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Monthly Archives: March 2014

Are You Paying Attention?

20140331-215824.jpgI had an interesting conversation with some boys today. I asked,”What leads to remembering and learning?”

The answer: attention
Attention is the key to remembering and learning.


We began brainstorming things that can interrupt attention (in green) and then what we can do about it (in red). I was really excited at the insight shown by my students. I was even more excited when one of them asked if he could take a picture of our brainstorming whiteboard – yay! More discussion to come… we are going to focus on how to pay better attention when you feel uninterested or distracted.


Sweet Sweet Kids

Look what I found on my white board today. It made my day.


Learning How to Format a Paper MLA Style

My grade eight students are learning how to format a paper.  We just spent time reading a grade ten student’s paper and highlighting the in-text citations so that they could become familiar with “citing”.  Next they each got a non-fiction book about birds and read about hummingbirds (my favourite).  Each student had to come up with two facts about the hummingbird.  We compiled these facts into a few paragraphs which I typed out and shared on GOOGLE drive.  Tomorrow the boys will add their in-text citations to the hummingbird passage.

We are using MLA formatting.  I came up with these separate posters to show the students that they must choose which one is appropriate to use i.e. do they have a book with an author, a website with no author, etc. (Some citing is confusing to me, so if you find any mistakes, let me know 🙂

We will also use to create a bibliography or works cited page and Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL)
to format the “other stuff”.

I Love It When a Plan Comes Together

My grade 7 and 8 math students have been working on geometry, and specifically, angles. Today we had a building time to make learning more authentic. I found this great website with free plans. Using a plan for a preschool picnic table, we measured everything in centimetres instead of inches to make it miniature size. We used thin styrofoam strips, small nails from my husband’s model railway set, as well as his miniature hack saw. This was fun!
We started with this:

20140305-213027.jpg                                          20140305-213528.jpg


Students really showed some hidden talents! Talents in leadership, cooperation, and building skills! Here are two finished products:



Silent Reminders

It’s more difficult to slowly phase out verbal prompts than non-verbal prompts. In other words, if you remind a child to do a task over and over, he may always wait for your reminder. Non-verbal prompts, reminders with no words, can be used to achieve changed behaviour and then can be phased out for more independent compliance.

This is what an educational assistant (EA) and I put together for just such silent reminders (this is worn on the wrist of the teacher and the EA):

It does seem more logical to remind someone to stay quiet without talking yourself.

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