Depending on where you live, winter can be a very long season. In northern Canada where we teach, winter can start as early as October and continues up to the end of March. That means we are always on the lookout for winter classroom activities to use in class and during those dreaded indoor recesses when it is just too cold to go outside.[Read more…] about Free Winter Classroom Activities Worth Scooping Up
Diwali is the Festival of Lights. It is also known as Dipawali and it is the most important festival of the year for the Hindi religion. Other religions like Buddists also celebrate Diwali. While it was traditionally celebrated by Hindus, now it is more widely celebrated by people around the world including by Buddists, Jains and Sikhs. Since this celebration is important to many different people around the world, it is very possible you will have students in your classroom who celebrate. To those students, Diwali is as important to them as Christmas is to Christians. Many school districts in Canada have added Diwali to their school calendars. Read on to find resources you can use to celebrate Diwali in the classroom.[Read more…] about Resources to Celebrate Diwali in the Classroom
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
Over the years we’ve attended hundreds of hours of professional development for teaching students to write. Our school has tried out resources from Ruth Guthrie and the 6+ Traits of Writing, Barbara Mariconda and Empowering Writers and even Lucy Calkins and her Writers’ Workshop model. None of these were perfect. Some students did well with some of the lessons and some students didn’t see a lot of growth in their writing. Some students learned to follow a formula but struggled with being creative. How do you include different types of writing in your daily writing?[Read more…] about How to Include Different Types of Writing in Your Classroom
Valentine’s Day in upper elementary isn’t quite the same as the little kids or the older ones. It’s this weird time in a kid’s life where they are too old to care about paper cards but also want to be included in getting paper cards. They are just starting to have crushes but the maturity level is all over the place. We’ve spent a lot of time watching our Valentine’s Day ideas flop. But not anymore!
Over the years, we’ve watched students in our Grade 4 and Grade 5 classes to see how they respond to different activities for Valentine’s Day and we’ve settled on focussing on friendship and kindness. Some of these activities can be done any time of year because they are not specific to Valentine’s Day. These are the best Valentine’s Day ideas that were approved by our students.[Read more…] about 9 Easy Valentine’s Day Ideas for Upper Elementary
Every group of students you teach over the years will leave a special place in your heart. The names and faces might fade a little or get mixed up as the years pile up, but there are always some groups, names and faces that will stick with you. We try to make the end of each year special for our students. For some, the end of the year is a joyous occasion, but for others, it’s sad and summer break is not always wonderful for them. Here are some of the ways we end the school year in special ways to create lasting memories.[Read more…] about End the School Year With Lasting Memories