Tag Archives: reading

For the Love of Reading

Like any other part of the school, I see how important it is to have the library up and running as soon as possible when I got a chance to work in one for a few days.

From a two-month summer vacation, students were looking forward to set foot in the library to borrow books, from Guinness Book of World Records to Smile to Amulet to Peppa, to name a few of them that they’d asked me. Yes, we can search and read almost everything online but the library in each school provides the opportunity for all the students to get hold of the latest graphic novel, read a collection of Franklin books without spending a single dime.

Call me old fashion but I still like to get a book, hold it and flip the pages. No dog-ear for me please.


Tips and Tricks of Using Seesaw From Our #SeesawChat

#SeesawChat: 12th May 2016

“There are so many new things out there about what technology and how to use it in the classroom. I am not really comfortable using it.” This is a common statement among educators who are not comfortable infusing technology into the classroom. Very true. It can really be overwhelming. If I ask a couple of teachers, they will come up with at least 5 different apps they use in class.

This is what I tell them, “I am quite comfortable using technology in the classroom but will never catch up with every new tool out there. I remind myself, use one as it fits.”

Here’s one that caught my attention last summer and was able to delve into it more a few days ago by taking the training to be a Seesaw Ambassador.

My first #SeesawChat with fellow educators brought saw many ideas that I would like to share in this post. Both teachers and students are capturing and documenting the learning that takes place in school.

Spelling via Mrs. St. John’s Class

Capturing progress on IEP Goals via Heather Gauck

Genius Hour via Miss Zeisler

Reader’s Response via Jess Ische

Math via Miss Elikwu

Assessment via Traci Piltz

Text Features via Joni Quintavalle

Math via myself courtesy of Mrs. S MathTechLearnCentre class

Health via Traci Wood

Oral Reporting via Jennifer Sanders

Interactive QR Code via Emily Corrigan

Retelling via Miss Knutson’s Class

Word Connections via Mrs. Gadtke

Science via Ryan Wiggins

Expect more collections on how to enhance students learning through the use of Seesaw and other apps as I continue to explore this digital road.

At one point, I read a line that somehow goes like this, “If you’re doing something great that no one knows, then, there’s not much greatness in what you’re doing.” Share the love. Feel free to add to this list below.








The Book With No Pictures

A slice of my today’s reading for my A Slice of Life Story Challenge: Day 9.

Books that are out of the ordinary really catch my attention. The Book With No Pictures is one of them. A student showed it to me this morning with all the excitement in his eyes. His so thrilled that he was able to get hold of the book from the library. He started showing me the few pages.

Would it be such a pleasure to see all students getting excited in reading like him? As educators, we try our best and maximize our time to give opportunities to students to be able to read while in the school. Each classroom has its own collection of books. Each school has a library that houses reading materials of all genre.

As much as we encourage to extend the reading at home by parents reading to them or listening to their children read, each family situation is different. In school, we speak the same language and provide the same environment that’s conducive to learning of each individual.

When they leave the school’s premises, they deal with their own situation at home. Some are fortunate to have a home that’s full of love and care. They are given the attention they need. There’s food on the table. But some are less fortunate to have this ideal home environment. If this is the case, how can we inspire them to develop the love for reading if the basic needs are not met?

Let’s remind ourselves that these young people also have their own baggage when they enter our classroom. Our hope is to see each of them succeed in life no matter what kind of situation they’re in right now.

As challenging as it can be, let’s continue to keep that spark in their eyes and their curiosity for learning. Let them paint happy pictures on the book that only have the words.

(Photo Source: hellogiggles.com)

A 10-Day Reflection

For all of us participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge. It is the 11th day and we are still here.

Today, I thought I would be writing something to commend myself about the work that I’ve done in the last 10 days which I would have not known that I am capable of if I didn’t take the challenge.

As a pat in the back, I am compiling all the 10 posts that I did for my 11th day slice.

Day 1: Thank YOU… Each and Every Day

Day 2: Dear Snow,

Day 3: Beyond Numbers

Day 4: To Keep or To Toss

Day 5: Strips of Bacon and Two Eggs

Day 6: March Break Madness

Day 7: Batteries: Do you have one? 

Day 8: Lost and Found

Day 9: The Book With No Pictures

Day 10: Read to Someone

This will also help me to keep track of what I have done. We all live a busy life. With this, I can easily see what I have reflected on or caught my attention for the last 10 days.

Thank you for taking the time to read, comment or share one or two of my thinking out loud. Because of you, I am still here.





Read To Someone

A slice of reading and listening for the Slice of Life Story Challenge: Day 10.

When given enough time to practise, students get the hang of the Daily 5: Read to Self, Read to Someone, Work on Writing, Listen to Reading and Word Work. They look forward doing it and have embraced it as part of their routine.

Today, I got a chance to have someone read to me. Without hesitation, I sat down next to her when she asked me if she can read to me. I felt lucky to be chosen to listen to a story. Most of the time, they want to do it with a friend. On the teacher’s end, we use that opportunity to do some assessment or work with a small group.

This is not the first time that a student read to me but the difference was there’s no assessment involved and I gave very minimal help in reading unfamiliar words. I was all ears on her not because I was trying to find out her reading level but enjoying the way she’s reading me the story. As a reader, she’s reading very comfortably, like a friend.

Students know when they are being assessed. Perhaps, they can also feel some pressure when the teacher has that pencil on hand and is making notes. But when they read without it, the thought flows freely. There is no worry about reading a word incorrectly. There is no worry about anything. Just enjoying the time to read to a teacher.

Necessary as it can be to meet deadlines, pausing for a few minutes to listen not just with our ears and mind, but with our heart and enjoying the moment. Maybe, she will remember it. Maybe not. But I will!


Revisiting My Pedagogy Through the Eyes of Technology

Another school year has ended and as I do my reflection on what I did differently this school year, I would give it to the progress that I made with the integration of technology into my teaching.

My Grade 2 students were able to get a taste of a handful tech tools for fun, creativity and to extend their learning during the last few months of school but I am going to focus on two that we used quite extensively.

This is a common comment from teachers, “There’s so much things to do, so little time.” I can certainly relate to this. Doing a 50/50 time table, my instructional time with my two classes was very limited. My Gr. 2 morning class was with me for Math, Language and part of Science half the day and would go to their French class after lunch. With  2.5 hours with them everyday, that was, when they didn’t have Music, Drama or Physical Education, I knew I needed to find a way to change my pedagogy to maximize student learning. One educator would say, “To get the most bang for your buck, using _______ would help!” I was stressed in finding the missing piece for months.

Just like any other skill, practice makes perfect. How is this possible with time constraint? How can I extend the meaningful learning outside our classroom? How can I motivate my students to own their learning? Reading, writing and math take time to learn, understand and master in depth. Sending them homework over the weekend on paper didn’t provide me value of the learning I was looking for.

Through the support and genius contributions of my #PLN, our class blog, http://kidblog.org/class/miss-manahans-class/ was born! With the pedagogy in mind, technology has helped me to bring out, if not the best, the better of my students in their own pace and space. These were Grade 2’s blogging, entering the virtual world of connectivity and expressing their opinion to the world. They’d learned URLs, how to attach links on their posts, add image header, change font colours while I sit on the sidelines giving feedback on how they can improve on their reading and writing in the form of blogs.

But even when we discussed internet safety and digital citizenship in class, I was still worried about it when they’re at home. Brian Aspinall’s blog on Pedagogy Before Technology was very timely to give me a piece of reassurance that it will be okay. Number 10…We can’t police the internet. We can’t “protect” students from inappropriate ads. What we can do is have conversations. Have discussions about appropriateness and how to handle uncomfortable situations. Let’s educate these young people with the necessary skills to react accordingly to difficult situations, both online and in person and stop hiding behind firewalls. Knowledge is power. Besides, our students see much more outside of school than we realize or like to admit via the interweb or hanging with friends.

No two students are the same in any classroom. They have their own personalities. One student can be very vocal and one can be very strong in writing. I am the latter. Read alouds, shared and guided reading, and read with a partner were some ways that I used to help this student of mine to talk. One day, I asked the class to record their individual reading using Raz-Kids. The student that seldom talks in class recorded and read stories after stories beautifully! 

Pedagogy before technology. With this in mind, I am not using technology in the classroom to produce printed worksheets in a digital format. I love this visual from Zeina Chalich.

As I always say, “Build on the skills first. Then, infuse tech to enhance the learning.”

Embedding technology is like getting out of your comfort zone. It’s not an easy path. As I keep moving forward, I am beginning to see a different perspective. As an educator, are you ready to take the plunge and open yourself to a whole new world of edutech-ing, instead of the word, educating?