Sunday, 18 February 2018

Are You Supporting the Growth and Development of New Teachers?

If you're a seasoned teacher, then I wonder how many student teachers have made their way through your classroom doors?  I have been a teacher for over 25 years.  I often apply for student teachers to mentor.  Why?  It helps me remain current.  I have overheard time and time again that student teachers are a lot of work.  I have heard that student teachers "don't get it."  Well, seasoned teachers "didn't get it" at the beginning either.

I have been blessed to have a very eclectic mix of student teachers.  I have been blessed to watch them go from student teacher to supply to teacher to long term occasional teacher to permanent teacher.  I am proud of each one of them.  They have their gifts and gaps just like we do.  I know I am not the perfect physical education teacher but that doesn't stop me.  I learn the sport, I play the sport, I coach the sport.  I tell my student teachers the same thing.  As an elementary teacher, you are a generalist.  You teach every subject.  Some you will excel at, some you won't.

If you've considered applying for a student teacher from your local teacher's college, I suggest using these tips to get started:

1) When your student teacher reaches out to you with a letter, an email or a phone number, respond!  Try to meet your student teacher before day one of practicum.  I can assure you, the student teacher is nervous and having a friendly introduction will help ease his or her "first day" jitters.

2) Have a folder ready with a class list, some curriculum documents, a pen and some paper.  It's always a nice way to let the student teacher know that he or she is welcome and a valuable colleague.

3) Make sure the student teacher has a place to put his or her things.  There is nothing more unwelcoming than not having a storage area or place to sit.

4) Walk the student teacher around your school.  Take a tour.  Introduce your student teacher to your colleagues. 

5) Invite the student teacher to lunch with you, staff gatherings or after school get togethers. 

6) Mentor the student teacher.  Guidance is needed.  I often hear "he or she doesn't get it."  What are they supposed to "get" if you don't set clear expectations?  After all, the word student does come in front of the word teacher.

7) When the placement is over, celebrate your student teacher.  Have students write a letter thanking the student teacher for his or her contributions to your classroom.  Compile the letters in a notebook.  It's a wonderful gift they will appreciate for years to come.

8) Thank a student teacher!

If you would like to use some speciality writing paper for this notebook, here is a free download:

   

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Celebrating the 100th Day of School



If you're looking for some great 100th day of school activities, I was featured on the 100 Days of school blog post.  Here's the link:



Here's a fun freebie for students in grade 3 and up! We often see younger students celebrate the 100th day of school.  They bring in 100 things and arrange them in creative ways.  One of my grade 3 students asked me once why we don't celebrate the 100th day of school.  That got me thinking about creative ways to do this.  We spend the day rolling a story about 100th day and work through some fun math stations.


Click below for your free math printables to celebrate 100th day with your students:

Free 100th Day of School Math Printables


Valentine's Day Resources

If you're looking for some fun activities for Valentine's Day, here are a few ideas:



Math Stations

Using a Valentine's Day theme, students will have the opportunity to explore numbers. This unit contains four activities that are ideal for math stations or may be used as home-school connections. Activities include: "Cupid" (a math game that generates either sums or products), "Bump" using addition or multiplication, 2 place value games based on numbers 0 to 99. Playing cards, boards and full instructions are included. 


Valentine's Day Roll a Story

Students will be prompted to tell or write story with a Valentine's Day theme. This unit includes a story prompt sheet, graphic organizers, word lists (Valentine's Day & transition words), rubric and specialty writing paper with full and half lined pages.



Valentine's Day Silly Sentences for Fluent Readers

Silly sentences have always been a fun way to explore sentence building and recognizing parts of speech. Students in grades 3 through 6 will have the opportunity to use subject, verb and complement cards to build and simplify silly sentences. Challenging verb cards are included with this unit as well as nouns associated with the St. Valentine's Day theme, a blank sentence building template, display and label cards and a synonym chart. This is a perfect activity to use in your Word Work Stations or as an extra project for early finishers. 

Valentine's Day Writing Paper

This package includes Valentine's themed letter writing paper and lined paper for emergent and established writers. Art work created includes a penguin, bunny, puppy and bear. Bonus gift tags included and note cards are included.

Valentine's Day Part Part Whole Cards (Great for a Math Chat)!!!


Here's a fun way to assist students in computation of number sums either in math stations, with a buddy or for independent practice. This unit of 25 part-part-whole cards will allow students to practice sums from 2 to 10 with a Valentine's theme. The unit includes 2 variations for the numbers 2 and 3 and 3 variations for the numbers 4 to 10. With numbers hidden with flaps, Students can then justify what the missing part is and lift the flap to verify their answers. Cards may be used during a number talks, during guided math groups or for individual assessments.

Valentine's Day Freebies

This is a writing task to assist students in exploring their senses on Valentine's Day . Students are asked to think about ways in which Valentine's Day allows them to see, hear, taste, touch and feel. A planning template and printable pages are included.










Friday, 26 January 2018

Exploring Sports through Cross-Curricular Activities

February is a fun month.  This marks the 23rd international multi-sports event taking place in the host city of Pyeongchang County in South Korea.  How will you showcase this in the classroom?  Below are a few ideas plus a free download:

If you are looking to discover students' favourite sports, here's a fun write about or recount writing resource which includes prompts and templates.  It's easy to turn responses into a class book.  This is a free download:   





Sports Cross-Curricular Bundle


 This sports bundle is filled with Language Arts, Math Writing, Science and Word Work Activities:

 If Math Were a Sport Writing

Here'a fun way to consolidate a math unit! Students will be invited to write about their choice of an animal using mathematical language. Students will explore how their sport ties into math using a choice of three out of the following areas: Number Sense, Geometry, Measurement, Data Management/Probability and Patterning/Algebra. 

A sports word list, planning template, sample, rubric and specialty writing paper is included with this unit. As well, a book cover is included should you wish to turn these student generated pieces into a class book. 

Forces and Motion Project (Sports Theme)

Using sports to teach forces and motion is a fun way to teach this science concept. As a project, students will be asked to find sports pictures that relate to the following forces and motion: direct force, friction, gravity, muscular force, speed and a start or a stop. Students will then assemble their project and display it based on forces and motion found in sports. Some displays may include: posters, tri-fold displays, technological displays, flip books, large cubes or displays of their choice. Students will then be asked to create an oral presentation based on their visual display and provide written information. An outline of “forces and motion” vocabulary and questions to discuss is included as well as a planning template. As well, posters for classroom use and a student friendly rubric and evaluation form are part of this project. 



Silly sentences have always been a fun way to explore sentence building and recognizing parts of speech. Students in grades 3 through 6 will have the opportunity to use subject, verb and complement cards to build and simplify silly sentences using a Sports theme. Challenging verb cards are included with this unit as well as a blank sentence building template, display and label cards and a synonym chart. This is a perfect activity to use in your Word Work Stations or as an extra project for early finishers.

Sports Writing Paper

This package includes themed sports writing paper and lined paper for emergent and established writers. Art work created includes a variety of sports equipment such as badminton, baseball, basketball, bowling, golf, hockey, skate, soccer, tennis and volleyball.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Diving into 2018 in the Classroom

Have you gone completely paperless?  I do value teaching with a digital lense but I still love bulletin boards with students' work prominently on display.  I find that bulletin board creations are becoming more information boards.  Here's a fun way to keep a goal setting board up for a while.  I don't use the word resolution but rather "goals".  Using hockey stick writing templates, students can write their goals for the new year.

 

You'll find this free download here:




Keep students busy with this fun roll a story.  All you need is a 6 sided number cube and the prompt board.  Graphic organizers and writing paper is included:



This fun clip art is a great way to decorate newsletters or resources:



Add some fun writing paper to your writing stations.  You'll find a collection of papers for both emergent and established writers. 


  
Start the new year off with some fun math stations. This unit includes 4 activities. The first is number of the day. Using the new year, students will look at place value and fill in a number of the day chart. The next activity involves patterns found in a January calendar.The third activity (Race to Midnight) involves measuring time to 5 minute intervals. The final activity is to reach the target number using cards numbered 0 to 9. The target number is the new year. 


The whole bundle is available here:



Wishing you a prosperous, safe, happy and healthy new year!

Friday, 29 December 2017

Ringing in 2018 with Dollar Deals....

It's that time of year again!  The TpT Focused Success group is bringing some fabulous dollar deals your way for two days only!




Search the hashtag #RingIn2018


My second font bundle is only $1.00 and so is my Winter Literacy Bundle

Saturday, 16 December 2017

'Twas the Week Before Christmas Break



With concerts galore and a multitude of interruptions,  here are some fun ways to keep your students busy with Math and Literacy Stations.  Offering choice activities and providing task cards and lapbooks is always a good approach to keeping your students engaged. Here's a sample of the things that I have tried in classes from grades 3 to 6:

Christmas Writing Folder


This interactive folder is a great springboard to assist your students with three writing forms and a bonus Wanted Poster. You will find a descriptive task called Open the Doors to Christmas. With this four door book, students will use 4 of their senses to describe the Christmas season. A procedural writing task is included. Students will write about how to ready their place for Santa. A letter writing activity is included. This is a choice with students deciding on who they would like to direct the letter to at the North Pole. Various letter writing choices are provided. A fun task is to have students create wanted posters for jobs at Santa's workshop. A sample is provided to encourage descriptive details and drawings to make this poster task a fun one.Templates, rubrics and folder assembly instructions are included. All you need is a regular sized folder. 



Idioms Word Work



This unit has expressions on word cards ready for cutting and laminating. Students will be provided with a blank template and task cards filled with an expression related to a Christmas theme. They will then be asked to sketch a situation using the idiomatic expression on the card and then write and sketch their interpretation of it. This is a great addition to your Word Work Station or can be used as an extra activity for early finishers. 


Christmas Writing Task Cards


Task cards are individualized with title and writing prompts. In addition to 24 prompts, you will find graphic organizers and specialty writing paper to assist students with the writing process. These task cards will make a great addition to a writing station. 


Christmas Math Stations

Keep your students engaged in fun math activities with a Christmas theme. Activities include: construction of a Gingerbread House based on money amounts, December calendar math activities involving patterning and operations, completing a hidden picture using decimal operations and playing a Race to the Gingerbread House game based on odd and even sums.

The Gingerbread House construction and Race to the Gingerbread House game may be differentiated. Game boards, instructions, answers and number cards are included.


Christmas Memories Recount Writing





This is a great home-school connection or addition to your literacy writing station. Students are encouraged to write about their special Christmas memories. A helpful planning sheet is included for your struggling writers. This writing activity will encourage writing at any grade level. 


Christmas Writing Paper


This package includes Christmas letter writing paper and lined paper for emergent and established writers. Art work created includes a reindeer, penguin and dog. Bonus gift tags are included in this package.




Silly sentences have always been a fun way to explore sentence building and recognizing parts of speech. Students in grades 3 through 6 will have the opportunity to use subject, verb and complement cards to build and simplify silly sentences. Challenging verb cards are included with this unit as well as nouns associated with the Christmas theme, a blank sentence building template, display and label cards and a synonym chart. This is a perfect activity to use in your Word Work Stations or as an extra project for early finishers. 

Christmas Part Part Whole Number Cards




Part-part-whole cards are designed to assist students in computation of number sums. This unit of 25 part-part-whole cards will allow students to practice sums from 2 to 10. The unit includes 2 variations for the numbers 2 and 3 and 3 variations for the numbers 4 to 10. With numbers hidden with flaps, Students can then justify what the missing part is and lift the flap to verify their answers. Cards may be used during a number talks, during guided math groups or for individual assessments. 

Christmas Roll a Story



Students will be prompted to tell or write story with a Christmas theme. This unit includes a story prompt sheet, graphic organizers, word lists (Christmas & transition words), rubric and specialty writing paper with full and half lined pages.

Christmas Write the Room


This is a fun way to have students recognize and learn to write Christmas words. Used as a literacy station, printed cards on cardstock can be placed around the room at students’ height. Using a clipboard and recording sheet, students will write the correct word beside the correct number. There are two variations of the recording sheet for differentiation. Cards contain shape box letters and images to reinforce letter formation and word recognition. 

Free Downloads



Christmas Writing Choice Board Freebie



This writing choice board freebie is a great addition to your Writing Station or a useful activity for early finishers. Eight writing options plus a free one are included.


Free Clip Art

Christmas Frames