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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.



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!!


A silent walk to discover Montrose School












Today we went on a silent walk to discover what is special around Montrose School.

We have been watching a lot of Tourism Winnipeg YouTube videos, we are basically experts in all YouTube videos. We use YouTube a lot to enhance our learning, make real life connections and get up to date and very current information. We love YouTube! For awhile now Room 122 students have wanted to do their very own Tourism Winnipeg video. We’ve thought about doing our video on the CHRM, The Forks, The Exchange (my idea that I had to let go of), we’ve talked about piggy backing ideas of different ones and doing one for all of Winnipeg. Then this weekend I was thinking about how to expand their ideas, how to take those ideas somewhere and do something with them. Then it just kind of came to me… what is so close to us, all of us? What place is amazing and we all go to it almost every day? What place are we so passionate about that we want everyone to know more about it? MONTROSE SCHOOL! As I started introducing the idea of taking what we know about Tourism videos and creating our own for Montrose School, the students became sooooooo excited and so passionately involved, they could barely contain themselves, they were wildly talking about all of the great reasons to visit Montrose School! And they were super duper excited about making another video.  Like I’ve said before, Room 122 students love that camera time!!

So today we walked around Montrose School with our eyes wide open and our ears raised. We were quiet (kind of), we were thoughtful, we imagined what people would want to know about Montrose school. We noticed things that we may not have. We shared what we noticed with each other.

We asked the question; What makes Montrose School a Tourist attraction for Winnipeg.


Tourism Winnipeg ~ A Visit To Montrose School (coming soon…)


Our Week with A Winnipeg Day writing!

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A Winnipeg Day writing continues this week. We began brainstorming appropriate Winnipeg locations to visit in the morning, afternoon and evening. Students took their own experiences with Winnipeg and thought of places they love around the city and some did places they would really like to see or visit. We came up with over 60 places to visit in Winnipeg! Students worked in groups first to brainstorm all of the ideas. Then I asked them to think about their own A Winnipeg Day and come up with 4 (or more) places to visit in Winnipeg. They thought about whether they would visit these places in the morning, afternoon or evening and then took those ideas and began creating their first page of their own A Winnipeg Day.

So far, they are beyond unbelievable!

Here are some samples:

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 gonna eat pancakes and scrambled eggs. Did you know people live in apartments in Prairie 360? (Jory)


Good Morning Montrose School, I am going to play on the play structure. I am going to slide. WHeeeeeeeeeee! That was so AWESOME! Let’s go to the far park and go on the swing. That was fun, now I want to go on the BIG rock wall. Yea! I made it to the top. Now I am going to jump off.  (Luca C)


Good Morning butterfly, can you tell me where the most butterflies hang out? My favourites are the black and green ones.  (Julia)


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)


We still plan do some editing and revising and settle into writing the rest of the pages in our books. We have BIG plans for these books! The students want to do their very own BOOK LAUNCH!! I am meeting with McNally to see if we perhaps could do a Book Launch there. Not too sure if it is possible, but it is definitely worth asking. I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes. Also, the mayor is following us on twitter and (hello Mr. Mayor Brian Bowman) he is FOLLOWING OUR BLOG!!! The Mayor really loves Winnipeg and I know he is going to love hearing our A Winnipeg Day books when we are finished. Room 122 students for sure will invite him to our book launch and if he is around and able to fit it into his schedule, I know he will try to make it too.

We keep on writing these spring days away! The Winnipeg Spirit is pretty strong in Room 122!!



Winnipeg By Winnipegers

Today we asked the simple question, What is Winnipeg? The answers were awesome! Everything from our home, the capital city of Manitoba, buildings downtown, good schools, Jazzfest, Folklorama, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Winnipeg Jets – to safe, fun, cheerful, friends, four seasons, heart of Gold and so much more. We created a class bulletin board of our best answers and are going to tweet it to our Mayor!

It was done with great enthusiasm and we all agreed Winnipeg is a great place to live!



Today we also had an opportunity to work with our Reading Clinician, Monique. A Winnipeg Day writing is coming along nicely. She is UNREAL in the classroom setting.  It is always nice to have experts teacher learners in the room. I am learning so much from her, as are the students. Today’s lesson was focused on editing and revising. Students focused on three elements:

  1. Proper or appropriate punctuation
  2. Spelling – circle words the group thought may be spelled incorrectly
  3. Adding “delicious” describing words


Monique and I modeled first with ours. Students then got into their groups and revised their work from last week. Then we did a class gallery walk with an expert staying at the table to read their groups learning. We welcomed students to piggy back ideas and make notice of what other groups had done or used in their writing.  Groups then came together again and were given a brief period to add to their writing. Then it was sharing time! We all came together, Monique and I read ours that we had added to and the groups were invited to come and read/share their writing with the class. Students always LOVE this part, they really do glow when sharing their work!

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***For the first time ever, I took some pictures and videos of the group share and I am going to show the class the videos. I think it will be so interesting for them to see what they look like while they present and I believe it will help them to grow as group presenters.***

Next steps are to think about time of day and appropriate places around Winnipeg to visit in relation to those times. I can’t wait to hear what the students will come up with!


Side Note: I hope you followers noticed my inserting of digital technology and more pictures! I’m learning more and more all the time! I’m quite impressed with myself! 


Oh Winnipeg Glows – learning from Mentor Texts

Hello from Room 122, this is our first blog post writing together. We are all here on the floor carpet and our minds and hearts are on, ready to share what we have learned. (Mrs. Thomas)

We are starting to learn with and use a book called An Okoboji Day, by Debbie Parks as a Mentor Text. (Hudson)

We are using the book for inspiration. (Giuseppe)

We are beginning to use the book to model how to create our own pages in our own books (Kevin). Today we read the book. We thought about it (Anton). We’re really proud of the learning (Harrison). We turned and talked about it the book and then we were separated into small groups to create our own short page about a place of our choice in Winnipeg. (Meadow and Julia) One of the things that An Okoboji day focuses on is greetings. We brainstormed 22 different greetings (WOWZA!!!)! We brainstormed: Aloha, Hi there, Good Morning, Excuse me and Hey peeps. Then we used those greetings to begin our writing and our Winnipeg Day. (Mrs. Thomas)

Three groups went to the zoo! One group went to 7-11! One group to Great Big Adventures.

After we shared  our writing we commented on what each group could add. (Jory) We noticed things and you could borrow ideas from other groups (Gus).

After we shared our groups writing it was lunch. We will continue writing more later (Luca C).

See you next time, have a good day! (Kevin) Thank you for following our blog, see you next time (Jory and Luca C). Bye, bye (Luca M and Anton).  We wish you had a good day! (Kate and Hanna) Bye everybody we really appreciate it! (Harrison) Bye, bye, see you next time! (Georgia) We’ll see you next time! (Meadow). We hope you comment on our blog!! (Quintin) See you next week (Matteo). We hope you subscribe, thanks (Giuseppe). We hope you could see our blog again (Janna). I would love if you would read it a bunch of times, because that is what blogging is for, to read it many times (Julia).

Bye and be sure to follow us on Twitter! (Hudson)


**This blog was written authentically by Room 122 students with a little support from me. (Mrs. Thomas) ***






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