Welcome to my first blog post!

Good day!

I thought we would start your “Mind Growth Education journey” by introducing myself. My name is Isabelle Baril and I am the founder of Mind Growth Education. I have taught for nine years at the French Immersion primary level. I graduated from the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, BC, with a Teaching Degree in Social Studies and Special Education, and also have an undergraduate degree in Geography and French from Laurentian University, in Sudbury, Ontario. I’ve always had a strong passion for helping others, that is why I became a teacher.

What inspired me to begin Mind Growth Education?
During my years as a classroom teacher and a learning assistance teacher, I implemented a variety of classroom and home reading programs, as well as a variety of reading log programs. I’ve met many teachers who have shown me various ways of integrating fun reading activities, reading log programs, etc. to their daily classroom reading blocks, in hopes to motivate their students to become avid readers, like one of our mottos “Today’s reader can be tomorrow’s leader!”. Quickly realizing that reading is a fundamental ingredient to becoming the best version of yourself, I’ve made sure I implemented a strong and relatable classroom/home reading program every single year. That being said, I spent hours of precious teacher preparation time dealing with my classroom/home reading program, as well as my reading log program on a daily basis, which led me to do most of my “homework” as a teacher at night, when my children would go to bed, always wishing the one classroom and home reading log program that I use would be online. Well I did it! I went for it and now have an amazing interactive classroom/home reading log program to offer you! Also being an avid Social Studies buff, I always loved integrating a way for my students to explore Canada from a variety of perspectives: artistic, cultural, historical, geographical, political and/or economical, through our reading log program.

What’s next for Mind Growth Education?
Since I always implemented the “Read Across Canada” reading log program in my classroom, I chose to launch this program first. It’s a super popular one and used daily in classrooms across Canada already. My intentions are to launch three more programs in the next few years, “Read Across the World”, “Read Across the United States of America” and “Read Across the Solar System” in hopes to give teachers, tutors, parents, librarians, etc. a choice in programs for their upcoming school years, as well as a variety of lesson plans and activities relatable to their program of choice.  We are also going to be adding level of difficulties within each program to cater to those really fast readers and those with learning disabilities. That being said, thank you for becoming a member of our company and hopefully together we can achieve creating a community of life-long learners.  As for us, this is just the beginning! Amazing things to come!

Here’s an interesting picture timeline of how I implemented the “Read Across Canada” reading log program over the years. Enjoy! 

My first year teaching, I drew this map by hand, painted and laminated it. I used to write the names of the students directly on the map to show them where they were at during their “Read Across Canada” journey. I also used this map as reference to our Social Studies’ Canada unit. 

I then upgraded to this map. It was gifted to me by a parent who understood my love of geography and saw my passion for the “Read Across Canada” reading log program. I used show my student’s their reading journey progress in a variety of ways with this map, from push pins with their names on it to tiny laminated pictures of their faces where I would tape to the map and move them along the route as they progressed in their reading journey – all of my ideas worked (but were oh so very time consuming!). 

And after bouncing from many different versions of Canadian maps, here is the online version, which makes a world of a difference when it comes to time management and reading motivation! And oh so appealing to every student!

Happy reading everyone!
– IB 🙂
Founder of Mind Growth Education