Reading Response Journals

During parent-teacher interviews this year, there were a number of parents asking for homework. Now, if you know me, you know my thoughts on homework – it’s a waste of time! Ok…before getting upset with me, please hear me out. A child either understands a concept or they don’t. Without guidance and specific support, sending […]

Stay Home Activities for Kids

Picture of my kids (at 9 & 11 years old) being “bored” Upon hearing that my students could be at home for up to 3 weeks due to an “extended March Break”, I started putting a list together of “kid” things to do. Once my students discovered I was writing this list, they gave me […]

The Fundamentals of Teaching Balanced Math

Balanced math programs are not something new. Balanced math programs have always taught the fundamentals of math. Many years ago, the board I teach for released an excellent poster outlining their approach to balanced math. The poster consisted of the importance of teaching: attitudes to math, approaches to instruction/assessment, teaching through problem solving, purposeful practice, […]

Does Homework Work?

The Purpose and Politics of Homework   After teaching for over 18 years, one topic which is frequently addressed in parent/teacher interviews is homework. Often parents see homework as being critical to academic success. It’s a topic often debated and never really resolved, even for me as a teacher and as a parent. In my […]

The H word

Homework (shudder). It’s like two perfectly decent four letter words have conspired to become super villainous by joining forces. For most students, it’s part of a nightly ritual. I get it. My parents used it as a polygraph test, of sorts when I was younger, by asking the same question after school each day. “Did you do […]

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 […]

You Don’t Give Homework?!

I think I might be the queen of unpopular opinions when it comes to my teaching philosophy. If you were feeling scandalized by my refusal to acknowledge holidays in my classroom, this post might not be for you. If you think spelling tests and math practice sheets are awesome, this post is definitely not for […]

Coping With Students on Vacation

At least once a year, I am asked by families to provide work for a student who will be missing several days while on vacation. When I first started teaching, I found myself spending hours preparing heaps of work to cover every single subject the child would miss, preparing packets of math work, French language […]

Homework – how much is too much?

Some teachers don’t give any homework, some give lots! There are lots of schools of thought on homework and if it is necessary, if it is valuable, if it serves a purpose, etc. I have had classes that had weekly homework for the whole year, and I have had classes that didn’t get homework once. […]

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 […]

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