The first month of school is filled with so many new adventures. There is so much to do regarding setting up classroom routines. We don’t start teaching content until a few weeks into the school year. Up until that time, we see what new our students can do. We generally assess reading and writing and review math. This is a great way to get to know your students so you can plan your lessons for their needs. Here are nine free activities we use for the first month of school.[Read more…] about 15 Free Activities for the First Month of School
Your class trickles in as you watch the time tick away and the punctual crowd starts to get restless. A student hands in work, another tells you all about the taco salad they had for lunch, while two others argue over which of two seemingly identical chairs is theirs. Does this sound familiar to you? It sounds like bell ringers might be the solution!
Bell Ringers Can Take Back That Wasted Time
Silent reading is a great way to start the day or for use during transitions. But maybe you want to shake things up? Or you want to make every minute of the day count. Bell ringers help to get things rolling from bell to bell. Read on to find out how we use them in our classroom and all the different types of bell ringers that can work.[Read more…] about Saved by the Bell Ringers in Upper Elementary
We don’t assign formal homework to our students. It’s actually a district policy, but we also don’t believe that homework serves any real purpose other than causing frustration at home and making work for students. Instead, we assign a list of activities students can do at home instead of homework. We get WAY more engagement and everyone loves it.[Read more…] about Amazing Activities Students Can Do Instead of Homework
Every year, teachers in Canada are faced with several days in a row where the weather outside is not safe for students to go outside and play. These indoor recesses can be a nightmare at the best of times because no student wants to stay inside every recess in a row during a cold snap. Even worse, throw in a pandemic where students are expected to stay socially distanced and not share supplies and it makes managing indoor recess activities a full time job. We’ve collected these must try socially distanced activities for indoor recess to ease that job.
We try to let our students have a less structured recess break where they choose their own activities and aren’t micromanaged. This might not be possible depending on the situation at your school, but keep in mind that recess should be a break instead of another scheduled block of time. Come see which of these activities will work for your students.[Read more…] about Chill Out With These Sanity Saving Indoor Recess 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