Challenging Topics

Emotions, Context and the Reluctant Writer

One of the biggest challenges I face is getting my students to enjoy and take risks with writing. Too often they get bogged down with the fear of not knowing what to write or nervous about experimenting with vocabulary they do not know how to spell. There are two critical approaches I take in helping […]

Am I teaching in a rut?

It’s March, and things are changing – again. The birds now welcome me to school most mornings with their spirited songs. Not to be outdone, Winter still attempts to poison as many perfectly sunny seasonal days with its cold, wind, and snow. Preparing for outside supervision has required that I keep all outdoor gear at the ready for another […]

Balance

Have you ever been driving along and all of a sudden you hear a low chime and look down to notice your fuel gauge has lit up and you are in desperate need of a fill up? Well, I can truly tell you this last week was just that feeling. It was like I was […]

Who? What? Where?

One of the anchor charts in my classroom states that Reading is… Remembering and Understanding. This is what I use to help students understand that good reading is so much more than word decoding. In my classroom I am often faced with trying to help students who have difficulty in their reading comprehension. They lack […]

Painting with the same brush.

Underlying An artist was preparing to paint one day. First, she stretched and secured her canvas over its wooden frame. The artist continued by arranging her brushes, planning a colour scheme, and then by setting up her supplies. Finally, it was time to ponder her subject forever to be captured in a moment of time and occupied space – where her vision would […]

Meet the teacher night

Tonight was open house at my school and as usual parents wanted to know how their son or daughter were performing. This is always an interesting question to answer because parents want to know about math and language and I want to tell about how they are getting along with others and how polite and […]

The H word

Homework (shudder). It’s like two perfectly decent four letter words have conspired to become super villainous by joining forces. For most students, it’s part of a nightly ritual. I get it. My parents used it as a polygraph test, of sorts when I was younger, by asking the same question after school each day. “Did you do […]

Start strong. Finish stronger

I write this post as a tribute and thank you to all educators who breathe inspiration into the lives of their students and into one another from September’s strong start to June’s stronger finish. This post is the completion of a promise after a response reminiscent of a rant  written to address comments in the media about educators. In the spirit […]

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