

Will I be given support and time to create these experiences for my students?   I guess that remains to be seen, and I'll keep searching for answers to improve my student's educational experiences.

Fiction- Nonfiction Paired Readings and Task Cards
Great set of reading lessons for the month of March!




If you're not following my blog by email, you can catch it weekly by following my facebook page, Chocolate 4 Teachers or my Pinterest Blog Board.   



      Privacy Policy



This blog does not share personal information with third parties nor do I store any information about your visit to this blog other than to analyze (this blog is run by blogger, a Google company so Google analytics are used to provide me with general statistics about my blog readership) and optimize your content and reading experience through the use of cookies.  This blog is published on Facebook and Pinterest sites. This blog is not responsible for their use of cookies. If you wish to turn off the use of cookies you may do so at any time through your specific browser settings.  If you sign up to receive the blog by email, your email will not be added to any other mailing list or sold.  It is simply used to send the blog post to your inbox. No purchases may be made from this website. In order to purchase my resources you must visit the hosting website.   I am not responsible for republished content from this blog on other blogs or websites without my permission. This privacy policy is subject to change without notice and was last updated on August 1, 2019. If you have any questions feel free to contact me directly at kimberlyfrencken@gmail.com
What is so terribly wrong with traditional school that every trend seems to be intent on changing it?
You can't even whisper that you like traditional school for fear of being banished into the next galaxy.  If you're not on board with all the latest teaching and grading practices, it must be time for you to retire.

Wait a minute!   What happened to common sense?  To keeping things that worked?  Why aren't we listening to educators?   Since when did we stop valuing the opinion of seasoned (or veteran) educators in favor of articles written by someone who has never set foot into a classroom, a professional student?

I agree that some things need to change.  That is true in any profession or culture.  Rapping kids across the knuckles probably wasn't the best discipline method, but we still need discipline.  Talking about making good choices doesn't always work. Sometimes an old-fashioned bit of persuasion does the trick.

Labeling kids should be outdated. In fact it should never have made it to the classroom, but it did. Actually it was once one of the hot trends that teachers were forced to utilize in their classroom. Kinda scary, huh?  Forcing a teacher to call a kid a bluebird or a sparrow based on their reading ability. But it was a trend and it was practiced in many elementary rooms across the U.S.

Investigative learning and research isn't something new. In fact, it's been around for years.  It works. It has lasted the gauntlet of educational trials and found to be worthy. Teachers have found that giving students a chance to explore and investigate on their own gives students ownership of their learning and helps them dig deeper.  Now it has a new name. Project-based learning.

Grades with meaning.  Grades that signify what a learner knows and what they need to know.  Grades have been controversial since the beginning. Someone got upset that their darling got a U instead of an M and things started changing. That U became a B or a C and the M turned into an A, which has now become a 4 and the U is now a 2.  Make sense? Not much. It doesn't matter what letter or number a grade is, if there isn't an explanation with it.   My B's were an incentive for me to try just a little harder and put in more effort (growth mindset) so that I could earn an A.  A grade is a grade is a grade. If it isn't earned, it doesn't stand for much.

So, are we really changing traditional school or are we simply renaming some of the practices?  Are we throwing out tested methods to try new innovations? Or are we just trying to put a fresh spin on old things?  In some cases, we're throwing out methods that should be kept and renaming others.  We're shaming veteran educators for using old terminology and pushing new ones to keep up. Why can't we just focus on doing what works and teach kids?


February is right around the corner!! 
Daily Skill Sheets

Improve your vocabulary!







Privacy Policy


This blog does not share personal information with third parties nor do I store any information about your visit to this blog other than to analyze and optimize your content and reading experience through the use of cookies. You can turn off the use of cookies at anytime by changing your specific browser settings. I am not responsible for republished content from this blog on other blogs or websites without my permission. This privacy policy is subject to change without notice and was last updated on June 5, 2015. If you have any questions feel free to contact me directly at kimberlyfrencken@gmail.com 


Growth mindset is exactly what it sounds like, setting your mind on the idea that you can grow.  Okay, so maybe I over-simplified it, but in a nutshell that's what it is.  Growth mindset is showing kids that even Edison didn't get it right the first time, but he didn't quit.  Growth mindset is motivating learners to keep moving forward despite the setbacks.  Growth mindset is a way for kids to move beyond failure to success.

Just what kids need!  Especially those who are faced with daily struggles and low self-esteem.  A super way to encourage those who are already achieving to continue growing by trying new things.  A way to stop being afraid of failure.  A way to focus on effort.

It is so frustrating to see kids just give up because they think they're not smart.  They see no reason to try because every time they try, they fail.  Getting them beyond this mindset might be akin to moving boulders, but with a little effort and rethinking how we approach teaching, it is possible.

Start by focusing on their effort, not their ability.  Start with tasks that they can achieve and gradually move to more difficult and challenging tasks.  Don't be afraid of failure. Let your students see you fail. Let them see you struggle. Show them how you overcome problems to reach achievement.

Give your students opportunities to try something new. We used to call it enrichment, but using some of these activities  in a safe environment can encourage your kids to explore on their own.  And to keep trying until they succeed.


Growth mindset doesn't have to be an over-thought educational trend or a lengthy curriculum planning exercise.  It can be as simple as changing your attitude and the atmosphere of your classroom.


Seven tried and true nonfiction resources in this bundle!! 


Presidential Bundle






Because life is crazy busy, I'll only be posting in a few groups each week.  If you're not following my blog by email, you can catch it weekly by following my facebook page, Chocolate 4 Teachers or my Pinterest Blog Board.   



      Privacy Policy



This blog does not share personal information with third parties nor do I store any information about your visit to this blog other than to analyze (this blog is run by blogger, a Google company so Google analytics are used to provide me with general statistics about my blog readership) and optimize your content and reading experience through the use of cookies.  This blog is published on Facebook and Pinterest sites. This blog is not responsible for their use of cookies. If you wish to turn off the use of cookies you may do so at any time through your specific browser settings.  If you sign up to receive the blog by email, your email will not be added to any other mailing list or sold.  It is simply used to send the blog post to your inbox. No purchases may be made from this website. In order to purchase my resources you must visit the hosting website.   I am not responsible for republished content from this blog on other blogs or websites without my permission. This privacy policy is subject to change without notice and was last updated on August 1, 2019. If you have any questions feel free to contact me directly at kimberlyfrencken@gmail.com
It doesn't long for the topic of moving to a different position or a different district, or quitting to come up in a conversation among educators.  That is, if they are not counting down the days until retirement.  The reasons are always varied and yet the same.  Everyone has a personal reason, but they can relate to what others are saying.

One may be faced with the stress of meeting unrealistic job demands, another may be dealing with an unsupportive administrator.  While these sound different, and they are, they are also related.  A supportive administrator would not place unrealistic job demands on his/her staff.  They would find a way to help alleviate the stress.  Not all blame can be placed at the feet of the building administrator. School boards and upper administration are often to blame for placing higher expectations on the shoulders of educators. A building administrator can help teachers by providing paid work days or offer assistance in meeting district goals.

New teachers are especially bombarded with a list of demands that leaves them feeling overwhelmed and ineffective.  Lack of support leaves them feeling like an island that is ready to sink.  Administrators turn to seasoned teachers to guide and mentor those new to the profession. Job demands and lack of common plan time often make these times more stressful than helpful.   And yet it isn't fair to expect seasoned teachers to help new teachers when they are also feeling overwhelmed.

I think all would agree on lack of respect.  If you work for an administrator that follows the mantra of letting kids be kids, watch out.  What they are really saying is that kids have been empowered to the point of running the school. Not a place any teacher wants to be.  Empowering students is one of the most dangerous ideas I've seen. From this trend have come youthful activist that do not have an understanding of what they represent, but they don't care as long as they are loud enough to get attention. We need to stop treating kids like adults and start treating them like kids who need guidance, an education, support, discipline, and encouragement.  Kids need structure, not a free range.

What will stop the vicious cycle?  At what point will administrators and other school officials stop  experimenting with new trends and get back to the basics of educating our next generation?  I keep hoping that this downward spiral will stop, only to see a new article posted about the large numbers of teachers exiting the profession.   The real losers are the kids and the teachers who have a heart for teaching.

Time to enter another give-away! 


GIVEAWAY DETAILS:  


Prize: $100 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card

Giveaway Organized by: Kelly Malloy (An Apple for the Teacher)


Rules: Use the Rafflecopter to enter.  Giveaway ends 12/13/19 and is open worldwide.


Are you a Teacher Blogger or Teachers pay Teachers seller who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your store and social media?  Click here to find out how you can join our totally awesome group of bloggers! 


a Rafflecopter giveaway



Looking for a nonfiction resource to make planning a little easier? 


Only a few more days until MLK Day! 

February is just around the corner! 





 If you're not following my blog by email, you can catch it weekly by following my facebook page, Chocolate 4 Teachers or my Pinterest Blog Board.   



      Privacy Policy



This blog does not share personal information with third parties nor do I store any information about your visit to this blog other than to analyze (this blog is run by blogger, a Google company so Google analytics are used to provide me with general statistics about my blog readership) and optimize your content and reading experience through the use of cookies.  This blog is published on Facebook and Pinterest sites. This blog is not responsible for their use of cookies. If you wish to turn off the use of cookies you may do so at any time through your specific browser settings.  If you sign up to receive the blog by email, your email will not be added to any other mailing list or sold.  It is simply used to send the blog post to your inbox. No purchases may be made from this website. In order to purchase my resources you must visit the hosting website.   I am not responsible for republished content from this blog on other blogs or websites without my permission. This privacy policy is subject to change without notice and was last updated on August 1, 2019. If you have any questions feel free to contact me directly at kimberlyfrencken@gmail.com
It's late when I get home.  I had no inspiration before going to school so you might as well not hope for any last minute ideas.  Everything is frozen.  Even my brain.  No tempting smells from the crockpot greet me as I walk through the door. Nothing. And I'm supposed to think of a meal that will be on the table in under an hour. Something healthy. Really?

So, what am I to do?  I can't always be organized enough to plan ahead.  My schedule catches up with me and before you know it, we're having take-out. Again.   Besides, I get tired of fixing the same thing over and over.

 Then I go for a doctor visit.  I need to exercise more and eat healthier.  When? How?  Take time to exercise so that I will have more energy.  Where do I find the energy to exercise?  Regardless of knowing that eating healthier and exercising is good for me, I can't seem to get myself into a routine to consistently accomplish either one.

In the meantime, I'm run-down and susceptible to anything and everything. Even GermX can't protect me from the germs floating freely around the classroom.  Remember they only kill about  99% of germs.  Somehow that 1% finds me.

Taking care of yourself makes sense. It isn't easy. It may be in the form of a short walk one day,  early bed time the next day, and eating fresh fruit with lunch.  I've learned that it doesn't have to be radical. I can't do everything. I can only do so much.  Instead of beating myself up and quitting, I try to incorporate one healthy thing per day.   And that sure beats catching the flu.


And... it's that time again!  See you in January!


GIVEAWAY DETAILS:  


Prize: $100 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card

Giveaway Organized by: Kelly Malloy (An Apple for the Teacher)


Rules: Use the Rafflecopter to enter.  Giveaway ends 12/13/19 and is open worldwide.


Are you a Teacher Blogger or Teachers pay Teachers seller who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your store and social media?  Click here to find out how you can join our totally awesome group of bloggers! 



And... it's also getting close to Christmas so.... I'll see you next year!  Have a very Merry Christmas!!!

Need a Christmas resource? 
Jolly Ole St. Nick


Interactive Fun! 




 If you're not following my blog by email, you can catch it weekly by following my facebook page, Chocolate 4 Teachers or my Pinterest Blog Board.   



      Privacy Policy



This blog does not share personal information with third parties nor do I store any information about your visit to this blog other than to analyze (this blog is run by blogger, a Google company so Google analytics are used to provide me with general statistics about my blog readership) and optimize your content and reading experience through the use of cookies.  This blog is published on Facebook and Pinterest sites. This blog is not responsible for their use of cookies. If you wish to turn off the use of cookies you may do so at any time through your specific browser settings.  If you sign up to receive the blog by email, your email will not be added to any other mailing list or sold.  It is simply used to send the blog post to your inbox. No purchases may be made from this website. In order to purchase my resources you must visit the hosting website.   I am not responsible for republished content from this blog on other blogs or websites without my permission. This privacy policy is subject to change without notice and was last updated on August 1, 2019. If you have any questions feel free to contact me directly at kimberlyfrencken@gmail.com

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