Inspiring Learners Through Engaging Teaching

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Playdate with a Polar Bear

Most kids LOVE to have playdates with their friends. What if that playdate could be with an awesome creature from the animal world? As a primary teacher for most of my career, I know how much kids love animals from an early age. I also know that animals motivate kids. Have you ever had your students read to a stuffed animal? Magic! Pure magic! In my quest to change the way I think about learning, I have created resources that are more open ended and designed to tap into the creative side of students where real learning begins. If you've been reading my blog for a while, you will know that's how I roll. I am always looking for learning opportunities for students that are deep learning experiences, designed from the outcomes in the curriculum and the big ideas, where students can construct their own learning. Today, I released a brand new set called Playdate with a Polar Bear. Read on to find out more about this fun set!

Free Christmas Reading Bookmarks

Christmas in the classroom has always been one of my favorite times of the year.  I love creating a cozy classroom with decorations and pulling out my favorite Christmas books to read aloud and for students to share together.

But just like summer time, sometimes students go home for the winter break and do not keep up with reading.  As teachers, we know that choice in what you read is very important.

To make things a little more fun, I created two sets of bookmarks that you can download and print for free to give away to your students.

The first set has a Christmas theme.  These bookmarks have little quotes on them that promote the love and importance of reading.

I also created a set of reading bookmarks that would go very nicely with your Christmas Around the World unit (the countries on the bookmarks match my Christmas Around the World Lap Book set). These can also be used for Social Studies.  Each bookmark has a child from another country on it and  "I Love Reading" translated into that country's language.  :) 

Both sets are free as my gift to all the hard working teachers out there. To grab your set/s just click on the pictures. May you all have a wonderful winter break!

How to Teach the Way Students Learn

Teachers have known for years that their classrooms are full of students that don't learn the way the conventional system is set up. Slowly, some Districts are moving towards flexible seating in classrooms. The problem, as many teachers see it, is that with this more flexible learning environment there is a potential for a multitude of classroom management issues. With a strong sense of routines and a set of expectations, I have found students have really grasped the notion that flexible seating is for comfort but also to promote collaboration and deeper learning. With the change of environment must come a change in curriculum to allow students to delve deeper into their own learning and CONSTRUCT their learning. Where are you right now in the change process? A bigger question might be - how much do you know about your students' passions and what strengths do you, as their teacher, bring to the classroom?

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