Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Great things came from the '80s...

I am so excited to have gained a few followers, and so many comments and visits to my page! Thank you all!

So, as I am trying to get my motivation up for the *last day* before winter break, I find myself on YouTube, searching my favorite clips. Although my students would make a strong argument that "BBC Talking Animals" or "Funny Cats" are the best videos out on the web, I always end up watching a few tried and true segments that never fail to motivate me. Rick Lavoie is one of my favourite speakers to watch - as a teacher of kids with Learning Diabilities, I can definitely relate to anything this man talks of. My students are all some combination LD and ADHD, social skills challenges, low (or no) working memory, and slow processing. Needless to say, I have taught some V.E.R.Y bright and unique children - all of which  just learn differently. I could talk and talk of this subject, but for now I will leave you with this clip from Rick Lavoie's F.A.T. City Workshop - there are so many clips, but this one is on the topic of reading, decoding, and spatial challenges. Let me know what your take is on what Rick Lavoie has to say. His examples are very interesting, and although he makes some generalizations and over-the-top examples, I find it pretty darn interesting... not to mention all the e x c e l l e n t '80s attire and hair-styles. ;)

If you are like me, and will spend a bunch of time watching 'related videos' when you find something good, you MUST check out Rick Lavoie's clip entitled "When the Chips are Down". Fabulous stuff!
Here are a few favourite websites of mine:

Do you find it hard to keep all of your individual kids' needs in mind while you are teaching? Is your schooling system in support of using academic time to work on some time-consuming, but very much needed strategies for learning? I am from up north in Canada, and I would love to hear some of your thoughts from different countries & systems! 

~ Christine

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Pearl Trees

I have come across a fabulous little tool - especially if your school has access to a student set of computers or a computer lab. Have you ever had an amazing lesson planned, integrating technology with a super website....only to spend half of your class helping the kids type in the URLs and micromanaging what websites they are really visiting?
Check out Pearl Trees.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Stand Together!

We all know that the profession of teaching is so much more than just teaching curriculum content - we are problem solvers, care-givers, friendship-coaches, confidence-boosters and so, so much more.

Bullying is one thing that we, as teachers, have a huge responsibility to address. I have been following Jillian Harris (who is absolutely fabulous!) and Extreme Makeover Home Edition on Twitter, and have been *waiting* for this week's episode to air - an episode about the Walker family, whose son took his own life because of the extreme bullying he was experiencing.
What an amazing, inspirational message that this family has given to us all.  

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Writing Prompts

It is amazing to see the ideas that kids can come up with from a single picture prompt... reading my students' writing is one of my favourite things to do (when it comes to marking, anyway!). Usually, we spend some time as a class brainstorming ideas about Characters, Setting, Problem, and Solution. Yesterday the kids wrote stories based on the "mystical tree" image - we brainstormed nouns and adjectives (character & setting) and the kids got some great vocaubulary and ideas from our mind map on the board. I haven't read the stories yet, but I think they will be quite interesting!

Here are some fun picture prompts that I have used with students grades 2 - 6, save them to your computer if you'd like to try them out for your next creative writing lesson!