Showing posts from December, 2015

The Best Gift

Time, it really is the best gift and as busy adults we seem to deem it a rather precious one. In fact, as a society I think we are often rushed for time. Our students can feel this as we rush them through things, with a sense of urgency any teachers knows in order to 'get the job done'.
Today was a gift. It was a gift that we shared with our students and other children in a Hungarian home for children. We spent time being an audience, having an audience willing to listen is a gift. Also, we spent time playing, having time to play is a gift. 
Occasionally, there's hesitation between having two groups of students interact without a common language. For a short time period, it is very manageable. Modelling is important, as an adult you need to readily jump into the situation, say hello, give pats on the back, props/ fist bump, give a smile and make eye contact. Once our students could see the other children were just as nervous, they worked hard to embrace the chance to join in…

Book Clubs are Powerful

Book Clubs are a wonderful! Today my students chanted their favourite authors name like they were cheerleading squad. I have been working on a Newbery Book Club with Gr. 4 and Gr. 5 students. My students are a mixture from a variety of classes and are the strong readers. The students really enjoyed working with kids they don't normally get to work with and they really pushed each other in their thinking.

Seeing them only once a week was a bit challenging at first, I was accustom to more of a guided reading format where I saw them a couple times a week. However, we soon settled into a routine. They finished an award winning novel every week, they found it to hard to stop part way through, but it worked since our discussions drew upon a wider variety of books. My enthusiastic readers consumed quality and award winning literature!

My goal was to have them read more deeply and focus on analysis and evaluation. We looked at different themes in books, created video reviews and then compar…