#HamstraHighlights

Leadership · Curriculum · STEM

#HamstraHighlights
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Category: 2-Teachers Establish a Respectful Environment for a Diverse Population of Students

Management: Classrooms vs Specials

So far, I’ve served in two different roles. After teaching fifth grade math and science for fourteen years, I’m in my third year as a STEM Specialist. While both are dream positions, they’re very different from each other. In previous blogs, I’ve enjoyed highlighting many aspects along my journey. In Read more…


#WhyITeach: Part I

Blogger’s Note: I’ve seen other educators tweet, post, and blog about #WhyITeach, but the first one I saw do this was Bill Ferriter. I’m copying the idea. Here’s why: Education is a sacred profession. Serving others as an educator is truly special, like no other journey. You don’t have to Read more…


My #OneWord2019: Marketing

“It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.” Truer words were never spoken. As I reflect on my professional journey, a few observations immediately surface. There seems to be two sides of the coin: kids and content (and in that order). How amazing it would be if we Read more…


Leaves of Absence

It’s beautiful. Leaves grow, blossom, and change over time. For a moment, it is well with my soul. Then, at the right time, they fall. Gliding gracefully in a gentle, autumn breeze. Another leaf’s fall flight, another burden off the branch. A permanent leave of absence. Seemingly self-preserving, the tree Read more…


My (Former) Misconceptions About the Racial Equity Institute

Racial Equity Institute. Just the name alone provokes thoughts, emotions, and reactions. Some years ago, a few friends invited me to attend the Racial Equity Institute (REI) workshop. As defined by racialequityinstitute.com: “This is a two-day long process – that helps to provide talking points, historical factors and an organizational Read more…


Are We Sharing Resources Efficiently?

Teachers are working harder than ever. They’re doing more–with less–again. Many times, it feels like these circumstances are out of our control. Here’s something we can control. We can control how we’re helping each other as fellow educators in a challenging profession. We can control how we share resources. We can Read more…


#GridSciNC

Teaching and learning science can be challenging. Let’s help each other! In a recent district meeting for elementary science teachers, several educators were discussing platforms and methods for sharing ideas on improving science instruction. While we were having fun populating a google doc with online spaces and resources, it became Read more…


A Legacy That Matters: Part I

My first teacher work day back to school this year was moving, to say the least. To kick off our staff meeting first thing in the morning, we watched the famous Rita Pierson TED Talk, entitled: Every Kid Needs A Champion. To date, it’s had 8,690,429 views since its original Read more…


Flies and Honey, Beets and Beans

You catch more flies with honey. Truer words were never spoken. I’m recalling two childhood experiences that have helped me realize this more than ever. I believe that they can apply to everyone’s daily conversations, and go a long way to sustain relationships. Now that I’m a parent, I proudly Read more…


Biggest Challenge in Education?

You can just feel it. Whether inferred from blogs, books, presentations, conferences, podcasts, TED Talks, social media, or even face-to-face conversations, the vibe is definitely there. It’s strong. And it’s getting louder by the moment. When Brad Shreffler, founder of The Planning Period Podcast and The Big Q in Edu, Read more…


The CrEDible Coach

What IS a coach? Playing a lot of sports while growing up in the Midwest was an unforgettable experience. I learned some hard life lessons as a youngster, and now those growing-up moments are still so valuable to me–to the extent of shaping my present, adult decision-making. Behind every challenge Read more…


The #Hashtag180 App!

DATE: July 1, 2025 Today: Is THE DAY! Twenty Years: From 2005 to 2025, one educator’s passion project was now focused into one FREE app. The world–and the world of education–are forever changed! Gratitude: First of all, I’d like to thank #Hashtag180 app builder ________________________, for believing in me and my Read more…


DOING Professional Learning: Part 3

It was my third ISTE, and it was also my third time presenting at the International Society for Technology in Education Conference. But this time was different… Owning the Experience I can’t tell you how excited I was to share one of my biggest passion projects ever! I started #hashtag180 Read more…


#GridCulum

We’ve had the tools, technology, and the power… And now? We also have the space and strategy to share! Welcome to #GridCulum! This is where Flipgrid breaks down barriers, educators share ideas, and together, we make learning and teaching better for all. Why #GridCulum? Educators are each other’s best resources. Read more…


Google IT

It happened during Morning Meeting. I can’t believe I did this. Second graders were to greet each other in Arabic. We were having a hard time hearing and mimicking an Egyptian-born student’s pronunciation, so I googled it, and played it aloud for the class. Upon hearing my phone, the student Read more…


Makerspace: Standards AND Fun

How do we facilitate experiences that are meaning, memorable, relevant, fun, and student-centered, while still learning standards? I think this is one of the true challenges in education today. Words have a way of informing. They can also evolve, evoke, and overwhelm. Words wormhole their way throughout the world of Read more…


4 Reasons to Morning Meeting

Let’s talk! Getting to know each other can help us learn together. This year, our staff has conducted Morning Meetings every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. For the first fifteen minutes of the day, students circle up, engaging in teacher-prompted greetings and shares. The Greeting Greetings may involve practicing a firm Read more…


STEM: Standards AND Fluff

Learning can be standards-based OR fun. But not both. Unfortunately, that’s the perception held by many facilitating learning experiences in the world of education today. I was reminded of this classic paradox when conversing with fellow educators in a STEM session at #edcamporangeNC on Saturday, April 14th, 2018. Educator ONE: Read more…


De-Sense-ITized

How can we expect kids to pay attention when their environment is striking them with lightning bolts faster and hotter than we’ve ever known? It’s a lot. It’s too much. Our world experiences can no longer be posted with #nofilter. Not when you’re a parent–especially a parent of a young Read more…


#Hashtag180 Central

Welcome to #Hashtag180 Central! Find #Hashtag180 Resources Here! Check back often–We’re always learning and growing! #Hashtag180’s History: In August, 2013, I joined twitter just to have a digital space to store hashtagged resources to make my teaching better. Today, this Dewey Hashtag System is a growing movement in education. #Hashtag180’s Read more…


Doing Professional Learning: Part 2

What’s your favorite way to learn? My learning experiences have to be meaningful, memorable, and somewhat personalized, while helping me become better for kids. At conferences and unconferences alike, I look for ways to become better in addressing the Whole Child at 30,000 feet, before landing on one specific path at Read more…


10 Myths About Relationships

Relationships are the foundation to learning and growing together. Therefore, it’s important to clarify… 10 Myths About Relationships: 1–Relationships are easy.  The USA divorce rate still hovers near 50% (which is waaay down from 62% very recently, mostly because people are living together and not getting married as much). And Read more…


Do Relationships Equal Learning?

Do Relationships Equal Learning? If you’re a young educator or new to twitter, you may be led to believe that relationships with students and colleagues are easily forged and directly translate into meaningful learning experiences and higher test scores. To the average onlooker or twitter chat participant, it may appear Read more…


The #ncties That Bind

It’s about celebrating moments with people. I love the conference experience, because I love people and their stories. When learners of all ages meet face-to-face to exchange ideas, learn from each other, and continue seeking ways to make teaching and learning better for all–That’s powerful! To me, conferences are not Read more…