Category Archives: Teacher Resources

Whole Body Listening

I know that at the beginning of the year, I can only get six-eight solid minutes every carpet time out of my students, so I have to make it count. I have found that this isn’t always easy.

So this gang of sweet, great and smart kids likes to shout things, which is not uncommon in classrooms. And there was no trick that I could think of that was helping me solve that problem. I didn’t like asking them to leave our carpet, just because they shouted something out. I’m excited that they’re excited about learning. I want to capitalize on that excitement, but it’s impossible to do so when kids are just shouting over one another to be heard. They have to learn to take their turn. But of course, we forgot that they have to be taught that.

It’s not about being “quiet”, it’s about being respectful to the fact that we need to listen and hear each other while we’re having whole group discussions. It’s about being calm so that you can really hear what someone else is saying. It’s about looking at someone when they speak, so that you can watch their facial expression.

Listening is hard. Listening is hard for adults … can you imagine how hard it is for kids that are just learning to listen?

But with the help of the Cookie Monster, it got a whole lot easier.

The video I’m embedding is called “The Biscotti Karate”, and teaches the Cookie Monster how to listen with his whole body: eyes watch; ears listen; mouth quiet; body calm. And so far, so good – it’s the most respectful I’ve seen them since we’ve started coming together for discussions on the carpet. We’re taking turns, we’re being mindful, and we’re breathing in deep. We’re listening, instead of thinking about what we’re going to say next. We’re reflecting on the words of others, which is an important part of listening.

So really, at the end of the day, the question is this: what does the Cookie Monster have that I don’t? What does he have that none of us have? Watch it to find out.

Our Respectful Robots

In the Grade 4 Core French class, we spent much of the last semester speaking about respect and courtesy, as well as developing language associated with that. The final project for the students was that they build a robot (or draw a poster of a robot) which they would then program to be respectful of others. It was a really fun project, part of the pilot project that CEC Publishing from their unit Mon robot respectueux. With all of these new things for the new curriculum that are making their way out, I figured I would show you what it looks like when these units are being worked on.

Continue reading Our Respectful Robots

Learn To Read Chinese

I wish that this was a possibility with French characters. I’ll have to wrack my brain this summer to come up with a comparison, because I honestly think that her method of putting images to characters is so genius, and can only be beneficial, especially to my more visual learners. If anybody figures out a way, feel free to send your ideas my way! In the mean time, enjoy this really great TED talk.

Legends

While looking for something engaging to teach my intermediate students, I stumbled to find a great set of resources that teach kids about traditional Canadian legends (Aboriginal, French Canadian, etc.). They have all of the educational value that you would imagine: they’re great for listening activities, as there are videos that tell the story of the legend while showing engaging images; they’re great for short, simple comprehension questions, with examples such as True of False and rearranging the statements in the order that they appear in the text; and drama activities, that ask the students to recreate the video they see in a drama skit. Continue reading Legends