Archive | October, 2017

Math Task Cards Patterning (EQAO Grade 6)

27 Oct

Less sunlight. Sudden switch from warm weather to wearing a winter coat. Rain has begun. It’s report card writing season. PA Day today with a math and tech focus. If only the reason for an increase in tiredness and general snappiness was obvious …

Since one of us is teaching in an EQAO focus year, we often have items related specifically towards test prep. This would be one of those items. We have created some math tasks cards for patterning using previous EQAO assessment questions. We did not create the questions; just the cards. EQAO created the questions; we just compiled them. We have divided the questions into three different task card sets. The first set looks at numeric patterning. The second set uses the questions that provide visuals with the patterns.  The third set is based on open response questions.  By consolidating the questions, we hope to save you a bit of time and energy.

That’s all that we’ve got in us today.

We have added in examples from the 2016-2017 assessment; however, if you notice any errors or omissions then let us know and we will update the file.

You can get the files here:

EQAO Patterning Task Cards Brownlee and Belanger

EQAO Patterning Task Cards Open Response Brownlee and Belanger

EQAO Patterning Task Cards Second Set Brownlee and Belanger


Interactive Notebooks in Math (Patterning and Number Sense)

20 Oct

Card and Board Games for English Language Learners

7 Oct

Shameful Secret

Let me just say before I begin my confession, that I have been a teacher for over twenty years.  I have taught multiple grades, self-contained special education classes, and many English Language Learners over the years.  I have even taught teachers which is a unique experience all on its own.  For the most part, I have been pretty successful.  I’ve had commendations from former students, parents and administrators.  I’ve never been fired from a teaching job and I am not afraid to take on a challenge.

Yet, there is one sentence that makes me forget every positive experience that I have ever had in this field.  I hear that sentence and the sweat breaks out all over my body.  My stomach starts to churn.  My eyes begin to dart wildly around hoping to find some form of escape even knowing that there is nowhere to hide.

What is this sentence? (I shudder even writing it.)  It goes something like this…

“Mom, can I get some help with my homework?”

You might not think that the sentence itself is stomach-churning but you have to look at it through my lens.  This sentence is followed by a painfully long time of my repeatedly (and lovingly) attempting to explain how to complete the homework.  Throughout the explanation, there will be eye-rolling, sighing, and the constant statement of “My teacher doesn’t do it like that.”  In all likelihood, tears will finish the episode- either hers’, mine, or both.  (Criers gotta cry.)

There was a forewarning even before homework came along.  My child might have been about three years old.  We were playing together and she said, “Mom, pretend you are a teacher.”  I innocently responded with, “I actually am a teacher.”  She stopped what she was doing and looked me up and down doubtfully.  She must have seen the look of fear on my face because she gently said, “Pretend you are a real teacher.”

I do try to console myself.  There is a long held belief that the shoemaker’s kids go without shoes, and so on for other professions….but seriously, a teacher’s kid who can’t get help with her homework??  Shameful.  Luckily, she has another parent.  Maybe, next time, he can pretend to be a real teacher.

Sometimes, it is better to stick with kids who don’t know you outside of school.  Even better, my students are often new to the country.  They don’t have long-held expectations for me.  They are generally just happy to see me when I show up.  Part of that happiness might stem from the fact that I play games with them to develop both conversational and early literacy skills.