Mentor Texts/Read Aloud
Australian educator, Tony Stead, continues to flex his non-fiction muscles in this series about reading and writing opinion books. This series provides children with real-world opportunities to think critically, formulate, defend and value opinions - through listening, speaking and writing.
Russell Quaglia’s pioneering work around student voice now has a way to reach the students directly through this storybook, co-authored by his daughter, Cali. Two young birds go on an adventure and explore, listen, learn, and meet new friends who use their unique voices to express themselves. Through their adventures, the two birds find their own voices and aspirations.
As Strong Nations Publishing notes - “In this Coast Salish story, it is explained how each family played a traditional role in taking care of our Mother Earth. From controlled burning to ethical hunting and fishing practices, the Coast Salish people were, and still are, taught by their elders to respect Mother Earth.”
In this blog post by the authors of Catching Readers Before They Fall, they pose some thoughtful questions around our beliefs about children and learning, and ask us to reflect on how our practices can match our beliefs.
The author shares tips for cultivating a thoughtful learning environment in all of our schools, by practicing teaching, leading, and learning habits that support growth, collaboration, flexible thinking, and problem solving. These tips align well with how we can infuse the Core Competencies into our teaching and learning experiences with students.
In her blog post exploring how we can embrace the discomfort of learning, Literacy Coach Dana Clark notes that “As teachers, we are in the business of learning. However taking on a professional goal or trying on a new practice can feel clumsy and uncomfortable sometimes...and we deserve the same amount of patience and care that we would give to our students as we continue on our own learning journeys.” A good reminder as we kick-start a new year and consider ways we might stretch ourselves to learn and try new things.
Edutopia has partnered with a school in Stratford, England to demonstrate the power of oracy in the classroom, by providing students with structured strategies for effective talk. Their Oracy Toolkit includes Discussion Guidelines, Talking Points, Sentence Stems, Talk Tasks, and more. Having high expectations for students’ oral language skills has a positive impact on how confident and articulate they are.
In this short film by UBCO and Leyton Schnellert, they highlight how literacy centres and stations can help empower children, provide opportunities to differentiate and deepen learning experiences. Through the stations and centres, experiential and self-regulated learning is increased and encouraged.