Classroom set up

Our Classroom Voice

At the start of September our classroom looked bare and generic. Although a few motivational posters would have provided some aesthetic visuals to liven the room up, I refrained. Instead, I waited to see how student voice and interest would fill the wall space. In only one month, our room is taking shape with student […]

Adjustments in September

  With all the plans we make for those first days and weeks in September, it is worth being open to making adjustments, for your benefit and the benefit of the students. Here are some examples of how I have adjusted the environment and the program in the first few weeks: I have changed the […]

Backward Planning To A Classroom Community

Mike Beetham

I would like to take a few lines to introduce myself to new readers or re-acquaint myself to regular bloggers. My name is Mike Beetham and I am entering into my 30th exciting year of teaching and look forward to the learning opportunities that will take place for me as I continually strive to enhance […]

Care for Materials

When reading Mike’s blog entry “I Lost my Pencil” I was struck with how I have struggled with the same dilemma this year. Coming from a Kindergarten class I was comfortable being a “Materials Manager” for the classroom. All the materials were shared and they were intentionally presented in an inviting way to encourage use, […]

I Lost My Pencil

Mike Beetham

If I had a dollar for every time I heard ‘I lost my pencil. I don’t have an eraser.” I would, well I wouldn’t be blogging about it. This is just one of many ways that off task time takes away from instructional focus. Over the last several years I have experimented with a communal […]

Reaching All Learners – Flexibility in Core French Class

Out of all the challenges you are confronted with as a teacher, it seems to me that one of the most difficult of all is making sure that you can meet the needs of all of your students (simultaneously!). Everything else seems to hinge on this; if your students can function/are sufficiently challenged, they are […]

Top Ten for Maintaining Classroom Community

The other day one of my less participatory students described our classroom as “welcoming” in his writing journal. I was pleasantly surprised by his point of view and reflected on what might make it a positive space him and his fellow students. Here is a list of what actions, arrangements, and routines contribute to our […]

Preparing for the First Day

This year I will be moving classrooms and divisions. Teaching a grade 5/6 class at the other end of school from the Kindergarten section will be a big change for me and also for my students. I am sure they will be looking for glimpses of the “Kindergarten Teacher” that they saw in the halls […]

Reading in Kindergarten

Literacy is woven into our day. We do not have “literacy centres”, but we do have learning centres that include literacy. We have shared reading, independent reading, formal writing times that look like a Writer’s Workshop, and purposeful writing that happens around the classroom such as writing cards, letters, making books and recording observations. There […]

Teaching on the Run

I have recently returned from mat leave to my usual position of Core French Teacher in Grades 7 and 8 (not easy to get out of that one…) but this time with a major change which has greatly impacted my job – no classroom. For the past 10 years, I have always had the luxury of […]

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