Bow Tie Guy & Wife Blog

  • Coronavirus Distance Learning & Virtual Teaching Tips

    School closings due to COVID-19? First, we want to send a virtual hug and a giant THANK YOU to you. As if your job wasn't already stressful enough, having less than a week to prepare for indefinite long distance learning certainly adds another badge of honor on your hero cape. If you’ve been encouraged to develop plans for e-learning or your classes or already canceled, let’s help load your ever-growing teacher toolbox with some ideas and tips. Buckle up, incentives for those who make it to the end of this post!
  • Women's History Month: Empowering female readers to become leaders!

    Women's History is American History! If "the future is female", then it starts in our classrooms today. Specifically, our girls need to start learning about courageous, inspiring women from history from a young age! Our classroom libraries show what we care about.
  • Women's History Month Activities and Videos for the Upper Elementary Classroom

    March is Women's History Month – commemorating and encouraging the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of females in American history. The month is set aside to honor women’s contributions in the past and present. We need to be teaching about influential, world changing women all year long-not just in March! Here are some of our favorite activities for your students. 
  • Top Five Symptoms of Trauma in the Elementary Classroom & A Story from the Wild West

    While we certainly aren’t experts, we’ve served our fair share of children dealing with trauma and have researched quite a bit on the subject. Here are the top 5 symptoms of trauma that we've seen in students...
  • Shine a Light on Modern Day Slavery Day is February 13

    Did you know that there are 40 MILLION enslaved men, women, and children around the world? February 13 is Shine a Light on Modern Day Slavery Day. As educators, it is SO important to us that all people experience freedom! We want to inform our students about those trapped in this terrible institution in hopes that they will become future freedom fighters one day!
  • Children's Books Spotlighting African Americans: Bring the Representation & Visibility They Deserve

    Black History is American History. We need to be teaching about influential, world changing people of color all year long-not just in February. We think it's especially important that children of color are exposed to diverse books in our classrooms! According to Conscious Kid, "Each year, there are more children’s books published about animals than Black people. Black people have historically been, and continue to be, underrepresented, misrepresented, or invisible in children’s literature. Black male characters are even less visible, and even fewer still, are books reflecting positive and empowered depictions of Black boys."
  • Black History is US History-Lessons, Videos, & Authentic Activities about Influential African Americans for the entire year

    Black History is American History. We need to be teaching about influential, world changing people of color all year long-not just in February. I've rounded up some of our favorite videos, books, and resources to ensure that teaching diversity is a priority in our classrooms! 
  • The BEST books to teach about the President!

    We've been on the search for children's literature with the Presidential Seal of Approval. Kidding, not kidding! We *LOVE* children's books, Amazon, buying children's books on Amazon, and saving other teachers time by finding quality resources. Put all of that together and we decided to write a blog post sharing our favorite picture, nonfiction, and fiction books about the presidents! These are books we already owned from a decade of teaching or have purchased after being recommended somewhere along the way. 
  • Presidents' Day Lessons, Videos, & Activities (29 days of free texts!)

    This February, we're giving you the opportunity to teach the about the presidents through US History! Each day in February, we'll be featuring a president and giving away that passage set for FREE! That's right, we're giving you 29 of the president differentiated passages for you to use with your students. Each day, we'll post on social media about the president and then you can search the #btgpresident to download the free president passage of the day. The next day, that president will no longer be a free resource and there will be a new one! Each passage will include 3 levels of text, comprehension questions (multiple choice & short answer), and a writing prompt. You can use these in your guided reading groups, in small groups, as quick & easy sub plans, or even homework to connect with something you are teaching in your social studies class.  
  • Teaching The Thirteen Colonies: Ideas, Resources, Videos, & A Free Resource

    Your students should love hearing about the people of the colonies, their different roles, and how ways of life were different depending on the region in which they lived! If they aren't enjoying learning about the colonies, or your Colonial America unit is in need of some fresh ideas, look no further! I've gathered my favorite videos, children's books, and resources from the last decade of teaching to help!
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the Elementary Classroom

    No need for the #sundayscaries this week because Monday is a national holiday! It is the day we honor the accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. If you are like me, this holiday comes real fast-just as you are getting back into the routine of school and the kids are finally ready to work again after the break. We need to approach this day with care. It seems like our world could use a little more reminding of Martin's peaceful ideas right now and we want to be careful to actually teach the importance of freedom and rights, rather than allowing a teachable moment to pass us by. Respect and attention to this day can be given in age appropriate ways-while keeping on track with routines and standards as much as possible! 
  • 10 Ways to Help Struggling Readers in the Upper Elementary Classroom Part 2

    Just remember, if your prescribed solution to the problem is correct, you will be the one responsible for changing their entire educational path, mindset, and life-by teaching them how to read.