Reading is a huge part of our classroom and it’s important to us to make sure the books and characters reflect all aspects of the lives of our students. That includes books about and including different faiths, backgrounds and cultural beliefs.
Ramadan is an important part of our classroom culture so we searched high and low to find books that our students could use to learn from and reflect on. Here are some of the titles we found and thought you should check out yourself. Continue Reading
In December we put up a Christmas Tree, hung lights and exchanged gifts. One of our students asked if we would be celebrating in May and June for Ramadan and Eid. Of course! All of our students are encouraged to share their customs and traditions with us and we’ve been learning all year from each other. We celebrated Chinese New Year, Ukrainian Christmas, World Hijab Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and now we’re getting ready for Ramadan and Eid. Continue Reading
You are in the home stretch! The school year is almost over. Maybe you’ve had the most difficult year of your career or maybe it’s been a highlight. Either way, you’ve made a difference in the lives of the children who’ve come through your classroom this year and so it’s time to celebrate. Continue Reading
Flexible seating is all the rage, but we’ve been using the philosophy in our classroom for years. While it would be nice to have a variety of seating options, we know it’s not always possible, but you can still have seating options without spending a dime.
Have you ever tried asking your students to find a place to sit and work? Try it! You’ll be surprised by all the places they’ll find to do their work. Continue Reading
Are your students using your Makerspace and now you want to show off their hard work? Host a Maker Walk. Picture a science fair, but so much cooler because it’s filled with the creations your students made in your Makerspace! Continue Reading
Mother’s Day tends to sneak up on us every year, so this year we’ve made an effort to show some of the best projects we’ve done over the years. It’ s funny how we always know when Mother’s Day will be, but it’s in that rush near the end of the school year, so it’s tends to be something we can do quickly and fairly inexpensively. Continue Reading
Let’s be honest. Teaching lands somewhere between collecting and hoarding. Mr. Ninja once had to bring a giant rock on a 1400 km trip because there was a possibility it might come in handy for a science lesson. It’s lived in our garden for twelve years. So why do we do it?
Well, a big part of it is money. If we can get something for free, we’ll take it. We all know our classrooms are underfunded and so when interesting items come along (whether we actually need them or not) we tend to take them. What is wrong with us? Continue Reading
The most natural place to connect subject areas is by incorporating art into the lessons. It’s easy to think a little colouring will be enough art each week, but it’s important to create art projects that teach actual art skills. We created several lessons around the landscapes and geography we were studying about Canada while building art skills such as drawing, sculpting, painting and printmaking. Want to try it? Read on.
We’re hosting a “Poem in Your Pocket” day as a celebration upon completing our poetry unit in Language Arts. It coincides with the National Poem In Your Pocket Day. This year’s event is being held April 26. It’s coming up soon! You can join us this year even if you haven’t taught poetry in your classroom yet! Continue Reading
The Canadian news is flooded with discussions about pipelines and where they should or shouldn’t be built. So, how do we address these issues in the classrooms? Many of our students have family members who work in the oil industry and many have parents who work closely with Indigenous people and environmentalists. So when these issues are so hotly contested in the media, how do we teach students to listen to all perspectives and form opinions based on facts (especially in light of how many people are unable to look past bias)?
We created a product that introduces all sides of the pipeline issue. It’s not meant to have students create an opinion, but to learn to listen to a variety of perspectives. Sometimes when we feel passionately about an issue, it’s difficult to hear the other side. Even as teachers, we have to be careful to not influence the opinions of our students. We need to teach students to listen and evaluate multiple perspectives, disagree respectfully and back up their opinions with facts rather than other people’s opinions.
You can find in our store here.
We’d love to hear about your experiences discussing polarizing issues with your students. How are you managing the current culture of differing sides? How do you keep your personal opinion out of the classroom? Please share with us in the comments below.