Posts tagged ‘Literacy’

Summer Slide

It is that time of year we get asked questions about the “summer slide” and best tips for parents and students on keeping the brain active and engaged during July and August.

Here are some freely available Internet resources on this topic:

Want more? TDSB teachers may request articles by contacting the Professional Library at (416) 395-8289 or

And remind your students about the Toronto Public Library about the summer reading club. Kids can track their reading online and find great books and fun stuff to do.


June 2, 2017 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Documentary on literacy & school library underfunding – Read Between the Lines

Check out this 35 minute doc created by the Chapters/Indigo Love of Reading Foundation, titled Read Between the Lines (also available in French). It examines the long term effects of poor literacy skills and underfunded elementary school libraries on children. It tracks the application by Fairview PS in Nanaimo BC for grant money from the Chapters Love of Reading Foundation and includes a retrospective  look at Ogden Community School in Thunder Bay that was the recipient of the award 10 years ago. Interviews include, amongst others,  Robert Munsch and Neil Gaiman.  You’ll like the music, too.

Keep  your kleenex handy – this deliberately tugs the heart strings!  What do you think?



May 18, 2017 at 10:05 am Leave a comment

Project Bookmark Canada


Project Bookmark Canada [a nationally registered charity] exists to mark our stories in our spaces, by placing fiction and poetry in the exact Canadian locations where literary scenes are set.” How is it marked? A poster sized plaque is placed in situ with up to 500 words from a story or poem.

On September 29 2016, a plaque honoring Dennis Lee’s book The Cat and the Wizard (illustrated by Gillian Johnson) was unveiled at Casa Loma – #17 on the literary trail across Canada. Checkout the site to discover other sites in Toronto, and across Canada.

You can suggest a book 

“Bookmarks must be from a work of fiction or poetry, published in book form by a recognized publishing company or organization.

The Bookmarked excerpt must be set in an actual and identified location. The reader must be able to stand in the place where the characters or narrators stand in the story. The site can be named in the Bookmarked passage or at some other point in the overall work. 

A Bookmarked passage may be up to 500 words and should be effective as an excerpt—but it should also make you wonder what came before and what comes next, encouraging readers of the Bookmark to become readers of the book.”

Very cool idea, and could be used in so many ways in classrooms. Check it out! Rowan

October 13, 2016 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Word on the Street – this Sunday at Harbourfront (11am to 6pm)

Word on Street is this Sunday (September 25) at Harbourfront.  Check out the map of publishers & associations and the schedule of authors. It is a great way to spend an afternoon.

Check it out! Rowan



September 23, 2016 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

EduGains new doc: Student Achievement Literacy Planning Resource

Newly released from EduGains,  Adolescent Literacy:

The Student Achievement Literacy Planning Resource (2016) is a tool that supports the collaborative efforts SSLs, system and school leaders and teams to plan for and implement deep, precise and targeted actions that support literacy instruction and achievement.  This resource consolidates effective practices from Ontario boards, schools and classrooms for identifying and addressing the needs of students facing literacy challenges.

Effective literacy practices in this resource are organized under three headings:

  1. Literacy leadership
  2. Collaborative professional learning
  3. Supports for students

The document is a bit hidden – you gotta know where it is:  Click on < Resource Collection by Topic / Improvement Planning > in the left menu under System Leader on the Literacy K-12 site.

Check it out! Rowan




September 16, 2016 at 1:00 pm Leave a comment

Adolescent Literacy Guide 2016 revised edition available

EduGains Literacy has released a revised 2016 edition of the Adolescent Literacy Guide and in addition, an online professional learning module (parts 1 and 2) is now available to support self-directed professional learning about Adolescent Literacy.

Check it out! Rowan





September 14, 2016 at 9:07 am Leave a comment

Big-ideas for small group work (literacy)

Check out this attractive, teacher-friendly new book: 30 big-idea lessons for small groups: The teaching framework for ANY text and EVERY reader (2016 by Rafferty, Moreell and Rountos).

The stages of the big ideas totally connect with your inquiry process:

  1. Engaging
  2. Discussing
  3. Deep-See thinking
  4. Connecting

Chapter 3 is all about engagement and includes a description of classroom ideas (like ranking characters, vocabulary karaoke); chapter 6 is all about conferring big ideas across the day; chapter 7 includes forms / masters.

TDSB teachers may borrow this by reserving it in the catalogue – remember to login first! Or phone (416) 395-8289 or email


May 26, 2016 at 1:00 pm Leave a comment

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