Friday, September 4, 2009

District Literacy Committee Meeting

Representatives from your school are invited to attend our first meeting scheduled to take place at J.C. Hill School beginning at 12:30 p.m..

DRA2 and CASI Workshop

You are invited to attend an information session at JC Hill School on September 11. DRA2 will be offered at 9:00 a.m. and CASI will be offered at 1:00 p.m. Please bring your school DRA2 or CASI resources with you.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Writing Contest

Grade 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6, do you have a story or poem that you would like to share?

The Imperial Oil Foundation is asking young writers to send in a recently-written story or poem that they think could become a classic and be read for the next 100 years.

One winner from each grade will receive a $200 gift certificate to the bookstore of his or her choice.

Entries must be postmarked by December 15, 2008. For more information, visit

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Toronto Raptors - Read To Achieve

It's free!!!

Are you looking for something to make reading more exciting for your students? Check Out!

Register your class or school for Overtime Readers Club and/or Reading Time Out by September 26th and you will automatically be invited to attend the first ever Read To Achieve Open Practice at Air Canada Centre on October 16th.

The Overtime Readers Club (October 2008 – March 2009, Grade 1-12),
Reading Time Out (November 2008 - March 2009, Grade 1-8)
Black History Month Heroes Challenge (January 19-February 13, 2009, Grade 1-12).

Friday, September 5, 2008


Celebrating literacy on SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 28th, 2008 in Kitchener and Toronto

Check out for more information.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Motivating Students to Write

A 12 Step Guide by Lynda Hamilton Mudre (Full version available in Scholastic's Guiding K-3 Writers to Independence)

1. BE A WRITER: write often and for many purposes, not all written work has to be published.
2. BUILD A COMMUNITY: share writing experiences and have everyone join together at specific times to write.
3. READ ALOUD: explore the writing process.
4. STORYTELLING: have students tell stories and write them down.
5. READ LIKE WRITERS: note the ways an author keeps the reader in mind as they write.
6. MENTOR TEXTS: read these texts several times and focus on the author's craft.
7. GUIDE YOUNG WRITERS: encourage different topics based on experiences and interests.
8. PUT PEN TO PAPER: write, write, write.
9. MODEL: show and guide with clear examples.
10. USE WRITING TO PRESERVE MEMORIES: help children find their voice and show how they feel or think.
11. ASSESSMENT: look carefully at your writers and their writing to guide instruction.
12. HIGH EXPECTATIONS: challenge students to write great literature.

INSTRUCTOR August 2008

Tuesday, June 24, 2008



About storytelling, Robert Munsch has said, "I'm like a stand-up comic reacting to the audience."

Date: Mon. Nov. 3, 2008
Time: 10:30 am & 6:30pm
Cost: $17.00
Location: Sanderson Centre - Brantford

For Tickets Call 1-800-265-0710 or 519-758-8090

Monday, June 16, 2008

Scholar's Choice Teacher Fair

FREE Continental Breakfast & Light Lunch

Register on-line at

8:30 am to 4:00 pm
Mississauga Convention Centre
75 Derry Road West,
Mississauga, ON

8:30 am to 4:00 pm
Best Western Lamplighter Inn
591 Wellington Rd. S,
London, ON

$75 per 1/2 day workshop, $25 per 50 minute workshop

Thursday, June 12, 2008

LOL (Laugh Out Loud) Summer Reading Program

  • Age Groups: 3-5, 68, 9-12
  • Program Starts - Week of June 30th until August 15th
  • Phone - 519-445-2954
  • Webpage -

Come out to the Six Nations Public Library for Prizes & Fun!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Myth: Students who have been identified as "gifted" are high achievers.

Fact: Gifted students are those "who have outstanding abilities, are capable of high achievement, " but who may or may not achieve it.

Differentiated instruction is an excellent way to engage all students (including our high achievers).

Ideas for differentiating:
1. Style: Find out what interests your students and let them explore.
2. Grouping: Use both ability and interest grouping. Keep in mind that groupings may change. Often we have three different groups of students in the classroom: one following the curriculum, one that is beyond the curriculum and one group that needs more help.
3. Allow for open-ended questioning and assignments.
4. Engage students in authentic problem solving.
5. Challenge.
6. Provide opportunities for choice.
7. Find the right books that are appropriately challenging and interesting to your students.

- Samanth Cleaver INSTRUCTOR March/April 2008

Friday, May 30, 2008



LTC/HCC Speech Services and the Child Resource Centre, invite you and your children to their

'Reading Adventure' Program

This program helps parents and children learn and practice early literacy and language skills through storytelling and crafts and promotes literacy at home.

Each week will feature story time, a literacy related activity, a craft for two specific age groups, and a nutritious snack for the children.

The program runs every Wednesday morning July 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, August 6, 13, 20
10:00 a.m to 12:00 p.m at the Child Resource Centre located at 18 Stoneridge Circle.

So come and join them for this fun eight week program filled with fun, learning and ADVENTURE!!!

No pre-registration is needed.

- Six Nations Long-Term Care/Home and Community Care Program, Speech Services

Monday, May 26, 2008

Why Junior Students Read

Junior students read:

for enjoyment - The teacher makes time for independent reading and makes available texts of all types.

for vicarious experiences - The teacher reads aloud and discusses a broad selection of literary and informational texts.

to learn more about themselves and others - The teacher shares critical responses and gives the students opportunities to respond to appropriate content for the age, gender and cultural diversity of the classroom.

to gain information - The teacher demonstrates strategies to deal with informational texts.

to understand issues - The teacher models how to question texts and think critically while exploring social issues.

for aesthetic appreciation - The teacher gives the students opportunities to respond to texts through the arts (choral reading, readers' theatre. literature circles, visual arts, book clubs).

- A Guide to Effective Literacy Instruction Grades 4-6 (Vol. 5 - Reading), page 11, 2008

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


May 16-25

Contest Theme:

The Sun, The Moon and Me
Write a poem about nature, the environment and your role/relationship within each.

Contest Rules:
1. All students in grades 4-6 are invited to participate through their school.
2. Entries must be original poems about nature, the environment, and your role/relationship within each. Poems must be written in class or at home. No copied poems.
3. Entries must be submitted on 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper.
4. Entries may be illustrated. Illustrations/drawings should reflect the meaning of the poem.
5. Authors must write their name, grade and school on their submission.
6. Attach a signed Parental Release Form. No poem will be judged without a signed parental release form.
7. DEADLINE: All poems must be received no later than May 23, 2008 at 4:00 p.m.
8. Poems will not be returned.
9. You may send photocopies.
10. Make sure students and parents have a copy before you send poems to us.
11. Fill out one entry form for your school and include it with student entries. You will find it in this contest packet (titled School Entry Form).

Send entries to:
Chiefswood Museum Community Awareness Week Poetry Contest
P.O. Box 640
Ohsweken, Ontario
N0A 1M0

Or to deliver:
Chiefswood Curators Cottage
1037 Highway 54 at Chiefswood Road
(Small green and white building located within Chiefswood Park, directly across from Museum)

Monday, April 28, 2008

Independent Strategies

When I get stuck on a word in a book,
There are lots of things I can do.
I can do them all, please, by myself;
I don't need help from you.

I can look at the pictures to get a hint.
Or think what the story's about.
I can "get my mouth ready" to say the first letter.
A kind of "sounding out".
I can chop up the words into smaller parts,
Like on or ing or ly,
Or find smaller words in compound words
Like raincoat and bumblebee.
I can think of a word that makes sense in that place,
Guess or say "blank" and read on
Until the sentence has reached its end,
Then go back and try these on:
"Does it make sense?"
"Can we say it that way?"
"Does it look right to me?"
Chances are the right word will pop out like the sun
In my own mind, can't you see?

If I've thought of and tried out most of these things
And I still do not know what to do,
Then I may turn around and ask
For some help to get me through.

- Jill Marie Warner

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Six Nations Region Spelling Bee 2008

Primary Finalists:

1st Place: Kiana (I.L. T), Winning Word - oil

2nd Place: Clarisa (ECG), Winning Word - straight

3rd Place: Dallas (OMSK), Winning Word - festoon

Junior Finalists:

1st Place: Dylan (OMSK), Winning Word - enumerate

2nd Place: Kristina (CGW), Winning Word - duplicity

3rd Place: Cassandra (OMSK), Winning Word - gaiety

Intermediate Finalists:

1st Place: Ian (RH), Winning Word - quiche

2nd Place: Jacob (JCH), Winning Word - augment

3rd Place: Kylie (JCH), Winning Word - Gauss

Well Done! We are proud of your accomplishments!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

What Good Readers Do

Share these comprehension strategies with your students.

1. Make Connections: Create a bridge from the new to the known, connecting the text to yourself, what you know about the world, and what you have read in other texts.

2. Question: Ask questions as you read to enhance understanding, find answers, solve problems, and find specific information.

3. Make Inferences: Connect ideas or fill in information to make sense of unstated ideas.

4. Visualize: Generate mental images to stimulate thinking and heighten engagement.

5. Summarize: Synthesize and organize key information to identify main points and major themes, distinguish important from unimportant information, and enhance meaning.

6. Monitor/Regulate: Pay attention to meaning, clarify or correct comprehension difficulties, or promote a problem-solving stance during reading.

7. Evaluate: Make judgements about the text to form ideas and opinions, or determine the author's purpose.

(Marjorie Y. Lipson - INSTRUCTOR)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008



G.R.E.A.T. is hosting a book release - meet the author night for Six Nations newest young author. Eleven year old Chris, a student at Six Nations, has finished writing the first four books in his six-part series on adventures in the land of Grillbowa. The first two books will be available for purchase. The next two books are still in editing and will be available soon.

Come meet Chris and wish him well on his journey into a bright future.

6-8 PM

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Nipissing University Presents

Dr. David Booth

"Balancing 'Balanced Literacy' for all Learners"

When: Mon. Mar. 10th, 2008
Where: Brantford Community Church
(65 George St. Brantford)
Time: 4:30-6:00 p.m.

Admission is only $2.00 at the door

Friday, February 29, 2008

Effective Peer Feedback

Here are some activities that can help teach students how to give feedback (Grade 6-8).

* Use Highlighters
* Students exchange their written work.
* Look for examples of effective language.
* Highlight the "golden" words or phases.
* Have students share their favourite golden word/phase.
* Discuss why they choose the word/phase.

* Divide the students into groups of three.
* Each student is given the opportunity to read their written work, while the other group members stop the reader to ask questions, and make positive or constructive comments.
* The student reading is also encouraged to respond with comments or questions.
* The student may take notes or make revisions.
*** This is an informal chat about ideas, characters, etc. and is NOT a formal critique.

Have fun writing and providing your students with meaningful ways to give feedback to their peers!

INSTRUCTOR Jan./Feb. 2008

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Making Predictions

Here are some reading comprehension activities to encourage young readers to make and discuss predictions.

1. PREDICTION POP (Examining titles and illustrations)
- The teacher reads the title on the cover of a picture book.
- Students predict what the story might be about.
- The responses are written in balloon shapes.
- Review all the predictions.
- Read the story and pause to confirm, modify or reject predictions.
- If a prediction is wrong, "pop" the ballon (erase).
- After reading, the children decide which of the predictions on the board are correct.

2. THUMB-THROUGH PREVIEW (Scanning books) * Similar to a picture walk.
- Before reading, have the class walk through the book (pictures, clues, words).
- Make predictions about the story.
- Read the story.
- The children will make a "thumbs up" sign when you reach a correct prediction.

3. CURIOSITY CHART (text features)
- Examine a nonfiction text (subtitles, photographs, captions, charts, maps).
- Record the text features that are pointed out on chart paper.
- "Think-aloud" - make predictions about how the text features might provide information.
- Read the text.
- Check off each feature as you come to it.

(Mackie Rhodes INSTRUCTOR Jan./Feb. 2008)

Friday, February 1, 2008

Sowing the Seeds... Harvesting Readers Forum

When: Sat., Mar. 29th, 2008 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m

Where: Green of Renton
969 Concession 14
Simcoe, ON

Who: Early Learning Providers, Teachers and anyone interested in Early Literacy

Why: * Explore gaps in literacy.
* Help develop a strategic plan.
* Network.
* Hear the latest research.

How: Register by Feb. 29th, 2008
Call Karla Neil at 519-429-2875 or 1-866-463-2759
Fee: $10 (Lunch, snack and a drink included)

GoodMinds Materials

GoodMinds has a new collection of books on Character Education. In addition, they have some levelled books for children reading at the grade one level by Bebop Publisher.

Here are the Bebop titles levelled by Grade, Fountas & Pinnell's alphabet system and DRA numbers:

* Laundry Day by Karen Hjemboe (K, C, 3)
* At the Park by Judy Nayer (Gr. 1, D, 4)
* My Family by Karen Hjemboe (Gr. 1, D, 4)
* My Horse by Karen Hjemboe (Gr. 1, D, 4)
* I make Clay Pots by Leslie Johnson (Gr. 1, D, 4)
* Fancy Dance by Leslie Johnson (Gr.1, G, 12)
* Living in an Igloo by Jan Reynolds (Gr. 1, G, 12)
* I'm Heading to the Rodeo by Emmi S. herman (Gr.1, I, 16)

Check out

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Celebrate Family Literacy Day

Family Literacy Day was founded in 1999 and is celebrated on Jan. 27th. Your school may want to promote this national initiative. The Family Literacy Day website offers ideas, event listings and 10 ways to celebrate Family Literacy Day.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

59 new AQs

The Ontario College of Teachers is finally offering more up-to-date subjects in the AQ catalogue.

Check it out!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Nonfiction Writing

Five tips for successful exposition.

TIP #1: STAY ON TOPIC ( a very narrow topic)
Activity: Graphic Organizer (model for the class)
* write a topic for the centre bubble
* write subtopics in the branching bubbles
* select one of the branching bubbles and start a new web
* keep going until you have a narrow topic

TIP#2: CHOOSE THE RIGHT DETAILS (meat and bones)
Activity: An outline of a person (copy for each student)
* convince the class why their favourite celebrity, athlete, or role model is the best at what they do
* fill in the outline with supporting details
* share their work with the class

Activity: Cut up sentence strips in an envelop
* use news stories, but add some additional sentences that are related, but don't belong
* students can work in groups to identify the extraneous information

Activity: Interview family members
* talk to family members about an important event
* the children record the different responses
* the student then writes a single paragraph that incorporates their various interviews
* discuss with the class how people remember things differently, but how combining the memories results in a richer piece of writing

Activity: Teacher prepared yes-or-no questions (Do you think the Pioneer children were happy with their homemade toys?)
* students are required to make inferences about the topics they are studying
* work in small discussion groups and share responses with the class (Why did groups answer the way they did?)
* talk about how we go from facts to conclusions
-Hannah Trierweiler (Instructor Nov./Dec. 2007)

Write To Read

Write To Read is for students in Grades 4 and 5.

Amazing prizes to be won!

Contest Theme: "In The News"

Contest Deadline: February, 2008.

For complete contest rules and regulations, please visit: or check out the fax I sent to your school on Dec.3, 2007.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Why Can't I Skip My Twenty Minutes of Reading Tonight?

Let's figure it out - - mathematically!

Student A reads 20 minutes five nights of every week;
Students B reads only 4 minutes a night... or not at all!

Step 1: Multiply minutes a night x 5 times each week.
Student A reads 20 min. x 5 times a week = 100 mins./week
Student B reads 4 min. x 5 times a week = 20 minutes

Step 2: Multiply minutes a week x 4 weeks each month.
Student A reads 400 minutes a month.
Student B reads 80 minutes a month.

Step 3: Multiply minutes a month x 9 months/school year
Student A reads 3600 min. in a school year.
Student B reads 720 min. in a school year.

Student A practices reading the equivalent of ten whole school days a year. Student B gets the equivalent of only two school days of reading practice.

By the end of the 6th grade if Student A and Student B maintain these same reading habits, Student A will have read the equivalent of 60 whole school days, and Student B will have read the equivalent of only 12 whole school days.

One would expect the gap of information retained will have widened considerably and so, undoubtedly, will school performance. How do you think Student B will feel about him/herself as a student?

Some questions to ponder:
Which student would you expect to read better?
Which student would you expect to know more?
Which student would you expect to write better?
Which student would you expect to have a better vocabulary?
Which student would you expect to be more successful in school... and in life?

(shared on mailring by Emmy Ellis; source unknown)

Thanks Betty-Ann!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Strategies for Book Selection During Independent Reading


F is for finding a book that looks interesting.
I is for investigation to see whether the book is too hard or too easy.
T is for trying the book or trading it in for another.


I choose a book.
Purpose - Why do I want to read it?
Interest - Does it interest me?
Comprehend - Am I understanding what I am reading?
Know - I know most of the words.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Six Nations Remembrance Day Writing Contest

Six Nations Public Library Remembrance Day Writing Contest (Open to all ages)

Students should create a poem or prose no longer than 1 page.
This may be hand written or typed.
Students are encouraged to decorate their page with art or graphics.

* Have a Remembrance Day or Veterans theme
* 1 page in length (maximum)
* 1/2 inch margins (minimum)
* Author name, school and grade should be lightly written on the reverse in pencil.

All Finalists will be posted at the Six Nations Public Library

The top winners will receive a Book Gift Certificate

All entries must be ready for pick up in the afternoon of Mon., Nov. 5th or you can drop them off at the library.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Teaching Effective Interrupting

GAG Technique

Get the person's attention.
Apologize for interrupting.
Give the reason for interrupting.

Interrupting appropriately is an important life skill that often needs to be explicitly taught to children.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Book Week is November 17-24th

The Magic of Books

Visit to find out more information about how you can celebrate the magic of books in your school or library. Your class or school can celebrate with a kit for $14.95. Download the form at Also, the Imperial Oil Foundation is having a writing contest for grades 2-6. More information and contest details can be found at . Writing contest entries must be received no later than December 15, 2007.

In addition, I did apply for an author visit for the schools that showed an interest. Thank you for your continued support, assistance and flexibility during this process.

Special Thanks to Vanessa at Jamieson

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Putting it all Together

Putting It All Together is hosting an event in Hamilton on Nov. 20th for parents and caregivers. It is FREE! This would be great to share with parents via school newsletter or post on parent information boards located at your school. Visit and click on event schedule for more information. If you scroll down to Parent and Caregiver Community you will find information about Susan Bennett-Armistead and her presentation entitled, Beyond Bedtime Stories: Ideas for families to weave literacy into the everyday lives of young children.
Special Thanks to Dar at J.C. Hill

Friday, September 28, 2007

Raptors Free Reading Program - READ TO ACHIEVE

Check it out!

The Toronto Raptors offer two excellent programs for your school to get involved in this year. TeamUp for Literacy (Oct.-Mar.) for grades 1-12 encourages schools to start student literacy initiatives. Reading Time-Out (Oct.-Mar.) for grades 1-8 is a great idea for a class to begin a read-a-thon. Sign up by Oct. 5th
Special Thanks to Judy at ECG

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Mem Fox

Internationally acclaimed children's author and literacy expert, Mem Fox is coming to Brantford.

Date: Mon., Oct 22, 2007.

Event: Mem Fox - Hosted by the Family Literacy Committee of Brant - "Which Reading Road Shall We Travel"

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Tickets: $8.00 - general seating
Sanderson Centre Box Office 519-758-8090 or visit


If you are interested in being involved in a district-wide book club with the following texts please contact Candy Browatzke by e-mail ( or phone 519-445-4227ASAP. The first 10 primary and junior/intermediate teachers to respond will have priority. At this time, I don't have a schedule, because I would like to have suggestions from the book club members. I am assuming we would meet once a month (a.m./p.m.) and rotate our meeting locations. Literacy Work Stations is recommended for primary teachers and Practice with Purpose is recommended for junior/intermediate teachers at a cost of $31.95.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Summer Reading Loss: Worse Than We Think

"A summer loss of three months accumulates over the elementary grade summers to become a gap of 18 months by the end of sixth grade. By middle school, summer reading loss plus an initial achievement lag at the beginning of first grade, produces a cumulative lag of two or more years in reading achievement, even when effective instruction during the school years is available." (Donna Gorden, Bureau of Education & Research, 2006)

What Can We Do?
  • Send home summer reading lists, books and tips for parents.
  • Encourage library visits and programs.

Recommended web sites with fun reading activities:

  1. Kidsreads is the best place on the web for kids to find info about their favourite books, series and authors. They also have trivia games, word scrambles and awesome contests.
  2. - This site is full of funny poems kids will love to read. Others links include places where you can write your own poems and read ones written by other kids.
  3. Storybooks Online - Choose from a selection of a dozen stories, young, middle-aged and older children might like to read right from your computer screen.
  4. KidsDomain: Summer Fun
  5. Stories Online - Follow the news written for children.

"The single summer activity that is most strongly and consistently related to summer learning is reading". (Anne McGill Franzen & Richard Allington) For example, to maintain their reading skills a Gr. 2 student should read 4 chapter books during the summer.