Tag Archives: Unlock

Unlock the Teacher is Thrilled to Share a New Teacher Author

"If I Could be a Monster" Written by RoseAnn McHugh~2nd Grade Teacher

“If I Could be a Monster” Written by Rose Ann McHugh~2nd Grade Teacher

 

The Unlock the Teacher team is proud to share If I Could be a Monster a creative eBook written by one of our favorite 2nd grade teachers Rose Ann McHugh.  Rose Ann not only wrote this book, she illustrated it too!  She has been sitting on all these wonderful book ideas for years and one day her and I had a conversation about Mysteries on the Beach and how fun it is to write and publish and eBook… and before I knew it she was sharing this very special book with me; it is sure to delight the minds of many young people.

Please check out Rose Ann McHugh’s first book, “If I Could be a Monster” on sale now at Barnes and Noble.com

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things~

Denise

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Summer is a Time for Play…Learning can be FUN too!

During the school year, we reflect on summers past and the next one to come and we remember treasured times of relaxation.  However, sometimes we get so caught up in our scheduling and planning of events, that we forget to just pause, relax and allow our children…and ourselves to play.

If you find upon reflection that you and your family fit into the latter category this summer, I want to encourage you to pause, choose two good books to read and “schedule” some time into you weeks ahead to just “be”…to allow your children to play with some containers and a water hose in the yard, to research finger foods online and allow your children to make dinner for the adults in the house one night…they will have so much fun and you will be amazed at how much they have grown. 🙂

Our team has collected some helpful tips to ensure that summer is indeed a time of relaxing and learning, for you and the child(ren) in your life.

Moms who Think

Moms who Think, is a great site for recipes, diet and nutrition, holiday and celebration ideas and so much more.

Kid Recipes

Easy and Kid-Friendly Recipes from Kraft Foods

Kid-Friendly Recipes

Rachel Ray Everyday …a great family website!

Rachel Ray’s Kid-Friendly Recipes

Martha Stewart and Summer Activities for Kids~We like the summer housekeeping and garden in a jar 🙂

60 Activities for Kids this Summer

Great Schools, Involved Parents, Successful Kids is an amazing website!

Ten Ways to Keep your Child Learning this Summer

Given that we like to promote the good in education, we would like to share the Department of Education’s Office of Educational Research and Improvement‘s recommendation for parent/child involvement this summer:

Every Day…

  • Give your child a hug and say “I love you.” Do not forget to look them in the eye, to ensure that you make that special connection with them.
  • Praise your child. We all like to hear that we are doing a good job…it is o.k. and encouraged to tell your child(ren) often.
  • Talk with your child. Our Unlock the Teacher LLC team encourages you to not only talk with your child, but read the same book they are reading independently, specifically if your child is 7-18.  This will always give you something to talk about with them…a common ground.
  • Read and write with your child for at least 30 minutes every day. Our Unlock the Teacher children keep journals and we write and share about what we are passionate about. (When children are little, pictures in journals versus words are just as good…let your child explain their pictures to you.)
  • With your child, make a dictionary of new words and add to it every day. Studies have shown that the more words we learn, the higher our IQ…make it a family activity to choose a word or few words a week and have some fun at the dinner table uses them 🙂
  • Count with your child. Math is everywhere, in the grocery store on labels, on the road as we drive…make it a fun exercise to play Eye Spy math or numbers with your child.  The more that children can be exposed to numbers in their world and what they are utilized for, the more understanding they will have for math.
  • Share news with your child. Our Unlock the Teacher team believes that if you talk to your children as if they are intelligent, they rise to the occasion; it allows them to broaden their scope…sans any handicap or disability that prevents this from occurring.
  • Listen to music with your child. There are many positive studies on why this is important. Studies have shown, that memory retention and learning is enhanced while studying and listening to classical music.

May your summer, or what is left of it, be a time of renewal and rejuvenation for both you and the child in your life. Learning can indeed be fun and relaxing, it just might take a bit of planning.  We encourage everyone to live in the moment and choose to be the difference in the life of your child.

Please share your tips and favorite websites with us and we will post it here for all of our readers.  Together we can make a difference!

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things~

Denise and the entire Unlock the Teacher Team

Comments and Ideas Posted by our Readers:

Thank you for the great tips and links, but if I might add another great recipe site it would be; http://www.allrecipes.com on this site you can also share your own wonderful recipe ideas and rate others as well. Kid friendly, vegetarian  and even tips and advice I just love to see the creativity on this site! ~Melanie Osborn

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“You are the Difference” Presentation for Birmingham Public School District’s MLK Educational Training Conference

Unlock the Teacher LLC

Presents

“You are the Difference”

for Birmingham Public School District’s

MLK Educational Training Conference

January 16, 2012

"You are the Difference" Presentation by Denise Ball and Unlock the Teacher LLC

All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.
~Martin Luther King Jr.

Unlock the Teacher was asked to present at Birmingham Public School District’s MLK Educational Training Conference.   The district invited over thirty presenters to come in an speak on various topics. The entire educational staff for the district was then able to look at all presentations being offered, and choose two to add to their professional development plan.

I was happy to come in and share Best Practices, Anti-Bullying techniques and remind educators the very important responsibility and role we play in the life of a child.  As Carol Buchner once said, “They may forget what you said but they will never forget how you made them feel.”

As educators, we pass on wisdom/skills by modeling  the expected behavior.  Of course, all the wonderful educators present today new the importance of these tips but sometimes even the most qualified and most dedicated teachers need reminders… and these teachers were positive and a joy to present to.

If your school or district would like Unlock the Teacher LLC to come into your building(s) to present one of our many workshops or to customize a workshop to fit your needs, please email me at denise@unlocktheteacherllc.com or teachme@unlocktheteacherllc.com

“A hundred years from now, it will not matter what kind of car I drove, what kind of house I lived in, how much money I had in the bank…but the world may be a better place because I made a difference in the life of a child.”

  — Forest Witcraft

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,

Denise

Denise Ball presenting "You Make a Difference"

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Positive Energy and Praise Goes a Long Way for Educators and Students

Welcome back everyone (or those just returning) to the classroom or diving back into home school studies.  I hope everyone had a fabulous break and made wonderful memories.

We have had many email requests for suggestions on “How to Deal with Negativity in the Classroom or Work Environment”.  Given that the entire Unlock the Teacher LLC team prefers to dwell in the positive versus the negative (which is why we work so well together 🙂 ) I thought I would pull some positive energy from my team and share it with our readers.

First off, when we allow ourselves to get caught up in the negativity of the world around us, we can not fully achieve what is intended or live intentionally.  This is also true in education…and I would go so far as to say it is even MORE important for us to NOT embrace the negative, because we are examples for all the future minds of tomorrow!

There are many philosophers who have tackled this subject in the past and present. Below is a brief synopsis of what I have found this week, that I have found helpful to get along with others or words that have helped shape my management style.

All Business provided the following rubric for great team building in a work environment:

  1. Communicate Goals Clearly
  2. Define Responsibilities
  3. Provide Equal Training
  4. Encourage Relationships
  5. Empower
  6. Provide Feedback
  7. Reward (I say provide PRAISE…it goes a long way!)
  8. Set Reasonable Deadlines
  9. Meet Regularly (Our team lives in various states.  Given this, we try to Skype and have timely phone conferences.)
  10. Discourage “Back-Door” Reports *All Business reminds us, that inevitably, there will be at least one employee who will attempt to report to  you after every meeting — giving a play-by-play slanted in his or her favor.  Don’t encourage this behavior, and resist the temptation to use this employee as  a fly on the wall. Backdoor tactics can severely undermine an otherwise positive  office environment.

Education World is a great resource for this topic and I recommend this site for anyone looking for collaborative tools.

A single arrow is easily broken, but not ten in a bundle. – Japanese proverb

It is amazing how much people get done if they do not worry about who gets the credit. – Swahili proverb

A team is more than a collection of people. It is a process of give and take.  – Barbara Glacel & Emile Robert Jr.

None of us is as smart as all of us.Ken Blanchard

No man is wise enough by himself. – Plautus

Interdependent people combine their own efforts with the efforts of others to achieve their greatest success. Stephen Covey

The ratio of We’s to I’s is the best indicator of the development of a team.  – Lewis B. Ergen

One man can be a crucial ingredient on a team, but one man cannot make a team.  Kareem Abdul-Jabbor

Teams share the burden and divide the grief. – Doug Smith

Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success. Henry Ford

Light is the task where many share the toil. Homer

T.E.A.M = Together everyone achieves more. – Anonymous

Ultimately, it is in our actions that define who we are.  If we are one who promotes the good in all things, collaborates and maintains an open mind to others point of view…this can only help but begin a positive synergistic effect on any work relationship or environment.

I encourage all our readers to embrace the good!

I am very blessed to have an opportunity at Unlock the Teacher to work with a group of people who are dedicated to excellence in all things, and continue to strive to BE the difference for our children…our FUTURE!

Now that I am also wearing an Assistant Principal hat 🙂 , I am equally blessed to work with  a wonderful staff of 40 who are positively centered and choose to embrace the good in each day.

Please share your great “team-building” tips so we can all benefit from the wisdom of many.

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,

Denise

 

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A-M-A-Z-I-N-G Things Happening @ Unlock the Teacher

Dear Unlock the Teacher Friends,

I have been offered and accepted a position as Assistant Principal at St. Regis School in Bloomfield Twp, Michigan.  It is a wonderful school and I am thrilled to work in an environment where education is paramount! I am excited to join an educational team where the educators embrace technology and differential learning. I will continue to hold my seat on the Birmingham Public Schools Education Council, where I enjoy discussing curriculum and collaborating with educational leaders and parents in the local area.

My position as CEO at Unlock the Teacher will not change, as we continue to write and develop training for students and teachers.  Trisha, Sue and I will continue to write and plan out new academic eBooks (we are working on three right now) and Sue will continue to create amazing graphics for our clients and produce fabulous commercials. Our next professional development for educators is in  January for one of the BPS Public Schools, topic is “You Make a Difference”.

We are thrilled to announce, that we have completed our 15 month process of writing book I in our series for teachers and parents with Dr. David Lick, MD, Beaumont Hospitals and Dr. Joslen Letscher, Ph.D, University of Detroit Mercy professor. The parent and educator sample group blessed off on our draft and the graphics are AMAZING! We will be sending our proposal out to agents and publishers alike the first week of January before we head to the Writer’s Digest Writing Conference 2012 in New York, Jan. 21-23.  We enjoy this conference for the collaboration that occurs among writers of all genres and the education obtained in the workshops are so beneficial.

We would love to share the good happening in your school, please let us know at denise@unlocktheteacherllc.com.

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,

Denise

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What are Educators and Principals saying about Denise Ball and Unlock the Teacher…

Unlock the Teacher LLC has just finished up working with a staff on curriculum alignment at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs school in Beverly Hills, Michigan.  This has been a fifteen month process.  The  principal, Mr. Joseph Vincler and the entire educational staff made us feel so appreciated!  They came to each curriculum session with an abundance of positive energy and a desire to learn.  This staff took the time to look and analyze their current curriculum, learn the “Nuts and Bolts” of the Common Core State Standards (that we prepared for them) and collaborated within their professional learning communities in the building to make sure there were no gaps in their teaching practices in all disciplines.  It has truly been a pleasure!  I have no doubt, that they are among a small list of schools that have looked at  (in-depth) the CCSS documents and have incorporated the Common Core State Standards for ELA and Math into their everyday teaching practices.

We look forward to continue to build a relationship with this school and coming back to work with this wonderful educational staff once the Social Studies and Science standards are released.

Here are a few comments they sent us from one of our first training sessions with them in 2010 as we began the curriculum alignment process.

What are educators saying about Denise Ball and Unlock the Teacher...

One of the many workshops we conducted as part of our Curriculum Alignment Package to this school over the 15 month time-frame.

Unlock the Teacher talking about Education

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,

Denise

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Unlock the Teacher LLC Would Like to Wish Everyone a Joy-Filled Holiday Weekend

Unlock the Teacher LLC Trademarked Logo

Given that we are less than a year old as a company, we have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.  We are working with a handful of schools in the area of aligning the Common Core State Standards into school’s curriculum for K-8 and curriculum mapping.  Our ePublishing Workshops for students/teachers and adults has been quite successful and we are thrilled to have helped many students begin to build a college fund, and to assist many take their first step towards their dream of writing.

We are immensely thankful for the outpouring of support we have received via social media (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) from educators and writers from all over the world; your words of encouragement on a weekly basis, puts wind beneath our wings and allows us to sail further into our dreams…thank you is just not adequate to express our gratitude.  As we begin to send out our proposal for our 1st book in the Unlock the Teacher series to agents and publishers, it is your kind words that fuel our fire and helps remind us that we are on the right track.

We are thankful to Changez Salon for our relationship we have built-in representing them in the world of social media, website development and management and the lessons that we learn by watching them give back SO much to the community…from helping cancer patients through the loss of hair process, raising funds for various charities like Gilda’s Club and Breast Cancer Awareness, sponsoring the arts in the community via Eisenhower Dance Ensemble and their current promotion, “Hair that Cares” where they are collecting can foods for those in need this winter. They are definitely beacons of light to many!

To all the parents and teachers who have purchased our academic eBooks at Barnes and Noble.com, we thank you for ALL your support!

We believe that if we continue to try to make a difference, that we will be fruitful for our efforts.  Thank you for showing us that good does beget good!

Lastly, we are trying for 10,000 views of our blog before our one year anniversary as an educational company.  We are almost there, thank you for sharing what we do and helping us continue to go into schools, work with students, parents and teachers and for helping us continue to make a difference in the life of our children, our future!

Happy Thanksgiving!

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,

Denise and the entire Unlock the Teacher Team

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