Welcome everyone to the 2018-2019 school year! I hope everyone has had a restful summer and a fabulous start to the new year. This is sure to be an exciting year for literacy education in Manitoba.
Bringing home ideas from the International Literacy Association annual conference has been a long-standing tradition within the Reading Council of Greater Winnipeg. This year, the conference was held from July 20-23 in Austin, Texas and the theme was “Be a Changemaker.” After reflecting on my experience at the conference, these were the main ideas I brought home:
- Allow room for students to self-select their reading material
- Placing books in the hands of children influences their education level
- Leveling systems apply to texts, not kids – they have no place in classroom, school and public libraries, or on report cards. Surprisingly, this message came from Fountas and Pinnell
- What can we do to challenge, stimulation, and engage our students?
- Volume reading and writing in all middle and high school subject areas is important!
- Student engagement is driven by responsive teaching
- Quickwrites boost volume of low stakes writing, encourage risk-taking, develop valuable soft skills beyond literacy, and resets students’ default approach to writing
We have a busy professional development year ahead of us. On Monday, September 24, the Reading Council is happy to present Monica Wiebe: Road to Reading Mysteries: Become a Running Record Ace and Comprehension Detective. In addition, 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 John Schu for his day-long PD. Register via MTS MemberLink. Finally, the Reading Council will be hosting Dr. Jan Richardson on February 5, 2019 at Holy Eucharist Hall. It’s going to be a great year!
We are always looking to welcome new members, so please consider coming to a meeting to check us out. Our next meeting will take place on Thursday, October 11, 2018, 4:30 PM at St. Maurice School. Please contact me for further information at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to seeing you.
“To become a lifelong reader, one has to do a lot of varied and interesting reading.”
About the Author: Leslie Dickson is the president of the Reading Council of Greater Winnipeg. An award-winning teacher, Leslie is the Social Studies Department Head, ELA Teacher, and Lead Literacy Teacher at Elmwood High School in Winnipeg. She has been recognized with the RCGW Certificate of Merit for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Literacy and, most recently, Manitoba Education and Training's Teaching Excellence Award.