Combined Grade Classes

Triggers and Habits in Teaching Part One

Dreaded Seating Arrangements Almost every teacher I talk to says, “I have a really difficult class this year.”  The difficulties identified are most often tied to “behaviour” issues.  In my experience effective classroom “management” can be connected to dynamic programming and developing solid relationships with students. Many of us go to things like Class Dojo […]

New Ideas and Connections

This year has certainly been full of unknowns.  We are working with an expired contract.  Reorganization happens with my board late in September.  Just as I successfully created a smooth flow and eager learning with my students, my assignment was jostled around.  As a teacher, I’m flexible with changes. As a human I struggle with […]

Breakout EDU

Breakout EDU is like an Escape Room in a box. The players use teamwork and critical thinking to solve a series of challenging puzzles in order to open a locked box. The first time I experienced Breakout EDU with my students I was not the designer of the game.  Another teacher had designed the Breakouts […]

Effective Assessment and Feedback: The Single Point Rubric

I’ve never really been focused on grades in my classroom. Some educators and parents might find it shocking to read a teacher put that in print.  However, what I mean is that I seldom talk to my students about levels and letter grades.  I focus discussion around feedback, improvement, exemplars and success criteria.  When rubrics were […]

Chime and Chant Language Learning

When I was in the Faculty of Education one of my Associate Professors was Jean Malloch, author of “Chime In” and other professional teaching resources.  I learned from her the importance of rhythm and rhyme in the early acquisition of language.  I also love to read and write poetry.   While growing up my sisters […]

Create Success in Intermediate Math through Play….

“What are you doing in Math today?” the VP inquires of my grade 5,6,7 and 8 students. “We’re playing games.” “You’re playing games?” “Yes, we always play in math.” The assessments gathered from these classes provide me insight of where everyone is in their learning. My experience with assessments are that individual conversations to understand […]

Non Fiction vs. Fiction?

The majority of what I read and write daily is non fiction.  If I were to attach a statistic to it, I would hazard to say that 95% of what I read and write on a daily basis is non fiction.  I like to write poetry and narratives too but I seldom have the time […]

The Almighty Meme

My teenage son is obsessed with memes. I remember my friends and I at his age, randomly quoting lines from John Hughes or Monty Python movies which confounded the adults around us but my friends and I would collapse into hysterics.  I am now the confounded adult but instead of movies, the quotes are from internet […]

Robotics and Coding in Action

Reflections and Observations from Robotics/Coding classes… While currently working for several days on coding plus Lego robotics in three math classes: two grade 5/6s and one grade 7/8 class, I had the most interesting experience on a recent Friday. An assumption, as the technology leader and I were planning out the lessons and build, was that many […]

Introducing Coding without Robots

A few years ago when I started hearing about teachers doing coding and robotics in the classroom I dismissed it as a fad.  I didn’t understand the value of coding nor could I see how it tied to the curriculum.  However, I recognize as a professional learner my initial reaction to something radically new can sometimes […]

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