Sunday, 29 November 2015

Cyber Monday & Tuesday Sale!

It's that time of year...

Be prepare for upcoming seasons, events and holidays!
Valentine's Day Packet, Winter Reading Challenge, 100th Day of School & Chinese New Year... Click HERE to visit our store.

Valentine's Day
Kick the Winter Reading Slump, Goodbye!

100 Days of School!!

Happy Shopping!!


Monday, 16 November 2015

Anti-Bullying Week

How do we stop bullying? 

I truly believe that Random Act of Kindness Day/Week should be written on the calendar more than one time a year.

What are we doing in our classrooms to create an environment embedded with mutual respect, kindness, love, acceptance, patience, loyalty and altruism?

Here are a few activities to get you thinking as your embark on anti-bullying week.

These are activities I have done with my students in the last few years.....

The Power of Positive Words
First, I encouraged my students to think of negative words/names/actions/mean words that they hear in and around the school/schoolyard. I broke the students into small groups and had them write down these words. I brought the class back together and we reviewed the terms, calling attention to similarities, why these terms are used and what we can do. I teach at a Catholic School, so our discussions also involved befriending and helping those who are or feel marginalized, just as Jesus did.

 It's always easier to do the wrong thing, than the right thing.....
How can we do more to help those around us and create a happier place for everyone to live?
I then gave each student 1 coloured card. On this card, I asked the students to write down the word that they wanted to be remembered by in the future. Each student then walked up to the charts of negative/mean words (specifically one that they hated the most) and placed their word over-top of it.  

The Pink Shirt Perspective
 Each student chose to step into the shoes of "The Bully", "The Bullied", or "The Bystander". Using Runde's Room outline, the students wrote an "I Am" Poem through each perspective.

These shirts then became PSA announcements for the school on the PA System each morning for the entire week. 

For more ideas and activities, click HERE for our freebie!

My students LOVE the bookmark activity :)

Great Read Alouds for ANY GRADE 
(yes, even the big kids like being read to).
Meet Brian, the invisible boy. Nobody ever seems to notice him or think to include him in their group, game, or birthday party . . . until, that is, a new kid comes to class.

Chloe and her friends won't play with the new girl, Maya. Every time Maya tries to join Chloe and her friends, they reject her. Eventually Maya stops coming to school. 

Clover's mom says it isn't safe to cross the fence that segregates their African-American side of town from the white side where Anna lives. But the two girls strike up a friendship, and get around the grown-ups' rules by sitting on top of the fence together.

A little girl longs to see beyond the scary sights on the sidewalk and the angry scribbling in the halls of her building. When her teacher writes the word beautiful on the blackboard, the girl decides to look for something beautiful in her neighborhood.

Blue is a quiet color. Red’s a hothead who likes to pick on Blue. Yellow, Orange, Green, and Purple don’t like what they see, but what can they do? When no one speaks up, things get out of hand — until One comes along and shows all the colors how to stand up, stand together, and count. Students learn about accepting each other's differences and how it sometimes just takes one voice to make everyone count.

A rare look at emotional bullying among boys from the best-selling author of My Secret Bully.D.J.'s friend Vince has a habit of teasing D.J. and then saying, Just kidding!" as if it will make everything okay. It doesn't, but D.J. is afraid that if he protests, his friends will think he can't take a joke. With the help of his father, brother, and an understanding teacher, D.J. progresses from feeling helpless to taking positive action, undermining the power of two seemingly harmless words. Trudy Ludwig takes another look at relational aggression, the use of relationships to manipulate and hurt others, this time from the boy's point of view.

Monica is a target of relational aggression, emotional bullying among friends who will use name-calling and manipulation to humiliate and exclude.  But with a little help from a supportive adult—her mother—Monica learns to cope and thrive by facing her fears and reclaiming power from her bully.

Here are a few more....


Monday, 9 November 2015

Remembrance Day/Veteran's Day in First Grade

Remembrance Day Craft

I try to do something new each year with my class. This year we made finger print poppy wreaths. I found the idea on DLTK's crafts for kids. You can find the step by step instructions here. I printed out my own first grade version on chart paper for the students to follow along. 

Tomorrow we are going to use the computers to type out the word PEACE to place in the middle of our wreaths.  This is a great starting point for my students to begin using Microsoft Word.  They are shown some of the text features (e.g. how to pick a font, change the size, change or add colour, make it bold, etc.) using only one word, so the time can be spent on the features and not the actual typing.  

Remembrance Day Text/Writing Activity

I also like to introduce a new book each year.  This year I have chosen "The Peace Book" by Todd Parr. He is also going to be the focus of our new author study. The students watched the video of Todd Parr reading the story today and tomorrow we will be brainstorming ideas for our very own Peace Book written and illustrated by our first grade class. 

I am going to re-read each page out of the book to the class tomorrow. We are then going to take Todd Parr's idea and make it our own. Focusing on text to self/text to world connections, we will tie the idea from the text to something from their lives or from what we have been learning or discussing in the classroom. For example, one of the pages in the book reads "Peace is keeping the water blue for all the fish," and the students came up with "Peace is keeping the waters clean from garbage and toxic pollution." This was all on their own; I just read a page and asked them how we could make this page our own. Another really good example of this is when the students came up with changing Todd Parr's page "Peace is saying sorry when you hurt someone" to "Peace is forgiving a friend for making a mistake." This relates to our religion program, in which we are currently talking about forgiveness. For the illustrations I am going to keep with the colour techniques Parr has chosen. We will be cutting and pasting our full coloured pictures on vibrant background with no white showing. I am very excited to see what they come up with. Just our brief talk about it today was very impressive. Each child in the class will have a positive experience at being an author and illustrator.  

Have a great week. 


Saturday, 7 November 2015

Remembrance Day Ideas

Remembrance Day 

November 11th, 2015

Have We Forgotten?

We are supposed to remember all those that are gone,
Those that fought for their lives, and ours, was that wrong?
The young men that left, some had never even been kissed,
Some of them came from good homes, others, not even missed.

In the darkness of night, they marched together, side by side,
With only the moon and stars above them, as their guide,
All around them, the sounds of guns and many tanks,
Slowly moving along rocky shores, and slippery muddy banks.

Against the morning light hundreds of silhouettes can be seen,
They don’t have faces, only darkness, a sea of black and olive green,
Miles and miles of emptiness, loneliness, that lay deep in their soul,
Not knowing what is on the other side of each and every knoll.

Where are they going, do they even know, and what will they find?
What happened to looking out for our fellow man? All of mankind,
Side by side in the trenches, some strangers, some family, just trying to survive, 
Cold and wet, frostbitten fingers and toes, death looks better than being here alive.

Crawling across dead mangled bodies, that were once soldiers with a name,
Now they are just part of the landscape, they can no longer ask, who is to blame?
What happened to my Grandpa, to my Brothers, my Uncle, and my Dad?
Questions asked by all of us, we have pictures, that’s all we’ve ever had.

Did they fight and die for our country, were their deaths worth it in the end ?
Don’t let them be forgotten, wear a poppy, for our lives, they did defend.
 © Barb Hedden Gormley 

Let's make sure each generation knows why we commemorate Remembrance Day.
Let's make sure symbols have meaning.
Let's never forget.

Here are some past Remembrance Day ideas that Christine and I have done with our class and some new ideas, too. 

See post about this idea HERE and HERE

See post about this idea HERE.

 See post about this idea HERE.

See post about this idea HERE.

Below are more ideas....
You could use this idea for an entire school, or hallway or grade. It makes Remembrance Day real and reminds us all that we can remember by bringing peace to the world, today.

These next few craft ideas/symbols, are created by The Artist Woman

Link to post HERE.

Link to post HERE.

This is one of my favourite commercials. I would use this to initiate the conversation about the poppy, its meaning and its symbolism. 

Here are some videos. Please view prior to showing students to make sure they are appropriate for your group of students.