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!!  

Monday, 7 November 2016

Core Competencies in the Classroom - BC's New Curriculum

Today I am attending a FISA conference.  Darren Spyksma is speaking about BC's new curriculum and the core competencies.  The following notes are based on his presentation.

As a human, you will be developing your core competencies throughout your entire life.  They do not need be assigned a grade or a number.

As educators, we must use the Content as a vehicle to practice the core competencies, RATHER than focus on the two areas separately.

Below are some key points for BC teachers:

  1. The KEY to core competency acquirement is REFLECTION.
  2. Do NOT focus on all core competencies at once.
  3. What core competency do your students need to develop?
  4. Begin your unit by defining the chosen core competency of focus.
  5. Include REFLECTION at the end of every activity based on the chosen core competency of focus.

Following these five ideas, you as an educator will be fulfilling the requirements of the new curriculum.

QUICK EASY Reflection Activity: One new take on Think, Pair, Share is the Back to Back Sharing activity that would be a great, easy reflection activity.
  1. Have students find a partner and stand back to back.
  2. Ask a question that encourages reflection based on core competency development.
  3. Example: How well did you communicate during that last activity on a scale of 1 to 3, with 1 being Working on it!, 2 being Good! and 3 being WOW! Provide an explanation as to why using a "because" in your answer. Allow students 30 seconds to think before they answer.
  4. After 30 seconds, direct students to turn and share their answers with their partner.
  5. Repeat this activity at least three times to encourage social responsibility. At first, you tend to choose a partner you are comfortable with. Eventually, you will need to branch out as you are required to find a different partner.
Here is a little freebie to extend your reflection process with your students!

Also, Suzanne Hoffman presented on ideas for assessment:
  1. Passion Afternoon: Every teacher chooses a passion to study with the whole class for the afternoon.
  2. Exit Tickets: Formative assessment! Here are some great Exit Ticket packets from
  3. No Hands Up Class Lesson: Don't let your students who don't know off the hook! As a teacher, you may choose any student to answer. Students with anxiety are well known by the teacher so teachers would focus on their exit ticket instead. You could also have a secret signal for that child to indicate that they are willing to share. This app allows teachers to see student answers to a question as an evaluation tool without allowing other students to influence the decisions of others, so students
don't feel self-conscious. The cards are free and just need to be printed.
  • Each student receives a different plicker.
  • The teacher asks a question with an A, B, C or D answer.
  • Students choose an answer and hold up their card.
  • The teacher scans the room with their camera on their phone which is connected to the app.
  • The camera collects the data, reports to the app and provides data for the teacher.