Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Smooth Transitions for Desk to Carpet in the Primary Classroom

As a teacher in the midst of my fourteenth year of teaching, I have noticed that transitioning from one lesson to another in the primary classroom can sometimes be a bit of a nightmare (haha understatement of the year).  It can give students that bit of time to socialize, sure, but it can also be a moment when conflict and dysregulation can occur, stealing their precious focus and using up several minutes of learning time.  Now, I am all for brain breaks (in our class, we GoNoodle with the best of them!) and stopping the lesson and talking about what went wrong and discussing ways to problem solve (Hello my good friend Love and Logic💜), don't get me wrong.  However, sometimes some students are just not ready to process the ins and outs of how or why they are feeling the way they are.  In due time and with the right supports, we will get there.  However, the rest of the class is geared up and ready to learn!  

ENTER....focused, concept centred transitions!!  If you are going from table to carpet or carpet to table, use a concept centred transition!  If students are walking in the hallway or going to get their snacks use these moments as opportunities to review concepts and practice skills learned in class.  They can be used for all subjects and they are great for the kinesthetic learners in your group!

I'm going to focus on numeracy for this blog post, but there are many ways to incorporate concepts from all the subject areas!

Students start, standing at their table or desk (they must be standing behind their chair to start - no cheating).  This can take a few weeks of observing and practicing to eliminate cheating, as well as to practice moving and speaking as a team.  With a challenging class I found I had to be quite observant and sticky with the rules.  This year, I am lucky to be a little bit freer and we joke around a lot - they know not to take things too far.

When students reach the carpet, they stand in their spot and continue participating until all students have reached the carpet.  Then, we all sit down together as a class.

Below are a few examples!

Numeracy Vocabulary Syllables: Teacher says one numeracy vocabulary word at a time and students takes steps for each syllable in each word.  Example: Teacher - "Equation"  Students: "E- (one step) qua- (one step) -tion (one step)".

Counting forwards by 1's:  Students start at "0" on an imaginary number line.  With each step, they say a number.  You can have them repeat after you, clap or tap as they say each number.  You may have they start at "4" instead of "0" - there are many variations.

Counting backwards by 1's: Students start at "any number" on an imaginary number line.  With each step, they say a number.  

Counting by 2's: Students hop on two feet as they say each number.

Counting by 5's: Students assume crawling "baby style" position, and count "5" for each hand movement.

Counting on: Teacher says any number and students count on two numbers.  Example: Teacher says "5" and students say "6, 7" while taking a step for each number.

Counting back: Teacher says any number and students count back two numbers.  Example: Teacher says "8" and students say "7, 6" while taking a step for each number.

Number Partners (bonds) of 10: Teacher says a number and students say its number partner and then take that number of steps.  Example: Teacher says "6" and students say "4 - 1, 2, 3, 4".

Doubles: Teachers says a double and students say its sum and then take that number of steps.  Teacher says "2+2" and students say "4 - 1, 2, 3, 4".

I'm sure there are many more!  If you think of any new ones I'd love to hear about them!  You can message me on Instagram @agradeonenut

Good luck! and I hope you find these transitioning tools as valuable to your list classroom management techniques as I do!

Also, if you are a primary teacher in the early years, I have a new product for you that utilizes some of these transitioning techniques as part of the activities!  See below for more information!

Happy teaching, friends!  Hope you have a great start to 2019!

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Catholic Prayers and Bible Verse Morning Routine Kit

Do you work in a Catholic school and want to SPICE up your Morning Routine? Well have I got the product for you!!! This product is comprised of prayers and Bible verses for projecting during your Morning Routine. The prayers and Bible verses are some of the same ones included in my packet Religion Units for the Year (Learning the Catholic Religion)

 There are few new ones included, along with an updated Student booklet that students can read in their Daily 5, take home, or read as you are praying each morning. I usually change the prayer and Bible verse we say as a class every month. 

 Decide which program you would like to use for your Morning Routine. The options include PowerPoint, KeyNote and PDF. The great thing about PowerPoint and Keynote is you can add your own slides to enhance your routine and personalize it any way that you want. The slides that I have created cannot be edited. However, please email me at if you have any requests!

Using the JPEG files, insert or drag and drop them into new slides in your current Morning Routine (PowerPoint or KeyNote). You may have to adjust the size of each image by clicking on it and arranging it. Directions included. Within minutes you have added to your current Morning Routine, making it that more rich and faith-filled.
 There are enough prayers and Bible verses for each month of the school year, along with a few extras.
Here is a little preview of the product in PowerPoint.  The product does come in PDF and Keynote, as well!  All is included in the packet!

Here is one of my favourite new songs for my littles during Religion!  They are obsessed!!  Check out all the songs from Listener Kids on their YouTube Channel!

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Objects in the Sky Science Inquiry

Check out my new unit!  The kiddos and I have been having a blast testing it out and now it is ready!

One of my favourite activities helped my students understand the importance of seed travel by way of the wind!  Students had a blast competing to see who could blow their seeds to the different locations!
wind affects plants

 First Nations Easy Art Sky Science Lit Connection
One of the most interesting things about the new curriculum for me is tracking the sunrise, sunset, moonrise and moonset!

Click HERE to pick up this packet today!

Sunday, 17 December 2017

BC New Curriculum First Peoples Art: Easy Art

Looking for some BC New Curriculum lessons that cover First Nations objectives?
Here is an easy, First Nations art project that is cross-curricular and covers four different objectives! Students will learn about the First Nations culture, a feature artist, Clarence Mills, and they will create a pop-out bear art project!
New BC Curriculum
This project is CROSS-CURRICULAR!!  It covers multiple objectives.

Science: Recognize First Peoples stories (including oral and written narratives), songs, and art, as ways to share knowledge.

Language Arts: Show awareness of how story in First Peoples cultures connects people to family and community - specifically teaching life knowledge through animal observations.

Art: To study traditional and contemporary Aboriginal arts and arts-making processes.

Application, Technology and Design: Ideating, making and sharing a way to make the bear image pop out of the plate.

Below is a beautiful book to read that helps to tie the lesson together:

Student will learn about the artist who created the graphic we will use for the art project: Clarence Mills!

Clarence is a famous for his totem poles.  There are some great videos of him work below!

Then, students create their own pop-out art!  They have to use their imagination and design skills to create a way for the image to pop out of the paper plate.  Voila!  ADST!!

You will need: 6" paper plates, felt markers, glue and paper to make the image pop-out!

Grade 1

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Advent is coming! Are you prepared?

Well, Advent is just around the corner!!  I know!  Just snuck up on you, didn't it!  Be sure to check out my Religion Christmas unit for all of your Advent needs!  Includes 8 lessons!

Also, if you are looking for some differentiated plays to help learn the Christmas Story, look no further!  You have come to the right place!

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Classroom Reveal..and it's Magnificent

The magnificence of these pictures is all the talent of my partner teacher Ashly, who, one Thursday, randomly reveals to me that not only is she an amazing teacher, but she is also gifted photographer!  A billion thanks to  her for these amazing photos of my new classroom!

Saturday, 12 November 2016

From Ordinary to Inquiry: Bear Unit Make-over

Ok - so I have putting a lot of thought into inquiry and how to make it a part of my classroom.  I know a lot of teachers are panicking about how to do all this on an already tight schedule.

for teachers and students

As a group, teachers are already such amazing professionals and we have already created some amazing units.  Don't reinvent the wheel!  Take what you already have and add a little inquiry!!!  Below are some steps I used to make-over my Bear Unit to an Inquiry-Based Bear unit.  Let me know what you think!  NOTE: You must follow this blog in order to post a comment.
It is so cool to see inquiry enriching your lessons and making them more relevant to students.  I can see how excited they get when they become involved in their learning!  Already, the topic of survival is something they can understand!

 The projects show below were projects I was ALREADY doing with my class!!  I just needed to CONNECT them to the SURVIVAL theme!

You can purchase my updated Bear Unit by clicking on any of the pictures above!  If you own it already, be sure to go and redownload!!