Welcome to my adventure!

Hello and welcome to my blog!

What you will find here varies a lot. You will see some of my own personal work, some of my fellow teacher friends, and other work from online resources! I am starting my Education journey  and am currently in a two year after degree program. My first passion is psychology and you will see some of those influences in and throughout my reflections and assignments. I think combining my two passions of working with children and psychology, I can bring some valuable experiences and knowledge to my classrooms. This will focus on self regulating behaviours to help with autonomy, holistic well being, and ways to help control school anxiety and stressors. Thanks for taking the time to look at my blog!

Click about me to get to know me a little better 🙂

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Grade 2 ( Outcome IN2.2) Introductory Lesson

Holidays

Outcome IN2.2 (Interactions and Interdependence of Nations): Create a representation of the diversity of cultural groups in the local community.

  • Describe diverse characteristics within the school and local communities, and describe similarities within and between diverse groups.
  • Retell the shared experiences and stories of members of the local community experienced through active listening, viewing, and reading of stories in various formats.
  • Identify the significance of a variety of cultural traditions, festivals, and celebrations in the school and local communities.
  • Describe ways in which diverse individuals and groups contribute to the well-being of the local community.

Lesson Overview: The goal of this set is to allow the students to have an introductory look at how special days, holidays, and festivals are celebrated throughout the world. The later unit as a whole will look at different cultures and their own special experiences and diverse characteristics, and how these all come together in a community.

Lesson Objectives: Students will understand that countries and cultures from around the world celebrate holidays that have unique traditions, foods, clothing, and activities. Also, students will demonstrate an appreciation for a holiday that is celebrated by another country or culture.

Important Vocabulary: celebrations, costume, culture, customs, decorations, feast, festival, holiday, parade, rituals, traditions, and symbol.

Engaging Activity: This video is the introductory activity that will be used to get the students excited about the new lesson. This video showcases the idea that all people on earth are part of something bigger than themselves, their families, countries, and religious or ethnic groups. It will show just a brief selection of some of the holidays and festivals celebrated around the world, with the use of many colourful and vivid images. By using music and a sing along (students can dance too if they would like), the students will participate together as one and get this first visual experience with cultural diversity. This format is also very symbolic because the students are a type of community coming together, as one, to learn about and support varying cultural diversity. This directly relates to the outcome because the students will be identifying the significance of cultural diversity in the school and local communities, and how it all comes together as one unit.

**This is also a perfect way to incorporate Aboriginal content. An entire learning goal for a lesson can be dedicated to celebrations and traditions among Aboriginal communities.**

Let us take a trip around the world! Sing with Me!

Ways of Celebrating Showcased in the Video:

  • Lighting of candles or colourful lights
  • Sharing festive foods with others
  • Giving small gifts to loved ones
  • Displaying bright decorations
  • Singing and listening to music
  • Giving to the poor and hungry
  • Asking and giving forgiveness
  • Gathering together with family
  • Expressing thanks to God/and or nature


Grade 1 Life Science: Needs and Characteristics of Living Things Lesson Framework

Lesson 1: Introduction Activity. This activity will consist off an introductory teacher directed discussion about what it means to be a living thing. There will be a combination of pictures, books, and videos to show the children various living things. Assessment will come in the form of questions directly related to characteristics of living things (which they will learn in later lessons). Questions such as, “How do you think this animal is born?”, “Do you think it comes from an egg or from its mommy’s belly?”, “What do you think your animal eats?”, and “What do think your animal needs to live?” Seeing no formal teaching has been conducted yet, this will just be brainstorming of ideas and the student’s answers. Learning Objectives: The students will gain some primary knowledge about what it means to be a living thing. The students will use a variety of sources of information and ideas to learn about observable characteristics of living things. They will be able to answer questions critically and make generalizations about what it means to be living in the most basic terms.

Lesson 2: Nature Walk. The lesson here will be taking a nature walk in the playground to see all the items, which can be either living (anything that is or has ever been alive) or non-living (anything that is not currently alive or ever has been) that students can actually touch and see. Each student will have a science journal that they will carry around the playground with them and draw pictures or words about the thing they see on their nature walk. They can record anything from plants, bugs, ants, soil, rocks, bits of garbage, all the way to little animals they might see in the yard. One collected all students will come back inside for a group discussion lead by the teacher. This discussion will establish what the student’s interpretation of living and non-living is. Learning Objectives: The students will make and record observations and measurements about the observable characteristics of plants and animals using written language and pictures.

Lesson 3: Living vs. Non-Living things. In this lesson, the teacher and students will review all the information they have gathered so far. The teacher will guide the students into discovering the similar denominators present in things that are living and non-living and compare the two. With the use of comparison graphs, we will establish the guidelines for the two groups and keep that as our base when deciphering when something is living. Here we will establish the system of beliefs that dictate whether something is living or non-living by these five guidelines. First, does it take in food and grow? Second, is it able to move? Third, Does it respond to stimuli, in other words can something cause it to respond or act differently). Fourth, Does it reproduce, does it have babies”, and fifth, does it engage in respiration, does It breath and use air. Learning Objectives: The students will describe and list the five characteristics that make an item a living thing (does it take in food and grow, does it move, does it respond to stimuli, does it reproduce, and does it breath and use air.) The students will also be able to decipher between the living and non-living items.

Lesson 4: Aboriginal Classification of living and non-living things. In this lesson we will learn about the First Nations worldview about what is considered a living thing. This lesson will be introduced and conducted by an elder who will join our class for the lesson. He or she will share their own personal insight and stories about living and non-living things in a First Nations context, and how it differs from the scientific approach. Learning Objectives: The students will engage in personal, scientific, and Indigenous ways of organizing understanding of living things.

Lesson 5: What is a Characteristic? In this lesson, students will learn what a characteristic is. Characteristic is something that helps to explain what an object (living or non) is and how it behaves. A physical characteristic is a something we can describe about an object by using our senses. The students will be given worksheets that will have two columns that will show characteristics and physical characteristics. The students will have to draw lines to the appropriate title to show their understanding of the topic. Learning Objectives: Students will describe and identify what a characteristic is and what a physical characteristic is, and the difference between the two.

Lesson 6: What makes us human. In this lesson the students will learn about what it means to be human. The activity to accompany this will be self-drawings of themselves and their ability to label all major body parts. Each student will trace themselves on a large paper with the help of a partner and decorate while labeling certain parts (eyes, ears, hair, and numbers of limbs and teeth). As each part is labeled, we must also discuss the purpose of the body part in relation to the self. For example, the mouth is where we eat and drink from, etc. Learning Objectives: The students will describe characteristics common to humans and identify variations (e.g., eye colour, hair colour, skin colour, height, and weight) that make each human unique.

Lesson 7: What makes an animal. In this lesson we will learn about what makes something an animal, and how that is different than a human. I will bring my own puppy to class and use him as a real life example. The children will engage in an observation of little Jax and see how he roams in the classroom. They will look at his physical characteristics, and how he has the similar components that make up living things. They will go through out five point check list to see that he is too a living thing, and they will also be given a worksheet with a hollow drawing of a dog. They will be asked to label and color the dog in the same manner as the human drawing they did in the previous class and see what each identifiable body part is used for.  Learning Objectives: The students will describe the appearance and behaviour of familiar animals and observe how they are similar and differ from humans. They will also be able to record information, using written language and pictures about the appearance and behaviour of familiar animals, such as classroom or personal pets during a specific time.

 Lesson 8: Animal report. During this lesson students will be asked to create an animal report about their favorite animal. This can include a presentation with stories, drawings, or show and tell that will communicate and share with the other students of the class the knowledge they have learned from previous lessons. Children will focus on explaining what they know about their animal and how they came to know it. Learning Objectives: Students are able to communicate knowledge (e.g., share a story, describe an experience, or draw a picture) about the observable characteristics of a favourite plant or animal.

 Lesson 9: What makes a plant. During this lesson, the same visual approach will be taken to learning about the parts of plants as was before with humans and animals. In this lesson we will look to see the physical characteristics that make up a plant in general. We will make a craft that will show the students where the leaf, root, stem, possible flower or fruit, and seeds that started it all are located and then be labeled and decorated. This will allow students to physically see the components and have the ability to identify them and how they differ from humans and animals. Learning Objectives: Students will compare observable characteristics (e.g., leaf, root, stem, flower, fruit, and seed) of plants and their physical components, to other living things such as humans and animals while finding similarities and differences.

Lesson 10: Essential needs. In this lesson students will learn the basic needs of all living things. As a class we will grow three separate ‘pots’ with lentil beans. The three pots will each have cotton balls as the soil with 5 lentils as the middle part, then another layer of cotton balls on the top for the top soil. The first pot will be watered every day and kept in the sun. The second pot will be kept in the sun but not watered. The third pot will be kept with no water and a lip on top to prevent sunlight from getting in. We will grow them for one week and keep checking and documenting the progress of the growth. At the end of the week block the students will see that the pot with the essential needs (pot 1) was the only one that survived. This will communicate to them the basic needs of living things and their importance for survival and growth. Learning Objectives: Students will identify the physical needs, (i.e., food, water, air, and shelter) that plants, animals, and humans require for survival. Student will record information, using written language, pictures, and tables, about the appearance and progression of growth in seeds planted.

The Spark

This article is about an incredible book, The Spark, by Kristine Barnett, and how she beat the odds and took her sons Autism diagnosis, and turned into something extraordinary. With a current IQ higher than Einstein’s, Jacob has shown just how special he is and what can be accomplished with faith, and the never ending fight his mother put up to help flourish the genius she saw in him. This book helped me reevaluate what it means to have a disability. I believe as a future educator you can take examples such as this one and see that no matter the perceived limitations, theres always a way to connect with a student, and help bring out the best in them, just like this mother did for her son.

The full article can be found here: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/parenting/how-kristine-barnett-nurtured-her-autistic-sons-spark-of-genius/article12752500/

Powerful and Purposeful Teaching in Elementary School Social Studies

“The purpose of elementary school social studies is to enable students to understand, participate in, and make informed decisions about their world.”  This is one of the key statements made in this article by the National Council for the Social Studies (2009). So many young children in the modern world have no idea about the current events that are conflicting many individuals world wide. They are instead part of a generation that lives on electronics for entertainment purposes.  when technology holds the power to educate them beyond their beliefs. As best said by the council, “success in the twenty-first century requires the ability to make decisions both independently and collectively. These abilities are not innate; they must be taught. The social studies are as basic for success as reading, writing, math, and science. If the young learners of this nation are to become effective participants in a democratic society, social studies must be an essential part of the elementary curriculum.”

Full article can be found here: http://www.socialstudies.org/positions/powerfulandpurposeful

Back to school ideas!

It’s that time again! Back to school. The excitement is in the air and all the students are excited to see what the year has in store for them. Why not start with some cool decorating ideas to get the kids excited and engaged in the classroom setting!

Up up and away! This Up-themed door will spark students’ imagination about all the places you’ll visit in books and lessons this year.

9cea0b7c6ef1b1647805f3ce1e71ecf2Everything’s Coming Up Roses! These smiling roses are sure to put a smile on every child’s face upon entering the classroom.

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These are just two of my top favourites, for more ideas click here for the Pinterest link!