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.
Click on either picture or here to get your own copy of the Statement of the week.
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.
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 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.
Click on the picture for the link.
On July 14th, 15th, and 16th I was honoured to present “Get Connected: Professionally and in your Classroom” for ETFO’s Summer Academy. I was a 3 day course that I created, organized and presented.
Maybe you are interested in this course but could not attend so I’ve decided to share my 3 day presentation and resources I used in the course with you.
The course covers:
To get the entire course, click on the picture below
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.
As we use more and more technology in our classrooms, I find myself getting confused about which students I can post pictures of on our classroom website, twitter and who is allowed to skype.
At the beginning of the year, when you collect your technology in the classroom permission forms, you can make these posters so that students, staff and visitors know which students they can take pictures of. It is also a great reminder for you to remember who not to post on your classroom blog and twitter account.
If you know me well, you know that I have a love for Mario Brothers. Here are some examples of the posters using Mario and Luigi.
This resource should be printed and displayed on your classroom wall and should be easily seen in the classroom.
Click on any of the pictures or on this link to get the free downloadable resource with the 4 different display options.
During the last Ontario Edchat we were chatting about Report Cards. It was an amazing discussion that really made me start thinking. We should be focusing on our students learning, not just assessing for grades. I decided to create these learning focused worksheets that your students can use to see what they knew about the topic before the unit and what they learned after the unit is completed. In an ideal world I would use these sheets unit after unit so that the routine is automatic and the students feel confident about it. Here are the two different versions.
The next one I thought would be neat to do more of a brainstorm on. The students can fill out what they know about a particular subject and fill in the box attached to “What I think I know” in one colour. At the end of the unit they can add what they learned about that topic but in another colour and add another colour to the box attached to “What I know now.” I decided to choose the wording “What I think I know” because it makes the students feel more comfortable to write things down and when they are writing about their learnings after the unit is complete they can cross out what they learned is not true.
Please let me know what you think of these printables in the comments and let me know if you used them.
I don’t know about you but I have several IEP’s on the go and have a hard time keeping them all straight. All of the IEP at a glance sheets I found were one student per page but sometimes you just need a quick reference. This is what I created to help myself, and I hope you find it useful. To download this, please click on the poster.
It’s that time of year again. I was working on my reports and I decided to create this Report Card Checklist. There are 2 different options. I hope you like it and feel free to share it! Click on the checklist to Download and let me know in the comments, which one you like the best!
Last year I really wanted to buy a teaching planner but didn’t want to spend the money and found that all of the premade ones didn’t fit my schedule or what I wanted.
So I created my own! It has:
- fun, inspiration cover
- place for your info
- spot for birthdays
- classroom volunteers
- student/parent contact information
- How students get home
- monthly calendar
- at a glance monthly teaching benchmarks
- pages for staff & grade meetings
- and Notes/ideas pages
For some reason, uploaded onto Google Docs it messes up the pages, so you may have to play around with it a bit. When you download it to Word, the alignment is perfect.
Click here for the Google Drive version or here for the pdf version.
Make sure you print this planner double sided!
Here are some pictures of the planner.