Combined Grade Classes

Introducing Coding without Robots

A few years ago when I started hearing about teachers doing coding and robotics in the classroom I dismissed it as a fad.  I didn’t understand the value of coding nor could I see how it tied to the curriculum.  However, I recognize as a professional learner my initial reaction to something radically new can sometimes […]

Tools and Resources for Math Talks

One of the reasons that I spent so many years teaching the primary grades is that teaching math to older students terrified me.  Growing up I struggled with math.  I changed schools in the middle of my grade three year and missed a great deal of multiplication and division instruction which haunted me for the […]

Why Coding is Important Part One

I consider myself a fairly techie teacher.  However, until recently I hadn’t really tried my hand at coding or robotics.  Well, I had, but I had lost interest as I quickly felt as though I was out of my depth.  So, I did what I always do when I really want to learn something about […]

Flexible Classroom/Schedule a huge success!

The other day in my grade 4/5 class I decided to try a flexible schedule day where students would have the list of subjects available to them on the board with specific tasks under each subject. This is how the day unfolded. Students entered the room after French and were confused by the fact that […]

Deep Learning in Inquiry (Part 2)

In reading part one of my inquiry blog, one might think, “That’s all lots of fun, but building a bee house isn’t exactly something that I can write on the report card.”  You would be absolutely right.  The learning is imbedded in the exciting things.  It is intentional and it is authentic.  Connecting with a […]

Free Creation Apps to Show Student Thinking

I was asked to present a workshop about using technology in the Primary grades over a year ago and got into a debate with the Principal at the host school about apps.  The Principal was quite excited about the apps that he intended to purchase for his teachers to use with their students and he […]

The Virtues of Non Fiction Reading and Writing – Part 2

Our Journey We began by identifying the books in our book bags as fiction or nonfiction.  The students justified how they knew if a book was fiction or nonfiction.  In small groups the students compiled lists of nonfiction text features that they noticed in their stack of chosen books.  As a class we went through the […]

The Virtues of Non Fiction Reading and Writing – Part 1

Many years ago at a Reading for the Love of It Conference, I listened to author and educator Tony Stead speak about the virtues of teaching non-fiction reading and writing in the elementary grades. It was an “ah-ha” moment for me as an educator. As an adult the majority of the text that we interact with […]

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