WRITTEN BY SHANNON MORIN
Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year! I hope everyone has had a gentle start and is easing into what I hope to be an exciting year for literacy education in Manitoba.
Bringing home new ideas from the International Literacy Association conference has been a long-standing tradition within the Reading Council of Greater Winnipeg. I have been reflecting on what it means to be a literacy leader after attending the annual ILA conference this summer, with colleagues from both around the world and close to home.
I heard stories of principals who “pull out all the stops” to engage students in home reading programs and family literacy nights. I learned how to return to the same picture book for multiple teaching reasons. I heard teachers and principals from all over North America profess how much they love to read and how important it was to them to support literacy education. I heard a panel of authors express their desire to connect students with characters who experience difficult life circumstances so those students see they are not alone. I heard how powerful giving students the power to share their story can be. I even heard some innovative ideas on how to find a math lesson within common picture books.
Our contributions to literacy education in our communities have given us the opportunity to share, learn, and lead. By simply sharing our passion for education and literacy, we can engage students, parents, and colleagues effortlessly. It’s not any different than a good hook at the beginning of a story.
Please help us connect with literacy leaders by sharing our updates for this year’s RCGW MTS PD Day on social media. We look forward to hosting literacy expert Dr. Jeffrey Wilhelm for his day-long PD: Setting the Stage for Success: Strategies to Foster Inquiry - Based Learning & Engaging Ways to Reach Reluctant Readers and Writers (Grades 3-9). Register via MTS MemberLink at memberlink.mbteach.org.
I will leave you with this quote from Pernille Ripp, which she shared at the ILA Conference during a panel called “Using Middle Grade Fiction to Tackle Tough Topics.”
About the Author - Shannon Morin serves as the President of the Reading Council of Greater Winnipeg. She is currently a Grade 4 and 5 teacher at Wayoata School in the River East Transcona School Division. Her passion is connecting children with good books and fostering a love of reading in her students that extends well beyond their year in her classroom.
WRITTEN BY TRISHA KLASSEN
The Reading Council of Greater Winnipeg (RCGW) offers two scholarships of $500.00 each to commemorate RCGW’s charter in 1956 as well as to recognize the visionary teachers from Winnipeg who formed the first International Literacy Association council in Canada. The award is created to support tuition and material costs for students in the province’s Faculties of Education. Applications are now being accepted for this scholarship. Click here for more information.
Congratulations to Megan Lewis and Juhelle Boulet, the winners of the 2017 Anniversary Scholarships! Megan’s application emphasized the importance of the teacher to facilitate learning in meaningful ways on more than an academic level. She recognizes the value of finding reading and writing resources and has a passion for books, continually sharing her passion for literacy with children, even bringing her personal books to her employment at a summer camp. Juhelle recognizes that all children are unique and have something to teach us, meaning they need a stimulating and safe environment in which they can feel comfortable to take risks and expand on their knowledge. Juhelle is an avid reader and knows student interest is key for developing a love for reading. She is passionate about teaching reading and writing in a variety of engaging and exciting ways. RCGW extends its thanks and congratulations to these inspiring pre-service teachers.
About the Author – Trisha Klassen serves as the Scholarship Chair on the Reading Council of Greater Winnipeg's Board of Directors. She is a past-president of RCGW and also the recipient of the Certificate of Merit for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Literacy. Trisha is currently a Kindergarten teacher at Winnipeg Mennonite Elementary School - Katherine Friesen Campus. She is passionate about teaching young learners how to become readers.
WRITTEN BY CAROL HRYNIUK-ADAMOV
The Reading Council of Greater Winnipeg mourns the sudden passing of Kevin Mowat, a distinguished Manitoba literacy leader who enriched the literacy landscape of our province for several decades.
Kevin was an outstanding teacher-librarian and library consultant who supported thousands of teachers with his remarkable expertise. During his long and distinguished career, Kevin was the quintessential teacher, librarian, and consultant in the Winnipeg School Division. He was always willing to help educators locate resources and develop innovative projects. He acknowledged and supported all our efforts to promote literacy and learning.
Forever curious, looking for innovative ways to promote literacy and inquiry, Kevin served as a tremendous role model for new and seasoned educators. He was a dear friend of our reading councils, our provincial Manitoba Reading Association (MRA), and the International Literacy Association. He was always eager to promote our annual literacy events and often tweeted about the highlights of literacy programs, conferences, and resources.
Kevin emailed me, in the early morning of the first day of school, just hours before he passed away. He was trying to locate, post and distribute registration forms in order to promote this year’s upcoming council events for professional learning. He was also a great supporter of “I Love to Read” Events across school divisions and public libraries. He promoted and celebrated the four MRA Adolescent Literacy Summits. Kevin was also revered by his colleagues, who awarded him the Manitoba School Library Association Distinguished Service Award in 2016 for his remarkable service to school libraries in Manitoba. This was one of the highlights of his career.
The Reading Council of Greater Winnipeg Board and Membership extend our condolences to his beloved wife Jennifer Mowat, a retired reading clinician, son Andrew, and his colleagues in the Winnipeg School Division and the Manitoba School Library Association. We will all miss his inspiring presence.
Kevin Mowat has left a tremendous legacy, urging us to carry on innovative approaches to promote literacy in Manitoba and work collaboratively with our colleagues across the province to ensure “Every Manitoban, a Literate Manitoban.”
About the Author - Carol Hryniuk-Adamov serves on the editorial committee of Reading Manitoba in her role as a member-at-large for the Reading Council of Greater Winnipeg Board. She is a past-president of RCGW and MRA and the past co-president of the Manitoba Council of Reading Clinicians. She also served as the International Literacy Association provincial co-ordinator for many years. Carol works at a reading clinician in the Winnipeg School Division Clinical Support Services in the Carpathia district.
WRITTEN BY DR. JEFFREY WILHELM
Editor’s Note – Dr. Jeffrey Wilhelm has shared an extensive annotated bibliography with the Reading Council of Greater Winnipeg in advance of his MTS PD Day presentation. Over the next week, we will publish excerpts from the annotated bibliography. We hope you see familiar titles and find new ones. Keep checking Reading Manitoba for more!
Join Dr. Wilhelm and the Reading Council of Greater Winnipeg on Friday, October 20, 2017 at St. Mary’s Academy for Setting the Stage for Success: Strategies to Foster Inquiry-Based Learning & Engaging Ways to Reach Reluctant Readers and Writers (Grades 3-9). Register now!
DIVING DEEP INTO NONFICTION: Transferable Tools for Reading ANY Nonfiction Text
Corwin, 2016 – Twenty-eight classroom-tested lessons using four kinds of rules of notice (generalizations, calls to attention, ruptures, readers’ response) about four kinds of text elements (topics, key details, text structures and genre) to help students learn what and how to notice and interpret what is essential to understanding main ideas and how texts are constructed for meaning and effect. This book provides a generative model for teaching reading for meaning that can be used with any text at any grade level across the curriculum.
YOU GOTTA BE THE BOOK: Teaching Engaged and Reflective Reading with Adolescents
3rd Edition, Teachers College Press, 2016 – This is one of my three bestselling books and the one most people seem to know. It explores the stances and strategic repertoire of highly-engaged versus poor adolescent readers, ways to inquire into reading with students, and how to use a variety of interventions to get struggling readers to ready with the power and joy of highly adept readers. You Gotta Be the Book features techniques like think alouds, symbolic story representation, visual art techniques, drama, etc. and how to align to next generation standards. WINNER of the NCTE Promising Research Award!
THE ACTIV(IST) LEARNER: Inquiry, Literacy and Service to Make Learning Matter
Teachers College Press, 2014 – This book explores how inquiry/cognitive apprenticeship approaches to teaching and learning naturally lead to service to self, peers, classroom, school, community, and environment. The Activist Learner is filled with classroom stories and practical how-to ideas for integrating content area learning and service to enliven and deepen learning while exceeding curricular goals and next generation assessments. The book promotes literacy as an avenue to creating a culture of civic engagement.
READING UNBOUND: Why Kids Need to Read What They Want and Why We Should Let Them
Scholastic, 2014 – This book reports on a study of highly engaged readers of marginalized, non-dominant texts such as fantasy, romance, vampire, horror, dystopia, manga, etc. Findings include the many different types of pleasure these readers experience, as well as the deep psychological satisfactions and inner work that their responses to these books afforded them. WINNER of the NCTE David H. Russell Award for Distinguished Research (2016).
About the Author – Dr. Jeffrey D. Wilhelm is an internationally-renowned author, dynamic presenter and award winning educator. He has been a North American leader in teaching the inquiry process and providing creative strategies and materials to engage struggling readers. Dr. Wilhelm is a distinguished Professor of English Education at Boise State University. He is the founding director of the Maine Writing Project and the Boise State Writing Project.
We look forward to seeing you at our MTS PD Day event with internationally-renowned author, dynamic presenter, and award-winning educator Dr. Jeffrey D. Wilhelm! Registration begins Wednesday, September 6, and RCGW is pleased to partner with the Manitoba Teachers' Society to bring registration entirely online this year. Visit MTS MemberLink to register.
On October 21, 2017 at the beautiful St. Mary’s Academy, Dr. Wilhelm will present SETTING THE STAGE FOR SUCCESS: Strategies to Foster Inquiry-Based Learning and ENGAGING WAYS TO REACH RELUCTANT READERS AND WRITERS (Grades 3-9).
Dr. Wilhelm has been a North American leader in teaching the inquiry process and providing creative strategies and materials to engage struggling readers. Currently, he is a distinguished Professor of English Education at Boise State University. He is the founding director of the Maine Writing Project and the Boise State Writing Project. He has written over 35 texts about literacy teaching and has won two top English Education research awards. Dr. Wilhelm continues to work in schools, teaching middle and high school students in his area. Follow him on Twitter!
Dr. Wilhelm’s presentation will help prepare us to implement the new ELA Curriculum with an inquiry stance. Dr. Wilhelm offers practical instructional strategies to strengthen the reading-writing connections in non-fiction text. He provides creative ways to engage striving and reluctant readers to realize the power and agency of literacy, so they can take positive action in their world.
Below are a selection of Dr. Wilhelm’s well-known books, including the NEW book Diving Deep into Non-Fiction .
Registration will occur exclusively via the MTS MemberLink website. Find our event after logging in by clicking the EVENTS link on the MemberLink toolbar. Registration help can be accessed on the MTS website.
Tuesday, February 25 at 4:30 PM – Sisler High 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.