Mistakes are Opportunities for Learning!

Thanks to all the enthusiastic teachers for their participation and spark at all of our Growth Mindset Literacy sessions.   Together we can help foster Growth Mindsets in all our students and in ourselves … we can build our toolkit with strategies to support the new belief about the power to improve!!

Growth Mindset & Literacy April 12, 2018 Presentation

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Growth Mindset Literacy Session, November 2017

Growth Mindset Literacy Presentation, November 2017

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Classroom ideas to support Family Literacy Day

Link to original Family Literacy Day document — with pictures of recommended books, links to BC Healthy Schools regarding Food Literacy and a grade 10 unit created by Dr. Jennifer Katz.

Ideas for Teachers to support Family Literacy Day

It is Family Literacy Day on January 27th and the Literacy Society wants to get the day proclaimed by the city of Fort St. John — the theme this year is “What’s on my Plate?” with a focus on healthy eating and preparing meals together as families. Following are some ideas to use in classrooms to help support this year’s theme! Ideas included range from Primary to high school grades — Upper elementary, middle and high school teachers please scroll down for more classroom ideas and activities!

by Cindy McGarroch on January 10, 2018


Books to support Healthy Eating

Here is a list of picture books that gently encourage kids to try healthy foods. These excellent food-themed books both entertain and teach kids about fruits and veggies, food groups, and where food comes from. Do you have a favorite food-themed book? Please share!!

Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert. This beautifully illustrated alphabet book introduces kids to new fruits and vegetables. Ages 2+

Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert. Describes growing vegetables and using the vegetables to make vegetable soup. Growing Vegetable Soup includes a delicious vegetable soup recipe that can be made with veggies from your local farmers’ market if you do not have time to grow all of the vegetables yourself. Ages 2+

Pancakes, Pancakes by Eric Carle. An entertaining tale to get kids thinking about where the ingredients in their foods come from. In Pancakes, Pancakes, a boy named Jack asks his mother to make him a pancake. Before Jack’s mother can make a pancake, Jack must help her by threshing wheat, gathering eggs, churning butter, etc. If Pancakes, Pancakes sounds appealing, you might also like Pancakes for Breakfast by Tomie de Paola (an excellent wordless picture book with a remarkably similar plot) or How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman (a whimsical story about a girl who travels around the world in search of ingredients for an apple pie). Ages 3+

I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato by Lauren Child. My kids love Lauren Child’s stories of siblings Charlie and Lola! In I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato, Charlie tricks Lola into trying new foods by making up stories about each one. For example, Charlie tells Lola that the carrots he has served are orange twiglets from Jupiter. By the end of this story, Charlie and Lola are both having fun pretending to eat ocean nibbles (fish sticks), cloud fluff (mashed potatoes), orange twiglets (carrots), moonsquirters (tomatoes), and green drops (peas). Ages 3+

The Edible Pyramid: Good Eating Every Day by Loreen Leedy. Another favorite of my kids. While the USDA has recently ditched the food pyramid and replaced it with my plate, The Edible Pyramid remains a fantastic, kid-friendly introduction to the basic food groups and can be used to help encourage kids to eat a variety of foods. Ages 3+

Pizza at Sally’s by Monica Wellington. Pizza is my favorite food to cook with kids, so I sought out a good picture book about pizza. Pizza at Sally’s is written by Monica Wellington, whose colorful illustrations are always a hit with my kids. In Pizza at Sally’s, Wellington simply introduces the ingredients needed to make pizza and describes how Sally makes a pizza. Please, share your favorite books about pizza in the comments below! Ages 3+

Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens. A trickster tale with fantastic, Caldecott-worthy illustrations that teaches kids that we eat various parts of plants. For a meatier lesson about vegetables and plant parts, pair with The Vegetables We Eat by Gail Gibbons and let kids examine and taste various types of vegetables. Ages 4+

Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban. I love all Frances books, and Bread and Jam for Frances is one of my favorites. In Bread and Jam for Frances, Frances initially turns up her nose at all food other than bread and jam. However, when her mother decides to serve Frances only bread and jam, Frances quickly misses eating a variety of foods. I absolutely love Hoban’s descriptions of foods in this books as well as his both humorous and realistic portrayal of Frances’ feelings. Ages 4+

Good Enough to Eat: A Kid’s Guide to Food by Lizzy Rockwell. An introduction to nutrients and the digestive system for kids ages five through nine. My kids really enjoy Lizzy Rockwell’s companion book about exercise: The Busy Body Book; the two could be read together. For more explicit encouragement for kids to eat healthy foods, see Eat Healthy, Feel Great by William Sears. Ages 5+

The Popcorn Book by Tomie de Paola. This book is chalk full of interesting information about popcorn. The Popcorn Bookdepicts two friends making popcorn. While one friend makes popcorn, the other friend reads facts about popcorn from a book. Despite the lack of plot, Tomie de Paola’s charming illustrations and the book’s subject matter — popcorn — are sure to appeal to a good number of kids. Ages 5+

Food Literacy


Food literacy is having the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to choose, grow, prepare and enjoy food to support one’s health, community, and the environment. Food literacy is about healthy eating, but food is also connected to competencies and concepts in the Physical and Health Education curriculum as well as other curriculum areas.

Please visit BC Healthy Schools for many resources and ideas on Food Literacy & Healthy Eating.

Link to BC Healthy Schools


A Model Unit for Grade 10

by Jennifer Katz

Teaching to Diversity

Natural Resources/Food from the Land/Geographic Literacy, Ecosystems (including Weather)


Here is a link to the full Unit


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Planning for Diversity: Beginning with the End in Mind Oct. 20, 2017 NID Session

I am so glad that I was part of this amazing day. So many teachers came together to collaborate!!!!  We covered a lot of material and had some laughs a long the way!!  Thanks everyone!!  Scroll down for the presentation and handouts from the session. Any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me, Cindy, cmcgarroch@prn.bc.ca

Presentation- Planning for Diversity- October 20, 2017

Find Your Twin

Stand Up If …

Rubrics – handouts

More than just Beads & Feathers — Carousel Activity – pictures of all the great ideas

4 Step Process for Creating Criteria — pictures of all the different experiences (criteria generated)

Planning templates and more … 

Palma, a grade 2/3 teacher from Robert Ogilvie recommends the following Multiple Intelligences book as an additional support to ‘Teaching to Diversity’.  Let me know what you think 🙂

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Shout Out to Ms. Vasarhelyi’s Class at Robert Ogilvie School

Ms. V and her wonderful students made Gratitude Trees for Thanksgiving.  This class has worked really hard on building a compassionate learning community where all students belong, feel safe to take risks and work hard!! Nice work class!!

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Literacy Series Session 2 October 12, 2017

Literacy Session #2 October 12, 2017 Presentation

Brain Pre-assessment

Mind Up Grade 3-5 Brain Lesson

Brain Formative Assessment

Hot Seat October 2017 Literacy Session



 School District 20 Kootenay-Columbia — scroll down to “Curriculum Implementation” — I can BIG Sheets 

North Vancouver SD44 Core Competencies 

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Shout Out to Mr. Hyland & his students at NPSS

Mr. Hyland teaches the Evergreen Program at NPSS.  He has already started fostering a Compassionate Learning Community in his classroom.  He is teaching about Multiple Intelligences and his students have created a Community Brain!!  A big thumbs up to Mr. Hyland and his students!!!!!

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Literacy Series Session #1 Sept. 14, 2017

Literacy Series Session #1 Presentation

Today we met for an hour for the first session of a monthly Literacy Series focused on Creating Compassionate Learning Communities and Growth Mindset.  Thanks to the teachers who attended at this busy time of year.  A highlight for me was teacher’s sharing what they have already implemented in their classes this year.  Sharing is powerful!!  Can’t wait for the next session on October 12 @ the DDC from 4-5 pm.

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Literacy, Math, Culture & Art Professional Development Day Jan. 27, 2017

January 27th, 2017 Literacy, Culture & Art Presentation

Image Sequence — A/B Partner Talk — Imagery — Oral Language

Art Activity — Literacy, Math, Culture, Criteria

A/B Partner Talk Video Clip

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ZONES #3 at Upper Pine & Central January 2017

1.00 ZONES Session 3 Upper Pine & Central January 2017

Central ZONES Lessons Jan. 24, 2017

ZONES Charades

ZONES 4 Walls & Scenarios

The Feeling Game

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