Mme G.C. -Work in Progress

Instructional Consultant sharing my learning with others. Please scroll way down to follow me!!



A Fish In Foreign Waters

by Laura Caputo-Wickham

I love this book.

Having grown up bilingually in another country and raised my children to be bilingual, I really could relate to it.

Now however,  I think about all the children in our classrooms who come to us speaking multiple languages and I think they too could relate to this book.

As the author states: “You cannot waste precious time looking for the right words, so you pick the first words that come to your head regardless of language.Or the “secret language” that you share with your parent, often used to gossip about people standing next to you assuming they don’t understand (and sometimes your assumption is wrong!).Other common aspects are less amusing, though – like the feeling of awkwardness for being different, especially as a child.”




10 Steps of PWIM step 7

Step 1    Step 2  Step 3   Step 4    Step 5  Step 6  Step 8  Step 9  Step 10

7. Class generates titles, main ideas and topics of study

It is essential to discuss the purpose of the title –it is an introduction to main idea. A title is a promise from the author that the content of the book will match the title.

“Mask’ book titles and show them to students one at a time.


If the author is keeping their promise, the title needs to be about the contents of the book. Let’s look at this book-what is it about? What is the main idea? Can you think of a good title? (generate ideas…let’s see what the author entitled the book…)

Brainstorm things that have titles, together with your students- they will have ideas but you might need to push them-People (Mr. Mrs…), movies, video games…) Tell your students that there are MANY kinds of titles. It is important to be able to make up titles for many things.

  • We are going to look at kinds of titles.
  • Begin an anchor chart with kinds of titles
  • Add the name of each type of title as you go
  • Alternate colours
  • This could be over a week or several days

step7Ali titles (1).JPG

Another way to display titles is by writing them on paper and attaching them above your photo. Make sure that there are several options for students. Avoid voting on a class title and provide students with several options to choose from.

I am attaching a link to the power point I use when teaching titles. Each type of title is a separate lesson. Don’t teach them all in one day!!

A lesson on Titles

Teach Kids not Levels

I was so happy when a good friend and colleague showed me what she had been working on at her school. This poster is displayed in the library and classrooms.  Teachers are trying to teach students to look for qualities in books vs choosing a book by its level. This is so important so that we can enable children to look for real books in the real world.(un-leveled) They are also better able to choose just right books they are interested in. Thank you LB for sharing your thinking!IMG_2083.JPG

Even Fountas and Pinell who created the widely used assessment state: “We did not intend for levels to become a label for children that would take us back to the days of the bluebirds and the blackbirds or the jets and the piper cubs. Our intention was to put the tool in the hands of educators who understood their characteristics and used it to select appropriate books for differentiated instruction.”  Read the article here

Interested in more about  this topic?  Read this book! Beyond Leveled Books by Karen Szymusiak, Franki Sibberson, and Lisa Koch



Mentor Text with What Neat Feet

This is a lesson shared with my team by Emily Calhoun. She used Hana Machotka’s What Neat Feet as a mentor text to help students write a descriptive text called Fascinating Faces Familiar Faces.

what neat 1.PNGWhat neat 2.PNGWhat neat 3.PNGwhat neat 4.PNGwhat neat final.PNG

Teaching with Graphic Novels

Love this display in our Curriculum Materials CenterIMG_2656.JPG

Culturally Responsive Classroom Libraries

We spend a lot of time talking about the importance of quality classroom libraries . One area that is often in need of growth is the culturally responsive section of our libraries. I am very lucky to work with our First Nation Inuit and Métis Consultant on a regular basis. She  put together this document that she has allowed me to share.

  • What should be consistent in Culturally Responsive Classroom libraries?
  • How will teachers know when they are effectively and deeply implementing Culturally Responsive Classroom Libraries?

Please click on the link below and read her suggestions. Thank you Amy!

Culturally Responsive Classroom Libraries Look Fors:


Shi shi etko Jingle Dancer Book images


Think Alouds

It isn’t as important that students can list the strategies as it is to be able to name them and explain how a strategy helps them as a reader. “This strategy helps me to understand the author’s message because…”

Think aloud

Word Study Instruction

I really like this list-it’s so clearly laid out as to where children are and where are they going. You might find you have a great variety in each layer, but it is a good starting point. Assess your students, figure out which layer they are in , decide what to teach next and what flexible groups you can create for a series of lessons. Then assess them again!word

The Bison Kit

I love this new kit that our Curriculum Materials center put together for the Bison. There is such a great variety of literature (both fiction  and non-fiction for teacher read-alouds and student reading) ,as well as a DVD and toy bison in the kit.The Bison kit accompanies our bison photographs in the Picture Word Inductive model and helps to integrate a variety of grade one out comes in social studies, science and health while integrating them through language arts.

Bison Kit

A teacher I have been working with has started a “Bison Notebook” Everyday she takes a photo of a child with the bison. They glue their photo in the notebook and write about the bison. Sometimes it is bison facts, or a made up bison adventure or just a drawing of them with the bison. Each day, the child gets to share their entry with the class. This is a great way to encourage children to present to the rest of the class. Do you know of any materials we could add?


For more ideas, try the Office of the Treaty Commisioner website

Historical Context  Grade 1 Treaty 6 Education

HC13: Explore the many ways people meet their needs from nature and the land on which they live.


Ø  Describe various uses (e.g., food, clothing, shelter) of buffalo, elk, moose, and caribou, now and in the past.

Ø  Compare how people, past and present, live on the land (e.g., agriculture, ranching, trapping, fishing, dwellings, and modes of transportation).

Ø  Explain how people helped and continue to help each other live on this land.

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