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Book Update

Happy Summer readers! We are just a little over one month into summer and I have to say, I LOVE SUMMER SO MUCH!! While it has been busy with lots of weekend lake visits, lots of family time and just relaxing and putting our feet up (or in sand) time; I have been thinking A LOT about our A Winnipeg Day book. I have spoken to quite a few people about it. McNally is a great resource but I am not sure if it is our best option right now for this type of book. Just when I was starting to feel a little discouraged, I was talking to a friend who knows a Graphic Designer and she suggested that might be the best option for this particular book. I have sent the Graphic Designer an e-mail, but it’s summer, so not too sure what response time may be. . . we’ll see. In the meantime, I am open to suggestions. If anyone has leads on another Graphic Designer they know well or another route we could explore please comment below!

Happy August!


dine alfresco

museum hop on a hot day

cozy up to a late night

play at the beach all day

lose your to-do list




A Winnipeg Day – By Montrose School

A Winnipeg Day

Good morning, Prairie 360, you are one of the tallest buildings in Winnipeg. You are so tall I can see the whole city. I’m going to eat scrambled eggs and pancakes. Did you know you can live in the building below Prairie 360?   (Jory)

Good morning butterfly keeper, can you tell me where the most butterflies hang out. My favourite are the black and blue ones.  (Julia)

Good morning River walk, I need to get a snack at The Forks. I get mini donuts, they are hot! (Matteo)

Good morning dad, can you get me some breakfast please. “Thank you”, I say cheerfully “bye” and off I go to Montrose School. (Harrison)

Good morning Golden Boy, we are going to the Legislative Building. We did a tour and my favourite part was the Bison statue. Good bye Golden Boy. (Hudson)

Hello Winnipeg Public Librarian, can I take this book out please? Thank you. I take out a book called A Gerbil’s Life and I sit down in a red chair and enjoy my book. I learn 5 things:

  1. Gerbils do not need to bath. They take a bath in chinchilla dust.
  2. Female gerbils have up to 60 gerbils in a year.
  3. Gerbils need to have chew toys otherwise their teeth get twisted.
  4. Gerbils live up to 2-4 years.
  5. Gerbils like to have a friend in their cage.  (Teija)

Hello Miss at the Pancake House, may I have a pancake please? Thank you very much! I like your pancakes. May I have another pancake for my sister?  (Hanna)

 Good morning trees, I am walking in Assiniboine Park to go swinging. I will go to the metal slide 10 times. Good bye Assiniboine Park. (Gus)

Hello bike, we are going to play at Robert H. Smith park. After we stop at get a little treat at 7-11. I get on my bike and put my slurpee in my bike basket. (Meadow)

Good Afternoon book seller at McNally, could you show me where all the Piggie and Gerald books are? I get The Thank You book. My favourite place is upstairs. Bye book seller.  (Kevin)

Good afternoon Investors Group Field, I hope I am on the fan cam. It’s the Bombers vs. The Rough Riders. The Bombers are winning 7 – 0. Now I am going to get cheese pizza and some popcorn. When I came back the score is now 35-36 for the Rough Riders. “BOOOOOOOOO!” Then the Bombers won 36-37. “WAAAAAAHOOOOOO!” Bye Investors Field.  (Luca C)

Hola, I will go to U-Putz to play mini golf with my dad. The score is 10 for me and 7 for my dad. I win!! (Logan)

Good Afternoon zoo keeper, do you like dinosaurs because they ROAR so loudly! (Anton)

Hello Lazertopia, what should I do today? I play laser tag and I get hit 10 times. It was awesome! (Ryland)

I love to go to the zoo and see the Polar Bears. The baby Polar Bears are so cute. The cutest. I love them. Zoo Keeper, can you tell me the names of the animals at the zoo please? (Georgia)

Hi zoo, I want to look for the Polar Bears, but I don’t know where they are. Can you help me?  (Levi)

Hi! I would like to go to the Pan Am pool. I like the deep end. I splash my cousins sometimes. We have splash fights. I like seeing my cousin go off the diving board. (Janna)

Hello Skyzone, let’s go to the tarmpolines. I jump so high I almost touch the roof! I always end with a Popsicle. (Mira)

Hello BDI, can I have a very good fudge sunday? Then I go across the BIG bridge and after the ice cream. I go to my last stop of the evening. Hello people on the River walkway, may I join you this evening. Thank you. Did you know that the River walkway was flooded in the first day of spring?  (Kate)

Hello Great Big Adventures, can I get a stamp please? I am going on the green slide. (Arnav)

Hello Dairy Queen, I get a vanilla cone. Good Night Winnipeg, it was a great day! (Luca M)

Good evening golf course, let’s go, you go first. I won! I rock! Sorry everyone, next hole. Oh no, I lost, Whooooo! (Quintin)

Aloha MTS Centre, could you show me where Box 35 is please so I can watch the hockey game? I wonder who will win? The Jets Win! The jets were versing the Manitoba Moose. (Giuseppe)


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Montrose School – A Winnipeg Day Book Launch



We had our A Winnipeg Day book launch at Montrose School today!

It went so well. The students had practiced reading their books aloud for the past week or so. They were super, super pumped to share! And so were their parents! 😉

As well we invited our grade 5/6 editing buddies, our grade 3/4 reading buddies and our grade 1/2 peers! It was awesome to see the encouragement, enthusiasm and genuine interest in these young room 122 129 writers.

I started by introducing our mentor text and giving some background into the process. To be honest, I wanted to have the students obviously do this because it would have been more meaningful. I also wanted to have the process of their writing journey around the library! And pictures! And tweets! And fabulous blog entries… I really had to let this go. It was really hard for me. But, I’m proud we did do a Montrose book launch and I secretly thank this blog for keeping me and the students accountable to our promise!! All this lead up and talk of A Winnipeg Day! We couldn’t leave you hanging!! Even with all the June feels in the World!! So, thank you, our Readers.

After this intro. The students shared their magic!! ☺️ I know it’s not about me, but that is exactly what my face looked liked! And everyone else in attendance. We were beaming! Beaming with pride, with love, with respect. ☺️ These Room 122 129 writers; brainstormed ideas together in groups, then independently, then began their writing process while using the mentor text to guide them. They learned how to edit their own work. They learned how to take feedback and edits from others, they learned to re-vise, rewrite, revise, rewrite and be proud of their finished published work.








😂😂😂 Hi Hanna!!




















This is pretty much why I became a teacher. Looking at all these pictures. Talking about these books, the writing journey and to see it followed through into this mini celebration today. I am still in talks with McNally publishing, I hope to meet with them in person soon. If it doesn’t work out with McNally, I may approach other publishers. This is going to be a great, great book. My feels are strong about that!!






I will be sending home all copies of our  A Winnipeg Day. Enjoy! Summer reading to share with all your family and friends!

Let’s see where this journey takes us! I’ll report back to this blog, so as always, please follow along for the fun!



**** Important Side Note:

Monique (reading clinician) and I worked hard to establish the criteria and outline that would guide the students through this writing process. Along the way, as teachers do, we planned and linked to the curriculum (Social Studies and ELA). So for those interested (everybody!!) Here are all of the links we made through this journey of publishing our books.

  • Collaborative groups of students create a “communities” bulletin board display. Students include the location of their local community on a map of Canada and pictures and descriptions illustrating characteristics of the community.
  • Respond to Texts
  • Experience Various Texts ~ Choose to engage in a variety of shared and independent listening, reading and viewing experiences using texts from a variety of forms and genres and cultural traditions.
  • Connect self, text and culture ~ Discuss the experiences and traditions of various communities and cultures portrayed in oral, literary and media texts.
  • Appreciate the artistry of texts ~ Identify and express the feelings of people in oral, literary and media texts.
  • Express ideas ~ make and talk about personal observations and predictions.
  • Consider others ideas ~ Ask for others ideas and observations to help discover and explore personal understanding.
  • Experiment with language and form ~ Use a variety of forms to organize and give meaning to familiar experiences, ideas and information.
  • Set goals ~ develop a sense of self as a reader, writer and illustrator.
  • Clarify and extend ~ Develop understanding. Connect new information, ideas and experiences with prior knowledge and experiences.
  • Textual Cues ~ Use textual cues (such a story pattern) to construct and confirm meaning.
  • Cuing systems ~ Use syntactic, semantic and graphophonic cues (including word order, punctuation, capitalization, intonation, and phrasing sound symbol relationships to identify initial, medial and final sounds, letter clusters, blends, digraphs, vowels and familiar and unfamiliar words) to construct and confirm meaning in context.


There were others outcomes too. Linking the curriculum is so important and teachers do it all the time. The curriculum is so big, I’m always learning ways to really connect it all together. Outlining these outcomes in April, helped to keep me going and on track. Along the way we hit lots more, celebrating learning is very important in the curriculum! I can’t wait for the students to read all these links we made and all of the ways that they grew their brains! It happens all the time. All. The. Time. Sometimes it just feels good to write it down.



No paper? No problem!


We got outside today to do math because, well, have you seen our classroom lately! We are in transition, 2/3 of our stuff is in Room 129 (our new classroom) and 1/3 of our belongings are still in Room 122. So, without paper we were innovative and got outside to do our math!



We have been exploring with measurement and nature. Last week we used different units of measurement and explored with measuring things in nature. Today we looked at our shadows and measurement.










Students made a shadow of their body. Then a partner carefully traced them. Together they used metre sticks, tape measures and rulers to measure their shadows.

Then we made arrays!! All kinds of arrays!





Thanks Ms. H2 for the great Intro lesson on Friday!! Ms. H2 worked with my class, while I worked with hers on grooving to the music Dance. It was so fun and we have switched it up a few times this year! It’s always worked so well.



And then we played!! June feels are still so strong!!






Oh This Classroom Glows (with S W E A T!)

Today we went to Assiniboine Park (Hudson).

We went into three groups and explored around (Kevin).






We did some exploring at the duck pond (Harrison). We caught a few frogs! We tried to fish for frogs too, but our hands worked best (Ryland and Janna). We saw one frog staring at us! (Levi)

We also played games together (Anton).

We walked over the Assiniboine Bridge (Giuseppe).

I saw two Islands on the water (Luca M). We tried to throw rocks from the bridge to the Island, we got so close (Luca C).

We also played a lot at the GIANT Children’s Playground (Kevin).

It was a great day! We glowed a lot! 🙂







Good news, bad news, great news, awesome news

** We interrupted our regular blog posts because…. well, we’ve been feeling June (more on that later…)**


Good News

Our A Winnipeg Day books are finished! They are beyond amazing. The students have worked so hard for the past five weeks, using and working with the mentor text An Okoboji Day. Each student wrote, edited, illustrated and published their own book. We will be having a book launch at the school next week where they will share their books with others. (Blogging note: There will be a BIG post written on the entire process involved)


Bad News

It’s June and we feel June. The word June has become an adjective, a describing word for how we I feel.

June feels like rushing around like a crazy person Monday through Friday, so that you can feel glimpses of summer on the weekends.

June feels so close to summer, yet so far away.

June feels fast.

June feels slow.

I feel June, it’s lunchables in kids lunch bags and Subway for dinner. (for the second time this week). shhhhhh

I feel June, no more french braids and fancy bangs, it’s pony tails and headbands everyday.

I feel June, please, PLEASE rain so we don’t have to go to soccer!

I feel June.


As we headed into June, I feel like everyone was asking me if I was winding down and really Room 122 was gearing up! We were really hoping to do the most amazing book launch at McNally to celebrate the finishing of our A Winnipeg Day books. While we will still have an awesome book launch at Montrose School, there will not be a book launch at McNally in June.


Great News

I am talking with McNally’s Sara and Ryan about their Espresso Book machine. We have an exciting opportunity to Publish and PRINT a class book appropriately titled A Winnipeg Day. This is so, so exciting!! John the events coordinator at McNally (Hi John!!) was able to get back to me and they are very, VERY excited to partner with Grade 1/2’s at Montrose school! They have never worked with students this age! The book will be printed in black and white and copies would be made available for purchase! And McNally would keep it on their shelves in the children’s section of their bookstore!



Awesome News

A Winnipeg Day written by your child is their published story of their own day in Winnipeg. This book that they have written will forever be a keepsake at your home for many years to come.

Collaboratively, we will work together next September and October to write A Winnipeg Day by Montrose School Grade 1/2’s.  We will take pages and ideas from each student and collectively write a book that will be published and printed. Then we will have The Most Out of This World, EPIC Book Launch at McNally! So although lots of you are moving onto Grade 3, there will still be an opportunity for us to work together!


I should mention, we’re all going to feel less June soon. Soon our June feels will be all gone. There is a cure for June feels….

S U M M E R   T I M E!!




A Winnipeg Day : The cover





We had some excellent volunteers book makers come and make/build our hardcovers for ALL of our A Winnipeg Day books! They look fabulous!! Today, students designed their own front covers to complete the hardcovers.

We studied other book covers we loved. We noticed what was important. We made a list of all the qualities a good front cover has:



Students then began working on their own covers. I don’t want to show too much, but here is a quick sneak peak!!!20160609-115028.jpg





All of the students are so invested in these books. They have become real authors and illustrators. Next week we will be meeting a 12 year old boy who recently wrote a book and did a book launch at McNally. He’s going to give us some good tips on how to have a successful book launch.

A Winnipeg Day. Coming very, VERY soon.



P.S. John from McNally(events coordinator) if you are reading our blog…. we really want to have our book launch with you!!


That time we met with the Mayor!

The election could get a lot tighter in the years ahead! Everyone’s favourite part was obviously sitting in the mayor’s chair!! Take a look!!






















Then it was time for Council to meet!!
Of course, everyone was really feeling their political self by this point! ORDER!!









Could she get any cuter!! She held this pose for a minute to ensure I got the perfect shot!!



















It was a whirlwind visit to Winnipeg City Hall. The Mayor was amazing! So kind, patient and engaging with all of the students.

Winnipeg’s future looks pretty bright!! 🙂


That time we took over City Hall for an hour!







More pics of each student to come this weekend! Check back for an update!!


Oh The Human Rights Museum Glows


We went to the Canadian Museum of Human Rights by school bus (Giuseppe). We found out it took 6 years to build the museum, we thought that was so cool, because some of us are six years old! (Hudson). There are 1 354 windows on the museum (Ryland). We were put into groups and together with our group we put together a Human Rights puzzle that in the end looked like the Earth (Logan). The Rights that we focused on were;

  1. The Right to play
  2. The Right to have a name
  3. The Right to go to school
  4. The Right to have shelter
  5. The Right to have a family
  6. The Right to think for yourself
  7. The Right to travel
  8. The Right to eat
  9. The Right to drink
  10. The Right to have health care
  11. The Right to work
  12. The Right to speak for yourself/stand up for yourself

(Room 122 students)

We went inside a circular area and watched a video about all of the different types of Rights that should be available in any place in the World (Kevin and Jory).

There were certain notes that you could write on about,

  • I’m inspired by…
  • I believe…
  • I will…
  • I imagine…


There was music related to Human Rights – We loved this one so much! (Levi, Meadow, Teija).

I closed my eyes and I thought about when I grow up, and I would be singing that song. I liked dancing to the music too.  (Levi).

When I was listening to it, it made me feel more of a part of Canada. It reminded me of how nice it is to be in Canada (Hudson and Teija).

They said the building is like a mountain and the windows were like all the clouds around (Harrison).

There was huge WELCOME screen where Welcome was written in many, many, many languages. (Mrs. Thomas) I didn’t know they knew Arabic, it made me feel proud and surprised to see my language. (Mira) I saw  words in my countries language (Arnav). I saw Hebrew (Jory).

Our favourite part was the Tower of Hope (Hudson). We saw the Golden Boy (Ryland). We saw the Goldeyes practicing (Luca C). I saw the church that burned down that I saw in the Winnipeg By Winnipeg book I took home (Luca M). I saw a rope from a window washer (Harrison). We saw people doing yoga (Giuseppe). The cars were tiny from up there (Kevin). I saw St.Bonifice where my mom works (Jory).

After our tour and program with our guide, we had lunch on the BIG stairs outside (Jory and Matteo). It was amazing (Anton). We ate at the Very Top of the STAIRS! (Julia)

After lunch we had an opportunity to tour around the museum on our own in groups.

Bye Bye Human Rights Museum, see you next time (Luca M)!

I would like to visit there, because I was at the dentist (Artur).

It was a wonderful experience seeing this authentic Winnipeg tourist attraction. I can’t wait to go back again and explore some more (Mrs. Thomas).

Follow us on twitter to see some more pics of when we were there (Hudson).


Written collaboratively,

All Room 122 students












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