Love Has No Labels

Diversity is beautiful!

Miss Donnelly's Daily Apple

I came across this video around Valentine’s Day, “Love Has No Labels.” Curious, I followed the link and was captivated by what was two dancing skeletons behind an x-ray screen. From first glance, it was two twins, two mirrors of one another–same skulls, same leg bones, same hips, same arms wrapped around one another’s necks.

Then the two people stepped from behind the screen–two women.

What fascinated me the most about the video was how this simple screen seemed to erase people’s notions about what love was. When two nameless, raceless, faceless skeletons embraced, it was beautiful. Yet these perceptions seemed to change as the skeleton’s identities were unmasked.

I know that posting something like this on my blog is a risk. This is a controversial topic, and a topic that many feel isn’t a part of the classroom. But I disagree. I think that in today’s society, and especially…

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Accommodating for Diverse Learners

Miss Donnelly's Daily Apple

Early in my college career I learned the importance of accommodating for different types of students: minorities, low-achieving, mentally-handicapped students, students with learning disabilities, students with behavior problems, gifted/talented students, etc.

One of my earlier education classes, Exceptional Learners, focused on accommodating for diverse learners. In this class, I did a presentation on gifted/talented students. This can be viewed by clicking here.

whiz kidThis presentation opened my eyes to ways that I could personally adapt my lessons for these high-achieving individuals and work to not only assist students that are struggling, but make sure that all students are encouraged, motivated, and challenged by my curriculum.

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Planting Seeds and Watching Them Grow

For my students’ parents to read! Enjoy!


Small green plant in children's palmsBy Michelle Wilson, Development Director of The Children’s Advocacy Center of Jackson County

Soon after Valentine’s Day, right after all of the red and white bows and hearts start to come off of the shelves, little signs of the coming of spring start to poke their heads out around us. Stores start selling packets of seeds to plant, in preparation for the warmer days to come and the anticipation of summer flowers and garden vegetables.

This is a great time of year to plan positive family time together.

You can start with a handful of tiny seeds sown in dirt-filled paper cups set in a kitchen window. Even very young children can help with choosing the types of flowers to grow or the varieties of vegetables to grace the table later in the year. Choose soil that is as rich with nutrients as possible to give the young seeds a…

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Wisdom from Dumbledore: What Matters

I really love this analogy!


By Michelle Wilson, Development Director with The Children’s Advocacy Center of Jackson County

Untitled design (47)

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”~ Dumbledore (from the Harry Potter books)

Last fall at this time we launched our first online campaign to raise funds for our services for kids and teens healing from abuse.

We named it “You Matter!” because we truly know that everyone can offer something important to this cause.

Every day we witness people who give their time, ideas, energy, financial resources, and compassionate care to the big work of healing child abuse in our community.

This is no small task.

It can feel enormous and overwhelming, to those of us who can barely stand the thought of children being abused, to those of us who work every day with children who have the scars – visible and invisible – of…

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What about Late Work?

Always write

Photo Credit: Gokik via Compfight cc Photo Credit: Gokik via Compfightcc Late work is a hot topic in the middle school teaching world. Middle school is the first time that students are expected to travel from classroom to classroom, keeping track of up to 9 assignments a day, depending on the school they attend. Many students struggle with some aspects of this transition, and completing class work on time can become quite a problem. I do not have a solution to the problem of late work and grades in the middle school, but I have been searching for a theory that keeps students’ interests at heart, but does not put an unfair burden on teachers.

I recently came across an article by Rick Wormeli entitled, “Late Work: A Constructive Response” that outlines ways to teach students the importance of punctuality and responsibility without indiscriminately lowering grades for every late assignment. I highly recommend reading it…

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Celebrate Middle School

I adore Middle School and truly could not imagine myself anywhere else.

Always write

NORMAL IS BORING NORMAL IS BORING When I was an English literature major in college, I would have bet you a million dollars that I would NEVER teach middle school. I might have said I would never again ENTER a middle school — all the hormones and whining and need for just a little more deodorant. Little did I know that teaching in middle school was exactly where I would find my home and love it.

So when today’s #EdBlogAday challenge was “What do you have to celebrate today?” I knew that I wanted to celebrate middle school.

Middle school students are the perfect combination of child and young adult. They still want to have fun and play, though they take meaningful work very seriously. So many things are still new to middle schoolers. A teacher, and a lesson, can still take their breath away. But they are also becoming aware of the…

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Dear Raul

Rivers & Roads

education, photographyDear Raul,

Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete?

Proving nature’s law is wrong, it learned how to walk without having feet.

Funny it seems, but by keeping its dreams,

It learned to breathe fresh air.

Long live the rose that grew from concrete

When no one else even cared.

Three days until the STAAR test.

Two extra tutoring sessions after school this week.

One last chance to demonstrate that you are academically prepared for the 7th grade.

You see you wouldn’t ask why the rose that grew from the concrete

Had damaged petals.

On the contrary, we would all celebrate its


We would all love its will to reach the sun.

You are the rose. This is the concrete. I have no doubt that you will show our school, your family and this community that you are smart and capable.

I would…

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Dear Rosalyn

Rivers & Roads

education, photography

Dear Rosalyn,

Thank you for your bravery and honesty today. It takes strength of character most people have not developed by age 12 to see what you saw and report it to me.

I know you’re worried that students will call you a “snitch,” because you “tattled” on one of the most popular boys in the 6th grade. I’m going to do everything I can to prevent that from happening, but sometimes, when we stand up for what is right, the people who have made a shameful decision feel the weight of their guilt and look to shift the attention to someone else. You’ll have to be prepared for this.

“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

I am proud of…

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