We usually spend the whole month of February sharing our favourite pictures books that highlight kindness with our students. We’re always on the search for new books, but here are some of the best ones we’ve shared in the past. Continue Reading
Usually we talk about Chinese New Year but did you know that many other countries celebrate the new year at the same time? In Vietnam it is called Tết and South Korea it is known as Seollal. These new year celebrations are based on the lunar calendar which is calculated using the movement of the Earth around the Sun and the Moon around the Earth. Because of this, lunar new year is celebrated some time in January or February. This time of year is a time when families gather, share food and many local traditions. Continue Reading
How often do you give your students a book and they can’t find any information in it? It seems if a page isn’t blinking and flashing they can’t seem to work it. Explicitly teaching text features can help your students understand how to process information better. This won’t just help with their reading, but it will help with all of their research, following directions and locating information quickly in all their subject areas. Continue Reading
Students love role-playing and dramatic play, but many find the pressure of a performance overwhelming. Add some drama to your classroom by using drama circles, role-playing and storytelling in a low risk environment. Continue Reading
Sometimes students don’t understand how time is of the essence when doing research. They lack the skills to use text features, skim materials and find items quickly.
We’ve been working on this with our students and it’s a struggle year after year.
However, we have managed to find some activities that help students refine their research skills: scavenger hunts. It turns out that making research fun and game-like can have a positive impact on how students complete research. Continue Reading
This project started completely by accident, but sometimes the happiest of accidents turn out to be blessings in disguise. This is our path to making some wooden ornaments, but you can take a few shortcuts with our lesson below. Continue Reading
Here is a great activity your students can do that is both environmentally friendly and makes a wonderful Christmas gift.
Your students can help create one wreath as a group or can create their own wreath depending on how much material you have to recycle.
Materials: 1 metal clothes hanger per wreath, old green clothes such as shirts, socks, tablecloths, towels, sheets, and pants (they can be a variety of shades of green as well as different types of materials, but in our experience knitted items do not work well), scissors that cut cloth, green yarn scraps, decorations such as bows, bells and old ornaments
Here’s how to make it: Continue Reading
We use interactive notebooks in our math class. We have found creating a reference book of concepts and procedures that students can refer to when working in math helps them build confidence and develop independence.
We’re not going to lie. They are a lot of work, but the working is meaningful. We found on average our math grades improved and students were able to retain more of their learning year over year.
Our notebooks are created using two pages for each concept. Continue Reading
When a colleague told me we should try interactive notebooks in math, we agreed and then went on our merry ways and did math the same old way for another year, so at the end of that school year, she approached us again and DEMANDED we buy this Interactive Math Journal by Jen Runde. We took a look, bought it and then went on summer vacation. Near the end of the summer I opened it up and it CHANGED MY WORLD. I will never teach math the same way again. That being said, there are a few things I learned and will change for the upcoming year to get the most of math journals.
Interactive math notebooks are an investment, but like all good investments they take time to show a good return. Patience is the key! They take time, but they result in deeper understanding, so here are some things you need to consider before starting your interactive math notebook journey.
Here’s a little task you can give to your students to make an environmentally friendly Christmas tree ornament. For this task we have chosen to make a snowman.
You will need: newspaper, magazine or flyers, white glue (glue sticks work, but not as well), yarn/string, ornamental details like
googly eyes, bells, felt, markers. You may need hot glue to attach large pieces together.
Here’s how to make your own recycled paper snowmen. Continue Reading