Thursday, November 26, 2015

"How to Foster 
a Love of Reading"

with Faye Brownlie

(and anyone else who works with children!) 
You are invited to attend this FREE session.

February 17, 2016 7:00 p.m.
Maple Leaf School
225-12th Street Morden, MB


This session will look at the following ideas:
• Why one should read with their child daily
• How to support this life-long skill in our ever-changing world
• How to create a literacy-filled environment
• Read now for their future!

Sponsored by: The Pembina Escarpment Reading Council (PERC), a group of teachers, librarians and literacy specialists who value and encourage the love of literacy for both youth and adults.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A Writing Workshop with Kate Messner

How can you help your students become better writers?  Encourage them to read! You can also connect them to other writers and authors. In October, I watched Kate Messner’s live webinar sponsored by WeAreTeachers. The Google Hangout is archived here. In a 38 minute video, Messner shares her writing process with younger students and describes her experience writing Rescue on the Oregon Trail (Ranger in Time #1). Students from several classrooms ask her questions about writing, researching, revising and publishing. She prefers to write her first draft from start to finish and to save editing for after the first draft is complete. She mentions that revising takes much longer than the original writing!

Image result for Kate Messner image
Author Kate Messner

The webinar was a Google Hangout, a great way to connect with others. You can be an actual live participant (Google Hangout on Air) or you can send comments and questions by typed message. It is a similar or alternate application to SKYPE. Many authors also provide FREE 15-20 minute SKYPE conversations with classes, too.  I found Kate Messner’s website to be very useful in providing a list of authors who do so.  Check it out here to find more information and be sure to let me know your feedback on the experience. I will be researching to determine if there is a similar list for Canadian authors (although some authors/illustrators on Kate’s list are Canadian).

Fish In A Tree by Linda Mullally Hunt

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid. Albert Einstein

If you do not have this book in your classroom or library, get a copy right now! I have already bought two copies and passed them on. The wait list will be huge once your students hear about and read this book.  Ally Nickerson will do anything to keep her secret.  She hates words and hates reading. A grade six student, she has moved from school to school as her military family moved. In grade six, her regular teacher goes on a maternity leave and Mr. Daniels enters her life. Mr. Daniels is completing work for his Masters degree and has ideas about Ally's difficulty with reading. Ally helps him while he helps Ally. Ally discovers that great minds don’t think alike.

FIAT will appeal to many readers as Hunt forms strong characters that students will relate to and know. The theme is uplifting, but not unrealistic. You will find the bullies, the mean girls, the popular clique, the brainiac, and more in this story. Ally's insecurities and struggles should resonate with young readers and every teacher. 

Now is a great time to read this book as it is one of the featured books in the Global Read Aloud.  You can find a book trailer for the novel and several videos of Hunt reading chapters from the book on her website.  If you follow the Goodreads Choice Awards, you can vote for it as one of the best Middle Grade and Children’s books of 2015. I have already cast my vote in the first round.

Fish in a TreeImage result for great minds don't think alike