Tag Archive: teaching

Sep 01

Spark Book Review: The Science of Exercise and the Brain

Changing thinking about exercise and the brain Written by bestselling author and psychiatrist John J. Ratey with Eric Hagerman, Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain is a positive book that looks at how exercise can improve neuroplasticity, learning, and executive function. It suggests exercise as a helpful addition to medication, or sometimes even a replacement …

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Feb 22

Why your chapter book makes me angry

  I read a lot of books as a teacher-librarian, and I’m no literary snob when it comes to children’s fiction. I’m delighted to see children reading series fiction, and the kind of stories that will be called genre fiction when they are older: adventure, fantasy, mystery, science fiction. I’m happy to see them devour cookbooks, sports …

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Dec 29

Shared Writing and the Classroom Novel

The popularity of fantasy adventure novels hasn’t dwindled since Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Teachers capitalizing on this popularity can inspire student writing, without marking more pages than Lord of the Rings. Today, I’m going to talk about shared-world ‘novel’ writing. This is something I did with a class of gifted grade four students, …

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Oct 02

Student Movies that Teach

We have a perennial problem at our school. The kindergarten students have trouble logging in to the board-wide computer system. The login uses a general user name and a shared password. This system is handy for sharing bookmarks and works perfectly for first grade and up, but it baffles many four and five-year-olds. The biggest …

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Aug 22

Creative Teaching Newsletter – Poetry Slam

The very first Creative Teacher Librarian newsletter has been sent. Subscribers will receive a mini unit introducing spoken word or ‘slam’ poetry. Tips, instructions, useful links and a Spoken Word Rules page are included. Lessons can be adapted for a wide range of ages from grade school to high school.   Back-To-School with Feeling: Poetry in September Poetry gets …

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Aug 20

Cursed Dishes by Jennifer Lott

I recently enjoyed interviewing Jennifer Lott about her first chapter book. As an early childhood educator, she had insights into writing for children and teaching as well. Cursed Dishes is based on a ‘revenge’ story Lott wrote when she was sixteen about her uncooperative younger sisters. Ten years later this completely reworked version is volume one in the Family Magic series, …

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Aug 14

Make a Chapbook or Booklet – DIY Video

Getting Started with Chapbooks and Brochures Give your students recognition for their excellent creative writing by publishing a short story anthology, or connect school and home with a booklet of favorite family recipes, or a homework guide for parents. From poetry chapbooks to collections of cartoons, publishing little books helps generate excitement for literacy. When you arrange a book launch …

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Aug 06

Out of Our Minds by Sir Ken Robinson

Out of Our Minds: Learning to Be Creative with Sir Ken Robinson When you research creativity in education, it is impossible not to come across Ken Robinson’s provocative work. His book, Out of Our Minds, published in 2001, revised in 2011, is still fresh and powerful. In part a scathing critique of the factory model …

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Jul 31

Are Flipped Classrooms Bad For Students?

Students today have grown up in a digital environment. They do not remember a time before Googling was a verb or before games were ubiquitous on smart phones and computers. This makes today’s kids the most informed and sophisticated generation of entertainment consumers, but it undermines the value of educational videos. In the past, when …

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Jul 28

Flipped Classrooms and the Cardboard Challenge

Here are a couple of creative back-to-school ideas to get excited about. The first is the story of one little boy’s ingenuity which became a movement schools worldwide can participate in. It’s called the Cardboard Challenge and it combines play, creativity, technology and community in a heartwarming way. If you are looking for a way …

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