Bow Tie Guy & Wife Blog

  • Presidents' Day Lessons, Videos, & Activities (29 days of free texts!)

    Happy February! It's going to be a crazy busy month at school-there's parent conferences, Black History Month, Valentine's Day, snow days, and t...
  • 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.
  • How Audiobooks Can Improve Reading Comprehension For Struggling Readers

      FACT:  Struggling readers display low reading comprehension skills and a general dislike of reading. QUESTION: Can audiobook technology impact ...
  • 10 Ways to Help Struggling Readers in the Upper Elementary Classroom Part 1

    Take a moment to think about reading from your struggling student's perspective. You have entered the age of "reading to learn". You are expected ...
  • Resolutions & Reflections: A Cautionary Tale

    Do whatever you have to do to make 2020 a year of growth, one step at a time. If you are in need of encouragement, ideas, a compliment, some professional advice, please reach out to someone-even us! If there's no teacher in your building that you feel like you can confide in/trust/get advice from, email me! Seriously, I know what it is like to feel alone on the island and it is no fun. I am happy to be in this little internet space and I'm wide open for lifting up other teachers and helping you be the best educator that you can be. -James
  • Teacher Joy in 2020

                                               Confession: I am a hoarder.  Specifically, a digital hoarder documenting my teaching career.  I try to c...
  • What's My Favorite Children's Book?

    “Being true to one’s self,” in my opinion, encompasses one of life’s greatest principles.  Being unapologetically proud of who you are, in my pers...
  • Nonfiction Texts in the Elementary Classroom

    Does your classroom library make the cut? With the introduction of the Common Core, the common collective of grade level objectives, teachers were then suggested to ensure that students were reading genres of 50% literature (fictional) and 50% nonfiction (informational).   Integrating nonfiction (informational) literature into your curriculum is a nonnegotiable in classrooms today!
  • Five Tips for a Successful Back to School (For Teachers)

    Sports fans know the feeling.  A new “season” is rich with the unknown, opportunities, and change that stimulates us! Back to School is sort of th...
  • Why Leveled Texts?

    Teachers are busy, busy, busy. We are overwhelmed. We have trouble fitting everything in. When James & I taught third grade, we did not have enough time to cover the standards, meet our TKES (GA Teacher Evaluation System), and make our students our number one priority. After struggling with what to do, we realized that leveling texts was a way we could ensure we were meeting our students' needs....along with all the other teacher stuff. So, Bow Tie Guy was born and we began researching, writing, and differentiating passages. We were thrilled to see the success in our own classrooms. Our students loved ditching the outdated textbooks that were written way too high for many of them anyway. Our administrators were happy to be able to visually see our differentiation as part of our teacher evaluation. Enough about us. Let's talk about you!