Ditch the Desks! Why I Love Full Flexible Seating

I scan the room and I can’t help but smile. Student are sitting at our low table illustrating vocabulary words softly talking, another student is standing and swinging her foot on the bar connected to the raised desk, and tucked into the cozy round chairs (so popular in our library section we had to make a rotation chart for who gets to use them) are two students hard at work. Everyone is working. Everyone is focused. Everyone is comfortable where they are. Flexible seating has been evolving in my classroom since the day I was first hired. Starting with just […]

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Summer Classroom Furniture Finds

I know it is still July and I should be lounging around, thinking about anything but school, but this is when I get most excited about school. With the summer ahead of me I have time for new classroom projects, researching new ideas and scouring Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration for next year. First project of the summer was transforming three discarded book shelves from dingy, sad, hand printed shelves into a teal dream. A little wash and paint goes a long way. I can’t believe my luck that my mum came across these beauties for free at her school. […]

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May Flowers STEM Fun

With real Spring weather (some warm days!) finally upon us I decided it was time for a more bright and colorful activity for the STEM lab. The saying, April showers bring May flowers was inspiration for a Tulip STEM challenge for students. The lesson fused social studies, science and reading beautifully. We are studying the seven continents so we were able to explore a place in Europe (The Netherlands) famous for their tulips, while creating using the STEM process. This week in reading our anthology featured Gail Gibbons, From Seed to Plant, so the tie in was perfect. Gotta love […]

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Earth Day STEM Challenge

We may have been finishing up April Vacation on the actual Earth Day, but when we returned to school I took the opportunity to celebrate this important day with my students. Students watched a few short video clips about Earth Day, did quick writes and completed a mystery picture math page, but the big Earth Day project was a STEM lesson in the STEM Lab. With Antoni Gaudi as my inspiration, I tied in recycling old things to make something new in a way that connected to students. After learning a bit about Gaudi and his artwork, which recycled many […]

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100s Chart Addition with Badminton

Birdies went flying yesterday as students practiced addition facts. After an inspiring visit to the Target Dollar Spot this weekend I had an idea to merge badminton with our 100s chart painted on our school’s playground to practice math. Students found out it wasn’t as easy as it looked to land a birdie on the 100s chart. Cheers rang out when students landed one in a square. Since it was an introductory lesson to teach students how to play an outdoor math game, we played as a whole class. Normally students would play as a team, working together to land […]

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End of the Year STEM

I have been working like crazy putting together new STEM lessons to do with my students as we wind down the school year. With a few holidays coming up I knew there would be opportunities to tie in STEM activities to reinforce student learning. First up, it’s finally Spring! (sort of) While the weather may beg to differ, it is indeed officially spring. With the start of a new season I thought, what better way to celebrate than with a Spring themed STEM lesson making windmills. Students had a blast constructing and testing out their windmill designs! It was a […]

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Travel Gallery Wall

My travel gallery wall has been 13 years in the making. Starting way back to my first overseas trip to London, I have been collecting art and taking pictures of places around the world every time I travel. Fast forward to today, I finally have not only thousands of photos to choose from, but more importantly wall space to create a gallery wall! I absolutely love how it came out! Each time I walk through my door when I come home, I am greeted with fond memories of countless trips. Hours on Pinterest gave me ideas and lots of great […]

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Read Around the World

A few weeks ago to cap off our reading week celebrating Dr. Suess’ birthday, our school had a reading marathon. It was an entire day dedicated to reading and doing reading activities. Honestly, it was my favorite day of the school year so far. I mean come on, reading, ALL DAY! How does it get any better than that?! I knew that reading all day, even with breaks in between for activities, might be a bit of a stretch for some of my second graders who don’t have enough stamina built up yet to do that. So I brainstormed some […]

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Think Global! Retelling Stories and Folktales From Around the World

There are so many simple ways to get students to think globally. Last week I had my students practice retelling a folktale when it came to me. Duh, if I am going to have students practice sequencing a folktale through retelling, why not add a simple question asking students to tell me where in the world the folktale originated? It was a simple one question addition to a graphic organizer that I could easily make myself. That thought was all I needed, I was off and running with more ideas. Instead of just including the question of where the folktale […]

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Practice What You Read: Teach Like Finland

My obsession with Finland and everything Finnish is no secret. When I heard about Tim Walker’s book, Teach Like Finland , I knew I had to have it. I devoured the pages in a single sitting over the summer and couldn’t stop thinking about all the ways I could implement what I read into my classroom. You can read my thoughts of Teach Like Finland  here. Now that the school year is more than halfway through, I can honestly say that the tips I read in Walker’s book were spot on. It didn’t take a major overhaul to incorporate much of what I […]

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