Sunday, 14 December 2014

What are Learning Goals and Success Criteria?

Learning Goals & Success Criteria

What are learning goals and success criteria?

Learning Goals PosterLEARNING GOALS: 

These come from the curriculum documents.  They describe what students are expected to know, understand, and be able to accomplish when an instructional period is complete, whether that be a lesson, unit, or course.


These are the specific ways of obtaining the learning goals.  They are concrete examples of what the learning goal looks like.  These are the specifics that we are looking for when assessing and evaluating students.  Success criteria enhance the ability of students to perform self and peer assessments.  The important thing to remember is that this is written in kid language and is created with the students.

Why do we co-create the success criteria with our students?

It's important to make learning relevant to your students.  They need to feel like they are taking an active part in their learning.  Creating success criteria with your students helps them to really understand what successful learning looks like and what their teacher is looking for.

How do I go about creating learning goals and success criteria?

  STEP 1:  
  • Review the overall expectations
  • Choose a specific expectation to focus on

  STEP 2: 
  • The specific expectation becomes your learning goal, but you need to write it in language that your students will understand 
  • Record your learning goal on a poster that you will display in your classroom

This is not displayed to the students, but is relevant in creating the learning goal and success criteria.

3. Use editing, proofreading, and publishing skills and strategies, and knowledge of language conventions, to correct errors, refine expression, and present their work effectively

Use punctuation to help communicate their intended meaning, with a focus on the use of: a capital letter at the beginning of a sentence; a period, question mark, or exclamation mark at the end

  STEP 3: 
  • Display the poster in your classroom and present it to your students
  • Talk about the learning goal and brainstorm ways for your students to show that they understand the learning goal
  • Record these ways of showing that they understand the learning goal in kid language (these are the success criteria) 


LEARNING GOAL: I CAN use punctuation correctly in my sentences.

  • I use capital letters at the beginning of my sentence
  • I use a period at the end of my sentence
  • I use a question mark at the end of a question
  • I use an exclamation mark to show excitement  

Checklist Learning Goals and Success Criteria Poster 

  STEP 4: 
  • Introduce the activity that will allow your students to learn about the learning goal and show what they know
  • Give students the opportunity to self-assess using their success criteria 

Learning Goals and Success Criteria Form for Teachers
**FREEBIE** from Little Monsters Classroom

  • Make a habit of using learning goals and success criteria with your students
  • Encourage students to take charge of their learning and to constantly self-assess by asking themselves if they are completing the success criteria that they helped to develop
  • Keep track of the curriculum expectations that you are covering and the learning goals and success criteria that you and your students co-created
  • Post your learning goals and success criteria posters around the classroom for future reference
  • Create and post posters for ongoing activities (daily writing and reading activities) so that students are always able to self-assess

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

A Week of Holiday Fun - 5 Holiday Activities

Super Fun Holiday Activities

Free Holiday Activity 
Woohoo, to start us off, here is another FREEBIE from Little Monster's Classroom.  

This activity is a great one to post on a bulletin board when parents come to the school for the annual Christmas concert.  My son's grade 1 class did something similar to this last year and the student responses were so adorable.  We just loved reading what our kids and all their friends wished for.

I thought that this activity could start with a brainstorming session about their holiday wishes, then open up an interesting discussion about people in the community and those who are less fortunate.  You could talk about toy drives, the food bank, winter coat drives, and more.  

This activity is a free sample from the Week of Holiday Fun package.  It has 5 different activities that incorporate a variety of cross-curricular printables, including Art, Language, Math, and Social Studies.  

Many of the activities in here are definitely bulletin board worthy.  The cute snowman craft, the abstract tree decorating craft, and the unique snowflake craft are all great activities for decorating the halls and classroom.

The tree decorating activity would make a great Math lesson.  It has 2 pages of shapes that students can colour and cut out.  It would definitely make a good lesson for following instructions.  You could have students do things like, colour the triangle green or colour the smallest polygon brown.  You can also talk about numbers and counting.  You can ask them to paste 5 stars onto their tree or 8 dots.  You can also incorporate patterning.  Have them colour the striped image with a colour pattern, then cut it into strips and paste them onto their tree.


The snowman craft is a fun art activity, but Math can also be incorporated into this activity as well.  There are fun patterns in the bottom corner to ignite ideas for patterns that students can draw onto the different sections of the scarf.  

Students also have to be aware of pasting this craft in order.  They start with the big ball for the base, then the arms go under the second ball, and the scarf goes under the last ball for the head.

This is a different take on the traditional snowflake activity.  These snowflake templates come in different shapes (square, circle, and hexagon) and have fun designs in them (dots, stripes, and elegant swirls).

Students can have fun colouring the designs before they cut out the shape, fold, and make little cut out shapes in their design.

Students probably make snowflakes every year to decorate the classroom, so it's nice to change it up a little bit.

Last, but not least, is the gift tag art project.  This is a nice activity because it allows students to think
about the people they love and create a thoughtful gift tag for those people.

There are 4 shapes for the gift tags and several holiday themed images that they can choose from to colour and add to their designs. 

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Fun Art & Language Activity

Little Monster's Art & Language Activity

Little Monster's Classroom Book Cover 
This is the introductory activity to Little Monster's Classroom.  It's super adorable and seriously fun.  I even had fun making little monsters with the kids.  The best part is that it's FREE!  Who doesn't like free stuff?

It starts off with a cute little comic style story about Little Monster and his friends and all the things they like to do at school.  They talk about center time, so the story is definitely geared for Kindergarten to probably grade 2.  I know some classes still have some language and math centers in grade 2, so it's still appropriate.  The story ends with Little Monster telling the class that they have a new student in their class and it's YOU!  Definitely a great lead up into the art and language activity.  

**Note, if you use this activity for older classes, just omit the story.

Monster Body Parts Their next task is to create their own little Monsters.  It has the cutest little monster parts that kids can colour and cut out or even trace.  There's a body page and a page with eyes, mouths, and accessories.  I'm loving the super hero cape and top hat.  Definitely makes for an ultra spiffy, super hero monster.

I was supplying in a 3/4 and 5/6 class not that long ago and I brought this activity for when we had some extra free-time.  The kids loved it.  I didn't read the story.  I just told them we were doing a fun art activity.  I didn't have them cut out the parts, as I only had one page available.  So, they students just looked at the monster parts and used it for inspiration to draw their own.  They added their own twists to the designs and were super creative.  Their monsters were fantastic.  There were a couple of kids that didn't feel as confident in their drawing skills, so they simply traced some of the features off of the examples page.

Profile Card
When they were done drawing their monsters, I told them that we needed to make a profile card for them, kind of like the ones you see on the back of hockey cards (we have some serious hockey fans in this class).  They thought that was a great idea.  It definitely made the writing portion more enjoyable.  

Since the monsters are their monster selves, all of the questions really pertained to them.  Come to think of it, this would be a great activity for the beginning of the year when you are getting to know your students.  It's also a great introduction to the Little Monster clan if you are planning to use the Classroom Management Resources.

Enjoy this freebie and if you want the full version of this activity with all of the differentiated versions of the art and language portion of the activity, you can purchase it in Little Monster's Classroom.  It includes 14 differentiated monster fact cards that you can post around the classroom and 4 different differentiated versions of the art and writing activity.

Monday, 17 November 2014

The Ultimate Classroom Management & Behaviour Management Package

The Ultimate Management Package

Classroom Management Package
Here's another fun filled package from
Little Monster's Classroom.  This is the ultimate resource for Kindergarten to Grade 2 classrooms with 160 pages of extremely useful posters, worksheets, printables, sticker charts, and more.  It's full of great resources for the whole class and individual student use.  We love it!

We're really excited that the 67 page Emotions Package is included in this kit.  It's an entire month's worth of fun activities to teach students to self regulate and it's also a great resource for anti-bullying initiatives.  Each lesson is about 30-45 minutes of activities, worksheets, drama exercises, fun journaling worksheets that incorporate a fun art activity, and more.

I am a super frugal person, so this set definitely makes my day.  It incorporates a ton of resources and saves me money.  I can use these items all year round, which makes them a great investment.

This set includes everything you need for a successful classroom:
Certificate for the Classroom 
- Day Plan / Visual Schedule / First - Then Chart
- Awards & Certificates
(awards for positive reinforcement, certificates of success, Kindergarten graduation diplomas)
- Groups & Stations
- Learning Goals & Success Criteria Posters
- Name Cards & Sign In Cards
- Special Helper Chart, Cards, & Calendar
- Sticker Charts
(daily & weekly charts)
- Voice Level Poster
- Washroom / Drink Sign Out

Follow the links to discover all the details for each section of this package.  I hope you and your students enjoy it! 

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Emotions Chart - Self Regulation

Emotions Chart

Emotions Chart - Self Regulation Tool
Little Monster's Classroom offers some fun and cute activities for kids.  This set includes a months worth of activities to help students recognize their emotions, triggers, and positive solutions.

This great scale allows students to monitor how they are feeling.  They simply move a paperclip along the scale to indicate their feelings to themselves, a teacher, or others in the classroom.  The cute little monsters just make us laugh.  It definitely puts a fun spin on self regulation.

The set comes with tons of fun activities to help kids learn about their emotions.  From mazes to crossword puzzles to word searches and super cute make your own monster activities, kids will definitely be engaged.

Feelings Journal
We love the journals.  How fun is it to make a little monster to show how you are feeling before doing the written portion?  And it comes with all the little monster parts.  You can choose your eyes, mouths, bodies, and even fun little accessories.  I have to say, even I'm tempted to do this activity.

This work set is so much fun that you could easily do it with your entire class to encourage empathy.  It's great for Safe and Inclusive Schools and encouraging anti-bullying behaviour.

There's even an entire set of matching Little Monster classroom management tools and activities.  Graphic organizers and all sorts of classroom resources.  Try it for yourself.

Anti Bullying - Enemy Pie

Anti Bullying

Here's a fun book to talk about bullying.  This book, Enemy Pie, is about a little boy who for the first time has an enemy.  He's actually jealous that the boy plays with his best friend and invites everyone but him to his birthday party, but he doesn't see it that way.  He has decided that this is his first enemy and an enemy list in his tree house is required.  He asks his dad how to deal with his enemy and his dad suggests making an enemy pie.  He brainstorms all the gross things that could go into the pie and is surprised when his dad makes the pie out of yummy things.  But, his dad makes sense, "Who would want to eat the pie if it was yucky?"  His dad then tells him that for enemy pie to work, he has to be nice to his enemy and spend a whole day playing with him before he eats the pie.  The boy agrees and in the end, realizes, he actually likes his enemy.

When I read this book to my students, we brainstormed things we might put in our own enemy pies.  

After the story, we talked about why he liked his enemy in the end (he didn't know him at first and in the end realized they had lots in common), then we made our own enemy pies.  The students had a great time.  I did this with Kindergarten to Grade 2 students.

How to Make an Enemy Pie

  • Red, blue, and brown construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue 
  • Pencil
  • Cans for drawing circles (coffee cans work well)
  1. Demonstrate how to make the pie
  2. Ask, what goes on the bottom of a pie?
  3. Trace a circle onto brown paper & cut it out for the crust (write your name on the bottom)
  4. Ask, what might go into the pie?
  5. Cut strips of blue or red paper, then cut into little squares for berries
  6. Glue the berries onto the crust
  7. Talk about how sometimes pies have strips of crust on top
  8. Cut strips of brown construction paper for the crust strips and glue them on
  9. Lay flat to dry
Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of this when the kids made them.  It's a shame, they were so cute.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Silent Speed Ball - How to Play

Silent Speed Ball

This game is pretty easy.  It's a great game for filling extra time in the classroom and winding your students down at the end of a busy day.  Kids love this game.  I've played it from Kindergarten to Grade 6 and it's always a hit.

The rules are simple:

  • Everyone stands behind their chair or in a circle (for younger students)
  • No one can talk, but you
  • Students take turns tossing a ball (I use a squishy stress-type ball) underhand to each other
  • They have to sit down if: they miss the ball (needs to be a good throw), throw overhand, hold the ball for more than 3 seconds, or miss the ball (it has to be a good throw - you decide)
  • Near the end of the game, I often implement a 1 second holding rule.  
  • If they miss the ball, I give them one throw before they sit down (this really helps to eliminate any tantrums).  If they talk too much while sitting or are misbehaving, I tell them that only students who are sitting quietly will get the play the next game
Note: I do not give out prizes.  If students ask what they get for winning, I tell them a high five or the knowledge that they made it to the end of the game this time.  I think it's very important for students to increase their intrinsic motivation