Recommended Resource

Creating Caring Classrooms
This is a new Canadian resource written by Kathleen Gould Lundy (York University) and Larry Schwartz (OISE) and published by Pembroke Publishers. Their work is rooted in the theoretical foundations of Nel Noddings and bell hooks in the areas of caring and community.

The book focuses on the Five Cs: Community, Communication, Collaboration, Compassion and Confronting the Bully Issue. The authors take their experiences working in classrooms and the issues that face teachers daily and use literacy and fine arts to explore core beliefs and values about learning and what it means to be part of a caring, classroom community.

For each area the context is set and we consider why it’s important to work on community or compassion in the classroom. This is followed by games, activities, lessons, events, teaching tips, literature connections, etc. There are case studies throughout the book that teachers will be able to relate to and will cause them to make connections to their own practice.

Although this would be a great summer read for teachers to consider how to establish community in their classrooms in the fall, I think there are also many valuable mid-year entry points for teachers. As teachers reflect on the tone and behaviour in their classrooms part way through the year, they may determine that there are some areas of need such as more caring attitudes or collaboration skills. This book will provide accessible classroom-friendly approaches to addressing the “big ideas” in teaching and learning. Supporting our students to become caring, compassionate citizens is the most significant part of our job.

Janice Novakowski

Year 1 January 24th & 25th Session

For our third session with our Beginning Teachers we focused on building relationships amongst our students and our colleagues. In our planning for this day, we used the feedback from the Mentees and the Mentors to shape the ideas and activities of our day.

Our Primary Teachers met on January 24th and our Intermediate & Secondary Teachers met on January 25th for a full-day session.

Our session began with brief presentations from the varying District support people whose work is connected to our District's Developmental and Learning Goals. We learned about our District's Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement (AEEA), Sustainability, the Area Counsellor Team, and the District Resource Centre. This was followed up with a more in depth session exploring the EA/Teacher Relationship. This was led by members of our District Resource Team.

The afternoon portion of our day was shaped around ideas taken from Tribes written by Jeanne Gibb. In particular, we focused on how we can teach the varying age groups how to listen and we used the Bumper Sticker strategy to explore the ideas in Chapter 7 of the first Tribes book.

Under the Powerpoint section of this blog, you will find all of the handouts used as well as the overarching powerpoint presentation, the AEEA and the Sustainability powerpoint presentations.

Overall, the feedback we received from both groups was that they found this session informative and useful.

We look forward to seeing our Mentors on January 30th, 2012.


Blog List

On the side of our blog, you will find a list of other blogs we find interesting and useful.

One that may be of particular help to our elementary teachers is Carole Fullerton's blog on Mathematical Thinking. Carole, who is Richmond's Math Curriculum Coordinator, a private educational consultant and a published educational author, shares some creative and thought-provoking ideas on how to effectively teach Math to our students.

Please share any blogs/resources you think might be of interest or use to the group.

Enjoy, Diane


Our hope is that this blog will become a place where all members of the SD38 Mentoring Program will find useful and will contribute to.

A great many of our colleagues have generously shared their lesson ideas. All the lesson contributors want us to know that these lessons are a work in progress. Consequently then, the creators never teach them the exact same way twice. They adapt them based on the skills, abilities, and needs their current students have and as they learn more about the practice of teaching.

Please feel free to adapt them or model your planning on any of the frameworks they have used.