Planning as a First-Year Teacher I remember the first year I had my own classroom. I’d proudlyplanned out my first week early on in the summer (even before I had a job linedup) but once the school year began, it became evident that I had not plannedenough. Kids were consistently finishing activities way earlier than […]
Grade 5 social studies is one of my favourite subjects to teach, but would you believe it was one of my least favourite subjects as a student? Well, 99% of the time I was in an elementary social studies class, we were reading a textbook and answering questions about it. I love reading, but even I found that boring! Reading comprehension is not what social studies is about.
Classroom Library Ideas: How to build a diversity audit into your classroom library inventory spreadsheet
Making a classroom library inventory spreadsheet doesn’t have to be a complicated process! In this post, I explain how I built a super-simple diversity audit into my classroom library inventory system.
A few years ago, I read Mike Jung’s Unidentified Suburban Object to my fifth-grade class for the first time. As always, I introduced the protagonist before I began. Her name is Chloe Cho, so I wrote that on the board. One of my students, who shared her last name, shoved his hand up in the air and asked why his name was on the board. “Because that’s the character’s last name,” I said…
Here are some picture books and related material about Black history in Canada. Use them for Black History Month and throughout the year! Any books that were written by Black authors have been tagged with the #OwnVoices hashtag.
There are so many things you could spend your money on when setting up your first classroom. I know that I bought things when I first started teaching that I never ended up using… and there were things I wish I’d bought earlier to save myself so much time! Here are eleven things I feel were actually worth my money.
Before students start memorizing their multiplication facts, they need to understand how multiplication works. Math based on pure memorization will only get you so far! Here are five different ways you can introduce single-digit multiplication to your students. Even young students can engage with these math strategies and there is so much potential for making math visual, integrating music and the outdoors, and engaging in hands-on learning!
When I teach about puberty, I want all my students to understand that there is nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to how their bodies and their classmates’ bodies work. I especially want to push back against the stigma around discussing menstruation. The way I see it, puberty education and social justice are inextricably linked. This is what I do to bring in social justice perspectives when I teach my fifth-grade students about puberty!
As a kid, I actually didn’t mind tests. I was one of those kids that thrived under a time limit, crammed well, and was able to regurgitate information then immediately forget it. Looking back, I can see that my test-taking skills haven’t helped me much in my day-to-day life. When I started teaching, I knew I wanted to avoid tests as much as possible because I wanted a more authentic view of student learning. These four strategies have been my main modes of summative assessment.
Making inferences is such an important reading strategy, and it’s one that I find many of my students struggle with at the beginning of the year. In the upper elementary grades, we spend less time worrying about decoding and start to shift our focus to that deeper comprehension. That requires the ability to make inferences, and inferencing is a skill that needs to be taught!