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Art Geography Our TpT Products Social Studies

Connecting Social Studies and Art

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.

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Creative Thinking Holidays and Seasonal Just For Fun Language Arts Our TpT Products Poetry Reading Seasonal/Holiday Writing

Poem in Your Pocket Day

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

Critical Thinking Current Events Our TpT Products Social Studies

The Pipeline Perspective

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.

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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.

Love the Ninjas

Classroom Management Creative Thinking Critical Thinking Differentiation Our TpT Products Professional Learning Project Based Learning

Why You Should Give Students Choices

How would you feel if you knew you were a wonderful writer but the only way you could express yourself was through modern dance? What would you do if you have to recite your report card comments by memory to each and every parent? How would you feel if you were given the choice to write your report cards any way YOU want? (Ours would be invisible!)

Wouldn’t that be amazing? Wouldn’t that make you want to write the best report cards the world has ever seen?

So why are we so determined as teachers that there’s only one way to assess our students? Why can’t they have choices too? Continue Reading

Creative Thinking Critical Thinking Makerspace Our TpT Products Professional Learning Project Based Learning

Work Through the Design Process

Here’s a quick lesson you can do with your students to learn how to use your Makerspace while teaching students to enjoy the process.

Give your students a selection of pieces. These can be any material you have available. We used bottle caps, straws, tape, index cards and string. We also had scissors available. You can use these materials or use what you have in your Makerspace. The items should be flexible enough to let students explore. Continue Reading

Classroom Set Up Creative Thinking Critical Thinking Makerspace Our TpT Products Professional Learning Project Based Learning

What Goes in a Makerspace?

You’ve decided to have a Makerspace. What should you put in it? Any thing you want. Start small. We put out origami paper and a book during the first week just to see what would happen. (Turns out the answer to that question is lots of paper frogs.) But seriously, we made a list of potential items for your Makerspace. Continue Reading

Christmas Creative Thinking Holidays and Seasonal Language Arts Our TpT Products Seasonal/Holiday

Christmas Word & Logic Activities

You 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