Community Building through Mother Tongue Read Aloud

"“Mother Tongue language” isn’t about a day in a year, it’s about a lifetime of language. " - Eowyn Crisfield

As a part of our United Nations Week, I began a read-aloud program inviting parents to read aloud in their mother tongue to our student. This is my third year running the program which I do twice a year, once during UN Week and again during our Book Week.  Being an educator and having a love of teaching reading, I know the value of maintaining a students mother tongue. It is the foundation for a child's literacy learning journey.

The structure is fairly casual and simple, students are invited to listen to a story read by a parent during their recess. Teachers are sent a schedule of which languages will be featured during morning and afternoon recess, and they share it with their students.  I used a google form to invite parents to read about 2 weeks before the event and then a week before I set up a schedule, send confirmation emails and ensure there's a balanc…

My Thoughts on Implementing Digital Tools and Pedagogy

During my studies for my Masters of Education with a focus on technology, I have been looking at mobile learning and the pedagogies that are being developed to support m-learning in schools.

In my role, I often introduce new tools to teachers. My personal pedagogy was to follow Regie Routman's 'Optimal Learning Model' since I found as a classroom teacher who used the Reading and Writing Workshop in her classroom that it was a solid way to individualize instruction. Generally, I begin with a pilot program and gather teachers together to demonstrate the tool and if they are keen then we move ahead and get trial. In another, longer session we explore the tool further, co-plan some lessons and assessments as well as develop a survey or other tool to assess the impact the tool has on student learning. As we move forward, we co-teach lessons and then the guided practice happens amongst teachers and students, we learn together. The final stage is to set the students free and guid…

Genre Tasting Theme Book Week

“Teaching reading is not supposed to be quick and easy. It’s supposed to be about human connection. It’s one conversation at a time.” - Pernille Ripp
Authentic conversations with kids about what they are reading is critical in building comprehension skills as well as empathy and tolerance. Through conversation, kids make connections to themselves, other literature or events in our world. As a librarian, one of my favourite roles is promoting the love of reading, to value my students' choices and encourage them to select something to saviour for just the fun of it. Jennifer Gonzalez’s blog ‘Cult of Pedagogy’ highlighted a wonderful interview with reading expert Pernille Ripp where she discussed the importance of our children having the time to read and enjoy without feeling pressured to complete a reading log or make a project. For our small book week, we wanted our students to select books that were from a new genre. Our theme, ‘Library Alive’, was to encourage students to awaken t…