Bow Tie Guy & Wife Blog

  • 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!
  • Music in the Classroom

    Our classrooms have extraordinarily, perfect diverse compositions – and every child learns in a different way – at their own pace.  Putting a smile on a kid’s face is half the battle sometimes in the marathon of a school day, and I have found that singing, smiling, beat-boxing, tapping, makes the learning process and life for that matter, a much more colorful, rewarding, and effectual experience.
  • Youtube for the Classroom

    Technology (especially video) is changing at break-neck speeds that I cannot even keep up with.  I find myself keeping an eye on the app stores for the newest technology that I can use to engage my students.  Teachers are in such a weird place in history where the students know more than the teachers...well, at least in the arena of technology.  My perpetual goal is to not let that happen.  I am always open to anything new, but I'm going, to be honest, it's irresponsible not to be literate in technology and still teach students in the 21st century.  They deserve it. 
  • Back to School and Social Studies - 2017 edition

    Back to school time is always a joy of mine. Excitement fills the air.  Nervousness plays peek-a-boo behind every smile. Meeting the teacher starts the beginning of a rewarding marathon that will inevitably change the lives of many.  I had the opportunity to be available for my students for a few hours and knew that this year was going to be special for a variety of reasons.  Teaching social studies in five blocks to one hundred and eight students was my assignment for the year.
  • Where I Come From: An Educational Bio

    Education requires the most fervent of servants to accomplish goliath expectations.  Teaching is not a job or a career to me. It is a lifestyle and it is what motivates me. Passion for what is done as educators is something that is ignited from a fuel that is manufactured in the labor of love that IS education. It is a passion that must be nurtured so that it does not waver because the classroom is a battlefield.