FREE Interactive iBook for Teaching Figurative Language to P/J Students


Download this free interactive iBook here

Continue reading

5 Reasons to Get Your Students Blogging


Many teachers assign their students writing journals or reading logs to track their writing progress throughout the year, but why not try something that can really get your students excited and teach them valuable 21st century skills?

Try having students set up their own personal blogs to fulfil some of the requirements of the Language curriculum!

Blogging could be an appropriate assignment for grades 6 and up, depending on how tech-savvy your students are. While it’s fine to be teaching them the nuances of designing a blog of their own, you don’t want to be doing tech-support for basic tasks the whole time.

Here are 5 great reasons why you should shelve the journals and get online:

Continue reading

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. 

Continue reading

Listen to your Heart (and the Teacher): Developing Student Listening Skills

The above teacher meme is facetious, but nonetheless an accurate portrayal of what happens in many classrooms. Listening is a vital life skill and unfortunately, large amounts of students for a variety of reasons are not strong listeners.  Now I’m not here to speculate about why students may be poor listeners, and I’m certainly not going to give the cop-out excuse of the prevalence of technology because let’s not kid ourselves here, children have been getting distracted long before tablets and smartphones came on the scene. What I am here to do is discuss some suggestions of what we can do to help students become better listeners, and thus better communicators and citizens.

Continue reading

It’s a Draft, not an Illuminated Manuscript: Making Revision Less Scary for Students



Eight-year-old Dominic has been entrusted with a most sacred and important task. Through a combination of inspiration from the heavenly Muses and his own memory, he must craft an account that will be preserved throughout the ages. All the writing is divinely inspired; there can be no room for error. Heaven forbid one thing be erased, changed, or altered from its original form. The time to finish his task is nigh. There must be no hesitation. What is this fantastic task?

Constructing a descriptive paragraph about his family’s trip to the water park in his writing journal.

Continue reading

Part of the In-Crowd: Multilevel Reading so Everyone Can Join In

Eletu, Olu. “Alphabet, Children.” March 17, 2015.
Retrieved from

No one likes to feel left out. And for children, many of who want nothing more than to achieve the status of “fitting in”, this is an especially concerning matter. You want to wear what your friends are wearing, have the same toys and gadgets that your friends have. So what do you do as a self-conscious child when for whatever reason, be it giftedness, a learning disability, whatever, you find yourself ahead or behind the pack? You feel awkward, like something is wrong with you. As educators, we can help with that. No, we probably can’t convince a student’s parents to get them those Nike shoes that everyone else in the class has, or those special edition, holographic Pokemon cards, but what we can do is help students feel included in classroom activities, even if the student might be reading at a grade or two below or above the rest of the class.

How do we do this?

By introducing multilevel reading in the classroom.

Continue reading

Don’t Read This Post!

“Stop Sign.” Retrieved from
Dear reader,

I’m putting this message here for your safety. What you were mistakenly about to read is so vile, so unpalatable, such a complete affront to human decency, that it will surely leave you sleepless for many nights, disturbed in mind and soul. If you read this, who knows what might happen to your psyche? So really, it’s in your best interest to stop right now before you become further corrupted.

Continue reading