With the holidays just around the corner, teachers and parents often find themselves searching for the latest and greatest titles in children's literature. Luckily, December means review website publish their Best of the Year lists – a great help for making decisions about which books to purchase as gifts or to add to a classroom library.
Kirkus Reviews, for instance, offers a list of middle grade, picture books, and young adult titles. (As an added bonus, the Kirkus Reviews make for excellent mentor texts when teaching students to write book reviews or analyses.) School Library Journal's Best Books 2019 lists break down the categories even further, including picture books, transitional chapter books, middle grade, young adult, non-fiction, and graphic novels. They have even assembled all their lists into a downloadable, printable 15-page handout, perfect for last-minute inclusion in a winter-break email or newsletter. (Don't forget about the value of audiobooks, often overlooked. For some readers, audiobooks are the great equalizer, allowing them to access text that might otherwise be out of reach.)
As wonderful as Kirkus Reviews and School Library Journal are, we can't forget about supporting our Canadian authors. We recommend checking out the Manitoba Young Reader's Choice Awards book lists for younger readers and older readers and the Canadian Children's Book Centre's 2019 CCBC Gift Guide for the best Canadian titles of the year.
Finally, why not support our local independent bookseller McNally Robinson when making your purchases? At RCGW, we are always reminded of how Donalyn Miller's amazed reacted to the bookstore – to this day, she talks about its beauty and all it has to offer. We know our holiday plans include spending lots of time at this local gem.
The Reading Council of Greater Winnipeg's Board of Directors wishes you a restful holiday season, filled with books, love, and celebration. We look forward to seeing you in the New Year!
We look forward to spending MTS PD Day 2019 – October 25, 2019 – with over 300 teachers for Lori Oczkus's session: "The Powerful Reading Vitamin: Boosting Comprehension with The Fab Four."
Limited walk-up registrations are available.
Celebrations at Canad Inns Destination Centre Fort Garry
1824 Pembina Hwy | Winnipeg, Manitoba
Free parking available on site, but we are expecting over 300 teachers. We encourage carpooling and arriving early! LUNCH IS NOT INCLUDED. There are many restaurants in the area. Morning and afternoon snacks are included.
Editor’s Note: RCGW extends thanks to Manitoba Education and Training ELA Consultant Angela Burdett for her assistance in answering our many questions.
Since 2017, Manitoba Education and Training (MET) has been implementing the new ELA Curriculum Framework through a phased-in model. Across the province, many school teams and groups of teachers have gathered to discuss and explore their practice through the new curriculum framework. We at RCGW continue to field questions from teachers in the field, so we reached out to MET for some updates.
Last month, in Off to a Great Start, we recommended teachers read the Manitoba English Language Arts Curriculum Framework – April 2019 Draft. (Read it online at Maple today!) Teachers can inquire and explore the many avenues for digging deep into language and inquiry under the new framework. We are pleased to hear that MET expects to have the latest iteration of the Curriculum Framework and the new Maple group, "The ELA Place," available later this fall.
The revised framework will be shared as "A Living Document" rather than a "Draft" to better reflect the emergent nature of the curriculum. MET is in the process of redesigning and renaming the current Maple group "Reflecting on and Moving Forward With the New ELA Curriculum" to "The ELA Place." The new group will be a more interactive space where educators can explore the framework and wraparound supports from multiple entry points. It will evolve over time as teachers shift practice and become more familiar with the new framework and as MET receives feedback from teachers in the field. If you’re already a member of the current group, you’re all set – you won’t need to join anything new. You will receive an invitation from Maple to join the new group and you simply follow the directions provided.
One exciting part of The ELA Place is the Stories of Practice. This is where educators can go to see the stories of Manitoba teachers enacting the practices and living out this curriculum in their classrooms. In the future, MET hopes to include many "stories of practice" that represent all grade bands and many contexts. If you’ve begun to implement the new curriculum, we at RCGW and MET would love to hear your stories. Get in touch with us!
Finally, RCGW offers its congratulations to former MET ELA and Literacy Consultant Shelley Warkentin, who moved to Seven Oaks School Division earlier this year. We also welcome the new Senior Years ELA and Literacy Consultant Vicky McMahon to her position at MET. We look forward to continuing our longstanding collaboration with MET and to bringing you, our members, the latest information to support your teaching.
The Reading Council of Greater Winnipeg is excited to announce that past president and long-time board member Cathy-Ann Winters has been appointed as the International Literacy Association (ILA) Provincial Coordinator for Manitoba!
Cathy-Ann has been a long standing member of the Reading Council of Greater Winnipeg, the Manitoba Reading Association and the International Literacy Association. She has served on the RCGW board as the MYRCA Representative, President Elect, President, Past President and Journal Editor. Cathy-Ann is a Vice Principal at Dakota Collegiate Institute in the Louis Riel School Division and has recently become a Reading Apprenticeship facilitator, supporting literacy instruction across Manitoba. Cathy-Ann is dedicated to inspiring cultures of collaboration, learning focused relationships and personalized learning. She has been a Classroom Teacher, a Student Services Teacher, a Literacy Itinerant Teacher and an Instructional Support Teacher. Cathy-Ann received her Masters in Educational Administration from the University of Manitoba where her learning focused on instructional leadership and effective school planning.
RCGW's Board of Directors welcomes Cathy-Ann into her new role and looks forward to working closely together over her term.
The following message is from the International Literacy Association.
This year, the ILA Annual Conference is being held in the fall for the first time, October 10–13 in New Orleans. Registration is still open and that hotel rooms should be booked soon for all planning to attend. For details, please see https://literacyworldwide.org/conference/register-now. A robust lineup of featured literacy research sessions will be offered, including these:
Researchers will be also presenting sessions on topics of note for classroom teachers, teacher educators, school administrators, and others. Plus, the editors of The Reading Teacher, Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, and Reading Research Quarterly will be hosting Meet the Editors sessions to answer questions about the submission process for prospective authors.
So, if you haven’t registered yet, now’s the time to make sure you don’t miss out on this outstanding opportunity. Don't delay - register today!
Written by Jon Sorokowski
Once August arrives, we in the Reading Council of Greater Winnipeg begin to think about September and our incoming groups of students. We tweak our trusted approaches and search for new gems with the energy that accompanies the excitement of a new school year. Here are exciting resources we are using to help us create a culture of literacy from Day One in our schools.
About the Author – Jon Sorokowski edits the Reading Council of Greater Winnipeg’s Blog and is on its Board. He teaches at a French Immersion middle school in Winnipeg and is the Co-chair of the Manitoba Reading Association’s 6th Adolescent Literacy Summit, to be held in April 2021 at the Victoria Inn in Winnipeg.
We want you! The Reading Council of Greater Winnipeg (RCGW) seeks to recruit dedicated teachers to volunteer on its Board of Directors.
Dedicated to the promotion of literacy and the development of lifelong readers, RCGW has been a leader since 1956. We are a supportive group of new and experienced teachers from K-12. Joining the board broadens your network and strengthens your leadership skills. We are looking to recruit volunteers for the following roles.
In addition to our monthly board meetings, each position generally involves two to three hours of independent and collaborative work every month.
Finally, if you're not sure about any of these positions, we invite you to attend a meeting to learn what we're about. Please contact Jon Sorokowski if you have questions or if you'd like to join.
We can't wait to see you!
Tuesday, January 21 at 4:30 PM – Emerson Elementary School. All members are invited. Contact Leslie Dickson if you will be attending.
We welcome book reviews, articles about teaching strategies, and other submissions. Please contact the Editor.