Our Basic Tools

Some of the available lesson plans provide you with graphic organizers. These are useful tools for organizing learning activities that support the strategy being taught. Graphic organizers help students to show what they are thinking. They can be used to:

  • record information
  • organize information
  • generate new ideas
  • compare and contrast information
  • The following PDF, Learning Strategies for Aboriginal Students: Opportunities to make learning meaningful, is an excerpt from the document: Our Words, Our Ways - Alberta Education. This document is so succinctly put together and although the focus is Aboriginal learners it is beneficial and applicable for all learners.

    For the complete document, Our Words, Our Ways - Teaching First Nations, Métis and Inuit Learners:

    • Click Here (This is a large file; please be patient while it loads ...)

Guided Reading
In many cases Reading Comprehension strategies are being taught, on a daily basis, through a guided reading programme as well as the explicit comprehension lessons that we have been discussing. There are a number of tools available on our website to assist you with that process:

  • Strong Reader Tools Posters
  • I have been using these self developed tools for 5 years now with much success with all learners and at all ages, 4 - 55 years old. Although the focus is on reading it is really a framework for learning and more importantly, a framework that supports learners recognizing and demonstrating to themselves that they have the capability to learn, which in turn is engaging and promotes self volition.

    As a gift to get you started on your journey I have provided you with a printable copy of my Literacy Lesson Plan:

    Along with this is a copy of the strategy, How About a Try:

Cultivating Curious and Creative Minds
Format: Paperback
Cultivating Curious and Creative Minds presents a plethora of approaches to developing human potential in areas not conventionally addressed. Organized in two parts, this international collection of essays provides viable educational alternatives to those currently holding sway in an era of high-stakes accountability. Taken together, the chapters in Part I of Cultivating Curious and Creative Minds provide a sampling of what the cultivation of curious and creative minds entails. The contributing authors shed light on how curiosity and creativity can be approached in the teaching domain and discuss specific ideas concerning how it plays out in particular situations and contexts.

Reading Power
Author: Adrienne Gear
Format: Paperback
Reading Power: Teaching Students to Think While They Read

A simple approach to teaching reading comprehension with effective strategies to help students think while they read. This practical book features chapters on the five powerful reading/thinking strategies — connecting, questioning, visualizing, inferring, and transforming. It offers techniques for helping children recognize what happens in their heads while they read, with simple applications that can be incorporated into any classroom routine. A valuable handbook that promotes reading independence with sequential lessons, teacher-modeling tips, and suggestions for guided practice.

Learning in Safe Schools, 2nd Edition
Format: Paperback
This practical and timely edition of a popular book offers the tools teachers need for building safer, more inclusive schools -- from a school-wide code of conduct to creating, enforcing, and supporting a behaviour plan. Commited to teaching so all students can learn, the book offers ideas for planning and adapting curriculum for a wide range of students. It also encourages strategies that build collaborative learning, with examples of effective approaches to problem solving.

This completely updated resource includes current examples of resource models, class reiews, simple adaptations, and more. An emphasis on the importance of choice for students in both learning and assessment is at the core of this new edition. Ideal for both new and experienced teachers, this comprehensive book is full of simple suggestions, hands-on activities, and blackline masters will help teachers meet the diverse needs of all students.

Coming in September 2011!

Embedded formative assessment
Author: Dylan Wiliam
Format: Paperback
If we are to maintain our status as one of the world’s leading economies and secure our economic futures, and if we want our students to thrive in the impossibly complex, unpredictable world of the 21st century, we must concentrate on increasing educational achievement by increasing the quality of the teachers in our schools. The author faces this challenge head-on by making a case for the important role of formative assessment in increasing teacher quality and student learning.

Formative assessment plays an important role in increasing teacher quality and student learning when it’s viewed as a process rather than a tool. Emphasizing the instructional side of formative assessment, this book explores in-depth the use of classroom questioning, learning intentions and success criteria, feedback, collaborative and cooperative learning, and self-regulated learning to engineer effective learning environments for students.


Presents five key strategies with research evidence to show the impact of each
Includes over 50 practical techniques for classroom formative assessment

So What Do They Really Know?
Author: Cris Tovani
Format: Paperback
Assessment that informs teaching and learning

Explore the complex issue of monitoring, assessing, and grading students' thinking and performance with fairness and fidelity. This practical book describes assessment systems and structure and shows teachers how to use assessments to monitor student growth and provide targeted feedback that enables students to master content goals. It also shares ways to bring students into the assessment cycle so they can monitor their own learning, maximizing motivation and engagement.

Student Diversity, 2nd Edition
Format: Paperback
Classroom strategies to meet the learning needs of all students

This well-loved guide has now been fully revised to explore the latest theories, research, and best practice in inclusive classrooms. From ice-breaking activities to ways to meet specific expectations in all areas of the curriculum, teachers will discover practical strategies and organizational frameworks that will help them to reach all students.

Whether you`re searching for new ways to inspire students with different learning styles, celebrate the abilities of the physically challenged, or boost the skills of those learning English for the first time, Student Diversity has what you need to meet and defeat the wide variety of challenges in today`s classroom. Packed with examples of student work and reproducible worksheets, this book will help to smooth the daily path of beginning and experienced teachers alike.

Teaching With Intention
Author: Debbie Miller
Format: Paperback
Teaching With Intention
Defining Beliefs, Aligning Practice, Taking Action, K-5

Effective, intentional teaching begins with a strong set of beliefs, but even the best teachers—including Debbie Miller—struggle to make sure that their classroom practice consistently reflects their core convictions. In Teaching with Intention, Debbie shares her process of defining beliefs, aligning practice, and taking action to ensure that children are the true beneficiaries of her teaching. From setting up the classroom environment to the intentional use of language, from comprehension instruction to lesson design, Debbie is explicit about what she does and why. At the same time, she encourages teachers to develop their own belief statements concerning teaching and learning, and includes key questions to guide them in this important process.


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