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!!!


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


– 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!


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!




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.


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.

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!

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.