Teaching students about wetlands can be a real challenge when you don’t have access to a pond or field trips to go to a pond. Each year in Alberta, we struggle with winter sneaking well into spring, shortening the time available to teach the unit outdoors. If we try to teach the unit in the fall, we often end up with snow within a few weeks of starting the unit. So how are students supposed to learn about wetlands when they can’t actually get to a wetland?[Read more…] about How to Learn About Wetlands Without A Pond
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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
We use interactive notebooks in our math class as part of a unit on number sense. We have found creating a reference book of concepts and procedures that students can refer to when working in math helps them build confidence and develop independence.
We’re not going to lie. They are a lot of work, but the working is meaningful. We found on average our math grades improved and students were able to retain more of their learning year over year. Read more to find out how we use them in our classroom as one way to develop number sense.[Read more…] about How to Use Interactive Notebooks to Teach Number Sense
Winters in Canada are long, so technically you could be doing winter classroom activities for most of the school year and you’d still be on track weather wise.
We tend to use winter classroom activities from November through February, especially around Christmas, since many of our students come from different religious backgrounds. Many do not celebrate Christmas and so everyone deserves to do fun activities that aren’t connected to a specific faith or holiday.[Read more…] about You’ll Love These Exciting Winter Classroom 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