POPEI Recommends

Mentor Texts & Books for the Kids 

Those of you who have been to a POPEI workshop lately, may have noticed how the use of mentor texts to springboard reading, writing, talking and thinking activities is incredibly beneficial and useful. We shared three of our favourite books in the last eNewsletter, so it’s time for some fresh and fabulous titles!

Foxy and Friends - by Lynda Henney

We are excited to share the work of Lynda Henney, retired Literacy Coordinator and Primary Teacher from Vernon. She has created the Foxy and Friends Books series. Lynda designed her own animal characters with Fimo clay, and photographed them enjoying Canadian nature to then write her series of stories. These books focus on the beginning reader, and could be used in Guided Reading lessons, Intervention lessons and as independent readers as part of the classroom library. We particularly enjoy the potential cross-curricular tie in with Social Studies and Science, never mind the joy of exploring the adventures of Foxy and his Friends.

Thanks to Lynda for sharing some of her books with us, and we then paid the favour forward in providing some of her books as prizes at our District Partner conference. Thanks, Lynda - we can’t wait to see what Foxy and the gang get up to next!


image from foxyandfriendsbooks.ca

Be Who You Are - by Todd Parr

Todd Parr could make the list every eNewsletter, but this one is another gem that has such a strong connection to the Personal and Social Growth Core Competency, in particular the Relationships and Cultural Contexts and Personal Strengths and Abilities facets.

The book jacket says it best - “Todd Parr’s bold messages and bright pictures encourage readers to embrace all of their unique qualities.”

image from toddparr.com

Ishi - Simple Tips from a Solid Friend - by Akiko Yabuki

Who would have thought a rock would be so full of wisdom. Ishi means rock in Japanese, and this particularly optimistic little rock shares wisdom and lessons about compassion, kindness and self-care. Ishi shows honest thoughts and feelings like loneliness, feeling sad or under pressure and some great strategies for how to manage these feelings. The book encourages sharing the happiness by passing Ishi on to a friend, and includes a space to write out the names of everyone who has read and loved the book!

image from www.ishitherock.com

The Darkest Dark - by Chris Hadfield

When we think of Canadian astronaut, Chris Hadfield, we think of the fun, engaging guy who used social media to invite us all to space a few years ago as the commander of the International Space Station.

But, in this delightful story, inspired by his childhood, we hear about Chris as a kid, who loves rockets and space and wanting to go explore the universe…but he’s afraid of the dark! See how Chris overcomes his fear of the dark, and how his big dreams help to bring him light.

 image from amazon.ca

Blogs With Great Ideas 

Twitter continues to be an excellent source of educational resources for us, including blogs and articles like these:

Four Teaching Moves that Promote a Growth Mindset in All Readers

Inspired by the work of one of our favourite authors, Gravity Goldberg, this blog shows ways in which reading and growth mindset can be combined.

Six Strategies for Cultivating Creative Focus in Students

Engagement, student voice and choice and play are elements we often discuss in our workshops. In this blog post, John Spencer discusses strategies for creative focus in students and helping them get in ‘the flow’!

Whole School Inquiry Project at Caulfeild Elementary School in West Vancouver

Caulfeild School examines the essential question of “Why is it Important to be Responsible?” as part of a whole school project, which allows for a wonderful real-life exploration of some of the Core Competencies.

Adrienne Gear’s Top Ten List - Favourite New Books & Series for Early Readers

Adrienne Gear shares a new top ten list of books & book series she’s recently discovered for K-2 students


We love how videos give us the ability to show some ideas, not just tell.

Here are some of our favourites from the past few months!

Class Dojo is a terrific app that helps to support a positive classroom culture, communication with parents and ways to create digital portfolios.

They also have some fabulous, fun little videos on topics of Social and Emotional Learning, such as growth mindset, perseverance and empathy. Wonderful tools to help explore the Core Competencies.

The Habits of Mind also connect to the Core Competencies in many ways, and the Habits of Mind authors, Bena Kallick and Art Costa collaborated with WonderGrove animations to create cartoons to depict the 16 Habits of Mind.

They’re perfect for K-3!

Here are some of the videos available:

Listening with Understanding and Empathy

Creating, Imagining and Innovating

Thinking and Communicating with Clarity and Precision

UBC officially installed its new Reconciliation Pole on April 1 on the Vancouver Campus.

UBC writes -The pole tells the story of the time before, during, and after the Indian residential school system”. More information on the Reconciliation Pole, how it was created, carved and placed is available here, including a video describing the process. This brief overview video here is a short, powerful depiction of the process that would be a wonderful overview to share with students.


POPEI Created Videos

Lisa and Sasha presented some quick overview ‘Ignite-Style’ presentations at POPEI’s District Partner Conference in February.

Lisa took a deep dive into the Core Competencies by examining the Peanuts Gang and looked at how Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy and Snoopy have their strengths and areas for growth should they be assessing themselves in the areas of communication, thinking and personal and social growth.

Click here to watch - Core Competencies - A Case Study

Sasha explored the concepts of the Growth and Fixed Mindset and was inspired by how the characters in Star Wars personified either a growth or a fixed mindset when dealing with these five elements - smarts, challenges, effort, feedback, and setbacks.

Click here to watch - The Mindset Awakens

Sasha went deeper with this idea in a blog post here