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The Reasons For Project Based Learning

Project based learning can be a challenge because it moves the control from the teacher to the student. When we began our teaching journey, controlling every aspect of student work from beginning to end seemed like the right thing to do. As we’ve evolved as teachers, we learned that loosening the reigns has many benefits.  Check out some of the best reasons we use project based learning in our classroom. Continue Reading

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Christmas Word & Logic Activities

christmasYou know that week in December when you’re constantly called down to the auditorium for concert rehearsals, some of your students are away sick, some have left for vacation early and you have to keep a classroom full of excited kids busy? Christmas is fun and all, but it’s so hard to keep kids interested in learning and it’s a challenging time to introduce new concepts with all those interruptions. What’s a teacher to do? Continue Reading

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Creating a Culture of Community in Your Multi-Grade Classroom

CHow do we create a classroom community where all students feel they are equal and belong? It turns out we’ve had more combined grade classes that straight grade classes since we began teaching, so we can’t imagine teaching any other way. First of all, we call it a combined class rather than a split class. It’s the first thing we do with parents because our combined classes are not like the old ‘split’ classes.

When students come into our classroom on the first day of school they immediately collect into two different groups-the lower grade and the upper grade.  They don’t know each other well and like to sit with their friends.  We don’t give students a seating plan right away (or sometimes at all) so we can see which relationships form or are already in place, but then we slowly start changing their mindset about the combined class.

So, what are our secrets?

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Teaching Charity Amidst a Crisis

FortMacIt is often at our worst that we see the best in people. For the past few weeks, we have watched around the world as the city of Fort McMurray, Alberta has dealt with the devastation of a wildfire. Our students have seen the ruin on television and some of our school families have been directly impacted as family members work or live in the area. We spent class time talking out our emotions and then decided we needed to do more than just talk. Continue Reading