Inspiring Learners Through Engaging Teaching

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Formative Assessment Ideas

I once said to an accountant I knew: "Doing report cards is kind of like tax season, except teachers do it 3 times a year."  That was before I realized that formative assessment was far more valuable for student learning and that report cards really should not be an "event". A BIG event!

The purpose that report cards are supposed to serve is to let parents know how their children are doing in school and to give suggestions on how they can help at home. It's a summative report.  Oftentimes, by the time the teacher is finished writing them, editing them and getting them ready to be sent out, the child has changed in their learning.  Because I always communicated regularly with parents at the door or on the phone, I felt that report cards were more of a formality.  If we teach to get to the report card, we lose students along the way.  Formative assessment allows you to really understand your students and plan lessons to move them forward. Doesn't that sound like what education should be?

Playdate with a Polar Bear

Most kids LOVE to have playdates with their friends. What if that playdate could be with an awesome creature from the animal world? As a primary teacher for most of my career, I know how much kids love animals from an early age. I also know that animals motivate kids. Have you ever had your students read to a stuffed animal? Magic! Pure magic! In my quest to change the way I think about learning, I have created resources that are more open ended and designed to tap into the creative side of students where real learning begins. If you've been reading my blog for a while, you will know that's how I roll. I am always looking for learning opportunities for students that are deep learning experiences, designed from the outcomes in the curriculum and the big ideas, where students can construct their own learning. Today, I released a brand new set called Playdate with a Polar Bear. Read on to find out more about this fun set!

Free Christmas Reading Bookmarks

Christmas in the classroom has always been one of my favorite times of the year.  I love creating a cozy classroom with decorations and pulling out my favorite Christmas books to read aloud and for students to share together.

But just like summer time, sometimes students go home for the winter break and do not keep up with reading.  As teachers, we know that choice in what you read is very important.

To make things a little more fun, I created two sets of bookmarks that you can download and print for free to give away to your students.

The first set has a Christmas theme.  These bookmarks have little quotes on them that promote the love and importance of reading.

I also created a set of reading bookmarks that would go very nicely with your Christmas Around the World unit (the countries on the bookmarks match my Christmas Around the World Lap Book set). These can also be used for Social Studies.  Each bookmark has a child from another country on it and  "I Love Reading" translated into that country's language.  :) 

Both sets are free as my gift to all the hard working teachers out there. To grab your set/s just click on the pictures. May you all have a wonderful winter break!

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