Monday, November 28, 2016

The Value of Working in Small Groups

We learned that creating a classroom with small working groups, celebrates diversity, allows students to learn with all types of people, and it builds teamwork skills. However, this is not always an easy task to set up. It takes time and patients to help students learn how to work collaboratively. But, in our experience it has been, well worth the effort.

We noticed that, once our students learned how to work together, many of our quiet ones, had a voice! There also seemed to be less stress in the classroom learning, students were helping each other, and often, they were inspiring confidence, and encouragement for all to participate. Our students, began to understand their classmates strengths and weaknesses. They developed care, compassion and understanding for each other!

Do your students work in small groups? 
Do you see the value of working in small groups? 

Allowing our students to work in small groups, turned our classroom into mini-workshops, full of excited voices and engaged students. You can view the following video clip, where we discuss the benefits of having our students' work in small groups and you can take a peek at a classroom in action. Please let us know what you think! Leave comments and/or feedback below. Thanks!

(OESSTA produced this video and it's one, in a series of videos titled 'An Approach to Inquiry' that can be found on the OESSTA website.)

Friday, June 24, 2016

Reading Celebration - Castex 2016

The students at our school enjoy reading a variety of books from 'The Forest of Reading' program. Each year the Ontario Library Association create a list of book titles that celebrate Canadian authors. Our school, purchases the books from the nominated list in the Blue Spruce and Silver Birch category. Throughout the school year, students read and share book reviews in a variety of ways; one on one with our volunteer extraordinaire, or with peers in their class.

At the end of the school year, we have a celebration of reading and invite community members to celebrate with us. Scott Cooper is our favourite guest. He is a local musician, that likes to read the Forest of Reading books, and then he writes songs about them. How cool is that? Scott has entertained our students for the past couple of years, with his love for music and children's literature. Of course, the celebration would not be complete without a visit from the Community Librarian. She enjoys meeting the students and encourages them to join the library and to become a member of the summer reading program.

Scott Cooper
This reading program helps to foster a love of reading and generates a positive buzz for all books.  Take a look at this short clip, enjoy!  Forest of Reading - Castex 2016

How do you promote reading at your school? 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Natural Environment

Take a look at this group of primary students as they look at "How people affect the natural environment?"  

 This resource comes from the OESSTA website which has a bank of lessons, videos and resources to support the Social Studies, History and Geography curriculum.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Curiosity and Teamwork Make the Perfect Recipe...

Honoured to have our work highlighted on Teach Ontario's website. Check out the article and let us know what you think! Your feedback and comments are greatly appreciated.

TeachOntario Talks: Curiosity and Teamwork Make... | TeachOntario

The Teach Ontario website is an amazing resource for teachers. It's a great place to meet, share and learn. Try it out!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Learning How... use the iPad effectively!

These students are learning how to use the iPad in an effective way. While many of the students are familiar with using the technology, it’s important for them to learn how to use it as a tool for learning. A point of interest for this class, is that their teacher does not own an iPad, had never used one and so, this was a huge learning curve for the teacher!

In this classroom, students work in small groups at centres, and they have learned to work independently. Creating the iPad centre required a bit of coaching but once the students became familiar with apps and expectation, they were able to complete work and share their learning.

To begin with, students were taught how to use the 'Explain Everything' app. The teacher modeled a lesson, with the whole class and gave them an anchor chart with easy steps to follow.

Then the teacher,  had students work in pairs to experiment with all the features. At the end of centre time, each pair shared what they did and what they learned.
 Finally, some students created a work board with examples of 'how to' upload images, draw, create and present on the iPad.