Posts tagged ‘Reading’

Readers save the world infographic

The Canadian National Reading Campaign site includes an infographic titled Readers Save the World [jpeg].  Didja know that:

  • reading for as little as 6 minutes can reduce stress by as much as 60 %
  • 61% of Canadians have library cards

Join the movement – it is good for your health!

Check it out, Rowan

July 12, 2017 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

OLA creates summer reading toolkit for parents

From the OLA website: “Are you looking for a way to keep your child reading this summer? Hundreds of children fall victim to the summer slide: when students lose academic development and achievement gains over the summer months. Contrary to popular belief, 76% of kids enjoy reading books over the summer (Scholastic Canada, 2017). This Summer Reading Toolkit for Parents was designed by the Ontario Library Association to help parents help their kids through the summer months. It was made possible by a generous Parents Reaching Out (PRO) grant from Ontario’s Ministry of Education.”

The downloadable toolkit : “Use this Toolkit to discover engaging summer reading programs and keep your child reading this summer. We’ve centralized information and suggestions for summer reading opportunities. We’ve cultivated the best reading programs available, listed reading festivals across Ontario, and provided alternative reading suggestions and tips for reluctant readers.”

Plus there is quiz: “Not every child enjoys reading fiction. Some are attracted by the animation of graphic novels, and others by the images of teen icons in magazines. The Summer Reading Quiz will take less than ten minutes of your time. It will ask you questions about your child and their reading preferences, and will determine the best summer reading program or curated reading list for your child.”

Check it out! Rowan


June 22, 2017 at 8:00 am 1 comment

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

Ministry funds reading & spec ed project in selected schools

Today the Ministry announced “Ontario Providing More Support for Students with Learning Disabilities: Innovative Pilot Programs Underway in Schools Across the Province

Selected from the news release:

  • “Ontario is launching eight pilot projects to provide more reading support for students with learning disabilities, with participating schools in Cambridge, London, Sudbury and Windsor.”
  • “These projects are intended to help students with learning disabilities get the support they need closer to home, and improve their reading skills.”
  • “The pilots are supported by a research team and are intended to strengthen school boards’ capacity to provide more support for students without having to leave their community. This team will provide input and guidance on how best to share the knowledge gained from the pilots with other school boards across Ontario.”


April 19, 2017 at 1:37 pm Leave a comment

Finding Your Inner Superhero: OLA jot notes

Fourth in a series by Natalie C., one of our fabulous reference librarians, who was lucky to attend 3 days at the OLA Super conference: 

In Bring Your Own Cape: Using Novels and Non-Fiction Narratives to Further Themes of Diversity, Equity and Social Justice, presenter and author Natasha Deen argued that by teaching kids the importance of reading and writing we could also teach them to be superheroes.

For Deen, being a superhero is not the same as just being powerful. Referencing the deaths experienced by Peter Parker and Bruce Wayne before they became Batman & Spider-Man, Deen asserted: “Finding the superhero within is not just about being awesome. It’s taking power from the terrible. The things that happen in your life that are terrible, they are there to help you rise.”

Deen believes that by sharing diverse stories, kids can learn to recognize the value in their differences — what the world often uses to put them down — and access their power.

By encouraging students to write, Deen says that we’re allowing students to “peek behind the curtain.” By writing, students can learn not only about how narratives in the stories they read are purposefully shaped and structured to convey specific messages, but how these messages can in turn shape and structure the story of their own lives. 

Through books with themes of diversity, equity and social justice, Deen believes that educators can teach students that they can all make a difference: “The world’s telling you to look a certain way to be powerful and yet the most powerful thing in the world is kindness. Why are we letting people tell us that only big things count? Little things matter. All of us change the world.”

So how can you help students find their inner superhero?Deen has compiled a list of texts that promote diversity, equity and social justice. Additionally, she has created several question sheets to help educators use some of these texts to inspire discussion.


February 16, 2017 at 1:00 pm Leave a comment

Do your students identify as readers?

The October 2016 issue of Phi Delta Kapan (vol 98:2) includes an articles by D. Barrone and R. Barrone titled Are You a Reader? (pp 47-51).

The article briefly reviews research based practises that improve reading skills, but spends most of its space reviewing a  grade 5 class in which none of the students self-identified as being a reader at the beginning of the school year.  The teacher challenged the students to read 50 books – “all they had to do was read and record the books they read. There were no book reports, projects, quizzes or prizes after reading.” (p 49).

The teacher delivered her literacy program using direct and differentiated instruction and daily literature circles. As the year progressed,  the students created a list of the characteristics of good readers, including the following:

  1. good readers read for fun
  2. good readers talk about books
  3. good readers usually finish a book
  4. good readers relate to the characters in the book
  5. good readers often choose a specific genre to read
  6. good readers read lots of books

What this article does not do is discuss how the teacher managed struggling readers.  Any TDSB teacher interested in reading this article can contact the library at (416) 395-8289 or

Check it out! Rowan



December 30, 2016 at 1:00 pm Leave a comment

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