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Saturday 30 November 2013

Teacher Template for lessons...

A bit busy, but some great components here you could use.... Nice to keep your lessons focused and assess as you go.

Try out this lesson planning chart before writing out your next lesson plan.

Friday 29 November 2013

Art Journals....

Has anyone tried art journaling?

Pinterest had some cool pins: http://www.pinterest.com/source/artjournaling.tumblr.com/

Fingerprint poetry is a great way to start a poetry unit or the beginning of the year. High school or middle school students can really express their individuality.Art Journaling

Some really amazing stuff out there. I am intrigued. I want to learn more.....

Tuesday 26 November 2013

Advice for New Teachers

Earlier this year I participated in in a twitter chat (#cdnedchat) discussing 'Advice for New Teachers'

You can read some of the highlights from that chat on this Storify Board:

Here are some other basic tips:

Advice for New Teachers

Via: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/180636635027203901/

Monday 25 November 2013

I am thankful for Pumpkin Pie... Craft/Writing activity

While I celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving back in October, my teacher friends to the south celebrate this week. I am planning to enjoy some American (late) Thanksgiving Saturday night with friends and family, and can NOT wait for some delicious turkey and pumpkin pie.

This easy-peasy craft / writing assignment can be done with elementary students. I have included photos, materials, instructions and source links in both French and English.

My Canadian colleagues may wish to file this away for next October, but my American readers can enjoy it this week. All you need is some orange paper, paper plates, scissors, markers and paper fasteners/pin (for the middle so it can spin)

Students can write a few things they are thankful for, cut the orange paper into a circle slightly smaller than the paper plate with a "slice" cut out. Then fasten together like so.....

Pumpkin Pie Spinner Craft.  Encourages kids to reflect on what they are thankful for.   Primary French Immersion Resources: L'Action de GrĂ¢ce

Easy-Peasy? You could even do some cutting prep ahead of time if they are younger/primary.



C is for Cookie....

I love this! Since I am teaching Home Ec two days a week this year, I am always looking for visual aides to help in my teaching. We are in term two now, which is exciting because we got through term one and are repeating most of the recipes and lessons now. As part of the cookie making home lab for our students, we had a variety of shapes, sizes and textures created. This is a nice photo I will show my class as we discuss why cookies turn out differently and what role certain ingredients play in baking.

Thanks pinterest!

Presenting to Student Teachers: Perks of TTOCing

This week I am doing two presentations to student teacher groups. I love the energy and enthusiasm student teachers have coming out of their practicums, ready and eager to find jobs! The reality is, that many get hired, first, as a TTOC (Teacher-Teaching-On-Call) and my workshop looks at what life is like as a TTOC.

I also do workshops for the BCTF on Classroom Management for TTOCs, Work-Life Balance, Stress Management, Reality 101, and a few others. It is always a pleasure to present and today was no different!

Today's group had a lot of previous classroom experience as EAs or such and had some awesome ideas and knowledge to share. They just finished their SFU 405 practicum (Long practicum) and I spent the afternoon with them.

One part of my workshop looks at the benefits of being a TTOC.

We brainstormed some of the perks of being a TTOC and here are some of the things we came up with:

  • Flexibility 
  • Set schedule
  • Variety (grades, subjects, areas)
  • experiment with different instructional strategies
  • develop professional connections, network
  • no report cards
  • minimal marking
  • less "out of school day" work (prep, plan, mark, etc.)
  • Gather ideas, resources, etc.
  • try things out repeatedly
While teaching on call is often a stepping stone to contract teaching, many choose to teach on call because of the many perks it offers. Although sometimes unpredictable, many teachers enjoy the benefits of being a teacher-teaching-on-call.

What other perks are there to being a TTOC?

Sunday 24 November 2013


One of the many things I love about mentoring, is the opportunity to work with new teachers in a variety of ways. My favourite is co-teaching.

Co-teaching goes beyond collaboration and let's teachers work together to educate students.

http://www.ctserc.org/initiatives/teachandlearn/coteach.shtml lists 6 different ways to co-teach:

1. One Teach, One Observe. 
2. One Teach, One Assist.
3. Parallel Teaching.
4. Station Teaching.
5. Alternative Teaching.
6. Team Teaching

I found an awesome blog that talks about co-teaching, here are some highlights:

I will be the first to say co-teaching is not for everyone but in the same instance, I believe everyone should try it. 
Education is not about out doing my coworker down the hall. It is about collaborating to make everyone successful. I have always been a fan of collaboration but throughout school, everything has been a competition for me. Teaching is not a competition it is about doing what is best for all our students.
Read More here - original post

Co-teaching.... maybe not for everyone, but I am the first to admit that I can be a control freak.... yet, I still manage to enjoy and excel in co-teaching!


Non-Fiction Reading Response Prompts and Rubrics


Saturday 23 November 2013

Don't Date a Girl Who Teaches

A teacher friend shared this with me, it made me laugh... Don't date a girl who teaches:


If you decide to take her anywhere directly after work, just know that it will seem to others as if you are escorting around a cardigan-wearing, homeless witch with unexplainable stray marker/pen marks from wrist to elbow.

Fellas, let me save you some trouble. If you're in a bar and you see a woman in flats and a cardigan with an oversized shoulder tote asking about discounts, stay away.

Saturday 9 November 2013

Advent Calendar Idea...

I remember in Grade 1 we had an advent calendar for a class of 24 students. I remember we each for one chocolate and did a name draw for the 25th chocolate. I won!

My classmates hates me for it.

But I was so proud, because I had never won anything in my (short) life.

This idea, however, will ensure no one is jacked up on sugar in class, no student with allergies are left out, and no classmates get jealous of another....


Wrap each book up and each day unwrap one to read as a class. I am thinking this may be something great to do at home with my daughter, but also, could be done easily in class.

I wondered about the "Christmas" theme and how to avoid any issues with that - but what about if some books talked about different December celebrations? So it wasn't just Christmas?

This year (and last) I teach middle school and part of our curriculum is World Religions, so we study all the different celebrations.

Anyways, I just thought this is a great way to promote literacy, reading, Christmas countdown, and avoid sugary treats =)

Wednesday 6 November 2013

Social Skills to teach your Students....

How to listen to instructions, how to ask for help—social skills kids need and how to teach them.

Social Skill: How to Listen Attentively
Skill Steps:  
1. Look at the person who is talking and remain quiet.2. Wait until the person is finished talking before you speak.3. Show that you heard the speaker by nodding your head, and using positive phrases, such as “Okay” or “That’s interesting.”
Classroom Activity:  Invite students to tell each other jokes to practice active listening. Gather joke books from your school library or send students online to Aha Jokes to find their favorite funnies to share with their friends. Have students work in small groups taking turns in the roles of speaker and active listeners. Older students can practice sharing opinions on class reading or plans for college or career.

Social Skill: How to Greet Others
Skill Steps:1. Look at the person.2. Use a pleasant voice.3. Say, “Hi” or “Hello.”
Classroom Activity:  Challenge your students to come up with 25 or more possible greetingsthey can use with each other, with you or with a classroom guest. Include greetings in different languages. Each morning, go around the room and have each student offer a greeting to the class.

Social Skill: Following Instructions
Skill Steps:1. Look at the person.2. Say okay.3. Do what you’ve been asked to do right away4. Check back in with the person.
Classroom Activity:  Play classroom games that help students to increase their ability to follow instructions with traditional games like Simon Says and Red Light, Green Light. Or challenge your students to a scavenger hunt around the classroom or school.  Explain that theirs is no way to succeed without following directions precisely. As with all the skills, have your students go through the steps every time you issue a request until they become second nature.