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http://teachingrocks.ca Sun, 29 Mar 2015 20:09:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.4 COMING RIGHT UP – BACK TO SCHOOL SALE! http://teachingrocks.ca/coming-right-back-school-sale/ http://teachingrocks.ca/coming-right-back-school-sale/#respond Sun, 03 Aug 2014 15:10:44 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=3184 COMING RIGHT UP – BACK TO SCHOOL SALE!

As August starts to roll around, we as teachers begin thinking about our classroom and resources, some of the things we want to do the first day, week and so forth! What better way to get some great new ideas … Continue reading →

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COMING RIGHT UP – BACK TO SCHOOL SALE!

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As August starts to roll around, we as teachers begin thinking about our classroom and resources, some of the things we want to do the first day, week and so forth! What better way to get some great new ideas then to head on over to Teachers Pay Teachers to check out some of the great resources and school items that will make planning and heading back to school that much easier!!

Now is the best time to head on over to Teachers Pay Teachers as they are offering a SITE WIDE SALE for all your purchases beginning August 4-5! You definitely don’t want to miss out! Be sure to check it out and use the code BTS14 to take adantage of the some of the greatest deals!!

In addition, as we all know just how important it is to stock up on great resources as you head back to school, we are offering an ADDITIONAL 15% OFF your items!! Just click on the link below to check out some really great products that will start you off in September, and keep you organized all year long!!

ADDITIONAL 15% OFF AT OUR TEACHERS PAY TEACHERS STORE!!! DON’T MISS OUT!!

If Don’t have a Teachers Pay Teachers account? Get one now! It’s completely free and you’ll be able to purchase great teacher resources written by teachers, for teachers! Some of the best resources we use in our classrooms were purchased from TPT!

We’re looking forward to beginning a new school year and with that will be working on adding new products to our store, as well as, great resources for free here on our website!! Definitely check back for new updates and don’t forget to share our page with your colleagues!

 

Loriana, Elita and Lisa

 

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Mean Stinks: Bullying Awareness Posters http://teachingrocks.ca/mean-stinks-bullying-awareness-posters/ http://teachingrocks.ca/mean-stinks-bullying-awareness-posters/#respond Thu, 15 May 2014 02:04:54 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=3170 Mean Stinks: Bullying Awareness Posters

We are firm believers that we are all a community of learners. We work together and improve our practice on a daily basis. When we find resources that are useful and done really well, we utilize, share and discuss them. … Continue reading →

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Mean Stinks: Bullying Awareness Posters

We are firm believers that we are all a community of learners. We work together and improve our practice on a daily basis. When we find resources that are useful and done really well, we utilize, share and discuss them.

I recently came across a wonderful set of posters on bullying. They are ready to use and absolutely free! Get them here!

After a little research, I found a fantastic website where teachers and schools post pictures, initiatives within their classrooms, schools and communities on how they are addressing bullying.Is The website is MeanStinks.com and there is a plethora of resources, ideas and activities!

I particularly love the paint your pinky blue campaign from Secret and promoted by Demi Lovato.  Although it has been around for just over a year, I would love to start it at my school!Billboard_Mean-Stinks_Follow-Us_Large

 

The website has over 2,000,000 followers and growing every day.   I am inspired to see such great content and initiatives from all around. Join in and let us know what initiatives you have in your classrooms, schools and communities!

For other great resources see our previous posts on Bullying and its Many Forms, The Tuesday 12: 12 Fantastic Books to discuss Bullying with your students, Bullying: Reporting vs. Tattling.  

 

 

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Article Review: “Turn and Talk: One Powerful Practice, So Many Uses” by West and Cameron http://teachingrocks.ca/article-review-turn-and-talk-one-powerful-practice-so-many-uses-by-west-and-cameron/ http://teachingrocks.ca/article-review-turn-and-talk-one-powerful-practice-so-many-uses-by-west-and-cameron/#respond Sun, 19 Jan 2014 17:26:02 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=3020 Warning: mysqli_num_fields() expects parameter 1 to be mysqli_result, boolean given in /home/content/58/10437358/html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 3182

Article Review: “Turn and Talk: One Powerful Practice, So Many Uses” by West and Cameron

Did you see my summer reading list? No, it wasn’t filled with thrilling fiction (though I did try to squeeze that in!), but excellent math resources!  Since I love all things Lucy West, one of the first things I read … Continue reading →

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Article Review: “Turn and Talk: One Powerful Practice, So Many Uses” by West and Cameron

Did you see my summer reading list? No, it wasn’t filled with thrilling fiction (though I did try to squeeze that in!), but excellent math resources!  Since I love all things Lucy West, one of the first things I read was: “Turn and Talk: One Powerful Practice, So Many Uses” by Lucy West and Antonia Cameron (2011).

Here’s a little background on the topic of academic discourse, according to West and Cameron (2011):

  • student discourse is vital for learning, but it is not seen in classrooms regularly (p. 1)
  • “Research from around the world validates the importance of dialogue as a key avenue for learning content with understanding and developing reasoning, social skills, and intelligence” (p. 1)
  • Douglas Reeves, Richard Allington, Vygotsky, and Robin Alexander have “linked academic success with the capacity to engage in conversation and to as and answer questions in full sentences” (p. 1)
  • it is not easy for teachers to engage students in rigorous discourse for a few reasons: the content of the lesson is lacking (i.e. there is nothing to talk about), the lesson is too factual or skills based, the lesson is not based on any “big ideas”, there is not enough time for discussion, and too much time is spend practicing a skill (p. 1-2).

So what are the benefits of “turn & talk”?  West and Cameron have eleven benefits, but I think the three most relevant to my teaching practice are:

  • “Develops capacity to articulate an idea and use new terminology”: this is a key point for me because I find that students are lacking math terms. By talking to a partner during math lessons, students are able to improve and broaden their math vocabulary.
  • “Develops the idea that the source of power is in each learner”: it is so important for students to understand that their voices, ideas, and contributions are essential to a math lesson.  They are the source of power during the lesson and their contributions are essential.
  • “Gets at least 50 per cent of the students talking in a given lesson”: I have several students in my class who love to participate during lessons and discussions, but there are many students who would rather sit back and just listen.  Turn & talk helps me get those students involved in the discussion and helps them build confidence during math lessons.

So when is it a good time for “Turn & Talk”?  West and Cameron provide 10 clues that show student discourse would be beneficial at that time, but for me the following two really stand out:

  • “Preparing to write”: for our numeracy learning cycle, we are focusing on the analysis of the problem (using our GRASS acronym), where students need to explain their thought process as they tackle the problem.  We are asking students to take us step-by-step through their though process.  By having students turn and talk with a partner first, we have found that the analysis of the problem is much more detailed, in-depth, and accurate.
  • “Teaching each other”: it is such a pivotal and powerful moment in a lesson when students are able to teach one another.  It may be that only some students understand the concept enough to teach a peer, or it may be that many students understand the concept and can show their understanding by explaining their ideas to their classmates.  Student discourse would be a great way to review the highlights and summaries of a lesson and to check for understanding. I used this approach during my measurement unit when students had to discuss the various area activities we were solving.  It worked out very well and it had everyone talking!

I highly recommend reading the article by West and Cameron.  It is an essential read for any math teacher who wants to improve both the quantity and the quality of student discourse in the math classroom.

We have been using this strategy during our TLLP math journal project and we have noticed an improvement in student problem solving and analysis. By having students turn and talk with a peer, they are showing how well they are attaining the concept and then have a better understanding of how to approach a problem and solve it successfully.

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Chris Bosh on Computer Coding http://teachingrocks.ca/chris-bosh-computer-coding/ http://teachingrocks.ca/chris-bosh-computer-coding/#respond Sat, 02 Nov 2013 16:34:40 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2994 Warning: mysqli_num_fields() expects parameter 1 to be mysqli_result, boolean given in /home/content/58/10437358/html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 3182

Chris Bosh on Computer Coding

It’s been a crazy two months of school.  I am feeling it, how about you? No matter how organized we try to be, things get out of hand and we are forever trying to catch up.  I must apologize to … Continue reading →

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Chris Bosh on Computer Coding

Computer CodingIt’s been a crazy two months of school.  I am feeling it, how about you? No matter how organized we try to be, things get out of hand and we are forever trying to catch up.  I must apologize to you all; we’ve been absent far too long from our blog.  We are sorry.

Today, I want to get right back into the swing of things.  I recently read an article on Chris Bosh (NBA player for the Miami Heat) writing about why coding is an important skill students need to learn.  I had written about this back in March of this year, Coding: An Essential Skill.  In that post, I included a great video and a link on how to incorporate coding into the elementary classroom.  Chris Bosh is in that video too, but he now has written an essay for WIRED magazine.  This is a wonderful way to peak the interest of our students.  A popular NBA player known by many, leading the way to make students understand the world around them!  Take a look and let us know what you think.

Follow the link for the article.

Here’s Why You Should Learn to Code by Chris Bosh via WIRED

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Getting You Ready for Back to School with Scholar’s Choice http://teachingrocks.ca/getting-you-ready-for-back-school-with-scholars-choice/ http://teachingrocks.ca/getting-you-ready-for-back-school-with-scholars-choice/#respond Tue, 27 Aug 2013 12:20:25 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2987 Getting You Ready for Back to School with Scholar’s Choice

As you know, we were given the wonderful opportunity to become Scholar’s Choice Content Champions on their Teacher Blog! Here’s our most recent article: Back to Cool (Part 1): 12 Creative Community Building Activities for the First Week where we … Continue reading →

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Getting You Ready for Back to School with Scholar’s Choice

As you know, we were given the wonderful opportunity to become Scholar’s Choice Content Champions on their Teacher Blog!

Here’s our most recent article: Back to Cool (Part 1): 12 Creative Community Building Activities for the First Week where we feature six engaging, fun, and creative activities to welcome your students to your classroom.

Be sure to try out these fantastic ideas with your students!!

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Accountable Talk in the Math Classroom: Discussion Starter Prompts! http://teachingrocks.ca/accountable-talk-the-math-classroom-discussion-starter-prompts/ http://teachingrocks.ca/accountable-talk-the-math-classroom-discussion-starter-prompts/#respond Sun, 25 Aug 2013 18:15:00 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2982 Accountable Talk in the Math Classroom: Discussion Starter Prompts!

As I’ve written before, I’m in the process of creating a math focus wall for my classroom which will be centred around my SMART Board.  I’ve found a couple of inspiration pics on Pinterest, but I’m still working on a … Continue reading →

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Accountable Talk in the Math Classroom: Discussion Starter Prompts!

As I’ve written before, I’m in the process of creating a math focus wall for my classroom which will be centred around my SMART Board.  I’ve found a couple of inspiration pics on Pinterest, but I’m still working on a plan that will work for my students.  One of the things that I plan to include are sentence starters to help students during math discussions.

A key component of a successful mass lesson is having the students engaged in robust mathematical dialogue.  I’m a huge fan of Lucy West (check out her site if you still haven’t!) and her article “Turn and Talk: One Powerful Practice, So Many Uses” (West and Cameron), was on my summer reading list.  According to West and Cameron, “robust student academic discourse is vital for deep learning, [but] it is also a practice we see far too little of in many classrooms.”

There may be several reasons for the lack of discourse during math classes—perhaps there may not be enough time, students may not have enough to say, or students tend to lose track and start socializing.  I know that I have overheard my students discuss weekend plans when they should be discussing the methods they used to solve their math problem! All these reasons for lack of math discourse may be tied to one key component overall—students are not sure how to talk about math.  This would explain why math discourse may take up “too much time”, “just doesn’t work”, or students “lose track”.  If students knew how to talk about math, then they would have more opportunities for robust dialogue.

In order to solve this overall problem, I decided to create discussion starter prompts.  I created these on legal size paper as I will be posting them on my math focus wall on a rotating basis. Just print, laminate, and post!

math discourse cards

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Something New, Something Different – Check out ‘Simply Made by Lisa’ http://teachingrocks.ca/something-new-something-different-check-out-simply-made-lisa/ http://teachingrocks.ca/something-new-something-different-check-out-simply-made-lisa/#respond Mon, 19 Aug 2013 19:09:32 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2975 Something New, Something Different – Check out ‘Simply Made by Lisa’

Along with working on creating fantastic resources for our fellow friends here at Teaching Rocks, I have also taken interest in a new, creative and unique hobby! I have called it ‘Simply Made’ – custom made wood blocks and other … Continue reading →

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Something New, Something Different – Check out ‘Simply Made by Lisa’

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Along with working on creating fantastic resources for our fellow friends here at Teaching Rocks, I have also taken interest in a new, creative and unique hobby! I have called it ‘Simply Made’ – custom made wood blocks and other things!

Here you will find creative customized wood blocks and letters, specially designed to add character to your little one’s nursery, child’s room, as well as, other rooms in your home. They also make the perfect gift for others who may be expecting, have just had a little one, got engaged, married, accomplished something great, graduated from school, having a special birthday, a token of thanks to friends, teachers and SO much more! Simply put, these blocks and letters, among other things can be created to match any theme, print or occasion! The possibilities are truly endless!

I have also created a folder filled with personalized subway art and decorative posters to match any of your sets, or to make a special gift on it’s own!

I get special requests all the time and am happy to hear any and all of your ideas! I truly enjoy making new things and love how the projects have been coming out!

This is the best time to start looking at some new things for your classroom, which is why I decided to post today about ‘Simply Made’. I have been getting some special requests such as initials for teacher’s desks, welcome blocks, name blocks and much more! You should definitely check it out! I have a page on facebook  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Simply-Made/604769226221892 where you can take a look at all the projects I have worked on and completed so far…be sure to ‘like’ my page while you are there! I also have a board on Pinterest http://pinterest.com/papal/simply-made-by-lisa/  where you can also see the many completed projects! I would love to hear any feedback! Let me know what you think!

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Back to School – Teachers Pay Teachers SALE!!! http://teachingrocks.ca/back-school-teachers-pay-teachers-sale/ http://teachingrocks.ca/back-school-teachers-pay-teachers-sale/#respond Sun, 18 Aug 2013 03:29:22 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2972 Warning: mysqli_num_fields() expects parameter 1 to be mysqli_result, boolean given in /home/content/58/10437358/html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 3182

Back to School – Teachers Pay Teachers SALE!!!

Its that time of year already! Heading back to school! What better way to start then with a HUGE Teachers Pay Teachers Sale! Head on over to Teacher Pay Teachers for a site wide SALE for all of your purchases. Be sure … Continue reading →

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Back to School – Teachers Pay Teachers SALE!!!

Its that time of year already! Heading back to school!

What better way to start then with a HUGE Teachers Pay Teachers Sale!

Head on over to Teacher Pay Teachers for a site wide SALE for all of your purchases. Be sure to check it out! You don’t want to miss out! You only have two days! Don’t forget to use the code BTS13 at the time of purchase to make sure you are taking advantage of some of the greatest deals!

Not only is the site providing you with great deals for all your back to school items, but many stores are also discounting their products!

Check out our Teachers Pay Teachers store where we will be providing an additional 15% off your items!

Don’t miss out on this HUGE Teachers Pay Teachers sale!

Don’t have a Teachers Pay Teachers account? Get one now! It’s completely free and you’ll be able to purchase great teacher resources written by teachers and for teachers!  Some of the best resources we use in our classrooms were purchased from TPT!  You definitely don’t want to miss out!

Looking forward to beginning a new school year with each and everyone of you! Remember to share our page with your colleagues! We will definitely be adding great, new resources this school year!

Loriana, Elita and Lisa

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Designing a Math Focus Wall for Your Classroom: The Planning Stage http://teachingrocks.ca/designing-math-focus-wall-for-your-classroom-the-planning-stage/ http://teachingrocks.ca/designing-math-focus-wall-for-your-classroom-the-planning-stage/#comments Thu, 15 Aug 2013 15:58:00 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2966 Designing a Math Focus Wall for Your Classroom: The Planning Stage

Part 1: 12 Essential Components of a Math Focus Wall In Part 1 of this series, I explained how I wanted to create a math focus wall for my classroom.  I came up with 12 items that I think are … Continue reading →

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Designing a Math Focus Wall for Your Classroom: The Planning Stage

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Part 1: 12 Essential Components of a Math Focus Wall

In Part 1 of this series, I explained how I wanted to create a math focus wall for my classroom.  I came up with 12 items that I think are necessary components of a math focus wall.  Since I teach intermediate students, the math focus wall I am designing would look different than many of the primary math focus walls I have seen.

To set the scene, I have five bulletin boards at the back of my classroom.  The SMART Board covers the bottom half of the middle bulletin board.  I decided to spread out my math focus wall over the three centre bulletin boards.  Since I want to incorporate several items into my math focus wall, I really needed the space to do it justice.

So after quite a bit of copying, cropping, and pasting, here’s my plan:

Picture2

I’ve managed to include all the 12 items I had mentioned previously. These are the items that are ready to go:

  • my SMART Board is at the centre and is ready to be incorporated into my math lessons
  • on the left hand side, I have my math talk sentence starters…there are 52 sentence starters and I will be changing them on a regular basis.  They will be used to help guide students during their math discussions (I will post a link to this new product of ours soon!)
  • at the top left hand corner, the four posters help student decipher math word problems and determine which operation to use (I will post a link to this new product of ours soon!)
  • on the right hand side, our GRASS posters help students to break down word problems.  The white boxes along the poster set will show student solutions to problems we are working on…these will be changed on a regular basis as well
  • along the top of the board you’ll find our posters “What does a good mathematician do?” to help students become mathematical thinkers and apply various skills when solving problems

The items shown in white on my plan will be co-created with or created by students:

  • learning goals and success criteria will be co-created with students for each new lesson
  • the white tiles next to the GRASS posters will contain student problem solving steps

I still need to work on the following items (the items shown in blue on my plan):

  • make a sign for my math talk prompts
  • find examples of math in everyday life
  • find funny math comics
  • an eye catching border and title
  • work on key terms for each section (term: definition, diagram, examples)
  • math reflection questions for their math journals
  • challenge question of the week (University of Waterloo’s Problem of the Week and Math Circles are great resources for this)
  • and math strategy posters (e.g. work backwards, draw a picture, solve a simpler problem)

Any other suggestions? Any areas for improvement?

Tune in for more updates on my math focus wall!

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52 Science Journals…Now in a PowerPoint Version! http://teachingrocks.ca/52-science-journals-now-powerpoint-version/ http://teachingrocks.ca/52-science-journals-now-powerpoint-version/#respond Thu, 08 Aug 2013 14:55:16 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2960 52 Science Journals…Now in a PowerPoint Version!

Have you seen our 52 Science Journals Prompts? They’re an excellent and engaging way to incorporate English Language Arts in your Science classes! Now, we’ve created a PowerPoint presentation for our science journals! Still the same great content, but in … Continue reading →

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52 Science Journals…Now in a PowerPoint Version!

Have you seen our 52 Science Journals Prompts? They’re an excellent and engaging way to incorporate English Language Arts in your Science classes!

Now, we’ve created a PowerPoint presentation for our science journals! Still the same great content, but in an easy to display presentation.  Depending on your preference, you may either want to print out our original science journal prompts to create booklets for your students or you may want to display the PowerPoint presentation and have students write their journals in their notebooks or type them out.  Either way it’s a great way to get your students writing, reflecting, researching, and communicating during your science classes!

Get the original 52 Science Journal Prompts as an easy to print PDF!

Get the 52 Science Journal Prompts as an easy to display PowerPoint Presentation!

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The Tuesday 12: 12 Essential Components of a Math Focus Wall http://teachingrocks.ca/the-tuesday-12-12-essential-components-math-focus-wall/ http://teachingrocks.ca/the-tuesday-12-12-essential-components-math-focus-wall/#comments Tue, 06 Aug 2013 16:00:00 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2956 Warning: mysqli_num_fields() expects parameter 1 to be mysqli_result, boolean given in /home/content/58/10437358/html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 3182

The Tuesday 12: 12 Essential Components of a Math Focus Wall

Welcome to another edition of The Tuesday 12! I recently had a SMART Board installed in my classroom and I’d like to incorporate it in my math lessons.  Then I began to think of creating a math focus wall on … Continue reading →

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The Tuesday 12: 12 Essential Components of a Math Focus Wall

Welcome to another edition of The Tuesday 12! I recently had a SMART Board installed in my classroom and I’d like to incorporate it in my math lessons.  Then I began to think of creating a math focus wall on the bulletin boards that surround my SMART Board.  I looked through Pinterest and couldn’t really find the perfect plan (which is odd because Pinterest has everything!), but I did find one picture to use as inspiration:

Lots of great ideas for an interactive math bulletin board

(Aside: I tried linking the picture to the original source, but I can never get that page to load properly)

Based on previous experiences teaching grade 7 and 8 math, some research, and some creative thinking, I’ve come up with 12 items I’d like to include on my math focus wall.  Some things will be static, while other things will be dynamic.  This list isn’t carved in stone…until I get into my classroom at the end of August and begin to put everything together, it will be hard to imagine.

I’ve decided to turn this into a series of posts from the initial ideas to the final creation!  So join me in creating a math focus wall for my classroom and then adapt the ideas for your own grade levels!For my next post, I’ll draw some pictures to help me visualize my ideas.

math focus wall thumb

12 essential (for now…lol) components of a math focus wall:

1. A number line…really a no-brainer for a math focus wall, but it will probably be from around –45 to + 45, since integers are used throughout the grade 7 and 8 math program

2. A spot for our learning goal and success criteria which we will be co-creating with each new lesson.

3. A section with math accountable talk sentence starters (I’m working on a set now!)

4. Challenge question of the week

5. Steps to problem solving…like our lovely GRASS posters!

6. Help in decoding math word problems (e.g. multiplication-of, product, twice, times, multiple)

7. Key terms and definitions for the unit we’re working on

8. Our posters—what does a good mathematician do?

9. Different problem solving strategies (e.g. work backwards, draw a diagram)

10. Examples of math in everyday life

11. Bright and colourful parts—I’m thinking a blue or green background, a patterned border, and something really cool for the title (maybe just the word MATH done in an interesting way)

12. The SMART Board…I just need to start incorporating it into lessons regularly!

Do you have any suggestions?  Let me know! As I said before, until I can go into my classroom and begin arranging all the different sections, this list can—and most likely—will change!

Tune in next week for another edition of The Tuesday 12 and more on my math focus wall!

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52 Science Journal Prompts to Integrate Writing in the Science Classroom! Updated for 2013-2014!! http://teachingrocks.ca/52-science-journal-prompts-integrate-writing-the-science-classroom-updated-for-2013-2014/ http://teachingrocks.ca/52-science-journal-prompts-integrate-writing-the-science-classroom-updated-for-2013-2014/#comments Fri, 02 Aug 2013 14:33:45 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2947 52 Science Journal Prompts to Integrate Writing in the Science Classroom! Updated for 2013-2014!!

Sometimes it feels that no matter how well I try to organize lessons, units, and long range plans, there never appears to be enough hours in the school day to cover all the curriculum expectations!  One of the best strategies … Continue reading →

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52 Science Journal Prompts to Integrate Writing in the Science Classroom! Updated for 2013-2014!!

Sometimes it feels that no matter how well I try to organize lessons, units, and long range plans, there never appears to be enough hours in the school day to cover all the curriculum expectations!  One of the best strategies that I have learned as a teacher is to take a cross-curricular approach when planning activities, lessons, and units.  A great way to cover many English Language Arts expectations is by integrating writing into the content areas; in this case, journal writing can be integrated into the science classroom.

We’ve created a student science journal with 52 prompts to help you integrate writing in your science classes.  The journal prompts are organized by week, so the entire 2013-2014 academic year is already planned out for you!  Each journal is labeled with the corresponding week of the year, provides a prompt and space for student responses.  You can either photocopy the entire bundle for your students at the beginning of the year and work through it each week or photocopy individual weeks as you progress through the year!

The writing prompts alternate between historical events, creative responses, opinion pieces, persuasive arguments, national awareness themes, and science process skills. A blank journal page is included for you to add your own ideas as needed.

We have updated the dates on the journal pages to correspond with the 2013-2014 academic year.  We also changed the order of a couple of journal topics to correspond with changes in dates (e.g. the full moon in October is earlier this year).

If you have purchased this product already, then simply log into your Teachers Pay Teaches account and download the updated version!

If you haven’t purchased this product already, then what are you waiting for?! Just click on the link below!

science journals

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Dot Art: An easy and inexpensive art activity http://teachingrocks.ca/dot-art-easy-and-inexpensive-art-activity/ http://teachingrocks.ca/dot-art-easy-and-inexpensive-art-activity/#respond Thu, 01 Aug 2013 12:18:23 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2929 Dot Art: An easy and inexpensive art activity

As I returned to work after an extended leave, I found my students were working on an art project that was quite amazing.  My students were exceptionally engaged and they exhibited pride in creating their own masterpieces.  I thank Mr. … Continue reading →

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Dot Art: An easy and inexpensive art activity

As I returned to work after an extended leave, I found my students were working on an art project that was quite amazing.  My students were exceptionally engaged and they exhibited pride in creating their own masterpieces.  I thank Mr. Anthony Natalino (a fantastic co-worker) for implementing this activity.

Dot art entails creating a design with hole punched paper confetti.  Students are required to hole punch the paper, then apply it carefully to a sketched out design.   Student use a popsicle stick or a blunt pencil to apply the hole punched confetti onto their design.  Some students completed more than one piece of art as they enjoyed it so much.  I will definitely be utilizing Dot Art in the upcoming year!  The only material required is a variety of colored construction paper, a hole puncher, popsicle sticks or blunt pencils, a sheet of paper to sketch and apply the art to, and glue.  Super inexpensive with great results!

Find below pictures of completed projects and I am looking forward to seeing your projects as well!

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Don’t be upset by the results you didn’t get with the work you didn’t do {FREE POSTER!} http://teachingrocks.ca/dont-upset-the-results-you-didnt-get-with-the-work-you-didnt-free-poster/ http://teachingrocks.ca/dont-upset-the-results-you-didnt-get-with-the-work-you-didnt-free-poster/#respond Wed, 31 Jul 2013 21:24:00 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2941 Don’t be upset by the results you didn’t get with the work you didn’t do {FREE POSTER!}

Hello and welcome to another edition of Words to Live by Wednesdays! This week’s {FREE} poster is a all about accountability. Often, students complain about the outcome of tests, feedback from projects, and marks received on report cards.  Sometimes, the … Continue reading →

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Don’t be upset by the results you didn’t get with the work you didn’t do {FREE POSTER!}

Hello and welcome to another edition of Words to Live by Wednesdays!

This week’s {FREE} poster is a all about accountability. Often, students complain about the outcome of tests, feedback from projects, and marks received on report cards.  Sometimes, the complaints are substantiated, but more often than not, these students are upset they did not reach their goals when they really have invested minimal effort into their work. Some students are not willing to put in the time, effort, and determination to complete their work to the best of their abilities. It is important for students to understand that only through hard work and determination will they achieve their goals and reach success. If they decided to avoid studying for a test, produce a lackluster project, or submit incomplete assignments, then they are responsible for the poor marks they will receive.  By teaching students that they are responsible and accountable for their achievements, then they will begin to understand that they have the power to change their actions and reach their goals.

Just click on the image below to open up the free poster!

don't be upset poster thumbnailDon’t forget to check back next week for another free poster on Wednesday!!

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Guest Post: Producing Engaging Lesson Plans via Social Media Trends by Albert Roberts http://teachingrocks.ca/guest-post-producing-engaging-lesson-plans-via-social-media-trends-albert-roberts/ http://teachingrocks.ca/guest-post-producing-engaging-lesson-plans-via-social-media-trends-albert-roberts/#respond Sat, 27 Jul 2013 14:25:07 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2904 Warning: mysqli_num_fields() expects parameter 1 to be mysqli_result, boolean given in /home/content/58/10437358/html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 3182

Guest Post: Producing Engaging Lesson Plans via Social Media Trends by Albert Roberts

Hello readers! We have a special guest post by Albert Roberts that we thought you might like! Our students are always on social media, so why not use social media in the classroom for educational purposes?  Read on to find … Continue reading →

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Guest Post: Producing Engaging Lesson Plans via Social Media Trends by Albert Roberts

Hello readers! We have a special guest post by Albert Roberts that we thought you might like! Our students are always on social media, so why not use social media in the classroom for educational purposes?  Read on to find out how!

What are some of the ways in which we can make use of social media in the classroom? When used properly, social media can allow us to engage students with topical discussions, while getting a perspective on issues like bias and how to use different sources. One way in which we might try to use social media in productive ways for lesson planning is to look at social media trending tools that allow you to put together a lot of different responses to a subject.

Perhaps the main challenge for using social media with Middle Schoolers and other age ranges is that they’re usually already familiar with social networks, but don’t always know how to use them as part of their assignments; there’s often just too much content to sift through. Which makes social trending sites like socialmention.com so useful, as they provide a search engine where you can bring together all the times that keywords are mentioned on different social networks.

For example, run a search on World War II, and you get Twitter messages linking to recent news stories about memorials and veterans; you can also find Pinterest links to World War II books, and Twitter and other social network links to photographs. You can take a similar approach to searches on Barack Obama, or on controversial debates (although you may want to be careful not to end up with offensive material). What you have, then, is a lot of content that can be filtered and turned into examples that can be shown to students.

Bringing all the content you can find on social media together into something tangible and relevant can engage students. Social network trend searches can make older subjects more relevant, or can put current debates into a real-world context; this kind of access to debates can then be combined with other uses of social media for students, from carrying out Twitter polls to writing blogs and posting class photos.

If you’re putting together lesson plans, selecting sources from a social media trend search can lead to a series of questions and projects for students. Some areas that you might focus on include:

Debating Bias – show students examples of how a topic they’re looking at in class is being debated – what are the key arguments that are coming out, and do they reinforce or contradict what they might already know?

Relevance – discuss with your students why some social media sources are more useful than others: why is a well-researched blog better than someone making their case on Twitter? Similarly, question how far we can trust commentators’ reliability, and what sources they use to back up their arguments.

At the same time, social media trend searches can be discussed more directly with students as a way for them to carry out work in their own time. Look at what results they would receive if they searched on keywords when in class, and why what they find could be seen as useful or not for assignments.

Social media trends can be an excellent way to identify relevant and topical debates beyond your usual sources, and can make students more aware of how they can improve their knowledge online. However, a big part of using these resources should be about instructing students on bias, and how far they can trust different sources.

Author Bio:  Albert Roberts is a teacher in the UK and loves thinking of ways to improve student engagement via social media and technology.  He would love to see more inspirational teachers signing up for English teacher jobs in London and improve engagement with this vital subject. He’s an advocate of sharing information amongst teacher communities.

 

 

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What Does a Good Mathematician Do? A Seven Poster Set! http://teachingrocks.ca/what-does-good-mathematician-seven-poster-set/ http://teachingrocks.ca/what-does-good-mathematician-seven-poster-set/#respond Thu, 25 Jul 2013 14:24:36 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2907 What Does a Good Mathematician Do? A Seven Poster Set!

After the success of our six poster set “What Does a Good Scientist Do?”, we created a corresponding math poster set! This bright and colorful seven poster set helps teachers introduce math process skills to their students. The following math … Continue reading →

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What Does a Good Mathematician Do? A Seven Poster Set!

After the success of our six poster set “What Does a Good Scientist Do?”, we created a corresponding math poster set!

This bright and colorful seven poster set helps teachers introduce math process skills to their students. The following math process skills are included: problem solving, reasoning and proving, selecting tools and strategies, reflecting, connecting, representing, and communicating. Each poster provides prompts and keywords to help students understand the skill.

We have been doing a lot of research in order to begin working on our TLLP project this upcoming school year.  One of the key components of our project is getting students to think mathematically and communicate their ideas.  Having students learn these seven key mathematical process skills will be instrumental in improving their understanding of math concepts.

An excellent addition to your classroom! Just click on the image below!

thumbnail mathematician posters

And here’s a link to our science skills posters!

what does a good scientist do badge

 

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The Tuesday 12: 12 Essential Resources for Math Teachers to Read http://teachingrocks.ca/the-tuesday-12-12-essential-resources-for-math-teachers-read/ http://teachingrocks.ca/the-tuesday-12-12-essential-resources-for-math-teachers-read/#respond Tue, 23 Jul 2013 22:15:00 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2903 The Tuesday 12: 12 Essential Resources for Math Teachers to Read

Welcome to another addition of The Tuesday 12! Since Lisa, Elita, and I will be working on a TLLP math project this year, we will be using our blog to review useful resources, the progression of our project, challenges to … Continue reading →

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The Tuesday 12: 12 Essential Resources for Math Teachers to Read

Welcome to another addition of The Tuesday 12! Since Lisa, Elita, and I will be working on a TLLP math project this year, we will be using our blog to review useful resources, the progression of our project, challenges to overcome, and successes we achieve.

The following list of resources is on my summer reading list (haha…it seems to be quite an endeavour, but I hope to check off as many as possible).  If you’ve read any of these resources or if there are others you can recommend, please leave your comments below!

1. Good Questions: Great Ways to Differentiate Mathematics Instruction (K – 8) by Marian Small

2. Turn and Talk: One Powerful Practice, So Many Uses (2011) by Lucy West and Antonia Cameron

3. Communication in the Mathematics Classroom (September 2010) by the Ontario Ministry of Education-Capacity Building Series

4. Writing in Math Class: A Resource for Grades 2-8 (1995) Marilyn Burns

Writing in Math Class: A Resource for Grades 2–8

5. Big Ideas and Understandings as the Foundation for Elementary and Middle School Mathematics (NCTM Journal, Spring-Summer 2005) by Charles Randall

6. Teaching Student-Centred Mathematics (2013) by John A. Van de Walle, Jennifer M. Bay-Williams, LouAnn H. Lovin, and Karen S. Karp.

7. What Great Teachers Do Differently: 17 Things That Matter Most (2011) by Todd Whitaker

8. Math Sense: The Look, Sound, and Feel of Effective Instruction (2012) by Christine Moynihan

9. Small Steps, Big Changes: Eight Essential Practices for Transforming Schools Through Mathematics (2012) by Chris Confer and Marco Ramirez

10. What’s Your Math Problem? Getting to the Heart of Teaching Problem Solving (2011) by Linda Gojak and Laney Sammons

11. Supporting Numeracy (Special Edition #28) by the Ontario Ministry of Education—Capacity Building Series

12. Asking Effective Questions (Special Edition #21) by the Ontario Ministry of Education—Capacity Building Series

 

 

Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links

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Words to Live by Wednesday: Mother Teresa http://teachingrocks.ca/words-live-wednesday-mother-teresa/ http://teachingrocks.ca/words-live-wednesday-mother-teresa/#respond Wed, 17 Jul 2013 17:57:29 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2898 Words to Live by Wednesday: Mother Teresa

Hello everyone! I hope that you’re enjoying your summer break! In preparation for all the classroom redecorating we will all soon be doing (I know I’m already drawing plans and making notes!), here’s a poster for your classroom that has … Continue reading →

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Words to Live by Wednesday: Mother Teresa

Hello everyone! I hope that you’re enjoying your summer break! In preparation for all the classroom redecorating we will all soon be doing (I know I’m already drawing plans and making notes!), here’s a poster for your classroom that has a truly inspirational message.  A colleague of mine always has this quote displayed in her classroom and I wanted to share it here. Our students deal with so many issues both inside and out of the classroom.  It is very easy to react to these challenging situations in a negative or unproductive way; however, we can encourage our students to look within themselves to find the courage and motivation to respond in a positive manner.

As usual, just click on the image below to get your {FREE} classroom poster!

mother teresa thumbnail

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Abstract Art http://teachingrocks.ca/abstract-art-2/ http://teachingrocks.ca/abstract-art-2/#respond Mon, 03 Jun 2013 14:00:38 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2858 Warning: mysqli_num_fields() expects parameter 1 to be mysqli_result, boolean given in /home/content/58/10437358/html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 3182

Abstract Art

Today, with the grade 4’s, we worked on abstract art. Actually, we worked on one of the art activities that Loriana had mentioned in a previous ‘Tuesday 12’. The students really enjoyed working on this activity. What is there not … Continue reading →

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Abstract Art

Today, with the grade 4’s, we worked on abstract art. Actually, we worked on one of the art activities that Loriana had mentioned in a previous ‘Tuesday 12’. The students really enjoyed working on this activity. What is there not to like? Paint and brushes?! There is just something about it that students really enjoy. I think I had them at abstract –  for some, I think it is a relief when they know that their final picture does not HAVE to look like something.

However, for this particular activity, although the painting part is abstract and can be done in any which way, they were to draw an natural image (ex. a tree) and include it in their painting. Here is what we did step by step.

I gave students two different options so that they can individually choose which option works best for them as we all know that students have various strengths and weaknesses.

Option one allowed students the choice to draw the image on black construction paper, cut it out and then glue it on a piece of white paper. From here, students are to then take a paint brush and water colors and begin painting. They could choose to paint section by section, with each section have a specific color or they could start with one color, leading into another and then another, creating an overall interesting effect. Some students really liked this option.

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The second option gave students the choice to paint the white sheet of paper first, keeping with the same idea as in option one; however, in this option they do not have to paint within lines of an image. Rather they are painting a blank sheet of paper in it’s entirety. Once they have painted the white sheet, they can put this aside to dry and move on to creating their image on a sheet of black construction paper. After doing so, they will complete the same steps – cut it out and then glue it in their painting (which should be dry as they are using water colors). Most of the students chose this option.

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Regardless of the options the students chose, which again, was to help them complete this activity in a way in which they felt comfortable with, the final pieces turned out great! Although somewhat alike in many ways, each piece of artwork was different, interesting, creative and quite unique. From trees to flowers to clouds – they came out great!

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I have included quite a few examples just to show you how these abstract paintings turned out. You can definitely work with this activity in a number of ways. We chose to work with larger sheets of paper, but you can also work with smaller sheets. We chose to work with white and black, but you can also choose to work with different colors of construction paper; however, to create the effect as shown, go for the black construction paper. It stands out amazingly! You can work with specific colors of water paint, or allow them to use all and any. You can have them stick to creating trees, or allow them to create any image they like. Again, so many different ways to work with it!

Overall, it is a great activity to allow student’s creativity to roll! All you need is time and materials and ofcourse, prior knowledge and experience with abstract art, lines and water colors! Definitely a fun, interesting and simple activity!

 

 

 

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First Nations and European Colonialism http://teachingrocks.ca/first-nations-and-european-colonialism/ http://teachingrocks.ca/first-nations-and-european-colonialism/#respond Thu, 30 May 2013 13:10:43 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2843 First Nations and European Colonialism

Every time we find great resources, we feel that it is vital to share them with you.  Well, in preparing a lesson on the settlement of the North West Territories for Grade 8 History, we came across a video that … Continue reading →

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First Nations and European Colonialism

Every time we find great resources, we feel that it is vital to share them with you.  Well, in preparing a lesson on the settlement of the North West Territories for Grade 8 History, we came across a video that provides a fantastic visual to deepen students’ understanding of how First Nations people were forced to adapt to the changes that were brought forth by European Settlement.  The video is a slide show presentation which demonstrates how the assimilation process imposed upon the First Nations people left a contentious mark on the history of North America.   Furthermore, the slide show is correlated with the song “Don’t Drink the Water” by Dave Matthews Band.  The lyrics help students critically analyze the historical context.

Just click on the links to find the video http://vimeo.com/20704763 and the lyrics.  We hope your lesson is much more powerful by using this presentation prepared by Sam Richards.

Please preview the slide show, as there are several images that are quite graphic in content.

 

 

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Words to Live by Wednesdays: What you do today… http://teachingrocks.ca/words-live-wednesdays-what-you-today/ http://teachingrocks.ca/words-live-wednesdays-what-you-today/#respond Wed, 29 May 2013 17:56:18 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2837 Words to Live by Wednesdays: What you do today…

We are always trying to further encourage our students –  More and more so now, as we are nearing the end of the school year. It always seems as though it gets harder and harder at this time of year, … Continue reading →

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Words to Live by Wednesdays: What you do today…

We are always trying to further encourage our students –  More and more so now, as we are nearing the end of the school year. It always seems as though it gets harder and harder at this time of year, to keep our students engaged and motivated. It is at this particular point in time, that we need to find ways to keep them interested and on task. There are many ways to do this. Anywhere from creating different and new ways to deliver a lesson, organizing interesting ways to complete assignments or presentations and sometimes, even through our words. Words are powerful and can definitely make a difference. We need to choose them wisely, especially at this time! For our older students, what we say means something…. it helps them think, reflect and act upon.

Today, we have created a poster that will help you do just that. Put it up in your class…and keep it up! Find more to put up! One thing I found that really helped with the intermediates, is having quote of the day! At this time of year, it is more important then ever to find the right ones!

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Stay tunes for our ‘Words to Live by Wednesdays!’

 

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The Tuesday 12: 12 Super Fun Play Day Activities Your Students Will Love! http://teachingrocks.ca/the-tuesday-12-12-super-fun-play-day-activities-your-students-will-love/ http://teachingrocks.ca/the-tuesday-12-12-super-fun-play-day-activities-your-students-will-love/#respond Tue, 28 May 2013 13:00:55 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2829 Warning: mysqli_num_fields() expects parameter 1 to be mysqli_result, boolean given in /home/content/58/10437358/html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 3182

The Tuesday 12: 12 Super Fun Play Day Activities Your Students Will Love!

With the end of the year quickly approaching we are all wrapping up our lessons, getting our last round of reports prepared and then we have the great event of Play Day.  You are spent, but know that many of … Continue reading →

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The Tuesday 12: 12 Super Fun Play Day Activities Your Students Will Love!

12 play day activities

With the end of the year quickly approaching we are all wrapping up our lessons, getting our last round of reports prepared and then we have the great event of Play Day.  You are spent, but know that many of your students, if not all of them, are anticipating this fun, wild and crazy day. We all want the day to go off without a hitch but that needs planning, lots and lots of planning.  So here goes, we at TeachingRocks!  are here to help.  Today’s Tuesday 12 is a list of games that can be used to make your planning a little easier.  We wish you all the best on your day of fun.

Ping Pong Ball Blow
Set up two track with boards or use chalk to draw a track on pavement.  The width of the tracks could be at most 12” apart.  Decide the length of the track, this is at your discretion.  The task: you have 2 teams that will participate in the relay. Object is to move the ping pong ball using the breath from the straw to push it along the track staying within the guidelines.  Each team member must participate, they each must do the length of the track and back.  If the ball goes outside the guidelines, then the player must start over from beginning.  First team to have all team members complete task win.

M&M Vacuum Race
In this task you will need a table, plates, straws and M&Ms!  Put M&Ms in one plate and each team member needs to transfer 5 of them to the other plate using only a straw as a “vacuum”. First player to do so wins a point for their team.  Each team member takes a turn, team with most points wins.  Ensure the straw opening is smaller than the M&Ms to avoid choking hazards.

Ping Pong Jump Shake
This game is quite comical.  You will need 8 ping pong balls (4 of one colour & 4 of another) and an empty tissue boxes that can be strapped around the waist of the player (cut a slit on either side of the box and string through ribbon long enough for all sizes).  Fill the boxes with 4 ping pong balls each, and strap the box on the players waist but on the back.  When you say go, the players are to jump around and shake to get the balls to come out of the tissue box.  Each player has 30 seconds, and each team gets a point for each ball that is out of the box.  Each new player gets to start with 4 ping pong balls. The team with the most points wins!

Target Frisbee Tic-Tac-Toe
If you have the material then create a 9×9 square board, where each box can fit a frisbee.  If not you can use chalk or tape to mark out the grid.  You will also require 10 frisbees (5 of one colour and 5 of another).  This game is the basic game of tic tac toe, but instead of placing their move into the square, players need to attempt to “frisbee throw” it into place.  Each team member throws the frisbee, first team to make three in a row wins! If throws go outside the grid, then that is that players turn.

Chicken Run
Each team assembles in a straight line. The first person in each line is given a rubber chicken. The chicken is then passed to each subsequent person in line using the over the head, under the legs pattern. The last person in each line is to run the who ken back to it’s roost at the front of the line. The first team to finish wins!

Frogs in the Pond
A small inflatable pool is placed in the centre of the two teams and filled with a few inches of water to simulate the pond.  Each team is given 20 frogs (plastic balls of one colour per team) and stands 10 m away from the pond. When the whistle blows, each team takes turns tossing the balls into the pond. The team with the most frogs in the pond wins!

Three-Legged Race
An oldie, but a goodie! Each team partners off it’s members. Each pair ties up a leg to one another and gets ready to race!

Hula Hoop Marathon
For this activity, each team needs a hula hoop.  When the music starts (choose a really fun and upbeat song), one person from each team begins to hula hoop.  The person who makes it the longest wins!

 Pizza Box Race

For this game, start with two teams of 10 students each. Each team needs 10 empty pizza boxes.  Two students from each team will run with the pizza box in their hands, to the finish line and stack them. They will do so one pizza box at a time for the first run and then two at a time, three, than four. The tricky part is (and here comes the collaboration from team members) is to make sure there are four hands on the box(es) at all times. Once students have carried over all 10 boxes to the finish line, the team will quickly choose two team members to bring back all 10 boxes at once, as fast as they can. The fastest team wins!

Parachute game

This is a fun one for all ages. Starting from the little ones and working your way up, changing it up each time with the type of rubber balls, to the size and number. Begin with one small rubber ball and see how long the team can keep it going. Gradually toss one more at a time and see how long they can do it for with each added ball. It really all depends on the team, age and group size. This is a fun game for all ages!

Sponge and Bucket Races

To start this game, you need buckets, sponges and yes indeed, water! If working with two teams, set up two empty buckets one ends and two buckets filled with water on the other end.  Students from each team must line up between a full bucket and an empty bucket. The first person in line is to place their sponge in the water, and pass it over their head to the next person. Each person is to continue to pass it over their heads until the last person in line gets it. The last person in line is to wring it out in the empty bucket, run as fast as they can to the front of the line and repeats the process again. After five minutes, whichever team has the most water in their bucket, wins!

Four Square

You have to play this game on a square, further divided into 4 smaller squares which are to be numbered 1-4. You can create this square using with chalk, tape or removable spray paint, depending on where you plan to create it.   One student is to stand in each of the four squares, with the highest ranked student in number one, lowest in
number four. Student in number 1 is to the bounce the ball among the players, bouncing once in the other
student’s square before that person catches it. countless additional rules to choose from. You can only play with 4 people at a time, abd you can choose when or how to rotate students so that all students have a chance to play. Set them up in teams to create more fun and have two from each team play together!

…And there you have it! A fantastic list of 12 fun activities your students will love not only on play day but any day! Let us know if you have tried any of these or if you do try any of them, what your experience with it is!

Check back with us next week for ‘The Tuesday 12’!

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T.H.I.N.K http://teachingrocks.ca/t-h-i-n-k/ http://teachingrocks.ca/t-h-i-n-k/#respond Tue, 28 May 2013 01:29:27 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2833 T.H.I.N.K

At school today, I came across a really great poster that I would definitely love to put up in my classroom. I thought I would share it with you as you might be interested just the same in either putting … Continue reading →

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T.H.I.N.K

At school today, I came across a really great poster that I would definitely love to put up in my classroom. I thought I would share it with you as you might be interested just the same in either putting it up now or even for your classroom in September. Yet another thing to think about – new posters for your classroom.

think

 I think this is a great poster to help encourage your students to begin thinking about what they want to say, need to say and have to say out loud in class. If you follow this, I truly think it will help shape the dynamics of the classroom…the overall atmosphere. It helps students understand and realize whether or not they need to share everything and anything, as well as, it further guides them to narrow down what they share to things that are relevant, true, respectful, motivating, etc.

Try it out! It may take time at first, depending on the grade level but is definitely worth implementing. At the end of the day, we each do this on a daily basis or at least try to encourage our students to do. Why not create a poster to have it up in your class for your students to see and be reminded by each time they want to share something!!!

Let us know what you think! We’re always happy to hear feedback!

 

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That time of year again! http://teachingrocks.ca/that-time-year-again/ http://teachingrocks.ca/that-time-year-again/#respond Sat, 25 May 2013 18:20:21 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2824 That time of year again!

  Yes…It is that time of year again! The time where we all feel like there just isn’t enough time in the day to complete everything on the ‘to do list’. Some things get pushed aside so other things can … Continue reading →

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That time of year again!

 

Yes…It is that time of year again! The time where we all feel like there just isn’t enough time in the day to complete everything on the ‘to do list’. Some things get pushed aside so other things can make their way through and get done. Between marking, report cards, finishing up lessons, final assignments, followed by more marking, we really do not have enough time to think ahead! BUT, although you may not think so, many people do and have already started preparing for the new school year (like our one and only, Loriana). Between getting new thinsg for the classroom, to throwing things out, organzing, thinking of new ideas, new plans, new everything!

 

Today I was browsing through our products to see which direction to take for the new school year – what we can add, change, improve on, etc. and I came across the ‘Essential Teacher Binder’ that has pretty much everything you need! So here I am to give you a brief overview of what it is these great binder’s include (just to get you thinking…possibly to get you started!):

What is “Your Essential Teacher Binder”?

kitsClick on the image to direct you to our store on tpt

We’ve all heard of the famous “teacher binder” that contains everything that you need to run your class and lessons successfully!  It is essential to your teaching, but not everything fits into the three rings of a binder, so we added in a few resources for your classroom too!  We like to think of “Your Essential Teacher Binder” as a collection of teacher resources to help you organize both your teaching and your classroom.

All teachers have various ways of organizing their lessons, plans, and classrooms; however, we have grouped together a great set of resources to assist you in this endeavor!

So what’s included in this classroom kit?
– Desk nameplates (2/sheet) for both upper and lower grades
– Student hook/cubby nameplates (6/sheet) that can also be used to label bins etc
– Hall pass, office pass, and washroom pass
– Bookmarks (4/sheet) with “During Reading” suggestions
– Monthly student behavior log (2/sheet)
– “While You Were Absent” sheet for students
– Classroom job labels (30 different jobs to choose from!)
– Student of the Month an d Week (upper and lower grades)
– Student Birthday Postcards (2/sheet)
– Lesson plan monthly cover pages
– Classroom calendar monthly labels for both upper and lower grades
– Subject area cover pages for lesson and unit plans
– Substitute teacher feedback form
– Professional development log and Staff meeting record sheet
– Parent contact log (individual student)
– Month at a glance, Monthly plan at a glance, Week at a glance
– Individual student and whole class information sheet (5 students/sheet)
– End of the year classroom inventory
– Lesson plan and mark book cover page

We have tried to include as many printables that we could think of, but if you have any suggestions, please let us know and we’ll add them in!

These kits come in a variety of themes, including outer space, aliens, polka dots, swirls, monsters, apples and ocean!  But we also have a customization option available to suit your themes, colors and designs in your classroom.  View our Customizable Teacher Binder for further information.

Check out http://teachingrocks.ca for more ideas and resources!

These binders have been an absolute hit, with great feedback. People were getting them at the end of the school year last year, at the beginning of the school year and believe it or not, even through the school year (it never is too late to get organized).

Check it out!!!

 

 

 

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Words to Live by Wednesdays – “Far from what I once was…” http://teachingrocks.ca/words-live-wednesdays-far-from-what-once-was/ http://teachingrocks.ca/words-live-wednesdays-far-from-what-once-was/#respond Thu, 23 May 2013 00:39:26 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2819 Words to Live by Wednesdays – “Far from what I once was…”

Wow! Yes…it has been a long time. If you have read our most current post, we have been busy at work! But, today I bring to you: Words to Live by Wednesdays! Let’s get back on a roll here! Today’s … Continue reading →

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Words to Live by Wednesdays – “Far from what I once was…”

words to live by

Wow! Yes…it has been a long time. If you have read our most current post, we have been busy at work! But, today I bring to you: Words to Live by Wednesdays! Let’s get back on a roll here!

Today’s quote fits this time of year as many students now feel that they have advanced in many ways, both academically, socially, mentally, emotionally, etc. However, although they feel different, further ahead, more mature….they are also feeling as though there is so much ahead. We are now at that time of year, the crunch time. Everything is due, there are tests, assignments, presenations and more. Some students still have the motivation and are still handing in their best; whereas, others are starting to feel the weight. Whichever way you look at it, it’s a time of mixed feelings…a time of reflection. Students are feeling further ahead then where they started back in September, yet there is so much more ahead. Between finishing the school year and planning for the new school year, students are feeling the whole ‘ happy where they are but not yet where they want to be’!  Actually, many of us teachers feel that way too!

Print our quote and post it in your classroom. It’s the perfect time it up, reflect on it, discuss it and more!

We will be back next week for ‘Words to Live by Wednesdays’!

far from what i once was

 

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Exciting News! We’re working on a TLLP Project! http://teachingrocks.ca/exciting-news-were-working-on-a-tllp-project/ http://teachingrocks.ca/exciting-news-were-working-on-a-tllp-project/#respond Tue, 21 May 2013 02:25:26 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2806 Warning: mysqli_num_fields() expects parameter 1 to be mysqli_result, boolean given in /home/content/58/10437358/html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 3182

Exciting News! We’re working on a TLLP Project!

We apologize if things have been quiet around here for the last week or so, but we were busy preparing for the “Leadership Skills for Classroom Teachers—TLLP Training Session” last week! It was a phenomenal event! To give you some … Continue reading →

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Exciting News! We’re working on a TLLP Project!

We apologize if things have been quiet around here for the last week or so, but we were busy preparing for the “Leadership Skills for Classroom Teachers—TLLP Training Session” last week! It was a phenomenal event!

To give you some background information, the TLLP stands for Teacher Learning and Leadership Program, which is “an annual project-based professional learning opportunity for experienced classroom teachers”  here in Ontario.

According to the Ontario Ministry of Education, the TLLP “funds proposals from classroom teachers who seek a peer leadership role in curriculum, instructional practice or supporting other teachers. The three goals of the program are to create and support opportunities for teacher professional learning, foster teacher leadership and facilitate the sharing of exemplary practices with others for the broader benefit of Ontario’s students” (source).

Way back in November 2012, we applied for funding through the TLLP.  At first, we were not 100% sure about the direction our proposed project would take, but after a lot of research, discussion, and reflection, we decided on math learning journals, specifically focusing on student problem solving, communication, connections, and reflections (we will discuss more about our project very soon!).  In December, we received wonderful news from our school board that our project was selected and submitted for TLLP consideration.  We were ecstatic and couldn’t wait to find our if our project had been approved! But wait we did, until February 2013 when our project was approved by the TLLP committee!

Fast forward to May 15-17, 2013 when we attended the “Leadership Skills for Classroom Teachers—TLLP Training Session” in downtown Toronto.  It was a busy and intensive 2.5 day training session.  We had to juggle quite a few work and home commitments to ensure that all three of us could be there, but it was well worth it!  From the Ontario Teachers’ Federation, Mike Budd, Peter Lipman, and Rosemary Clark did an excellent job leading the event. Presenters from the Ministry of Education included Paul Anthony, Hanca Chang, and Nick Zacharopoulos, as well as presenters Claudine Laporte (AEFO), Malisa Mezenberg (OECTA), Susan Perry (OECTA), Brenda Sherry, and Peter Skillen.  All the presenters and facilitators were so friendly, approachable, and informative! The Keynote Speakers were Dr. Ann Lieberman, from Stanford University, and Dr. Carol Campbell, from OISE/UT.  Two excellent speakers who were entertaining, motivating, and knowledgeable!

Throughout the 2.5 day training session, we heard about scheduling, project management and budgeting…things I am not crazy about! Yes, I am known for my lists upon lists, but luckily I have two awesome partners—Elita who is great with budgets and Lisa who is super organized!

I really enjoyed the portion “Learning From Experience: What I Know Now that I Wish I Knew Then”. In this section, there were six presentations from last year’s TLLP cohort.  We each attended three of the six presentations and we were able to hear about their projects, difficulties they encountered, successes they celebrated, and lessons they learned along the way.  This was very informative and hearing first-hand accounts from people that were past (and also current) participants was fascinating.

On the last day, we were able to meet with other participants who matched our theme (math) and we had some excellent discussions! We can’t wait to collaborate with these excellent teacher leaders throughout the year!

One thing that we did mention over and over again throughout the 2.5 day session was how motivating and inspiring it was to be in a room packed full of teachers who are looking for new and innovative ways to develop and strengthen their own professional learning and that of their students!

If you are (or were) part of the TLLP community, we’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

We’ll be sharing our learning journey on this blog throughout the year. Check back often for updates and more information about our project and its implementation! We’ll be adding a TLLP button at the top of our page for easy access to these posts!

Let the journey begin!

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Learning the ABC’s the fun way! http://teachingrocks.ca/learning-the-abcs-the-fun-way/ http://teachingrocks.ca/learning-the-abcs-the-fun-way/#respond Tue, 07 May 2013 00:44:28 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2798 Learning the ABC’s the fun way!

Not too long ago, on the great ‘Pinterest’, I came across a great idea! Taking those fun, foam ABC puzzles that you can find at almost any and every dollar store (Dollarama forsure as that’s where I picked up mine) … Continue reading →

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Learning the ABC’s the fun way!

IMG_1629Not too long ago, on the great ‘Pinterest’, I came across a great idea! Taking those fun, foam ABC puzzles that you can find at almost any and every dollar store (Dollarama forsure as that’s where I picked up mine) and creating a book! Simple to do and a fun activity to engage in to further encourage and motivate our young ones to learn all sorts of things such as the ABC’s or numbers or shapes and animals, etc. If your creating this for your classroom, be it for the JK’s or SK’s or even grade ones, twos…all depending on what your using the activity for, you can definitely come up with different ways to incorporate this great idea. As for myself, with a little one at home who is now just past 1 year and a half, I decided to take the puzzle pieces and glue them to a large bristol board. Doing it this way simplifed it for her in the sense that she is now able to see the entire alphabet. I then lay out all the letters (when we first started, we started with only a few at a time and gradually added more and more) and she then matches them with the corresponding puzzle piece. It is fascinating just how easily she has picked this up! From simply matching letters to puzzle pieces, we are now working on colors, sounds of letters, etc. This activity is fantastic and defintiely age appropriate – it’s never too early to start! Having said that, going back to basing this activity on the age group you are working with, you can do it with the bristol board, make a book….use it within a short lesson, part of a learning centre, as an independent and quiet activity, etc. You can take this idea in any direction! Try it out out and if you do so…let us know how it worked out for you or if you have figured out any other great ideas that we can try out too!!!

 

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Ink Transfer Through Gel Medium: Sharing Student Samples! http://teachingrocks.ca/ink-transfer-through-gel-medium-sharing-student-samples/ http://teachingrocks.ca/ink-transfer-through-gel-medium-sharing-student-samples/#respond Sat, 04 May 2013 02:24:19 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2792 Warning: mysqli_num_fields() expects parameter 1 to be mysqli_result, boolean given in /home/content/58/10437358/html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 3182

Ink Transfer Through Gel Medium: Sharing Student Samples!

I am so thrilled to be able to share the BEAUTIFUL and AMAZING artwork created by my students using the ink transfer onto canvas using a gel medium. We have been working on this project for a couple of weeks … Continue reading →

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Ink Transfer Through Gel Medium: Sharing Student Samples!

I am so thrilled to be able to share the BEAUTIFUL and AMAZING artwork created by my students using the ink transfer onto canvas using a gel medium. We have been working on this project for a couple of weeks and I am so pleased with the final result.  We’ve hung almost all of them in the hallway outside of our classroom (a couple of students are adding the finishing touches to their work) and we’ve received TONS of compliments and praise from both teachers and other students who walk by.

In case you plan to complete this amazing art project with your students, here’s a timeline of how long it took us (for a complete and detailed breakdown of the project, click here):

Lesson 1: Students chose a quote that was meaningful or inspirational to them.  They then designed, reflected, and printed their quotes using Microsoft Publisher.  This took about an hour on average, as some students didn’t have much experience with Publisher.

Lesson 2: Students prepared their canvases by painting them with acrylic paint.  This took about 30 minutes.  We then let them dry for about 30 minutes and then we covered them with the gel medium and placed our quote (ink side down) onto the gel.  The gel needed to dry overnight.

Lesson 3: Students used water to remove and scrub off the paper from the dried gel.  This was very painstaking work and caused quite a bit of frustration with my artists.  A trick we discovered is letting the canvas dry for a bit because the wet paper became transparent; by letting it dry, it turned white again and allowed students to determine where to concentrate their scrubbing efforts. This took a couple of hours and then the canvases needed to be completely dry (overnight) before we touched up the acrylic paint.

Lesson 4: We covered the remaining white paper spots with acrylic paint using a dry brush technique.  Students then wanted to touch up the text using a permanent marker when the paint was dry.  Once the paint and ink were dry, students covered the entire surface with modge podge.  This entire step took about an hour.  The modge podge dried quickly and we then attached yarn to the back for easy hanging.

The entire art project took over a week to complete the process from start to finish.  It did require quite a bit of time and effort, but the final outcome is amazing! I have such talented (and patient) students!

gel transfer canvases

 

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Engaging Students in Mathematics: Free Resources from CSC http://teachingrocks.ca/engaging-students-mathematics-free-resources-from-csc/ http://teachingrocks.ca/engaging-students-mathematics-free-resources-from-csc/#respond Sat, 27 Apr 2013 03:12:38 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2786 Warning: mysqli_num_fields() expects parameter 1 to be mysqli_result, boolean given in /home/content/58/10437358/html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 3182

Engaging Students in Mathematics: Free Resources from CSC

Curriculum Services Canada (CSC) “has a passion for, and commitment to, life-long learning. We recognize that people and organizations have unique learning needs and we believe that personal and professional growth is optimal when learning is context-specific, relevant, and highly … Continue reading →

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Engaging Students in Mathematics: Free Resources from CSC

Curriculum Services Canada (CSC) “has a passion for, and commitment to, life-long learning. We recognize that people and organizations have unique learning needs and we believe that personal and professional growth is optimal when learning is context-specific, relevant, and highly engaging” (source).  CSC provides excellent, FREE resources for teachers on a variety of subject areas, professional development resources, and webcasts.

We are always on the lookout for resources to help us improve our teaching of mathematics and strategies to help our students become more engaged and enthusiastic about math.  CSC has an EXCELLENT array of resources for teaching math that would be beneficial to your teaching

The section on ENGAGING STUDENTS IN MATHEMATICS includes:

– videos on sample lessons (lesson planning, the actual lesson, student learning, and teacher debrief)

– print resources on asking effective questions, communication in the mathematics classroom, and Bansho (board writing)

– graphic organizers for teachers to use while viewing/reading the material and then planning their own engaging math lessons

This is just a small sample of some resources available on curriculum.org!

 

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Media Literacy: Persuasive Techniques in Advertising http://teachingrocks.ca/media-literacy-persuasive-techniques-advertising/ http://teachingrocks.ca/media-literacy-persuasive-techniques-advertising/#respond Fri, 26 Apr 2013 03:35:05 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2770 Media Literacy: Persuasive Techniques in Advertising

As per my previous post Media Literacy Fundamentals: Key Concepts,  I am outlining one of the lessons I prepared for my students.  In this lesson, students learn about how media has its own unique form to get your attention.  Students … Continue reading →

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Media Literacy: Persuasive Techniques in Advertising

Media Literacy Persuasive Techniques in AdvertisingAs per my previous post Media Literacy Fundamentals: Key Concepts,  I am outlining one of the lessons I prepared for my students.  In this lesson, students learn about how media has its own unique form to get your attention.  Students are exposed to the persuasive techniques used in advertising to reach a target audience.  Through an understanding of these techniques students start becoming aware of the messages found within media.  With this understanding, students critically think and question the world around them and the messages they are being bombarded with continuously.

Click on this link Media Literacy- Persuasive Techniques to access the lesson plan for this concept and the associated handouts.  Furthermore, here are the group activity sheets: Pathos Ethos and Logos.

Stay tuned for more lessons and activities for Media Literacy!

 

 

 

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Abstract Art : Examples http://teachingrocks.ca/abstract-art-examples/ http://teachingrocks.ca/abstract-art-examples/#respond Mon, 22 Apr 2013 00:56:02 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2758 Abstract Art : Examples

In my previous post on Abstract Art, I mentioned I would post a few examples as they were done! Again, this is such a great, simple and interesting activity for your students! The Grade 5’s truly enjoyed doing it! We started off … Continue reading →

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Abstract Art : Examples

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In my previous post on Abstract Art, I mentioned I would post a few examples as they were done! Again, this is such a great, simple and interesting activity for your students! The Grade 5’s truly enjoyed doing it! We started off with making 6 straight lines across the page, leaving space in between each line. Once the lines were drawn, we began adding in circles. Most students chose to draw the same size circle a few times across their page but it would also be quite interesting if you take different size circles and draw them across your page. It would definitely add to the whole ‘abstract’ look! With two different colored pencil crayons or marker to start, begin coloring one section at a time, alternation between the two colors. The idea is to not have any two of the colors touching! It’s all about alternationg! Opposites! Take a closer look at the examples from the Grade 5’s! It looks confusing and abstract to the eye, yet so fun and simple to do!!! It definitely engages your students! Try it out 🙂

 

red         pink

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The Fundamentals of Media Literacy http://teachingrocks.ca/the-fundamentals-media-literacy/ http://teachingrocks.ca/the-fundamentals-media-literacy/#respond Fri, 19 Apr 2013 03:49:46 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2752 The Fundamentals of Media Literacy

Loriana previously posted about Concept Maps and their benefits for students.   But she also posted about how concept maps can inform our teaching. In planning lessons for my students on a specific unit, I did just that! I created … Continue reading →

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The Fundamentals of Media Literacy

Loriana previously posted about Concept Maps and their benefits for students.   But she also posted about how concept maps can inform our teaching.

In planning lessons for my students on a specific unit, I did just that! I created a concept map to help me visualize what the Language strand of Media Literacy entails.  At first I found it very overwhelming to address all the aspects of this strand.  My concept map has helped me streamline my thoughts and help me organize how I want to deliver the program.  Today, I am providing you my concept map.  In my next couple of posts, I will provide examples of classroom activities to address these key concepts for each heading.

MediaLiteracyKeyConcepts

Take this concept map, and utilize it for an introduction, or a summary of what Media Literacy is.  Use it for yourself or print it for your students.  You can use it as a poster as well!

Stay tuned for ideas on how you can address these key concepts in your media literacy lessons.

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Words to Live by Wednesdays : Earth Day http://teachingrocks.ca/words-live-wednesdays-earth-day/ http://teachingrocks.ca/words-live-wednesdays-earth-day/#respond Thu, 18 Apr 2013 01:22:17 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2747 Words to Live by Wednesdays : Earth Day

With Earth day around the corner, there have been many ideas passing – from activities, to initiatives, to posters and more! While searching and making my through all of it, I came across a great pin on pinterest! A great … Continue reading →

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Words to Live by Wednesdays : Earth Day

earth

With Earth day around the corner, there have been many ideas passing – from activities, to initiatives, to posters and more! While searching and making my through all of it, I came across a great pin on pinterest! A great Earth Day poster. This is just a simple idea to get you started on creating a poster of your own! Personalize it! Make it yours! Include some of the things you are doing with your own classroom…..with your students…..in your school….in your community! Work together with others to create a great, personal poster for your class or school! Another idea: Have the students each create one 🙂 Either or works!!! It’s yet another item to add to your Earth Day ‘Ideas’ List!’

green

Don’t forget to check back with us next week for your Words to Live by Wednesdays!

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We are part of the Scholar’s Choice Community! Check out our FIRST published article! http://teachingrocks.ca/are-part-the-scholars-choice-community-check-out-our-first-published-article/ http://teachingrocks.ca/are-part-the-scholars-choice-community-check-out-our-first-published-article/#respond Tue, 16 Apr 2013 01:17:48 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2742 We are part of the Scholar’s Choice Community! Check out our FIRST published article!

“In Today’s Blog, the Teaching Rocks Contributors explore ways to incorporate environmental awareness into daily classroom/home activities. Check out “Earth Day, Any Day: 12 Ways to Celebrate All Year Round” The three of us, here at Teaching Rocks, would like … Continue reading →

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We are part of the Scholar’s Choice Community! Check out our FIRST published article!

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“In Today’s Blog, the Teaching Rocks Contributors explore ways to incorporate environmental awareness into daily classroom/home activities. Check out “Earth Day, Any Day: 12 Ways to Celebrate All Year Round”

The three of us, here at Teaching Rocks, would like to share with all of you one of our most current accomplisments! Just last week, we were contacted on behalf of Scholar’s Choice whom might I add, has just recently launched an online community that includes blogs from both teachers and/or parents! We were asked to be part of this community! We were definitely interested in taking this opportunity in collaborating with Scholar’s Choice, as we are now contributing and sharing blog articles, resources and activities with a new community! We began working right away on our first article titled,‘Earth Day, Any day: 12 ways to celebrate all year round. Although Earth Day festivities usually take place during the week of April 22, you can definitely incorporate small activities on a daily or weekly basis. There are various ways in which you can integrate green initiatives into your classroom and school routines. Follow the link which will take you to Scholar’s Choice online community where you will find our very FIRST article which was just published on April 14. Again, we are just so happy and proud to be a part of this community and couldn’t wait to share our news with all of you! Take a moment and read the article – it’s a fantastic resource! Share the link with a friend!

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Awesome Art Lesson: Ink Transfer Onto Canvas http://teachingrocks.ca/awesome-art-lesson-ink-transfer-onto-canvas/ http://teachingrocks.ca/awesome-art-lesson-ink-transfer-onto-canvas/#comments Sat, 13 Apr 2013 04:12:13 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2726 Warning: mysqli_num_fields() expects parameter 1 to be mysqli_result, boolean given in /home/content/58/10437358/html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 3182

Awesome Art Lesson: Ink Transfer Onto Canvas

We are currently in the middle of an exciting art lesson. I’ve seen several pins on Pinterest showing the transfer of photographs onto canvas using a gel medium.  I thought that I could use this same concept to transfer text … Continue reading →

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Awesome Art Lesson: Ink Transfer Onto Canvas

canvas ink transfer 2We are currently in the middle of an exciting art lesson. I’ve seen several pins on Pinterest showing the transfer of photographs onto canvas using a gel medium.  I thought that I could use this same concept to transfer text onto canvas as well.

A few things:

  • I painted the canvas since I did not want a plain white background
  • This art project takes several steps and a few lessons to complete (warn your students ahead of time that patience is key!)
  • The gel medium is permanent when dry (so don’t use it on your kitchen table like I did…though I did get 99% of it off)
  • Any image you transfer will become reversed (maybe not important with pictures, but super important with text)
  • When I went to Michael’s (i.e. the place I go to almost every day), there were so many different types of gel medium.  I’m not very knowledgeable about the differences between the various types, but I used this one and it worked well:

glazing mediumSupplies:

  • white paper
  • laser printer (I don’t believe this works on ink jet printers!)
  • Modge Podge
  • acrylic paint and paintbrushes
  • gel medium
  • canvas

On to the process!

Designing and printing the text:

1. I chose a quote that I wanted to display.  I went with 1 Corinthians 2:9.  I used Microsoft Publisher to turn this bible verse into subway art (see Lisa’s post on subway art if you are unsure).  I did this by inserting a new WordArt text for each different font.  I really recommend this process as it gives you a lot of control with respect to size, font, and positioning. Keep the font black.

2. Once the subway art was created, I selected all the WordArt texts and grouped them together to created one selection:

grouping word art3. When the ink transfers onto the canvas, the image will be reversed.  To keep the text correct and legible, I then flipped the image horizontally:

flip quote4. I then printed this on my laser printer.

Painting and ink transfer:

1. I painted the canvas with the acrylic paint.  I went with yellow, pink, bronze, and red. This process was really simple and just required blending the colours together. Here’s my canvas and printout right before I applied the gel medium:

canvas and print out 2. I then used paintbrush to apply a pretty thick coat of gel to the canvas.  Don’t skimp on the gel as you really want the ink to be absorbed well.  Flip your printout ink side down onto the gel. Press firmly and smooth out any wrinkles:

transfer process

3. Step away from the canvas! Don’t be like me and start poking at it (I ended up messing up a couple of letters because I was too curious).  Just let the ink slowly seep into the gel and dry.  I let it dry for about 8 hours.

4. The gel medium is permanent and water-proof, so now you want to use water to remove the white paper from the canvas.  I kept a bowl of water nearby and completely moistened the white paper. I then used my fingers to scrub and scrape the paper completely off the canvas:

wet paper

Prettying it up:

1. I could not get 100% of the white paper off of the canvas and this was really annoying me.  I brought my sample in to show my students and many of them liked the flecks of white throughout as it made it look “old” they said.  It still bothered me.  So, I took out the same acrylic paint I used at the beginning and used a dry brush technique (i.e. very small amounts of paint on the paintbrush, so that the paintbrush stays pretty dry.  This applied pigment onto the white paper flecks, but not enough paint to cover the black text).  This worked very well!

2. Once the paint touch ups were dry, I applied a thick coat of Modge Podge to seal everything and give it a nice sheen (I used the gloss finish):

apply modge podge3. I let it dry and ta-da!

completed canvasAt school, we have created and printed our subway art and painted our canvases.  We will be completing the gel phase next.  Once they are all done, I will share pictures with you all.  I have very talented and artistic students and their work is always beautiful!

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Taking over a class at this point in time http://teachingrocks.ca/taking-over-class-this-point-time/ http://teachingrocks.ca/taking-over-class-this-point-time/#respond Thu, 11 Apr 2013 06:31:37 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2712 Warning: mysqli_num_fields() expects parameter 1 to be mysqli_result, boolean given in /home/content/58/10437358/html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 3182

Taking over a class at this point in time

Many of you do not know that I have not been working in the classroom for the last 15 months. I have been recuperating from an injury I sustained and after all this time, I am mentally preparing (although I … Continue reading →

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Taking over a class at this point in time

Many of you do not know that I have not been working in the classroom for the last 15 months. I have been recuperating from an injury I sustained and after all this time, I am mentally preparing (although I am not completely ready physically) as to how I would enter a classroom at this point in time in the year and take the reigns.   I know that many of you out there have done this, either returning from a maternity/paternity leave, or a short term absence, and many of you have taken over mid way as well (on a contractual basis).  Therefore, who else to help me and others in this situation than you!  We all look to each other for support and assistance, so let’s get this conversation started.  What are your best techniques, strategies and ideas in entering into a classroom at this point in time?  What would be your first plan of attack?  What do want to have on hand prior to entering the classroom (realistic or ideal)? How do you address the diverse classroom management style between the exiting teacher and yourself?

I will start it off, add in your comments and help us all out, especially me!

1) I would definitely need to see the daily schedule for the classroom.  This will help me understand the classroom logistics and what happens on a daily basis.  Having this item ahead of time would definitely streamline transition times in the first few days.

2) I would ideally prefer to have the opportunity to converse with the current teacher, regarding programming and which curriculum has been completed and what still needs to be completed.

3) The completed grades for all students, and an understanding of the upcoming assignments and  their respective due dates.

 

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Abstract Art http://teachingrocks.ca/abstract-art/ http://teachingrocks.ca/abstract-art/#respond Tue, 09 Apr 2013 00:41:11 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2707 Abstract Art

  Tomorrow, I will be working on Abstract Art with the Grade 5 students – something I know they will definitely have fun with! A great, easy technique enjoyed by most, as you can do just about anything with it! … Continue reading →

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Abstract Art

IMG_1821_2

 

Tomorrow, I will be working on Abstract Art with the Grade 5 students – something I know they will definitely have fun with! A great, easy technique enjoyed by most, as you can do just about anything with it! It’s all about the lines – drawing them straight, across, intertwining them, adding in circular lines, etc. The best part for most students, in which I think explains the reason as to why they enjoy it so much, is that it doesn’t HAVE to look like something. In other words, their finishing picture does not need to represent a house, or an animal, or a thing per se. Rather, it’s simply about creating something original, different and interesting! As an idea from a fellow colleague, we decided to pull an activity from a great link called ‘Teach Kids Art’ .  This site has great resources for teaching kids art, along with various activities in which you can easily engage in with your students! If you click on the picture above, it will direct you to the activity in which I will be working on tomorrow! I will be sure to post pictures once we are done! Enjoy!

 

 

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Gr 4 Science Unit on Pulleys and Gears (Ontario Curriculum) http://teachingrocks.ca/4-science-unit-pulleys-and-gears-ontario-curriculum/ http://teachingrocks.ca/4-science-unit-pulleys-and-gears-ontario-curriculum/#respond Thu, 04 Apr 2013 12:30:59 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2683 Gr 4 Science Unit on Pulleys and Gears (Ontario Curriculum)

We have been hard at work once again.  Today’s post provides our latest science unit for Gr. 4 Science.  Our past units have had great success and have been inspired once more to keep creating complete units that address the … Continue reading →

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Gr 4 Science Unit on Pulleys and Gears (Ontario Curriculum)

We have been hard at work once again.  Today’s post provides our latest science unit for Gr. 4 Science.  Our past units have had great success and have been inspired once more to keep creating complete units that address the Ontario Science Curriculum in a cross curricular approach.

Today’s unit addresses the Understanding Structures and Mechanisms: Pulleys and Gears.   With this unit you do not need to search for other resources.  It is a complete unit that will fully engage your students in a variety of ways.

 

Pulleys and Gears Badge

Here is an overview of the unit:

Learning centres: students work in small groups or individually to rotate between three centres over the course of the activity (four types of centre activities: technology, reading/writing activity, creative response, and a fun or hands-on activity);

Whole class lesson/discussions followed by either small group activities or whole class activity

Cross-curricular integration with other subject areas, including Language Arts (Reading, Writing, Oral Communication, Media Literacy), Drama, Physical Education, Art, and Health

A focus on Assessment For and As Learning through student self-assessments and group assessments, KWL charts, exit slips, anticipation guides, and project planning sheets;

Reading strategies addressed include making connections, determining important ideas, drawing conclusions, and cause-and-effect;

Differentiated Instruction is achieved through Learning Centres, group work and a variety of hands-on activities and labs

The entire unit, including lessons, assignments, assessments, printables, and centre activities comes to over 120 pages!

Need more?  Just click on this link: Demo of Gr 4 Pulleys and Gears

If you have not seen our other COMPLETE units that address the Ontario Science Curriculum, then use the links below to find further information:

Gr. 4/5 Pulleys, Gears, Forces & Structures

Gr. 4 Habitats and Communities

Gr. 4/5  Habitats and Communities & Human Organ Systems

Gr. 5 Human Organ Systems

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Words to Live by Wednesdays: Whatever you think you can do… http://teachingrocks.ca/words-live-wednesdays-whatever-you-think-you-can/ http://teachingrocks.ca/words-live-wednesdays-whatever-you-think-you-can/#respond Thu, 04 Apr 2013 01:23:59 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2696 Words to Live by Wednesdays: Whatever you think you can do…

  Continue to remind your students or let them know, if you haven’t already, that they not only have to think about what they can do, or simply know about what they can do, they have to actually do it. … Continue reading →

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Words to Live by Wednesdays: Whatever you think you can do…

begin it begin it

Continue to remind your students or let them know, if you haven’t already, that they not only have to think about what they can do, or simply know about what they can do, they have to actually do it. Same thing with our hopes and dreams. We have so many dreams about what we want to do, or what we wish we could do, yet we never really do stop to think that if only we actually started, we could do it! Tell you students this, each and every day. If they want to do something, they have to do it. If they have dreams, they have to begin acting on them! In doing so, you will begin to hear more ‘I CAN’ as oppose to ‘I wish, I dream, I can’t’ !

Click, print and post! Most importantly, reflect !

 

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The Tuesday 12: 12 Exciting and Educational Resources for Earth Day! http://teachingrocks.ca/the-tuesday-12-12-exciting-and-educational-resources-for-earth-day/ http://teachingrocks.ca/the-tuesday-12-12-exciting-and-educational-resources-for-earth-day/#respond Tue, 02 Apr 2013 13:32:00 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2682 Warning: mysqli_num_fields() expects parameter 1 to be mysqli_result, boolean given in /home/content/58/10437358/html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 3182

The Tuesday 12: 12 Exciting and Educational Resources for Earth Day!

Over the next few weeks, The Tuesday 12 will be taking on an environmental twist as we look at various activities focused on the environment. Just click on each link below! 1. Earth Day Canada: A great website that has … Continue reading →

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The Tuesday 12: 12 Exciting and Educational Resources for Earth Day!

12 earth day resources

Over the next few weeks, The Tuesday 12 will be taking on an environmental twist as we look at various activities focused on the environment. Just click on each link below!

1. Earth Day Canada: A great website that has tons of resources to get you focused on celebrating Earth Day! There are activities for kids, classes, and families, so you can find everything you are looking for in one place.

2. Earth Day Network: An international environmental movement group that provides tons of articles, activities, resources, action plans, and initiatives for everyone worldwide.

3. Think Green: Tons of Earth Day resources for teachers organized by grade level and are cross-curricular.

4. Environmental Protection Agency—“Pick five for the environment”: The EPA has a section of their website devoted to taking environmental initiatives in your life when you “pick five” and become committed to protecting the environment.  The resources are divided up into home, work, school, shopping, the community, and on the road.  Each category then has tons of resources to help you become more green and committed to making a change.   

5. Saskatoon Public Schools: A huge list of teacher resources for Earth Day, including literature, lesson plans, and printouts.

6. TeacherVision: A great collection of lessons, printables, and resources covering every curriculum area. You are able to view seven resources at no cost, but then you must subscribe for full access.

7. TeachersFirst: A very comprehensive collection of classroom resources from a variety of websites like The Nature Conservancy, Disney, WWF, National Film Board of Canada, etc.

8. EducationWorld: I love so many of the ideas on this list! So many resources that would be great in the classroom, like planting seeds/growing plants, various garden activities, math projects, upcycling art, and social justice projects!

9. Kaboose: This website can help you complement your classroom, home, and family initiatives with its range of resources.

10. DLTK’s Crafts for Kids: Not only does this site provide a great breakdown of the history and purpose of Earth Day, but it has links to tons of resources that would be great in the classroom.

11.TES (Climate Change Resources): If you are teaching high school students, tes connect has tons of primary and secondary resources that can be used to learn about climate change.

12. Earth Day Worship Resources: For those who want to look at the religious aspects of Earth Day and being stewards of creations.

Don’t forget to check back next week for another edition of The Tuesday 12!

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Pre-Reading Activities: Introducing Students to Life in the 1960s Through Drama http://teachingrocks.ca/pre-reading-activities-introducing-students-life-the-1960s-through-drama/ http://teachingrocks.ca/pre-reading-activities-introducing-students-life-the-1960s-through-drama/#respond Sat, 30 Mar 2013 01:21:06 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2675 Pre-Reading Activities: Introducing Students to Life in the 1960s Through Drama

One of the novels that I absolutely love to teach is The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.  I have yet to encounter a student that did not love this novel! Since the story is set in the 1960s, I go through … Continue reading →

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Pre-Reading Activities: Introducing Students to Life in the 1960s Through Drama

One of the novels that I absolutely love to teach is The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.  I have yet to encounter a student that did not love this novel!

Since the story is set in the 1960s, I go through various activities to help my students understand what life was like in the 1960s. We usually begin with a whole class discussion where students share anything that they know about the 1960s and we record contributions on the board.  As more students share their ideas, we begin to build a concept map where we attempt to categorize the contributions and make connections between ideas. When students begin to struggle, I use prompting questions to get them to discuss possible answers (e.g. “Do you think students had calculators in the 1960s?”).  Once we have had a great discussion, we work on two main activities:  group and individual presentations.

The group presentations are pretty straightforward: students work in small groups to create a multi-media presentation on one aspect of the 1960s in greater detail and then present it to the class.  We determine the topics for the presentations from the concept map we created during our discussion.  This year, our topics were: fashion, politics, entertainment, television, sports, music, cars, and technology.

The individual presentations integrate drama into Language Arts.  I had my students research influential people from the 1960s and each student had to choose one person to research more in-depth. To keep things interesting, no two students were allowed to research the same person.  Once they researched and chose an influential person from the 1960s, students were then to “become” this person and be interviewed on a talk show.  Students were given about three weeks to prepare for their interviews and they were to focus on content, costume/props, voice and delivery, gestures, and presentation.  I provided students with a graphic organizer to help them record their research and prepare for their presentations.

We had our talk show on Thursday and it was amazing! I wish I could share pictures to show you all the fantastic and creative costumes by students came up with!  This was such an engaging experience and both my students and I had a wonderful time and learned so much!

In case you are reading a novel with your students that is set in the 1960s, I have included the worksheet here for your use.  Just click on the link!

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Easter Symbols http://teachingrocks.ca/easter-symbols/ http://teachingrocks.ca/easter-symbols/#respond Thu, 28 Mar 2013 18:42:39 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2657 Easter Symbols

    As promised yesterday, we have samples of what students manually created for the Easter Subway Art.  These samples show how students can develop meaning and understanding through an artistic approach, by hi-lighting key words and concepts.  Furthermore, students can … Continue reading →

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Easter Symbols

Easter Subway Art

 

 

As promised yesterday, we have samples of what students manually created for the Easter Subway Art.  These samples show how students can develop meaning and understanding through an artistic approach, by hi-lighting key words and concepts.  Furthermore, students can express  their thoughts and feelings in a variety of fashions.  Lisa’s students did a fantastic job!  Take a look!

 

 

 

Easter Subway Art 3

Easter Subway Art 2

For many the Easter season is a very important time of year.  I have found that many of my students understand Jesus’ passion, what the significance of the season is, but do not know what the connection is to some of the symbols used throughout this season.

For example, many students think that the Easter egg is not really a religious symbol.  Granted it has morphed into a commercialized egg but the symbolism is very important.

I hope the following helps your students understand some of the Easter symbols and their significance.

Easter Eggs & Baby Chicks: Eggs and chicks symbolize new life. Eggs have been a symbol of Spring since ancient times. An egg also is a symbol of the rock tomb out of which Jesus emerged when he arose again. The chick, hatching out of the egg, symbolizes new life or re-birth.

Easter Bunny: The rabbit, or hare, was a symbol of abundant new life in ancient times, and reminds us of Spring and new life.

Easter Lilies: The white blossoms symbolize the purity of Jesus. Lilies, emerging from the earth in the spring, also symbolize new life and the resurrection of Christ.

Palm Branches: Represents when Jesus arrived in Jerusalem on the first Palm Sunday and people waved palm branches, welcoming him.

Hot Cross Buns: Hot cross buns have a cross of icing on the top to remind people of Christ.

Easter & Spring Flowers: Daffodils and tulips bloom in the spring, and symbolize spring and new life.

The Butterfly: The whole life cycle of the butterfly is meant to symbolize the life of Jesus Christ. The first stage, is the caterpillar, which stands for His life on Earth. Second phase begins from the cocoon stage, portraying the crucifixion and burial of Jesus. The third and final stage is the butterfly, representing His raising from the dead in a glorified body and peace.

There are many more symbols, but these are the usual ones.  Leave us a comment about the symbols you have discussed with your students.

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Words to Live by Wednesdays : Easter Subway Art http://teachingrocks.ca/words-live-wednesdays-easter-subway-art/ http://teachingrocks.ca/words-live-wednesdays-easter-subway-art/#respond Thu, 28 Mar 2013 01:41:58 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2650 Warning: mysqli_num_fields() expects parameter 1 to be mysqli_result, boolean given in /home/content/58/10437358/html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 3182

Words to Live by Wednesdays : Easter Subway Art

        Today with the grade 5’s, I decided to let them explore with different fonts, styles, colors, etc. They keep asking about our monthly subway art posters (virtue of the month) and how it is done and … Continue reading →

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Words to Live by Wednesdays : Easter Subway Art

easter badge

 

 

easter

 

 

Today with the grade 5’s, I decided to let them explore with different fonts, styles, colors, etc. They keep asking about our monthly subway art posters (virtue of the month) and how it is done and if they can try. We have tried wordle and even tagxedo (both great sites to check out!!!) but we haven’t tried subway art. We mostly see subway art on the computer and yes, it would be fun just the same to have students create them using some of the many programs out there such as picmonkey (the one I use), but I decided for today to have them do it hands on! I showed them various examples which demonstrated a number of different fonts they could choose from or colors and sizes etc. We brainstormed a bunch of great words in connection to the season and occasion – they came up with fantastic words, and this truly helped them get started! I will definitely take pictures of the finishing product and will post some in the next few days. Down below, I have included one of the examples shown to the grade 5’s in which they really liked and used many of the styles from! There’s still time left to squeeze in that fun and easy art activitity!

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String Art Extension : A Great Easter Activity! http://teachingrocks.ca/string-art-extension-great-easter-activity/ http://teachingrocks.ca/string-art-extension-great-easter-activity/#respond Tue, 26 Mar 2013 01:35:09 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2643 String Art Extension : A Great Easter Activity!

Loriana posted a bunch of great activities in last weeks Tuesday 12, one of which I found really neat and decided to do with my class for Easter. I refer to it as string art! This activity is great for … Continue reading →

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String Art Extension : A Great Easter Activity!

string egg artLoriana posted a bunch of great activities in last weeks Tuesday 12, one of which I found really neat and decided to do with my class for Easter. I refer to it as string art! This activity is great for students of all ages. Simple, fun and a great finishing product. Although you can google images and find plenty of examples on the one and only ‘Pinterest’, you can definitely go anywhere with this activity, not only for Easter but other occasions and holidays as well. For Easter, the simple string art activity can be turned into a really interesting and creative activity. From wrapping string around a balloon and popping the balloon, leaving you with a string egg, a great extension would be to create something out of this egg. For example, add some ears, nose, mouth, feet and other details to create a chick or bunny. Possibly cut out an opening to create a small basket for chocolates or candies (such as shown in the picture). Another great idea is putting wrapped chocolates in the balloon so that once you wrap the string around the balloon and pop it once dry, you are left with a string egg with chocolates inside. I’m telling you, the possibilities of this simple activity are endless. There are so many ideas out there! As for tomorrow, I will be starting this activity and will begin with the simple egg design (wrapping string around it, waiting for it to dry, then popping the balloon); But I am almost certain there will be plenty of students who are finished and want to move on to something else. This is where the extension comes in! Add details and create a fun, cute looking animal, basket or treat shaker! It really all depends on the students, grade and ofcourse, their interest! Try it out!

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Words to Live by Wednesdays: First Day of Spring http://teachingrocks.ca/words-live-wednesdays-first-day-spring/ http://teachingrocks.ca/words-live-wednesdays-first-day-spring/#respond Thu, 21 Mar 2013 01:48:43 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2638 Words to Live by Wednesdays: First Day of Spring

Yes…indeed, it is the FIRST day of Spring today. It definitely may not seem as so, nor does it look as though it is. It’s snowing out there, it’s freezing cold, and the winds just simply do not remind us … Continue reading →

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Words to Live by Wednesdays: First Day of Spring

spring badge

Yes…indeed, it is the FIRST day of Spring today. It definitely may not seem as so, nor does it look as though it is. It’s snowing out there, it’s freezing cold, and the winds just simply do not remind us of the spring. It’s somewhere out there…it IS coming! For all of you today, here is a subway art poster with great spring colors to remind you of the Spring and to let you know that although it’s cold, spring is near. Think happy colors, think warmer weather, think sunshine! As Easter is coming up, and spring that has now arrived, we are all thinking of some activities to do with our students. Whether it be Jk or gr.8 or somewhere in between, there are tons of ideas out there. You may have already tried a few that you will want to revisit this year with your class but how about trying something new? Since subway art is so popular, and is simply everywhere, I thought maybe creating it as an activity would be a good idea. I was looking through some sites and blogs, only to come across a variety that can be printed for FREE! Down below I have attached one for you that will bring you drectly to the site where you can click and print. I have printed a few to bring into my class to show them as an example. In turn, I think it would be fun to have the students create their own. You may want to start with brainstorming some great descriptive words for both Easter and Spring (especially for the younger students), show them some examples using different colors, fonts, styles and designs…then send them on their way to create their own interesting, unique and fun subway art posters! Have fun!

sping

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The Tuesday 12: 12 Easter Resources! http://teachingrocks.ca/the-tuesday-12-12-easter-resources/ http://teachingrocks.ca/the-tuesday-12-12-easter-resources/#respond Tue, 19 Mar 2013 14:51:00 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2637 The Tuesday 12: 12 Easter Resources!

In this week’s edition of The Tuesday 12, we’ll be providing you with a variety of resources you can use to help prepare your students for Easter. Just click on the links below! 1. A fun and colourful {free} Easter … Continue reading →

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The Tuesday 12: 12 Easter Resources!

In this week’s edition of The Tuesday 12, we’ll be providing you with a variety of resources you can use to help prepare your students for Easter. Just click on the links below!

1. A fun and colourful {free} Easter Subway Art printable! This printable focuses more on the fun aspects of Easter, including egg hunts, jelly beans, and the Easter Bunny.

2. {Free} Easter Subway Art in a choice of four colour schemes! This printable has a religious focus on Jesus’ resurrection.

3. Tons of ways to decorate Easter eggs! From sequins, to shaving cream, to pastels, this site has you covered!

4. Free Easter digital paper and clip art to help decorate your classroom worksheets!

5. A beautiful Easter egg garland that can be made with string, balloons, and a starchy liquid!

6. Planning on giving your students an Easter treat? How about using the Jelly Bean Prayer? Follow this link to get a free printable to provide your students with a meaningful Easter treat!

7. Free Easter Worksheets to coordinate the Easter season with your math classes!

8. Older students can learn or review the Stations of the Cross by taking on a individual or group projects. 

9. A wonderful and reflective resource on forgiveness that includes reflection questions, stories, quotations, art, music, and prayers.

10. For art, stained glass crosses look beautiful against your windows.  I’ll be sharing this activity on Friday!

11. Catholic Teacher Resources has many free resources, but if you purchase a membership, you have access to so many more resources that you may find useful in your classroom.  I purchased a membership and have been using the Easter resources with my students and I am happy with the quality and variety of resources.

12. And, finally, there are so many free printables on this site! From Easter, to Lent, to the sacraments, to various saints, there are so many resources to explore!

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Day one: Back to school from the march break! http://teachingrocks.ca/day-one-back-school-from-the-march-break/ http://teachingrocks.ca/day-one-back-school-from-the-march-break/#respond Tue, 19 Mar 2013 01:32:12 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2631 Warning: mysqli_num_fields() expects parameter 1 to be mysqli_result, boolean given in /home/content/58/10437358/html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 3182

Day one: Back to school from the march break!

We meet again! I’m sure you can say the same when we say the march break was a busy one! Whether you spent time catching up on things, spending time with friends and family, doing things you rarely get the … Continue reading →

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Day one: Back to school from the march break!

We meet again! I’m sure you can say the same when we say the march break was a busy one! Whether you spent time catching up on things, spending time with friends and family, doing things you rarely get the chance to do and so on, the march break definitely kept you and us busy! And now after a week, we are back to school! Back to the stories from the students about how their marck break went, to reminding the students of the classroom rules (even though it is arch, after a week break, we all need reminders), to picking up where we left off, realizing there isn’t much time left in the year! All of a sudden your feeling the pressure…the sudden ‘I have to do so much’ feeling! Well, here we are to spread a few words across all our fellow teachers to help motivate you. As much as our students need to be motivated and encouraged on a daily basis, we too, need the same. Especially after a week away, we need a few words of encouragement to get us back on our feet. Just a few simple words to remind you about what you do, who you are, and why continuing is so important! Yes, your probably wondering: what day is it today? It’s definitely Monday, not words to live by Wednesday! However, it’s a great day to start the week off right!

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Sugar in our Drinks http://teachingrocks.ca/sugar-our-drinks/ http://teachingrocks.ca/sugar-our-drinks/#respond Sat, 09 Mar 2013 13:15:49 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2615 Sugar in our Drinks

My son recently asked what was healthier to drink.  It took us on a discovery mission about the sugar content in the drinks we have in our home and drinks we tend to sometimes consume.  As we were doing this, … Continue reading →

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Sugar in our Drinks

My son recently asked what was healthier to drink.  It took us on a discovery mission about the sugar content in the drinks we have in our home and drinks we tend to sometimes consume.  As we were doing this, I thought to myself that this little discovery activity would be a great way for our students to develop an understanding about their diets and healthy living.  I searched the internet and there is a lot of information, but wanted something that impacted the viewer visually.  I have found two that stand out that I am writing about today.

The first one is an info graphic that clearly compares sugar content in different drinks.  Jamie Oliver, a famous chef and activist for eating healthy, has posted it.  I have found it as a great visual for my son to be able to compare the quantities of sugar. Click on the image below to be brought to the PDF version.

jamie-olive-sugar

A great way for students to understand this content could be to create a comparison board about what they have learned.  Below, you’ll find an effective, yet, simple visual aid to help your students begin to understand what we are consuming. This image has been shared so many times over Facebook; however, the original source is not listed.  If you do know the original source, please leave us a comment!

Rethink your Drink

The Vancouver Island Health Authority actually has an entire activity centered on this topic!  Included in the FREE PDF is a lesson plan, activity, resources, and images to create your very own display!  Just click on the link above to be taken to the free resource.

If you and your students are really serious about making healthier drink choices, you can actually take the Rethink Your Drink Pledge! Be sure to check out this website for additional resources to help you and your students learn more about the hidden sugars in our drinks!

Hoping that this information helps you and your students.  If you do have your students create their own visuals, then please share as we would love to see what brilliance they come up with!

 

Of note:  1 tsp is approximately equal to 4.2     grams of sugar

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A Bit More on Descriptive Feedback! http://teachingrocks.ca/a-bit-more-on-descriptive-feedback/ http://teachingrocks.ca/a-bit-more-on-descriptive-feedback/#respond Fri, 08 Mar 2013 13:18:00 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2607 A Bit More on Descriptive Feedback!

This week’s Tuesday 12 post was on the topic of descriptive feedback.  We provided you with a variety of resources, but I forgot to include one! While browsing Pinterest (I really can’t stop!), I saw a great infographic that does … Continue reading →

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A Bit More on Descriptive Feedback!

This week’s Tuesday 12 post was on the topic of descriptive feedback.  We provided you with a variety of resources, but I forgot to include one! While browsing Pinterest (I really can’t stop!), I saw a great infographic that does an effective job summarizing descriptive feedback into one page.  When I read over this article, it gave me the idea to create a Tuesday 12 with a list of resources for descriptive feedback; however, I forgot to include the source of the inspiration!

Sept Cover_F.indd

Although I found this on Pinterest without a link to the original source, the article shows that the source is “The collective wisdom of authors published in the September 2012 issue of Educational Leadership: ‘Feedback for Learning.’ (Volume 70, Issue 1). Although I’ve never read Educational Leadership before finding this infographic, it seems to be an excellent resource and the September 2012 issue is devoted to descriptive feedback.

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Computer Coding: An Essential Skill http://teachingrocks.ca/computer-coding-essential-skill/ http://teachingrocks.ca/computer-coding-essential-skill/#respond Thu, 07 Mar 2013 13:09:36 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2555 Computer Coding: An Essential Skill

We all wonder what our students and children will face in the future.  How will they be successful, what kind of work will there be for them, what skills are necessary to be able to be successful?  These questions are … Continue reading →

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Computer Coding: An Essential Skill

We all wonder what our students and children will face in the future.  How will they be successful, what kind of work will there be for them, what skills are necessary to be able to be successful?  These questions are at the heart of everything we do!  We know that students need to be creative, able to problem solve and think critically.  Also, we know that our curriculum and our classrooms should be inclusive of technology.  But what about understanding where it all stems from?  What are we doing about that?  We need to realize that computer software coding is an essential skill that will be necessary for success. We need to be able to address this in our classrooms.

Here is a link to a wonderful video, where world class athletes, musicians and great business people, discuss the importance to this very skill.

Well, what does that mean for us? Visit the website www.code.org and find out how students can learn to code in elementary schools, how they can develop their critical thinking skills and problem solving skills. Share with us what you think and what you have tried.  It is never too late for anyone to learn to code!

 

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Words to Live by Wednesdays: Dreams Really DO come TRUE! http://teachingrocks.ca/words-live-wednesdays-dreams-really-come-true/ http://teachingrocks.ca/words-live-wednesdays-dreams-really-come-true/#respond Thu, 07 Mar 2013 02:22:44 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2608 Words to Live by Wednesdays: Dreams Really DO come TRUE!

One of my all time favorites: ‘Somewhere over the rainbow, dreams really do come true’. Not only do I love the Wizard of Oz, but I absolutely love this song. There are many different versions of it but I must … Continue reading →

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Words to Live by Wednesdays: Dreams Really DO come TRUE!

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One of my all time favorites: ‘Somewhere over the rainbow, dreams really do come true’. Not only do I love the Wizard of Oz, but I absolutely love this song. There are many different versions of it but I must say, my favorite version is by Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwoʻole (Click on the link and it will bring you to Youtube to listen to the official version). I have always loved this song and began to love it even more so when I was pregnant with my first. I used to listen to it all the time – I find that it brings me much peace. The song itself is peaceful, along with its beautiful, meaningful words. It’s a song that can not only be sung to children of your own as it carries such great meaning, but also to your students because at the end of the day, no matter how big or small, we all have dreams and it’s nice to hear that dreams really do come true 🙂

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Stay tuned for next weeks Word to Live by Wednesdays!

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The Tuesday 12: 12 Resources All About Descriptive Feedback! http://teachingrocks.ca/the-tuesday-12-12-resources-all-about-descriptive-feedback/ http://teachingrocks.ca/the-tuesday-12-12-resources-all-about-descriptive-feedback/#respond Tue, 05 Mar 2013 15:20:00 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2601 The Tuesday 12: 12 Resources All About Descriptive Feedback!

In this week’s edition of The Tuesday 12, we’ll be looking at resources to help teachers understand and incorporate descriptive feedback on a regular basis.  Just click on the links below to be taken to the resource. 1. “Descriptive Feedback” … Continue reading →

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The Tuesday 12: 12 Resources All About Descriptive Feedback!

In this week’s edition of The Tuesday 12, we’ll be looking at resources to help teachers understand and incorporate descriptive feedback on a regular basis.  Just click on the links below to be taken to the resource.

1. “Descriptive Feedback” (video)

If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to view the abundance of resources on the EduGAINS website, then I highly suggest you check it out right away! If you are struggling with assessment for and as learning, then this site has so many resources for your teaching and learning.

2. “Descriptive Feedback Fosters Improved Student Learning” (article)

This short two page article illustrates the importance of feedback by telling the story of one school’s journey to apply meaningful feedback (aside: this school is part of our board!).  Tips are given at the end to help teachers incorporate descriptive feedback in their classes.

3. “Descriptive Feedback at Winona” (blog post)

In this blog post, three different tools are used to provide descriptive feedback: Livescribe Pen, Google Docs, and Snowball Mic.  I like how technology is being used as the vehicle for providing descriptive feedback.

4. “A Focus on Informed Assessment Practices Webcast #3” (slideshow)

If you’re still unsure about assessment for learning, this slideshow takes you through the six areas of assessment for learning and provides examples of effective descriptive feedback.

5. “Feed Back…Feed Forward: Using Assessment to Boost Literacy Learning” (article)

I found this article by Anne Davies effective because it uses an example of a teacher going through the process of providing descriptive feedback with her students and how they together develop a list of “what good readers do” and then they created a recording sheet together.  What a meaningful and engaging way to make students active leaners and contributors!

6. “Descriptive Feedback Examples” (chart)

This chart provides three sample teacher comments for three different Social Studies assignments.  You’ll notice that for each teacher comment, it is directly tied to the specific curriculum expectation.  The comments provide positive aspects of the students work, as well as points of reflection, next steps, and areas to consider.

7. “Teachers Demonstrate Effective Descriptive Feedback” (video)

A great video to display descriptive feedback in action!

8. “Types of Feedback and Their Purposes” (Chapter 2 in the book “How to Give Effective Feedback to Your Students”)

Susan M. Brookhart provides detailed information regarding various dimensions of feedback, including timing, amount, mode, and audience. For each dimension, she provides examples of good and bad feedback with a discussion explaining each set.

9. “Do You Coach or Do You Judge?” (blog post)

A great article about the key differences between assessment for learning (similar to the role of a coach) and assessment of learning (similar to the role of a judge).

10. “Lucy West: Why Feedback?” (video)

You all know by now how much I love Lucy West! The first video on the page is about feedback, but I’d watch all of them if I were you…Lucy West is that great!

11. “Let’s Talk Assessment…” (newsletter)

This is absolutely fantastic! It summarizes everything you need to know about effective feedback!

12. “Teaching and Learning; What works best” (research article)

A very thorough research article that looks at the impact various teaching innovations and methods have on student learning.  It references John Hattie’s research in 1992, which shows that the “most powerful single moderator that enhances achievement is feedback. The most simple prescription for improving education must be ‘dollops of feedback’” (p.4).

Atherton J S (2011) Teaching and Learning; What works best [On-line: UK] retrieved 4 March 2013 from http://www.learningandteaching.info/teaching/what_works.htm
Read more: What works best http://www.learningandteaching.info/teaching/what_works.htm#ixzz2MdWsMCXP
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives

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Money Unit: Final Lesson and Review! http://teachingrocks.ca/money-unit-final-lesson-and-review/ http://teachingrocks.ca/money-unit-final-lesson-and-review/#respond Tue, 05 Mar 2013 02:47:21 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2591 Money Unit: Final Lesson and Review!

Finally, it is here. I got so caught up on all the great posts from Pinterest that I completely lost track of time! This is the final lesson and review to our Money Unit for your grade 3’s. For those … Continue reading →

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Money Unit: Final Lesson and Review!

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Finally, it is here. I got so caught up on all the great posts from Pinterest that I completely lost track of time! This is the final lesson and review to our Money Unit for your grade 3’s. For those of you who have already completed the unit, I hope that our previous lessons and worksheets were helpful. Those of you who are working on it, hope you have had a chance to take a look at them and were able to use some of the previously posted worksheets. If you have yet to begin the unit, perfect. You can now click under Grade 3 or Math and you will find all the lessons and corresponding worksheets, including today’s post – Final Review. I am working on combining all the lessons and worksheets into one document and will post that as a freebie via teachers pay teachers and teachers notebook! I will definitely post an updated message shortly. As for now, click on the following images and print away!

lesson 8

review 8

 

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Song Lyrics as Poetry: Integrating Language Arts, Music, and Visual Arts http://teachingrocks.ca/song-lyrics-poetry-integrating-language-arts-music-and-visual-arts/ http://teachingrocks.ca/song-lyrics-poetry-integrating-language-arts-music-and-visual-arts/#respond Mon, 04 Mar 2013 03:38:16 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2585 Song Lyrics as Poetry: Integrating Language Arts, Music, and Visual Arts

Like Lisa, I absolutely love scouring Pinterest for inspirational ideas. One of the images that I found was for “Draw Me a Song”, a beautiful website full of illustrated posters of song lyrics. I really want to order one, but … Continue reading →

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Song Lyrics as Poetry: Integrating Language Arts, Music, and Visual Arts

Like Lisa, I absolutely love scouring Pinterest for inspirational ideas. One of the images that I found was for “Draw Me a Song”, a beautiful website full of illustrated posters of song lyrics. I really want to order one, but I‘m having trouble deciding between “Imagine” and “Over the Rainbow.”

I thought it would be fun to let my students choose a song and illustrate it in this manner. We started off our lesson by looking at songs as poetry (so I could include some of my favourites) and then we discussed how and why songwriters express their feelings and experiences. Students were asked to choose a song that they found inspirational and illustrate it using various fonts (we looked at FontSpace for ideas) and then used some graphic design elements to illustrate their chosen section of lyrics. Once the illustrations were completed, students worked on a written response where they reflected on their song choice, the meaning of the lyrics, and why they found those lyrics inspirational. Since we are working on making connections for our TLCP cycle, I also had my students connect the song lyrics to one of their previous experiences.

My students did a phenomenal job and they all looked beautiful together:

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Here’s a close up of a few of them:

closeups lyrics

Note: My apologies if this post showed up in your reader numerous times! I have no idea what happened and why it posted at least five times…but hopefully all issues have been fixed!

 

 

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Lenten Trees: Helping see the good http://teachingrocks.ca/lenten-trees-helping-see-the-good/ http://teachingrocks.ca/lenten-trees-helping-see-the-good/#respond Thu, 28 Feb 2013 15:31:32 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2539 Lenten Trees: Helping see the good

As we are in the season of Lent, many Catholic teachers are working with students and developing their understanding of this very special season.  How Jesus’ sacrifice and love for everyone, works within us to be better people and a … Continue reading →

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Lenten Trees: Helping see the good

Lenten TreeAs we are in the season of Lent, many Catholic teachers are working with students and developing their understanding of this very special season.  How Jesus’ sacrifice and love for everyone, works within us to be better people and a better world.  But sometimes, no matter how much we discuss, students go out for recess or lunch and come back in with tonnes of issues that they could not resolve themselves.  If you teach primary grades, then you know this all too well.  But don’t be surprised when the same happens in the junior and intermediate grades!  We need to re-direct their focus, find the good, find the peace, and develop a sense of family within our students. For this lenten season I make the following suggestion.  As students come in from their breaks, have them record a positive occurrence in the school yard that they were able to experience.  Maybe not everyone will have one, but they will definitely start looking for the good instead of the negatives.  You can use this as part of a discussion on how people solve problems, help others, do good deeds, the list is endless!  Now what you do with these recorded items?  Place them on the Lenten Tree.  You can definitely create what you see in the image with branches and construction paper, or if you have the space you can create a Lenten Tree on your wall where students can tape it on.  Just ensure you have the materials all prepared for students to be able to record as soon enough your tree will be overflowing with good deeds!

Image from http://lillightomine.com

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Words to Live by Wednesdays: ‘We are what we….’ http://teachingrocks.ca/words-live-wednesdays-are-what/ http://teachingrocks.ca/words-live-wednesdays-are-what/#respond Wed, 27 Feb 2013 19:02:57 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2532 Words to Live by Wednesdays: ‘We are what we….’

True: We are what we imagine ourselves to be’. That’s all there is to it. Whether we imagine ourselves to be a pilot, doctor, veterinarian, teacher, electrician, engineer, painter, care taker, accountant, etc. – it is our imagination that will … Continue reading →

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Words to Live by Wednesdays: ‘We are what we….’

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True: We are what we imagine ourselves to be’. That’s all there is to it. Whether we imagine ourselves to be a pilot, doctor, veterinarian, teacher, electrician, engineer, painter, care taker, accountant, etc. – it is our imagination that will push us to strive, that will motivate us to work hard, and will encourage us to keep going. Our imagination can take us anywhere and everywhere. It’s up to us to allow it to!

Just click, print and reflect!

IMAGINE

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The Tuesday 12: 12 Inspirational Dr. Seuss Quotes! http://teachingrocks.ca/the-tuesday-12-12-inspirational-seuss-quotes/ http://teachingrocks.ca/the-tuesday-12-12-inspirational-seuss-quotes/#respond Wed, 27 Feb 2013 02:01:23 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2527 The Tuesday 12: 12 Inspirational Dr. Seuss Quotes!

In this week’s edition of the Tuesday 12, we’ll look at 12 inspirational Dr. Seuss quotes.  For each one, I have linked you to a graphic that displays the quote.  Just click each quote to see the graphic! 1. “Today … Continue reading →

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The Tuesday 12: 12 Inspirational Dr. Seuss Quotes!

12 dr seuss quotes

In this week’s edition of the Tuesday 12, we’ll look at 12 inspirational Dr. Seuss quotes.  For each one, I have linked you to a graphic that displays the quote.  Just click each quote to see the graphic!

1. “Today you are you, that is true than true.  There is no one alive that is youer that you”

2. “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

3. “Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting so…get on your way!”

4. “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”

5. “Think left and think right and think low and think high.  Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!”

6. “Young cat, if you keep your eyes open enough, the stuff you will learn! The most wonderful stuff!”

7. “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”

8. “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”

9. “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

10. “A person’s a person no matter how small!”

11. “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

12. “From there to here, and her to there, funny things are everywhere.”

Want more words of wisdom from Dr. Seuss?  Here’s a great graphic that lists so many more!

Don’t forget to check back next week for another edition of the Tuesday 12!

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Playdough from scratch! http://teachingrocks.ca/playdough-from-scratch/ http://teachingrocks.ca/playdough-from-scratch/#respond Mon, 25 Feb 2013 13:00:54 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2523 Warning: mysqli_num_fields() expects parameter 1 to be mysqli_result, boolean given in /home/content/58/10437358/html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 3182

Playdough from scratch!

Ofcourse it’s simple to just buy playdough, but if your keeping your toddler in mind or your JK’s and SK’s (even the older kids), your thinking more along the lines of using something that is safe and edible! As we all know, … Continue reading →

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Playdough from scratch!

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Ofcourse it’s simple to just buy playdough, but if your keeping your toddler in mind or your JK’s and SK’s (even the older kids), your thinking more along the lines of using something that is safe and edible! As we all know, kids are curious and most often they explore things with their mouths. So, here it is – yet another great pin from my all time favorite: PINTEREST! Have I mentioned just how much I love it?! I am constantly finding great, new ideas for home, school, my little one, and just life in general! Since our previous posts on chalkboard paint and homemade finger paint were such a success in the making, I just had to add this one as well. I made the playdough using this recipe. I did have to add more flour and I will suggest that you do the same, to create a thicker dough, otherwise your in for a sticky mess! You definitely have to try this! It is so easy to make, takes very little time and is inexpensive as well!!! Again, we had a blast playing with it, making tiny creations, rolling it, stamping it, squishing it – the works!!! Have fun!

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Filmpossible: Bringing Visibility to Disability! View and Vote Please! http://teachingrocks.ca/filmpossible-bringing-visibility-disability-view-and-vote-please/ http://teachingrocks.ca/filmpossible-bringing-visibility-disability-view-and-vote-please/#respond Sat, 23 Feb 2013 03:40:39 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2517 Filmpossible: Bringing Visibility to Disability! View and Vote Please!

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital is “Canada’s largest children’s rehabilitation hospital. [Their] vision is to create a world of possibility for kids with disability.  [They] pioneer treatments, technologies, therapies and real-world programs that give children with disabilities the tools to … Continue reading →

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Filmpossible: Bringing Visibility to Disability! View and Vote Please!

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital is “Canada’s largest children’s rehabilitation hospital. [Their] vision is to create a world of possibility for kids with disability.  [They] pioneer treatments, technologies, therapies and real-world programs that give children with disabilities the tools to participate fully in life.” (source)

Our school has a Multiple Exceptionalities (M.E.) Class for students with special needs.  Our school’s goal is to allow these students to have a safe and nurturing space to grow and develop to their full potential and learn essential life skills, all while having the opportunity to be integrated with their peers as often as possible.  We are lucky and honoured to have an M.E. class at our school because we are given the opportunity to see first-hand how much our students CAN do and the amazing goals they achieve each day.

Our students are even luckier to have such dedicated, caring, and supportive people working with them.  Their teacher (Michelle) and educational assistants are so proud of their achievements that they have entered them in Holland Bloorview’s filmpossible 2013, an online video and photo contest to bring visibility to disability .

The theme of their video (WE CAN) is to show the world all the things our students CAN achieve, instead of focusing on things that they can’t do. It is truly inspirational.

Please consider voting for their video, so that they are able to win filmpossible 2013! To vote, simply go to filmpossible.ca, sign up for an account, click on “WE CAN” video, and vote each day!

Thank you so much!!

Please click on this link to vote!  “WE CAN” VIDEO

Voting for Round 1 is open until March 25, 2013. Please consider voting for “WE CAN” as often as possible!

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To This Day by Shane Koyczan http://teachingrocks.ca/this-day-shane-koyczan/ http://teachingrocks.ca/this-day-shane-koyczan/#respond Thu, 21 Feb 2013 20:08:38 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2514 To This Day by Shane Koyczan

As we all know, bully prevention month has come and gone.  We talked about how students should not be bystanders, and what immediate steps can be taken.  In this month of Love, we need to not forget that students who … Continue reading →

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To This Day by Shane Koyczan

As we all know, bully prevention month has come and gone.  We talked about how students should not be bystanders, and what immediate steps can be taken.  In this month of Love, we need to not forget that students who are bullied have lasting psychological effects for that experience that may or may not have stopped.   Love them, completely and unconditionally.

We also provided a Tuesday 12 list of books on the subject of bullying, and here today we share with you an amazing new find!

The poet Shane Koyczan, created a poem about bullying but took has taken it a step further.  He enlisted the help of 20 animators to create segments to represent his poem.  The result is absolutely incredible.  The account of his personal experience and of others is at times overwhelming.  The visuals are chilling, a truly amazing short film.  This video is truly beautiful and powerful.

Take the time to watch it, and be the judge about who you share it with.

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Words to Live by Wednesdays : Make every day…. http://teachingrocks.ca/words-live-wednesdays-make-every-day/ http://teachingrocks.ca/words-live-wednesdays-make-every-day/#respond Thu, 21 Feb 2013 02:01:11 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2506 Words to Live by Wednesdays : Make every day….

An essential lesson to teach your students and your very own children : Make every day your Masterpiece. I can not express enough just how important I believe encouragement is… and not just sometimes, but ALL the time. I believe that it … Continue reading →

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Words to Live by Wednesdays : Make every day….

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An essential lesson to teach your students and your very own children : Make every day your Masterpiece. I can not express enough just how important I believe encouragement is… and not just sometimes, but ALL the time. I believe that it guides our students, motivates our students and gives them what they need to keep their heads up high, to keep on trying and with that, to try their best! For some student’s, or all students at some point or another, trying their best is only necessary or relevant during examination, during final projects and/or even during presentations. We need to continuously remind them to try their best each and every day. As John Wooden has stated: ‘Make every day YOUR masterpiece’.

Click and print!  

masterpiece

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Chalkboard Paint?! What a clever idea! http://teachingrocks.ca/chalkboard-paint-what-clever-idea/ http://teachingrocks.ca/chalkboard-paint-what-clever-idea/#respond Mon, 18 Feb 2013 18:00:23 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2499 Chalkboard Paint?! What a clever idea!

I have seen this on numerous boards on Pinterest, and quite frankly, I think it is an amazing idea!!! Kids love chalk!  Driving by houses in the summer, you see kids out writing on their driveways, on the sidewalks – … Continue reading →

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Chalkboard Paint?! What a clever idea!

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I have seen this on numerous boards on Pinterest, and quite frankly, I think it is an amazing idea!!! Kids love chalk!  Driving by houses in the summer, you see kids out writing on their driveways, on the sidewalks – they love it! How many of you have students who just can’t resist doodling or writing on the board and will do so any chance they get?  Let’s face it, most of our students particiapte in answering questions and sharing their answers with the class simply because they want to write on the chalk board! Well, at least I think so for many of them! As a mother looking for ideas to keep my toddler busy, I came across this great idea of chalkboard paint. Yes, you can definitely buy it at the store, such as Michaels Crafts store, but here today, I have provided you with the site that tells you how to make it from home. Best part is, all you need is 2 ingredients: Any color paint and Non-Sanded Tile Grout! Imagine that! Inexpensive, creative and fun!! My next project is to pick up a table from Ikea and paint the table top with chalkboard paint, so that especially during these cold days, we can sit inside and doodle and write with chalk! My little one is going to love it!

Click on the image above and read on! Give it a try and let us know how it goes!!!

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Home Made Natural Finger Paints http://teachingrocks.ca/home-made-natural-finger-paints/ http://teachingrocks.ca/home-made-natural-finger-paints/#respond Sun, 17 Feb 2013 01:11:53 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2495 Home Made Natural Finger Paints

It’s the long weekend here in Ontario, and most of us are trying to catch up on our backlogged items as well as have some fun.  If you are a teacher, you  are definitely still thinking of next week!  That’s … Continue reading →

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Home Made Natural Finger Paints

Slide1It’s the long weekend here in Ontario, and most of us are trying to catch up on our backlogged items as well as have some fun.  If you are a teacher, you  are definitely still thinking of next week!  That’s what we do!  If you are a parent, you are thinking of how to find ways to entertain your kids.    We have  found a great recipe for finger paints and we must tell you all about it!  It works fantastically well,  and is natural and most of all inexpensive!

First and foremost, you will need containers.  Small glass jars would work!  They have lids to keep the paint fresh! So here goes:

  • 3 Tbsp of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 cup of corn starch (keep some extra on hand in case mixture is too runny)
  • 2 cups of water

That’s it!!  All you do is combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan, stir until the mixture thickens.  Once it cools, pour it into containers.  Add food colouring to create your desired colours!  Now for an all natural, use natural food colouring (can be found at Natural Food stores).  If the mixture is too clumpy, then you can definitely add water.  But do remember this is finger paint so it should be thicker!

We would love to see your results!  Do share and definitely do enjoy!

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Making Life Easier! Post-It Note Templates http://teachingrocks.ca/making-life-easier-post-note-templates/ http://teachingrocks.ca/making-life-easier-post-note-templates/#respond Fri, 15 Feb 2013 18:16:51 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2481 Making Life Easier! Post-It Note Templates

A few years back, I purchased these excellent Post-It Notes that were pre-printed with various reading comprehension strategies.  For each strategy, a checklist was provided for students or teachers to check off while reading over the student response.  These Post-Its … Continue reading →

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Making Life Easier! Post-It Note Templates

A few years back, I purchased these excellent Post-It Notes that were pre-printed with various reading comprehension strategies.  For each strategy, a checklist was provided for students or teachers to check off while reading over the student response.  These Post-Its were very useful, but also very expensive.  The other problem I had was that I really wanted to use Post-Its for other reasons, so I really wanted to find some way to customize them.  I found a really great product on Teachers Pay Teachers that allows you to customize Post-It Notes.

Janice Malone has three {FREE} templates to print on Post-It Notes depending on the size of your notes:

Standard

Mini

Large

The process is super simple:

  • pen up the template
  • print off a blank copy (this will be used to place the blank Post-It Notes)
  • type or place a picture in the blank area of each box
  • place the Post-It Note covered template into your printer
  • print!

I used this template to create a checklist for my students to go along with our Article of the Week assignments. 

post it note photo

I love Post-It Notes, so the possibilities are endless!

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School: An Essential Component of Society http://teachingrocks.ca/school-essential-component-society/ http://teachingrocks.ca/school-essential-component-society/#respond Thu, 14 Feb 2013 13:59:45 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2478 Warning: mysqli_num_fields() expects parameter 1 to be mysqli_result, boolean given in /home/content/58/10437358/html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 3182

School: An Essential Component of Society

Our previous posts have discussed Why School is important? and School as Total Institutions.  If you have not had time to read those, just click on the links and have  a read! Todays post is the final in this series. … Continue reading →

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School: An Essential Component of Society

School: An Essential Component of Society

Our previous posts have discussed Why School is important? and School as Total Institutions.  If you have not had time to read those, just click on the links and have  a read! Todays post is the final in this series.  Please comment and share your experiences.

Schooling offers students the opportunity to learn through reading, researching, and critically thinking about what the world around them presents.  Students interact with others and the result is that students are shaped and re-shaped, a process through which they gain a sense of identity.    For students to be successful in society, they must learn to interact with others in healthy, positive and productive manners.  Schools promote social interaction, and educators monitor social skills to ensure that students understand and accept differences and diversity.

Socialization in school impacts safety as well as interpersonal interactions because students with poor social skills are more likely to demonstrate aggressive or violent behavior without being able to successfully self regulate, and accept help or ask for help from others.

The benefits are endless, but it is an inclined path.  Students are immersed in the school system but their family values, thoughts, and traditions are consistently with them.   Schools need to incorporate as much of the student body traditions within their walls as possible.  Schools should demonstrate how to blend home values with society.  Collaboration and out reach are key.  If we make families involved, invested and open minded, then the results will be tremendous.

How can schools connect with families?  One way would be multicultural nights.  Presentations from students and parents (who wish and can be involved) about their culture and traditions is a fantastic way.

What other ideas do you have or you have used?

Share your experience with us!

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Words to Live By Wednesday: Happy Valentine’s Day! http://teachingrocks.ca/words-live-wednesday-happy-valentines-day/ http://teachingrocks.ca/words-live-wednesday-happy-valentines-day/#respond Wed, 13 Feb 2013 18:56:54 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2470 Words to Live By Wednesday: Happy Valentine’s Day!

Your friend’s here at Teaching Rocks would like to wish each of you a very Happy Valentine’s Day! This day is filled with love, candy, sweets and fun! Between School dances and classroom fun, your students will have a blast! … Continue reading →

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Words to Live By Wednesday: Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Your friend’s here at Teaching Rocks would like to wish each of you a very Happy Valentine’s Day! This day is filled with love, candy, sweets and fun! Between School dances and classroom fun, your students will have a blast! As a quick and neat activity, have them get on www.tagxedo.com where you can create tons of cool posters just like the one we created for you down below! Create one for Valentine’s Day – they can make one for their friends, family, etc. A different way to say ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’!

vday poster

Check back with us next week for your ‘Words to Live by Wednesday’s’!

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The Tuesday 12: Feel the Love with 12 Fabulous February Science Freebies from TPT! http://teachingrocks.ca/the-tuesday-12-feel-the-love-with-12-fabulous-february-science-freebies-from-tpt/ http://teachingrocks.ca/the-tuesday-12-feel-the-love-with-12-fabulous-february-science-freebies-from-tpt/#respond Tue, 12 Feb 2013 16:00:31 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2313 Warning: mysqli_num_fields() expects parameter 1 to be mysqli_result, boolean given in /home/content/58/10437358/html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 3182

The Tuesday 12: Feel the Love with 12 Fabulous February Science Freebies from TPT!

During the month of February, The Tuesday 12 will be featuring 12 FREE resources available on TPT! Click on the title of each resource to be brought to the TPT listing.  You need a TeachersPayTeachers accound to download the free … Continue reading →

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The Tuesday 12: Feel the Love with 12 Fabulous February Science Freebies from TPT!

During the month of February, The Tuesday 12 will be featuring 12 FREE resources available on TPT! Click on the title of each resource to be brought to the TPT listing.  You need a TeachersPayTeachers accound to download the free items.  If you don’t have a TPT account, what are you waiting for?! It’s free!  The description for each item is taken from the listing description on its TPT page. Don’t forget to check out the other awesome resources from these teacher sellers!

12 february science freebies

1. “Going on a Matter Walk” by Martha Sosa

“{FREEBIE} This product was one of my top sellers! Now it’s free for you and your students to enjoy! 🙂 Students use this booklet (copy front to back) to record the solids, liquids and gases they observe while on a discovery walk around the school.”

2. “Life Cycle Sequencing Cards—Butterfly, Frog and Ladybug!” by Curriculum Castle

“These sequencing cards are a great visual aid for children who are just beginning to learn about the life cycles of a butterfly, frog or ladybug! Simply have them color, cut and arrange the cards in the correct order. They can even make a mini book about each animal’s life cycle.
These simplified cards are perfect for Pre-K and K students!”

3. “Weather Unit (Science Fun for Pre-School – 3rd Grade)” by Living Life Intentionally

“This Weather Unit is intended for Preschoolers – 3rd Grade. It includes a wide variety of activities, experiments, worksheets and more:
– Water Cycle (including experiments)
– Seasons (including creative writing)
– Temperature (differences in sun/shade, morning/afternoon, here/other countries)
– Weather Graphing
– Hot/Cold
– Hibernation
– Clouds (including experiments)
– Wind (including experiment & activity)
– Disaster Preparedness (including drill ideas)
– Preschool Skill Practice (letters – upper/lowercase, shadow match, counting, pre-writing, colors, numbers, which is different, fine motor scissor skills, addition, sentence structure, and more)
Kids learn best when they are having fun!! My goal is to provide a fun way to reinforce, review and teach sight words to kids.”

4. “Polar Bear Science” by Crayonbox Learning

“A fun science experiment where the question “Does ice melt faster in salt or fresh water?” is answered. Geared toward ages K-2nd grade.
This freebie includes a teacher guide, pocket chart graphing including header card and answer cards, tally mark sheet, record sheet, observation sheet, polar bear facts, polar bear writing practice!”

5. “Super Science Experiments” by Sparkles Smiles and Successful Students

“Looking to spruce up your science curriculum, or have an AWESOME science fair project well you have come to the right place!
This collection of truly Super Science Experiments is just for you! It contains chemistry experiments, experiments on matter, physics, and much more1
Includes:
– 70+ science experiments and demo guides
– detailed descriptions
– pictures of experiments
– material lists
These are only the experiments I thought would be the absolute coolest ones and that students would enjoy doing!”

6. “Penguins” by Penny Waddingham

“Interactive Penguin story along with science activities,recording sheet and physical education game.”

7. “Scientific Method for Young Learners” by Wild About Teaching

“Young students love to act like scientists!
This pack includes posters, 1/4 page cards to sequence and a generic science experiment recording sheet.
If you enjoy this pack, check out my other science packs I have available!”

8. “Science Acrostics Freebie” by The Science Penguin

“Thanks for checking out this file, Science Acrostics Freebie! I hope that these 12 pages will help your students use their higher order thinking skills to find phrases that describe each item. With an acrostic poem, you use each letter of a word as the first letter of a phrase.
Ideas for Use:
~ Create a bulletin board with your acrostics.
~ Use along with a craft.
~ Use after a lab activity.
~ Use after reading the textbook or a read aloud trade book.
~ Use as partner work in a center.
~ Fold and include in science notebooks.
~ Use as review before a quiz.”

9. “Science Fair Project Planner” by Upper Grades are Awesome

“This science fair project planner is designed for group science fair projects. In the past my students struggled with each component and how to put them together to design and create their science fair project. Using this as a guide students are more confident through the process and complete higher quality work. Included is an agenda of target due dates that the students fill in to help keep them on track. Each step of the science fair project is included with a brief description/directions and a space for students to fill in. Students will also benefit from guidelines on putting together their science fair board. Finally, I have included the scoring rubric (based on the one my district uses).”

10. “Trash to Treasure—Free Activities & Lesson Using Recycled Items” by SciPi

“This FREE Trash to Treasure handout is an eight page booklet that features clever ideas, fun and engaging mini-lessons in addition to cute and easy to construct crafts made from recycled or common, everyday items. In this resource, discover how to take old, discarded materials and make them into new, useful, inexpensive products or tools for your classroom.
Learn many out-of-the-ordinary ways to use milk lids for math. Did you know two plastic beverage lids can be made into card holders for kindergartners or for those whose hands are disabled? Discover how to use butter tubs to create a fun indoor recess game that practices math skills. How about practicing math facts using egg cartons?
Because these numerous activities vary in difficulty and complexity, they are appropriate for most classrooms, and the visual and/or kinesthetic learners will love them.”

11. “Biology Lab: Simple DNA Extraction” by Science Stuff

“This is one of my favorite labs/activities that I do with my Biology I students. It doesn’t take long to do, it uses very simple, household materials, and it works every time! There is no number crunching or data analysis, but just a fun activity that your students will really enjoy.
NOTE: This product is also available in a bundled product called Biology Labs: 15 Must Do Labs for a Biology Class .
You will use ordinary Dawn dishwashing detergent and alcohol to extract the DNA from the cells of wheat germ. The download will include a lab handout that is ready to be copied and passed out to your students. Includes: Title, Introduction, Purpose, Safety Precautions, Procedure, and Follow Up Questions.
I have also included a “Teacher Preparation” page with answers to the questions and some additional set up information.
I use this with my high school Biology students, but this activity can easily be done with middle school students.”

12. “Luring Leprechauns—A Simple Penny Experiment” by Jamie Woodward

“This science activity includes directions and explanations for the experiment, two recording sheets and a place mat for the pennies. This science experiment can be completed as a whole group or in small groups. Your students will love “luring leprechauns” into their classroom. I would love your feedback!”

Don’t forget to check back next week for another edition of The Tuesday 12:  February Freebies!

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Adding and Subtracting Money : A Review! http://teachingrocks.ca/adding-and-subtracting-money-review/ http://teachingrocks.ca/adding-and-subtracting-money-review/#respond Tue, 12 Feb 2013 00:04:51 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2462 Adding and Subtracting Money : A Review!

It definitely has been some time since we last posted a lesson in correspondance to our Money Unit for your grade 3’s. Today, we have included a review which only means we have the test left to post. We hope … Continue reading →

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Adding and Subtracting Money : A Review!

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It definitely has been some time since we last posted a lesson in correspondance to our Money Unit for your grade 3’s. Today, we have included a review which only means we have the test left to post. We hope you find this review helpful for your students. Feel free to add or remove to this review in order to meet the needs of your students. The test will be posted shortly!

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Schools as Total Institutions http://teachingrocks.ca/schools-total-institutions/ http://teachingrocks.ca/schools-total-institutions/#respond Sat, 09 Feb 2013 19:17:50 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2453 Schools as Total Institutions

In our previous post Why is School Important?, we discussed how school is a primary agent of socialization.  Todays post discusses the diverse ways schools attempt to de-socialize and re-socialize children.  When schools work to do so, they are termed  “total … Continue reading →

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Schools as Total Institutions

Schools as Total InstitutionsIn our previous post Why is School Important?, we discussed how school is a primary agent of socialization.  Todays post discusses the diverse ways schools attempt to de-socialize and re-socialize children.  When schools work to do so, they are termed  “total institutions”.

Total Institutions have four distinctive characteristics with respect to education.

First: teachers supervise all aspects of daily life; going to school means being separated from family and becoming a part of a new environment. Students are no longer under the supervision of a parent, rather under that of a teacher whose rules differed from those at home.

Second: the school is a rigid system which provides students with a standardized and organized way of life; At home, schedules are not as stringent or fixed as it is at school where events are scheduled for certain times.

Third: formal rules and daily schedules dictate when, where, and how students perform virtually every part of their daily routines; as previously mentioned, the rules in the classroom differ from those at home. Rules at school are in place to control what students do, how they do it and when they did it, as well as, with whom; whereas at home, routines are a little less structured.

Finally: a single rational plan exists to fulfill the particular goal of the institution.

‘De-socialization’ is the idea that individuals can ‘un-learn’ ideas and values, which most often takes place within the educational environment. This occurs when children, who share different traditions, beliefs and cultures, begin to unlearn what they have learned in the home.  Students are eventually able to recognize “bad” values, such as racism and sexism, and unlearn them. School helps students do this by exposing them to these topics and issues and re-teaching them.

We see this process in our schools but what happens to students who immigrate and have not been exposed to western culture? Would this work when students have reached an older age or would the process of de-socialization and re-socialization still apply?

Let us know what your thoughts are on socializing students.  What methods seem to work?

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Helping Students Make Meaningful Connections Using Kelly Gallagher’s Article of the Week Strategy http://teachingrocks.ca/helping-students-make-meaningful-connections-using-kelly-gallaghers-article-the-week-strategy/ http://teachingrocks.ca/helping-students-make-meaningful-connections-using-kelly-gallaghers-article-the-week-strategy/#respond Sat, 09 Feb 2013 00:04:57 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2448 Helping Students Make Meaningful Connections Using Kelly Gallagher’s Article of the Week Strategy

“Part of the reason my students have such a hard time reading is because they bring little prior knowledge and background to the written page. They can decode the words, but the words remain meaningless without a foundation of knowledge” … Continue reading →

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Helping Students Make Meaningful Connections Using Kelly Gallagher’s Article of the Week Strategy

“Part of the reason my students have such a hard time reading is because they bring little prior knowledge and background to the written page. They can decode the words, but the words remain meaningless without a foundation of knowledge” (Kelly Gallagher)

In one of my previous posts, I explained how I use Kelly Gallagher‘s excellent resource, “Teaching Adolescent Writers” (2006), in order to help my students learn how to write effectively.  In our school, we run TLCP (Teaching-Learning Critical Pathways) cycles focusing on a particular reading strategy throughout the year.  Currently, we are focusing on making connections, where students are to read a text and then respond to it by either making a text-to-self, text-to-text, or text-to-world connection. I often find that students will only skim the surface when making connections and I really want them to work on making a deeper and more meaningful connection to the text. Students have a difficult time making meaningful connections to texts because they lack sufficient experience and background knowledge.

Kelly Gallagher has developed an excellent strategy to assist with this dilemma: the Article of the Week.  The premise may be simple, but the effect is profound. Each Monday, students are given an article to read.  At the top of each article, Gallagher provides the following strategy:  “1. Mark your confusion.  2. Show evidence of a close reading. Mark up the text with questions and/or comments.  3. Write a one-page reflection on your own sheet of paper” (from kellygallagher.org/resources/articles.html).  At the end of each article, Gallagher provides possible written response topics.  A new article is provided each week with the same framework.

In my opinion, this strategy is perfect in every way:

  1. Students are provided with an article on a high interest topic that will capture their attention and motivate them to read (hopefully!)
  2. Topics can change each week and can reflect current events, student interest, or connect to other curriculum topics
  3. The reading strategy is consistent with each article (the three steps provided at the top of each article)
  4. Students are provided with a consistent task, where they apply their skills on a regular basis
  5. Students and teachers can easily monitor student progress by reviewing weekly responses over a certain time period
  6. Students will be building their knowledge base and be provided with the background to make meaningful connections when reading other texts
  7. This activity can easily be scaffolded with teachers slowly removing direct support when students become much more sufficient in breaking down the text and responding to it
  8. Differentiated instruction is easily attainable, as students can receive different articles on the same topic but at different reading levels or teachers can continue to provide more support to struggling students, while other students are able to work more independently
  9. Assessment for and as learning are addressed on a regular basis, as teachers can keep track of student comprehension, learning, and skill development, while students can use self-assessment to determine how well they are applying their reading comprehension strategies over time.

Kelly Gallagher has provided years worth of archives for the Article of the Week. The Articles of the Week are further subdivided according to the grade level Gallagher taught when that article was used. Since Gallagher teaches high school English, many of the articles are a bit too difficult for my grade 7 and 8 students.  Not a problem, as I have been scouring various sources for interesting articles that I can use in my own classroom.  Even if you do not teach high school English, this approach will work with your students, as the framework is extremely effective and focused on improving student reading comprehension in a regular and methodical manner.

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Why is School Important? http://teachingrocks.ca/why-school-important/ http://teachingrocks.ca/why-school-important/#respond Thu, 07 Feb 2013 13:56:13 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2441 Why is School Important?

Schooling is a fundamental part of all of our lives. Not only is it present in our everyday lives, but it is also viewed as one of the primary agents of socialization. From the time children enter school, until the … Continue reading →

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Why is School Important?

Why is school important?Schooling is a fundamental part of all of our lives. Not only is it present in our everyday lives, but it is also viewed as one of the primary agents of socialization. From the time children enter school, until the time they leave, the socialization process continues. In addition, schooling broadens a child’s social world to include people with social backgrounds that differ from their own, while simultaneously meeting other individuals who may share similar interests, social positions, or age.

Socialization is defined as the process through which we learn to become members of a society or a community. Simply, it is the general process of acquiring a culture. Through this process we learn the language of that culture, patterns of behaviour, issues related to the community, rules and ideologies of society, forms of spirituality, as well as, other social processes as we advance. This learning process starts shortly after birth and continues throughout our lives, especially as we enter the schooling process.

As students enter and develop within the school system, they are pushed to re-analyze and sometimes disregard what they have learned in their home to be more accepting of the environment and diversity around them.  This attempt to socialize students into the mainstream means that schools must develop methods to de-socialize and re-socialize children.

What have you seen in your school, classrooms, or community to attest to this?

Next time, we will be discussing Schools as Total Institutions.

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The Tuesday 12: Feel the Love with 12 Fabulous February Literacy Freebies from TPT! http://teachingrocks.ca/the-tuesday-12-feel-the-love-with-12-fabulous-february-literacy-freebies-from-tpt/ http://teachingrocks.ca/the-tuesday-12-feel-the-love-with-12-fabulous-february-literacy-freebies-from-tpt/#respond Tue, 05 Feb 2013 05:54:03 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2312 Warning: mysqli_num_fields() expects parameter 1 to be mysqli_result, boolean given in /home/content/58/10437358/html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 3182

The Tuesday 12: Feel the Love with 12 Fabulous February Literacy Freebies from TPT!

During the month of February, The Tuesday 12 will be featuring 12 FREE resources available on TPT! Click on the title of each resource to be brought to the TPT listing.  You need a TeachersPayTeachers account to download the free … Continue reading →

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The Tuesday 12: Feel the Love with 12 Fabulous February Literacy Freebies from TPT!

During the month of February, The Tuesday 12 will be featuring 12 FREE resources available on TPT! Click on the title of each resource to be brought to the TPT listing.  You need a TeachersPayTeachers account to download the free items.  If you don’t have a TPT account, what are you waiting for?! It’s free!  The description for each item is taken from the listing description on its TPT page. Don’t forget to check out the other awesome resources from these teacher sellers!

12 february literacy freebies

1. “Writing Prompts 1 (Addresses Emotional Intelligence Skills”)” by Beth Hammett

“Need two weeks worth of writing prompts get students writing? Try the ten slide PowerPoint which addresses learning styles and emotional intelligence skills such as goal setting, time management, anger management, stress management, and study skills. Just put up the slide, play some music, and let students write then share (if desired). You’ll be amazed at the reflective responses!”

2. “Martin Luther King, Jr. Dream Speech & Activities” by Tracee Orman

“This is a great activity to share with your students in celebration of Dr. King’s life and dream. Activities are aligned with the Common Core Standards for grades 6-12 and include:
a copy of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech with figurative language questions, general questions, social studies research project, writing prompt, word scramble, reader’s theatre (theater) script example, service project, and additional activities to use in class.
Great resource to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday in January, Black History month in February, Anniversary of “Dream” speech in August, any speech/communications course, non-fiction reading, poetry units, or connections to novels like To Kill a Mockingbird, Cry the Beloved Country, Invisible Man, Number the Stars, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Native Son, Seedfolks, and more.”

3. “Heart Train of Multiple Meaning Words” by Kristine Lamb

“This FREEBIE activity has been created by Kristine Lamb @ www.livelovespeechkl.blogspot.com. I hope you all enjoy!!!!
Included:
Train game board
32 Cards: Multiple meaning words
8 Wild Cards
How to play:
Place all cards face down.
Students take turns choosing cards and state at least two meanings for each word the on the chosen card.
If two or more meanings are given, students roll a dice (any dice will do!) and move the appropriate spaces.
If chosen, follow the directions on the included wild cards.
The first student to the end of the “heart train” is the winner!”

4. “Make Your Own Magnetic Poetry Kit” by Runde’s Room

“Make your own magnetic poetry kit with this resource and a few basic supplies. You will need magnetic paper and a cookie sheet or metal sheet. Simply print out the word list, cut out the words, and start to create poetry! This kit makes a great center activity, collaborative poetry activity, or even a fun indoor recess activity.”

5. “Teaching Dialogue in Writing” by Miss Nannini

“This free pack is sure to help you through your writing dialogue unit! In this pack you will receive:
-Rules to edit/punctuate dialogue correctly posters
-Practice editing/punctuating dialogue passages with answer key
-Book ideas to teach dialogue
-Student center/group activity and recording sheet to practice putting together a quote with the correct punctuation.”

6. “Free Set of Making Connections Anchor Charts” by Irene Hines

“A Free Set Of Making Connections Anchor Charts:
~Text-To-Self
~Text-To-Text
~Text-To-World”

7. “Comprehension Graphic Organizer—Fits ANY Fiction Book” by MrHughes

“This handy little 2-page graphic organizer is just the thing you need to help your students stay focused during read-aloud. It also works great for book clubs, book reports, and independent contracts. The sky is the limit! Suggestions for use included!
Skills practiced:
-Connections
-Visualizations
-Responding to the Author
-Vocabulary
-Setting
-Plot
-Respond to feelings about the story
-Provide feedback and recommendations after reading
-And More!”

8. “Out of This World Similes” by The Peanut Gallery

“This 22 page simile unit is FREE and features fun and creative ways to involve and motivate students while teaching similes. The pages included are:
1. Simile Definition Poster
2. I Sense a Simile- student activity and sample
3. It Came From Planet Simile- simile/art activity (includes three different versions to suit grade/ability level)
4. Simile, Sweet Simile- identifying similes
5. Simile Haiku Poetry- writing haiku
6. Strange Similes- correcting mixed-up similes
7. Simile Scrambles- two different versions included”

9. “Free Bio Poems Made Easy” by Laura Candler

“A bio poem is a simple poem written about a person, and it follows a predictable pattern. You can have students write Bio Poems about themselves, but later you can have them write about famous historical figures or book characters. This lesson includes directions, a graphic organizer, a template, an example bio poem. Lesson created by Laura Candler.”

10. “Writing Unit…Creating an Author Talk” by Jen Bengel

“This two-week unit is so fun for students! For a super exciting writing piece this year, students create an author’s talk about what they know as writers. They share their writing tips, inspirations, and ideas. We videotape the author talks and use them throughout the year and with future students. The kids really begin to see themselves as writers and they absolutely love watching other students talk about writing!! Included in this download are 6 mini lessons, a reflective form for students to complete, and the rationale and goals behind the lessons. There is also a smart board document with these lessons and author talks that is available for purchase in a separate download.”

11. “Character Sketch—Fun Practice with Creative Writing” by Addie Williams

“A fun creative writing activity and great practice with characterization! Students are given a picture of a “character” to create a story about. Two pictures are included on the worksheet and students pick one. By answering a series of questions, students create a persona for the character and then write a character sketch.
Includes two version of the worksheet and a note sheet on Characters to use with any novel.
The characters I’ve included are stereotypes – another opportunity for learning! I challenge the students to write a character sketch that’s the opposite of what you’d expect based on the character’s appearance.”

12. “Build a Leprechaun Trap and Creative Writing Activities” by Smart Chick

“A super fun and creative set of sheets to use on St. Patrick’s Day! Students must build a leprechaun trap and then write about how their leprechaun ended up in the trap. There is also a facebook page layout for the leprechaun as well as I-Phone texts and a twitter page for the “leprechaun” to fill out!”

Don’t forget to check back next week for another edition of The Tuesday 12:  February Freebies!

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Farming & Sustainability http://teachingrocks.ca/farming-sustainability/ http://teachingrocks.ca/farming-sustainability/#respond Thu, 31 Jan 2013 20:35:39 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2430 Farming & Sustainability

While studying Physical Geography, students in grade 7 should be able to “explain the concept of sustainable development and its implications for the health of the environment.” (Ministry of Education, Ontario Curriculum Documents).  Concepts as these sometimes become too difficult … Continue reading →

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Farming & Sustainability

Farming and SustainabilityWhile studying Physical Geography, students in grade 7 should be able to “explain the concept of sustainable development and its implications for the health of the environment.” (Ministry of Education, Ontario Curriculum Documents).  Concepts as these sometimes become too difficult to understand because students have not had many life experiences outside their community let alone rural life.  As I program plan, I have found that visuals and videos are helpful tools.  I would like to share two wonderful videos that I have just recently found.  Both videos demonstrate key concepts about farming, sustainability, human factors and activity and the connection to them. I know I will be using these videos to elaborate and start a conversation about these concepts.

The first video is entitled “Pickering Lands”.  This video is a presentation about the Pickering Lands close to Toronto, Ontario.  It delves into how and why the lands were expropriated and the loss it has presented over the years for the farming community and all the communities around it.  Here is the link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWwHJ5mH3mg

The second video I found on Facebook, it is a fantastic video with great visuals and concise information about importing and exporting food and the farming industry.  Here is this video:

Let us know what you think of these videos and if you have any other ones, do share!

 

 

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Focusing on the Eyes: Visual Skills Can Be Developed http://teachingrocks.ca/focusing-the-eyes-visual-skills-can-developed/ http://teachingrocks.ca/focusing-the-eyes-visual-skills-can-developed/#respond Mon, 28 Jan 2013 13:05:43 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2426 Warning: mysqli_num_fields() expects parameter 1 to be mysqli_result, boolean given in /home/content/58/10437358/html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 3182

Focusing on the Eyes: Visual Skills Can Be Developed

I read an article recently, which stated that vision is learned.  Being a mom of two, I knew that children develop their vision as they grow but I did not know that we can help develop and improve their visual … Continue reading →

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Focusing on the Eyes: Visual Skills Can Be Developed

Focusing on The EyesI read an article recently, which stated that vision is learned.  Being a mom of two, I knew that children develop their vision as they grow but I did not know that we can help develop and improve their visual skills.  Three essential skills that are important for children are eye focusing, eye calibration and eye tracking.  Students can practice these skills to improve overall vision skills.

Eye Focusing is the skill of being able to look at something that is near and then quickly and accurately switching to something that is far away.  Immediately I think of students referencing something on the board, or overhead with their notebook.  This skill can be practiced simply with a pencil and a calendar on the wall.  Standing about 10 feet away, have the students hold a pencil about a foot away from their eyes.  The students are to switch their focus between the pencil and the calendar.  Instruct students to not switch to the other item until the one they were looking at initially is in focus.   Repeat 10 times.

Eye Calibration is the ability to move the eyes inwards in order to focus on a very near object.  This mimics the same movement of the eyes when reading.  If students do not have this skill developed, then they will tire quickly after doing “close” work (reading a book, measuring, worksheets,  word searches are some examples).  To practice this skill all you need is a pencil and a partner.  Hold the pencil vertically about 16 inches away from the nose.   Have students focus on the eraser of the pencil and move the pencil slowly closer.  The partner is to watch the eyes and see when one of the eyes turns in or out.  Have the student note at what distance that is.  Then slowly move the pencil out/away from the nose.  The eyes are to both be staring at the pencil eventually.  When this occurs the partner is to note the distance.  Note that a student with normal eye calibration would be able to keep both eyes focused on the pencil until about 3 inches away from the bridge of the nose and can regain both eyes on the pencil at about 4 inches.  Repeat 5 times.

Eye Tracking is the skill that allows students to read sentences without losing their place or reversing the order of letters.  Furthermore, this skill is part of hand and eye co-ordination (playing sports).  Eye tracking allows students to follow a moving target smoothly.  If they do not have this skill developed, then students could have jerky eye movements, overshoot or undershoot targets or lastly could move their head side to side when reading instead of using their eyes.  Using a string and ball (and a partner) can develop this skill.  Attach the ball to the string and put a sticker on it so the student can focus on the item.  Three different activities can be done:

1) Swing the ball back and forth and have the student follow;

2) The partner is to swing the ball side to side.  The student should follow the ball without moving his/her head;

3) Have one student lie on the floor (on their back).  Have the partner swing the ball in a large circular motion.  The student on the floor is to follow the ball circulating until it comes to a complete stop.  Again, instruct students to follow with their eyes and not their head.

I hope this helps students and you recognize that their vision skills are essential and need to be practiced.

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Wheels in Motion: A Fun Activity to Investigate Simple Machines and Linear Motion http://teachingrocks.ca/wheels-motion-fun-activity-investigate-simple-machines-and-linear-motion/ http://teachingrocks.ca/wheels-motion-fun-activity-investigate-simple-machines-and-linear-motion/#comments Sat, 26 Jan 2013 02:06:22 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2422 Wheels in Motion: A Fun Activity to Investigate Simple Machines and Linear Motion

Science is one of my favourite subjects to teach.  Although I love Language Arts, I really enjoy teaching math and science because students have so many opportunities to take part in fun, engaging, and educational activities that allow them to … Continue reading →

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Wheels in Motion: A Fun Activity to Investigate Simple Machines and Linear Motion

Science is one of my favourite subjects to teach.  Although I love Language Arts, I really enjoy teaching math and science because students have so many opportunities to take part in fun, engaging, and educational activities that allow them to discover concepts and investigate different ideas.

As Elita previously mentioned, we have created another science unit to address the Ontario science curriculum when teaching a combined grade 4/5 class.

The following investigative activity is part of that unit, but it would be a great activity to use with students from grades 4-8 either as a way to introduce or review simple machines and motion.  I think it will be a fun way to review some key concepts with my grade eight students before we delve into systems in action and students design, build, test, and present their own devices.

In this activity, students will work in small groups to investigate both simple machines and linear movement.  The activity begins as a whole class activity where simple machines are discussed, to a small group investigation.  First, students will examine the car and layout of the experiment to investigate several simple machines. Next, in order to observe linear movement, the car will be allowed to travel down a ramp.  Finally, students will demonstrate how changes to the mass of the cart will then affect its linear movement.

Just click on the image below!

wheels in motion

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Place Value for Middle Grades http://teachingrocks.ca/place-value-for-middle-grades/ http://teachingrocks.ca/place-value-for-middle-grades/#respond Thu, 24 Jan 2013 13:10:58 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2417 Place Value for Middle Grades

It is essential for students to keep practicing concepts that have been introduced to them during class time.  A fantastic way is through centre activities and games.  Here is a great game for students to keep practicing the concepts of … Continue reading →

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Place Value for Middle Grades

Place ValueIt is essential for students to keep practicing concepts that have been introduced to them during class time.  A fantastic way is through centre activities and games.  Here is a great game for students to keep practicing the concepts of place value.  Included is a place value chart (from Millions to Thousandths), 24 cards with numbers in written form and an answer key.  It could easily be used as a game between students, friendly competition is a great motivator!  It could also be used as a means for independent practice.  Laminate the cards so they can be used continuously and will withstand wear and tear!  We hope that you will find this product useful!  Just click on the image above to be brought to the product page.

Just a reminder that we have other centre activities available for your classroom as well.

 

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Words to Live By Wednesday : ‘What is right is not always popular’ http://teachingrocks.ca/words-live-wednesday-what-right-not-always-popular/ http://teachingrocks.ca/words-live-wednesday-what-right-not-always-popular/#respond Wed, 23 Jan 2013 17:45:27 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2412 Warning: mysqli_num_fields() expects parameter 1 to be mysqli_result, boolean given in /home/content/58/10437358/html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 3182

Words to Live By Wednesday : ‘What is right is not always popular’

A great quote to share with you this week from Albert Einstein: ‘What is right is not always popular, and what is popular is not always right’. Many of our students, including us adults, can surely connect to this quote. … Continue reading →

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Words to Live By Wednesday : ‘What is right is not always popular’

einstein

A great quote to share with you this week from Albert Einstein: ‘What is right is not always popular, and what is popular is not always right’. Many of our students, including us adults, can surely connect to this quote. We try to teach our students and continue to remind ourselves that we need to think about what is right for us, what is right for others and plain and simple, what is right in that particular moment and that specific situation. However, it is so easy to fall back and steer in other directions, as we tend to consider what others would do and whether it is different from what we would do. More often then not, we do things because that is what others want us to do, or would do themselves. For our young students, for example, although they know and have been taught that letting a teacher or an adult know if or when someone is being hurt or bullied or disrepected is the right thing to do, they also know (and more importantly) that this may not be deemed the ‘right’ thing to do by their friends. This is just one of many examples. We have a lot of students gearing away from doing the right thing because it is not seen as the ‘right’ thing to do by their peers. We have to focus in on this closely and continue to model for our students that the right thing to do is always what we, ourselves, feel is right and not what we think others may think is right or what others will think if we choose the right thing to do. We need to remind our students that what is popular is what they feel is right! Share this with your students, invite discussion and encourage self reflection!

popular

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The Tuesday 12: 12 Outstanding Outdoor Winter Activities for Your Students! http://teachingrocks.ca/the-tuesday-12-12-outstanding-outdoor-winter-activities-for-your-students/ http://teachingrocks.ca/the-tuesday-12-12-outstanding-outdoor-winter-activities-for-your-students/#respond Tue, 22 Jan 2013 16:00:19 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2311 Warning: mysqli_num_fields() expects parameter 1 to be mysqli_result, boolean given in /home/content/58/10437358/html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 3182

The Tuesday 12: 12 Outstanding Outdoor Winter Activities for Your Students!

Brrrr! It’s cold and snowy here…how is it in your area?  Even though it would be nice to remain all warm and toasty indoors, now is the perfect time to get your students outside in the cold, crisp air for … Continue reading →

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The Tuesday 12: 12 Outstanding Outdoor Winter Activities for Your Students!

Brrrr! It’s cold and snowy here…how is it in your area?  Even though it would be nice to remain all warm and toasty indoors, now is the perfect time to get your students outside in the cold, crisp air for some frosty winter activities!  Be properly dressed is essential—warm winter jackets, boots, gloves, hats, scarves, and snow/ski pants are imperative!  If it is especially sunny, a pair of sunglasses really help out too.

12 outdoor winter activities 1. Make bird feeders.  There are so many winter birds in this area and it would be a great idea to provide them with a much needed meal!  Use pine cones, seeds, peanut butter, nuts, dried out gourds, hollowed out oranges, popcorn, dried cranberries, and string to create bird feeders.  Sit quietly with your binoculars to view and identify your feathered friends.

2. Snow sculptures…how creative can your students get?  Younger students can work on building a snowman, while older students can be creative and make more elaborate scultpures.  Instead of sandcastles, how about snow castles?

3. Play capture the flag, flag football, or soccer in the snow.  Students will have tons of fun running around and sliding into the snow!

4. Go on a nature walk!  In the famous words of Robert Frost, “the woods are lovely, dark, and deep”…a winter nature walk will help students experience the beauty and tranquility of

5. Geocaching or scavenger hunt.  Hide “treasures” in the snow and give students a map to find the location.  Either go high tech with GPS geocaching or stay classic with a compass and a map!

6. Art with food colouring…fill up water bottles with food colouring.  Top them with either a spray or squirt nozzle and have students use the snow as their canvas!

7. Go skating! We usually go to our local, indoor rink, but try to visit outdoor skating rinks for a picturesque skating experience!

8. Visit an outdoor education center…there are so many in and around Toronto that have excellent outdoor education programs.  Visit during Maple Sugar Season for an extra sweet treat!

9. Outdoor picnic with blankets, hot chocolate, and hot soup! Have students spread out their blankets and enjoy warm beverages from a thermos.

10. Have a mini-Olympics! Set up various activities (tug of war, relay races, bean bag toss, snow ball throwing) and divide your class into teams or compete against other classes!

11. Take out different sports equipment for a fun and frosty outdoor phys ed class! Take out hula hoops, pool noodles, golf clubs, dodge balls, and hockey sticks to have a fun time!

12. Just get out and have fun! Build a snowman, construct a fort, make snow angels, and just have a good time!

Don’t forget to check back next week for another edition of The Tuesday 12!

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Let’s Talk Money : Adding and Subtracting – A Review! http://teachingrocks.ca/lets-talk-money-adding-and-subtracting-review/ http://teachingrocks.ca/lets-talk-money-adding-and-subtracting-review/#respond Mon, 21 Jan 2013 14:00:40 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2400 Let’s Talk Money : Adding and Subtracting – A Review!

We Are almost at the end of out posts for Math Lessons in correspondance to the Grade 3 Money Unit. Just a couple of days ago, we posted an additional lesson for Making change as this was an area in … Continue reading →

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Let’s Talk Money : Adding and Subtracting – A Review!

badge 7We Are almost at the end of out posts for Math Lessons in correspondance to the Grade 3 Money Unit. Just a couple of days ago, we posted an additional lesson for Making change as this was an area in which my students in previous years had struggled with. Today, we have a review for adding and subtracting money. The more practice the better. This lesson works with the class as a whole and it branches off. Be sure to give out extra worksheets (even the same ones from our previous lesson: adding and subtracting money) as this will continue to help your students review what they have been learning over the past few days…weeks. Click on the lesson plan down below as always, and there you have it – a review! 2 more to go! Stay tuned!

 

lesson 7

 

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‘Let’s Talk Money!’ – Making Change : An additional lesson plan! http://teachingrocks.ca/lets-talk-money-making-changean-additional-lesson-plan/ http://teachingrocks.ca/lets-talk-money-making-changean-additional-lesson-plan/#respond Sat, 19 Jan 2013 14:00:08 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2381 ‘Let’s Talk Money!’ – Making Change : An additional lesson plan!

Last week we posted Lesson 5: Making change. As we all know, some areas require more attention. Having said that, we continue to plan and revisit, focusing on the same topic for longer, so to ensure all our students understand … Continue reading →

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‘Let’s Talk Money!’ – Making Change : An additional lesson plan!

badge 6Last week we posted Lesson 5: Making change. As we all know, some areas require more attention. Having said that, we continue to plan and revisit, focusing on the same topic for longer, so to ensure all our students understand the content and material at hand. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this and completely expected more often then not! Remember, each of our students are different – they have different needs, learn at a different pace and are each at a different level. In my experience with teaching the Grade 3’s Money, I had to revisit ‘Making change’. I have included this lesson plan down below. You can also use the same worksheet as posted for the initial lesson, adding additional questions or you can use a completely different worksheet!

Be sure to check back with us as we still have a few more lessons and a review to post!

lesson 6

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Grade 4/5 Science Unit: Pulleys and Gears & Forces acting Upon Structures and Mechanisms http://teachingrocks.ca/grade-45-science-unit-pulleys-and-gears-forces-acting-upon-structures-and-mechanisms/ http://teachingrocks.ca/grade-45-science-unit-pulleys-and-gears-forces-acting-upon-structures-and-mechanisms/#respond Thu, 17 Jan 2013 21:01:53 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2388 Warning: mysqli_num_fields() expects parameter 1 to be mysqli_result, boolean given in /home/content/58/10437358/html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 3182

Grade 4/5 Science Unit: Pulleys and Gears & Forces acting Upon Structures and Mechanisms

We have been hard at work!  Here is another great science unit for Grades 4/5.  Our first unit on Habitats and Communities and Human Organ Systems was a great success.  With great feedback from other teachers, we know that you … Continue reading →

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Grade 4/5 Science Unit: Pulleys and Gears & Forces acting Upon Structures and Mechanisms

Gr 4:5 badgeWe have been hard at work!  Here is another great science unit for Grades 4/5.  Our first unit on Habitats and Communities and Human Organ Systems was a great success.  With great feedback from other teachers, we know that you find our products engaging, thorough and distinguished!

This new unit is a cross curricular Gr. 4/5 Science Unit  which allows teachers to meet the Ontario Science curriculum expectations all the while teaching a split grade!  Our science unit: Pulleys and Gears (4) & Forces Acting Upon Structures and Mechanisms(5)  combines the following overall big ideas:

  • Machines, mechanisms, and structures are designed to improve efficiency or simplify tasks
  • Forces act on and within structures and mechanisms
  • Mechanical systems have various impacts on society and the environment

Our Lessons include the following:

  • Learning centres: students work in small groups or individually to rotate between four centres over the course of the activity (four types of centre activities: technology, reading/writing activity, creative response, and a fun or hands-on activity);
  • Whole class lesson/discussion followed by either small group activities or whole class activity

Our unit is cross-curricular and integrates the following subjects:

  • Language Arts (Reading, Writing, Oral Communication, Media Literacy)
  • Math
  • 21st Century Learning
  • Art

We have many activities that are both engaging and active.  Differentiated instruction is also key and diverse assessment methods are incorporated.  We hope you find this unit useful for your classroom.

Here is a preview of our Gr 4/5 Science Unit.  Click on the picture above and you will be taken right to the full product!

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Words to Live by Wednesdays: Gandhi’s top 10 fundamentals for changing the world! http://teachingrocks.ca/words-live-wednesdays-gandhis-top-10-fundamentals-for-changing-the-world/ http://teachingrocks.ca/words-live-wednesdays-gandhis-top-10-fundamentals-for-changing-the-world/#respond Wed, 16 Jan 2013 13:00:27 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2372 Warning: mysqli_num_fields() expects parameter 1 to be mysqli_result, boolean given in /home/content/58/10437358/html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 3182

Words to Live by Wednesdays: Gandhi’s top 10 fundamentals for changing the world!

To all of you Pinterest lovers – Isn’t Pinterest just the most amazing thing in the   world? I absolutely love Pinterest. From simply logging in and seeing fantastic pins on my homepage to using the search engine to basically look … Continue reading →

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Words to Live by Wednesdays: Gandhi’s top 10 fundamentals for changing the world!

gandhibadge

To all of you Pinterest lovers – Isn’t Pinterest just the most amazing thing in the   world? I absolutely love Pinterest. From simply logging in and seeing fantastic pins on my homepage to using the search engine to basically look at anything and everything for ideas! I truly love it! I can spend hours on it – the perfect tool to help me sit down, relax and enjoy a coffee (for once)! Well, over the weekend, as I was looking through some pins, I came across a great poster to share with you all today for our ‘Words to Live by Wednesdays’. It fits in perfectly, as we have just started a new year full of desire to make changes, to be the change and to see change!

It’s Gandhi’s top 10 fundamentals for changing the world. A great list to share and discuss with your students. It is loaded with great advice, suggestions, motivation and strong words to stimualate the world of thinking! This is simply a great piece to use with your students in time of reflection – have them choose one of their favorite, most inspiring lines or words from the poster and write a response!  You can do so much with this! I have copied and pasted an image down below. Once you click on the image, it will direct you to the original site in which the poster was pinned from. From there, click on the poster and download (pdf format).

Don’t forget to check back with us next week for your ‘Words to Live by Wednesdays!’

gandhi

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The Tuesday 12: 12 Distinctly Canadian Picture Books! http://teachingrocks.ca/the-tuesday-12-12-distinctly-canadian-picture-books/ http://teachingrocks.ca/the-tuesday-12-12-distinctly-canadian-picture-books/#respond Tue, 15 Jan 2013 06:21:08 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2299 Warning: mysqli_num_fields() expects parameter 1 to be mysqli_result, boolean given in /home/content/58/10437358/html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 3182

The Tuesday 12: 12 Distinctly Canadian Picture Books!

As I was strolling through Chapters the other day looking for new books for my sons, I came across several picture books that were distinctly Canadian in either content or authorship.  So, here’s a list of 12 excellent picture books … Continue reading →

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The Tuesday 12: 12 Distinctly Canadian Picture Books!

As I was strolling through Chapters the other day looking for new books for my sons, I came across several picture books that were distinctly Canadian in either content or authorship.  So, here’s a list of 12 excellent picture books that proudly proclaim “our home and native land!”

12 canadian picture books

1. “The Hockey Sweater” by Roch Carrier (Translated by Sheila Fischman and Illustrated by Sheldon Cohen)

I bought this classic “Canadien” story for my sons.  Despite the NHL lockout, hockey is still a big topic of conversation and who can resist this tale of the little boy who receives a Toronto Maple Leafs hockey sweater instead of his beloved #9 Maurice Richard Montreal Canadiens sweater?

2. “Crosby’s Golden Goal” by Mike Leonetti (Illustrated by Gary McLaughlin)

A great story about a boy who abandons hockey, a game he loves so much.  After witnessing Crosby’s golden goal at the Vancouver Olympics, he returns to the ice and the sport he loves. Other famous stories about hockey heroes by the same author include Wendel and The Great One, The Rocket, and The Mighty Tim Horton.

3. “The Salmon Twins” written and illustrated by Carroll Simpson

A visually stunning book that celebrates Canada’s First Nations by looking at the groups of the Pacific Northwest. Although it would be perfect for the grade 6 social studies curriculum, the theme of community values makes this a great addition to any classroom library.

4. “A Promise is a Promise” by Robert Munsch and Michael Kusugak (illustrated by Vladyana Krykorka)

Together, Munsch and Kusugak take you to the Northwest Territories to tell the story of Allashua, a little girl who encounters the qallupilluit, Inuit monsters that live below the ice.  In this book, children learn the importance of listening to their parents, keeping their promises, and Inuit story-telling traditions.

5. “Goodnight, Canada” written and illustrated by Andrea Beck

A wonderful book that takes you through the Canadian provinces and territories, while saying goodnight to children living in these different locations.

6. “M is for Moose: A Charles Pachter Alphabet” by Charles Pachter

This is a beautiful book that is filled with tons of visual information about Canadian history, pop culture, and heritage.  A stunning book! Also, check out “Canada Counts: A Charles Pachter Counting Book”

7.  “Picture a Tree” by Barbara Reid

I still remember reading “Have You Seen Birds?” with my grade three class and making our own plasticine bird pictures in Barbara Reid’s distinctive style. “Picture a Tree” is a great book to use during Earth Week, learning about the environment, and helping students develop respect, appreciation, and stewardship of our Earth.

8. “The Cremation of Sam McGee” by Robert W. Service (Illustrated by Ted Harrison)

I love this poem and teach it to my students each year.  The illustrations are beautiful and remind me of the Group of Seven. It would be great to integrate an art lesson with this poem and book by creating oil pastel drawings of the Northern Lights.

9. “Alligator Pie” by Dennis Lee (Illustrated by Frank Newfeld)

 

“Someday I’ll go to Winnipeg
To win a peg-leg pig.
But will a peg-leg winner win
The piglet’s ill-got wig?”

What’s not to love?! My son and I love reading these hilarious poems before bed each night!

10. “Wishes” by Jean Little (illustrated by Genevieve Cote)

I’ve been a Jean Little fan since I read “From Anna” in grade 4.  I bought this book for my youngest son for Christmas It would be great to create a collaborative class book where each child writes and illustrates their own wishes.

11. “A Porcupine in a Pine Tree: A Canadian 12 Days of Christmas” by Helaine Becker (illustrated by Werner Zimmermann)

Another Christmas gift for my sons! Can you tell I buy a lot of books? A great twist on the classic Christmas song! My favourite verse? Ten Leafs a-leaping!

12. “M is for Maple: A Canadian Alphabet” by Mike Ulmer and Melanie Rose (illustrated by Melanie Rose)

A beautifully illustrated book that takes you from British Columbia to Prince Edward Island.  Filled with Canadian history, personalities, geography, and pop culture.  If you like this one, check out the province specific ones including “A is for Algonquin: An Ontario Alphabet” and “B is for Bluenose: A Nova Scotia Alphabet.”

Don’t forget to check in next week for another edition of The Tuesday 12!

Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links

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Let’s Talk Money : Making change http://teachingrocks.ca/lets-talk-money-making-change/ http://teachingrocks.ca/lets-talk-money-making-change/#comments Mon, 14 Jan 2013 14:15:42 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2362 Let’s Talk Money : Making change

Yes, it has been a while since we last posted a math lesson in conjunction with our ‘Money’ Unit for Grade 3’s! Last we left off on Lesson 4 which leaves us to continue with lesson 5: Making change. If … Continue reading →

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Let’s Talk Money : Making change

badge 5Yes, it has been a while since we last posted a math lesson in conjunction with our ‘Money’ Unit for Grade 3’s! Last we left off on Lesson 4 which leaves us to continue with lesson 5: Making change. If you are just checking in with us, be sure to check back to our previous posts for Lessons 1 through 4 on ‘Let’s Talk Money’. For today’s lesson, we have a included a complete lesson plan to engage in with your students, along with corresponding follow-up worksheets to do both independently, in pairs and then as a whole! Still to come are lessons 6-9 which include an additional lesson for making change, adding and subtracting money which is divided into two complete lessons, as well as a review to wrap it up! We hope you are finding these lesson plans and worksheets both useful and engaging!

Click on the images below and print!

worksheet 5

lesson 5

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Super Duper Donut Fun! Circle Investigations Using Donuts! http://teachingrocks.ca/super-duper-donut-fun-circle-investigations-using-donuts-2/ http://teachingrocks.ca/super-duper-donut-fun-circle-investigations-using-donuts-2/#respond Sat, 12 Jan 2013 12:53:55 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2325 Super Duper Donut Fun! Circle Investigations Using Donuts!

In a previous post, I mentioned how my students have been learning about the circumference and area of a circle.  We have been doing several activities in our math journals, completing math centres for extra practice, and reviewing for our … Continue reading →

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Super Duper Donut Fun! Circle Investigations Using Donuts!

In a previous post, I mentioned how my students have been learning about the circumference and area of a circle.  We have been doing several activities in our math journals, completing math centres for extra practice, and reviewing for our test.  Since this has been a really fun unit and my students have been doing well, I decided to have a fun and rewarding end of unit activity.

We will be investigating the radius, diameter, circumference, and area of a circle by measuring donuts! The following booklet contains the teacher resource, student booklets (two versions using “donut” and “doughnut”), and donut images if you cannot or choose not to use actual donuts in the activity.

Click on the image below!

super duper donut badge

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Part 3 of 3: Music and the Social and Emotional Development of the Child http://teachingrocks.ca/part-3-3-music-and-the-social-and-emotional-development-the-child/ http://teachingrocks.ca/part-3-3-music-and-the-social-and-emotional-development-the-child/#respond Thu, 10 Jan 2013 15:00:18 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2340 Warning: mysqli_num_fields() expects parameter 1 to be mysqli_result, boolean given in /home/content/58/10437358/html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 3182

Part 3 of 3: Music and the Social and Emotional Development of the Child

This is the last part of a 3 – part post.  Music has always fascinated me and to understand that it has great value in the physical, cognitive and emotional development of a person makes it more intriguing.  My first … Continue reading →

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Part 3 of 3: Music and the Social and Emotional Development of the Child

Music and the Social and Emotional Development of the Child

This is the last part of a 3 – part post.  Music has always fascinated me and to understand that it has great value in the physical, cognitive and emotional development of a person makes it more intriguing.  My first two posts were entitled:  The Effects of Music on the Brain and Music and its Value in Education (click on the links to be brought to those posts), todays post discusses how Music develops the child socially and emotionally.   The basic reason that every child must have an education in music is that music is intrinsically woven into our daily lives and within society as a whole.  Every human culture uses music to carry forward its ideals and concepts.  Music possesses the ability to shape individual abilities and character and contributes to broadening the students’ understanding and appreciation of the world around them. Through music, educators can introduce students to the richness and diversity of the social constructs of the world.   It allows for the development of  “self esteem as a learner, long-term pursuit, empathy, self assessment, peer and parent collaboration” (New England LTM Conservatory, 2003, p.12).  Studying music encourages self-discipline and diligence, traits that carry over into intellectual pursuits, which lead to effective study and work habits. Essentially, we as educators must realize that music is about communication, creativity and cooperation and by integrating music within the school, our students will have the opportunity to build on these skills, enrich their lives and experience the world from a new perspective.

We hope that you find today’s post and the previous posts of value.  Have you attempted to integrate Music into your curriculum delivery?  What suggestions, advise or ideas do you have?  Share, so together we can grow and learn.

 

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Words to Live by Wednesdays: Shel Silverstein http://teachingrocks.ca/words-live-wednesdays-shel-silverstein/ http://teachingrocks.ca/words-live-wednesdays-shel-silverstein/#respond Thu, 10 Jan 2013 02:07:37 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2351 Words to Live by Wednesdays: Shel Silverstein

The new year brings about the opportunity for our students to make new goals.  Perhaps they would like to try something new, improve their grades, or simply better themselves.  I’ve heard many of my students say, “But I’m just not … Continue reading →

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Words to Live by Wednesdays: Shel Silverstein

The new year brings about the opportunity for our students to make new goals.  Perhaps they would like to try something new, improve their grades, or simply better themselves.  I’ve heard many of my students say, “But I’m just not good at it” when they are faced with a new experience or challenge.  It is vital that our students understand that anything is possible and they can achieve their goals…through a little work and perseverance.

Have you helped your students set goals for themselves?  If you are unsure where to start, we have provided a lesson, rationale, and student goal setting worksheets in one of our TeachHUB.com articles.  This worksheet allows students to break up a larger goal into smaller and more manageable tasks.

But sometimes, the process of reaching the goal is not the problem.  The main thing that may be hampering student success is their attitude—if they don’t believe that they can be successful, then they will not be successful.  It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.  So many of our students psych themselves out before even trying anything because they don’t have the self-confidence to believe that they can do it.  It is critical that we help our students believe in themselves so that they can dream and achieve their goals.

Here’s one of our favourite poem written by the one and only Shel Silverstein.  It’s simple, beautiful, and so true.

As always, click on the image for the FREE printable poster.

shel silverstein

Don’t forget to visit us next Wednesday for another FREE classroom poster!

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The Tuesday 12: 12 New Year’s Resolutions for Teachers! http://teachingrocks.ca/the-tuesday-12-12-new-years-resolutions-for-teachers/ http://teachingrocks.ca/the-tuesday-12-12-new-years-resolutions-for-teachers/#respond Tue, 08 Jan 2013 16:29:05 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2305 Warning: mysqli_num_fields() expects parameter 1 to be mysqli_result, boolean given in /home/content/58/10437358/html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 3182

The Tuesday 12: 12 New Year’s Resolutions for Teachers!

Happy New Year!  This is our second day of school in 2013 and my students are refreshed, ready to work, and have new goals for the year (at least I hope)!  My students are making resolutions for 2013, so that … Continue reading →

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The Tuesday 12: 12 New Year’s Resolutions for Teachers!

Happy New Year!  This is our second day of school in 2013 and my students are refreshed, ready to work, and have new goals for the year (at least I hope)!  My students are making resolutions for 2013, so that had me thinking about 12 resolutions teachers should make (and keep!) for 2013! Of course, these are only my suggestions, so feel free to add in your suggestions in the comments section!

12 teacher resolutions

1. I will get out of my comfort zone and try something new!

It’s very easy to use the same activities, lessons, and units from year to year if you’re teaching the same grades.  I guess a lot of things in life are like that—we feel comfortable with things that are familiar to us.  But I am going to challenge myself—and you too!—to get out of my comfort zone and try new things.  Do you normally run the art club? Why don’t you try coaching a sport? Have you tried to incorporate new concepts in your teaching? I’ve challenged myself to leap into 21st century learning this year…there’s so much to learn, but I will try a little bit more each day.

2. Prioritize!

Teaching is a 24 hour job.  Even if teachers work 24 hours a day, there still is not enough time to get everything that we want accomplished.  With teaching, marking, planning, decorating classrooms, extracurriculars, professional development, and preparing for daily lessons and activities, it seems like my “to do” list gets longer and longer.  I am going to focus on what is important and prioritize my tasks! Not everything is mission critical!

3. Take time for yourself!

A refreshed, relaxed, and energized teacher is an effective teacher! Take care of yourself, eat nutritious meals and snacks, exercise regularly, get enough sleep, spend time with family and friends, and, most importantly, have fun!

4. Don’t let things pile up!

At the end of the day, it’s so easy to look at that small pile of assignments on your desk and convince yourself to let them go just one day…but then that pile starts to grow out of control!  Little things can quickly turn into big problems if you aren’t careful! I’m going to be on task this year! No more slacking Smile

5. 21st century learning!

As I mentioned in my first resolution, I really want to try new things.  21st century learning seems like such a phenomenal and revolutionary change to teaching and learning! It seems a bit overwhelming and scary, but it is also motivating and exhilarating! This year, I’ve began to use Edmodo and Engrade in my classroom.  I want to incorporate technology, digital resources, and educational apps into my daily teaching more and more.

6. Make a 1 year, 3 year, and 5 year plan!

Did you reach all your goals in 2012? Did you even set any goals for yourself in 2012?  Are you where you expected to be in 2013?  Did you even imagine where you would be in 2013?

It’s very easy to just live in the moment, but it is essential to plan ahead and set goals for yourself.  I plan to make 1 year, 3 year, and 5 year goals for myself to keep me focused and on track!

7. Ask for student input!

I really want my students to be more actively engaged and involved in their learning…not just in lessons and activities, but I want their input in the types of concepts we cover, how we cover them, and how they’d like to learn.  Of course, we need to cover curriculum expectations, but there are so many ways for students to learn the curriculum, explore their learning needs, and become active contributors in your classroom learning community.

8. Simplify!

Sometimes I get a little too wrapped up in the little things when I should be focusing on the big picture.  Here’s an easy way to simplify your life a bit: get rid of your mark books and use an electronic mark book!  There are many free, online mark books or you can simply use an Excel spreadsheet…there is no excuse for wasting time calculating and tabulating final grades.  I use engrade.ca and I think it is phenomenal! Scared you’ll lose your work? I simply export or print my marks on a weekly basis and I’m worry free!

9. Form a professional learning community!

Do you meet with colleagues simply to plan lessons?  Or do you use this as an opportunity to learn from another and grow as a teacher?  If you don’t have a formal professional learning community, then make one yourself! Look to teacher blogs, teacher forums, Twitter, or Facebook to discuss education, teaching strategies, lesson plans, and student learning with teachers all over the world! How’s that for a global learning community!

10. Connect with every student!

Build a relationship with every single student in your class.  This may be difficult but it is so important! There are some kids that are shy, quiet, do their work, and don’t really stand out…it is easy for them to get lost in the crowd.  Don’t let this happen!  Help students join the classroom community and grow as individuals.

11. It’s okay to veer off your lesson plans!

I’ve said this before and I will say it again—it is okay to veer off your lesson plans! They are not written in stone! Some of the best class discussions I’ve had in my class occurred when we were off on some tangent.  It’s okay and there is time to go back and catch up.  True learning is spontaneous and cannot be scheduled into a thirty minute pre-determine block of time.  Be flexible!

12. Don’t forget that learning should be fun!

Learning should be fun…both for you and your students!  Try to use different tactics and tools to engage the students in your class.  If you are having a fun time, then your love of learning will be infectious and your students will be motivated and inspired to learn!

Good luck with your resolutions! I’ll report back on how I’m doing! If you have any suggestions or additions, please add them in to the comments.  See you next week for another edition of The Tuesday 12!

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Part 2 of 3: Music and its Value in Education http://teachingrocks.ca/part-2-3-music-and-its-value-education/ http://teachingrocks.ca/part-2-3-music-and-its-value-education/#respond Mon, 07 Jan 2013 12:15:48 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2335 Warning: mysqli_num_fields() expects parameter 1 to be mysqli_result, boolean given in /home/content/58/10437358/html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 3182

Part 2 of 3: Music and its Value in Education

In my previous post, The Effects of Music on the Brain, we discussed how music helps develop the brain by building connectivity between the two hemispheres.  In this post, we discuss how this knowledge helps us to understand its value … Continue reading →

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Part 2 of 3: Music and its Value in Education

Music and its Value in EducationIn my previous post, The Effects of Music on the Brain, we discussed how music helps develop the brain by building connectivity between the two hemispheres.  In this post, we discuss how this knowledge helps us to understand its value in Education.

Every stimulus that is inputted into our senses allows for us, as humans, to interpret information and to generate new information.  We can use all of our receptors or only one, but regardless of which one, the brain will allow us to interpret, deduce, recall or create information ourselves stimulated by external variables.  Also, different people interpret, create, and process this information in varied modes.  As humans we relate it to our environment, our experiences and our life.  What I have experienced is quite different from what another experiences.  When I smell the sweet scent of gardenias, my mind transports me to a place and time that reminds me of where and when the smell of gardenias had an impact on me.  I cannot expect that anyone else would have the same experience as I.  This thought can also be transferred to Music.  I can relate a song to a specific event in my life that no one else has experienced. Maybe that event was a negative occurrence and therefore, I find displeasure in listening to a specific song.  Others have a different reaction to the same song as well.  If information has a certain significance to me, how do I determine whether that significance is personal to me or whether it is actually conveyed in the external information and therefore available to others who receive the same information? How do we communicate those aspects of our knowledge that are personal?  We rely on a system of symbols that helps us communicate, our language.

The successful acquisition of reading and writing in early childhood depends on a solid background in oral language skills. Oral language is an interactive and social process, and music is a natural way for children to experience rich language in a pleasurable way.   Young children are naturally at ease with sound and rhythm.  Besides providing enjoyment, music can play an important role in language and literacy development.  Strong social bonds are encouraged through music and songs beginning in preschool.  Toddlers can begin to experiment with grammatical rules and various rhyming patterns in songs and other written text.

Establishing a sense of rhythm can be used to increase a student’s awareness of rhyming patterns and alliteration in other areas of reading and writing.  Through music, “memory skills can be improved, and aural discrimination increased” (Chong & Gan, 1997, p.98). Music can focus the mind on the sounds being perceived and promote learning through an interactive process.  It is important in teaching early childhood students to be conscious of auditory and discrimination skills.  Music and songs help increase these listening skills in a fun, relaxed manner. As Wolf (1992) stated,  “Listening skills are key in singing, language and expressive movement, and later reading and writing” (p. 92).

Music has always been a way for children to remember stories and learn about the world around them.  Using music as a stimulus can effect one’s emotions and make information easier to remember.  Music also creates an environment that is conducive to learning.  It can reduce stress, increase interest, and set the stage for listening and learning.  As Davies (2000) has noted, “The similarities between literacy acquisition and musical development are many, therefore, teaching that combines music with language arts instruction can be the most effective ”(p. 327).  Furthermore, it is important for emergent readers to experience many connections between literacy in language, music, and in print.

Language in music and language in print have many similarities, such as the use of abstract symbols.  Both oral language and written language can be obtained in the same manner “that is, by using them in a variety of holistic literacy experiences, and building on what the students already know about oral and written language” (Clay, 1993, p. 232).  For example, emergent readers will attempt to read along in a shared reading of a familiar text, just as they will join in a sing along to a familiar song.  Similar to emergent reading and writing which are acquired to drawing and pretending to write, musical learning is connected to song and movement. According to Jalongo & Ribblett (1997), “Children instinctively listen to music and try to identify familiar melodies and rhythms, just as early readers will look for words that sound alike, have patterns, or rhyme” (p. 86). For example, song picture books illustrate how the use of familiar text, predictability, and repetition can encourage children to read.  Using songs put to print can expand vocabulary and knowledge of story structure, as well as build on concepts about print.  Repetition in songs supports and enhances emergent literacy by offering children an opportunity to read higher-leveled text and to read with the music over and over again in a meaningful context.  Print put to music also allows children to build on past experiences, which in turn invites them to participate in reading and singing at the same time.  Brain function is increased when listening to music and studies have shown that music promotes more complex thinking. Basic skills are generally regarded as reading and writing for the communication of thoughts and experiences. Music learned and appreciated enhances the basic skills of thought processes inherent in critical reading and writing.  The positive link that is apparent between reading, writing and music also extends to mathematics.

Rauscher, Len and Shaw, while studying higher brain function found a connection to the brain linking music with improved spatial temporal reasoning abilities.  While music is viewed as a separate intelligence, as per Howard Gardner, there is a high correlation between mathematics and music.  Music involves ratios, regularity and patterns, which are all mathematical concepts.  An example of this is the musical scale, which is a “neat logarithmic progression of frequencies” (Harris, 2002,  p. 3).  There are also similar connections between patterns of notes and patterns of numbers.  With such connections the concept of odd and even numbers are also interplayed. In addition, music enables students to learn multiplication tables and math formulas more easily and through rhythm students learn the concept of fractions at a quicker pace.  The research conducted by Harris (2002) found that “students who were taught using rhythm notation scored 100% higher on fractions tests” (p.8).  Music is able to stimulate children in order to make new connections among music, math, and science activities by encouraging them to probe into what Jeanne Bamberger (2003) terms “underlying conceptual structures and problem-solving strategies”(p. 34) shared among these core subjects. Essentially, concepts embedded in musical activities and their representations can be used in elementary schools to facilitate new understandings of fundamental concepts, processes and representational systems utilized in core curriculum.

Within all academic subjects there are fundamental concepts and processes, which are present within music. There is extensive literature with these correlations and I have highlighted the ones for Language and Mathematics.  The reason for this is due in part that Language and Mathematics are viewed as the back to basic core subjects.  Other benefits and correlations are found in Science, such as “utilizing experimental methods, research skills, systems analysis, investigation and discovery, observation, metamorphosis, cause and effect, and classification” (New England LTM Conservatory, 2003, p. 11).  Such correlations are extended to History, Social Science and Art as well.   Processes such as “time line event ordering, diverse social perspectives, interpretation of events, understanding diverse cultures, expressivity, form, character, colour, design, movement and composition” (New England LTM Conservatory, 2003, p.12) are all found within the context of Music.

Again, we hope that you find this information and research valuable.  The 3rd part of this series is on Music and the Social and Emotional Development of the Child.  Let us know what you think thus far.

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Part 1 of 3: The Effects of Music on the Brain http://teachingrocks.ca/part-1-3-the-effects-music-the-brain/ http://teachingrocks.ca/part-1-3-the-effects-music-the-brain/#respond Sun, 06 Jan 2013 04:30:36 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2329 Warning: mysqli_num_fields() expects parameter 1 to be mysqli_result, boolean given in /home/content/58/10437358/html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 3182

Part 1 of 3: The Effects of Music on the Brain

I have always been interested in Music.  As a child I participated in choir and then instrumental music. My early education was in Europe and when I moved back to North America, I was an ESL student.  I did not … Continue reading →

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Part 1 of 3: The Effects of Music on the Brain

The Effects of Music on the BrainI have always been interested in Music.  As a child I participated in choir and then instrumental music. My early education was in Europe and when I moved back to North America, I was an ESL student.  I did not know a single English word but found that my language acquisition and mathematical skills developed quickly due to learning and participating in music.  Once I began studying to be a teacher, I was even more interested in how Music aids the learning process.  This post is from my research and will be a 3 part series.  I hope that you will find these interesting and of value as you plan your lessons for your students.

In Frames of Mind, Howard Gardner provides evidence that there are different aspects of intelligence.  He posits that every individual has a diverse learning style and that not all are being addressed in the context of the classroom.  Musical intelligence is identified as an independent intelligence without any association to linguistic, mathematical, or spatial intelligence.  Howard Gardner (1993) wrote “eliciting the use of musical intelligence the learner will be able to better acquire skills and knowledge since the framework of the mind is being utilized” (p.312).  Rauscher, Len and Shaw have brought this argument forward with their research project titled Music Exposure and the Development of the Child’s Brain.

Neurophysiology tells us that at birth, the human brain has 100 billion neurons, which are not connected to form a network.  Connections among neurons are formed rapidly in the early years of life as the growing child experiences and forms attachments to their surrounding world.  Huttenlocher (1984) discovered that if “these synapses are used repeatedly in a child’s day to day life, they are reinforced and become part of the brain’s permanent circuitry. If they are not used repeatedly, or often enough, they are gradually eliminated in the second decade of life” (p. 283).  In essence, as the child grows and the more connections made, opens the door to create a more complex, powerful system of neural pathways.  This is directly related to how the child learns and thinks, and greater academic success in the future. Rauscher, Len and Shaw tested children to discover if music would help create these pathways and discovered that through music instruction, even as little as four months, “children displayed a significant change in spatial temporal reasoning”(p.53).  At risk (low academics, and socioeconomic factors) children displayed a significant increase and other children displayed an above average increase in their abilities to complete tasks that measured recall, tactile and reasoning abilities. The research team also demonstrated measurements of brain activity using an electroencephalogram (EEG) machine, which showed that both the right and left hemispheres of the brain are responsive when listening and creating music.  “When listening to music, both sides of the brain are being activated, one side to follow the rhythm and the other to follow the melody.” (Rauscher, Len, & Shaw, 2002, p. 56). This provides proof that in creating the neural pathways as Huttenlocher described music would create more connections as it is developing the whole brain instead of one side.  Rauscher, Len and Shaw also discovered that “musicians who began their training before age six or seven have a larger left planum temporale and corpus callosum” (p. 32). These results infer that all musical engagements activate both brain hemispheres and involve cerebral cortex activity and memory retrieval mechanisms.   This is the basis for all academic success; having a developed and functioning brain in order to process higher level thinking.

So what does this all mean for us as educators?  See my next post : Music and its Value in Education.

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The Circumference and Area of a Circle: Student Learning Centres http://teachingrocks.ca/the-circumference-and-area-circle-student-learning-centres/ http://teachingrocks.ca/the-circumference-and-area-circle-student-learning-centres/#respond Fri, 04 Jan 2013 20:48:18 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2298 The Circumference and Area of a Circle: Student Learning Centres

When we return to school next week, my students and I will continue to explore the circumference and area of a circle.  We had begun to work on circumference prior to Christmas holidays and my students seem to be grasping … Continue reading →

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The Circumference and Area of a Circle: Student Learning Centres

When we return to school next week, my students and I will continue to explore the circumference and area of a circle.  We had begun to work on circumference prior to Christmas holidays and my students seem to be grasping the concepts well.  We did a GREAT activity in our math journals (I’ll post that soon) and that helped them to understand Pi, circumference, radius, diameter, and the circumference formula.  We will work on the area of a circle when we return.  After introducing the concept of area through a few math journal activities (more on the next week), we’re going to amalgamate, explore, and review these concepts through math centres.  I’ve created the following math centres to help students apply the skills and concepts they are learning about circles and have some extra practice activities.  Student worksheets are included in this package.

There are five math centres:

  • Reviewing the Circumference and Area of a Circle
  • Circumference Extra Practice
  • Area of a Circle Extra Practice
  • Calculating Radius and Diameter
  • Circumference and Area Word Problems

Students will take part in the following activities:

  • extra practice questions
  • practice using proper problem solving format (record given information from the question, formula, calculations, and final statement)
  • solving word problems
  • working backwards using algebra to determine the radius and diameter when given the area or circumference
  • developing their own word problems to trade and solve with a partner
  • review sheets to aid in recapping and studying

Just click on the image below!

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A New Year, A New Beginning! http://teachingrocks.ca/new-year-new-beginning/ http://teachingrocks.ca/new-year-new-beginning/#respond Thu, 03 Jan 2013 14:01:53 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2291 A New Year, A New Beginning!

As we start preparing to return to our classrooms, we fully understand that in some ways this is a completely fresh start.  Once we get back to our classrooms, we need to start delineating our rules, our objectives and also … Continue reading →

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A New Year, A New Beginning!

New Year New BeginningAs we start preparing to return to our classrooms, we fully understand that in some ways this is a completely fresh start.  Once we get back to our classrooms, we need to start delineating our rules, our objectives and also our expectations.  Granted most students have not forgotten completely what our classroom expectations are but still need to be reminded by clear communication.  At the beginning of the year, we suggested that students have personal learning goals set.  Check out our TeachHub article on setting goals, we provided a lesson plan along with a strategy and student forms where students can set up and work for their goals.  If you have done this throughout the year thus far, then this would be a great time to assess what new strategies are needed to obtain that goal or identify a new one.  If you have not, then a new year can mean a new beginning.  Harness that spirit of renewal and help students focus on their goals once again.  Make time for this in your first week back as it will help students re-connect with their own learning goals and help re-focus students on their academics!

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Let’s Talk Money : The Value of Coins and Bills (Part 2) http://teachingrocks.ca/lets-talk-money-the-value-coins-and-bills-part-2/ http://teachingrocks.ca/lets-talk-money-the-value-coins-and-bills-part-2/#respond Sat, 29 Dec 2012 14:00:43 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2262 Let’s Talk Money : The Value of Coins and Bills (Part 2)

Here is an additional lesson (extension) in connection to our last post discussing ‘The Value of coins and bills’. Along with this lesson, just the same as our previous lessons, we have also included another worksheet. With some areas in … Continue reading →

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Let’s Talk Money : The Value of Coins and Bills (Part 2)

badge 3Here is an additional lesson (extension) in connection to our last post discussing ‘The Value of coins and bills’. Along with this lesson, just the same as our previous lessons, we have also included another worksheet. With some areas in the money unit, students require more time, additional lessons providing further examples, different ways of seeing things and so on. In my experience with this unit, the area of understanding the value of coins and bills needed to be re-visited and touched upon again, in a different way. This may be the case for you or it may turn out as so in a different area. Regardless, we have provided an additional lesson covering the ‘value of coins and bills’. If you don’t have to revisit it, check out both lessons and decide which one works best for your class!

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Homework Over the Holidays? What Are Your Thoughts? http://teachingrocks.ca/homework-over-the-holidays-what-are-your-thoughts/ http://teachingrocks.ca/homework-over-the-holidays-what-are-your-thoughts/#respond Fri, 28 Dec 2012 19:44:55 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2276 Homework Over the Holidays? What Are Your Thoughts?

(I had this entry ready last week, but couldn’t post it due to some technical difficulties. So while you are reading, please pretend that it is December 21st! Thanks!) Today is our last day before Christmas and it’s hard to … Continue reading →

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Homework Over the Holidays? What Are Your Thoughts?

(I had this entry ready last week, but couldn’t post it due to some technical difficulties. So while you are reading, please pretend that it is December 21st! Thanks!)

Today is our last day before Christmas and it’s hard to contain the excitement (both me and my students)! Our day is filled with movies, treats, a classroom party, and caroling and a liturgy with the whole school. It is a fun-filled and energetic day and there is lots to do! At the end of the day, students will clean out and empty their desks, so that we can all start fresh in January. Many of my students have asked with some fear and apprehension if they will be getting homework over the holidays. My students have just a couple of short homework assignments that were assigned yesterday and should take no more than one hour to complete. In fact, some students have already submitted their assignments to me via edmodo.com (aside: Do you use edmodo? I started using it about a month ago and really like it…I will post a full review in a few weeks).

I have heard from friends, family, and acquaintances that over the years, their children have received tons of homework and projects that had to be completed during Christmas break and were due on the first day back. These assignments ranged from simple homework review to full projects that required days of preparation. This got me thinking: what is the purpose of homework over the holidays?
The purpose of homework on any given day is to review the materials covered during the day’s lesson. It is a way for students to practice, apply, and review what they have learned, so that they are then able to ask the teacher for extra assistance if needed. Projects are culminating activities that allow students to integrate a variety of concepts and ideas in a creative way. There are some projects that I love to assign my students simply because the final result is awesome–they are able to apply their learning while allowing their personality to shine through. I’m always so impressed with the amount of creativity and effort some students are able to put into their projects. I have several of these types of projects slated for various times throughout this year.

That being said, I don’t think that Christmas vacation is the appropriate time for students to be completing tons of homework and intensive projects. During these next two weeks, I will be doing some marking and planning, but I will also be spending time with family and friends. I hope that my students enjoy their holidays and come back refreshed to begin again in January.

What are your thoughts? Do you assign homework and projects during holidays? Let us know in the comments!

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Let’s Talk Money: The Value of Coins and Bills http://teachingrocks.ca/lets-talk-money-the-value-coins-and-bills/ http://teachingrocks.ca/lets-talk-money-the-value-coins-and-bills/#respond Thu, 27 Dec 2012 14:00:19 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2246 Let’s Talk Money: The Value of Coins and Bills

Today we have a new lesson in connection to our two previous posts about ‘Money’. We posted an intro lesson: ‘What do we know? What do we want to know?‘ and a second lesson: ‘Recognizing money’. Today’s lesson is understanding … Continue reading →

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Let’s Talk Money: The Value of Coins and Bills

badge 3Today we have a new lesson in connection to our two previous posts about ‘Money’. We posted an intro lesson: ‘What do we know? What do we want to know?‘ and a second lesson: ‘Recognizing money’. Today’s lesson is understanding ‘The Value of coins and bills’. We have also included a pre-lesson to engage in with your students as a whole, followed by a worksheet which corresponds to this great lesson! We hope you are finding these lessons and worksheets helpful! Let us know what you think and how your class is doing with them!

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Words to Live By Wednesdays : It’s Boxing day! http://teachingrocks.ca/words-live-wednesdays-its-boxing-day/ http://teachingrocks.ca/words-live-wednesdays-its-boxing-day/#respond Wed, 26 Dec 2012 14:00:44 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2270 Words to Live By Wednesdays : It’s Boxing day!

Just a quick message as you get on your way to shopping, spending and enjoying your day!!! Check us out next week for your ‘Words to Live by’! … Continue reading →

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Words to Live By Wednesdays : It’s Boxing day!

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Just a quick message as you get on your way to shopping, spending and enjoying your day!!!

boxing day poster

Check us out next week for your ‘Words to Live by’!

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Merry Christmas from your friends here at Teaching Rocks! http://teachingrocks.ca/merry-christmas-from-your-friends-here-teaching-rocks/ http://teachingrocks.ca/merry-christmas-from-your-friends-here-teaching-rocks/#respond Mon, 24 Dec 2012 14:00:30 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2258 Merry Christmas from your friends here at Teaching Rocks!

We would love to wish you and your family and friends a very Merry Christmas. May you be blessed with much love, joy, peace, fun, laughter and happiness today and all year round! Enjoy time with your loved ones! … Continue reading →

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Merry Christmas from your friends here at Teaching Rocks!

We would love to wish you and your family and friends a very Merry Christmas.

May you be blessed with much love, joy, peace, fun, laughter and happiness today and all year round!

Enjoy time with your loved ones!

xmas eve

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Let’s talk Money : Recognizing money using pictures and words http://teachingrocks.ca/lets-talk-money-recognizing-money-using-pictures-and-words/ http://teachingrocks.ca/lets-talk-money-recognizing-money-using-pictures-and-words/#respond Sat, 22 Dec 2012 14:00:14 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2217 Let’s talk Money : Recognizing money using pictures and words

Earlier this week, we posted a lesson plan (lesson one) based on inquiring ‘what we know’ and ‘what we want to know’ about money, followed by a worksheet encouraging students to ‘get to know their coins and bills in different … Continue reading →

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Let’s talk Money : Recognizing money using pictures and words

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Earlier this week, we posted a lesson plan (lesson one) based on inquiring ‘what we know’ and ‘what we want to know’ about money, followed by a worksheet encouraging students to ‘get to know their coins and bills in different ways’. Today, we are posting a new lesson based on ‘recognizing money’ using both pictures and words. We have included both a lesson plan and 2 correspondinf worksheets to follow up with your students following the lesson.  Use this in addition to what you are already teaching – the more practice, the better!

 

lesson 2 worksheet 2 worksheet2 2

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Let’s talk ‘Money’ – What do we know? What do we want to know? http://teachingrocks.ca/lets-talk-money-what-know-what-want-know/ http://teachingrocks.ca/lets-talk-money-what-know-what-want-know/#respond Thu, 20 Dec 2012 14:00:59 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2214 Let’s talk ‘Money’ – What do we know? What do we want to know?

Grade 3 teachers….looking for lessons on the ‘Money’ Unit? Different, interesting and fun ways to engage your students? Here it is – we have created a number of lesson plans all based on Money. Anywhere from getting to know your … Continue reading →

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Let’s talk ‘Money’ – What do we know? What do we want to know?

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Grade 3 teachers….looking for lessons on the ‘Money’ Unit? Different, interesting and fun ways to engage your students? Here it is – we have created a number of lesson plans all based on Money. Anywhere from getting to know your coins and bills to recognizing money, adding and subtracting money, etc. This includes both coins and bills. From complete lesson plans to corresponding worksheets and review… we have it all here for you and wil be posting it all within the next couple of weeks! As for today’s post, let’s begin with ‘What do we know and what do we want to know’ along with a quick worksheet ‘Getting to know our coins and bills in different ways’. Just click on the images below and print away!

 

lesson 1getting to know-1

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Words to Live by Wednesdays – ‘The Gifts of Time and Love…’ http://teachingrocks.ca/words-live-wednesdays-the-gifts-time-and-love/ http://teachingrocks.ca/words-live-wednesdays-the-gifts-time-and-love/#respond Wed, 19 Dec 2012 19:28:40 +0000 http://teachingrocks.ca/?p=2241 Words to Live by Wednesdays – ‘The Gifts of Time and Love…’

It’s not about the gifts we give and get that have been bought in stores or purchased online or have a cash value. Christmas is more then this – it is more then all of this put together! Two of … Continue reading →

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Words to Live by Wednesdays – ‘The Gifts of Time and Love…’

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It’s not about the gifts we give and get that have been bought in stores or purchased online or have a cash value. Christmas is more then this – it is more then all of this put together! Two of the greatest gifts of Christmas is Time and Love. The time we get to spend with family – sharing memories, having great conversations, playing traditional games, sharing traditional foods, enjoying each others company. The love we share and exchange with both family and friends through the time we spend with them is irreplaceable. It works beyond what we can buy, give or get. We are lucky to have people in our lives whom we love and care for and whom love and care for us. This is what we need to focus on, this is where we need to devote our time. Family is the greatest gift of all and all it needs is time and love.

Print and post – most of all, share!

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Visit us again next week Wednesday for your ‘Words to Live by’!

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