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 clean up, pack up and celebrate.[Read more…] about The End is of the School Year is Coming!
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.
Do you like a lighthearted and fun prank? Do you have students that enjoy a good laugh? Are you looking for a way to celebrate April Fool’s Day? Were were always struggling with ways to prank our students in a fun and caring way, and we’ve come up with a few great ones over the past few years.
If you have the kind of relationship with your students that everyone can enjoy a lighthearted silly prank, then you’re doing something right. We are very clear with our students about what does or does not make for a good prank.[Read more…] about How to Prank Your Students
For nine years we have been part of a proud tradition in our community: delivering Christmas cards to all the homes and businesses that make up our school community. We mail them to agencies and businesses involved with our school community. It is so easy, helps build community and teaches our students to do things for others.
Here is how you can start the tradition for yourself.[Read more…] about Handmade Community Christmas Cards
How 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?
The year has started. Things are starting to settle and it’s time to count your blessings in the classroom. We call the start of year through Thanksgiving (well, Canadian Thanksgiving on the second Monday of October) the beta period. It’s the time of year to try things out, get to know the students, build relationships and set up the year for success.
The beta period is not the time of year we spend getting deep into content. We review. We read. We talk about what is coming next. We check out our skills and show what we can or can’t do.
Most of all, we celebrate all the things were are thankful for in our classroom. Keep reading to see how we spend this special time of year.[Read more…] about Being Thankful in the Classroom