When we start talking about quadrilaterals, trapezoids and parallel lines many students get lost quickly. There are so many new and uncommon words introduced in this unit and it is especially difficult for English Language Learners. These are some of the ways we build an understanding of shape and space concepts in our classroom.[Read more…] about Ways to Teach Shape and Space Concepts
There are generally two reactions that students give when it is time for writing activities in the classroom. Half are usually excited and the other half are filled with dread. We’ve been through lots of different writing programs over the years, been to hundreds of hours of professional development to teach writing and have seen the same pattern over and over again.
Most teachers don’t feel like they know how to teach writing. Is that you? Keep reading.[Read more…] about Challenge Your Students with Writing Activities
If you are struggling with reading instruction in your classroom, you’re not alone. Upper elementary teachers are often not trained in how to teach students to read, despite the fact all the students in their classroom are unlikely to be reading at grade level. Setting up a reading comprehension schedule is one way to get on track.
We designed our Weekly Reading Comprehension Skills specifically for our students. We needed reading material for science and social studies that were at the right reading level and needed to teach grammar and reading skills. You might want to read this post about how we came up with them: Add Great Content to Your Literacy Lessons.[Read more…] about How to Set Up Your Reading Comprehension Schedule
It took fifteen years of teaching and professional development before we felt confident teaching reading to students in upper elementary. Reading is one of the most important skills any teacher is responsible for, but it is often taught by stabbing at strategies until something works-only to find it doesn’t work for the next student. Literacy lessons were hard to design and we didn’t really know where to start.
The most important thing we’ve learned is that reading comprehension skills are also skills related to grammar, word parts, word families and patterns, and writing. The same skills are used in a variety of ways.
If a student missed one of these skills, they trip over it in everything other subject. By the time students get to the end of Grade Three, if they aren’t reading at grade level, they are statistically unlikely to catch up. So, what is a teacher to do?[Read more…] about Add Great Content to Your Literacy Lessons
We have always thought of ourselves as being pretty technically savvy, but when the Covid-19 pandemic hit and teachers all around the world were thrust into teaching from a distance, we realized how little we actually knew.
The first thing we did was going through our library of resources that we have in our store and realized that some of them just don’t translate well into digital resources. Some things are just better in person.
This meant we needed to look at new ways to reach our students. We’ve always used Google Classroom and feel pretty comfortable using it with our students, but it lacks the ability to have students practice skills in a way that can be checked. We love task cards, but with distance learning, they just aren’t the same.
We asked around to see what some of our friends or fellow creators were using and we kept hearing about Boom Learning.[Read more…] about Explode Your Teaching With Boom Cards
If you’ve ever thought your history lessons were boring, then truthfully, you had the wrong teacher. Teaching history can be exciting and interesting.
My love of Canadian history came from my favourite teacher of all time, Mr. Perrin. He was a tough teacher who expected the best from everyone, but he had a way of bringing history alive. You felt like you were in the trenches of World War 1 or at the table of a family living through The Great Depression. I underestimated the impact this love of history would have on my life.
Each time I step into my classroom and stand up in front of my students to tell them about some historic event, I still see Mr. Perrin jumping from side to side role-playing both the French and the Germans in battle. This love of history was so apparent I can’t help but pass this enthusiasm along to my students.[Read more…] about How to Take Your History Lessons Off Life Support