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Thursday, 26 December 2013

Call for Proposals 2014-2015 - Education Partnerships Program (EPP) and First Nation Student Success Program (FNSSP)

Call for Proposals 2014-2015 - Education Partnerships Program (EPP) and First Nation Student Success Program (FNSSP)

The Harper Government has joined with First Nation parents, teachers, leaders and other interested First Nation stakeholders on the development of a First Nations legislative proposal. The Harper Government has been consulting with First Nation groups to ensure First Nations have the same opportunity to succeed in their education as all Canadians, and to implement the principle of First Nation control over First Nation Education.

On October 22, 2013 Minister Valcourt wrote to more than 600 Chiefs and Band Councils across the country. First Nations and provincial leaders, as well as other interested stakeholders, were provided with a copy of Working Together for First Nation Students: A Proposal for a Bill on First Nations Education to be shared with their membership for their consideration and feedback. The draft legislative proposal for First Nations education would establish the structures and standards necessary to ensure accountable education systems on reserve.

In Economic Action Plan 2012, the Government committed to investing $100 million (Strong Schools, Successful Students Initiative) over three years to help ensure readiness for the new First Nations education system outlined in the legislative proposal, support early literacy and to strengthen relationships with provincial school systems.

The Government recognizes the important role of regional education organizations in the delivery of education support and services. We are pleased to announce the Call for Proposals for 2014-2015 as part of our ongoing efforts to support readiness towards proposed education legislation.

This 2014-2015 Call for Proposals will prioritize proposals which address the Structural Readiness component found in both the Education Partnerships Program (EPP) and the First Nation Student Success Program (FNSSP) National Program Guidelines. This will allow First Nation education organizations to strengthen their organizational capacity for the delivery of educational services to First Nation schools.

Furthermore, priority will be given to applicants that have or wish to implement the Education Organization Planning Tool. For those organizations that have completed the Education Organization Planning Tool, the results of the tool and / or Capacity Development Plans should be submitted as support documentation.

Effective November 1, 2013, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) is accepting proposals, in accordance with the eligible activities and requirements described in the National Program Guidelines for EPP and FNSSP. Please note the deadline for proposal submission is midnight on January 15, 2014.

Under the FNSSP, existing program components (School Success Plan, Student Learning Assessment and Performance Measurement) will continue to be supported through this call including early literacy initiatives. Eligible activities will continue to be supported under the EPP Partnership Establishment including the negotiation and drafting of tripartite agreements (Memorandum of Understanding) and under the Advancement stream for the development and implementation of joint activities. 

The EPP is an opt-in proposal-based program that supports the completion of tripartite education partnerships where they already exist, provides impetus for more joint activities, and seeks to strengthen the readiness of First Nation organizations for the delivery of education services to First Nation schools. The program concludes on March 31, 2015.

The FNSSP is an opt-in proposal-based program that supports First Nation education organizations (kindergarten to grade 12) in developing and implementing three interrelated components: school success plans, student learning assessments and performance measurement. These three interrelated components in turn help educators to plan and make improvements in the three priority areas of numeracy, literacy and student retention.

Proposal Submission

Please refer to 2014-2015 National Program Guidelines for the EPP and the FNSSP for further details regarding the eligible activities and the Education Organization Planning Tool.

The proposal template will be made available through the AANDC Services Portal. If you do not have access to the AANDC Services Portal, please contact your regional office.

This Call for Proposals includes the following documentation required to prepare your submission:

EPP Guidelines and FNSSP Guidelines: Key information about the program including components, eligibility and proposal submission for fiscal year 2014-2015

EPP and FNSSP Frequently Asked Questions: Questions and Answers for the eligible activities for fiscal year 2014-2015.

Education Organization Planning Tool: A planning tool that provides a step-by-step approach for organizations to conduct a self-assessment to inform long term planning for the delivery of education supports and services.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Understanding how children learn to read (shared reading and storytelling)

Milburn used techniques such as face-to-face interaction with infants and linking stories to events in children's lives when reading to them.

She studies emergent literacy — the foundational skills that enable children to begin to read and write — such as vocabulary, storytelling, and letter and sound recognition.

"Shared reading" is one way adults can build literacy in all kids, while limiting risk for those who face major learning challenges. Parents and teachers can learn to engage children in conversation with open questions and responsive statements, rather than reading books cover-to-cover. This interaction can enhance a child's understanding of and ability to use language.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Classroom Resources

Classroom Resources

This page has lots of information about First Nations, Metis and Inuit culture! Whether you are a student in need of help with your homework, or a teacher looking for fun and exciting ideas for your classroom, you have come to the right place!

You will also find more stories and resources in Multimedia.

Be sure to check out our Publications Catalogue as well. It has lots of cool stuff that we'd be more than happy to send you – for free!

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Online self-assessment tool for people who are interested in assessing their English as a Second Language (ESL).


The CLB-OSA is an online self-assessment tool for people who are interested in assessing their English as a Second Language (ESL). These tests are based on the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) and will assess your language proficiency in reading and listening.


When you register to take the tests, you will be asked to provide some personal information which may be used for statistical purposes only. Your personal information will be kept strictly confidential and will not be shared with any other parties.

Before you begin...
Once you begin each test you will be given 60 minutes to complete all of the sections. When you have completed the test, the computer will generate an approximate benchmark range which will appear on your screen. Please keep in mind that this result is unofficial. These results are for your information only and will not be shared with any other parties.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Listening skills

Ah, listening, the neglected literacy skill. I know when I was a high school English teacher this was not necessarily a primary focus; I was too busy honing the more measurable literacy skills -- reading, writing, and speaking. But when we think about career and college readiness, listening skills are just as important. This is evidenced by the listening standards (1) found in the Common Core and also the integral role listening plays in collaboration and communication, two of the four Cs of 21st century learning (2).

So how do we help kids become better listeners? Check out these tactics for encouraging a deeper level of listening that also include student accountability:

Strategy #1: Say it Once

Repeating ourselves in the classroom will produce lazy listening in our students. If kids are accustomed to hearing instructions twice, three times, and even four times, listening the first time around becomes unnecessary. Begin the year by establishing that you are a teacher who rarely repeats instructions and this will surely perk up ears.

Of course you don't want to leave distracted students in the dust so for those few who forgot to listen, you can advise them to, "ask three, then ask me."

Strategy #2: Turn and Talk

One way to inspire active listening in your students is to give them a listening task. It might look like this, "I'm going to describe the process of _________. I will pause along the way and ask you to turn to a partner and explain to them what you heard." You can ask students to take turns talking each time you pause, and meanwhile, walk around observing their conversations (also allowing you to check for understanding).

Strategy #3: Student Hand Signals

Asking students to pay full attention and indicating that they will follow this with a non-verbal signal is a wonderful tool for sharpening those listening skills. It can look like this: "I'm going to read a former president's statement about why he believes war is sometimes necessary. When I'm finished, you will share your opinion by holding up one finger if you agree, two fingers if you disagree, and three fingers if you are undecided or if you have a question." This strategy allows whole-class participation and response. It's also a favorite for kids who are more on the shy side, giving them a "voice."

Watch how hand signals encourage active listening (3) in a fifth-grade classroom.

Strategy #4: Pay Attention, Pause, Paraphrase

Children need structured opportunities to restrain themselves from speaking in order to keep their attention on listening, especially when working in groups. Try this strategy:

  1. When students talk in pairs or small groups, assign one speaker at a time only (they can number off).
  2. Ask all others to listen fully to whoever is speaking and to avoid formulating a response while the other person talks. Tell them to simply listen that is all. (This is a difficult task even for adults!)
  3. When the person stops talking, the other takes a breath before she speaks and then paraphrases something her partner just said: "You believe that...." "You aren't sure if....".
  4. After paraphrasing her partner, she can then follow that with an "I" statement: "I see what you mean...", "I'm not sure I agree...".

Discussion sentence starters are a helpful tool for students as they learn this new way of having a conversation. It's also incredibly helpful for students to see this in action. Ask a couple of students to model it for the whole class or have an adult visit to partner with you.

Strategy #5: Creating Questions

If your students are listening to a speech, watching a documentary clip, or hearing a story read aloud, break it up by stopping a few times and having students write a question or two about what they just heard. This way, students actively listen for any confusion or wonderings they may have -- this takes a high-level of concentration. It's important to provide models for this since we are typically trained in school to look for the answers and information rather than to focus on what is not understood or is still a mystery.

Motivating Words

Good listeners are both rare and valued. It's important to share this with students, and to also share the fact that people who really listen -- make eye contact, show interest, and restrain from cutting others off in a conversation -- are easy to like and respect.

Here's also a few quotes to present to students and/or post around your classroom:

"If speaking is silver, then listening is gold." -- Turkish saying

"I think the one lesson I have learned is that there is no substitute for paying attention." -- Diane Sawyer, newscaster

"One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say." -- Bryant McGill, author

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Media Literacy Week Nov 4-8

MediaSmarts and the Canadian Teachers' Federation (CTF) are pleased to announce that marketing and consumerism will be the focus of Canada's eighth annual Media Literacy Week, to be held November 4-8, 2013.

The official theme of the week: "What's Being Sold: Helping Kids Make Sense of Marketing Messages" , will encourage educators and parents to talk to children and teens about the marketing they encounter on a daily basis.



Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Writing to Read: Evidence for How Writing Can Improve Reading

  1. Have students write about the texts they read. "Writing about a text proved to be better than just reading it, reading and rereading it, reading and studying it, reading and discussing it, and receiving reading instruction" (p. 14). Specific types of writing about reading that had statistically significant effect sizes included responding to a text through writing personal reactions or analyses/interpretations of the text, writing summaries of a text, taking notes on a text, and creating and/or answering questions about a text in writing. The benefits of these types of writing were stronger, particularly for lower-achieving students, when they were tied with explicit instruction on how to write.
  2. Teach students the writing skills and processes that go into creating texts. Teaching students about writing process, text structures, paragraph or sentence construction, and other writing skills improves reading comprehension; teaching spelling and sentence construction skills improve fluency; and teaching spelling skills improves word reading skills.
  3. Increase how much students write. An increase in how often students write improves students' reading comprehension. Graham and Hebert recommend more writing across the curriculum, as well as at home to achieve more time spent writing.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Average percentage point gap of 14.75% when comparing Aboriginal students’ reading test scores to other students’

People for Education released a report in Ocotber 2013 on First Nations, Métis and Inuit students in Ontario's publicly funded schools.  Although there is understandable focus on the issues of on-reserve education, the vast majority of Aboriginal students (82%) attend provincially funded schools in Ontario boards and education authorities.

People for Education worked with an advisory group from a wide array of First Nations and Métis organizations to develop the report, using new data from a survey of over 1100 Ontario schools.

The report notes that:

·         There is an average percentage point gap of 14.75% when comparing Aboriginal students' reading test scores to other students'.

Monday, 28 October 2013

The Facts on Education: Do good grades in high school guarantee post-secondary success?

CEA and the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) have teamed up to provide you with relevant and timely information based on current empirical educational research. The primary goal of this project is to get relevant and needed research into the hands of parents and other interested people. They are written in plain language on topics of interest to parents, such as homework and class size.

The Facts on Education Series is produced with a generous sponsorship from the Canadian School Boards Association.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Report shows just 10 minutes of reading at home could boost school achievement

17 Sep 2013

A new report from the Oxford University Press has highlighted the importance of parents reading with their children. As little as ten minutes a day can make a significant difference to achievement levels, it claims. 

The report, Books Beyond Bedtime, also draws on our research which shows that children who read outside of class are 13 times more likely to read above the expected level for their age.

Clare Bolton, Campaign Manager at the National Literacy Trust said:

We know from our work with parents and children in communities across the UK that fostering a love of reading at home is crucial to children's future happiness and success.

The research surveyed nearly 1,000 parents with children aged 6-11, finding that almost half (44%) are never read to at home.  The report offers six tips for reading to 7 to 11-year-olds at home, including:

  1. Make the time to read – even ten minutes a day
  2. Choose different types of books
  3. Take turns to read
  4. Talk about the book – asking your child questions
  5. Pay attention to the language
  6. Enjoy reading

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

The official home of Dr. Seuss on the Web-is the place for children of all ages to play and learn with Dr. Seuss's wonderfully whimsical books and classic characters. The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, Oh, the Places You'll Go! and all of the Dr. Seuss books leap to life through interactive games and activities that will enrich each child's reading experience.  More...

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Boys tend to prefer non-fiction, magazines, scary stories and comic books.

At least two studies have found that boys tend to prefer non-fiction, magazines, scary stories and comic books.


In general, boys…

* take longer to learn to read than girls do
* read less often than girls
* rate their reading ability lower than girls
* express less enthusiasm for reading
* have less interest in leisure reading and more interest in “utilitarian” reading
* tend to be better at information retrieval and work-related reading tasks than girls

Source: Me Read? No Way! A Practical Guide to Improving Boys’ Literacy Skills, by the Ontario Ministry of Education

Ideas for teaching with QR codes

Twelve Ideas for Teaching with QR Codes

December 5, 2011 | Andrew Miller

As mobile learning becomes more and more prevalent, we must find effective ways to leverage mobile tools in the classroom. As always, the tool must fit the need. Mobile learning can create both the tool and the need. With safe and specific structures, mobile learning tools can harness the excitement of technology with the purpose of effective instruction. Using QR codes for instruction is one example of this.

A Quick Tutorial

QR stands for Quick Response. It's basically a quick, scannable barcode-like image that takes you to a specific digital destination. The one to the right, for example, will take you to a QR code generator. There you will be able to create all sorts of QR codes. (Feel free to search the web for them.) Before that, however, you will need an app that reads the QR codes. There are plenty of free QR code apps to download for Android and Apple Products. Just search.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Scholastic Parents Raise a Reader Toolkit

Scholastic Parents Raise a Reader Toolkit
A parent's guide to reading—use this online toolkit for ideas to help your children read at every age and every stage. Choose from ages 0-2, 3-5, 6-7, 8-10, and 11-13. It will let you know what you can expect at every stage and offers reading at home ideas, reading activities and online literacy suggestions with games, apps, and activities.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

The Gift of Language and Culture Website is an Aboriginal lanuage site developed by the Lac La Ronge Indian Band (LLRIB) Curriculum Resource Unit (CRU).

The Gift of Language and Culture Website is an Aboriginal lanuage site developed by the Lac La Ronge Indian Band (LLRIB) Curriculum Resource Unit (CRU). The language site's focal point is on Instructional Curriculum development for Nursery to Grade 9. There are many other features such as, Native stories, songs, and talking pictures. Native language Vocabulary Exercises are available in Flash for people of all ages to learn Cree TH, Y, or N dialect and even Dene. The site features Aboriginal language Resources for use in schools or at home. Several of these resources have been enhanced in Flash as Audible Resources for easy learning. A Photo Gallery displays several albums featuring nature, people, and various activities. Videos presenting northern people are available in wmv and YouTube format. A feature has been added to accommodate syllabic learners: Syllabic Matching Quizzes, where a learner drags and drops syllabic symbols to the appropriate text boxes.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

How to read a book you don't want to read

Here's a handy formula to help you get started on reading a book that you don't want to read but that is required reading for a school assignment or work project. The author of the film clip compares the process to that used by tree surgeons taking down a tree.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

We Do Listen Foundation free resources for young children to develop listening skills

We Do Listen Foundation

Non Profit Foundation offers free resources to help young children learn how to be better listeners, learn important life lessons and feel good about themselves. Click here to access this free resource.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Book Clubs Can Inspire a Love of Reading

Book Clubs Can Inspire a Love of Reading
Reading for pleasure is a pastime enjoyed by many; however, adults with lower levels of literacy often only have books written for younger readers to choose from.
A wonderful example of how the pleasures of reading can include adult learners is the book club started by two volunteers at RECLAIM Literacy Council. Mystery enthusiasts Janet Willard and Grace Saabas both enjoyed talking about the books they read in book clubs. They decided to give RECLAIM learners an opportunity to relax with a book and read for pleasure outside the lesson format by starting a new book club. As fans of Louise Penny's full-length novels, Willard and Saabas chose Penny's The Hangman from the Good Reads selection for their inaugural book club title.
One RECLAIM learner who initially claimed he didn't read fiction became interested in joining the club once he discovered that the book was a mystery. The characters and clues in the story caught the attention of the club participants right away, and kept them motivated to read to the end. Says Willard, "Grace and I both enjoyed seeing them come back each time and be so keen to guess what was going to happen next… the book club was a fun way to get more people reading."
Although the participants ranged in ability level, it wasn't a problem for the club. The most advanced reader who finished the book quickly and re-read it twice respected the club pace of three chapters every two weeks, and didn't spoil any future events in the story for other members. The member with the most reading difficulties got help at home to keep up with the group, and enjoyed being able to discuss the latest developments and clues with the other club members at each meeting.

For other literacy providers interested in forming a book club for adult learners, Willard recommends carefully choosing a book with clear language that's appropriate for all levels. The Good Reads books are accompanied by reading guides, which proved to be an invaluable tool for the book club organizers. Says Willard: "It got us talking about character, setting and plot and kept us focused so we didn't go too far off tangent."

Friday, 26 July 2013

Read ebooks from We Give Books site

We Give Books is a new digital initiative that enables anyone with access to the Internet to put books in the hands of children who don't have them, simply by reading online.

We Give Books combines the joy of reading with the power of helping others, providing a platform for caregivers and educators to inspire children to become lifelong readers and lifelong givers.

We Give Books also helps some of the world's best, most inspiring, literacy organizations by spreading the word about their great work and by providing books to the young people these organizations support.

Who Is Behind It?

We Give Books was created by the Penguin Group and the Pearson Foundation.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

First Nations Child and Family Caring Society Resource Guide

The First Nations Child and Family Caring Society (Caring Society) is honoured to work with educators and schools across Canada to engage children and youth in peaceful and respectful processes of reconciliation designed to achieve culturally based equity for First Nations children.

Caring Society Resource Guides:

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Pew Study: Teens Still Love Print Media, ‘Traditional’ Library Services

Tech-savvy American young adults are more likely than older adults to have read printed books in the past year, are more likely to appreciate reading in libraries, and are just as strong supporters of traditional library services as older adults, a new national report from the Pew Research Center shows. According to the survey of Americans ages 16–29, a majority of young adults believe it is "very important" for libraries to have librarians and books for borrowing, while relatively few think that libraries should automate most library services or move most services online.
The report, "Younger Americans' Library Habits and Expectations," also finds that younger Americans—despite being heavy technology users overall—still believe, as do older adults, that print books should have a central place at libraries.

When queried about what library services and resources are “very important” to offer:
• 80 percent of young Americans name librarians to help people find information they need
• 76 percent name research resources such as free databases
• 75 percent name free access to computers and the Internet
• 75 percent name books for people to borrow
• 72 percent name quiet study spaces
• 72 percent name programs and classes for children and teens
• 71 percent name job or career resources


Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Children’s on-screen reading overtakes reading in print

16 May 2013

For the first time children are reading more on computers and other electronic devices than they are reading books, magazines, newspapers and comics. This is potentially detrimental to children's reading levels as those who read daily only on-screen are much less likely to be good readers than those who read in print. We are calling for a healthier reading balance using both books and technological devices.

 Our new research with 34,910 young people aged eight to 16 reveals:

  • 39% of children and young people read daily using electronic devices including tablets and eReaders, but  only 28% read printed materials daily. The number of children reading eBooks has doubled in the last two years (from 6% to 12%).
  • Children say they prefer to read on screen. Over half (52%) said they would rather read on electronic devices but only a third (32%) would rather read in print.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Author of 14 children's books offers FREE school or library visits

Author of 14 children's books offers FREE School or Library visits, anywhere there is a SKYPE connection. Happy to tailor presentation to your class needs. Loves HOOKING Kids on Reading - and writing.

I read from my latest books, chat about how books are written and where my inspiration comes from. Short writing lesson if desired for older grades. Fun Q and A is always a highlight. Grades one through middle school.

Video of me chatting about how Skype Makes it Happen:

I would love to chat with teachers or librarians about a FREE Author visit with Skype:

Books for Kids - Manuscript Critiques

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Program helps aboriginal students graduate

A graduation coach at Edmonton's St. Joseph High School is having a big impact on the graduation rate of aboriginal students. Grad coach Anita Lafferty is modest when she speaks about the special room created at St. Joe's for First Nations, Metis and Inuit students.

"It's just a gathering place for students to be comfortable," she said. "They have a place where they can come and relax or study or ask questions."

Program manager Pamela Sparklingeyes calls it a breakthrough.

Three years ago, only 14 per cent of aboriginal students at St Joe's graduated.

Now, 60 per cent graduate.

"All the research tells us that having a caring adult in the life of an at-risk student makes all the difference in the world," said Sparklingeyes. "Having that caring adult who can coach them along through making decisions and any sort of hardship they might face … has a high impact on the decisions that they're making."  Sparklingeyes says the grad coach model is now spreading to other schools.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Chicago To Add New School Libraries—Even As It Closes Schools

Chicago To Add New School Libraries—Even As It Closes Schools

By on June 6, 2013 Leave a Comment

SLJ ChicagoStory 6 6 13 300x208 Chicago To Add New School Libraries—Even As It Closes Schools

As Chicago prepares to permanently shutter 49 K–12 schools and one 9–11 school program for the coming school year, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is planning to open four new stand-alone school libraries for the 2013–2014 school year—and spend more than $2 million for the facilities.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Elders in Schools Pilot

Mr. Speaker, Elders play a vital role in integrating languages and culture into school programming and provide valuable skills and knowledge to our children and youth.I am happy to announce that beginning in the coming 2013/14 school year we will be launching the NWT Elders in Schools pilot program to strengthen and increase Elder involvement in our schools.


Indigenous approach towards providing library service

Indigenous approach towards providing library service

·         Thinking of the library in terms of a circle/circular flow of energy: Collection of resources, services and programs, space, and relationships

·         Pathfinders and research guides use circular communication style and are descriptive and includes content

·          Virtual Child Project teaching the use of online databases used the skeleton approach used in tipis for oral knowledge transfer

·          Expanding library services to include grant writing such as program development for Culture Days, New Horizons, Diabetes Program Development, and Community Library Practitioners  based on local community issues

·         Nehiyawak Warriors Men's Literacy providing books with Cree cultural content. Guided reading and discussion by using Northern lights and the leading to use of compound words such as highlight

·         Events:  March's Celebration of Colors involved writing Cree words on circles, May's birdhouses and word houses involved creation story about birds and learning the Cree names of birds in our environment, June is Elders awareness month and the launch of human library; the poster includes a story. We created 2 versions of the poster for native and non-native.  Our communication materials such as handouts, invitations, posters, etc reflects indigenous ways.

·         Summer Reading program which has stickers we promote looking at the picture and saying the Cree word.  Example:  Look at the sticker of bear and say Maskwa, look at the picture of goose and say Niska

·         iCOP project involves setting up Indigenous Communities of Practice.  Plus looking at comfort level of working and connecting with other cultures.

Learn: Think 4 ways of saying or explaining an issue or a concept or a practice

Friday, 31 May 2013

Access Resources for Reading

Access Resources for Reading

Created for parents and teachers who are looking for reading resources, this page connects you to book lists for children, activities to promote reading, practical reading tips and advice, lesson plans, teacher discussion guides and more.

The Reading Resources page gives you quick access to relevant content online, from TD-supported organizations. Dropdown menus conveniently located in the sub-navigation bar make it easy to narrow your search and find what you're looking for. You can filter your search results for content items based on age or type and link directly to the relevant web source.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Poetry Contest by

Student Contests

Watch for our upcoming 8th annual . . .

2013/2014 National Student Poetry Contest and
2013/2014 National Student Short-Story Contest

(for Canadian students in kindergarten through grade twelve)

November 22nd, 2013 (post-marked mail)
November 29th, 2013 (e-mails or faxes)

Each fall we hold two contests, which are open to Canadian students in kindergarten through grade twelve. Over $10,000 is awarded in cash prizes to schools and students who participate!

There is no entry fee and no obligation to purchase anything.

Educators may wish to use one or both of these contests as a project in coordination with their English curriculum or students may enter on their own (though school information must be provided so we can verify they are a student and keep the contest fair). Information packages, including entry forms, are sent to schools across the country in September. Educators may directly request a copy of this information package or a complimentary copy of one of our collections from a previous contest by emailing or calling us to provide the information to the left.

The top group of entrants in each contest (45% or less) will be published in an inexpensive, soft-cover, keepsake collection to be released in early June of each year. Schools that send in at least five entries will automatically receive one free copy of any collection containing their student(s) work. We gave away more than $10,000 worth of these books to schools in our last contest!

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Mother daughter reading together and learning at the library on May 17

Kids Write Club (KWC) literacy program

The Kids Write Club (KWC) literacy program was created by entrepreneur and author Helen Georgaklis to encourage children to find their voice through writing. Its mission is to get as many children putting fingers to pen at an early age. Successfully integrated at Gerald McShane Elementary, it helped children deal with issues such as bullying. "Kids can't say some things, but can write about them," says GeorgakIis. "The KWC literacy program increases literacy rates, helps children identify conflicts and challenges, and find solutions. I wanted to introduce it to young patients in a hospital setting because it is also very therapeutic."

The Kids Write Club (KWC) literacy program, a subsidiary of the 99 Series, was piloted at The MontrealChildren's Hospital. Claudia has written a story of inspiration, courage and determination. The proceeds from the book will go to Claudia's tribute fund at the MontrealChildren's Hospital Foundation for the hematology/oncology department to help other young patients.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Quizdini's can be used to design multiple choice questions

Quizdini's goal is simple: to help you teach and your students learn! Quizdini allows teachers to create and customize material for their students.

We are committed to providing you a simple, easy-to-use, cost-effective system (powered by YOUR DONATIONS) that helps you help your students.

Join Quizdini today and help us fill out the map!

Friday, 24 May 2013

Graphic Novels and Comics by Aboriginal peoples

Graphic Novels and Comics by Aboriginal peoples

Posted on September 18, 2007 by rdbreu

Increasingly, we're seeing graphic novels and comics authored by Aboriginal writers and illustrators. As a fan of graphic novels in general (and an avid reader of comics as a kid), I am super happy to see this growing body of work. 

Interested in acquiring these for your libraries or just because you want to support Aboriginal writers and illustrators? If so, here are some places to start.

The Healthy Aboriginal Network 

Birchbark Comics (Canada)

Little Spirit Bear Productions (Canada)

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Educators valued school libraries

A recent study of school libraries in New Jersey revealed that educators valued school libraries and teacher-librarians because they:
  • place learning of all kinds, not just information literacy, as central to their mission;
  • help teachers to push the boundaries, to take risks and innovate;
  • shape school culture (e.g., enhance collaboration);
  • offer choice of resources in a diversity of textual formats (e.g., support reading education and inquiry projects for diverse students);
  • offer access to technology and digital resources (e.g., support 24/7 learning);
  • bring people together, colleague-to-colleague and student-to-student.[4]

Well-staffed, Well-stocked, Well-used

In and of itself, a school library is not sufficient for supporting and bringing about improvements in teaching and learning. Collaboration is crucial for sustaining educational change and improvement in schools, and the modern school library functions as both a catalyst and a support for change.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Aboriginal populations surge in Canada

Aboriginal peoples are gaining ground in Canada's population, but they are losing their languages.

And their family structure is dramatically different than other Canadian families, with less than half of children living with both their parents.

The rest are in single-parent homes, living with relatives or step-parents, or in foster homes. Indeed, half the foster children in Canada under the age of 14 are aboriginal, according to the National Household Survey.

The survey is Statistics Canada's replacement for the long-form census, which was cancelled in 2010 by the federal Conservatives.

The agency has warned that the voluntary responses to the new survey may under-represent Aboriginal Peoples. Plus, comparisons with the past are problematic, since previous questionnaires were mandatory.

And a variety of reserves refused to participate or simply couldn't participate at all, compounding the data quality issues.

Still, Statcan has adjusted for those problems, and the survey clearly portrays a population that is youthful and growing quickly across the country -- a pattern that could vindicate the focus of federal, provincial and aboriginal leaders on education and skills.

Children under 14 make up 28 per cent of the aboriginal population, compared to just 16.5 per cent of the non-aboriginal population, the National Household Survey shows.

But other research suggests fewer than half of those children will graduate from high school.

And even as the aboriginal population soared by 20 per cent over the past five years to 1.4 million, just 17 per cent of aboriginal people said they could speak in an aboriginal language, down from the 21 per cent recorded in the 2006 census.

There are signs, however, that schooling in traditional languages helps. In 2011, 240,815 aboriginal people said they could speak an aboriginal language, but only 202,495 said it was their mother tongue.

"This implies that a number of aboriginal people have acquired an aboriginal language as a second language," the Statistics Canada documents say.

The survey does not show how bad overcrowding is -- even though federal statisticians have a lot of related information. The 2011 census measured the number of people per household, and the NHS also tracked the relationship between aboriginal children and their primary caregivers.

Overcrowding was the reason behind the state of emergency in Attawapiskat, Ont., 18 months ago. The 2006 census showed a decline in overcrowding, but no progress on replacing dilapidated housing.

More 2011 data on overcrowding in reserves may come this summer, said senior census analyst Jane Badets.

Ontario recorded the largest aboriginal population. By proportion, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories had the largest share of aboriginal peoples.

Among First Nations people, nearly half live on a reserve or settlement. Beyond reserves, status First Nations people tended to live in Winnipeg, Edmonton or Vancouver as well as other cities.

Non-status Indians accounted for a quarter of the First Nations population in Canada, concentrated in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Ottawa.

Monday, 6 May 2013

APA Style Workshop

APA Style Workshop


This workshop provides an overview of APA (American Psychological Association) style and where to find help with different APA resources. It provides an annotated list of links to all of our APA materials and an APA overview. It is an excellent place to start to learn about APA format.

Contributors:Kristen Seas, Allen Brizee
Last Edited: 2012-07-03 05:47:29

Welcome to the OWL Workshop on APA Style! This workshop will introduce you to important aspects of using the American Psychological Association (APA) Style to write and format research papers. You should begin with the introductory material, which covers what APA Style is, why it is used, and who should apply it to their work. Then you are invited to work through the OWL's handouts on APA Formatting and Writing Style, as well as APA Citations and Reference Lists.

NOTE: This workshop should answer most of your basic questions about using APA Style. However, if you are writing a complex document such as a thesis or lengthy manuscript, or if you have detailed questions, you should consult The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th edition), which you can usually find at your local library or in many bookstores.

The APA also has a website that allows you to order the book online and read some of their frequently asked questions about APA style. Purdue's OWL also has a list of Additional Resources covering APA style that you can consult.

What is APA Style?

APA Style establishes standards of written communication concerning:

  • the organization of content
  • writing style
  • citing references
  • and how to prepare a manuscript for publication in certain disciplines.

Get To Know contest invites youth aged 19 and under

Webinar Series#2 From STEM to STEAM: A Scientific RationaleApril 17, 2013News

On Tuesday, April 30th, Get to Know will be hosting the next in our series of monthly webinars to share great ideas, activities, and resources for using the creative arts, technology, and outdoor activity to connect youth with nature. This month we feature renowned speakers Dr. Mark Holder, Dr. Pat Winter and Marcia Klein. These experts in their fields will be discussing STEM to STEAM: A Scientific Rationale.

Read more …

Connect. Create. Celebrate

The Get To Know contest invites youth aged 19 and under to get outside and create original works of art, writing, photography, videography and music inspired by nature. The deadline for entries is August 1, 2013.


National Youth Arts Week is May 1-7

Why is National Youth Arts Week important?

We know that the primary source of optimism and hope for our nation's future is our youth. We also know that community based creative activities represent one of the oldest and most universally appealing opportunities for youth engagement available to Canada's young people.

This is why the Arts Network for Children and Youth believes that every youth, regardless of their gender, ethnicity, geographic location or socio economic status should have equal access to creative activities, both in and outside of school.

Art, in its widest definition, encompasses a diverse spectrum of youth engagement opportunities, from carpentry to community gardening, culinary arts to theatre. By meeting youth where they are and encouraging them to focus on their strengths and capitalize on their interests and skill sets through creative pursuits, we ensure their freedom to explore pathways away from detrimental behavior and toward the development of self esteem, leadership, civic engagement and healthy life choices.

National Youth Arts Week is an opportunity for youth across the country to engage in creative expression, to feel valued, and to have their voices heard on the national stage. It is an opportunity to demonstrate the power of youth to transform their lives through art, and in turn transform our country, and indeed the world.

Come and make bird houses on May 17

Have you ever wanted to make a bird house, but didn't know where to start?

Come and attend a workshop on constructing bird houses on Friday, May 17th, 2013 from 11 am to 1 pm at Maskwacis Cultural College. Along with building and creating your very own bird house; participants will also be provided with information on local birds from the Plains Cree perspective. Elder Jerry Saddleback will be present to guide us.

Lessons are available in Woodlands, Swampy or Plains Cree and have an audio option. The lessons are divided into thematic vocabulary sections and designed for teachers of elementary school students.

We have many blueprints for birdhouses. Make and then color a bird house. Register now and for more information contact Willis Littlepoplar at the Maskwacis College Library.


Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Indspire blogs

Coding the Text – The first part of an Action Phase Strategy

Crissa Hill
April 19, 2013—I have been most often frustrated as an educator when I have assigned reading to a class and have shown up the next day, ready to engage in the material... More

Concept attainment: An activating strategy

Crissa Hill
April 11, 2013—Concept attainment games are excellent at activating students’ minds and orienting them toward learning. Why? Because everything they can tangibly experience is a concept. In fact, concepts are the building... More

Making it happen: cultural awareness in education

Sharon Meyer (Laflamme)
April 11, 2013—When I was a young educator teaching in a Catholic School I was expected to teach about the Byzantine Ukrainian rites. OMG! It was a personal challenge but, rather than... More

Creating Structure

Crissa Hill
March 28, 2013—In the classroom, the choices we make about how to introduce and teach a topic greatly influence the outcome. We all remember lessons that seemed to work flawlessly and others... More

The Instructional Journey

Crissa Hill
March 13, 2013—Differentiation operates with an understanding that although a group of students may be in front of us learning about the same topic at the same time, they do not all... More

Honoring murdered and missing Aboriginal women in the classroom

Sherryl Maglione
March 12, 2013—For example, the students will read about the Helen Betty Osborne story by reading the non-fiction text, Conspiracy of Silence, (McLelland & Stewart, 1989) written by Lisa Priest. They will... More

Medicine Wheel Teachings in the Saskatchewan Curriculum

Sharon Meyer (Laflamme)
March 11, 2013—In my current position I am often invited into the classroom to assist, teach, or model knowledge about First Nation Worldview. There are many models, images, and teachings of the... More

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

CPS Art Contest: Friendly advice from Canadian kids!

CPS Art Contest: Friendly advice from Canadian kids!

CPS - Children's Art ContestThe theme for this year's art contest is the importance of friendships!

We're asking Canadian children and youth to consider what it means to be a good friend, and why friends are so important.


Young artists can enter the contest with a drawing or painting that illustrates how friends and friendships keep them happy and healthy.

Participants can win one of four Chapters gift cards, and 12 pieces will be chosen to appear in the 2014 CPS member calendar.

To be eligible for the early bird gift card draw, entries must be received by May 21, 2013. Final deadline is June 28, 2013.

The contest is open to all children and youth under the age of 18 who live in Canada. Download the contest entry form for full contest details, or contact 613-526-9397, ext. 234 or for more information.

"Friendly advice from Canadian kids!" contest entry form

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Workplace Education Manitoba: Learning on Demand – Numeracy: The Basics

Available from Workplace Education Manitoba: Learning on Demand – Numeracy: The Basics

WEM logo

In 2012 Workplace Education Manitoba launched the Internet-based ES: Learning on Demand, because in today's busy world people expect to be able to learn on their own terms ̶ anytime, anywhere, in ways that meet their needs.

First in the tutorial series is Numeracy: The Basics. This tutorial includes a set of 50 YouTube videos explaining essential numeracy topics broken into concept and practice sets. Accompanying each set is a Numeracy: The Basics Workbook
To use the video series and downloadable workbooks, visit the WEM website at:

Source: NALD

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Open a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) before their child turns seven

COURTENAY - To highlight how easy it is for families to get the new $1,200 BC Training and Education Savings Grant, Education Minister Don McRae visited a BMO Bank of Montreal branch today to discuss the new grant with a BMO financial planning expert and a local parent.

To access the new grant, families simply open a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) before their child turns seven. It's a straightforward process that takes only a short time at a bank or other financial institution. You can also open an RESP securely through an online investment firm.

Make sure to have:

  • Family member or guardian's Social Insurance Number.
  • Social Insurance Number for the RESP beneficiaries (the child or children).
  • One piece of government-issued identification for the family member or guardian setting up the RESP.

By opening an RESP account -- not only is a child entitled to $1,200 from the Province of British Columbia, --he or she also can access other savings grants from the Government of Canada. Parents then work with the financial institution to make the necessary applications. No matching or additional contribution is required to receive the BC Training and Education Savings Grant.