What’s Your Thing?

The beginning of the school year always feels so hopeful and the thought of getting to know a whole new group of children is very exciting! This year, I decided to take on a new angle to my usual “Identity” theme by helping my Grade 4 students to identify what their “thing” could be. It […]

What’s Working

There is nothing like the gift of time. I so look forward to long weekends, not just because I can spend extra time with my family, or catch up on sleep, but also because it gives me time to reflect. I made a few changes in my classroom after March Break and it seemed like […]

Kings of Writing

Last year, when it was time to sign up for extracurricular activities, I chose to run a junior Boys’ Writing club. Sometimes I find writing such a challenge for students. They struggle with how to make it “look right” and when I explain that spelling and neatness do not have to be the main foci, […]

The Peace Tree

Recently, for Remembrance Day, I contemplated how to help my students understand the meaning of this solemn occasion. My class is made up of students from India, Pakistan, Somalia, Czech Republic, Afghanistan and Slovakia to name a few. Through several discussions, I learned that their understanding of war from their homelands seemed different than what […]

Talking and Listening Chairs

As I look back on this past week, I realize that I spent very little time teaching curriculum and more time working on life skills. I have two choices at this point. I could think, “Oh wow, I’m really far behind!” or “I’ve made a huge investment that I hope will pay off in the […]

A Little Perspective

This past summer, my family and I spent 6 weeks in India. Apart from the wonderful moments we enjoyed with family and the extraordinary travels we embarked on, there was one experience that helped us all gain a little perspective.   Our son, Sunjay, turned 12 in June and decided that in lieu of gifts, […]

Themes As the Driving Force

While there are some conflicting opinions about the use of themes in teaching, I have found that they are extremely powerful tools we can use to help our students connect their world to curriculum subjects. I began my school year with the theme of Identity, so my Grade 4 students could know more about who […]

What’s the noise all about?

How much talk is acceptable in a classroom setting? Or more importantly, how much talk is acceptable in your classroom setting? We all have different beliefs about teaching and learning and this is reflected in what our classrooms look like and sound like. Just by walking down the hall at your school, you may have noticed differences […]

Preparing students for their generation

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how much I count on technology on a daily basis. There’s a mental checklist running through my mind before the day even begins. Laptop for note- taking, check. iPhone with recorded message for students, check. SMART Board lesson set up, check. Most recently, I’ve added the best […]

Are We Open?

Reading Samantha’s post about interviews and Tina’s post about co-teaching brings to mind a recurring theme I feel I’m living: teaching is about being open to partnerships. There are many different ways we can show we are open and they may be as simple as: -keeping our classroom door open to welcome others -walking our […]

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