Modern Learning

Free Creation Apps to Show Student Thinking

I was asked to present a workshop about using technology in the Primary grades over a year ago and got into a debate with the Principal at the host school about apps.  The Principal was quite excited about the apps that he intended to purchase for his teachers to use with their students and he […]

The Virtues of Non Fiction Reading and Writing – Part 2

Our Journey We began by identifying the books in our book bags as fiction or nonfiction.  The students justified how they knew if a book was fiction or nonfiction.  In small groups the students compiled lists of nonfiction text features that they noticed in their stack of chosen books.  As a class we went through the […]

The destination

This is the companion post to The drive shared on December 30, 2017. I wrote it because trips are always more fun with a partner. When I was in grade school, there always seemed to be one adult whose job it was to ask students, “What do want to be when you grow up?” For some reason, this was more […]

The drive

Hands up if you’ve ever wondered what goes on in the minds of the drivers on the road around you? Recent commutes to school and to shopping feel more like scenes out of a Mad Max movie, except with snow storms instead of sand storms. Vehicles speeding, tailgating, weaving, cutting one another off, and then there were some […]

Learning to swim

I remember laughing when our teacher taught us that fish swim in schools. You know how kindergarten students think, right? Naturally, I wondered which classroom at my school held the aquarium? Would dolphins be there too? Then came the cruelest lesson of all; dolphins are not fish. Why was I even there? All these years later, I understand […]

Call the cops

Call the cops I’m guilty, and intend to re-offend. I will not be pleading innocent or apologizing either. So call the cops because I confess to caring about the well being of my students. And I think there are other recidivists like me out there. Yet, how would we know since so many educators spend their time siloed […]

Finding Balance in a Digital World

When I first began teaching, over 20 years ago, I spent a lot of personal money on “resources”.  In teacher’s college I worked part time at The Teacher’s Store and spent the majority of my paycheque on black line master books, “units” and teacher’s guides, which took up space on my book shelves and in […]

On track

A couple of years ago,  I shared a post titled Not feeling it today. It was a response to the highs and lows experienced in my life as an educator.  The post’s banner image captured a lighthearted take on our profession in a simple sentence. It read, “Students: If you ever want to know what a teacher’s […]

The Groove

This is my follow up post to Am I Teaching in a Rut Without offending your musical sensibilities, I want those who might have been singing Madonna’s Get into the Groove, to turn it off of their mental playlist for a few minutes, and spin Stevie Wonder’s Higher Ground instead. It’s OK, if you have both battling it out in your brain. I […]

Cultivating a culture of creativity

Recently, I was asked to explain my vision on how to cultivate a culture of creativity in the classroom. After a few moments of reflection came this response. From the moment that a student enters our classroom fostering a culture of creativity requires 3 key things; fearlessness, fluidity, and failure. IMO, these 3 are inextricably linked in my […]

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