About Us

Language is a Study in Relations

CRITICAL READING

Tiny Woman Wordshop’s total literacy approach shows how the two communicative aspects of language—the literary and linguistic—are unified by their structural relationships, and how these dynamic structures are related to the fundamental ways we think. These dynamic structures help students develop critical comprehension along with reading and writing competencies.

COHESIVE WRITING

Our approach includes a comprehensive writing component that relates exposition and narrative across the multi-literacies within the classroom. During seminars, we work with teachers to explore the easy-to-learn literacy frameworks that give shape to the texts students read, write and view. As students develop their understandings of how we relate language structures to communicate important ideas through various text forms and formats, they in turn can use these relationships to express their own thoughts and ideas with clarity and cohesion.

 TOTAL LITERACY

We relate each component of language meaningfully to every other component of language, by means of ‘big ideas’. These ‘big ideas’ form a dynamic framework that students can transfer to each new literacy experience they encounter. Students can also use this framework to develop meaning in other contexts: it becomes a way for students to think critically about the different perspectives, social issues and environmental concerns within their own lives, and local and world communities.

Meet Our Team

Tiny Woman Wordshop was founded to develop a research-based comprehensive literacy approach for practical classroom instruction and student learning.
Dr. Christine Portier
Dr. Christine Portier

Founder & Consultant; BEd., MEd., PhD.

Christine consults with administrators and provides professional development workshops for educators.

Donald Dominico
Donald Dominico

Artist & Designer; BA., BEd., OCT

Donald designs and co-develops TWWs literacy resources, including illustrations and music compositions.

Teachers
Teachers

Feedback & Collaboration

K-12 teachers collaborate with us, test new materials and translate and adapt resources for French programs.

Students
Students

Enthusiastic Learners

K-12 students share work samples and provide us with valuable feedback.

What other educators say about us …

… students develop a conceptual literacy framework that can be brought to any new reading or writing experience, which has implications for cross-cultural literary studies, for integrating instruction across media, and for deeply addressing important social justice issues.

MARCEL DANESI
MARCEL DANESI
Professor, Linguistic Anthropology, University of Toronto

I have played many roles beyond classroom teacher: Host teacher, Site Co-ordinator for teacher candidates, Demonstration Classroom and New Teacher Mentor, Literacy Chair, Math Chair, etc. To date, nothing has been more useful to me, in all of these positions, than the PD I have received from you.

JACQUIE E.
JACQUIE E.
Primary/Junior Teacher

… one of the most memorable professional development opportunities around higher-order thinking.

JUDY L.
JUDY L.
Primary Teacher

Student conferences take on a whole new dynamic as students share their excitement and joy over the gains they have achieved in their personal writing. The astute educator will see an integrative tool that can be utilized to achieve improved reading and writing across all subject areas.

KAI C.
KAI C.
Administrator & Teacher

… classroom-proven and research-validated approaches to teaching literacy and critical
thinking.

SHELLEY STAGG PETERSON
SHELLEY STAGG PETERSON
Professor, OISE/University of Toronto

This total literacy approach enables teachers to work in a collaborative and cohesive manner, which spirals up through the grades, and brings increasing clarity and sophistication to their students’ understandings and skills in reading and writing.

SOPHIE H.
SOPHIE H.
Principal

I found the presentation really interactive … the way the information is given is based on how you would present it to the students. Modelling is a great way to teach teachers. They need to see and hear how they need to be good teachers.

ALLIE P.
ALLIE P.
Teacher Candidate

This set of lesson activities incorporate word study, integrating subjects, and extending language knowledge in engaging ways!

CAROL D. J.
CAROL D. J.
Teacher Induction Program, Literacy Program