• Teaching & Learning

    Teaching and Learning: Engagement Strategies

    Engagement strategies are the key to building a positive teaching and learning environment. Teaching and learning go hand in hand; however, one does not guarantee the other. Educators, teachers, facilitators, instructors… whatever your choice the point here is that learning is not guaranteed simply because an amazing lesson is provided. Understand the Learner Nevertheless, there is always going to be those little sponges that soak it all up and look for more. They will learn in the most chaotic classroom or from the most apathetic teacher. For others, learning will…

  • Cover Art
    Book Review

    Eric Carle: The Picture Writer

    Eric Carle is the author and illustrator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, an internationally known children’s picturebook. In The Art of Eric Carle, Eric describes how he received a letter from a child that stated he was a good picture writer. His illustrations are pure joy For me, I think that is the perfect way to describe his work. He has captured the viewer with his brilliant illustrations and takes us through the story one beautiful page at a time. Although he has written and illustrated several of his own…

  • children draw different expressions
    Teaching & Learning

    Writer’s Workshop: A Mini Lesson on Drawing Expressions

    What is a mini lesson? A mini lesson is a short 10-15-minute lesson with explicit instruction for specific skills related to writer’s workshop. The focus of this mini lesson is to teach young writers how to draw different facial expressions and to match how the characters are feeling in their illustrations. After the lesson, children can experiment further with their new skills. Maybe even revisit some of their previous work for reflection and add some revision to existing sketches. Do you teach young children? If so, you already know about…

  • Chester Book Cover
    Book Review

    Chester by Melanie Watt

    Chester is one of my favourite picturebooks for read alouds with children. It’s an excellent choice for engaging children, igniting reading enjoyment, and highly useful as a literacy resource for teaching writing. If you have not read this picturebook, I highly encourage you to check it out ~ no seriously, RUN to your tablet or phone and order it today. Or visit your local e-Library and read it online! You won’t be disappointed. Cheeky Chester It begins as a simple story about a mouse in a house. Until the impetuous…

  • Reading our Environment
    Teaching & Learning

    What is Visual Literacy?

    Visual literacy is the ability to read, negotiate, and interpret the visual environment; to construct meaning from what we observe (images, gestures, and symbols); to critically analyse our observations, question, and then communicate our understanding with others. Let’s explore visual literacy and how it can be applied to reading picturebooks and then how we can support children in developing their visual literacy skills in the classroom. The back story… Although the term ‘visual literacy’ may be a new concept for some, humans have been negotiating their visual environment from the…

  • Learning to Read
    Random Reflections

    “When Will I Learn to Read?”

    Many parents have been asked this question as their youngsters near school age. If you haven’t already been asked, you will and … you need to provide the correct response to avoid falling into the parent trap.   Had I already been a teacher when my son asked me, “Mum, when will I learn to read?”, I would have answered with more caution. Instead, I stepped right into the giant pit of gooey ambiguity and confidently told him he would learn to read in grade one. The answer wasn’t incorrect it…

  • Picturebook Bins
    Teaching & Learning


    A picturebook is many things but most importantly it should be a source of pleasure, or enjoyment. This is key in developing young readers. Ever read a novel you didn’t like? Chances are, yes. Read it twice? Probably not. Providing high quality picturebooks, books children enjoy, and allowing children to choose, is part of developing, fostering a love of reading. What is a Picturebook? A picturebook is a multimodal text that incorporates a variety of modes such as text, image, and design to communicate with the reader; the different modes…