“Giftedness is not what you do or how hard you work. It is who you are. You think differently. You experience life intensely. You care about injustice. You seek meaning. You appreciate and strive for the exquisite. You are painfully sensitive. You are extremely complex. You cherish integrity. Your truth-telling has gotten you in trouble. Should 98% of the population find you odd, seek the company of those who love you just the way you are. You are not broken. You do not need to be fixed. You are utterly fascinating. Trust yourself!”

Linda Silverman~Gifted Development Center Denver

Friday 4 January 2013

100 + Follower Giveaway and a FREEBIE!

Well Christmas is over, the New Year Linky Party was a HUGE success! I know you are asking yourself "What have you been doing to keep yourself busy?" I am loathe to admit, I have been doing marking. (Note to self, don't EVER make three major projects due the Friday before the Christmas holidays.)  What was I thinking? I have been teaching long enough to know better.  This lead me to some (not so deep) thoughts and some resolutions...

And,to thank everyone for helping make the Linky Party such a HUGE success I am now going to hold my first EVER giveaway.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you are already a follower...THANK YOU for making my New Year special.  If you are not a follower, please take this opportunity to join in the fun!  You can enter the giveaway in other ways too, follow me on Twitter, or on Facebook, tweet about the giveaway!  I appreciate all the love and support I have been getting!

What about the FREEBIE you ask?  Well, there is a back story to it....so bear with me....While marking, (did I mention I will NEVER do this again over Christmas holidays???) I observed that my students really need to have more exposure to guided language instruction.  I decided to create a plan which combines the forms of writing covered on the "EQAO Assessment of Language and Mathematics" and my classroom instruction.  ( I intend to write a post about that later). While doing some research online, I came across a blog posting which described how some teachers in my school board have been teaching their students to over "APE" (or in my case APEC the construction of extended response answers.  I found this to be an interesting comment, as I have always had great success with my students using the APEC approach.  I stress the word approach, because what I do in my classroom is to teach students HOW to fully answer literature based questions.  I do not encourage them to craft answers in a formulaic or rote fashion.
Needless to say, this blog post got me thinking, (and a little off track of my original research into forms of writing!)
Was there something different I could use along with APEC? I am not willing to give up my successful approach but I am willing to try new things.

This lead me to thinking about what I was doing in January with my class.  As I have for the past few years, I am  going to introduce my favourite novel to the students in January. 

 This novel integrates really well with the grade six science unit "Air and Flight". The students will collaborate in Literature Circles again, and also respond to some specific questions which are structured in a style similar to the types they see on the EQAO Assessment of Language.  For the first few chapters,I usually use APEC to model the questions and answers.  I am fortunate that my students have been using APEC as a scaffold for writing extended responses for a few years now.  I introduced APEC to the staff at my school several years ago, and most have used it with their students. 

Recently, I came across a slightly different method/approach to teaching students how to respond to extended answer questions.  It's called ACE.  I am sure it is not new to most of you...but it IS new to me and will be new to my students.  It will link to their prior knowledge of APEC.  I think my junior level gifted students will be intrigued with the idea of trying to "ACE an ANSWER".   Even I have to admit it's a little more catchy than APEC an answer!

I constructed some simple, colourful posters which I intend to print, laminate and then introduce during the first week back in January while doing some guided and direct instruction in Language.
You can join me in trying this strategy!  Click on the image below for a FREE set of posters. 

Have you used ACE or APE or APEC in your classroom?  What have you observed?  Do the students understand it?  Does it help them respond to questions in a more detail? Share your stories with me.  I would love to hear your feedback!

Classroom freebies


  1. What a terrific freebie! Thank you for sharing this at TBA, I also entered your giveaway! Have a wonderful week!
    Fern Smith’s Classroom Ideas!
    Fern Smith’s Pinterest Boards!

  2. Fern,
    You are such a doll! I am thankful for followers like you who are so positive and keep me motivated. Your blog is fantastic too! And your Pinterest boards....and your Twitter...LOL! My husband would call this a "teacher blogger crush"! Thanks again for dropping by and I'll keep my fingers crossed for you!

  3. As I was reading your post, I was thinking...Wow! This is an awesome teacher because it's obvious you spend a great deal of time thinking, planning and creating things to help your children learn. I came across your blog through Manic Monday at Classroom Freebies. Thanks for sharing!

  4. When I was reading your comment I was thinking "Wow, what a nice person...because you made such a kind comment after wading through my blog post! I am glad you hopped on over...I'll be sure to visit your blog tonight too! Hope you can use the freebie!