My Toolbox

This is a collection of resources and supports to add to my toolbox of educational information. These materials will help me someday when I am out teaching in a classroom of my own.

Stepping in For the Day

This post will explore the different resources that I found that have helped me develop my current tub of “tricks” for being a substitute teacher.

Substitute Teacher Tub (SubTub)

One Extra Degree

Sub Hub Online

Corkboard Connections

Teachers Pay Teacher $6.00 resource – 124 pages of a Substitute teacher activities and tricks. This was a strong tool that I used while I was creating my Sub Tub


Resources: Pinterest Boards By Seusstastic

Bucket Fillers

General Classroom Crafts

Teaching Blogs

List of Books to Read

Free Lessons

Lesson Plans

Number Talks

For Educators

Best of Arts Ed – All Grades

Free K-3 Literacy Sources


Future Substitute Teacher Binder

One day, I plan to have a binder that lays out anything that a teacher may need to know when stepping in for the day as the full time teacher. I found  cute title pages for this binder on Teacher Pay Teacher. It was a free resource and a wonderful outline of important sections to have in a binder so any substitute teacher who needs to, can come and run your classroom efficiently.

Template For Sub Binder

Template For Sub Binder – Beach Theme


Categories: My Toolbox | Leave a comment

ESST 310 Community Supports Unit Plan

We were asked to create a Unit plan for our ESST class based on a topic of choice. I chose to create a unit on Grade Three Community Supports. Feel free to take a look at this unit. I plan to continue to develop this unit as time continues, but for now, here is my Unit Plan.

Community Supports Unit Plan – Grade Three

Until next time, thank you for reading my blog!

Categories: ESST 310, My Toolbox, Technology, Units & Lesson Plans | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Resources From Classmates

In the Fall 2015 semester, section 30 of the Elementary Education program at the U of R as worked hard to create multiple resources and unit plans for different disciplines and grades. I wanted to collect them on a post for my blog, so that I can look back at them and use them in my future teaching. Thank you to all classmates who created these resources!  I plan to continue to add resources to this list as I continue in the semester and year.

EMTH 310 Themed Tasks

Grade 1

Grouping, Patterns and Sorting Dinosaurs

Snowflakes Theme Task 1    Snowflakes Theme Task 2   Snow Flakes Theme Task 3

Buttons Themed Task 1    Buttons Themed Task 2    Buttons Themed Task 3

Seasons Themed Task 1    Seasons Themed Task 2    Seasons Themed Task 3


Grade 2

2D & 3D Shapes Version 1:    Themed Task 1    Themed Task 2

2D & 3D Shapes Version 2:    Themed Task 1    Themed Task 2   Themed Task 3 

Grade 3
Number Outcomes: Themed Task 1    Themed Task 2   Themed Task 3 

Grade 4

Mirrors and Reflection Themed Tasks 1-3

Grocery Games Theme:   Task 1    Task 2

Grade 5

Perimeter and Area Themed Tasks 1-3

Building a Town Theme

Categories: My Toolbox, Units & Lesson Plans | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Lesson as Planned: Teaching Physical Education

In our EPE class, we were asked to take all of the knowledge that we have acquired over the semester and use it to create a lesson plan for a physical education class. I really enjoyed making this lesson plan because I gained a large quantity of new knowledge about teaching physical education over the semester and I was excited to demonstrate my learning. The lesson that I created was for a grade four physical education class. I hope that you find it interesting and very different from a standard physical education class.

Skipping and Rhythmic Movements

Please feel free to comment with different ideas and  modifications! Until next time, thank you for reading my blog!

Categories: My Toolbox, Units & Lesson Plans | Leave a comment

Technology in the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics

In my EMTH 310 class we were asked to write a research essay on a trend or issue in regard to teaching and learning mathematics. I chose to write my essay about technology’s role and impact on how mathematics is being taught and learned. I think that technology is a huge part of our everyday learning and it especially has a great impact on learning and teaching mathematics. I am glad that I was able do some research on this topic because it allowed me to think about what impacts the teaching and learning of mathematics. I also appreciate this research because it has opened my eyes to what I can do in a mathematics classroom to ensure that my students are engaged as well as they  understand the content that we are learning. Feel free to check out my essay as it is posted below.

Technology in the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics

Until next time, thank you for reading my blog!

Categories: My Toolbox, Technology | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Understanding Outcomes Presentations

Our first evaluation in ESST was focused around a presentation that helped us understand a certain outcome. I wanted to make sure that for future reference that I have all of my classmates presentation topics and ideas to help me when I am developing lessons. The purpose of the blog post is not to dive into the different topics that were explored but instead to have a reference for future to use these ideas. Please feel free to click on any of the links below and explore the different topics that my classmates created small activities on.

Grade Outcomes Link to Handouts
2 DR2.3
3 DR3.1 Teaching the Outcome – Resource Package
3 DR3.1 Miss Kohuch’s Blog – Understanding Outcomes Presentation
3 DR3.1 Miss Duarte’s Guide to Learning – Understanding Outcomes Presentation
1 PA1.1 & PA2.2 Grade One Power and Authority
1 DR1.3 Grade One Dynamic Relationships
3 IN3.3 Grade Three: Interactions and Interdependence of Nations
K DRK.1, DRK.2, DRK.3 Kindergarten Dynamic Relationships Outcomes
2 PA2.1 Grade Two Power and Authority
K INK.1 Kindergarten Interaction and Interdependence Outcome
2 IN2.1


Our section evaluation piece was based on the creation of a creative set that would connect to the unit that you would be starting but also would present the information in such a way that would engage the students. These sets included:

  • Scavenger Hunts
  • Songs
  • Dances
  • Small Activities
  • Multimedia
  • Skits
  • Introduction to Unit Routine

Creative sets are a very important part of lesson planning because you need to grab your students interest in a topic before you start teaching the material. This will ensure that they are paying attention, actively engaging and ultimately creating meaning making. In my ECS 3o1 class, we were asked to come up with as many creative sets as we could. Some ideas that came up included:

Creative Sets could be about: Voice, Actions, Interest, Intrigue and Wonder. The set should relate to the end of the lesson. What is it that I want them to know at the end of this lesson.


Topic Set Ideas
  • Make a sundial with class outside
  • Make a large clock on the floor for a phys. ed game.
  • World Clocks
  • Big Comfy Couch (Learn about Clocks with Molly)
  • Show clock segment from “Hook”
  • Exploration box
  • Make your room into the habitat that you are learning about.
  • Building miniature habitats
  • class pet (fish – one time show)
  • nature walk
  • Animal planet interactive habitat CD (mid 2000’s)
  • Poetry Scavenger Hunt
  • Drama-Read poem and then act it out
  • Children making slam poems rap
  • Music
  • Role Playing
  • Tooth Paste Activity
    • Two students, raced to empty a toothpaste, try to put back in relate to our words
  • Puppet Show
  • Video
  • Feeling Circles

Until next time, thank you for reading my blog!

Categories: ESST 310, My Toolbox, Units & Lesson Plans | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

UR Pride Presentation: Where Was I?

On November 23rd, our ESST class was cancelled as there was a LGBTQ community presentation happening. Many of my classmates attended this presentation; however, I did not. Thankfully I have a wonderful classmate who shared her wonderful experience, at the presentation, with me. I cannot directly comment on the presentation because I was not there, but a good reflection of the presentation can be found on Miss Waldbauer’s blog. I think that presentations such as this one, that focuses on inclusion and ensuring that teachers are aware of the important terms and concepts related to the LGBTQ community, is extremely important in order to have  a positive and safe classroom experience for all students. Below I wanted to share the presentation handout from the evening.

Photo Credit: Miss Waldbauer's Blog

Photo Credit: Miss Waldbauer’s Blog


Photo Credit: Miss Waldbauer’s Blog

While this presentation was on, I was at home working on a large unit plan that was due the next day. This unit plan was for my ESCI 310 class. The unit that I developed was Grade Five: Weather. This was a fun unit to prepare and create. I enjoyed exploring for engaging and educational activities that would help my students understand weather better through hands on experiences.

My weather unit can be found below as well as it is included in my Unit and Lesson Planning section of my blog. A full breakdown of my Weather Unit can be found here! I hope that you have a chance to check it out.

Until next time, thank you for reading my blog!

Categories: ESST 310, My Toolbox | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Exploring Contemporary Issues and Protocol

On October 26th, we had some very special guests come into our classroom and discuss with First Nations content, integration into classrooms and proper protocol. This was an excellent, engaging and intriguing presentation. To start off the evening, we had Allison Kimberly speak to us about stereotypes. This was an interesting experience for myself as I felt awkward to say stereotypes out loud, especially the ones that I do not believe. I thought that Allison’s information was very informative as it opened my eyes to the different stereotypes that are prevalent in many stories, toys and games especially for children. As terrible as the different items in the “poison box” were, I felt that it showed us how there are stereotypes in every aspect of our lives. I really enjoyed the poison box activity also because it sparked meaningful and interesting conversations between myself and my classmates.


After class, I was exploring our ESST class blog and I found a link to Allison’s Aboriginal perspective at uregina.caAboriginal Perspectives Website. This website is a resource focused on providing a well rounded idea of aboriginal perspectives for teachers and students. I really enjoy the different videos that are on this website, as it provides a multimedia way to learn about these perspectives. I think that this is important for educators as it can help develop an stronger understanding for teaching about aboriginal perspectives.


The next portion of our presentation was focused around the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and how this is a problem that is impacting our world today. Although the government does not seem to think that this is an important topic, I think that it is because it shows of Indigenous Women are viewed as less than other women in the world. For my future students sake, I want to ensure that this issue is talked about and that all of my students feel valued and represented in our classroom. I think that our society will never changed unless we as educators ensure that these issue are discussed and that students formulate their own understandings and opinions. We must educate our students to see the potential and equality in everyone no matter their gender, race, religion or cultural belief system. I found this portion of the presentation very significant for my future teaching.

When it comes to practicality, the last portion of the presentation provided me with extremely important information for my future classroom. Vic Starr presented on cultural protocol. When we tool Treaty Training, I always wondered about the process to create a tobacco pouch or gather tobacco to give to an elder upon their entrance to your classroom. This presentation helped me realize that there is not correct way to gather the tobacco, but the most important part is to present it to the elder in a kind and respectful way. In my future teaching, I want to make sure that I use professional development pieces such as this presentation to help myself understand other worldviews and traditions with an open mind. When we got to make tobacco pouches, I was very excited because I felt that I was gaining knowledge that I could directly see how it would benefit me in the future. As a university student, moments of clarity such as that one are extremely important.

From this presentation, I am taking away a stronger understanding of my role in incorporating First Nations and Metis content in my everyday lessons.

Until next time, thank you for reading my blog!

Categories: ESST 310, My Toolbox | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

New Knowledge and Inspirations – ESST 310

This semester of ESST 310 has provided me with a wealth of new knowledge about teaching social studies. Starting off the semester, I was not sure with what it would be like to teach social studies. I really enjoyed that this class was focused on the different areas of social studies. I found that it was particularly important that we talked about Power & Authority as I did not truly understand what this topic was about besides discussing government. We explored multiple resources throughout the semester that helped me develop a better understanding of power and authority as well as other social studies topics. This blog post will dive into a two of the resources that we explored in class and explain their importance for myself as a future teacher.

  1. Worldview Reading This is a resource from the Treaty Essential Learning Booklet created by the Office of the Treaty Commissionaire. This reading is important as it helps develop an understanding of First Nations TELS Cover:Layout 1.qxdWorldview. I appreciated this resource as it recognizes the different First Nations and it ensures that any discrepancies between the different groups are displayed. This shows readers that not all First Nations groups are the same. I think that this resource is extremely important as it provides teachers with an understanding of some of the beliefs and systems of First Nations people. One strong section that stood out to me in this reading revolves around the Tipi Teachings (Office of the Treaty Commissionaire, 2008, pg. 37). I appreciated this because I knew that each of the 15 poles in a tipi had a meaning, but I did not know what those meaning were. In a future classroom, I would love to chat with my students about the different meanings of the poles and then bring in an elder or professional to fully explain the placements of the poles as well as show my students how a tipi is assembled. I think that this would be a very worth wild and  knowledge building opportunity for my students.

Office of the Treaty Commissionaire. (2008). Treaty Essential Learnings: We Are All Treaty People. Library and Archives Canada Cataloging: Montreal.

  1. Story of the Bean This article is focused on incorporating indigenous knowledge into your everyday teaching. I appreciated this story because it focused on thinking beyond the textbook when you are teaching. I think that as a future teaching, it is extremely important to think about the messages, biases and purpose behind what we are teaching instead of just teaching knowledge from a textbook. I appreciate this new wave of teaching because it forces teachers to be more reflective as well as inclusive to all. In the end, this new wave of teaching will help redefine education and fostering the future citizens of tomorrow. I encourage all teachers to read this story as it will open your eye to thinking about what you do in the classroom through more lenses than just your own. In my future classroom, I want to use this story as a reminder that I should look at each piece of information that I teach to my students in a very multifaceted way by ensuring that any other worldview representation are connected.

Brayboy, B. & Maughan, E. (2009). Indigenous Knowledges and the Story of the Bean. Harvard Education Publishing Group: Cambridge, MA.

These two resources have helped me gain an understanding into the importance of incorporating indigenous ways of knowing in my everyday teaching. I feel that it is important not only to incorporate indigenous ways of knowing, but also to think about the other demographics that represent my students and insure that each child in my classroom feels represented in the classroom culture as well as in the classroom activities and literature. I know that creating a multicultural classroom will be difficult, but it is worth wild and meaningful for my students development.

Until next time, thank you for reading my blog!

Categories: ESST 310, My Toolbox | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Made to Fit – Grade Four Mathematics Games

I was exploring some tasks for grade four students to do in a mathematics class, when I game across this wonderful resource made by the Horizon School Division in Saskatchewan. This resource is a collection of mathematics games and activities that are categorized under the different grade four mathematics outcomes for Saskatchewan. This is a wonderful resource as it allows teachers to find fun and engaging activities that fit into the curriculum. I plan to use this list of activities during my pre-internship as sponge activities in the classroom. I strongly encourage other teachers to explore and use this resource in Saskatchewan.

Grade 4 Websites Based on Saskatchewan Curriculum (2007)

Until next time, thank you for reading my blog.

Categories: ESST 310, My Toolbox, Technology | Leave a comment

Evaluating Power and Authority Resources 

We were asked in class to evaluate a number of resources that had to do with Power and Authority. Below you will find a break down of each resource with what it is, good and bad features and if I would use it in the future!

  1. Roles in Ontario Parliament
    1. What: This resource provides lesson plans regarding parliament structures and helps students learn about it.
    2. Good Features: Great information
    3. Bad Features: Made more for high school due to the content level and  structure of the resource
    4. Would I use this?  If I was teaching high school students about the different levels of government I would use this resources. For elementary grades, I would use this resource as a support for my own learning.
  2. Games and Quizzes
    1. What: This resource is activities for students who are learning about the different levels of government
    2. Good Features: Games and Activities to help make learning about the government more engaging and entertaining
    3. Bad Features: Not made for elementary, more made for higher levels such as high middle years or high school
    4. Would I use this? I would use this with older students
  3. Saskatchewan Teacher’s Institute for Legislative Assembly
    1. What: This resource provides you with an opportunity to learn hand on about our parliamentary system so that you can more effectively teach students about our government and increase engagement with involvement in the government (such as voting)
    2. Good Features: Provides teachers with an opportunity to learn hands on about things that they need to teach their students about.  The website provides great information about electing members, voting  and how laws are made.
    3. Bad Features: Must apply for the hands on opportunity. Not all get to go on it.
    4. Would I use this? I think that I do not know very much about the parliamentary system; therefore I think that I would use this resource as one way to better understand information that I need to find a way for my students to also learn and understand.
  4. Municipal Information
    1. What: This resource is based for municipal power and authority. This resource goes over things like community regulations and other laws that are specific to towns and municipal area.
    2. Good Features: Easy to maneuver. Made for educating adults, but could be used with a group of older students. As an educator, you might have to help the students understand the information in the sections as some of the terminology may be too complex.
    3. Bad Features: Unengaging presentation of material.
    4. Would I use this? I would use this resource to help myself, as the teacher understand the concepts more in regards to power and authority.
  5. Grade Two – Integrating First Nations and Metis Perspectives (Social Studies)
    1. What: This resource is a document that is focuses on integrating First Nations and Metis Perspectives into Grade Two Social Studies.
    2. Good Features: Made by a classroom teacher. Easy to read, sectioned off.
    3. Bad Features: Wish their was diagrams to go along with medicine wheel references.
    4. Would I use this? Absolutely!
  6. Grade Six Power and Authority Unit
    1. What: This resource outlines what a grade six power and authority unit plan could look like.
    2. Good Features: Blooms Taxonomy Reference, Lesson plan included
    3. Bad Features: Missing a few elements (Rubric and Misconceptions), additional resources are not available as they are listed to have been saved on a private T-drive.
    4. Would I use this? Yes, but would need to spend time creating worksheets and customizing lesson plans to fit my context.
  7. 1-5 First Nations, Metis & Inuit Perspective Integration in Social Studies
    1. What: This resource provides further resources for different outcomes and indicators in the curriculum.
    2. Good Features: Content is great to help lead your own integration of different worldviews into your classroom.
    3. Bad Features: No Lesson Plans
    4. Would I use this? Yes I would use this resource to help me get an idea of how to integrate First Nations, Metis and Inuit perspectives into my teaching while I was planning.
  8. First Nations, Metis, Inuit Cultural Handbook
    1. What: This resource was created to help non-aboriginal teachers understand different cultural items and ceremonies so that teachers can discuss and present First Nations, Metis and Inuit perspectives in a positive and  non-offensive manner.
    2. Good Features: Terminology explains many things that non-aboriginal people do not understand
    3. Bad Features:
    4. Would I use this? Yes! I loved this resource because it will help me be respectful when it comes to different ceremonies and worldviews. Being culturally sensitive is something that I worry about and I always want to work towards improving in my teaching.
  9. Teacher’s Kit
    1. What: This resource was created in order to help teachers understand different terminology and concepts in regards to politics and government.
    2. Good Features: Presents information for further learning. Gives an idea for preparing lesson plans involving this topic.
    3. Bad Features:
    4. Would I use this? Yes, I find that I could use all the help that I can get in regards to parliamentary systems as I feel that my knowledge and comfort level with the topic is very low.
  10. Treaty Four Worldview
    1. What: This resource provides an insight for non-aboriginal people to help teachers understand the different indigenous world views that exist within Treaty Four.
    2. Good Features: Directly made for Treaty Four area which is the area around Regina and extended from there. This is specific to help teachers understand the different world view that they may encounter in their teachers or the different worldviews that they should present to their class.
    3. Bad Features:
    4. Would I use this? Yes, I really think that it is important to ask questions and learn about other cultures and other worldviews; therefore, I believe that this resource would be very beneficial for me as a future educator.


Until next time, thank you for reading my blog!

Categories: Class Topic, ESST 310, My Toolbox | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Creating my Teaching Toolbox

Throughout our ESST 310 class at the University of Regina, we have been looking at how technology can be used to teach social studies in the elementary year. Technology has become a part of our every day lives and without it we would not have many of the luxuries that we currently do. As teachers, we must adapt and change towards the way society is evolving. It is out primary job to foster student learning of essential information and skills that they will require in the workforce someday.  As an educator, technology should not be our foe, but instead a great tool to use to bring learning to life for students and provide them with multiple learning experiences. Robot

I strongly agree with this photo above. Teachers who are embracing technology in this current age will likely replace those teachers who do not incorporate technology into their teaching. I appreciated this ESST 310 class for the reasons that we were shown various tools that we can use to help enhance and differentiate our teaching for future students. Below, you will find various tools that we were introduced to in the Fall 2015 semester and how they can be used in a classroom or as a support.


Kahoot is a interactive website that allows teachers and students to create a multiple choice question game. kahootTo play the game, students can use personal technology and access the game with a code through This game has not limit on the number of players, which provides teachers with the freedom to use this tool with any size of classroom. The easy to use shapes and colors for recognition of answers allows for this tool to be used with multiple grade and learning levels. In a classroom, this tool could be used as a formative assessment, a fun recap of information or to help make a decision in the classroom. With Kahoot, students are actively engaged in their learning which ultimately helps increase what they are learning and what they will remember. I plan to use this tool as a way to get my students excited about a topic as well as using it to make classroom decisions. If you have not tried kahoot yet, I would strongly recommend it as it is a great tool that teachers and teachers love using. 

Remind Meremind

Remind Me is an application that send out reminders to a select group of people. This tool can be used in a classroom as a way to have classroom reminders sent out to parts or in high school the students themselves. With Remind Me, teachers are able to be more transparent with parents and let them know when things are happening in the class or when their child is required to bring soremindmething to class or finish some homework. To sign up, teacher go to and sign up. When a teacher creates a “class” on remind me, they can then send out a number and a code to parents and guardians of their students. For parents and guardians to sign up for the reminders, they simply just have to send a text message to a classroom number with the body text of a certain classroom code. This information is produced when the teacher creates and signs up a class. After parents and guardians have subscribed to this messaging system, all the teacher has to do is select a class and type in a message. This message will be sent to all of the “students” in the classroom.

I love this tool because it provides teachers with the opportunity to let their student’s parents know what is happening in the classroom as well as if there is anything particular that the students need to bring to class or complete at home. I intend to use this tool someday in my classroom as it will allow me to have the opportunity to keep my students parents and guardians up to date with our classroom experience. I strongly recommend that all teachers try this app out. This is a great example of how technology has advanced out world and has provided us with a great support and amenities.

Google Docs

Google Docs is not a new piece of technology for myself, but it is a great tool especially in the classroom. Google Docs is an online word document program that mimics Microsoft Word. This allows you to create documents that are all saved online on your Google Drive. Google Docs makes collaboration seamless as multiple people can edit
the same documGoogle Docsent at the same time and see the changes live as they occur. This allows for great teamwork and presentation building. One of the best things about Google Docs is that the doc saves automatically every time you make a change to your document. With having the document saved online, you can access your work anywhere that you have a device and internet access. Google Docs also has a function to change the privacy settings so that you can allow anyone with your link to either view, edit or comment on your document. 

I have had a great amount of experience with Google Docs as I own a Chromebook. This device is a Google laptop that does not save any information locally or on your computer. All documents, pictures and data are saved to your Google Drive, which is an online database of documents and information of documents that you create using the google-driveGoogle Application.

These three tools are excellent for incorporating technology into your classroom in a meaningful way. I intend to use/ continue to use these tools in my future classroom. Please comment below your thoughts on any of the resources posted above. I love hearing about how different classrooms are using tools to increase their classroom experience!

Until next time, thank you for reading my blog!

Categories: My Toolbox, Technology | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Defining Power and Authority in the Classroom: Classmate Article Review

After exploring the power and authority article that I found in regards to democracy and Building Future Voters I looked into what my classmates explored for their articles. I looked at a few different resources from my classmates and I found two that I want to add to My Toolkit for teaching. Miss Larson found an article about creating a classroom environment that encouraged students to find their individual power in the classroom and use it to engage in the activities and learning that was occurring. One thing in this article presented to me that I really liked was the idea of providing students with the opportunity to create their own guidelines in the classroom. By allowing students to create their own guidelines for behaviors in the classroom we as educators are empowering students to take responsibility for their actions and be able to hold them accountable for what they do.  A key point for my future self as an educator is the next 9 steps in creating a shared vision of what the classroom should look like. This is  directly from chapter four of the Classroom of Choice book by Jonathan C. Erwin.

Steps to Developing A Shared Vision of Your Classroom Environment with your Students

  1. Identify the Behaviors and Attitudes
  2. Create a Living Space
  3. Create Symbols
  4. Placing the Symbols in  the Living Space
  5. Group Presentations
  6. The Whole Class Living Space
  7. Give to Get
  8. Get a Commitment
  9. Keep It Alive

This template of creating a vision of your classroom with your students allows students to clearly understand how they should behave or act in the classroom. While I was reading Miss Larson’s blog post and article about this topic, I started to think about a video by Harry Wong that was shown to all 3rd year Elementary Education students in the TPC on Wednesday, September 23rd. A short clip that can be found here, is a small segment on the large 55 minute video created as a resource around classroom management and strategies for teachers. The Power in the Classroom article that Miss Larson found mirrored many of the times that Harry Wong mentioned in this video. Something that stood out to me between the two is that if you give students the opportunity to make decisions that affect them and help clarify your instructions and intentions, students will achieve and be successful in school. No child is able to be successful if they feel their opinions do not matter or if they do not understand what they are being asked to do. I plan to look back at the Power in the Classroom article and the Harry Wong book, “First Days of School” as I continue in my teaching.

The second article that I wanted to add to my teaching toolbox was read by Miss Russell and it focuses on the balance between being a strict teacher and being a flexible teacher. The article entitled Classroom Management: Finding the Balance Between Too Rigid and Too FlexibleIn this article, the author, Maryellen Weimer discusses whether it is better to be a rigid and strict teacher or a flexible teacher. While I was reading this article, I started to  make connections to student-led teaching and my concerns related to it. I find that I am worried that I will give my students to much freedom and therefore I will end up with a classroom management issue. I started thinking about how I could ensure that I was able to be a fun, engaging and enthusiastic teacher while still keeping students learning on track. I realized that Maryellen Weimer’s article reminded me of the one I read by Jonathan C. Erwin about Power in the Classroom.

The following quote was a segment of the Weimer article that stood out to me as it made rigid teaching seem so awkward for me.

If all potential challenges to authority are headed off at the pass, then the teacher can devote full attention to the content, and isn’t that where the teacher’s expertise really shines? And so the classroom becomes a place that showcases teaching more than learning?

What I take away from this quote is that if we only focus on keeping students in their desks and avoiding classroom disruptions then all teachers have to focus on is the content. If teacher only focus on the content then the most important part of teaching is left out and that is the experience of the students. We do not want to have an environment where students get hurt, feel uncomfortable or unwelcome, but we want life to happen in our classroom so that we can use it to teach our students not only about the content but also about the interpersonal skills that are need to survive in our social world. I loved reading this article as it made me think about where do I stand and how do I think about power in my classroom.

Here is my conclusion, these two articles made me think about the power that we as teachers have to decide what our authority is in the classroom and how we will use our power to encourage our students to find the power they each hold within. I look forward to referring back to these articles as I grow and develop my teaching philosophy and practice.

Until next time, thank you for reading my blog.


Categories: ESST 310, My Toolbox | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Interactions and Interdependence: Understanding Outcome Resource Package

The world of outcomes and indicators can get very complex and confusing. In my Educational Social Studies 310 class during the fall of 2015, we were asked to take a strand of the Social Studies curriculum and decide on a outcome to deconstruct for a presentation. My group of Miss Berner and Miss Waldbauer and I decided to look at the grade three social studies strand called Interactions and Interdependence of Nations. We chose the outcome IN 3.3: Illustrate examples of interdependence of communities. We created a lesson plant that we would use with a grade three classroom as well as an adapted version of that lesson to keep our fellow Elementary Education colleagues engaged in our 20 minute presentation of the outcome.  The resource package below contains our lesson plan as well as resources that can help educators develop their own activities for the Interactions and Interdependence of Nations strand in grade three social studies.

Interactions and Interdependence of Nations Grade Three Resource Package

Until next time, thank you for reading my blog!


Categories: ESST 310, My Toolbox, Planning | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Building Future Voters: A Power and Authority Classroom Resource

The article that I chose to look in regards to Power and Authority in the classroom is not an article at all. The resource package that I looked at is called Building Future Voters and it is intended for grade six students. This resource is focuses on engaging students in elections, democracy and voting so that they will be engaged citizens that will vote.

Let’s quickly look at the context of voting in Canada. In the 2011 Federal election, only 61.1% of eligible Canadians came out to vote according to the Elections Canada Website. There was a large gap between which age groups came out to vote. Only 38.8% of Canadians ages 18-24 came out to vote while 75.1% citizens ages 65-74 came out to vote. This is a sign that the younger generation does not see the importance in voting like the older generation does. One way that we can change this as educators is to have lessons and units that engage students in democratic processes so that they see the importance of their one vote. By providing educators with resources such as this resource package, that I will elaborate on later, will help create engaged young citizens of today’s youth.

What is in this resource package you may ask. Well let us take a look. This resource was made in Alberta by Government officials and teachers in various schools in the year 2008. As this resource talks about encouraging students to be active voters, it’s goal is to encourage students to get involved in democratic processes, see the value of democracy and when they are of age, be active and engaged citizens in voting. Even though this is an Albertan resource, it is still relevant to Saskatchewan students as we still talk about being involved in democratic actions and government elections. Although this resource was made for grade six students in Alberta, it can be transferred to grade 5 social studies in Saskatchewan. The outcome that fits the best with this resource package is PA 5.2: Explain the purposes and functions of governance structures in Canada, including First Nations systems and those patterned on the Westminster parliamentary system.

One thing that I really like about this resource is that it lays out the sequence of learning about democracy on pages 9 and 10 of the document. This is helpful if you are a Saskatchewan teacher or from another province and want to adapt this unit to your classroom. These learning sequences give you an idea of where to go in your teaching so that students end the unit understanding that democracy is important and that being involved in democracy is important as a Canadian. This resource provides a structure for inquiry with students as well as what is the purpose of each step of the inquiry process and why is it important. The vocabulary and assessment tools built into this document is very helpful and beneficial for teachers who are evaluating and wanting to use this resource.

The Building Future Voters resource also provides educators with lesson ideas, rubrics and differentiation tools to help students understand and become engaged in the material. This resource is an excellent tool for educators who are looking to find a starting point and framework for a unit around democracy in the classroom and the country.

Building Future Voters Resource Photo

This is a document that I will be adding to my toolbox to help me if I am ever in the position of teaching grade five students about Power and Authority in my future.

Until next time, thank you for reading!

Categories: ESST 310, My Toolbox | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Create a free website or blog at

April Hoffman

In teaching others, we teach ourselves.

Miss Styre's Treaty Walk

Exploring my understanding of myself as a Treaty person

Brooke Robson

As long as the sun shines, rivers flow, and grasses grow.

Ms. D's Learning Lounge

Actively Learning Together.

Right Off The Roll

Where passion, fun and creativity meet.

ESST 310 -020 Winter 2016

Collaboratively Innovating Citizenship

Kendra Leier

Always learning. Learning in all ways.

Barry Crisp | B. L. Crisp

Father and Writer

Jenna deBoth - Blog

Exploring And Thriving In The World Of Education

The Daily Post

The Art and Craft of Blogging

The Blog

The latest news on and the WordPress community.