Learning About Your Students

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 […]

Cultivating a culture of creativity

Recently, I was asked to explain my vision on how to cultivate a culture of creativity in the classroom. After a few moments of reflection came this response. From the moment that a student enters our classroom fostering a culture of creativity requires 3 key things; fearlessness, fluidity, and failure. IMO, these 3 are inextricably linked in my […]

Helping Children with FASD in Your Classroom

Many years ago, when I was in Teacher’s College, I did my practicum in what we could call today a ‘systems’ class. I worked with several students with Down’s Syndrome, a few with non-specific developmental challenges as well as some students who were identified as having Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (now called Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder). […]

Options

My grade five class is almost done their perimeter and area unit. At the close of this unit, I was having trouble deciding what the best option would be, a project or a test. I decided to present both options to the class and then let them select which one they should do. I then […]

Student surveys

If you haven’t had your students use google forms, the survey creator on google drive, then you must! Students will have the chance to create online surveys and administer them to anyone they want. We took our data management project to whole new heights when they created a survey for a certain grade to answer. […]

Getting some perspective

The first time I really became aware that I was not in control of how other people saw the world was over 25 years ago when my mother was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s at the age of 60. Before she got sick, like most families we would work together as a unit, going through […]

Ontario Student Record Search

Wow, we are already into the second month of this school year and I am not sure I really know my students very well yet. I have a working idea of who they are as students and as people but need to gather more information to help me with my programming. That is where using […]

Homework or No Homework?

This is a question that I have asked myself over and over. At different phases of my career I have given myself different answers ranging from they must have homework because that is what good teachers do, to homework is a vehicle that creates problems and turmoil for the families of my students and thus […]

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