Using Ed Tech to Connect

What Not To Do About five years ago, I discover Google Classroom and some generous colleagues offered to help set it up in my school. That same year, my principal sprung for half a class-set of Chromebooks. The stage was set for a technology storm and that is exactly what happened. Before I knew it [...]

Decoding Gaps Bite Back in High School

I was sitting in a sight word workshop a few days ago listening to the presenter talk about strategically building automaticity with sight words through memory cues and repeated exposure to high frequency words. It was a great workshop that highlighted sight words as an important part of any literacy program. However, it also reminded [...]

The ELL Decoding Tool Box

In last week's post, I shared a story about a student at my school who had been in ELL classes for several years but couldn't read because she was never taught to decode. Her story sparked a great conversation on Twitter from many teachers who had experienced similar decoding gaps in their students. Many teachers [...]

Rhythms that Spark Passion Pt. 1

Explosive Habits and Routines Last night, my wife and I were watching an episode of Carpool Karaoke with James Corden and special guest Billie Eilish. As Eilish recounted her childhood fascination with music, Corden asked her a question that caught my attention. He said, "You had a rule when you were growing up. You're parents [...]

Supporting ELL Students

Some of you know that I've started a new role as an ELL/LST teacher this year.  One challenging part of that role is helping ELL students, many of whom are new comers to Canada and have just been introduced to English.  In my context, these ELL students are ushered into mainstream, academic courses within months [...]

Moved by a Vision of Hope

One definition of "vision" according to the the Oxford Dictionary is the "...ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom." The only thing I would change about this definition is to combine both words at the end of it. Imagination and wisdom are needed to create a compelling vision for the [...]

Celebrate What You Value

The culture of a school, family or organization is shaped by what it celebrates. Schools show that they value character traits or skills by putting them in their vision or mission statement or celebrating them in smaller ways. In classrooms, teachers give out treats for desired behaviour or an extra recess for a collective achievement. [...]