It’s always a bit nerve-racking when you find out that you have been assigned a combined grade for the next year. Combined grade classrooms come with a variety of challenges for teachers, the most prominent being that teachers need to address two complete grade levels of curriculum expectations. Just thinking about the extensive expectations to be addressed is daunting and will probably make you feel overwhelmed. I know that when I taught combined grades in the past, it was a juggling act to ensure that not only were all expectations addressed, but that I was teaching them in a meaningful and engaging manner.
As we mentioned in our article for TeachHUB.com, one of the most powerful strategies a teacher can learn is how to integrate curriculum in order to create cross-curricular lessons. Not only will you be covering curriculum expectations, but cross-curricular activities tend to be more engaging and creative.
We have been working diligently on a combined grade 4/5 science unit to meet the Ontario curriculum expectations for Understanding Life Systems. We are really excited to announce that it is completed!
Here’s 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 (five types of centre activities: iPad integration, 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, inferring, determining important ideas, drawing conclusions, and cause-and-effect
- Differentiated Instruction is achieved through Learning Centres, choice board for the end of unit project, RAFTS assignment, and a variety of hands-on activities and labs
The entire unit, including lessons, assignments, assessments, printables, and centre activities comes to over 230 pages!
Here’s a preview of the unit!
And click the image below to be taken to the complete unit!
Have you set up your packages yet? Here are two more that you cannot do without. One focuses on Algebraic Expressions and the other on Subtraction. These together with the Addition and Multiples, Factors and Ratio ones, you have17 days of quick questions along with the answers!
You could use these packs as a way to help students settle and focus during transition times, you could create math centers with these packages, you can use them as reviews for tests, or an aid to access prior knowledge. The options are endless.
Each page is specifically designed to take students between 2 – 5 minutes, and an answer key is also provided for you! Pick them all up and stay tuned for more packages to come your way!
How will you use these packs? Share your thoughts, and different uses!
Interruptions are always occurring but there are ways to manage them. With Day Plan Schedules, Essential Teacher Binders packs, and strategies that we as teachers already have in place, we organize and prepare the best we can. Another component of being prepared and organized is to mitigate those transition times. Having students settle and re-focus is the challenge all of the time. Think of when they come in from recess, they are still laughing, worked up, excited and definitely not focused on the next lesson. I find that having transition activities prepared for them quickly grabs their attention and settles them down. I usually set quick question packages up at the beginning of the year and include them as part of my incentives to students. For example, complete the page in its entirety within 1 minute they receive 3 stars, 2 minutes = 2 stars and 3 minutes = 1 star. After the 3 minutes I don’t distribute stars. At the end of the week, the students with the most stars receive a reward. This could vary depending on age, but I find that even intermediate students love school stationary supplies, trinkets, and free time! I have two packages set up for you already and more are coming. Click on the picture to access todays package, or here for the previously posted package. The packets are detailed, clear and they have answer keys too. Don’t forget to follow us, as more packets, great resources and products are coming soon!
Here is another great product for your classroom! This pack (one of many to come!) addresses transition times. We all know that to settle students down after an interruption is a difficult task. Start the year off, set up your expectations. Have these prepared for your students. Each page contains quick questions (5) to allow students to quickly work and re-start their thinking after an interruption. Each page is designed to take from 2 to 5 minutes.
The mathematics pack contains the following topics:
* Order of Operations
Oh, don’t worry an answer key is provided as well! Hoping that this helps you too!
There are many ways that this package can be used. A few examples are:
*Review for core concepts
*Math Centre Activity
*Accessing Prior Knowledge
Don’t forget to stay tuned as there will be more packages which will focus on other areas of mathematics.
A complete pack (23 pages) for your Geography/Social Studies Unit! Use this pack for a center activity, or as a whole class instruction approach. The pack includes flash cards for each province, territory and city, Match the Columns activity with answer key, blank map outline and a coloured version of the map, Name that Place numbered map with answer key. Included is ideas on how to utilize the flash cards within your classroom. This is a perfect way for your students to practice & learn their Canadian Geography. Click on the picture where you will be able to preview the product.
What is “Your Essential Teacher Binder”? 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? There are more than 70 pages featuring:
– 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, and apples!