Differentiated Instruction

Keeping it fresh.

As of the end of February, it is apparent to no one in Ontario that Spring is just around the corner. Judging by the blankets of snow and recent school bus cancellations, winter continues to disrupt and annoy us with the same creative sadism as a government hell-bent on destroying public education. Despite the stark […]

Class Size Matters: Then and Now

As I look back on my 1973/1974 grade 5 classroom of 29 students, there are significant differences in how we were taught. Teacher Qualifications: Our teacher did not have a university degree and only one year of teachers’ training. (I looked her up). Today’s teachers must complete a 4 year university degree and two years […]

Checklists and Independent Fridays

When I first started teaching grade eight, by Fridays I often found that only a few of my students were handing things in. It was frustrating as many students by the end of the week couldn’t remember what was due or what they had or hadn’t completed. Some actually forgot and some just pretended…it was […]

Collaborative Inquiry Celebration

The other day, many teachers from across my school board gathered together to share with other educators how their year long inquiry project went. As I have mentioned in previous posts, mine was about starting our own business as a class and inspiring my students through leadership. I shared with the other educators these successful […]

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 […]

Smaller Class Sizes Matter for Kids

As I started researching smaller class sizes, my Google search made it evident that smaller class sizes are significantly better … for students in private schools. Private schools use small class sizes to sell their product. They also get to pick who will be in their classes and who will be in their schools. With […]

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 […]

Taking the time to collaborate and learn how to bridge the gap

Once a month, my colleagues and I go to a highschool to look at a math sample from each of our “marker students”. There are a group of about ten of us which is made up of highschool teachers, elementary teachers and math facilitators. We take time to identify what the student knows, what they […]

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 […]

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