Saturday, July 30, 2016

I am hosting another giveaway! This one is on Facebook, but it is super easy to enter! All you need to do is go my Facebook Page, like the contest post, and comment with a signal that you use to get the class's attention. This signal might be a clap, you might turn the lights off and on, or you may have a chant that you use and the students chant back. Good luck to everyone!
Thanks so much for entering! 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Blog Hop: Let's Talk About Communicating With Parents

Welcome to the Blog Hop! Each of the participating teacher bloggers are sharing a Back to School tip, trick, or idea and each participating blogger is also giving away a $25 Teachers Pay Teachers gift card. Read my post about communication with parents and then enter to win a $25 gift card at the bottom of the post! 

Lets talk about Communication with Parents! This is a big topic, and it is always one that is brought up during the teacher job interview. In my experience I have noticed that some teachers dread communicating with parents I think the key to communicating with parents is to get them on your side early. Managing student behaviour in the classroom is much easier if the students know you are on the same page as his or her parent. 

Here are some tips and ideas for getting parents on your side: 

-At the beginning of the school year send home a letter introducing yourself to parents and families. Use this opportunity to give your short bio, write about your homework exceptions, any September events, and invite parents into the classroom. 

-Let parents know that you are here to help their child succeed! 

-If your school is not holding an open house invite parents in for a tea or a meet and greet. 

-Let parents know if you have an open door policy or if you have a set time for parents to come in and volunteer on a daily or weekly basis. 

-Set up a classroom website!  A website that is updated regularly can be an excellent tool for parents to check out what is happening in the classroom and school and also see if there is any homework. I also showcase student work each week on the website so parents can see what we are working on in the classroom and see their child’s work on display. 

-Send newsletters home on same day each week so that parents know to expect a newsletter that day. 

-Phone parents for the good things! Parents dread phone calls from teachers! So why not call because their child did well on a project, or helped out around the classroom in some way? 

-If a parent does not speak English make the effort of finding a translator and if reading is an issue with parent offer to make regular meetings to share about whats going on in the classroom or make regular phone calls, and make sure to personally go over the student’s report card with parents who may have low literacy levels. 

Check out my Back to School: 20 Activities for Back to School  for back to school games, activities, handouts, and ideas. This extensive resource includes a classroom scavenger hunt, a mystery box activity, a what's in my brain activity, and a variety of other fun getting to know you games and icebreakers. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congratulations to Kristen B She was randomly selected as the winner of this giveaway! Happy Shopping Kristen! :) 

Now that you have read my blog hop on over to the next post in the blog hop and enter to win another $25 TPT gift card! Below is the link to  Smith's Safari Adventure

Monday, July 18, 2016

It’s Almost Back to School Let’s Think About High Exceptions

It's back to school time again. You have a brand new group of students who you are about to get to know. Some may be academically behind because of socio economic factors, family dynamics, special needs, or from low exceptions from the previous role models around them…

Students will live up to your expectations whether you set them low because of that child’s history, abilities, or your own biases about his or her race, gender, or socio economic class. When students are shown that they are valued, they are part of a team, and that they can succeed, they will! I have had students come through my classroom who were behaviour students who struggled academically in previous years, but had an awesome year with me. 

Ways you can structure learning so that students can shine: 
-Let students know on day one that they matter to you! Let them know that your job is to do everything in your power to help them succeed! It’s not going to be easy, but they can succeed! 

-Goal setting, revisiting, and conferencing. 

-Use formative assessment! Let students know how you are assessing their work and what they need to show, prove, or learn in order to show you that they are succeeding. 

-Draw the students in with their interests. Do your students need to write about what they did on the weekend? Can they write about the skateboarding, the newest piece of technology, or their favourite artist instead? 

-Let your students share part of themselves with the class. This is important for helping children feel valued! Have a multicultural day and have students share about their family and culture. Invite guest speakers into the classroom that share about traditional arts or foods from different cultures that your students will connect with. Put an emphasis on the fact that we are all special and unique and we can all share and learn from one another. 

-Younger students who do not have support at home for whatever reason cannot be expected to do homework. It is unrealistic to send students home with a bunch of homework and to have them get home and have no one to help with their homework and then they are set up for failure in the classroom the next day. In this case it is not the student’s fault homework is not done. In my experiences with this situation parents DO want their child to succeed, but survival (basic necessities) come first. 

-Invite parents and families in! Get them on your side. Make sure that they understand that you care about their child. Hold special events for parents to help with. I was in a classroom where parents were invited to read with kids during reading time every Friday. Between 5 and 8 parents were always present during that time. Don't forget to call parents for the good things! Let them know that their child shined that day! 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Stay Organized With These Teacher Binders

How do you stay organized throughout the school year? I swear by my Teacher Binder! I need to have a physical binder that I can bring with me everywhere. My teacher binders come in a variety of cute and unique themes and comes with EVERYTHING you need to keep you organized. I have included student information pages which includes a parent questionnaire survey, an editable class list form, a communication with home documentation sheet, and a student behaviour reflection sheet. 

Also included is a variety of assessment sheets including a learning outcomes student self reflection sheet, student notes for report card spreadsheets, and all of the student grade book spreadsheets you need. 

I have included a comprehensive scheduling section which includes an editable daily scheduling template, weekly scheduling template, a year plan scheduling template, and reading groups schedule, and I haven’t forgotten about meeting notes pages! 

Additionally, I have updated the calendars for the 2016-2017 school year! And to make these binders sweeter, you do not have to purchase again next year! I will update the calendars and upload the updated copies and all you have to do is re download your up to date teacher binder! 

My Teacher Binders come in a variety of unique themes click on the links below to check out my teacher binders!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Formative Assessment

Formative Assessment? What is that? Formative assessment is a type of assessment that is designed to help students improve. It is assessment designed to be delivered throughout the learning process so that the student gets feedback throughout the learning journey and has opportunities for improvement. Unlike summative assessment which is done at the end of the learning journey, when there is not time for improvement, formative assessment is all about growth and taking ownership of your own learning.

Examples of formative assessment include: 
-Self reflection 
-Self assessment
-Goal setting and re visiting

One of the first products that I created for my store was my Formative Assessment Strategies product. Over the years I have revised this product to make it what it is today. I strongly believe formative assessment is an essential part of the teaching and learning! Formative assessment is a way of empowering students, monitoring growth, and allows for modifications to the learning process to help promote student success. 

My formative assessment resource package includes 37 different formative assessment activities including a variety of self reflection activities,  graphic organizers, and student/teacher conference forms. I have also included an activity where students get to practice assessing and creating a criteria for a cookie based on look, smell, and taste. This activity is meant to lead students into self assessing their own learning. If you are looking for formative assessment ideas this is the package for you!  


Friday, July 1, 2016

Happy Canada Day! Here is Some Fun Canadian Trivia and Fun Facts

Happy Canada Day Everyone! In honour of Canada Day I though it might be fun to post some Canada trivia and fun facts.

Did you know…

1. We celebrate Canada Day on July 1st to celebrate the signing of the constitution on July 1, 1867 when Canada officially became a single country. 

2. Canada has two official languages which are English and French. 

3. In Canada we follow the British spelling of certain words including: favourite, colour, centre, mum, behaviour, favour, neighbour, theatre, and litre. 

4. Canada is the second largest country in the world with a surface area of 9, 984,670 sq. km. 

5. Canada has a Prime Minster, not a President. Our current Prime Minister’s name is Justin Trudeau. 

6. The Canadian coins are called the: toonie, loonie, quarter, dime, and nickel. Canada phased out the penny in 2012. 

7. The name Canada came from the Huron-Iroquois word ‘Kanato’ meaning a village or settlement. 

8. The territory of Nunavut was formed on April 1, 1999. 

9. The first Prime Minister of Canada was Sir John A. Macdonald. 

10. The highest mountain peak in Canada is Mount Logan it has an unknown elevation of between 5959 to 6050 metres and is located the Yukon territory.