Rolling with the Punches

I’m the first person to admit that I don’t like change. I don’t handle it very well and I don’t handle uncertainty well either. I like to have all the information and I like to plan ahead. I know I’m not the only one! This is not the time for people like me. Our world is full of change and uncertainty right now. I’m learning to roll with the punches as we all have been during this pandemic. Almost all aspects of daily life have changed over the past few months. The change hasn’t been limited to our personal lives either, as the world of education has undergone some major changes too. Our jobs have changed drastically and the adaptability of teachers has never been so important.

This week definitely has a feeling of relief to it. I’m going to miss interacting with my students, but after the whirlwind (that’s putting it nicely) of a year we’ve had, I think every teacher is breathing a sigh of relief.

Unfortunately, that sigh of relief might feel very short-lived for a lot of us. There is so much uncertainty in the air about what the future of education looks like. What will September look like? Will we be back in classes as normal? Will we be distance teaching again? Will we be working with a blended model of both? Will we be safe? How are we possibly going to make this work? As much as we all need these answers, we simply don’t have them yet. It’s so easy to get caught up in speculation and worry. Our minds race through “what if” scenarios, which lead us to more and more questions and a lot more anxiety.

Social media can be a dangerous place during uncertain times. People speculate, share hypotheticals, and post their own ideas of needs to happen which can lead to misinformation and overload. Try not to get caught up in all of that.

We’ve worked hard to get to where we are this week. We’ve accomplished what was completely unthinkable up until it became our reality in March. Colleagues, we’ve earned this summer break. We need to honour our own wellbeing this summer. Of course, there are things we can do to prepare ourselves for possible scenarios and teaching models but we would be doing ourselves a disservice to speculate, worry, and try to create answers that simply don’t exist.

Celebrate your accomplishments, reflect on what you’ve learned (I know I’ve learned a lot these past few months!) and take some time to distance yourself from distance learning! Our students deserve refreshed and rejuvenated educators welcoming them in September.

The detailed school reopening plans will come and when they do, we will roll with the punches! That’s what us teachers do best, isn’t? Not to mention that this is a great opportunity to model adaptability for our students and our own children. Even for people like me!



How is bowling like teaching?

Think about a 7-10 split in bowling. You aim right down the middle and knock over all the pins except for the two at the back corners. Happens to me all the time!

“The ball is the lesson, the pins are the kids. We aim for the middle. We do the best we can. The pins that are left standing we often have another chance to kind of get to them, but at the end of the day those two pins that are staring back at you are the kids who need the most support and the kids who need the most challenge. So, we end up choosing one and the other one is left standing.”

Watch below to hear how bowling really is just like teaching, and how a professional bowler can teach us a valuable lesson about inclusive education that you might not have thought about.


Shelley Moore is a teacher, researcher, consultant and storyteller in Vancouver, BC. If you haven’t heard of Shelley yet, then I’m pleased to be the one to introduce you! I was first exposed to Shelley’s online content during a PD session at my board and have since found her analogies, knowledge and passion to be extremely valuable for my own growth as an educator. Her research and work has been featured at national and international conferences and is constructed based on theory and effective practices of inclusion, special education, curriculum and teacher professional development.

For teachers both new and seasoned, Shelley offers video content as well as other online learning opportunities that are sure to bend the way you think and open your eyes to things you may not have thought of before. If you enjoyed this analogy, wait until you hear her use baked potatoes to explore scaffolding complexity. You’ll probably laugh along the way, too.

I hope you spend a few minutes checking out some of her content! I just couldn’t keep this fresh, entertaining and helpful resource to myself. You can follow Shelley Moore’s channel called Five Moore Minutes on Youtube, as @tweetsomemoore on Twitter, or at .




Distanced But Closer: Changed Relationships

Distance learning has offered rewards and challenges that I’m sure no educator could have seen coming their way. As our school year’s end is approaching, I’ve been spending a lot of time reflecting on  the overall experience of distance learning for myself and my students. While I could probably write for days about all of the ways distance learning was impactful, I wanted to highlight one in particular.

In many cases, my relationships with my students changed.

At the onset of this wild ride, I was mostly worried about my teacher-student relationships changing, and not in a good way. I worried about how removing the social interaction of being together in the same room would negatively impact our relationships. I worried about the loss of our high fives, inside jokes, and the ability to play with each other. I dreaded the thought of simply assigning work from behind a screen while they completed it alone. Luckily, that’s not all how this turned out.

I was pleasantly surprised with how well I was able to maintain special, personal and close relationships with my students even over distance learning. I teach grade 3/4 and worried that my students’ lack of proficiency with technology and even just typing on a keyboard would add increased barriers to our communication. They floored me with their ability to adapt and overcome that. Every day, I exchanged instant messages with my students and was able to maintain the same banter and tone that we would if we were right beside each other in the classroom.

However, the most impactful change to our teacher-student relationships came from outside of the curriculum, outside of my planned program, and outside of anything either of us were expected to do.

With many of my students, the ability to stay in touch digitally and in real-time (we’ve been using SeeSaw as our main platform) allowed me to become a part of their daily life at home. Many of my students welcomed my presence with open arms into their daily activities and this opened up a new way for us to interact.

After a few weeks of getting used to online communication, my students started to send me photos and videos things that weren’t school work. I was getting pictures of Lego creations, arts and crafts, forts made out of cardboard boxes, or handmade jewelry. One student sent me a photo of lunch that she had cooked by herself for the first time. Another sent me a photo of flowers she had planted in her garden. Another student sent me a photo of a fox he saw in his yard. The other day, a student sent me a photo of herself doing a handstand in her pool that she had just mastered.

These offerings from my students acted as a catalyst for what I think was our most valuable learning together throughout this whole thing. Personalized, authentic and real-time exchanges that were child directed. A chance for me to engage them in critical thinking, prompt independent inquiry and point out their learning in one-on-one manner.

It might have been easy for me to fluff that off as typical kids being excited to show things off to their teacher, but there’s a Kindergarten teacher in me. And that Kindergarten teacher’s heart jumped with joy because my students were allowing me a window into their learning through real, authentic, hands-on learning and play. With them sharing their small projects, interests and curiosities with me, I could add to their experiences by noticing or naming academic concepts, prompting wonder, and pointing out their growth through their exploration.

It reminded me so much of teaching kindergarten, where the same relationship of observing a child’s play and drawing the learning from it was my main approach to teaching. This can totally still happen in grade 3 and 4, but when the world for them to explore is expanded beyond our limited classroom walls it is so much more enriched. To illustrate this, I had an entire conversation with one of my students about the things she noticed and wondered while she and her family explored a creek in a forest. That’s not something that can happen often in a primary/junior classroom (unless you’re lucky enough to teach near a forest!).

As time has progressed, I’ve shifted my approach with some of my students to simply building a relationship with them through what they are engaged in and interested in doing. It has added so much value to distance learning for those that have been struggling with engaging academically. We now have a class blog that I will post their offerings to, as well, so they can see what their peers are doing and accomplishing. Many times, other students will try something similar and send me a photo of it to post on the blog in response. This has led to inspired, busy, and most of all socially engaged kids.

Yes, my class’ overall engagement with the assigned work has declined significantly over the past few weeks – a trend I’m sure we are all seeing – but the one thing that hasn’t declined is the daily sharing of things they are proud of.

And, to me, is that better than them completing their assigned math? Of course it is.

Teacher Performance Appraisal: Advice for New Teachers

The core element of the New Teacher Induction Program is the performance appraisal process. All new teachers will have two performance appraisals within the first 12 months of their position as part of NTIP. For some, the thought of this can be overwhelming and daunting, even if you’re a confident and experienced teacher.

There are a total of sixteen competencies that the TPA process evaluates. Experienced teachers are evaluated in all sixteen areas every five years (something to worry about later for us!). For new teachers, the TPA focuses only on these eight:

  • Teachers demonstrate commitment to the well-being and development of all pupils.
  • Teachers are dedicated in their efforts to teach and support pupil learning and achievement.
  • Teachers treat all pupils equitably and with respect.
  • Teachers provide an environment for learning that encourages pupils to be problem solvers, decision makers, lifelong learners, and contributing members of a changing society
  • Teachers know their subject matter, the Ontario curriculum, and education- related legislation.
  •  Teachers use their professional knowledge and understanding of pupils, curriculum, legislation, teaching practices, and classroom management strategies to promote the learning and achievement of their pupils.
  • Teachers communicate effectively with pupils, parents, and colleagues.
  • Teachers conduct ongoing assessment of pupils’ progress, evaluate their achievement, and report results to pupils and their parents regularly.
Chances are, you’re already meeting these expectations if you’re a newly hired permanent teacher! This is now an opportunity to officially demonstrate, document and reflect on them.

The TPA process involves the following components:

  • the pre-observation meeting
  • a classroom observation (for new teachers, there are two of these!)
  • a post-observation meeting
  • a summative report that includes a rating of the teacher’s overall performance

Preparing for the pre-observation meeting and classroom observations will take some thought and time, but the best advice I can share – as someone who is knee-deep in the process right now – is that being prepared is the best thing you can do. Aside from having confidence in yourself, of course!

The Pre-Observation Meeting 

The teacher and principal must have a pre-observation meeting to prepare for the classroom observation component of the appraisal. The principal must record the date of the pre-observation meeting in the summative report.

The principal and the teacher use the pre-observation meeting to:

  • make certain that the expectations for the appraisal process are clearly understood;
  • promote a collegial atmosphere in advance of the classroom observation;
  • identify exactly what is expected during the lesson to be observed;
  • discuss the teacher’s plan for the classroom observation period;
  • identify the expectations for student learning that are the focus of the lesson;
  • discuss the unique qualities of the teacher’s class of students;
  • discuss how the teacher’s performance will be assessed, including a review of the competencies that will form the basis of the teacher’s performance appraisal;
  • establish procedures in advance;
  • set the date and time for the classroom observation

This meeting is an opportunity for you to demonstrate to your administrator how you meet all of the competencies being evaluated. This is when you can portray who you are as a teacher and share information that your administrator might not be able to observe during their relatively short classroom observation. It’s almost like a show and tell, and the best way to prepare for this is to go into this meeting with a variety of evidence of your practice. Prior to my pre-observation meeting, my administrator provided me with some ideas of things that I might consider bringing to the meeting. These things included:

  • your day book including a record of your daily plans dating back to the beginning of the current teaching assignment
  • evidence of long range planning
  • notes on how you are meeting the competencies that might not be observed during your classroom observation (for example, your use of technology, how assessment drives your instruction or how equity is evident in your classroom)
  • notes in your involvement in activities in the school or the system that address the competencies, yet might not be observable during classroom observations
  • notes on your contact and communication with parents
  • all of your student assessment and evaluation records from the beginning of your assignment
  • samples of assessment methods and activities that you have used in your class
  • samples of resources being used in the classroom this year

Preparation for this meeting felt like the most intensive part of the process so far, for me personally. I wanted to have enough evidence to demonstrate all of who I am as a teacher – my pedagogy, my relationships, my practice and my professional growth. It did offer a great opportunity to step back, look at my teaching practice and do a lot of self evaluating (before the actual evaluation!).

The Classroom Observations

To assess teachers’ skills, knowledge, and attitudes, each appraisal must include at least one classroom observation. For the purposes of the performance appraisal, each teacher must be observed in an instructional setting. With the exception of the teaching assignments summarized below, the classroom observation involves a visit by the principal to the teacher’s classroom. For teachers such as physical education teachers, special education teachers, or guidance counsellors, the ordinary teaching environment would include, respectively, the gymnasium, a regular classroom where the special education teacher is working with particular students, or a guidance office or small-group setting where the counsellor is interacting with students.

In my case, the observations are taking place in my classroom. Usually, your administrator will want to see one lesson in math and one in language if you are a homeroom teacher. I have completed my first observation in math and will have my second, in language, next week!

On the morning of your observation, you’ll hand in a lesson plan to your administrator that outlines in detail what you are planning to teach. I went back to my trusty old teacher’s college lesson plan template (brought back some memories!) as it reminded me of all the important and helpful information to record and consider.

It’s wise to include written evidence of how you plan to differentiate and which assessment indicators you will look for throughout the lesson. This takes away the guessing for your administrator and shows that you consider these things in your planning consistently.

The best advice that I received when trying to decide what to teach for my observation was not to try anything new or crazy. Follow your regular routines, engage your students in processes they are familiar with and work with content that they have likely had some exposure to already. This takes the pressure off of you and your students and increases the likelihood of having a smooth, successful lesson take place.

I decided to teach a three-part lesson plan for my lesson as I felt it demonstrated my strongest aspects as a teacher. My class has fantastic consolidation discussions and math talks and I wanted my administrator to see that. Choose a lesson that will demonstrate both your and your students’ best features as teachers and learners.

I have yet to have the Post-Observation Meeting with my administrator, but I am feeling very confident and pleased with how my first observation went! Of course, no lesson ever goes exactly how you plan it but this only provided me with the chance to demonstrate my flexibility and adaptability as a teacher.

After my observation next week, in language, I will meet for the post-observation meeting and will have a chance to look at my Summative Evaluation. I’ll be sure to post again and share my experiences with the consolidation of this process so far!

For more information about TPA for New Teachers, click here.

New Teacher Induction Program

Most newly hired permanent teachers aren’t exactly “new teachers” by the time they achieve permanent status. This is actually my fourth year as a classroom teacher, and the case is similar for many (most?) others.

However, participation in the New Teacher Induction Program (NTIP) is a mandatory part of a new permanent teacher’s first year in their position. The program consists of the following three elements:

  • orientation for new teachers to the school and school board
  • mentoring for new teachers by experienced teachers
  • professional learning relevant to the individual needs of new teachers

In addition to the three elements, all new teachers are evaluated twice within the first 12 months of their teaching position through the Teacher Performance Appraisal (TPA) process.

At first, the process might seem daunting or overwhelming for someone in a brand new position, especially if they are a somewhat new teacher. Not to worry – so far the process has been easy, clearly defined and even enjoyable!

All school boards implement the orientation, mentoring and professional learning in their own way. In my board, I have participated in two wonderful experiences so far.

First, I attended an NTIP Open House one evening after school. The board organized a drop-in event for new teachers to become acquainted with certain board staff members, board level services and introduce themselves to their mentoring groups and mentors. I had the opportunity to chat and network with many other people in the same position as I am. Booths and stations were set up in the room for teachers to visit and chat with board services such as Human Resources, Early Years, Speech and Language, Resource Libraries and many more. It was a great “get your feet wet” event that offered a glimpse into the rest of the process to come.

Next, was a full day of Professional Learning offered at the board office. New teachers were divided into groups based on their area of teaching. I teach grade 3/4, so I was placed in the Primary mentoring group. The day consisted of whole-group learning as well as time with our individual mentoring group. Led by various board staff, the whole-group session offered information about board resources, the NTIP process, basic board orientation information, discussion of best practice and even some mini-PD sessions led by various mentors that offered exposure to new resources, tools and ideas. Each mentoring group was assigned three or four mentors (experienced teachers), who led their smaller groups through further professional learning that was relevant to our specific positions. Time was given for informal conversation, a chance to ask questions and get to know other mentees.

For me, the most valuable information that I was given was a full explanation of what to expect during the TPA process for new teachers. We were provided with a full description of the process, advice for a successful TPA, time to ask questions and even a head start on filling out our Individual NTIP Strategy Forms.

The Individual NTIP Strategy Form is intended to serve as a vehicle for discussion and learning, as well as a means of planning, tracking, and recording the NTIP induction elements in which each new teacher participates. It is intended to reflect when a new teacher has completed participation in their program – almost as a diary of your learning. This form helps guide your professional development over the year and is a tool for documenting that learning for you and your administrator.

I left our first official day of NTIP feeling empowered and prepared for the next step of the process, the Teacher Performance Appraisals – which you can read all about in my next post!

Still curious about NTIP? You can read more about it here!


What Can We Learn From Halloween Candy?

Math talks encourage participation, nurture intuition, build fluency, and enhance mental math strategies. Most importantly, math talks improve students’ ability to justify and defend their thinking. In my own practice, this instructional strategy has been the most valuable window into my students’ thinking.

Sometimes the best math talks come from things that seemingly involve no math at all. One of my class’ favourite math activities is to play “Which One Doesn’t Belong?”, where students examine four pictures (or shapes, or numbers) side by side and must decide which one does not belong with the set, justifying their answers. These are open-ended, high-ceiling prompts with multiple access points which allow the teacher to meet students where they’re at in the conversation, and other students’ more complex thinking to challenge their peers. You can access these images for use in your own classroom here.

I want my students to see that math is everywhere in their lives. Taking a bit of a Kindergarten approach, I’ve been going out of my way to point out math concepts that occur naturally throughout our day. On Halloween, before sending them home for their night of trick-or-treating, I asked them what they usually do with their candy when they get back home. Most said that they dump it on the floor (of course!).

I asked, “well, what do you do next?”. About half of them shared that they sort or count their candy. We talked a little bit about the different ways that everyone usually sorts their candy. I invited them to have their families take a picture of their sorted candy piles and send it to me! They seemed pretty excited about their “candy homework”.

That night, almost all of the families in my class submitted a picture! The following day, I used their pictures for one of the most engaging and valuable math talks we’ve had this year.

We took our time looking at each of the submitted photos, noticing and naming math concepts that were visible in each one. Their best ideas came from my simple prompt, “What math can you see here?“. Some of the concepts and skills that we touched upon include:

Number Sense – subitizing, estimating (when a full set is visible and when parts of a set are buried – for example, what could be the answer when we can’t see what is underneath the pile?), counting, least/greatest, mental math addition and subtraction

Patterning – patterning by different attributes (shape, colour, kind of candy)

Measurement – measurement with non-standard units (the way we line up the candy along the floor affects how the quantity appears – for example, if the same amount of different sized bars are lined up touching one another, it may appear that there are more of the larger sized bars because they create a longer line)

Data Management – different rules for sorting and classifying, different ways of arranging the candy to make their thinking clear, discussions about the most and least popular types of candy given out

Geometry – sorting and classifying by geometric properties of the candy packaging (rectangular candy, square packages, spheres, 2D vs. 3D packaging, etc)

Our wonderfully rich math talk also lead us into a media literacy discussion about packaging, advertising and marketing, and why certain candy brands appeared to be more popular than others.

They had so much to share that we will have to continue on Monday!


A Beginning Teacher’s Journey: Part Four

Since I started blogging with Heart & Art three years ago, I like to think I’ve had an ongoing storyline in my “A Beginning Teacher’s Journey” posts. So far, I’ve written three instalments.

A Beginning Teacher’s Journey: Part One reminisces about the day I found out I had been hired to the Occasional Teacher list in my board. I still remember that moment clear as day – the moment that began my career. I wrote about accepting my first LTO position, and how it felt to finally, truly be a teacher. I was so excited, and still feel that excitement today.

In A Beginning Teachers’ Journey: Part Two, I shared some of the struggles and joys of being a brand new teacher. As I’m reading that post again today, I’m proud of myself for how I’ve grown but also humbled by how much I am still thinking those same things. Even three and a half years in, I’m still feeling like a new teacher. I’m still learning as I go.

I wrote A Beginning Teacher’s Journey: Part Three at the end of my first significantly long LTO position. I wrote about the sense of loss teacher feels when they must leave a class or a school, moving between different assignments throughout the first few years of teaching. As an LTO teacher, this has been the hardest part of my job. Since writing that post, I have taught in two full-year long LTO positions at two different schools. I felt the exact same way leaving at the end of the year each of those times, too.

Today, I’m writing part four as a permanent teacher! I have finally accepted a full time, permanent position teaching grade 3/4 at a wonderful school.

There’s still a part of me that can’t quite believe it. It was only recently that I wrote this post, sharing how many of my colleagues, myself included, were concerned about the prospects of permanent employment.

I had just started my first day of a full-year LTO assignment when I received the call to interview for the permanent position I had applied for. When asking a good friend and colleague for interview advice, she simply told me to speak from the heart and exude who I was as a teacher. So that’s what I did. I think it was pretty good advice! The phone call I received officially offering me the position is yet another moment that I will always remember!

Tomorrow will mark four weeks since beginning my new position. Beginning at a new school isn’t new territory for me, as this is the fifth school I’ve now called home. Only this time, it feels a lot more like home. I have learned a lot already and I know that I still have a lot to learn. I’ve spent late nights and early mornings setting up my classroom, planning my program and settling in. I’ve focused the most on building relationships. I am so excited to watch my students grow even beyond my year with them. I am so eager to build my second home and become a part of the school community. I am so relieved that I no longer have to worry about job security, and maybe even more relieved about not having to pack up and bring home my classroom with me this summer.

At first when writing this post, I thought I might title it “A Beginning Teacher’s Journey: The Final Part”, or something more clever but along those lines. However, that’s not how I see it. The journey is still continuing and a lot of new things are ahead for me. I’ll be going through the New Teacher Induction Program process, which will include two Teacher Performance Appraisals and building a portfolio of professional growth. I look forward to writing and sharing all about it!

I’ve still got a long way to go with this whole “beginning teacher” thing, but my journey so far has been the most rewarding, exciting and challenging experience I’ve ever had. I wouldn’t change a thing!

And this girl? She’s pretty happy. My first class photo as a teacher, circa 1995.


The Perpetual “First Year Teacher” Feeling

This year will be my fourth school year as an LTO teacher. I have had a variety of wonderful experiences from Kindergarten up to grade six. Aside from having to move schools and build new relationships each year, the biggest downside to being an LTO teacher is seldom (or never) having the chance to revise my teaching and delivery of curriculum. When moving to new positions and grade assignments each year, or sometimes even twice within a year, an LTO teacher is always learning new things. We’re always figuring things out as we go.

Sometimes it can feel like we’re “first year” teachers every year!

I learned, just today, that I will finally get to teach the same grade twice! Tomorrow I will be starting an assignment teaching grade 1/2, the same grade that I taught last year. Finally, I’ll have a chance to reflect, revise and build upon my professional learning from last year and put it into action going forward.

So much of effective teaching is giving students feedback and then the opportunity to revise their work. I’ve always felt that was missing from my experience as a new teacher so far [am I still considered new at this point?] and the chance to do this could really make me a better teacher. I’ve taught entire units or subjects to classes that I knew I could have done better with after the fact, but have never had the chance to come back to it and make the changes I wanted to. I’ve always envied my permanent colleagues that could say, “yes, I’ll try that next year!”.

So with this opportunity, this year I am focusing on being a reflective practitioner!

I plan to recall my experiences from teaching grade 1/2 last year, reflect on my practice and change, revise and improve for this year going forward. I’m feeling relieved not to have to plan every single thing as I go, as I’ve got ideas, resources, planning and experience behind me for the first time.

Yes, every group of learners is different, and of course there will be many new things about the way I’ll teach this new class. Differentiation is a huge part of my pedagogy and approach to teaching. However, having a bit of a plan and some previous experience with the curriculum this year is something that I am looking forward to!

Good luck to all of my colleagues starting new positions this week as our schools experience reorganization! What are your goals and focuses for this upcoming year? Have you been moved to a new assignment that poses new challenges or opportunities for you?




Beginnings and Endings

We are so lucky to have a career that has built-in beginnings and endings.

Beginnings are inspiring and exciting. September brings us a brand new year. For some of us, it will also bring a new grade, new school, new students, new classroom, or some combination of those things. It’s a chance to start fresh, reinvent, rethink and make changes.

Endings bring about mixed emotions. Sometimes there’s a feeling of relief, perhaps after a particularly challenging year, or a year that you felt you weren’t at your best. By the end of June, many of us are exhausted. Endings bring an opportunity to slow down, reduce stress and focus on our own health and well-being. Most importantly, endings give us a chance to reflect.

The best part is that after every ending, comes a new beginning. On a personal level, I am really looking forward to a new beginning in September. I feel that I’ve learned and grown so much as an educator this year and I’m eager to get into my next classroom and apply that learning. The ending to this last school year was a sad one for me, as I said goodbye to a wonderful school and students that I love dearly, but this has only made me even more excited to see what comes next.

Are you feeling inspired by the new beginning that September will bring? What have you reflected on in June that will change you as you head into September?


Capturing Their Wonder

Our classroom motto is “wisdom begins in wonder”. This quote, from Socrates, represents the core of my beliefs about teaching. I believe that every child holds a natural curiosity about the world around them, and that the most powerful learning happens when that curiosity is answered with opportunity.

Many classes at my school work on a yearly book publishing project, in which each class collaborates on a book that is written and illustrated by the students. I wanted to think of a topic that would engage my students and create a beautiful keepsake for their families, but I also wanted our topic to be authentic and meaningful. I tried to think of what would represent our class, and I remembered that the core of our classroom is wonder.

So I simply asked, “what do you wonder?”. We spent a few minutes discussing some ways to word their “I wonder” statements and sharing some ideas as a group. Then, they were sent off to write.I was so enthralled by their wonderings. Some of the questions they wrote stemmed from our current learning, but most of them were genuine, authentic questions that they had about their world. I absolutely loved reading what they wrote and I felt like it really captured their bright, curious minds.

Earlier in the year we had made some beautiful owl art, so we decided to include that art as our illustrations since owls are also a symbol of wisdom. Here are some photos of our published book!









After about four weeks our published books arrived. As we read the book together as a class, my students were so pleased with themselves as they realized that even in the short time since writing the book, they had already discovered or researched the answers to some of the questions they had written about. It was the perfect illustration of just what I wanted them to see – that wisdom really does begin with wonder!

Parents were able to purchase either a hard cover or paperback copy of the book to keep. Although the compilation and final editing process before sending the package off to the publisher can be a bit tedious on the teacher’s end, it was well worthwhile just to hear that grade one student exclaim, “Wow! I can’t believe we are real authors!”.

If you’re interested in publishing a book with your class, head to Student Treasures to learn more!