Friday, December 4, 2015

Brenda Maurao - FlyHighFri

FlyHighFri, featuring Brenda Maurao
Brenda Maurao



I am an assistant principal at the Fred W. Miller Elementary School in Holliston, Massachusetts. I work hard to focus on the positives in life- both at school and at home!

FlyHighFri moment this week: 

I was called into two classrooms so teachers could share the ways they integrated Padlet into their work with students for the first time- hooray! So proud that they are taking risks!

Joy Allovio - FlyHighFri

FlyHighFri, featuring Joy Allovio
Joy Allovio



I am third grade teacher in Central Texas. I have been teaching for 12 years and I love it! I enjoy spending time with my students and I love to see them get excited about learning!

FlyHighFri moment this week: 

My FlyHighFri moment for this week comes from a math lesson we did yesterday. We were discussing even and odd numbers and whether numbers were divisible by 2. We added 2 odd numbers to see whether we would get an even number or an odd number. We tried to add different amounts of numbers to see if we would get an odd or an even number. My kids loved it! Thanks for the idea: @mrsjohnscce.

Karrie Marciniak - FlyHighFri

FlyHighFri, featuring Karrie Marciniak
Karrie Marciniak



My name is Karrie Marciniak. I am a reading intervention teacher. I created a program called Paws For a Book that brings therapy dogs into our school to listen to kids read. It also offers opportunities for kids in 2nd-5th grade to engage in volunteerism.
FlyHighFri moment this week: 

Therapy dogs dressed in Halloween costumes reading with 1st graders.

Connie Rockow - FlyHighFri

FlyHighFri, featuring Connie Rockow
Connie Rockow

@crockow8 & @GVSciBat


I'm a HS science teacher at the Batavia Career & Technical Center in Batavia, NY. I am currently training to become an instructional coach. I am super excited to have the opportunity to participate in the coaching model using both SWIVL for video coaching and Musion, an avatar based teaching & learning simulator.

FlyHighFri moment this week: 

A teaching colleague of mine took the leap and tried something outside of his normal teaching repertoire. Student feedback was tremendous! They loved the non-traditional approach that he took. It was a win-win for both the teacher and his students! Love seeing my colleagues take risks and try new things! #GrowthMindset

Friday, November 27, 2015

Brad Spirrison - FlyHighFri

FlyHighFri, featuring Brad Spirrison
Brad Spirrison



Manage teachers relations and content for Participate Learning. Live in Chicago with my wife and kindergarten-aged son.

FlyHighFri moment this week: 

My passion is education and I am blessed to speak with dozens of teachers a week for my job. My appreciation for teaching, however, was never higher than when I volunteered to help teach my kindergartner son's computer class. I of course planned and did my homework in advance to find out what computers, resources, etc. they were using and how I could be of most assistance. What I couldn't plan for, of course, was 24 five-year-olds asking me questions at the same time, closing out of their Chrome windows, and - in my son's case - moving on to the next assignment before completing his own! In 30 short minutes, I felt exhaustion, frustration, uncertainty - but ultimate fulfillment. Nothing replaces the look on a young child's face when they understand a new concept. Needless to say, I went to bed about 2 hours earlier than usual that night!

Catherine Graybosch - FlyHighFri

FlyHighFri, featuring Catherine Graybosch
Catherine Graybosch



I am a librarian first and a department chair of media and informational technology. I love working with my middle school teachers and students. Life-long learning is key!

FlyHighFri moment this week: 

Being asked to collaborate with 3 sixth grade science teachers to change their organism project completely and bring it into the 21st century.

Stacie Ferrara - FlyHighFri

FlyHighFri, featuring Stacie Ferrara
Stacie Ferrara



High school vice Principal at Manchester Township High school at the Jersey Shore finishing my dissertation for my Ed.D in Ed Leadership at Saint Peters University on teacher self efficacy and the effectiveness of science labs. Love to run, read, knit and influence.

FlyHighFri moment this week: 

Students getting outside to use the sun and shadows to calculate and solve problems.

Elissa Nowaki - FlyHighFri

FlyHighFri, featuring Elissa Nowaki
Elissa Nowaki



I'm in my 19th year teaching at John F. Long Elementary in Phoenix, AZ. I've run the gamut from 6th grade mainstream to 5th grade gifted cluster to 3rd grade SEI. Finishing my second Master's in Ed. Leadership in Jan.

FlyHighFri moment this week: 

My SEI 3rd graders applied their understanding of Thinking Maps Writing to their weekly reading assessment! Yay!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Terrie DeHaan

FlyHighFri, featuring Maria (Terrie) DeHaan
Maria (Terrie) DeHaan



A committed 25 year veteran teacher who recognizes the ball of learning MUST NEVER stop rolling! A proud Golbow BLueJay located in the mighty Katy ISD.

FlyHighFri moment this week: 

After reading an article my former AP posted,, I committed to Student-led Conferences for this school year. The particular conference that I tweeted about, led to some powerful commitments by student, parent, and teacher. At the end of the conference., the parent touched my heart by stating, "Thank you for your passion and commitment to all of your students." I shed a tear of appreciation then went on to the next student-led conference.

Karly Moura - Fly HighFri

FlyHighFri, featuring Karly Moura
Karly Moura



Teacher On Special Assignment (Instructional Coach & Edtech Support Teacher) at Sun Terrace Elementary (@sunterrace1), in Mount Diablo Unified School District. Co-creator of #TOSAchat. GAFE Qualified Educator. New to the blogging world.

FlyHighFri moment this week: 

This Friday we ran our own edcamp style professional development for the staff of Sun Terrace and Fair Oaks Elementary school. New and veteran teachers stepped up to facilitate fantastic sessions about Google Classroom, Math Practices, Hyperdocs, Classroom Management, iPads in the Classroom, NGSS, STEM and MORE! Watching my incredible staff take the leader role and share their awesome with each other and the fabulous Fair Oaks staff was definitely a HUGE FlyHighFri moment!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Mike Dotson - FlyHighFri

FlyHighFri featuring Mike Dotson
Mike Dotson


I'm a SPED teacher at an innovative highly underrated theme school in south San Diego. When I'm not teaching or spending time with the family, I'm surfing!

Fly High moment this week:
My FlyHighFri moment took place early in the week when I introduced algebra tiles to my 8th graders. To my students, attempting to use the tiles was likened to handling an abacus! Needless to say, they weren't accustomed to using the tiles and trying was getting them very frustrated. After a several explanations and plenty of modeling, something clicked and voila, my students got it and by the end of the lesson they were using the tiles to simplify expressions on their own. I have to say, this moment, although somewhat inconsequential, was pretty big for these kids and for myself.

Eric Feldman - FlyHighFri

FlyHighFri featuring Eric Feldman
Eric Feldman

I teach SPED in Collingswood HS in Collingswood, NJ American History, SUCCESS 101,and the Twilight ALT ED class.

Fly High moment this week:
Students working on collaborative goggle docs for the first time

Tamara Letter - Fly High Fri

FlyHighFri, featuring NAME



I'm a tech integrator and instructional coach providing professional development for teachers, students, and district leaders in Hanover County Public Schools. I also enjoy blogging about random acts of kindness ( and educational joy (

FlyHighFri moment this week: 

Surprising teachers with cookies for being connected educators and signing up for my training reminders via Remind.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Ben Andrews - FlyHighFri

FlyHighFri, featuring Ben Andrews
Ben Andrews

Certified school psychologist in Mansfield, PA.

FlyHighFri moment this week: 
On Friday, my district held a joint inservice training with two other area school districts. Topics of discussion included the importance of student use of technology in the classroom and passion driven student learning. We need to adapt to educating students in the 21st century model and move away from the teaching model in which our parents and grandparents were taught. It was an inspiring day of learning and networking with peers.

Amanda Canada - FlyHighFri

FlyHighFri, featuring Amanda Canada
Amanda Canada

I am a 7th grade Science Teacher in Crosby, Texas. I am currently the Middle School Teacher of the Year. I love sharing my love for science with my students. I enjoy using technology in the classroom and have now become the go-to person in my department. I am a mother of 3 boys & a wife of 15 years.

Fly High moment this week:
I teach an inclusion class 7th period with 3 SPED students. This week we were learning about geotropism and turgor pressure. I often come up with crazy ideas on the spur of the moment and this was one of those moments. I had the students repeat the definition of geotropism and then used hand motions. In a sing-song voice, we said "The roots grow down & the stems grow up." We did this several times. Some balked, but most did it. We also did motions for turgor pressure. In the end, all of my students could tell me what geotropism was and I had a class full of wilting plants with low turgor pressure. We were wilting and then standing up straight. The #FlyHighFri moment came when I asked the 3 boys individually and they explained it to me and then proceeded to explain it to the other students. #WIN

Jon Laffoon - Fly High Fri

FlyHighFri, featuring Jon Laffoon
Jon Laffoon



Principal at Pea Ridge High School in Arkansas. We are a team of educators making learning personalized and innovating secondary education!

FlyHighFri moment this week: 

We had our day long community homecoming celebration Friday. Our parents, families & students celebrated with a pep rally, powder puff game, tailgating and sharing food, parade for the schools and town, and finished the night with the ceremony and game! The event is student led and throughout the day our faculty, staff, parents and community saw examples of personal responsibility, kindness, and spirit. It was a great day and we look forward to next year!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Kate Kleespies - FlyHighFri

FlyHighFri, featuring Kate Kleespies
Kate Kleespies



I'm an 8th grade science teacher in San Diego. I love cooking, yoga, and the outdoors!

FlyHighFri moment this week: 

This week I tried a new reading comprehension strategy. I recorded myself reading an article on Explain Everything as a video and saw my struggling readers soar! Thanks to technology my students were able to access the text and understand it. I loved seeing them feel confident and participate in the class discussion.

Rebecca Webster - FlyHighFri

FlyHighFri, featuring Rebecca Webster
Rebecca Webster



I'm a sixth grade English teacher in Warren County, Virginia, committed to teaching students to become lifelong readers.

FlyHighFri moment this week: 

My students began typing personal narratives in the computer lab with focus and excitement. Also I set up Google Classroom and am ready to get students logged in next week!

Alicia Johal - FlyHighFri

FlyHighFri, featuring Alicia Johal
Alicia Johal



I am an 8th grade science teacher at Mar Vista Academy in Imperial Beach, California. I'd like to share that I cannot survive my teaching day without peanut butter cups.

FlyHighFri moment this week: 

My FlyHighFri moment for this week fell on a Saturday. I had 21 students show up at school this week on Saturday to work on projects, get ahead on their assignments, and get support. We hung out for 4 hours and it was a great way to start my weekend. My students continue to inspire me by showing me their dedication and resilience, no matter the day of the week.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Nicole Link - FlyHighFri

FlyHighFri, featuring Nicole Link
Nicole Link



Hello, I am Nicole Link and I am a middle school math teacher at Mar Vista Academy in San Diego, CA. I am currently in my second year of teaching and doing my best to be a better teacher than I was last year. I love learning about new technology and teaching ideas but struggle to find a way to use it all in the classroom. The U.S. Navy moved our family (husband, 4 year old son and 7 year old daughter) to San Diego almost four years ago and we are hoping we don't have to leave anytime soon! We love everything outdoors including sports, boating, and camping. 

FlyHighFri moment this week: 

My FlyHighFri moment this week was being responsible for changing the schedule of a student new to our school which allowed him to transfer in to Compacted (accelerated) Integrated Math 7. Our school/district doesn't like to add students after 9 weeks of school but I knew the change had to be made. This student is extremely bright and he proved himself and made it known in less than a week and I knew it had to be done.

Maria Kisner - FlyHighFri

FlyHighFri, featuring Maria
Maria Kisner


BioI am a school counselor at Hilda J. Barbour. This is my second year as a counselor. Before this position I taught 3rd grade for 8 years. I absolutely love the education world and helping students achieve success. 

FlyHighFri moment this week: My FlyHighFri moment for this week is my amazing staff. While I was out this week they looked out for some of my special students who needed help and kept me updated. It is nice to see such a caring staff looking out for the benefit of our children. I would also like to give a shout out to the parents from HJB that signed up for the Love&Logic parenting class that I will be teaching. I have had an overwhelming number of parents sign up. It is truly nice to see parents notice that they need help and are not alone. It takes a village and I love that about this small community we live in here in Front Royal!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Justin Birckbichler - Fly High Friday

FlyHighFri, featuring Justin Birckbichler
Justin Birckbichler

Bio: I am a fourth grade teacher in Warren County, VA. In our classroom, we are student-led and have a high degree of technology integration.

FlyHighFri moment this week: My FlyHighFri moment for this week would be the start to the Global Read Aloud. We are reading Fish in a Tree, and are partnered with a school in Canada. My students made some awesome connections with each other, the books, and the other students.

Mari Venturino - FlyHighFri

FlyHighFri, featuring Mari Venturino
Mari Venturino

Bio: I am a 7th grade science & AVID teacher in San Diego, CA. This year, I have also been granted the role of "Blended Learning Specialist" aka tech resource teacher.

FlyHighFri moment this weekThis week, I noticed a huge turn-around in one of my AVID students. Previously, he has had behavior issues and I was considering dropping him from the AVID program. Now, he is a hard worker, asks great questions during class, and is kind to those around him. I emailed his grandmother, and she was thrilled to hear about the 180 flip both academically and behaviorally.
Also, I love getting together on Fridays with my work colleagues, and chatting about the great things happening in our school and classrooms. I have seen a noticeable shift in school culture this year surrounding positivity! 

Friday, October 9, 2015

Welcome to FlyHighFri!

Hello #FlyHighFri! We are Mari & Justin, and we are the co-founders of FlyHighFri. We started FlyHighFri in July 2015 to spread positivity in our classrooms, schools, and workplaces.

Participation is simple: FlyHighFri can be an in-person or digital meeting. Justin meets with his colleagues on Friday mornings before school, and Mari meets with her colleagues on Friday during lunch. Other teachers have started TodaysMeet chats, Padlet walls, or share their #FlyHighFri moment on Twitter. Each Saturday, Justin will Storify all the tweets with #flyhighfri and share out to all the participants.

On our blog, we will be featuring different individual who exemplify what FlyHighFri is all about! Each week, we will feature one or two people who are making a difference in their community. They will share their #FlyHighFri moment with us on a Google Form and we will publish it here. If you would like to be featured, fill out the Form here. Sung Lee, the host of the Inspiring Educators podcast, interviews people to share their #FlyHighFri moment. We will share those links here as well.

Wouldn’t it be great to see more about what is going well in life rather than what is going wrong? This is our effort to shift the conversation to change the culture.