Friday, 4 December 2015

Friday's News

Happy Friday!!!

and Happy Ugly Sweater Month.  

One of us has made it our goal to wear an ugly sweater every school day of December.  Can you guess who;)

How do you plan to celebrate the holidays with your students?

If you are like the rest of us in Canada you are bracing for the snow that comes with Christmas time. Let's be honest it is not a true Christmas until there is snow. However, did you know that there is quite a few countries around the world that don't get snow during the holidays.

Take for instance Argentina. They are below the equator and celebrate the holiday similar to us however they use cotton balls to simulate snow on their decorations. How about in Australia they celebrate Christmas during their summer, Santa gets so hot down there he changes into shorts and t-shirt and also uses "6 tiny boomers" to give his reindeer a break. How about in Belgium where the kids are visited not just by Santa but also his assistant Zwarte Piet.

Grab your passport and travel the wonderful ways that 12 different nations celebrate this great holiday with our new package "Christmas around the world" In this package you will learn about Argentina, Australia, Belgium, China, Germany, Czech Republic, Finland, Mexico, Sweden, Israel, Africa, USA/Canada. You will also get to complete a traditional activity that each one of these nations par takes in during the holiday season. As well don't forget to have the students record what they learned about in their own passports which is included in the package.

Friday, 27 November 2015

Friday's News

Happy gobble gobble to our friends and followers in the US. As you recover from your Turkey hangover, or as you prepare to stand inline for when Target opens, I entrust that you had a great, short week in the classroom.

Back here we've had a fun and exciting week. There was a full moon and well I don't think you need me to get too in depth as to how that worked out in the classroom. One of the great ways to get out those bursts of energy is through Go Noodle. Jeff's class was learning to Pop See Kow!

Jeff's class also concluded their Habitats and Communities unit and wrote their quiz. He added a bonus questions and apparently his kids think he might be part Yeti. 
His class is also working on a passion project which you can follow here.
We are currently working on completing a health unit for grade 4 based on the new Ontario health curriculum. Jeff was testing it out with his students. Here is a sample photo of the kids using it. 
So how when you stopped eating turkey and finally got that new laptop you waited in line for tell us how your weekend went. 

Friday, 13 November 2015

Friday's News

Happy Friday!

Another week is complete in the books. Both of us work in special education and sometimes those students need a voice and too often they are ignored. This video came across our timeline and made us really think about those students in our rooms or that we work with individually.

It is time to let them stand up and be heard.

Do you have any of these students in your room?

Friday, 6 November 2015

Friday's News - Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day is always a tough one to address with our younger students in class. The concept of war to them is what they get to do on their PlayStation 4 or Xboxes when they get home from school. They can luckily turn those things off and get up the next day and do it all over again. However, the men and women that took up the cause of World War I and World War II weren't so lucky.

So how do we go about explaining the war to our students? Do we tell them the truth that greed got the best of a few men and it led to them making bad choices and thus the loss of life for hundreds and thousandths of people? While it seems simple enough to explain it this way the war was much more complicated. So it is alright, to be brief about the war because as our students get older they will have the chance to study the history behind the war. What we really need to teach our younger children is the concept of Remembrance.

I am a proud Canadian and for this upcoming Remembrance Day my class will be looking at the concept of Remembrance and what does it mean. We will be looking at those true heroes of Canada and remember their great sacrifice so we could learn about them 100 years after they fact. We will also be doing it with our Remembrance Day package that we recently created and put up on our site. Please take a look at it and help also teach this concept we need to have so many of our students learn.

Friday, 30 October 2015

Friday's News

Does anyone else feel like this?

Yeah it's been one of those weeks but non the less it has been a fun week. We have to applaud a show we grew up with as kids and that is Sesame Street. I am not sure if you are aware but late last week they made a monumental announcement but introducing their viewers Julia, their first autistic character. Jeff decided to use this teachable moment in his class and had a discussion with his students about the significance of it. You have to love when that happens. 
Tell us how your week went. AS well good luck surviving the sugar rush. 

Friday, 16 October 2015

Friday's News

Well another week is in the books. If your are here in Canada it was a short week due to Thanksgiving. If you are our one of our neighbours to the south you might have celebrated Columbus Day. This week I was reminded how important it is to have a nice supportive staff when I walked into my classroom yesterday and this was done. Sometimes being paired with the right teaching partners can make the difference. Remember to share that with them because sometimes they might need the reminder. 

My classroom has also caught some Blue Jays fever. Only cure for it is winning!!

Friday, 9 October 2015

Friday's News

Happy Friday!

Today I am thankful for coffee.

This weekend Canadians will be celebrating Thanksgiving.  How have you and your class celebrated for this up and coming holiday?

One of my favourite ways to celebrate Thanksgiving is to remind my students that we need to remember to be thankful for all we have each and everyday. 

Here are a few activities to get your students in the Thanksgiving mood. 

How will you be celebrating Thanksgiving with your class?

Friday, 18 September 2015

Friday's News


An InLinkz Link-up

Well the first official full week is in the books in our neck of the woods. It's been a great week of new routines and getting to know one another. The honeymoon is over and now it is time to see what our students are made of and what we need to teach them.

Jeff has been exploring some new software in his classroom, which is called Seasame Snap. It is an app that helps make andeotal notes and assessments through pictures and videos. So far he likes it but is still trying to get use to it.

In one of our writing classes we had students give us a retell about their summer. They where engaged and loved going through the process of writing.

Jeff is also trying the "Passion Project" idea with his class. It's also known as Genius hour and 20 time. Here are some things from his Bad Idea Factory. He also asked his class what Passion means to them. Here are some of their great responses.

We also love this poster

Friday, 11 September 2015

Friday's News

How's everyone doing out there?  If you are like us, you are finishing up your first week of school.  We are SOOOOOOOOOOOO tired.  As a family, it's all we can do to crawl into bed a night.

How do we survive moments like this?????  It's all about the sugar high baby.  lol!

So we have to ask, what's your secret to surviving the first week of school?  
Candy, Coffee, Wine?????

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend...with lots of sleep. 

Friday, 4 September 2015

Friday's News

Well well well here we are back in a room with four walls, a door, and a window to the outside if your lucky. Your walls might have been bare last week but now they are completely filled with anchor charts, schedules, and other posters you have put to help make it feel a bit more organized. No, you haven't just moved into a house. You've officially moved into your classroom. You know that place you spend 10 months of your life in. All you need now are the students which guess what? They are coming next week or they have already arrived depending where you teach. Are you ready?

Parents are like this
Well we as teachers are like this

How are you feeling? Are your ready?

Friday, 21 August 2015

Friday's News

Happy Friday!
So we are very excited to announce that we have launched a YouTube channel. I know look at us. We are getting hip with the times. We thought this would be a great way to share some knowledge of things we do in our classrooms or how we set up certain things whether it be Edpuzzle or Google Classroom stuff. Please feel free to check out 3 of our current 13 videos right now below and don't hesitate to subscribe to the channel here is the link to our channel.

We are also extremely please to share that we have recently completed our Canada & Physical Regions unit and placed it up in the store. This unit is for grade 4 and is based on the new curriculum. We now have all 4 science units and both grade 4 social studies units in our store. So if you are looking for anything grade 4 we might have you covered.  

Another week has come and gone. Tell us how you made it through your week.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Friday's News

Happy Friday!

So we have decided to venture into new territory. This year we hope to share our photos with you.  These photos can be used for personal or commercial use.  That's right, use them in you tpt projects!

Our first set of photos we took while on vacations in Muskoka, Ontario.  These photos are free as a thank you to our wonderful followers. Just click on the word free and you will be directed to our link.

So our question to you is, what photos would you like to see? 

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Think About It....

I am a huge fan of John Wooden the famous NCAA Basketball Coach and teacher at UCLA. The man has numerous quotes that I think make complete sense for all of us to think about and aspire to live up too. If you are wondering why the legendary coach is so respected well he won 10 national championships in the span of 12 seasons and also lead his team to an impressive 88 wins in a row. Anyone, who can do that obviously has some impactful wisdom and insight as to how people and students work. I have several Wooden quotes up in my classroom and I tend to look to things that John Wooden has as I get ready to go back to school.

Enjoy the legend that is John Wooden.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Teach Me How To EDpuzzle

Yesterday, we talked about a great site and teaching tool called EDpuzzle. If you remember or don't remember EDpuzzle is a video site where you can add a class and have video content on there to engage your students in a different way of learning. Or as the fine folks over at EDpuzzle like to call it gaining super powers sort of like the video game character below.

Today, we are going to show you how easy it is to use EDpuzzle. Hopefully, it will show how easy this tool can be to use and also maybe inspire you to give it a shot. 
This is of course the first page you will see when you click on EDpuzzle for the first time. Pretty self explanatory here. As a teacher signing up for the first time you will click on the Teacher box. This will then take you to a screen that will ask you to put in your key details. You know the basic credentials like teacher name, email, etc. For your students they would follow the student login in. However, before you have them sign in you will need a course code so make sure you fill out your account info first and set up a classroom.

This is what your students will see when they click on the student page. 

Again this is more info your students will see when they click on the new student page. 

Now one suggestion if you are comfortable with tech and you use Google Classroom you can put the link to EDpuzzle and your videos up on Google Classroom as an announcement. This way your students can see the link instantly it directs them right to the video. Of course, you would need to be setup on Google Classroom or whatever other tech site you might use to connect with your students. This is a shot from my previous grade 4 science class just to show you what that might look like. 
When you enter in all your info and create a class EDpuzzle will give you a class code right away. As you can see in the picture below. Your students will need that code to enter the classroom and access the videos in that particular class. For me I had three different science classes so you can see my classes are broken up into sections. You of course do not need to do so. It was just easier for organization purposes. With the class code be sure to share this with class. Again it can be done whatever way you want. I put it up on the white board for students to record into their planners and they entered it when they got home. Other classes I posted it in our on our Google Classroom feed.
This is what the main screen looks like when your students enter the classroom they are in. As you can see the videos are listed on the side. They also can see the due date. The completed and actions page only show up on your version as the classroom teacher. This is where you can go and find out how are students are scoring on the videos or even their progress. 

Now where can you find the video you might possibly want to use to edit and share with your class. Well, if you click on the Search screen this is what you get. Notice all off the different sites you can get videos from. You can also even upload videos from your own personal camera. There is also a great database of publicly shared videos from other EDpuzzle users. Once you find the video you want to use then you just need to click on the Create button at the bottom of this screen.

This is an example of some of the content that I've created for my science classes. As you can see the videos I've made are no longer than 6 minutes. You can make them as long as you deem necessary. When your done with your videos you can click on the assign/share button. This is where I could use the same video for all my class sections of science, which made life pretty easy.
When your students click on the video they are watching this is what they will see. The video and the question marks below. Each one of those question marks are where I placed questions about the video or other things we have learned in connection to the video topic. You can add a nice little feature to the video where it prevents the students from skipping the questions. So if little Timmy wants to try and say yeah I did my homework and decided to go and play Minecraft instead the video will actually stop at that particular question. So can turn around and see that it might have taken Timmy close to 5 hours to complete the video or that particular question and then take it from there.
Here is an example of what a question can look like. You can make it multiple choice as well or have other variations of how students answer the questions.
As you can see EDpuzzle has some great features to help engage your class and also allow you some great ways to introduce tech into your classroom. I can honestly say it has been an amazing resource in how I've done things in my classroom. This is sort of how I think my students see me now after using EDpuzzle......Ok maybe not