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Friday, 29 March 2013

Celebrate national Poem in Your Pocket Day on Thursday, April 18, 2013!

Celebrate national Poem in Your Pocket Day on Thursday, April 18, 2013!

The idea is simple: select a poem you love during National Poetry Month then carry it with you to share with co-workers, family, and friends. You can also share your poem selection on Twitter by using the hashtag #pocketpoem.

Poems from pockets will be unfolded throughout the day with events in parks, libraries, schools, workplaces, and bookstores. Create your own Poem in Your Pocket Day event using ideas below or let us know your plans, projects, and suggestions for Poem in Your Pocket Day by emailing

Keep up-to-date on the latest Poem in Your Pocket Day news. Sign up for our free monthly newsletter.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

World Oceans Day is June 8th

World Oceans Day is June 8th

Only three months left until the big day - get all the important updates!

As you plan your World Oceans Day event, we want to keep you on top of what's new, and the free resources are available to help you. Read on to learn how to sign up for the Dr. Seuss Activity Kit, where to download images and logos, and what new and exciting things we have planned for this year's event. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Have you submitted your event to our online listing?
Submit your event now

Dr. Seuss World Oceans Day Activity Kit

If you'd like to download a copy of the new 2013 Dr. Seuss World Oceans Day Kit, please sign up here. By filling out this form you are acknowledging that you are a partner of The Ocean Project. Not a partner? Sign up now – free and easy! Click here to join.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Teaching youth about marketing and consumerism focus of Media Literacy Week 2013

Teaching youth about marketing and consumerism focus of Media Literacy Week 2013

Ottawa, March 20, 2013 –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.  

The goal of Media Literacy Week is to promote the importance of digital and media literacy education in Canadian homes, schools and communities.

MediaSmarts and the Canadian Teachers Federation are pleased to welcome back YouTube as the 2013 Gold Sponsor of Media Literacy Week.  To find out how to get involved or become a sponsor of the week, visit:

Academic engagement and science achievement: A gendered relationship? (2010)

Academic engagement and science achievement: A gendered relationship? (2010)

The 2002 School Achievement Indicators Program Science (SAIP-SCIENCE) survey, administered to a national sample of Canadian youth aged 13 to 16, showed girls performing significantly below boys in the application of scientific knowledge to everyday problems. On the other hand, girls get higher teacher-assigned grades than boys in their science classes.

Effective literacy strategies for immigrant students

Effective literacy strategies for immigrant students


Research has shown that many of these immigrant ESL/FSL children are well-prepared to meet the demands of the Canada's schools and go on to follow successful educational pathways. For example, young immigrants are more likely to attend university than their Canadian-born counterparts,[6] while immigrants for whom English is a second language show especially high rates of university attendance.[7] Visible minority immigrants are less likely to drop out of high school, more likely to take pre-university math courses in high school, and more likely to earn higher grades in math, than Canadian-born students.[8]

Lesson 1

Collaborative reading, systematic phonics instruction, multimedia-assisted reading and diary writing are proven tools for teaching English literacy to ESL immigrant students.

A popular (and effective) form of such collaborative learning is called Cooperative Integrated Reading and Composition (CIRC). Used for comprehensive reading and writing instruction in Grades 2 through Grade 8, CIRC includes story related activities, direct instruction in reading comprehension and other reading activities.

Although several types of CIRC are currently in use, a common method involves forming "learning teams" made up of students (usually four) who are at varying levels of reading proficiency. These students work on different cooperative activities, including creative writing, peer reading, identification of major elements in a story, summarizing of stories and story retelling, and activities geared toward practice of basic reading skills (e.g., spelling, decoding, and vocabulary).

Systematic Phonics and Guided Reading

In systematic phonics instructions, learners are taught how to read and write using the correspondences between letters and the sounds they represent. The goal of phonics instruction is to help beginner readers understand how letters are linked to sounds to form letter-sound correspondences. Guided reading is a strategy to help students develop their reading skills in which the teacher provides support for small groups of readers as they learn to use various reading strategies (e.g., letter and sound relationships, context clues, word structure).

Lesson 3

ESL literacy instruction carried out in classrooms has been shown to be more successful than instruction carried out in laboratories or "pull-out rooms" (separate rooms where students can work individually or in small groups with a resource teacher).


Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Practical teaching strategies for the elementary classroom

Practical teaching strategies for the elementary classroom

Download these professionally developed teaching strategies, designed to help Ontario teachers bring Aboriginal perspectives into the classroom.

The Edmonton MILE: Results of a one-year pilot project to improve school functioning for children with FASD

The Edmonton MILE: Results of a one-year pilot project to improve school functioning for children with FASD

Date: March 20, 2013

9:00 am - 11:00 am



This presentation will review the Math Interactive Learning Experience (MILE) program, which is an intervention developed by Coles, Kable, and Taddeo (2007) specifically for young children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). MILE targets mathematics and underlying skills important for math in individual tutoring sessions. The authors will review research on MILE published in the USA and also preliminary results from a replication and extension of the MILE program conducted in Edmonton, Alberta.
Learning Objectives:
1. Learn about mathematics difficulties in individuals with FASD and Prenatal Alcohol Exposure (PAE)
2. Learn about the MILE program
3. Discuss preliminary results on the efficacy of the MILE program for children with FASD and PAE in Alberta
Discussion Questions:
What strategies have you found have supported children with FASD in their learning?
What barriers to strategy use have you encountered?
What have been some successes you have experienced?


Jacqueline Pei, R. Psych., PhD
Department of Educational Psychology
University of Alberta
Dr. Jacqueline Pei is a Registered Psychologist specializing in neuropsychological assessment and is an Assistant Professor in Educational Psychology at the University of Alberta. She is also a member of the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital diagnostic team.

Carmen Rasmussen, PhD
Department of Pediatrics, University of Alberta
Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital

Dr Carmen Rasmussen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Member of the Centre for Neuroscience at the University of Alberta. She is also a research affiliate at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Poetry Lessons

Poetry Lessons

Education World editors have gathered poetry resources from our archive to help teachers everywhere celebrate National Poetry Month. Below you will find the following archived resources:
  • Poetry Lesson Plans
  • Teacher-Submitted Lesson Plans
  • More Poetry Activities and Projects
  • Poetry Articles and Resources
See this year's Poetry Month poster in the Poetry Month Poster Gallery

Monday, 18 March 2013

Saskatoon Catholic School Board Superintendent Gordon Martell has won Guiding the Journey: Indigenous Educator Award from Indspire.

Saskatoon Catholic School Board Superintendent Gordon Martell has won a prestigious national award for his tireless efforts to improve First Nations education.

Martell will travel to Calgary Friday to accept a Guiding the Journey: Indigenous Educator Award from Indspire.

He is being recognized in the leadership category, which recognizes those who "consistently take on leadership roles in the educational community that foster achievement among K-12 students."

Martell said that he has fought throughout his career to "revision" how native students are educated, and develop culturally relevant programs that teach students the history of their people.

"We need to build that in so children grow up on a curriculum that really tells the whole story, and is more balanced than it was in the past," he said.

Martell, 48, was born on the Waterhen Lake First Nation, which abuts the Meadow Lake Provincial Park.

His mother came to the reserve as a teacher, where she met his father.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

The National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Fred Rogers Center have compiled some examples on how to use technology tools and interactive media in age-appropriate, intentional ways. Although these examples are meant for early childhood programs, they are also relevant for families. Here are a few:

  • Use a digital camera or computer to show images and video of family, friends, animals, or events to children, especially when children might not otherwise have exposure to them. 
  • When reading an e-book, treat the experience the same as if you were using a print book: put the child in your lap, point to objects on screen, talk with the child, and introduce new vocabulary.
  • Allow children to play with play versions of technology or old computers or cellphones that don’t work anymore (with the batteries removed).
  • Video chat with a loved one.

For Infants and Toddlers in the Digital Age: Time with Adults Still Matters Most reminds us that for very young children digital media that encourages warm, language-rich interaction between children and adults is most effective. “While we wait for additional research, parents should remember that the most important part of the experience is not the technology itself, but the warmth and support of an adult play-partner.”

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

How ready for school are the Canadian preschoolers

This paper outlines both the methodology used by the authors to develop a statistical measure to estimate how ready for school Canadian preschoolers are, and the information gained through the analysis of relevant statistics from the provinces for the years 1998, 2000, 2002, and 2004.

Based on information from the Canadian National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY), the authors developed a measure based on verbal ability combined with social and emotional development.

Further analysis showed differences in school readiness both within a particular year and over time, with several provinces being at the national average in one year, then either moving above or falling below that average at other points in the longitudinal study.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Be the Change: A series of lessons / units for kindergarten through to grade 12

Trees for Life and “Grow-a-Tree” Kits

Fun, hands-on, environmental education experience designed for students in Kindergarten to Grade Six, the Grow-a-Tree Project is a unique classroom activity that introduces young students to important grade-appropriate topics in science, ecology, social and environmental studies. The program consists of two parts: During the hands on component, students have an opportunity to plant, germinate and grow their own tree seedling. The accompanying grade-appropriate workbook provides children with a wealth of activities and information, presented in a fun, "comic-book" format that is as fun as it is educational.

"Grow-a-Tree" Kits

Each kit includes:

    • Teacher's manual (Grades K-6) with lessons and comprehensive activity guide outlines where the activities can fit into standard curriculum categories, as well as ideas for extending each activity and assessment rubrics to help measure student achievement.
    • Grade specific student activity books for each student that make learning fun
    • Biodegradable planting cartons for each student to plant his or her own tree
    • Tree seeds according to your geographic region

Available at $3.00 per student (Trees for Life Canada is a not for profit organization run strictly with the help of volunteers) Our shipping is $15 flat rate so you can order for as many classes as you want in your school.

Letting students choose books could make them better readers

For the past three years, Dr. Ivey has been involved with a project at a Virginia school in which 300 Grade 8 English students were allowed full choice over their reading with few strings or work attached, other than classroom discussions about shared themes and small group conversations if several students had read the same book. The goal was to get every student engaged in reading - the kind that you do in your own free time.

"It's [about]the experience we have all had as adults when we forget to eat or go to the restroom because we are so into what we are reading," Dr. Ivey says. "And that so rarely happens in school, and it certainly hardly ever happens with the whole-class-assigned novel."

The results, she says, have been overwhelming. "We couldn't keep up with the need for books," she says. Even in classes with struggling readers, students read an average of 42 books over the course of the school years, some as many as 100. And even with their options open, students didn't stick with Twilight and Gossip Girl series for long - as their appetite for reading grew, so did their interest in more challenging reads, coming to class for example to debate the ending of Walking on Glass by science fiction writer Iain Banks.