Friday, 29 July 2016

Write the Room

I recently had a conversation with a friend who is changing grades this year.  She's moving to grade 1 and is both excited and nervous.  After having taught students at the upper elementary level for years, she thought it was time for a change.  I reassured her that she was going to love grade 1.  I always heard it was easier moving up the grade ladder than down.  I've had the luxury of changing grades almost every two years.  I was often assigned combined grades and somehow made the best of it.  I've never felt like an expert but I know if I venture into my storage room in my basement, I have enough resources to teach grades 1 through 6 without even worrying about a change in assignments.

Since I won't be changing grades this year, I thought it would be fun to surprise my friend with some "Writing the Room" activities.  She's about to take on literacy stations with a whole new twist.  I'm pretty pleased with these.  I used shapebox fonts and my own crayon clip art.

I thought it would be fun to include a blank crayon template for those early finisher who love to colour.  They can write the word down and then colour it to match.  

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Writing Across the Curriculum

Hi everyone,

I'm pleased to be part of a Writing Wednesday link-up hosted by Lyndsey from Lit with Lyns.  This post is focused on Writing Across the Curriculum.  I have had the privilege of teaching a variety of grades.  With grades 4 through 6, I often culminate a math unit with a writing activity.  Students are asked to think about Math in their daily life and focus on an activity called "If Math Were....".  I ask them, "If Math were anything, what would it be?"

I have received numerous responses.  Here are some examples, "Math would be pizza, popcorn, hockey, a tiger, an arena, lasagna, a cake....  Students often surprise me with their responses. Sometimes the responses are about people, food, sports or even animals.  At the end of the year, I ask students to think about Math and to generate a written text incorporating math language they've learned.

Our provincial curriculum is made up of 5 strands:  Number Sense & Numeration, Data Management & Probability, Patterning & Algebra, Measurement and Geometry & Spatial Sense.  Students are asked to choose 3 of those 5 strands to write about their "If Math Were...."

Students are asked to generate a list of things math could be then we break them up into categories.  This activity could also be very cross-curricular.  For example, when teaching grade 4, one of the units in Science is on Habitats.  So, the class was asked to generate a writing piece based on animals so that it could tie in with our Science unit.  Graphic organizers are included to assist students in writing a powerful introduction, three paragraphs and then a clear ending.  The three middle paragraphs focus on the three strands they have chosen.

Final written pieces are placed in a class book with a cover.  The class book then goes in the library for students to read.  An extension of this activity is to have students create a 3 dimensional model of what they have chosen to write about.  Various mediums may be used.  

For additional writing ideas, click below:

TpT Certificate

Hi everyone,

I've teamed up with a few other teacher authors to take part in a $50.00 TpT giveaway.  Thanks to Alison from The Literacy Garden for organizing this giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 25 July 2016

Product Makeover

Here's a free product makeover for you to use this year with your students.  Writing templates for emergent and established writers as well as bonus bear birthday cards are available. Just click on the image below:

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Ready Your Classroom

It's time to think about getting your classroom ready for a new school year.  I have been collecting cans for a while.  Yes, cans.  All sorts of them.  Tin cans are a wonderful way to store things.  I have been using them for markers, pencil crayons, pencils, paintbrushes and reading wands.  Here's a fun free printable for your classroom.

Just cut and tape the labels onto a tin can.  Make sure to have all colours separated.  When students are looking for a certain colour, they go to that can.  No more rummaging through trays and bins.   

Some cans end up with a sharp edge when the top is removed.  I used some hockey tape and tape around the rim.  Fingers are then protected.  

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Back to School Best Resources

Hi everyone,

It's time to start thinking about fun ways to start the upcoming school year off right.  I'll be sharing some useful tips and activities in the upcoming weeks.  One of my absolute favourite things to do the first week is to have students create a self-portrait.  We begin by tracing our hands and feet on large paper.  I often starts with two 11 X 17 inch pieces taped together.

I then have students fill in their faces and bodies.  We then begin writing about ourselves or our hopes and dreams for the upcoming school year.  The portraits are hung in the hallway.  Written pieces are displayed under each portrait.

More Back to School Writing Ideas can be found here:

Friday, 1 July 2016

Cross Curricular Activities for The Summer Games

This August, the Summer Olympics begin on August 5th and end on August 21st.  If you are in the classroom during this time, here are some fun freebies to work with:

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

Here are some other ideas to keep your Summer Games theme going:

Sports Cross Curricular Bundle:

This bundle will be 50% off until July 15th:

This bundle includes the following 4 units:

Math Writing 

Forces & Motion Project

Word Work Stations

Specialty Writing Paper