Saturday, April 19, 2008

Summer Reading

Okay! I know it snowed last night but it's summer in Quebec where it's 25 degrees! I may have mentioned the Choice Literacy website before but their latest newsletter has some great suggestions for read-alouds and some great links for ideas on summer reading.

So many good events on this week, but I did go to an interesting event at the Planetarium. The Vancouver International Writers' Festival hosted an evening with three of the authors in the series Extraordinary Canadians. This is a neat series where well known Canadian writers were asked to write biographies of famous Canadians. Charlotte Gray, author of Nellie McClung; Lewis DeSoto, author of Emily Carr, and David Adams Richards, author of Lord Beaverbrook, were fascinating. I think this is a series which belongs in high school libraries, bringing colour and personality to Canadian history!

Last week I enjoyed a great conversation with Faye Brownlie and the English department at Killarney High School on Lit Circles. Faye's book, Grand Conversations is one I recommend to anyone who wants a good guide to making Literature Circles fun, and easy to manage.

This week I have spent several periods looking at how to answer questions better with a grade 3/4 class at Edith Cavell. Aaron Espley, their teacher and I, have been using material from the book, Better Answers.
Third and fourth graders really keep you honest! You have to really break things down to the right level and amount, and then it's amazing what they can do!

The other activity I seem to have done a great deal this week is giving presentations about our new literacy model for elementary schools. I must say my skill with LCD projectors has really increased! We are excited about how we have rethought our model and the opportunity to try this out next year with our year one to four schools.

Busy week ahead! Amongst other things, two coordinator meetings! Our grade four to seven coordinators will be looking at different aspects of Main Idea and our high school teachers will be looking at Writing to Learn and great new books for high school students. I also hope to get to a couple of Earth Day celebrations which many of our schools are staging!