Reflect, Create, and Celebrate

These are the words that I chant as the end of the school year draws near in June. It is a challenging time, unlike the busy planning and organizing needed to set the pace in September. The days now feel longer and there seems less content to cover, as it was mostly completed in time for […]

Addressing Equity

The elementary school that I teach at is a K-8 school with approximately 540 students. It has grown over the century with new additions, since its original build in 1923. I have only known the school for the past three years that I have been teaching there. So I consider the school to be diverse […]

Assessment for Inquiry Projects

Teachers are encouraged to use inquiry in all subject areas. Using inquiry is not necessarily a set of steps to follow or instruct, but an approach to guide student learning. It usually results in greater engagement and can easily be differentiated to individuals and groups. What is often the biggest challenge for teachers is the assessment piece. […]

Technology and Social Media for Communication

For years I have maintained a class website. I found as parents became more tech-savvy, they enjoyed seeing the photos of student learning and reading about what was happening in the classroom. This seemed more timely, environmental and cost-effective than a monthly newsletter (as I was in a community that all parents had access to a personal […]

Wellness in the Classroom

Wellness is an important focus for our grade 6/7 classroom and is also a hot topic school and board wide. It encompasses so much of what we do and who we are that it can be difficult to create a specific lesson for “wellness.” In The Heart and Art of Teaching and Learning book, it […]

Setting Goals

    Last year at this time, I introduced my class to goal setting. Although this is often done in September, I feel it is more effective in January when students have had the opportunity to received feedback in all subject areas. During our Writing Workshop, we discussed and wrote goals that were particular to […]

Starting Over

    January can feel like September. It is an opportunity to initiate new routines and expectations or inject something new into your current program. For many teachers, the last weeks of school in December before the break is challenging. Students are excited about the anticipated break; programs are interrupted with practices for concerts and […]

Teaching Math

    I have always considered myself more of an “English Language” teacher. So, when I moved into the junior and intermediate classroom, I felt less confident in my abilities to teach math. When planning for the year, I surveyed some other junior/intermediate teachers for recommended resources. And when planning for the classroom environment, I […]

From Teacher Directed to Student Directed Learning

  As a new teacher or a teacher with many years experience, you hear about the importance of planning for student-directed learning in the classroom. Keeping this approach in mind as you plan in all subject areas benefits student learning and also benefits the teacher. Benefits include: Engaged students – most students want the opportunity […]

Reporting Time

  It is that time again, or maybe the first time for you – writing reports. It seems to loom over us as the due date for reports approaches. Yet, it isn’t always as insurmountable as it seems. Here are some tips for assessing, organizing, and preparing reports: Create at-a-glance observation pages. These can be […]

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