Something I really want to do better in my classroom is having respectful, thoughtful and passionate discussions about many varied topics. One way I want to do this is by having a Statement of the Week.
So each week you introduce a statement such as ‘Zoos are awesome’ or ‘Students should have to wear uniforms’ and based on the statement, your student have to go to one of the 4 corners. Each corner will be labeled with a piece of paper that says Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree, or Strongly Disagree. In their corners they will discuss with the other students in that corner why they feel that way about the topic. They will go back to their desks and circle their point of view and write why they feel that way.
Then for the week, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday you read articles based on the statement with differing points of views. Each day your students will write down the name of the article and the key ideas in that article.
Friday, the students need to evaluate their initial viewpoint and then analyze their key learnings from each article. Then they need to choose a final viewpoint and defend why they are keeping the same point of view or why they changed it. Then they will have a discussion where they try to convince the other corners that their corners are right. Then they will have to fill in the sheet on their final verdict.
I have added a option of a pro and con list on the back so that if the students are stuck on their options, they can use that to decide which point of view is correct.
To find the best articles, use Newsela. Newsela is a site that has tons of articles on different subjects and can be sorted by age range and language. You can find an article about your statement and then choose Lexile levels to suit your students reading levels. This way you can differentiate easily but all your students will still be able to participate on the same statement.
As a teacher today in this fast paced, constantly changing world, it is really hard to keep up to date with all the different teaching tools, websites, and strategies.
We created Ottawa Teachers Professional Learning Community (OTPLC) for all different kinds of teachers to come together and learn about one new topic a month and have hands on time to play with the tools and chat with other teachers.
Our first get together is on February 16th, 2017 at Oh So Good in Westboro at 6pm. This is a very casual where you can connect with other teachers, grab a coffee and make sure to bring your device.
Occasional, contract, public, and student teachers are all welcome.
One of my amazing colleagues, Shauna Pollock, is going to meet with some Syrian Refugees in Toronto soon. She had the idea to team up with a class that could create a colouring book for young children to learn important things about Canada.
Since many of my students in my class are experienced with coming to Canada, I asked them if they wanted to create a colouring book. They were thrilled with the idea and immediately started coming up with ideas.
Some students drew the drawings and some students changed what we wanted to say in English to Arabic. Here is our result. To see the colouring book, click on the image.
Title Page of Coloring Book: Says “Welcome to Canada”
Inside the Colouring book we have everything from freedom of religion, that Justin Trudeau is our Prime Minister, and how maple syrup is made!
Take a peek and please send all the credit to my amazing Tech Titans!
I knew the second that I was told that I would be teaching Grade 6 next year that I would be using Google Classroom with my students.
I decided that in the first week of school I would introduce Classroom, get them to join our online Classroom and introduce a very simple but fun get to know you slideshow. First, I showed them my “All about me” Project and then showed them how to access theirs.
I only showed my students how to write in the slides and add pictures. I was amazed that some students were so excited about this that they figured out how to change the text colour, insert gif’s, and change the theme of the slides.
A great first project using Classroom!
*NOTE: Even though it says 6 are not done, they just forgot to turn them in.
I created the below document to help my students learn about the learning skills we assess them on in Ontario. I am going to give them this document at the beginning of the year so that they can create goals about these learning skills. I want my students to be able to self-assess and reflect on what they can do better for the next term.
I’m so excited to be teaching Grade 6 next year. One thing that I want to do with my class every week is Goal Setting. I recently finished reading “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We do in Life and Business” by Charles Duhigg.
It was an interesting read and one that really can be linked to the classroom environment. Students need to learn how to set goals so they will succeed in their later educational pursuits, work and in life. I know that in my personal life sometimes I need a reward to complete a task that I don’t want to do such as working out or doing the dishes. I created this worksheet for students to use and to practice creating their own goals. For students to be able to complete their goals, they need to be as descriptive as possible in how, when, and where they are going to complete their goals.
Click on the picture to download.
I’m sure you have some students in your class that have a routine that is less than positive. The below worksheet is to change their routine. You would meet with the student in private, when they are calm and discuss the trouble they are having.
For example: Student A sees another students take one of his crayons and he hits them to get it back. You can discuss why this happens, what are some other options they could choose and the student could suggest some rewards that they would like to get if they choose a better option rather than hitting. Please click on the picture to download.
The below image is from CharlesDuhigg.com, the author of “The Power of Habit” and also describes in detail how to change a habit.
I would highly recommend reading “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We do in Life and Business” by Charles Duhigg.
Scott Monahan has started an amazing collaboration project. He is trying to gather all of the Ontario Curriculum on one spreadsheet/database for easy referencing. He is asking for teachers to help and choose a grade and subject to enter into the Google Form he has created.
If we all chip in and do our part, an amazing resource will be created for all Ontario educators to use. If you help out, you will also have your name on the document when it is completed. What a great idea and opportunity!