Margin Notes

LITERACY EVENTS OCTOBER 2022

Sep
29

October 2-8

News Media CanadaNational Newspaper Week Every year, during the first full week of October, newspapers across North America celebrate National Newspaper Week to recognize the people who work tirelessly to bring the news to their communities. Newspaper journalism – both local and national – is critically important, especially in the reality in which we live. Now, more than ever, newspapers matter.

October 24-28

Media Literacy Week is an annual event promoting digital media literacy across Canada, taking place each October. Schools, libraries, museums and community groups organize events and activities throughout the week.

 

October 3-November 14

The Global Read Aloud

The premise is simple; we pick a book to read aloud to our students during a set 6-week period and during that time we try to make as many global connections as possible. Each teacher decides how much time they would like to dedicate and how involved they would like to be.

OCTOBER 26 – 7:30-8:30 PM ADT

Kelly Fritsch & Anne McGuire authors of We Move Together. We Move Together follows a mixed-ability group of kids as they creatively negotiate everyday barriers and find joy and connection in disability culture and community. A kinship text for families, schools, and libraries to facilitate conversations about disability, accessibility, social justice, and community building. This event is free to the public. Register for tickets

 

For more events, please check out our Literacy Events Calendar.

PHOTO ESSAYS

Sep
15

Photo essays are a powerful form of multimodal writing. I fell in love with them when I was introduced to James Mollison and his incredibly important books: “Where Children Sleep” and “Where Children Play”. These books show, through pictures and words, the inequities of children’s lived experiences around the globe.

When I show these photo essays to teachers and students, they are equally struck by how profound a form of writing it can be. This usually leads to students wanting to write their own photo essays.

So, together as a class, we co-constructed “What makes a quality photo essay?”. We read lots of examples – both in book form and digitally – and answered the following questions:

What do you notice about the photo essay?

How would you define “Photo Essay”?

What makes a quality photo essay?

Some of the books we read were:

Where Children Sleep by James Mollison

James and Other Apes by James Mollison

Before Their Time: The World of Child Labour by David L. Parker

Earth Then and Now: Amazing Images of a Changing World by Fred Pearce

We also looked at digital photo essays that I compiled on a SWAY so the students could view them on their own devices.

Since students will be creating digital photo essays, it’s important that you show them different online tools that they can use. Canva, SWAY, Powerpoint, and Piktochart were the ones we explored.

I find that the photo essays students create tell a lot about themselves and how they view the world. Spending some time on personal photo essays at the beginning of the school year would be a great way to explore identity.

LITERACY EVENTS SEPTEMBER 2022

Sep
07

Here are some literacy events taking place in September 2022.

September 8th

International Literacy DaySince 1967, International Literacy Day (ILD) celebrations have taken place annually around the world to remind the public of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights, and to advance the literacy agenda towards a more literate and sustainable society. Despite progress made, literacy challenges persist with at least 773 million young people and adults lacking basic literacy skills today.”

 

September 15th – ish

International Dot Day “Imagine the power and potential of millions of people around the world connecting, collaborating, creating and celebrating all that creativity inspires and invites. I hope you will join the growing global community of creativity champions using their talents, gifts and energy to move the world to a better place.”

 

September 18-24

Banned Books Week “Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular. The theme of this year’s event is “Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.”

Check out these events, and more, on our ASD-W Margin Notes Literacy K-12 SharePoint.

 

SUMMER SORA SERIES RECOMMENDS THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS BY MARIEKA MIJKAMP 

Aug
12

This Is Where It Ends is a beautifully written novel following the events of a school shooting. Readers follow the lives of the people closest to the shooter and how they are affected throughout his terror. The reader is placed into the lives of five separate students and learn the relationship they had with the shooter and how it feels to have no power in a terrifying situation. 

This novel highlights the life of public-school students and the constant fear that they face with the rise of school shooting. It shows that no one is safe in this kind of position, not even family. Each chapter leaves you wanting more, and makes you wish you had another book to follow each of the characters.  

Tyler Browne is the shooter. This is a familiar name as you flip the pages and immerse yourself into this story. This Is Where It Ends puts the fear that the students feel within you. Your heart will break for anyone who has been affected by, or lost a child to, school shootings. Rather than chapters, the plot follows a timeline, the 54 minutes that feel like a lifetime to the students and teachers at this school. There are many trigger warnings of course, with school shootings and the loss of children or student.  On the same note, there are gory details about people being shot – which is hard for an audience to read when they are so deep into the story.  

A reader who enjoys reading fiction that reflects current events should definitely read this title. 

My name is Chloe Despres, and I am a grade 11 student at Leo Hayes high school. I enjoy reading and writing during my free time and being with my family. Reading has become a new passion of mine and consumes my time, as does Book Tok. I work a lot so hanging out with my family and my dog is my escape and calm! 

 

TRY THIS TOMORROW: THREE TOOLS FOR TALK 

Jun
23

In their resource, Breathing New Life into Book Clubs: A Practical Guide for Teachers, Sonja Cherry-Paul and Dana Johansen guide educators on how to use book clubs to create a culture of reading.  

When students are placed together to carry conversation, the discussion might begin with the question “What do we talk about?” One response suggestion in this resource is to offer the three tools of talk. This strategy can help learners who struggle to find ideas worth sharing along with those who have ideas but need support to start a conversation. 

What’s on your mind? 

This question can start a conversation with any thought, sticky-note or quote to break the silence and teach learners that their ideas are valuable. It might be a thought about a character, an important event, an interesting detail etc.  

Audacious Questioning 

All group members can ask questions that may or may not have answers. The questions could be why something happened, what others predict will happen next, help to clear up confusion or ask about an event. Students can write sticky notes with questions as they arise in reading and bring them to the discussion or ask as the discussion progresses. 

Author’s Moves 

Once students learn to read like a writer, they know how to see the craft moves of an author. Students can discuss these moves together. They could talk about the structure, the language, the perspectives, the theme etc.  

Once you introduce, model and practice the three tools for talking, you can individualize feedback and support to groups when you notice which area they are leaving out of discussions or support them in including a variety of subtopics in each branch. 

If you are interested in learning more about starting, running and assessing book clubs, this title offers a practical guide to your teaching. The mini-lessons, tracking suggestions and immediately applicable advice is invaluable. 

Cherry-Paul, S., & Johansen, D. (2019). Breathing New Life into book clubs. Heinemann Educational Books. 

 

 

JENNIFER CHAN IS NOT ALONE BY TAE KELLER

Jun
21

There are just some authors who are an immediate “yes”. Tae Keller has become one of those authors for me, ever since reading her Newbery Medal winning novel “When You Trap a Tiger“. So, when I found out that she had a new middle grade novel coming out on April 26th, I pre-ordered it. And, let me tell you, it does not disappoint.

Mallory, the narrator of the story, is so real and raw. I love how we are privy to all of her thoughts, insecurities, and feelings. She is a complicated character and is not simply “good or bad”. The shame and guilt she feels over her actions and those of her friends is written with sensitivity, and I certainly felt empathy for her- despite the fact that as a parent and a teacher I wanted to tell her to give her head a shake many times.

This is a story of bullying, aliens (yes, I said “aliens”), being the “new kid”, standing up for what is right, and speaking up for others EVEN when it makes you stick out. This novel would be an amazing read aloud for a grade 6 or 7 class.

I highly recommend you add this to your TBR stack of summer reads. And if you haven’t read “When you Trap a Tiger”, add that one too!

PROMOTE A LEAP, NOT A LOSS: SUMMER, HOLIDAY AND WEEKEND READING

Jun
16

As educators we want to ensure that our students have daily time to read each day when they are with us at school.  To keep this momentum, it is important that we consider ways to set students up to read at home on weekends, holidays and of course over the summer.  With summer fast approaching teachers may want to consider the following suggestions from Intervention Reinvention by Stephanie Harvey et al, on how to prevent the phenomenon known as “summer slide”.  These strategies may be especially helpful when brainstorming ways to support our more vulnerable learners who according to research experience higher degrees (80%) of stalled learning over the summers break.

  • Consider having students make a vacation reading plan. Have children plan ahead and get them talking about what they would like to read and prepare copies of books/ebooks, and teach them how to access books at the public library. Photocopy calendar pages and conference with students to support their interest and reading plan.

  • Consider sending students home with books that were carefully book matched to their interests using books from your classroom library.
  • Consider organizing book swaps before the school year ends. Put out a call for gently used books and book match with your students and set up a display letting families know books are available and that they are welcome to what interests them.
  • Consider promoting book ownership through giveaway promotions. Studies have found that book ownership when paired with a summer reading programs has more impact when no strings are attached (Allington, McGill-Frazen 2010). Students build home libraries of high interest books and pride in book ownership.
  • Consider keeping the school library open over the summer. Advertise it as a one-time special events or exclusive offer. It may be easier for students to access the school library rather than the public and even if students have been sent home with books, allowing access to the school library with allow them to refresh their stack. Perhaps a new interest has popped up over the summer, and accessing the library allows them to continue that interest.

Get together with colleagues and the school administration to discuss these ideas or brainstorm  other out of the box ideas to support students over the summer.  Plan for a leap and not a loss!

To learn more about Intervention Reinvention and other reading volume interventions strategies click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ROTATING CLASSROOM LIBRARIES

May
26

Last year the ASD-W Literacy team asked literacy teachers of grades 6-12 to complete a reading volume survey. That survey provided our team a multitude of valuable information.  One piece of data that resonated with me was the fact that 80 of the 84 respondents shared that they use personal funds to purchase books for their classroom library. We know that classroom libraries are recommended to include 20-30 books per student and that these titles need to appeal to a diverse audience and include selections accessible for all students.  This need for books can creates a financial burden for many teachers who want to provide students with rich reading experiences .

Given this reality for teachers, may I suggest a strategy to stretch both personal and school funds.  The recently published, Intervention Reinvention by Harvey et al suggests that teachers share books with colleagues to “maximize classroom library resources and ensure that every student has access to a range of appealing and varied texts” p. 144.

        

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • By knowing your own library well, you can decide which topics, genres, or formats are needed to rotate to supplement your own library.
  • Connect with colleagues in your building and reach out to see if they are willing to collaborate and rotate books.
  • Identify rotating books with a sticker on the back or inside cover.
  • Organize rotating books in bins or a separate shelf.
  • Check out the school book room. If titles are available here, ask the administrator if these can be part of a rotating collection.
  • Finally, don’t forget to borrow from the school and the public library.

Curating a diverse well stocked classroom library is a huge challenge. Working with colleagues can stretch and strengthen your resources and knowledge of texts.

To learn more about Intervention Reinvention and other reading volume intervention strategies click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

POEM IN YOUR POCKET DAY- HIGH SCHOOL EDITION

Apr
07

Poem In Your Pocket Day (PYID) is celebrated every year during National Poetry Month.

From the League of Poets website:

“On PIYP Day, select a poem, carry it with you, and share it with others at schools, bookstores, libraries, parks, workplaces, coffee shops, street corners, and on social media using the hashtag #PocketPoem.”

I was thinking about all the digital options available for accessing poetry and how our phones can fit in our pockets and then it occured to me that selecting a poem on a social media platform and then sharing said poem on your socials is literally “a poem in your pocket”.

Here are some fantastic sources for poetry:

Button Poetry

Button Poetry is very active on all social media platforms, including TikTok and Instagram, YouTube and Facebook. If you click the link above and then scroll down to the bottom of the page, you can find all the links. They share amazing spoken word poetry on TikTok.

Poetry Foundation

Publishers of the magazine POETRY. They are active on instagram, and have a podcast called “Audio Poem of the Day”.

Brett Vogelsinger

Brett is a high school ELA teacher, and each year in March he tweets and blogs about poetry – leading up to Poetry Month. You can find this year’s tweets here.

Poets.org 

Poets.org is active on Twitter and has a poem-a-day section on their website. They tweet using the hashtag #poemaday

League of Canadian Poets

On their website, you will find selections of poems for Poem-in-your-Pocket Day for the past 6 years.

PIYP Day 2021 / 2020 / 2019 / 2018 / 2017 / 2016

With all these options, I can guarantee that your students will not only find a poem that speaks to them, but will be excited to share that poem to the world. And, don’t forget to use the hashtag #pocketpoem!

 

APRIL IS POETRY MONTH 2022

Apr
05

April is Poetry Month and Margin Notes will be featuring ideas for celebrating poetry this month…and all year long.

We’ve updated our Poetry Month Resource Round-Up.

Made with Padlet

If you are looking for more inspiration to launch a month of poetry, these might be helpful:

4 Reasons to Start Class with a Poem Each Day by Brett Vogelsinger (via Edutopia)

10 Reasons to Begin Reading Poetry by Rebecca Hussey (via Book Riot)

Poetry Critic Steven Burt’s TED Talk Why People Need Poetry

How Poetry Can Turn A Fear of Literature into Love by Jason Reynolds

Grant Snider’s Comic Understanding Poetry

You will also find poetry ideas in our Craft Studio and Try This Tomorrow posts.

Happy Poetry Month!