Frances Ann Squire: literacy for lifelong learning

Year: 2019 – Province: Prince Edward Island

Certificate of Excellence Recipient

Frances Ann Squire

Language arts, grade 9
Birchwood Intermediate School, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

"I am always excited to go into her class because seeing how enthusiastic she is to teach makes me excited to learn. I admire her vivacious spirit and caring nature. It is apparent to me that our growth is success in her eyes. Ms. Squire is an outstanding teacher."  — Student

Through her creative and collaborative style, Frances Squire awakens a love and thirst for knowledge in her students. They are enriched by her passion for learning new technologies and creative pursuits. Indeed, she has written two-award-winning children's books, and is a published poet and author.

Teaching approach

Frances emphasizes student choice, hands-on and creative activities, collaboration in her classroom, and gives students opportunities to engage with and learn from community partners. To foster success, she builds a fun, caring, inclusive environment so students feel valued and respected.

In the classroom

  • Stresses creative and digital literacy for personal growth and lifelong learning: students learn to locate, evaluate, use, create and share information responsibly, and make films and podcasts; used technology to virtually follow a climbing expedition and judged virtual middle-school debates.
  • Improved grade 7 and 9 students' writing and reading comprehension: coordinated free, after-school writing program for students, matching them one-on-one or in small groups with pre-service teachers; supports students' participation in Island Literary Awards, with several winning prizes.
  • Instils altruism, sense of social responsibility and global citizenship in students, integrating human rights education into language arts: students create commercials, run events, fundraise and volunteer for local community organizations, and have produced award-winning videos on racism.
  • Takes cross-curricular approach to learning: students researched the history of art through the ages, then focus on one period and one artist to produce a work in that person's style to create a visual timeline; the finished pieces were exhibited at the Confederation Centre of the Arts.

Outstanding achievements

  • Developed several very successful—and popular—after-school programs: video game development club members have received post-secondary scholarships for game and art design; Maker and Minecraft club regularly draws more than 50 students.
  • Co-founded International Virtual Poetry Summit with U.S. educators, featuring celebrity guests and students from around the world; hosts gatherings at a Charlottetown café for students to share their poetry with the public; students collaborate with U.S. peers on online poetry collections.
  • Launched, with two students, the Micro-Library Mobile: students collect, sort and distribute donated books to micro-libraries; recognized by city for community service and promoting literacy.

Get in touch!

Birchwood Intermediate School
49 Longworth Avenue
Charlottetown PE C1A 5A6
Twitter: @BirchwoodCobras

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