Timely Effective Feedback with Comic Building Website

I recently created an account on Bitstrips for Schools.  Bitstrips is a free website where students can create comics or other graphic texts.  Creating an account is easy.  Bitstrips provides you with an access code that you share with your students.  Students simply log in with the access code and they immediately have access to […]

Differentiating the Learning Environment

Differentiated instruction can be challenging for a teacher, new or ‘not so’ new.  There are so many ways we can differentiate our instruction that it can be overwhelming trying to get the “differentiated” ball (or should I say cube?:)) rolling.  Where do we start?    I suggest that if you are just beginning to explore ways […]

Building Community with a Student of the Week

When I was teaching pre-service and visiting teacher candidates at their practicums, I had many opportunities to see the different ways teachers create community in their classrooms.  One fourth-grade classroom teacher (I am sorry, I don’t remember the classroom teacher’s name) assigned a table in her room for a student to set up a display […]

Using Audio for Self-Assessment

I have added a new layer to the writing process in my third-grade writing workshop.  As I wrote in a past post, our writing workshop process begins with students writing in their Writer’s Notebooks.  When a writer completes a piece of writing, they then meet with their assigned writing partner and/or me for a writing […]

Writing Workshop and Technology

I am pleased with how our third grade writing-program is evolving this year.  Students are at the point in the term where they are working independently.  They know when they need to meet with their writing partner.  They know when they need their laptops.  They are learning how to publish their personal narratives using Microsoft […]

Equity and Access to Technology

I am committed to equity and inclusive practice.  Each day I “check in” with myself and ask those important questions:  Do all my students feel included in the classroom?  Have I excluded any students from the learning I have planned today?  With technology these questions are particularly important to consider.  In particular, I want to […]

Introducing a New Tool for Learning Takes Time and Patience

I have been absent from Heart and Art for too long!  I have not forgotten about our followers or my fellow Heart and Art bloggers, but I have been distracted with a new challenge.  Last spring, I successfully wrote a proposal requesting laptops for our third grade program.  In mid October the laptops arrived, and […]

Sharing Personal Narratives

I am a big fan of Lucy Calkin’s Writers’ Workshop.  I have seen it in action in many classrooms and I couldn’t wait to implement it in my own program.  I started using writer’s notebooks last year with some success, but I wasn’t satisfied with my writing program.  I decided to give it another go […]

What a Difference A Year Makes

This time last year I had just returned from a seven-year absence from the classroom.  During the seven years I was working in various centrally assigned positions, I had many opportunities to visit K-12 classrooms across the Greater Toronto Area.  You could imagine my excitement!  I observed many effective lessons and teaching strategies, classroom set-ups […]

Another good resource for teaching the Arts curriculum

Some time ago I shared a great website resource for  drama and dance lessons and units- http://code.on.ca/resource I have another favourite on line resource created specifically for Ontario teachers. Learning Through the Arts hosts dance, drama, media arts and visual arts lessons based on the revised Arts curriculum for Ontario teachers.  I like that I am […]

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