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
You’re giving Guided Reading instruction a try. Great! Do you know what you should be doing with your Guided Reading groups and reading instruction? You’re going to teach students to read. But what does that mean?
We teach in upper elementary (usually Grade four or five) which means we have readers in our classroom reading from Grade one through to Grade six. We have English Language Readers, students with learning difficulties, avid readers and all the ones in between. This means we often need to use more than one strategy to teach reading.[Read more…] about How to Run Your Guided Reading Instruction
You’ve been asked to do Guided Reading as part of your Language Arts program and you’re a little worried. It seems overwhelming.
We’ve been there. It feels like you have to learn so much on the spot and you’re concerned that you won’t do a good job. Here’s the truth. You’ll learn as you go and you will get better at it. Everyone has to start somewhere.
A big part of doing a good job maximizing your teaching time with students comes from being prepared and organized. So, let’s dig in and get you organized so you can do a great job of Guided Reading.[Read more…] about Preparing For Your Guided Reading Groups