Life has been busy. So I apologize for the lull of posts as of late. There are a whole bunch of new projects and opportunities on the horizon that have been occupying my time in a very, very good way. However, I had a few moments to to pen a continuation to my Maker Movement articles for the Yellin Center. I hope you enjoy learning a little more about Design Thinking and how it can impact and enrich the learning process. Happy Making! Continue reading “Maker Movement Con’t: Design Thinking in Schools”
This week I collaborated with the awesome educator behind Poet Prints, Rachel Poetker. She is an awesome, talented, and passionate Canadian elementary school teacher who, like me, loves to share her learning strategies and resources with the greater education world. You can find all her amazing curricular designs on her TeacherspayTeachers store.
As you all know I love collaborating with other bloggers -whether it is swapping resources or contributing posts I always learn something new. This week I shared some of my favourite literacy tools for an inclusive classroom with the readers of Poet Prints. Head over to her blog to check it out and be sure to poke around a bit. She has a lot of great things to share!
My latest article for the Yellin Center covers a salient topic in education -bullying. A dynamite (and academically badass) team of researchers from Princeton, Yale, and Rutgers came together to explore how to best promote an anti-conflict mindset and disrupt the culture of bullying in schools. The impact of their research doesn’t end with a theoretical publication; the practical Roots program has been developed to help teachers and policy makers enact this research in tangible, real world ways. Read my article below for more information on the novel research and Roots Program. Continue reading “An Important New Study on the Impact of Influential Students on Bullying”
I have another article out for the Yellin Center. This time I dig into how to use infographics in the classroom to differentiate your instruction and meet the core mandates of Universal Design for Learning. Below you will find my article where I discuss a few excellent, easy to use resources for making infographics. Happy Learning! Continue reading “Using Infographics in the Classroom to Differentiate Instruction”
As a classroom teacher I fully believed in crafting high quality, experiential learning experiences for my students. I tried my best regardless of the curricular area to get my students outside the four walls of my classroom and exploring their environment. Furthermore, I truly believe in authentic learning experiences where a teacher helps the students connect their textbook learning to its real world applications. It was this ideology that help inspire me to create, Shape Hunt, an interactive math game that gets students out of their seats and hunting for math concepts in their everyday lives.
As you will remember, showcased some other math games from my geometry unit such, Quadrilateral Find Five. and Shape Bingo. I have also shared some of my favourite math apps for building spatial reasoning. Shape Hunt is yet another activity in that same geometry unit on shape identification. In this activity I also review skills from my measurement unit by having students practice finding the area and perimeter of each shape. Therefore, it is a multifaceted activity that infuses geometry, measurement and calculation into one lesson. I have adapted this game for different grades by choosing age-appropriate shapes for my students to find. For example, for the younger grades you could ask them to hunt squares, triangles, circles and rectangles.
Shape Hunt requires students to search their surroundings to locate different and identify shapes, then measure and calculate the area and perimeter. I often assigned this activity in pairs to encourage mathematical talk. If it is a nice day I would take the kids outside to the playground to hunt for shapes. This activity is a break from math drills and work sheets, and allows students to get hands on and engage with the geometric concepts.
A PDF of this game can be downloaded for free at on my Teachers pay Teachers store 🙂 Continue reading “Shape Hunt Math Game and Lesson Plan”
As you may remember we have a bunch of different games and activities for geometry. Shape identification is an important skill acquired in the lower elementary grades. So today’s Freebie Friday is Shape Bingo, which provides a fun, engaging, play-based method to have students practice both the construction of shapes as well as the identification. This activity can be played using two or three dimensional shapes. I have also used it as part of a unit on differentiating quadrilaterals. It is a game that is easily modified to suit a teacher curricular needs, and as such I have found it to be an excellent substitute teacher activity or even a home learning game.
In the classroom, I have used Shape Bingo across the grades by modifying the shapes I ask my students to fill their bingo. For example, for the younger grades will choose squares, triangles, diamonds, squares and rectangles. Furthermore, for primary students I will often model the shapes by drawing each on the board and labeling them and allowing the students to copy them directly. Whereas, for the intermediate and upper grades I will often write only the word on the board (e.g. cube, sphere, cone etc.) and ask my students to draw the shape independently.
In my experience this activity provides excellent repetitive practice in drawing the different shapes. As such, I often will collect the game boards after the activity as a formative assessment measure to see how efficiently my students can compose the different shapes. Continue reading “Freebie Friday: Shape Bingo”
We have been connecting with bloggers all over the place these past few weeks and loving it. Last week you may remember our Halloween Bingo was featured on Teaching Blog Addict. Then on Monday our Sight Word Go Fish game was featured on the Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational’s Monday Roundup. Our recipes popped up on A Mommy Too! Then to make it even better last week we were also highlighted by Creative Family Fun’s A Week of After School Activities. Our On a Roll sight word game was showcased, and we couldn’t be more flattered. Head over to Creative Family Fun to check out the other resources they shared. There are some great ideas housed there!
Funny anecdote, when I moved to New York from Canada I thought that overnight I had lost my ability to spell. When I began working as a Learning Specialist here in Manhattan, every report and learning document I created came back hacked up from the editors. I was initially perplexed but began to investigate the differences between American and British spellings. It turns out I can spell, I just wasn’t versed in American Standard English. Therein lies the tricky thing about mastering the English language, not only is it not phonetic, but there are also multiple ways to spell certain words.
You can add the ‘e” in likeable in Canada or the UK, but in America they really would rather you left it likable. You can double consonants in travelled, modelling or counsellor, but on US soil they prefer you if you traveled or took up modeling. If you wish you can accessorize your outfit in L.A. but in Toronto you accessorise. You can head to the London theatre but you will go to a theater in Manhattan. Don’t even get me started on adding or omitting “u” in everything from favourite or colour. Mastering these nuances can be a challenge for any young (or old in my case) learner. Luckily we have some fun ways to learn to spell and build that understanding of English orthographic mechanics. Below you will find my latest article for the Yellin Center Blog.
We LOVE Halloween. We are busily are getting our costumes prepped to be in New York’s Halloween parade. We have our house decorated and we are in right spirit. We kicked off the Hallowe’en season by heading up up to Sleepy Hollow, New York a few weeks ago to nerd out at Washington Irving’s home (the author of A Legend of Sleepy Hollow). We topped off our weekend escape with a Headless Horseman themed haunted house. It was amazing and both events get our resounding endorsement.
Earlier this week the Yellin Center showcased my free Hallowe’en resource (you can find the full article below). It is a fun Bingo Game. It follows all the traditional rules of Bingo. However if you need a refresher the free download from my Teachers Pay Teachers Store has all the details you need. Happy Halloween!
My latest post is inspired by a dear friend who is an even greater teacher than she is friend (and that is saying something). This isn’t the first time she has inspired me to write, but over the summer, Linh and I began talking about our professional goals as we headed toward the new school year. Hers was to create a paperless classroom leaving me in awe of her passion to tackle just a big feat. If any teacher can do away with pencil and paper Linh surely can. After a little research I discovered there are a variety of tools to ensure her success. You can head over to my article at the Yellin Center for Mind, Brain and Education, or find a copy of it below. Enjoy and good luck to all you tech-saavy educators out there making a difference in children’s lives and diminishing your environmental impact. Keep doing you! Continue reading “Tools for a Paperless Classroom”