Welcome to The Teaching Factor!  As an educator and educational consultant I am constantly asked by colleagues and friends what I am working on now or next.  This blog is a site to share teaching ideas and digital tools that can enhance content literacy skills and strengthen student learning.

The views I express on this blog are my own and personal. They should not be thought of as a reflection of the views of my school or employers.

My aim in creating this blog is to offer teachers and others working in the field of education practical strategies from technology to literacy to enhance and extend content instruction and improve student motivation and achievement.


Michele L. Haiken, Ed.D.

22 thoughts on “About

  1. Jennifer says:

    I have been looking for a blog like this for a long time. Great insight and excellent information…. Thank You!

  2. Book'em, Nashville, TN says:

    I just read your blog post on the Nerdy Book Club, “Pay It Forward: Middle School Readers are Rock Stars for Younger Kids.” It is wonderful. I work for a children’s literacy nonprofit in Nashville, TN, Book’em. We would love to re-post your post on our blog “Bookemnashville.wordpress.com” and/or link to the post from our Facebook and Twitter sites – if that is okay with you. Let me know. Thanks for all you do to help our children. Martha Ann Pilcher, Book’em, volunteers@bookem-kids.org.

  3. tihawkins says:

    My husband wrote a book some years ago about “Sparking the Entrepreneurial Spirit in Kids”. He solely wrote it for motivation during the bank bust in 2007/8 after he was laid off. He needed something to remind him of the things his father instilled in him and this book was the end result. After a while his confidence came back. Got back to working. And has become a successful serial entrepreneur.

    My husband has never done anything with this book. And I literally just forced him to make it available to the public two weeks ago. Find it here: (http://www.lulu.com/shop/jamar-milsap/the-sandpaper-effect-10-ways-to-spark-the-entrepreneur-in-kids/paperback/product-21010243.html) and e-book (http://www.lulu.com/shop/jamar-milsap/the-sandpaper-effect-10-ways-to-spark-the-entrepreneur-in-kids/ebook/product-17391017.html)

    I would love to know if YOU think there’s a place or market for this. It’s his passion. And I’d love for him to partner with some real influencers in education to see if this has some legs. Any feedback you could/would provide would be amazing! Thanks so much

    • Thank you so much for sharing the book title with me. Teaching young people about entrepreneurship is so important in secondary schools. So many ideas begin when we are young and if they are cultivated and nurtured, passions can breed profits. Cameron Herold has a great, inspiring TED talk about raising kids to be entrepreneurs. Here is the website to the video: http://www.ted.com/talks/cameron_herold_let_s_raise_kids_to_be_entrepreneurs.html

      There are many organizations that support young people and offer hands-on experience in being an inventor and entrepreneur, including Odyssey of the Mind, First Robotics and Future Business Leaders of America. Plus, organizations like Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Junior Achievement, and 4H also develop a lot of these leadership and entrepreneurial skills.

      Your husband might want send copies of his book to local schools and libraries in your state to promote the book and get the word out about entrepreneurship. The more that he puts the book out there and puts himself out there, sharing his story, the more attention he can bring to the book and the importance of cultivating entrepreneurship in young people.

  4. Rick Linet says:

    Thank you for the forthcoming info.

  5. julie garde says:

    Hi would love to see what you come up with. am new to this so please let me know if i am not following protocols. and thanks in advance for some ‘enlightenment’

  6. rlinet says:

    Hi Michele

    Would love to see your curriculum to see about integrating it with my 7th grade math students.

    Thanks so much.

    Rick Linet

  7. Louise Harris says:

    Hi Michele – I would love a copy of your business curriculum for middle school students. It sounds amazing.

    Thank you,

    • Louise, Thank you for your kind words. If you go to the actual post you should be able to click on to the curriculum which is a Google Doc. If you are unable to access it, please email me. Regards, Michele

  8. Holly Green says:

    I love the idea of the symbolism/ foldable for To Kill a Mockingbird. I was wandering if you had or would mind sharing some more details about it. For example, the links for QR codes, and I cant read what the the last two animals are. I think this would be great to go over the symbolism in the book since my students read for their summer reading and haven’t had any teacher instruction yet. Thanks Holly Green

    • Thank you so much Holly for your email, I have sent you a link to the foldable in another email and the link to the QR Code. If you have any other questions please email me. There are a lot of new resources for teaching To Kill a Mockingbird that you might also want to check out for teaching this great classic text. This includes Using Informational Text to Teach To Kill A Mockingbird by Susan Chenelle and Audrey Fisch (2014). Also, Facing History and Ourselves has a curriculum for To Kill a Mockingbird that is forth coming this fall. You can find more information about it on http://www.facinghistory.org. All the best in the new school year. Regards, Michele

  9. Lindsey Deno says:

    I love your ideas! Stumbled upon your blog when looking for To Kill A Mockingbird materials!! [It’s my first year teaching this– which is intimidating when the kids have such a high stake test at the end! Trying to make sure I am going about teaching it in the right way!] Definitely getting added to my reading list!!

    • Thank you so much for your positive feedback. This is my third year teaching TKAM and I am always changing things up to help my students read closely to understand the complexity and beauty of the text.

  10. Kara Ledbetter says:

    I would love a copy of the answers to your TKAM amazing race! Did you do this activity after they were finished with the novel?

    • Kara, my students completed the Amazing Race activity after they read chapter 15 and 16. Right before the trial. As for the answers, I do not have an answer key but I guess that is something I have to work on now.

  11. Lindsey says:

    Hi – I’m a little late discovering this wonderful resource and would like to do the amazing race with my students (we just started part 2 of TKAM). Would you be willing to share the foldable and QRC handouts/key.

  12. Beth Stewart says:

    I, too, am late in finding this great resource. I came across Notice and Note, and would love a copy of the foldable you made to go with TKAM. Would you mind also sharing your Amazing Race activity as well. How do you find the time to come up with such great material? Thank you.

  13. Emily Gaul says:

    Hello! I am teaching TKAM and love your Amazing Race lesson and symbolism lesson. Would you mind sharing your documents for these? I would really appreciate it! Thank you so much!

  14. Stacy Nemec says:

    Hello! I am going to be teaching TKAM soon, and I absolutely love your Amazing Race idea. I participated in one for professional development and had a blast. I never thought about how I could utilize this for a novel. I don’t know if you still have the resources to what you did, but I would love to be able to look at them and adapt to fit our needs. Thanks so much! You are very creative.

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