Professional Development Day – Feb. 19, 2016


FEB. 19, 2016


I was extremely happy to present at this years District Professional Development Day. I am hoping that I left, those that had attended the presentation, with new ideas that are taken and integrated into their classroom activities. Please feel free to email me with any questions regarding the presentation or the downloadable slideshow below.

Last month, I received an email from a teacher in Squamish about an activity that I had shared at the CUEBC presentation back in October of 2015. I was so happy to hear that an educator had taken an idea from the presentation and was planning to implement it in his own classroom. I am always appreciative of feedback from teachers about what went well and maybe what didn’t work so well.

Please feel free to download the PDF presentation slideshow. This version has been edited as images of students are not allowed due to security and privacy reasons.





Download (PDF, 5.28MB)


Download (PDF, 1.39MB)





Explain Everything



Explain Everything is a great app for developing English Language Skills. Students who find it difficult to express their ideas through written words can draw and record themselves speaking. This enables them to express their ideas and information without having to concentrate on the writing part of the task. Writing stories or journal entries can become the next step after the processing of the information has been recorded.

What can the iPad App Popplet do?



Here are some examples of how the App ‘Popplet’ can be used. It is a great graphic organizer and can be used to plan and organize information before the actual assigned task. The boxes can be moved anywhere and they can be linked to each other exactly how you wish for it to be.

I have used Popplet in many ways with my students and here are a couple of examples of story planning. Please keep in mind that these have not been edited.

The students were given a bubblegum each and they were told to write a story about the bubblegum and how it wanted to become famous. They had to think of and plan the story from the perspective of the bubblegum. The App lets the students add text, pictures, and drawings. They organized the information in the way it best fit their plan.




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What is it like to read my first words!

  • Hands on activities give students the opportunity to create and manipulate.

The first time I read!

This student has just read her first words. She has learned that ‘__ at’ is part of a word and that adding a consonant letter before ‘__at’ creates a different word each time. She changed the beginning letter of the letter tiles to change the word meaning and then read the word. When she was reading the words, her smile went from one ear to the other. There was no stopping her now!

Presentation at CUEBC

I have tried a variety of activities in order to create a fun and interactive learning environment for the English Language Learners. I presented at the CUEBC (Computer Using Educators of BC) and shared the activities and projects that I have been implementing in my classroom. You can download the presentation by clicking on the CUEBC tab at the top and scrolling down.

I hope you find the information useful in expanding the fun and interactive learning environment in your classroom.

Knitting Bookmark project



We have been developing our understanding of how crucial it can be to follow instructions very carefully and being able to reach the end product as planned. The students had a task of knitting a bookmark using yarn and knitting needles. Mrs. Sandhu and a helper in the group guided the students with their knitting project.
This is a project that enabled students to develop their listening and speaking skills as well as building on their fine motor skills. They could take the bookmark home with them when they were finished. The students were given instructions on how to begin knitting their bookmarks. They were given written instructions as well as demonstrations from myself and another student in the group, who also had knitting experience.

The students realized how the steps in knitting were repetitive but crucial to the production of the end result. Hand – eye coordination was important but sometimes challenging. Holding the knitting needles and controlling the yarn together was extremely difficult. However, although a few stitches were dropped… (we managed to pick them back up and continue knitting)… the students worked very hard on their skills and managed to complete the task adequately.

The students required a lot of support in the beginning, however, as they repeated the same stitch over and over again, they were able to continue independently. The students asked questions and shared comments throughout this project, which enhanced their speaking skills. They asked and commented regarding the procedure, the instructions, the problems they were having, how they felt about the project, what was easy or difficult, what to do next, etc. They also had to listen and watch very carefully when instructions were given or the next steps were shared. This was a fun but somewhat challenging project, especially for those who had never knitted before.

We all recognized how difficult it is to knit such a small piece (a bookmark) and how others have the experience and talent to knit hats, sweaters, scarves, etc. Well, with the help of each other, we managed to complete all the bookmarks.

And then I thought, okay, this is great! But we need to add more to this…

After the bookmarks were ready, we brainstormed ideas and feelings about how a bookmark would feel if it was a real character. We asked questions like; What do we do with bookmarks? What do we use them for? What would you feel or see if you were a bookmark? Lots of questions and ideas were raised during the discussion. We used the Popplet app on the iPad to brainstorm all the ideas, feelings, etc. (The iPad was displayed on the projector so that all the students could see).

I modelled sentences on the board, and the students began to write their own little paragraph about being a bookmark. They included many features that a living object would experience.

We then took the bookmarks and the students paragraph and combined them into a Chatterpix Video. Here are the results.


These videos were amazing and the students had a great time compiling this whilst developing on their English language skills. The students expressed their inner feelings as though they really were a bookmark. Great job!


Our visit to the Burnaby Public Library

A group of students visited the Burnaby Public Library. It was a great experience, especially for those who visited the library for the first time. Although it was a rainy day, we had umbrellas to share and managed to arrive at the library a little wet.

The students were introduced and given a tour of the library. They were shown the selection of programs available and the variety of books that they have access to. It was amazing to see a range of the events and resources offered by the library.

The students were shown a range of resources and books offered at the library, some written in languages other than English. The pamphlets and brochures were also translated in different languages.

Some students already owned a library card and those without were registered and given a library card. The students had an opportunity to choose books and take them home to read. Many students were amazed at how many books the library actually had and that they were allowed to sign out almost any of them.

I recommend students to visit the library regularly over the summer holidays and even join the Summer Reading Club. They should read a variety of books of interest to them as this will promote a development in their vocabulary skills and enhance ideas for writing for the beginning of school in September.

The Cookie Project

This is a baking project that was implemented as a part of the Project Based Learning. The students began by researching a cookie recipe that could be prepared and baked within one and a half hours. Once they had researched the recipe, we went to Safeway and the students had the challenge of buying the ingredients and making sure they bought enough but not too much. I took them to the self checkout as they had never used it before. They were intrigued.

We then wrote out the procedure for the recipe on large chart paper. The students measured the amount of ingredients and followed the procedure in order to successfully bake the chocolate chip cookies. I took photos with the iPad throughout the project, including each ingredient and baking utensil. The students then placed all the photos into the iMovie App and produced a slideshow with captions for the ingredients and procedure.

This project took place over a couple of weeks and the students learned new vocabulary that was also added to the word wall in the classroom. They accurately measured the ingredients, followed procedures, worked collaboratively, learned new vocabulary, and had lots of fun.

Professional Day Presentation


On February 20th, I presented at the district professional day and shared many iPad Apps and Project Based Learning with other teachers and staff. I was asked to share with others what I had been implementing in the classroom. I shared many Apps that I have used with my students and also demonstrated how they were used to motivate and enhance their learning.

I was impressed with a full workshop and implementing this presentation inspired me to find new Apps to use within the classroom and to include more technology. Integrating technology has inspired the students as they are wanting to learn more and are coming to my classroom early. Some groups are coming 10 – 15 minutes early. It is great to see this and it is definitely inspiring me to find new ways in teaching.

We are moving towards a new era and there is more screen time than there used to be. So why not use this as an opportunity to share with our students unlimited access to learning, motivation and inspiration.