Annie’s Inquiry

Annie’s Inquiry

Good afternoon, parents and friends!

As mentioned on the class website, I am currently enrolled in the Masters of Education in Educational Practice at Simon Fraser University. I visit the Burnaby campus every second week, on Friday night (6-9pm) and on Saturday day (10am-4pm). This term is spent researching and reading articles connected to the inquiry I plan on beginning in January. It is a lot of work but I am learning a lot. And I’m also loving it!

As I don’t have school this week, I am spending my weekend doing homework. My homework consists of reading assigned articles (not connected to my inquiry) and writing a first draft of my proposal, which is due next week.

Since I needed to take a break from writing I thought, “Why not write a blog post instead?” I’ve been meaning to inform you of this for a few weeks now so today is the perfect day to do this.

My question: How can I promote community building between French Immersion Students and English mainstream students?

In short, it is a continuity of what I focused on last Spring with the previous group of students. At this point, I have no idea how it will all unfold but I can predict it will be fun and engaging for the students.

As I often the class when we do writing and reading, I spend a great deal of time reading things I don’t understand. Also, writing in English isn’t always easy for me. I like to share my challenges with the students because it allows them to understand that learning is hard and sometimes painful. I doubt my readings will be of interest to you but here they are, should you want to take a look at what I’m interested in.

That’s it for now! Break is over…

My readings:

Cooper, J. E. (2007). Strengthening the Case for Community-Based Learning in Teacher Education. Journal of Teacher Education, 58(3), 245–255.

DeSena, J. N. (2006). “What’s a Mother To Do?”: Gentrification, School Selection, and the Consequences for Community Cohesion. American Behavioral Scientist, 50(2), 241–257.

Epstein, J. L. (2010). School/ Family/ Community Partnerships: Caring For the Children We Share. Phi Delta Kappan, 92(3), 81–96.

Gee, J. (2009). Affinity Spaces: From Age of Mythology to Today’s Schools. Retrieved from

Kirmani, M. H. (2007). Empowering Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Children and Families. YC: Young Children, 62(6), 94–98.

Lipman, P. (2009). The Cultural Politics of Mixed-Income Schools and Housing: A Racialized Discourse of Displacement, Exclusion, and Control. Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 40(3), 215–236.

Lozada, M., D’Adamo, P., & Carro, N. (2014). Plasticity of altruistic behavior in children. Journal of Moral Education, 43(1), 75–88.

McGrath, H., & Noble, T. (2010). Supporting Positive Pupil Relationships: Research to Practice. Educational & Child Psychology, 27(1), 79–90.

Palmer, P. J. (1998). The courage to teach: exploring the inner landscape of a teacher’s life. United States of America: Jossey-Bass.

Schaps, E., Lewis, C. C., & Watson, M. S. (1997). Building Classroom Communities. Thrust for Educational Leadership, 27, 14–18.

Skinner, C. H., Cashwell, T. H., & Skinner, A. L. (2000). Increasing tootling: the effects of a peer-monitored group contingency program on students’ reports of peers’ prosocial behaviors. Psychology in the Schools, 37(3), 263–270.

Yoon, E.-S., & Gulson, K. N. (2010). School choice in the stratilingual city of Vancouver. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 31(6), 703–718.


3 thoughts on “Annie’s Inquiry

  1. I suggest you develop some sort of friendly competition(s) between the 2 communities. Something that spans most of the school year, and involves multiple events that each focus on different things that the kids can get emotionally involved in. Insert some of the English kids onto a FI team and swap them out with an equal number of FI kids on an English team: maybe 1 or 2 at a time, changing it up for each event. Events such as a scavenger hunt, frisbee toss, lip sync dance, public speaking, spelling bee, arts and crafts, science fair, sandwich making, funniest videos – there are lots of possibilities. I’ve seen how well a fun competition can bring the kids together at other schools my older boys attended (Sperling Elementary in north Burnaby, and Hastings Elementary) and think it could work well here too.

  2. Community building specifically between French Immersion and mainstream students could happen either around the thing that divides them which is the language of instruction or around something totally unrelated, like the soccer teams that all kids are on. I think that soccer at Strathcona is a great example of community building that cuts across the language and income divides. The school teams and the community centre programs are accessible and don’t require parent transportation or money.

    An alternative community building activity could also be focused on language. Ronan and I were just talking about a book club idea that could be in English. We used to attend a book club at the Lyceum and miss the push to explore books that neither of us would choose on our own. Our vague idea of a book club is that it would be low cost so as not to exclude kids who didn’t have money to spend on books or who had parents who chose to borrow books instead of buying. What if it was very different from traditional book clubs in that not everyone read the book at the same time? Kids could get a library book off the shelf that they have read, talk about why they want other people to read the book and then throw the book into a bag. Each kid pulls out a book that they will read and then talk about next book club meeting. The next meeting each kid talks about their new idea book and the recommended book that they read.

    The issue with this idea as a community builder is that book clubs are often difficult to start and to break into. If you started the process to do community building but then the library hosted the club on the weekends it might make it more interesting to kids who have to read on the weekends anyway.

    Anyway, just an idea about a way to get kids across the language programs relating to each other. Thank you for the references.

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