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Monthly Archives: May 2013

Teaching Expression

Our mini lesson for reading today was about expression. My students seem to have mastered expression when they tell a story so today our focus was on adding expression when they read a story. I told my students about the time when I read Stone Fox to my grade two class and I started to cry – I got so caught up in the expression. I told my students about the time I read Are You My Mother? to my then two-year old and he started to cry when the little bird cries out “I want my mother!”

I tried to emphasize that your expression draws people into what you are saying.
I also wanted to emphasize expression because adding expression will increase students’ understanding as they read.
I have attached our poster Reading with Expression.


Graphic Organizer for a Report

Great writing this week from some of my favourite kids! They used a graphic organizer as their “map” to help them plan a report of an event that has just happened at school or will be happening soon. We discussed that reports and reporters stick to the facts (not opinions) and they answered the who, what, when, where, why, and how about an event.

The graphic organizer we used is here.

I think I am convincing them that a graphic organizer, or plan, is worthwhile. Today, in about 15 minutes, they had each written a short rough copy report from their completed graphic organizer.
They were successful (fact) and I think they are amazing (opinion)!



You can find my rough copy paper here.

ADHD – Is North America handing out a pharmacological band aid?

Most parents I meet do not want to medicate their children. Most teachers do not want medicated students. However, there are still some obvious behaviours to deal with.
I thought this was an interesting article shared on Facebook about the North American diagnosis of ADHD vs the French diagnosis of ADHD.
In France doctors look at the underlying social and contextual causes. Nutritional causes are examined and parenting styles are also said to produce better behaved children. I think they are onto something – ‘très bien’!

Great Ideas Come From Pinterest

20130507-221526.jpgI love Pinterest when I have plenty of browsing time. This week a Pinterest idea from a middle school art blog came to life at our school and I think it is fantastic! Best of all is that these boards are so light weight and you only need a few pins to attach things. I can see them being used for so much more than an art show.


Re-reading for Fluency

A focus this week: fluency and sight words. A big part of this is re-reading. Sometimes I find that a challenge, especially with older children. Our project this week was using a sight words story from I made a computer file for each student that divided the story into four parts. Over a few […]

Open Doors

When I was a very young teacher I remember a day when I had a substitute teacher teaching my class because I had a doctor’s appointment. Upon my return I noticed two things: first, that the classroom door was open and, secondly, the substitute was speaking to my students in a tone that I judged to be harsh and impatient. I remember thinking, “What if a parent walked through this hallway right now?”

Since that day, this memory has challenged me to leave my classroom door open as often as a I can. An open door serves as a physical reminder that we need to be accountable.

Sometimes I get too loud in my storytelling or the classroom next door is too loud and we close the door, but I believe that a parent should be able to walk down a hallway at any time and smile.

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