Partners In Inquiry teams

This school year’s Partners in Inquiry teams are starting to plan their projects.   At our first meeting all the team members discussed goals and challenges for the work ahead.  Some of their thoughts are posted on the Learning Technologies blog.




The theme this year is celebrating First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature.

Click here to find more information and resources.

Sharing an inquiry project on the district Pro D day

Amy MacLeod, teacher-librarian at Confederation Park and University Highlands, shared an inquiry unit she had done with grade 2 and 3 students at the Let’s Do Inquiry session held on February 20.   This unit on Structures combined inquiry with hands-on science.    The students began with a real life “problem” – how to help a student’s dog, Max, cross from one part of the playground structure to another part.    Students had to think about what they needed to know before they could construct a “bridge” for Max to walk along.  They needed to test their hypotheses about what would work best before designing a bridge for Max.    The slides below come from a power point overview of the project.



Partners in Inquiry session

This week teams of teachers and teacher-librarians from five different schools gathered together to talk about inquiry-based learning.  


Image source:

Discussion started with our own understanding of inquiry which we compared with other definitions.  We looked at different models of the inquiry process from across Canada.   As all inquiry starts with questions we shared different ways of helping student generate “better” questions that will lead to deeper understanding.  All of us left with the goal of scaffolding students’ ability to become competent inquirers!

Family Literacy Day

January 27, 2015 is Family Literacy Day 

Take 15 minutes a day to learn with your family

Family Literacy day Bookmark 2015

Celebrating Library Month

Teacher-librarians in Burnaby were busy in October getting their library programs started for another school year.   Students and staff were happy to come to the library for find resources, to hear about new books and to begin work on projects.   As October is Canadian Library Month a special advertisement was placed in the local Burnaby Now newspaper.  See below to find out how teacher-librarians make a difference for student learning!



School library programs foster a passion for knowledge, inspire a love of reading, and teach creative, critical and ethical use of information, ideas and technology.

This library program mission statement has been developed by members of the Burnaby Teacher-Librarians’ Association and was adopted in April 2014


Infographic adapted by Kathleen Yan and Marilyn Williams from an infographic created by the Scottish Library and Information Council

Growth mindset – everyone can change and learn

The book, Mindset: the new psychology of success written by Carol Dweck,, was recommended as a must read by Dr. Judy Halbert and Dr. Linda Kaser, authors of Spirals of Inquiry.  They were also the keynote speakers at our district professional development day on February 21.  I read this book over the Christmas break and agree it is a worthwhile read.


Here is the description of Mindset from its back cover:

“World-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck, in decades of research on achievement and success, has discovered a truly groundbreaking idea-the power of our mindset. Dweck explains why it’s not just our abilities and talent that bring us success-but whether we approach them with a fixed or growth mindset. She makes clear why praising intelligence and ability doesn’t foster self-esteem and lead to accomplishment, but may actually jeopardize success. With the right mindset, we can motivate our kids and help them to raise their grades, as well as reach our own goals-personal and professional. Dweck reveals what all great parents, teachers, CEOs, and athletes already know: how a simple idea about the brain can create a love of learning and a resilience that is the basis of great accomplishment in every area.”

 Chapter 7 is for parents, teachers and coaches and is subtitled – Where do mindsets come from?   Your mindset, fixed or growth,  will influence how you focus on the learning process.    Carol Dweck states:  “The great teachers believe in the growth of the intellect and talent, and they are facinated with the process of learning” (p. 194).   At the end of this chapter Carol lists some tips.  Here are two to think about.

How do you use praise?  Remember that praising children’s intelligence or talent, tempting as it is, sends a fixed-mindset message.  It makes their confidence and motivation more fragile.  Instead, try to focus on the processes they used – their strategies, effort or choices.  Practice working the process praise into your interactions with children.

Remember that lowering standards doesn’t raise students’ self-esteem.  But neither does raising standards without givng students ways of reaching them.  The growth mindset gives you a way to set high standards and have students reach them.  Try presenting topics in a growth framework and giving students process feedback.


Burnaby school libraries

Let`s celebrate what is happening in Burnaby school libraries

Take a look!


National School Library Day 2013


and the government of B. C.  has officially proclaimed October 28 as School Library Day. 

Here is the official proclamation of Library Month and School  Library Day



Many Burnaby schools will be participating in DROP EVERYTHING AND READ on October 28 or during the week of Oct. 28th.


The British Columbia Teacher-Librarians’ Association is asking that all schools who participate to add their numbers to the provincial tally at: