teaching

Pearls of Grade 3 Wisdom

I teach a group of Grade 3 French Immersion students English for 40 minutes a week. They are mostly a very sweet and funny group. We’ve been working on poetry, including a poem with a template called “I Am.” The first two words of each line are given, and then they fill in the rest. The results are sometimes predictable, […]

A Little Faith in Humanity from Remembrance Day

Hi, lovely di-hards. It’s been an emotional week, n’est-ce pas? Right around this time last Tuesday, there was a disbelieving dread building on my Facebook news feed. I could hardly bear to look at the actual stats. My daughter had strep throat; we all slept badly, and felt ill the next day – on so many levels. It was an Armageddon-y gloom. […]

#NaBloPoMo, Day 19: Questions excellentes

Today at school, we talked a little bit about Paris. I showed my Grade 4s and 5s that little boy and his dad – not just because the vocabulary (très, méchant, gentil, fleurs, maison, etc.) is right on point, but because when they see a child, they instinctively relate. Two days a week, I have a group of only nine […]

#NaBloPoMo, Day 12: Teachers

I am what they call a “planning teacher,” which means I am always teaching the students from other people’s homerooms, when their regular classroom teacher is doing his or her planning. At the moment, I work with four different groups of students in Grades 4 to 6. This job means that I get a unique perspective, and work closely with […]

#NaBloPoMo, Day 2: Perfect Storm

  It’s not just Monday. It’s the Monday after Halloween, a few days off the full moon. The kids had a three-day weekend (Friday PA day). And we just changed the clocks. School was a bit wacko today. It would figure that – less than 24 hours after I’d mentioned how well the kids were sleeping lately, HA – my daughter […]

Be The Calm

It was a busy summer. Just so you know, that’s the usage of the word busy where it actually means overwhelming-and-sometimes-stressful-enough-to-make-me-think-I-might-lose-my-marbles. And that’s despite summer vacation, and my school being closed for renovations. We bought a house in June, right before end-of-school craziness; we beautified and sold our house in July; we packed in August, and moved on the last Saturday of the […]

100 Happy Days – Day 4: Silence

There are two kinds of silence that made me happy on Day 4. One was in my 5/6 Core French class. They are a class that is, as a group, not great at self-regulation. Many of them have great difficulty stopping themselves from saying whatever they feel like saying, whenever they feel like saying it, in whatever language (i.e. English, not French). And some, it […]

Why Teacher Incentive Pay and Standardized Tests Don’t Help Kids

  The Fraser Institute, a Canadian public-policy think tank, has just released a study recommending something called “teacher incentive pay”, based on student achievement. The idea is, teachers would be paid bonuses based on high scores in their students’ standardized test results. This, they say, is key to Canada staying competitive on the world stage. I always have to laugh […]

Let’s put some deeper education into Earth Day

Happy Litter-Picking Day! I say this with one part sincerity and one part facetiousness. Litter is the thing we all – especially those of us who work with kids – can easily dive into on Earth Day. It’s a nice, manageable, do-something-able topic. And don’t get me wrong, litter is a super-stupid phenomenon that drives me bonkers, so it makes […]

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