Opinions expressed on this blog are my own and do not represent any other organization or affiliation I may have.

Saturday 29 March 2014

Bucket Covers for art centres

You could use these for a number of centres: art, math, literacy, table groups, endless possibilities..

Love this idea of using buckets for an art, math or literacy center... http://owl.li/uUdyE

Thursday 27 March 2014

Game of Thrones Spoilers or Detention?

Which is Worse: A Game of Thrones Spoiler, or Detention?

According to Belgium's Nieuwsblad, the teacher, at wits end with his noisy class, asked which of his students watched Game of Thrones. Around three quarters of the students raised their hands. "Well, I've read all the books," the teacher replied. "If there's too much noise, I will write the names of the dead on the board. They are enough to fill the whole year and I can even describe how they die."

Read whole story here.

Personally, my students are mostly too young to watch this show and I am sure there are other forms of classroom management that would be effective, but this story is pretty funny.

Persuasive Letters...

Step by step to a persuasive letter!http://owl.li/uUgH2

Tuesday 25 March 2014

Reading Board

Photo: Interactive reading board: Each student fills their cup with books they read in and out of school throughout the year. http://owl.li/uNkpi

Interactive reading board: Each student fills their cup with books they read in and out of school throughout the year.http://owl.li/uNkpi

Create a Zoo - Science/Math Collaboration Assignment

Collaboration Project (math and science)
Students collaborate and create a giant zoo! First, tape sheets of grid paper together (cut off the white borders). Next, cut out various irregular shapes off the giant grid for the students (see image). Give each student a piece from the grid. Their mission is to figure out the area and perimeter of their land for their exhibit. They choose an animal and plot out important aspects of its habitat. Does their animal live in the arctic, forest, grasslands, or rainforest. Students think about what colors to use to correctly match their animal's habitat. They must make their animal feel at home in its exhibit. Does their animal play in the water, hide in a cave, or roll around in the mud? They add details to the exhibit. Then, they find an image of their animal online and glue it into the habitat they made. When all of the students are finished, they work together and create a zoo! They problem solve where each animal should go. Should the rhinos be near the elephants? They, glue their designs on an oversized sheet of butcher paper. Then, they add paths, signs, and fences.

Friday 21 March 2014

Article: To Keep Teenagers Alert, Schools Let Them Sleep In

Jilly Dos Santos organized an effort to push back her high school’s start time to 9 a.m.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Jilly Dos Santos really did try to get to school on time. She set three successive alarms on her phone. Skipped breakfast. Hastily applied makeup while her fuming father drove. But last year she rarely made it into the frantic scrum at the doors of Rock Bridge High School here by the first bell, at 7:50 a.m.
Then she heard that the school board was about to make the day start even earlier, at 7:20 a.m.
“I thought, if that happens, I will die,” recalled Jilly, 17. “I will drop out of school!”
That was when the sleep-deprived teenager turned into a sleep activist. She was determined to convince the board of a truth she knew in the core of her tired, lanky body: Teenagers are developmentally driven to be late to bed, late to rise. Could the board realign the first bell with that biological reality?
The sputtering, nearly 20-year movement to start high schools later has recently gained momentum in communities like this one, as hundreds of schools in dozens of districts across the country have bowed to the accumulating research on the adolescent body clock.
In just the last two years, high schools in Long Beach, Calif.; Stillwater, Okla.; Decatur, Ga.;, and Glens Falls, N.Y., have pushed back their first bells, joining early adopters in Connecticut, North Carolina, Kentucky and Minnesota. The Seattle school board will vote this month on whether to pursue the issue. The superintendent of Montgomery County, Md., supports the shift, and the school board for Fairfax County, Va., is working with consultants to develop options for starts after 8 a.m. 
Continue Reading

When I was a teenager, I remember reading research that said teens needed more sleep and learned better late morning and afternoon. Of course, I wished that schools would adapt to this schedule and we could sleep in and go to school later.

I would have enjoyed a 10am-4pm day in high school, but we had an 8am start.

Read More Here

Thursday 20 March 2014

Thursday 13 March 2014

Fraction Games

FREE Fraction Treasure Hunt (reducing, improper to mixed, fraction to decimal)

Teachers Pay Teachers have a lot of neat (and free or affordable) lesson ides they share, this one is a neat one for fractions.


Tuesday 11 March 2014

Paper Plate Clocks

Making Elapsed Time Fun! - The Organized Classroom Blog

I love this idea for learning to tell time. I know it is always a challenge for kids to learn to read clocks, but this is a cool way to help.


Sunday 9 March 2014

Saturday 8 March 2014

You Shall Not Pass.....

Saw this on tumblr... Funny Stamp... interesting way of dealing with plagiarism...

Friday 7 March 2014

Celebrating Women's History in Picture Books


This post has a great list of picture books featuring strong female leads.

Few things are as fascinating to a child as realizing that the amazing “character” and “story” she just read are true — that these things really happened, and that the person who did them was real. Not only is it a great way for kids to learn about historical figures, both famous and obscure, but it’s tremendously inspiring to know that they, too, could grow up to change the world.


Teacher Minions



I’m trying to be less of the purple guy… it’s starting to look better. :)

I needed this today.

I certainly have been channeling the purple guy for a few weeks now.

Thursday 6 March 2014

Outside Literacy Centre

As weather gets nicer (hopefully) here is a neat idea to try.....

Outside literacy center: Play twister, or jump from word to word: http://ow.ly/ppOPL

Wednesday 5 March 2014

LEGO Comprehension - Listening to Instructions and Team Work

Kids try to build an identical structure by only listening to each others' instructions! 

Place something in between 2 lego plates, so kids can't see each others' lego building base (no cheating!). Kids take turns giving instructions. They must be very detail oriented (describe color, size, and placement). Also, they have to have good listening skills, so they place the lego in the correct spot! When they're finished building, they look at their structures to see if they are identical. Did they give good directions?!


Sunday 2 March 2014

Readers use post-its to show their thinking


BCTF New Teachers' Conference 2014

This weekend I attended the BCTF New Teachers' workshop with hundreds of new teachers, TTOCs and student teachers from across BC. I was presenting two workshops over the weekend and had the opportunity to connect in person with teachers I know through social media. It was also a chance to check out some amazing workshops and chat with new and soon-to-be colleagues as well as touch base with teacher friends I only see a few times a year at such events.

I am very much looking forward to the BCTF AGM in a few weeks where a number of these teachers and more will come together for our annual general meeting.

You can also check out some tweets from the New Teachers' Conference.

I compiled a few here.

Saturday 1 March 2014

Everything is Awesome - Lego movie - BCTF version

A colleague and I made this video this weekend after the BCTF New Teachers' Conference. She had seen the lego movie recently and loved the positive pro-union message and wanted to make a lego movie for BCTF. And so we did.

Bag of Tricks Brainstorm

This weekend at the BCTF New Teachers' Conference, I facilitated two workshops. One was "Reality 101; A Day in the Life of a TTOC"

Part of that workshop involves brainstorming ideas to include in your 'Bag of Tricks' and here is what the group came up with:

If they are tough to read, try clicking the photo to see the lager version.

Mystery Books