By Julie Diamond, OCT
Remembrance Day is on Wednesday, November 11. Whether your child is back to school in person and/or learning at home online or doing homeschool with you, there are many teachable moments to honour this day together. Here are a few that we brainstormed:
1. Read: Books are a great place to start learning something at any age. There are so many books that you and your child can read for Remembrance Day about past veterans and current soldiers. Here’s a list of books by Canadian authors to get you started.
2. Make a Poppy: Whether you use popsicle sticks or pipe cleaners for the stems and a cupcake liner or felt for the red poppy, making a poppy can be a fun and creative way to help your child learn about why we wear one in the first place.
3. Visit a War Memorial: Make some extra poppies and bring them to a local war memorial and pay your respects. Here’s a list of war memorials by province:
4. Fold a Crane: The Peace Crane Project teaches children how to fold an origami crane, write a message of peace and then exchange it with another child in the world. This project teaches hand-eye coordination, geography and introduces children to new languages and cultures. Check out their website for more information.
5. Write a Letter to a Veteran: To help your child understand the significance of the sacrifices and achievements of Canadian veterans, have them write a letter to them. This is a nice way to practice their spelling, vocabulary as well as learn how to write and address a formal letter. Here is a link to connect your family with veterans to ensure your letter gets to your intended recipient.You and your child can make someone’s day a little brighter with an unexpected piece of mail.
6. Donate to your local legion and discuss with your child about the importance of giving back to your community.
How are you and your family commemorating Remembrance Day this November? Share with us in the comments!
By Julie Diamond
This school year, many teachers have been adjusting to teaching online with students they have never met in person and many who have had little to no experience learning online. To create meaningful learning experiences, every educator knows the importance of building relationships and trust with their students before any meaningful learning can take place. But how do you do that online? Here are some ideas we have:
1. Start Later: Use the first couple of minutes online to let your student settle in, get organized and ready. With short sessions, time is important but taking these few minutes can help ease your student into the session, disarm them and get comfortable with you and this new way of learning.
2. Create a To-Do List: Show your student a To-Do list template and review what you are going to do together. Depending on your student, you may want to create this together completely and/or have it created and get their input on a thing or two. Don’t forget to add the mini breaks and fun activities. This To-Do list will help your student feel in control of their learning by checking off things as you go through the sessions. It will also do wonders for their attention knowing when their next break/fun activity is!
3. Warm-Up Exercise: Begin with an activity like a journal entry, mood metre or fun get-to-know-you game that gets your student involved. Once you grab their attention, they are more likely to stay engaged.
4. Use the Chat Box: To keep the flow of the sessions, ask your student to write any questions they have in the chat box. That way you can finish your thought and then review their question(s).
5. Give Your Student Control: Encourage your student to be the teacher. Have them prepare a presentation, lead the guided reading, create a math question for you to solve, etc. These activities push them out of their comfort zone and empowers them to believe in themselves. With all the anxiety and stress this school year, they need the confidence building and support from you now more than ever.
Did we miss something? What do you do online with your students to empower them and create meaningful learning experiences? Comment below!
Julie Diamond is a certified teacher in Canada and the founder of Teachers to Go.
Julie Diamond speaking at the OISE conference for Alternative, Innovative and Inspiring Career Paths for Teachers at the University of Toronto.
Jenna Srigley is the administrative assistant/social media co-ordinator at Teachers to Go and offers invaluable insight as a mom of 2 teens.
Fun Fact: Her and Julie (see above) are also sisters :)