Connecting with Students

Setting Goals

    Last year at this time, I introduced my class to goal setting. Although this is often done in September, I feel it is more effective in January when students have had the opportunity to received feedback in all subject areas. During our Writing Workshop, we discussed and wrote goals that were particular to […]

Starting Over

    January can feel like September. It is an opportunity to initiate new routines and expectations or inject something new into your current program. For many teachers, the last weeks of school in December before the break is challenging. Students are excited about the anticipated break; programs are interrupted with practices for concerts and […]

From Teacher Directed to Student Directed Learning

  As a new teacher or a teacher with many years experience, you hear about the importance of planning for student-directed learning in the classroom. Keeping this approach in mind as you plan in all subject areas benefits student learning and also benefits the teacher. Benefits include: Engaged students – most students want the opportunity […]

Shifting to Assessment As Learning

Mike Beetham

How did I do teacher? Did I do it right? Is this what I am supposed to do?  These are the questions that I have heard over and over my entire career. I began to wonder why is it that my students always need to have me tell them how they are doing. As my […]

Using Twitter in the Classroom

Sure, Twitter can be used to find out what Kim Kardashian had for lunch today, but it can also be used to connect classrooms, teachers, and school communities. Today I am going to talk about connecting with your families and students through Twitter. Twitter is a powerful tool if used properly. The first step is […]

Progress Reports

I can honestly say that after writing what seemed like one hundred progress reports for the first time in my career, that I am very proud of my students and myself for having had the patience to get through them all! Writing comments about a students work in 2-3 lines on a program does not […]

But Why?

Mike Beetham

This is a term that has become a part of my teaching repertoire since spending the last four summers working with teachers in Sierra Leone, Africa. There are two ways that I make use of this valuable term in my classroom practice. The first is when I am dealing with classroom management concerns in my […]

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 […]

Keeping the Wheels Turning As the Year Winds Down – Detective Stories

Yes, it’s that time of year again – summer vacation on the horizon but before getting there, you must survive the last few weeks of French with the Grade 8s.  In case you’re not familiar with that scenario, getting them to do any work can be “a most frustratingly futile experience which sees your heart […]

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