Inferring with Illustrations

Inferring is a difficult critical thinking skill that all readers need to develop in order to deepen their understanding of written literature.  Scaffolding skills are essential in order for students to build their understanding.  Utilizing picture books or illustrations will help build this essential skill.  Furthermore, this strategy can easily be used for ELL students!  Clicking on the image below will connect you to a lesson plan that can easily be used in the middle grades as well.  Also, the lesson plan utilizes a fantastic book  “The Mysteries of Harris Burdock” by Chris Van Allsburg to be used for student practice!

Words to Live by Wednesdays: Laugh every day…

This weeks Words to Live by Wednesdays brings you a few words to inspire, motivate and encourage your students in more ways then one. It always seems as though as we approach the Christmas Holidays, attitudes begin to change and with that, so do work and study habits, as well as, in class concentration! As a result, students forget about homework, forget to try and forget to do what they have to do such as handing in those last minute assignments or studying for a test. Today, we begin to remind students to keep on going…to keep trying….to continue doing their work and keeping up their good grades that they have been working hard towards! More to come within the next few weeks!


The Tuesday 12: 12 Awesome Digital Resources for Your Classroom (Word clouds, comics, infographics, math, classroom management, and so much more!)

12 digital resources

In this week’s edition of The Tuesday 12, we’re looking at some excellent digital resources for your classroom! There are so many great sites out there that would be beneficial to both teachers and students, but here are 12 that we can’t live without! Just click on each name to be brought to its website!

1. ClassDojo

This is a classroom behaviour management tool that allows you to track each student in your class.  You can either use the predefined behaviour categories or create your own.  I have created the behaviour categories to match the learning skills we use on the Ontario Report Cards.  I think it will be great to keep students on track (you can even set it so that it tracks group behaviour) and to help teachers with anecdotal comments. I’ve just begun using this app and so far, so good! I’ve downloaded the app for my iPhone, so it’s really convenient and easy to use!

2. Glogster

So what is a “glog”? Well, according to Glogster, a glog is an interactive poster loaded with text, graphics, music, videos and more, while being a space to express emotions, ideas, and knowledge online.  What I like about glogster is that it is great to watch…students will be captivated by the interactive, multi-media lessons making them much more engaged in learning.

3. Wordle

I’ve already told you how much I love Wordle! Create word clouds about any topic.  So easy to use!

science wordle

4. Tagxedo

Similar to Wordle, but you are able to make your word clouds look like various images and create various shapes. Check out the ones that Lisa has created!


According to their website, “Storybirds are short, art-inspired stories you make to share, read, and print.” Students can create a free account, choose the images that they would like, and then start writing a story, poem, comic, or anything else they’d like.  Just like the photo and image prompts that are often used in creative writing, the digital images found here are a great springboard to help students get writing!

6. Gizmos

As Elita previously explained in a post, Gizmos are interactive online simulations for math and science topics.  There are a variety of fun, engaging, and interactive activities on many different science and math topics, such as dividing fractions, predator-prey relationships, and genetics.  The activities are scaffolded, so students work on increasingly difficult tasks to fully comprehend the concepts.  Although it is not free, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial, but you can always see if your school or school board is interested in obtaining a subscription for their teachers.  Our school board has a subscription, so teachers and students are able to enjoy this great resource!

7. Bitstrips

As Lisa has previously mentioned, Bitstrips is a great site to help your students create their own comics. So cool and the kids love it!

8. Pinterest

Oh, Pinterest, how I love you! We just love spending hours on Pinterest finding great ideas and resources for our classrooms! If you haven’t already, follow our boards!

9. LiveBinders

This site allows you to create a digital binder of the your favourite web resources! Instead of adding them all to your Favourites, you can create various binders to keep track of sites and resources you love! You simply add the “LiveBinder It” tool to your browser toolbar and then surf the web like you normally do…when you come across a great resource, you can quickly and easily add it to one of your binders.

10. Edmodo

I’m going to start using Edmodo with my class very, very soon. It seems like a combination of Twitter and Facebook to me, since you can post pics, chat, vote, and send messages that are 140 characters or less. What I really like about it is the privacy…teachers sign up for a free account, students sign up for a free account, and then teachers provide their students with a code to join the group.  This way, the classroom information and messages are kept private.

11. Prezi

A great way to create cool, multi-media presentations! Simply sign up, login and begin adding in your information.  You can add video or audio clips, images, websites, and other resources to your presentations.  Why can’t I just use PowerPoint, you might be asking…well, Prezi makes the presentation so much nicer and more fluid as the ideas flow from one section to the next.


Love infographics? This site allows users to create their own infographics by choosing, selecting, dragging, dropping, and editing vhemes directly onto your canvas. This would be a great way for student to consolidate learning, create mind or concept maps, visual key concepts, and share their learning with their peers.

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

How much is 1000?

Last post, we included a lesson plan and worksheet/answer sheet for reading and writing to 100. Today, we are posting a lesson about the big number ‘1000’. How much is 1000? For our grade 3 students, this is a large number….a number that gets them thinking about all sorts of interesting things. Have you ever read the book ‘How Much, How Many, How Far, How Heavy, How Long, How Tall Is 1000?’ In just one book, your students will begin to understand just how big, small, long and tall 1000 really is! It is definitely a neat book that both you and your students will enjoy….and with that, it will definitely guide you in teaching your grade 3’s all about the number 1000! Click on our lesson plan below which is based on this great book and more. You can get creative and create interesting worksheets for your students to work on as a follow up activity!



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Writing to 100 – A lesson plan and worksheet for your grade 3’s!

Here is a lesson plan for your grade 3 students to teach them how to read and print whole numbers from 1 – 100. It includes a ‘getting started activity’ that allows you to work with the class as a whole, further encouraging and focusing on interaction, participation and cooperation and it also includes independent work – a worksheet to be done independently as a follow up activity! We have also included an answer sheet to save you the time! Just click on the lesson plan below to get the complete lesson plan and click on the worksheet to get the 2 page worksheet and answer sheet!