T4EA Literacy News

April 2018

Spring Is In The Air!

Spring Writing Prompts

Spring has sprung and it is such an exciting time of year! The air seems to be fresher, there is a little less snow, the days are longer and the temperature is warmer. This time of year, everybody seems to have a bit more energy and a little more spring in their step! it is not only a great time to be alive, it is also a great time to do some writing! So to help you out, I have provided a list of spring writing topics for you to try out in your classroom. Feel free to modify the topics as needed to fit your classroom.

  1. Imagine that Spring Fever was a real person. What would he/she look like? What would he/she do?
  2. Spring is a time of new beginnings. What's something new that you would like to start doing?
  3. Pretend that you are spring cleaning the garage and you find an old wooden box. When you open the box, what do you find?
  4. Write a persuasive letter explaining why spring break should be longer.
  5. Spring cleaning is a time to get rid of things that we don't need. Think of three things you might want to get rid of and explain why.
  6. Imagine that you found a baby bird in your backyard and nursed it back to health. When the baby bird was out of danger, you found out that it had one superpower. Write a story about this super bird.
  7. What do you think is Earth's biggest environmental problem? Write about what you think should be done to solve this problem.
  8. If you were a bunny, where would you want to live? Describe your life in that place.
  9. If you were in charge of a garden, what would you grow and why?
  10. Imagine that you found a magical coin when you were digging a hole in the garden. This coin gives you three wishes. What would those wishes be?
  11. Baby animals are born in the spring. Image you could pick any baby animal to be a pet. Which one would you pick and why?
  12. Imagine that you were so tiny that grass was as tall as trees, and you could use a leaf as a blanket. Write a story about your adventures outside.
  13. Imagine that each season was a person. Describe what each season (he/she) looks like, their behavior and their interaction with each other.
  14. Write a story about your life as a butterfly.
  15. Imagine you have been cooped up all winter and finally the snow has melted and it's a beautiful spring day. How would you feel about being able to get outside? What would you do on a day like this?
  16. Imagine that you took a walk in the park and accidentally upset a beehive. Now the whole hive is chasing you. What would you do? You can make it as silly or as realistic as you would like it to be.
  17. Write a how-to essay related to spring (how to make a bird feeder, how to dye Easter Eggs, how to care for a bunny, how to plant a garden, how to prepare for a nature hike...).
  18. Imagine that you found an egg in the grass and when you picked it up, it took you to another time and place. Write about your experiences.
  19. Describe 5 ways kids can help take care of the Earth.
  20. Write a persuasive essay to convince your teacher to have classes outdoors more often.
  21. Imagine that you were able to find the end of the rainbow. Instead of a pot of gold though, what amazing thing did you find?
  22. Imagine that your class is having a picnic outdoors. Imagine that instead of being a student, you are an insect at the park (ladybug, grasshopper, ant, etc.). Describe this picnic from the insect's point of view.
  23. Write an acrostic poem with the word SPRING or any other word that comes to your mind when you think of the season.
  24. What are 3 things that you are the most thankful for during spring? What makes them so special?
  25. How does spring make you feel positive and hopeful?
  26. Write about your favourite spring memory?
  27. Close your eyes and listen attentively. Do you hear the chipper chirp of a bird? The lazy drone of a honeybee? The rustle of leaves in the elm tree? Write descriptively about what you hear.

- The Teacher Next Door & WriteShop

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Assessments Are Done! Now What?

Your assessments are done! You are feeling proud and relieved! You are amazing!

This is the time to celebrate, and it is also the time to take a deeper look at what the assessments are telling you. Assessments can be tedious and time consuming but they are also very valuable sources of information. They tell you where your students are meeting expectations and/or excelling, and they also tell you where your students are struggling and needing extra support.

Now is the time that you need to sit down and make a list of the extra supports that your students are needing. Here are some things that you might want to consider:

  • What are the skills that your students need to move on to the next step?
  • What can you do to support them in this journey?
  • Has there been progress since the last assessment? If yes, what is the next goal? If no, what is missing?
  • What is one goal that I can set out for each of my students?
  • How can I get the parents on board to reach the goals?
  • Is there a specific skill that the whole class is struggling with? How can you reteach this skill to reach all of the students?
  • What are the learning styles of your students? Are there some that are more prominent that others?
  • What goals can you set for yourself to grow and improve your teaching practice?
  • Keep the goals positive, short and easily achievable.

Assessments are meant to show the teacher what the students know and where they are needing support. They are meant to guide the teacher in planning lessons and grouping students. They are a guide to the goals that the students need to reach the next steps. Take this opportunity of completed assessments to set goals for your students, reflect on your teaching practices and plan your lessons accordingly.

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10 Free Learning Websites For Kids

Recently I stumbled across this list of learning websites for kids and I wanted to share it with you. When I had my own classroom, I used many of these websites with my students on a regular basis. We sometimes used them to teach a particular sound or skill, or we used them in our literacy centers. I, personally, am a big fan of Storyline Online, a site where famous people read stories for the kids. We often watched a video/story when we had a couple minutes before the bell.

Here is the full list, with links for you to check out. I am not sure where the list originated, so I do not know who to give credit to, but I do know we are thankful for their efforts!

Switcheroo Zoo


Watch, listen and play games to learn all about amazing animals!

Fun Brain


Play games while practicing math and reading skills.

Nat Geo for KIds


Learn all about geography and fascinating animals.

PBS Kids


Hang out with your favorite characters all while learning!

Into the Book


Go "into the book" to play games that practice reading strategies.



Practice your phonics skills with these read-along stories.



Read, play games, and hang out with Dr. Seuss and his friends.

Storyline Online


Have some of your favorite stories read to you by movie stars!



Practice math and reading skills all while playing fun games!

Highlights Kids


Read, play games, and conduct cool science experiments!

BEADS Activities To Try Out This Month!

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An Opportunity Of A Lifetime!

Recently some of our schools had the opportunity to work with N'we Jinan, a music initiative that brings a mobile recording studio and a video production team into First Nations schools. The students at Asiniw-Kisik Education Complex (Kawacatoose First Nation) and Kakisiwew School (Ochapowace First Nation) were given the opportunity to write an original song and create a music video that explores relevant issues and promotes a positive message.

If you haven't seen them yet, take a few minutes to check them out!