Monday, 13 April 2020

Ways to Succeed with Distance Learning

My last blog post talked about ways to keep a routine and stick to it with at home learning.  Over the last few days, I have taken time to understand how to incorporate some fun technology applications into your daily schedule.  Have you heard of the BOOM Learning website?  
Why use BOOM™ Cards?
             They can be used with computers, tablets and other devices.
 They are self grading and can track student progress.
 There is no prep involved, laminating or storage requirements.
 Students have access to task cards and can work at their own pace.
 They are ideal for independent learning.

More about BOOM Learning…
To use Boom Cards, you must be connected to the Internet. Boom Cards play on modern browsers (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Edge). Apps are available for Android, iPads, iPhones, and Kindle Fires. For security and privacy, adults must have a Boom Learning account to use and assign Boom Cards. You will be able to assign the Boom Cards you are buying with "Fast Pins," (play provides instant feedback for self-grading Boom Cards). Fast Play is always a free way for students to engage with Boom Cards decks. For additional assignment options you'll need a premium account. If you are new to Boom Learning, you will be offered a free trial of our premium account.  Read here for details:

Find my lastest BOOM™ Cards here:

Sunday, 29 March 2020

At Home Activities

Over the last few days, I've realized that school closures have created a ripple effect among teaching and parent communities.  These are difficult times for many.  Filling in a school day at home has become the new norm for many families.  We are now entering distance learning.  For many families, that will mean using technology.  For some, that is not an option.  As the next few weeks unfold, I have begun to think about ways to engage students at home without causing undue stress.  The curriculum will need to be delivered but there are some ways to ensure family time doesn't become "I don't want to do this work" time.

Here are some tips to get started:

1) Begin with a routine.  Students are used to a schedule.  That could mean adding a schedule to the fridge or wall.  Use a framework and stick to it.  Begin with scheduling meals, breaks (recess) and then break the day into subjects.  If you're not sure where to begin, ask your children when their subjects were.  There would be times for Science, Math, Art and so on.

2) Do build in "recess" or breaks. The phone is still a low tech tool.  Why not have students say a quick "hello" to a friend or family member?  Think of it as recess but stick to the time frame as if it were recess.

3) Keep the Arts alive.  You really don't have to be an artist to do that. Many great teachers have "learned" to create art lessons, music lessons, dance lessons and drama lessons.  Reader's Theater is really a fun activity that involves both reading and "acting."  It's easy to take a children's book and rewrite it in script.  Then the student becomes the character or characters.

4) Get students up and moving.  I've created an Indoor Scavenger Hunt as a free download.  This has become a hit.  All you need is another player.

5) Schedule some time for quiet.  It could mean reading, doodling or creating.  I've also created these free bookmarks for students to decorate.  

6) Give yourself permission to break away from the routine.  Some days are not going to be perfect.  Screen time is there if you need it.  So is cooking together.  There's a great deal of math when learning to cook or bake.  Think of bringing out puzzles, board games and a deck of cards.  These are great activities to promote wonderful social skills such as turn taking and positive verbal communication. 

Friday, 20 March 2020

Free Bookmarks!

I think the one thing that hurt my teacher ears is "I hate reading."  I'm trying to think of ways to ensure students enjoy reading so I started to create fun bookmarks they could colour.  This set has 12 different bookmarks to choose from.  For easy printing, I added 3 of the same bookmarks to each page.  As an added bonus, they're free!  Just click on the image below:

Sunday, 1 March 2020

St. Patrick's Day Resources

Here are some fun activities for St. Patrick's Day:

St. Patrick's Day Roll a Story

Students will be prompted to tell or write story with a St. Patrick's Day theme. This unit includes a story prompt sheet, graphic organizers, word lists (St. Patrick's & transition words), rubric and specialty writing paper with full and half lined pages.  All you need is a number cube (1-6).

If you want a one day writing blitz or a variety of activities for stations, offer some quick writes to your students.  This unit contains five writing ideas for your St. Patrick's Day writing stations or bulletin boards. These include Alliteration, Recipe Writing, Wanted Poster, Wish Booklet and Word Lists. St. Patrick's Day vocabulary and writing paper is included. 

St. Patrick's Day Math Activities

Enjoy St. Patrick's Day with some fun math stations. Four stations are included in the pack. Activities include: Draw a Leprechaun Math Challenge, A Pot of Gold Race, Bump Games and Race to the End of the Rainbow. The Draw a Leprechaun Challenge includes 2 versions (addition and multiplication). Students are asked to generate sums or products and then draw a leprechaun part according to each sum or product generated. The first person to complete his or her leprechaun is declared the winner. Pot of Gold Race involves generating quotients with two players. One plays for decimals, one plays for whole numbers. The first person to get to the pot of gold is declared the winner. You will also find Bump Games using both addition and multiplication boards as well as a Race to the End of the Rainbow game that involves generating place value digits from 0 to 99. This is a great way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day with a math station day or a home-school connection. 

Here's a fun way to teach idioms to your students with a St. Patrick's Day theme. 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 St.Patrick's Day 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. 

Friday, 10 January 2020

Valentine's Day Stations

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.

Sunday, 29 December 2019

Ringing in 2020

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, 27 December 2019

New Year's Dollar Deals

If you're thinking about some ways to save on teaching resource, the "New Year's Dollar Deals" is taking place on December 31st and January 1st.  Hundreds of resources will be marked down to $1.00.  I have joined the TpT Focused Success Group to #Ringin2020 this year.

Please remember to use #Ringin2020 as part of your search to see selected items.

I am putting the following resources down to $1.00 on those two days:  

Paragraph Writing

Teach paragraph writing with this easy to use resource. Using visual displays and organizers, students will learn how to write a paragraph. In addition to writing prompts, graphic organizers, and a rubric, students will work on identifying topic sentences, supporting details and concluding sentences. You will find parts of a paragraph, generating ideas using autobiographical and biographical details, descriptive, expository, narrative, opinion and procedural paragraphs. As well students will learn to understand the main idea, put ideas in order, compare and contrast paragraphs, look at transition words and use checklists.


If you're teaching retelling or having students practice sequencing events, this resource has everything you need to get started. You will find graphic organizers and labels for your bulletin board, bookmarks, display cards with pictures to accompany characters, setting, problem, order of events from beginning, middle to end, solution and the heart of the message, a rubric, and a transitions word list.

Happy Shopping!