read aloud

Flashcards or Fireworks? Should you be concerned about summer slide?

As a teacher and a mom I often get asked by parents about what they should do with their kids over the summer. With an average of 11 continuous weeks in the US without academic instruction, the summer slide is a real concern. A meta-analysis done in 1996 of 39 studies (from the early 1900s to […]

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growth mindset

The Negative Power of Praise: Why You Should Stop Saying “Good Job” to Your Children

If there is one book I think all parents or educators should read it’s Carol Dweck’s Mindset. I feel fortunate to have learned about her “growth mindset” because it infiltrates everything I do as a teacher and a mother – and even how I set standards for myself and approach challenges. What is a growth mindset? Having […]

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summer activities pin

5 Fun Summer Activities to Build Gross Motor Skills (from a Physical Therapist)

As I’m settling in to life with a newborn and toddler, I’m very excited today to share a guest post from a pediatric physical therapist Stacy Menz, PT, DPT, PCS. Stacy, founder of Starfish Therapies, is a Board Certified Pediatric Clinical Specialist, and graduated from Boston University with both her Masters and Doctorate of Physical Therapy. Stacy […]

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reagan and makena 2

It’s a Girl! Welcome Makena June

I thought you’d be excited to hear that baby #2 has finally arrived!  Makena June Fitzgerald was born at 5:31pm on Wednesday, June 17. 7lb 6oz. She is adored by her big sister Reagan – who’s still learning she’s not a doll… Juggling two little girls is quite the adventure and I may have said, […]

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Concern Box final

The #1 Thing I Can’t Teach Without: How to Reduce Tattling, Build Writing Skills & Emotionally Connect with Your Students

During my first year of teaching, I dealt with a lot of challenging behaviors. In addition, I had kids who needed a lot of social and emotional support and were way behind in academics. So I developed a simple solution that I’ve used every year since – no matter the grade level or make-up of […]

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giveaway 1

Can iPads be Kinesthetic? A Unique “Bumpy” Tactile Touchscreen Cover

Technology is evolving quickly. Currently there is a lot of debate about how best to use technology to positively enhance students’ learning experiences. Most people can agree that too much screen time is detrimental for kids’ development. However, there are so many amazing uses of technology… Apps that help students with learning disabilities Assistive communication devices Using iPads […]

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Reagan eating with feet up

5 Surprising Ways Teaching Has Made Me a Better Mom

If you’re a frequent reader of Blue Mango, you’ve probably picked up on the fact that I’m expecting my second child. Since I’ll be full term (baby could arrive at anytime!) in less than a week, I thought I’d officially share the news with everyone. I’ve been busy trying to nest like crazy the past couple of […]

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G is for Girl Book

The Simple, Effective Way to End Negative Behaviors: How to Write a Social Story

Picking boogers out of tissues to eat them. Making robot noises during writing workshop instead of asking for help. Throwing counting bears across the room because it’s time to go to PE. Pushing another child on the playground instead of saying, “Can I play?” These are all real experiences that have happened to me in the classroom. […]

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May Blog Hop: Learn from SLPs, OTs & Special Educators

May is Better Speech and Hearing Month! I’m excited to announce that I’ve teamed up with a great group of speech language pathologists (SLP) and other educators to participate in a blog hop this May hosted by Speech Language Literacy Lab titled: School Based Innovation & RTI For those of you that don’t know, RTI stands […]

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Happy Teacher Appreciation Day

Happy Teacher Appreciation Day!

I wouldn’t be here today without the work and support of so many teachers. I am so thankful for my childhood teachers and college professors but also the teachers that I’ve met in my adult life: the director of my teacher training program at Lesley University & BB&N who challenged and supported me as I began my career […]

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