June 11, 2014
Mrs. Tonya Hair teaches first grade at Pulaski County
Elementary School located in Hawkinsville, Georgia. This is her 11th
year of teaching. Mrs. Hair grew up in Hawkinsville and is now a teacher at
Pulaski County Elementary School where she attended as a child. She is working
with some colleagues who were teachers when she was a student. How cool is
Mrs. Hair has some amazing routines and practices. Her kids
know them and it is obvious. They transition between activities and different
locations in the classroom with no down time or disruption to the learning. I
asked Mrs. Hair to explain how she is able to accomplish this. She commented, “Practicing routines. If you
set it up in the beginning then it is not that hard as the year goes on.” Tonya
also noted, “Organization and planning are keys to being successful, as well as
learning from your mistakes.”
Tonya uses groups quite successfully. She says that she is
looking to find the best fit for the child. She uses these groups to help her
address the individual needs of her students.
As you listen to us talk teaching and learning you will hear
us touch on…
reading and math stations
showing numbers in different ways
starting class with an activity
charts that she uses to make notes on student
progress (she uses this information to adjust her instruction)
using mini-white boards
Her favorite resource for her classes is her SMART board and
if she could have anything for her classroom where money wasn't an option it
would be a parapro and a set of laptops.
If she had a chance to give advice to 30 brand new
elementary teachers she would tell them, “Always be prepared and forward
thinking. Be flexible.”
At the very end you will hear Tonya express her thoughts
about a teacher who made a difference in her life… She says that she was like…
Mrs. Hair has much to share!
May 29, 2014
Jean Mixon has been teaching for 32 years all as a
kindergarten teacher. She teaches at Pulaski County Elementary School in
Hawkinsville, GA. This year she is retiring. She says that kindergarten has
changed over the years. I hope that you will take time to listen and learn from
her many nuggets of awesome teaching practices!
I had the pleasure of watching her work with her kids. As
you listen, you will hear us talk about classroom management techniques like
becoming consistent in what you do, developing procedures and routines, and
practicing what you want the kids to do in class. Mrs. Mixon reflects,
“We have to practice… The first two weeks in Kindergarten are so important…they
are learning procedures and routines.” She also talks about the importance of using
their names to connect... “You have to build
that personal relationship.”
By the way, she has this very cool rug that helps her
establish that consistency…I think that you will find that discussion very
illuminating and also just cool.
We also talk about instructional strategies and her use of
formative assessment, modelling and getting the kids to doing.
She always is with kids… “Just part of good teaching, be
right there with them…”
Her favorite resource is the SMART board!
She was fun to watch and is an amazing teacher!
I am sure that you will learn much from her!
May 9, 2014
Kristie is a former special education teacher who eventually
became a Special Education Director for a school system. She now is a Georgia
Account Executive for Classworks.
Classworks is a web-based tool for assisting students in
achieving more during their education. It has tools for assessment and
instruction that are used to personalize learning and to support teachers as
they help students achieve academic goals.
Kristie and I explore the following questions and many more…
How can software programs go beyond the “computer
lab” to impact classroom teaching and student engagement?
How does Classworks use student data to form
individualized plans? How can a teacher use this tool to help with
What do you think is the greatest challenge for
teachers working with kids? How can Classworks assist with these challenges?
Hope that you enjoy the conversation.
Spend some time at their website or contact Kristie if you have any questions.
For more information go to…
or contact Kristie at
April 9, 2014
Carl has been working at The ACT now for the last eight
years and is assigned to both secondary and post-secondary schools.
He helps secondary schools understand what their data is
telling them and how to respond.
With post-secondary schools he assists them in looking at the student
data with a focus on what admissions and scholarship decisions could be made
from that data.
We discuss everything from understanding about the organization
known as ACT, what the organization offers besides the college entrance test,
what the ACT test scores mean, and what the fundamental differences are between
the ACT and the SAT.
Carl states, “The ACT is focused on college and career
readiness but also work preparedness.”
He explains the ACT standards and benchmarks and what they
mean to an educator, parent, and a student taking the test. As Carl recalls, These
components help “you understand what the scores on the ACT tell you about what
you are ready to do.”
He also shared that there are ACT apps that students can use
with their Smart phones and tablets.
We had an awesome conversation!
I think that you will learn so much whether a teacher,
administrator, student, or parent you will want to listen again and then share
this podcast with others. You will also want to take time to explore the ACT on the