Maker Movement Con’t: Design Thinking in Schools

Life has been busy. So I apologize for the lull of posts as of late. There are a whole bunch of new projects and opportunities on the horizon that have been occupying my time in a very, very good way.  However, I had a few moments to to pen a continuation to my Maker Movement articles for the Yellin Center.  I hope you enjoy learning a little more about Design Thinking and how it can impact and enrich the learning process. Happy Making! Continue reading

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Poet Prints Collaboration: Tech Tools for the Inclusive Classroom

Slide1This week I collaborated with the awesome educator behind Poet Prints, Rachel Poetker. She is an awesome, talented, and passionate Canadian elementary school teacher who, like me, loves to share her learning strategies and resources with the greater education world. You can find all her amazing curricular designs on her TeacherspayTeachers store.

As you all know I love collaborating with other bloggers -whether it is swapping resources or contributing posts I always learn something new. This week I shared some of my favourite literacy tools for an inclusive classroom with the readers of Poet Prints. Head over to her blog to check it out and be sure to poke around a bit. She has a lot of great things to share!

An Important New Study on the Impact of Influential Students on Bullying

My latest article for the Yellin Center covers a salient topic in education -bullying.  A dynamite (and academically badass) team of researchers from Princeton, Yale, and Rutgers came together to explore how to best promote an anti-conflict mindset and disrupt the culture of bullying in schools.  The impact of their research doesn’t end with a theoretical publication; the practical Roots program has been developed to help teachers and policy makers enact this research in tangible, real world ways. Read my article below for more information on the novel research and Roots Program.  Continue reading

Using Infographics in the Classroom to Differentiate Instruction

 I have another article out for the Yellin Center.  This time I dig into how to use infographics in the classroom to differentiate your instruction and meet the core mandates of Universal Design for Learning. Below you will find my article where I discuss a few excellent, easy to use resources for making infographics.  Happy Learning! Continue reading

Shape Hunt Math Game and Lesson Plan

As a classroom teacher I fully believed in crafting high quality, experiential learning experiences for my students. I tried my best regardless of the curricular area to get my students outside the four walls of my classroom and exploring their environment. Furthermore, I truly believe in authentic learning experiences where a teacher helps the students connect their textbook learning to its real world applications. It was this ideology that help inspire me to create, Shape Hunt, an interactive math game that gets students out of their seats and hunting for math concepts in their everyday lives.Shape Hunt Pic

As you will remember, showcased some other math games from my geometry unit such, Quadrilateral Find Five. and Shape Bingo.  I have also shared some of my favourite math apps for building spatial reasoning. Shape Hunt is yet another activity in that same geometry unit on shape identification. In this activity I also review skills from my measurement unit by having students practice finding the area and perimeter of each shape. Therefore, it is a multifaceted activity that infuses geometry, measurement and calculation into one lesson. I have adapted this game for different grades by choosing age-appropriate shapes for my students to find. For example, for the younger grades you could ask them to hunt squares, triangles, circles and rectangles.

Shape Hunt requires students to search their surroundings to locate different and identify shapes, then measure and calculate the area and perimeter. I often assigned this activity in pairs to encourage mathematical talk. If it is a nice day I would take the kids outside to the playground to hunt for shapes. This activity is a break from math drills and work sheets, and allows students to get hands on and engage with the geometric concepts.

A PDF of this game can be downloaded for free at on my Teachers pay Teachers store 🙂 Continue reading

Freebie Friday: Shape Bingo

 As you may remember we have a bunch of different games and activities for geometry. Shape identification is an important skill acquired in the lower elementary grades. So today’s Freebie Friday is Shape Bingo, which provides a fun, engaging, play-based method to have students practice both the construction of shapes as well as the identification. This activity can be played using two or three dimensional shapes. I have also used it as part of a unit on differentiating quadrilaterals. It is a game that is easily modified to suit a teacher curricular needs, and as such I have found it to be an excellent substitute teacher activity or even a home learning game.Shape Bingo Picture

In the classroom, I have used Shape Bingo across the grades by modifying the shapes I ask my students to fill their bingo. For example, for the younger grades will choose squares, triangles, diamonds, squares and rectangles. Furthermore, for primary students I will often model the shapes by drawing each on the board and labeling them and allowing the students to copy them directly. Whereas, for the intermediate and upper grades I will often write only the word on the board (e.g. cube, sphere, cone etc.) and ask my students to draw the shape independently.

In my experience this activity provides excellent repetitive practice in drawing the different shapes. As such, I often will collect the game boards after the activity as a formative assessment measure to see how efficiently my students can compose the different shapes. Continue reading

We were featured on Creative Family Fun!

linkyWe have been connecting with bloggers all over the place these past few weeks and loving it.  Last week you may remember our Halloween Bingo was featured on Teaching Blog Addict.  Then on Monday our Sight Word Go Fish game was featured on the Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational’s Monday Roundup.  Our recipes popped up on A Mommy Too! Then to make it even better last week we were also highlighted by Creative Family Fun’s A Week of After School Activities.   Our On a Roll sight word game was showcased, and we couldn’t be more flattered.  Head over to Creative Family Fun to check out the other resources they shared.  There are some great ideas housed there!