Teddi K. Valeski

Teaching Blog and Portfolio

Interactive Timeline


Check this site out! An interactive timeline of the past four hundred years!


Differentiated Instruction Links


Pro and Con – Classroom Seminars


Snap and Read

Infographics (As a Student Assessment)


Infographics are visual representations of information intended to present information quickly and clearly. Infographics trends and visuals can greatly improve cognition. Infographics benefit all students, helping them to summarize main ideas and sub-topics.


Helpful Sites:

Pinterest Ideas of Infographics for US History

Infographic Resources

Canva – Design Infographics and Infographic Templates


 This is a great idea for a Syllabus that I might adopt next year – it clearly gets the point across and is an example of a self-created infographic by Mrs. Sandoval.(https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/US-History-Infographic-Syllabus-1988310)



“How Adults Can Encourage Kids To Be Original Thinkers” NPR (2016)



“How Adults Can Encourage Kids To Be Original Thinkers” (NPR 2016)

“17 Insanely Clever Hacks For Teachers, By Teachers”


“17 Insanely Clever Hacks For Teachers, By Teachers”

Classroom Management & Rewards and Incentives


Examples of Classroom Expectations and Incentives:

10 Expectations of a Successful Student


  1.   Believe in yourself, and respect what you are capable of achieving.
  2. Respect the people and furnishings of the class.
  3. Be in your seat when the bell rings and be ready to work.
  4. Adjust your voice level to suit the activity.
  5. Do not talk when the teacher or other students are talking – be respectful.
  6. No cursing or teasing.
  7. Complete assignments to the best of your ability and submit them on time when absent, please check with the teacher to see what work was missed.
  8. No cell phones or electronic devices permitted in class (unless school approved). No off-task behavior when using computer for school assignments during class time.
  9. Be polite and helpful
  10. Stay organized and work hard.


Violation of rules 2-10 will result in the following:

  • 1st offense: Verbal Warning
  • 2nd offense: Reflection Meeting/Call Parents
  • 3rd offense: Parent Conference


Violation of rule 1 will result in the following:

Possibly realizing that you never reached your full potential. You build your own success, and your own story. It’s ultimately up to you!


Required Materials:

  • Pen/Pencil
  • Course Notebook
  • Binder/Folder to keep class materials and notes
  • Progress Portfolio (stays in class)
  • Constitution



Rewards and Incentives:

Quarterly Awards:

Dean’s List Awards:

Each quarter students have the opportunity to earn an achievement and will be placed on the class “Deans List” which is similar to an award student would earn as a college student. Students will be placed on the honorable Deans List in the class if they obtain an 80% or higher during the quarter.


Yearly Awards:


Honorable “Degree”


If at the end of year a student receives a 95% or higher he/she will receive a Holly Springs HS Ph.D. of United States History certificate


If a student receives a 90% or higher he/she will receive a Holly Springs HS M.A. of United States History certificate


If a student receives an 80% or higher he/she will receive a Holly Springs HS B.A. of United States History certificate


Top Dog Award:

This award will be awarded to the top-performing student of the class who has the highest grade point average.

Outstanding Citizen Award:

This award will be granted to a student who actively participates in class and in the community and shows high leadership potential.

The “Go Getter” Award:

This award will be granted to a student who shows the most interest and worth ethic in the class and who never gives up, and always seeks improvement.



Why is Creativity Crucial in the Classroom?


“Creativity is a great motivator because it makes people interested in what they are doing. Creativity gives hope that there can be a worthwhile idea. Creativity gives the possibility of some sort of achievement to everyone. Creativity makes life more fun and more interesting.” – Edward de Bono, the father of lateral thinking and creativity.


Everyone has creative capabilities as a natural result of being human. The challenge, as Ken Robinson states in his book Out of our Minds: Learning to Be Creative,” is to challenge and develop a culture of creativity which has to involve everybody not just a select few.

Why is Creativity Crucial?

  • It allows students to unleash their imagination, and discover things that make them come alive. Simply put, creativity is fun and can inspire individuals.
  • Creativity prepares students for a life in a rapidly changing world. With the technology revolution, there will be more jobs that will have to be created, and new ways of conducting everyday life.
  • It enriches peoples lives, allowing for personal and societal discoveries.
  • Creativity allows for visions to be shared, and dreams to be shared.
  • It can create inventions that are can become valuable contributions to society.
  • Creativity awakens the student to become critical thinkers.
  • Creativity enlightens students, and can give them more opportunity.
  • Creativity allows the mind to be free, and produces lifetime learners and free thinkers.
  • Creativity builds confidence. 


How can Creativity be Promoted in the Classroom?

Below are links to articles that describe the different methods in which creativity can be used in learning.

Odyssey of the Mind: an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college.

Activities for Social Studies Classroom that Promotes Creativity Skills:



iPad Instruction and Student Use in the Classroom


PowerPoint (as PDF file) on the many uses of the iPad for student learning and use. I created this presentation and presented it  for an IUP educational methods class after I had experience working with iPads during student teaching.

iPad Presentation

*There is a variety of more information on student iPads, iTunes U, and the many uses of instructional techniques that can be used with this new technology. I will provide more information soon.

Socratic Seminar: How It’s Implemented in High School – KIPP Teacher


Great short video clip about how the socratic seminar can be used in Social Studies classes by students. A KIPP teacher describes how he implements this technique to get the most out of student learning. The socratic seminar gives students opportunity to use critical thinking skills in a positive environment by student discussion.

Socratic Seminar – How It is Used in High School


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