Salt and Pepper Science

No, not with them.
Yes, these ones.
Retrieved from

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Financial Literacy: One of the most important things we can teach our students

“There is money; spend it; spend it; spend more; spend all I have.”
–Shakespeare, The Merry Wives of Windsor

“Financial literacy is critical to the prosperity and well-being of Canadians. It is more than a nice-to-have skill. It is a necessity in today’s world.”
–The Task Force on Financial Literacy

When I was old enough to start receiving an allowance, my father gave me three little boxes of varying sizes. The largest box was for Long-Term Savings. That was for big, more expensive things that may take several months or even a year to save for. The medium-sized box was for Short-Term Savings. That was for toys or books that I might be able to get after saving for a few weeks or months at the most. The tiniest box was Mad Money, which 98% of the time went to purchasing the chocolate bar or candy I was allowed to have once a week. 

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Teaching Narrative Structure with Kurt Vonnegut

Note: this was originally posted on my literature blog 

man walking in countryside.jpg
I watched a video recently (see below) of Vonnegut delivering a lecture on the shapes of stories. It is entertaining and insightful, as Vonnegut often is, which made me think that it would be a perfect “Minds On” or “Hook” (or start of the lesson in layperson’s terms) in a unit on Narrative. This video is so approachable, it could be used for grades as young as 4, to as high as 12. First 24 seconds of the video is voiceover, so just skip ahead to get to the good stuff!
Putting narrative structure into a graphic format like this is a wonderful tool for visual learners because they’re able to more easily picture what is happening during major events of a novel (this is a high point, this is the denouement). It is also helpful for students who are more left-brained, logical, math and science-biased, or whatever term works for you, because it shows these students, “look, the study of English is not just feelings and metaphors; there are patterns within literature that are quantifiable.”

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Fun Canadian Heritage Grade 6 Inquiry Lesson Plan: Embrace the Chaos

Vassily Kandinsky (1913) Composition VII. [oil on canvas]
Treyakov Gallery, Moscow.

“One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.”
–Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra 

Night and day. Yin and yang. Apollonian and Dionysian. Order and Chaos. We as humans love our binaries and dichotomies. The longer you live and the more you study though, you come to realize that you don’t need to pick between one or the other, because often it is in finding balance between two seemingly oppositional ideas that we attain harmony. It is no different in a classroom.

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Inquiring Minds Want to Know: Why We Should Have Inquiry-based Learning in Social Studies

“Oyster with Pearls.” Photo.
Retrieved from
“Why then, the world’s mine oyster!”
–Shakespeare, The Merry Wives of Windsor


“Inquiry-based learning” is a phrase thrown around in educational theory and policy with increasing regularity. Is it really all it’s cracked up to be? I’m going to say a big yes to that. Inquiry-based learning is something that would be a great addition to any classroom, but is not without its challenges. In this post, I’m going to share some challenges and benefits of incorporating inquiry-based learning into the classroom.

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