4 Steps to Your Greatest Teaching Year Ever

I have one of my favorite freebies for you – the Take One 2017 Toolkit.  It is a life-changing document that has transformed my teaching practice year after year.       I am so excited to share this with you. Feel free to share this with any friends or colleagues.

Meaningful Documentation in the Early Childhood Classroom

Providing meaningful documentation has many benefits in the early childhood classroom. Today I want to share some examples of meaningful documentation from Rosa Parks ECEC here in Tulsa, OK. What is Documentation? To put it simply, documentation is a way to track students’ learning and thinking. When done correctly, documentation should take it’s viewer on […]

Simplifying Documentation

One of the most important elements of Reggio-Inspired teaching is documentation. From experience, I know this can be one of the most intimidating pieces to implement. I want to share one example of a documentation panel I created along with my students in a first grade classroom. I want to share how I simplified this documentation […]

A Closer Look Round Up

I have read a lot of blog posts lately that have made me feel the need to take a closer look at the various approaches to learning. The post that really sparked this is from How We Montessori and is featured first. The following posts are ones that I feel really break down the Reggio approach and […]

Firstie Friday ~ Sight Word Tic Tac Toe

It is so strange to me that I have a first grader. When I taught first grade, my students seemed so big! Now that I have a first grader of my own, I can hardly believe how small they really were. My kiddo struggles with sight words so I have searched high and low for […]

Birthday Rocks

Celebrating birthdays with classroom traditions is an important component in setting up my class community. Each child’s birthday is celebrated exactly the same — and it is deeply meaningful. I am amazed at the comfort the children take in the sameness of the tradition. There is no competition. The sameness allows the class to bring […]

Construction Provocations – Rosa Parks ECEC

Every time I visit Rosa Parks ECEC, I am taken aback by their creativity and dedication. Their rooms are beautifully adorned with child-made chandeliers, inspirational documentation,  earthy tones, and it is clean, very clean! It inspires me to come home and declutter my house every time! It is a win-win for all. On my last […]

5 Year Blogiversary! Tossing Glitter and Give-Aways!

I am speechless! I can’t believe it has been five years since I started Fairy Dust Teaching!  I had no idea how much it would grow. I still remember asking my daughter – “Do you think I will reach 100 followers?” Today Fairy Dust Teaching is heading towards 20,000 followers. Crazy pants! Thanks to you, my […]

Light & Shadow Provocations – Rosa Parks ECEC

Last week, I mentioned that I would be sharing a few of the light and shadow provocations I saw at Rosa Parks ECEC. These provocations were magical and inviting. They also added ambiance to the rooms. As beautiful as the pictures are, they can only attempt to capture the magic that the “real thing” provides. […]

BAM! – A Simple Sight Word Game

It seems as though I woke up one morning and I was suddenly a mom of a Kindergartener! What? How did this happen? Where is the time going? One minute he’s a playful PreK student coming home with dirt in his hair and paint on his hands. The next he’s coming home with sight word lists and […]

Nature Inspired Provocations – Rosa Parks ECEC

Recently, I – along with the other members of ORIN (Oklahoma Reggio-Inspired Network) – had the pleasure of touring Rosa Parks Early Childhood Education Center. This is a Reggio-Inspired preschool in the Union Public School district. This school is beautiful inside and out. For the purpose of the ORIN meeting, the teachers had created nature-inspired […]

5 Reasons You Should Take Your Class Outside

If you should ask me – What do you remember about your childhood? – I would answer: playing outdoors.  I remember, like yesterday, creating a little hide-out under a group of tall bushes.   I would spend hours with my friends gathering twigs and rocks to make those bushes into a secret hide-out. Children have a natural desire to play […]

St. Louis Teachers’ Recycle Center, Inc.

The St. Louis Teachers’ Recycle Center, Inc. is an incredible resource for teachers. What is it, you ask? It is a place where all things “teachery” come to wait for their classroom home. If you are like me, you are always reusing items from around your house in your classroom. Things from jar lids to […]

All Around Child-Outside

I have been sharing the wonderful things I saw while visiting All Around Child in Overland Park, KS. So far we have explored the common areas, hallways, and the beautiful classrooms. Now you will get to see the masterpiece that is the outside play areas, but they are so much more than that. They are […]

All Around Child-Inside the Classrooms

Recently, I posted about All Around Child, a Reggio-Inspired preschool in Overland Park, KS. I loved the school so much that there was no way I could have condensed my thoughts and pictures down to one post. We are about to explore the magic inside the classrooms and you will see why… I quickly learned […]

All Around Child-A Reggio-Inspired Preschool

I had the pleasure of taking a tour through All Around Child, a beautiful Reggio-Inspired preschool in Overland Park, KS. This school serves children 6 weeks to 6 years. I was so impressed with this school that I took way too many pictures to put into one post. This will be a glimpse into the […]

Jennifer’s Reggio Inspired Classroom, Part One

I must admit. I am sooooo lucky. I work in a school where my colleagues are striving to bring amazing educational environments. Jennifer Dean, a kindergarten teacher, has created pure magic in her classroom. I just had to share!  Let’s go take a peek. . . Loose parts in the Math Center —  I love […]

Resolutions: Day Five

Soul Food Nourishing ourselves is vitally important to a fulfilling year.  It is crucial to being a teacher with vitality and inspiration. True nourishment is found in the tiny details of life.   We can bring moments of grace into our daily lives.  One of my favorite tiny details is a special mug I love […]

Resolutions 2013: Day Four

HABITS Fuel Goals. . .  Pesky habits!  When I hear the word habit – I think of all my bad habits.  But in reality – there are many more good habits than bad.  Habits are nothing more than the behaviors we repeat over and over again.   In fact, a habit is a behavior that has […]

Resolutions 2013: Day Three

———————— your beliefs become your values your values become your thoughts your thoughts become your words your words become your actions your actions become your habits  your habits become your destiny Gandhi ————————- Values-Based Goals Vs. Resolutions Goals can be thought of as stepping stones that move you towards your values.   The process we are […]

Resolutions 2013: Day Two

One Word There is something about the start of a new year.  It holds such power and possibility. Ending one year and beginning another is such an incredible opportunity.   I can’t imagine not seizing the vast open space in front of me – a whole year! As an artist – all I see is a […]

Resolutions 2013: Day One

A Five Day Series on Creating Your Year What, exactly, is a resolution? defined:  resolution 1. The state or quality of being resolute; firm determination. 2. A resolving to do something. 3. A course of action determined or decided on. Resolution defined is the act or process of resolving – the act of answering, the […]

Reflective Teaching – Free Journal!

Click on reflection page to download. I think if there is one thing that has made the most impact on my teaching – it would be my reflective practice.  At the end of the day I always take a moment to look at how the day went.  I do not linger on my answers.  Rather, […]

3 Steps to Effective New Year’s Resolutions

Photo Credit: http://travelguide.reservebranson.com/ 1.   Start at the end.  Create a compelling future. One of the big mistakes of most resolutions is that people make declarations that have little or no passion.  Most resolutions are an attempt to fix or correct a bad habit.  The negative intention behind the resolution is a sure fire way to […]

Check Out This New Online Magazine!!

Lisa Boisvert Mackenzie has just published a new online magazine called The Wonder of Childhood.   It has five magazine sections – Parenting, Nourishment, Living, Education and Story.  This journal is filled with wonderful articles from people all over the United States, including myself!  I was so honored and inspired when Lisa asked me to […]

Simple Awe

Today while observing a two year old exploring a church nursery – I couldn’t help but notice her simple awe in everything she encountered.  There was this overflowing joy in just meeting the next thing to explore.  I quickly grabbed my camera and began capturing the gestures of joy she made.   I wondered as […]

Sipping Education

“Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel” Socrates   Recently a friend of mine told me she had roasted her own coffee.  Immediately, I was going to try it myself.  As an avid and committed coffee drinker, I love the process of making coffee.  Oh by how I love […]

Who is it that teaches?

Today I read this passage from Parker Palmer’s book, “Courage to Teach.”  It nails what I have been thinking about and I wanted to share it: The question we most commonly ask is the “what” question – what subjects shall we teach? When the  conversation goes a bit deeper, we ask the “how” question – […]

Good Teaching Scents!

According the Rudolph Steiner, the sense of smell has a direct impact on memory and thus is a great ally in the educational process.  However, he does warn to not over do it.  I think it is important to find subtle smells and use sparingly.  Remember that an adult’s sense of smell is much duller […]

Make a Madonna Shrine

This is a sweet project for families over the holidays.  A few years ago I had my mother, father and children all making one.  They all still have their work displayed in their homes!!  I also chose this as a project at the museum with kindergarten age children.    What you will need: a shell […]

My Twelve Holy Nights Notebook and Additional Resources

Over the last 10 years, I have developed my own creative process to the Twelve Holy Nights practice.  As a multimedia artist, the process is one of bringing my inner life to paper.   At the end of the twelve days I have a resource to look at and be inspired by all year long. […]

Another Peek into a Kindergarten in Switzerland

 The sheer hanging drape was painted by the children and then used as a room divider.  The teacher told me she purchased the drape from IKEA. I love how they used so much wood and natural tones.  You do not see a lot of plastic!   Now this is a market!  Look at all the […]

A Peek into a First Grade Classroom in Switzerland

Here is a little tour of a first grade classroom I visited in Switzerland.  There were so many great ideas.  Outside the classroom this sun greeted students with their names. This is the helper “chart” if you will.  I love this idea! The Magical Alphabet chart!  I have made my own version of this.  Each […]

Weaving Curriculum in Switzerland Kindergarten

The classroom I visited in Switzerland was a multi-age classroom.  There was a completion project before going on to first grade – a circular weaving made into a turtle.  This circular weaving was the shell of a felt turtle. I noticed that the teacher provided several opportunities for weaving and circular weaving.  I loved this […]