Teachers of Instagram & Hashtags Worth Following!

Have you started to share your teaching journey on Instagram?

At first I really didn't know what to expect and then I discovered that the Instagram community is extremely diverse, dynamic and FULL of amazing ideas and resources for teachers to take advantage of! 

If you're not yet on Instagram I highly suggest that you take the leap today!


What I love about Instagram is that it is real.

It is not exclusive to education.

When you scroll through your feed you will see that people share about their everyday lives as well as their teaching journey. It honestly is a great way to connect with the greater teaching community! 

If you want to follow me you can follow me at @teachingelementaryandbeyond!

Instagram is now my "go to" source for inquiries, provocations and all things educational. Plus, I feel normal human (not just an educator all the time) as I learn about those who are sharing instead of on a platform like Pinterest. I find that on many other networks there is a depersonalization where there is no real live person who is connecting to those who are reading the content.

One cool thing about Instagram is that many, if not all, of your favourite bloggers have an account which you can follow and get to know them on a more personal level.

Many bloggers host fun giveaways and even participate in IG blog hops! 

Here is a list of some great Instagram bloggers that I love to follow. 

They are worth checking out!

Kindergarten to Grade 2

You can find me at @teachingelementaryandbeyond

Grades 3 to 6







@aspecialkindofclass SPED
@adventuresintheatc ASD
@primary.french.immersion French
@plaisirsduprimaire French
@michelledupuiseducation French

Now that you are on Instagram what can you search to find ideas? 

I've collected a wide variety of hashtags for you to check out as a starting point. 

It's a great place to start searching for educational content relevant to your grade and classroom needs. Have fun exploring other hashtags on your own!

Hashtags to check out!

#bts2017 (or other years)

Grade Specific


Sales or Marketing Tags Worth Following


I hope you have found this useful and I look forward to seeing you on Instagram!


Exploring Inquiry in the Classroom

If you are anything like me, adapting to an inquiry approach is often a journey that many of us educators dapple with timidity at first.

This blog post isn't going to explore what inquiry is but how to support providing it in the classroom.

I quite remember my first few weeks and months exploring inquiry which is now three years ago.

I didn't know what to expect from myself or from my students.

I remember wondering...

Will this work?
How will I facilitate students learning?
How do you manage a full class of students while keeping them engaged?
What inquiries do you investigate and which ones get left behind?
How can I justify exploring some topics and not others?
How can we "go deep" when there are so many questions in the classroom?
How do I know what to ask them, probe their interests without overtaking their learning?

Sometimes I felt that I had more questions than answers but I've learned to become comfortable with that.

It took a little while for me to be comfortable with the children leading the learning in the classroom.

When I first started teaching there were certain "themes" that were great for exploring our curriculum at different parts of the school year. My first ECE teaching partner had taught in an inquiry environment for a couple years and she was amazing at reminding me to relax and let the learning just happen - and it does!

One thing that helped me during this process was to post a variety of question prompts in my classroom to help guide my thinking. When my planning time teacher, supply teacher or parent volunteers come in they often reference these questions while engaging with the students in the classroom.

Simple question prompts that guided my thinking included:

I wonder...
How can we...
What are you wondering about that?
Why did you say that?
How do you know?
Why do you think that?

If you want to see the questions I actually posted in my classroom click on the image below.

One of the nice things I have learned about inquiry is that there really is no right or wrong answers. 

I have found that the students really love to guide the learning in the classroom when they are given the freedom to do so!

How do I Include All Students?

This year I plan on being more purposeful for ensuring I capture each student's ideas. 

One way I'm going to be ensuring this is that we will be creating an "I wonder" class book that the students can read throughout the school year. 

I Wonder Book

There will be one or two class books at a time based on the number of students in the classroom. 

The book will go home on the weekend with a student and they can draw a picture and write (or parents scribe) what they want to learn about. 

When they return the book on the following Monday we will have a week to do research about their topic and share the learning with the class!

I am really excited about this opportunity to honor each child's curiosity and am excited to see where our learning will go! If you want to see the booklet we will be using feel free to check it out by clicking on the image below!


Are You Considering SeeSaw for Documentation?

Are you considering SeeSaw for documentation in your classroom? 

I there are many great options about it as well as a few items to think about! 

I recently decided to use the program SeeSaw in my classroom to help with documentation of the learning.

I LOVED parent communication with it as you can send out notes and reminders through it. It is easy and efficient to use. 

My student’s parents absolutely loved looking up their student’s photos, work, and assessments which were shared with them. A few parents checked it regularly and raved about it. Other than that, to be honest, I didn't get any other feedback from the families in my classroom. I loved working with this app!


There is a lot of AMAZING collaboration which can happen with this program! 

So many people have already created many assessment tools to share with others. These can easily be found in collaborative grade Facebook groups or with friends who you know who have created them. 

It helps teachers keep assessment simple and not having to worry about reinventing great assessments which have already been created.

Limited or slow internet?

Consider using a computer to search for assessment or add an assessment to SeeSaw. 

At first, I was using my iPad but I eventually found that this was the most effective way to access all my stored information as my iPad ended up slowing down too much.

With having two educators in the classroom I didn't always know what had been uploaded and the computer provided the fastest "check" for me to see so I wasn't making duplicates!

iPad problems

Our school had purchased a large allotment of iPads for teacher and student use which we have been very fortunate to be able to use. 

The unfortunate part of this is that in order to purchase many iPads, the purchasers sacrificed on storage space and our iPads came with the smallest amount of storage space available. 

Once our Board installed apps were added to them we had next to no storage space left! I found that SeeSaw is a memory hog as it is always trying to access what has been downloaded. As a result, the app crashed all the time. Computers were my lifesaver when using it!

Final thoughts

Ultimately, this upcoming year I will not be using SeeSaw because an administrative decision which is unfortunately totally out of my control. :( We are a pilot school using Google for documentation and I've found it much more cumbersome and less user-friendly than SeeSaw ever was. To be honest, I miss SeeSaw greatly.

If I could, and I had access to better storage on an iPad for convenience, I would LOVE to continue to use it! I highly suggest you try it out!

What have your experiences been with SeeSaw? Please comment below to let me know!


Outdoor Learning: Exploring Paint

Playing and exploring outdoors is one of my favorite ways to extend learning with my students.

We love to add color to our water bottles and spray them onto a variety of materials.

We have brought out mural paper, chart paper and even white sheets like what is shown in the images above.

All of these we attach to our fence and let the kids explore with their creations. 

Materials we used:

dead washable markers - creates vibrant colors which are washable
food dye - be careful as it can stain so only add a few drops
paint - add a couple drops of a water based paint to water and shake to mix the colors up!

Weather Caution:

Be sure to make sure that you do this on a hot day so that the paint dries quickly.

We have had staff leave students art outside after we go inside and it has gotten ruined or blown away creating litter on the school yard.

I firmly believe in modelling respect for the earth and teaching children at a young age to take care of it!


Outdoor Learning: Dance Party Fun

One of my favorite activities to engage our students during our outside learning is to have a dance party. It doesn't matter what time of the year it is, the children all love to dance and have fun together!

I have found that some students simply like to join in by dancing on their own but most of our students enjoy exploring their creative expression using ribbons. They create their own routines together, often explore beat and rhythm or have fun exploring different ways that they can control the ribbons through various movements and the wind!

We pull out our stereo player and let the kids choose what music they want to listen to or sometimes we have a predetermined song list that we play from. In order to have the music have more of a stereo effect so that it will carry further, we put the music player inside a cheap styrofoam cooler from our local grocery store which we always keep in our outdoor storage shed throughout the year with the ribbons. Ribbons are stored in a bucket which is easily pulled out to set up for the activity. We always make sure at clean up time that all the ribbons face upwards so that they do not get knotted at the bottom of the pail.

When dancing with our ribbons we have 3 simple rules:
1. Make sure you don't hit a friend with the sticks (dowels).
2. Ribbons stay off of the ground (so we don't step on them).
3. We never play with them in the rain or in puddles as it makes the wood moldy and destroys the ribbon.

How to make the ribbon wands:
You will need:
1/2" diameter dowels
long ribbon strings - ensure there is no metal so that it won't rust.
dowel caps so the ribbons will not fall off

Cut the ribbon into long lengths all a variety of different sizes.
Tie them onto the end of the dowels as tight as you possibly can so that it shouldn't move around easily. I vary the lengths when I tie them so it is uneven.
Sometimes I'll mix up colors or I'll choose to stick with a color theme. Often times during our outdoor learning our students will change up which ones they use purely based upon the colors available!

How do you engage students in dancing activities during your outdoor learning time? I'd love to hear from you!

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