Hello, and welcome! My name is April Smith. My mission is to help you engage your students in meaningful learning without extra planning.
I’ve been teaching since 2008, but I’ve worked with kids ever since sixth grade when my teacher paired me up with a first grade buddy to tutor in reading and math. I made my first lesson plan and worksheet that year: and printed it all out on that continuous feed paper. Do you remember that stuff? I think I spent more time taking off the perforated edges than making my lesson plans!
When I graduated with my teaching degree in 2008, I moved to a different state to work in a Title 1 school. I fell in love with teaching the upper elementary grades. Being a hands-on and visual learner myself, my focus was always on differentiating activities to reach every single student.
In 2015, I was awarded Intermediate Teacher of the Year for my work integrating 21st century learning into my 4th, 5th, and 6th grade ELA classroom. This experience was a wake-up call for me. I learned that this type of teaching wasn’t as common as I thought it was. Most teachers struggled to find the resources they needed to implement STEM, project-based learning, and technology into their classrooms.
After a lot of reflection that year, I realized that the reason why teachers were coming to my blog was that they wanted to engage their students, but they didn’t have the resources or knowledge to do so. My experience being a very active student as a child motivated me to make activities that would keep myself engaged.
I decided to only make resources that would meet the following requirements:
- Engage different types of learners
- Be easy for the teacher to prepare
- Incorporate 21st century skills like cooperation and problem solving
If you have any questions about anything you see on the blog, or want to work with me, please contact me using the form below. I look forward to helping you better engage your students in authentic learning!