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This is why we do it

Here are two examples of the passion and drive that our students can embody:

The first is a poetic inspiration for the future.

(more…)

National Day on Writing

As an affiliate on NCTE, BCTELA is participating in the National Day on Writing coming up on October 20th.  We invite any and all teachers and students in BC to contribute an example of their writing to the BCTELA Gallery. The purpose of this event is to celebrate the variety of writing we do every day.  Submit something today!

September 2009 President’s Bulletin

Over the past twelve months the BCTELA executive has reflected on BCTELA and its role. We identified our current “tent poles”: our journal (English Practice), our annual conference and our student writing journal (Voices Visible). We also realized that we needed to re-think our website to better reflect 21st century Literacies.


Download the 2009 President’s Bulletin in PDF format
to review with us the product of our reflective energies and to acquaint yourself with what we have in store for the coming year.

National Award Recognizes BCTELA Member

Celia Brownrigg has been chosen by BCTELA to receive the 2009 National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Affiliate Leadership Development Award supported by a partnership between NCTE and Pearson Education. The award recognizes her as an early career teacher who has demonstrated a capacity for professional leadership.

Celia has served on the BCTELA Executive for three and a half years and continues to show an enthusiasm for supporting professional development.  She will be attending the NCTE Annual Convention in Philadelphia and will be recognized at the Affiliate Roundtable Breakfast.

Congratulations Celia!

Get Ready to Register…

If you have seen our lovely flyer for the upcoming NCTE Northwest Regional Conference, Asking the Right Questions: Engaging Today’s Learners, you may have noticed that the registration opening date is listed as May 1st (as it did here on the website until just recently).  Registration WILL be open by May 15th so get set, think about which colleagues you may convince to come along with you, and check back here after the 15th for the link.

Beyond the Book Club: Info-circles in Ancient Roman Studies by Jane MacMillan & Christy Rollo

Jane MacMillan is a lover of all things literacy and enjoys sharing her passion for literature both with her students at school and at home with her three children.

Christy Rollo knew she wanted to be a teacher from the moment she taught her brother how to tie his shoe laces. She is now having the ultimate teaching experience with her two young daughters.

In September of 2006, Christy, a Grade 6/7 teacher, approached Jane, a teacher-librarian with a question: How could Christy engage all the diverse learners in her class, including reluctant learners and English language learners? Jane was new to the school, and Christy had been teaching Gr. 6/7 for a number of years at the school. We were looking to collaborate with the library as a venue. Further, Christy wanted to help all of her learners connect with Social Studies in a meaningful way, even though it included reading a variety of texts, note-making, critical thinking and discussion, all areas in which reluctant and ESL learners may struggle due to gaps in skills and background knowledge. Looking to develop authentic conversation and create a greater depth in student engagement as part of a unit on Ancient Rome, we decided to try something new; that is, bring information books to the traditional “book club.” Thus, “info-circles” was born, proving to be not only a popular choice among our students, but an incredibly rewarding teaching experience for us, as well. (more…)

Teacher in Play: The Invitation of Performative Inquiry by Lynn Fels

Lynn Fels is Assistant Professor at SFU. Her research interests are performance and technology, performative inquiry, and teacher education. She and co-author George Belliveau recently published Exploring Curriculum: Performative Inquiry, Role Drama, and Learning.

The story that follows was told to me by a colleague of a grade twelve English teacher who had taken his students outside into the playground of the elementary school next door. “Take time to explore the playground,” he tells them, “the swings, the climbing bars, the slide.” It was, as he tells my friend later, a curious sight, witnessing his grade twelve students, on the cusp of adulthood, playing, shouting, laughing, calling to each other, as they scrambled up ladders, swung into the blue sky, and slid down the slide. “Back to the classroom,” he yells, as the elementary school recess bell rings, and the playground is swarmed by wide-eyed children, who stutter to a stop at the sight of high school students occupying their playground. (more…)

Student Cover Art: Darkness by Joanne Panas

Joanne Panas is a coeditor of English Practice. She teaches English part-time at McRoberts Secondary in Richmond, and is pursuing writing, her other passion, on her so-called days off.” 

The cover art for this issue is a piece by one of my English 11 students, Rachel Yang. It was part of a unit we did this year around the essential question “How can we make sense of the darkness in humanity?” The specific task for which Rachel did this piece was called “3-Word Thinking.” In this task, students chose three words from the following list to define, explain, and explore in terms of its uses, associations, and connotations: violence, conflict, pain, darkness or destruction. For one of the words, they did a mind map; for another word, they wrote a descriptive piece; and for the third word, they created a visual with a written explanation. Earlier in the unit, students had been introduced to an online scrapbooking site (scrapblog.com) and many of them, including Rachel, took advantage of this new skill for the visual part of this assignment. (more…)

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