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Read with us!

If you haven’t yet had a chance to join the BCTELA summer book club, don’t worry: you still can! The coordinated date has been extended to July 6th.
This year we are reading about theories of Place-Based education. As this topic is still emerging as a area of study, we will be reading four articles rather than a single text.
Let us know if you have questions. If you’re ready to read, please download the form and send it to the address you’ll find at the bottom. We will send you the articles. The first two will be discussed on Twitter on July 9th, and the second two on August 11th (see the Important Dates in the sidebar to the left).

Summer is #BCTELAbook Club Season

Summer book clubWe are pleased to announce BCTELA’s third annual professional literature book club. Three years ago we started a pattern of book clubs over the summer as a lead-up to our fall conference. We have traditionally chosen professional literature authored by our upcoming keynote as a way to extend and deepen the conversations surrounding the themes of our conference.
This year we are continuing to connect our professional book club to the October conference. But this time, rather than choosing a text by our keynote speaker, we are using the theme of the conference as inspiration. The theme of the 2015 BCTELA provincial conference is “Story and the Landscapes of Learning” and centres on the ideas of place-based learning and the stories which make up our experience of ‘place.’

Instead of selecting one professional book as our book club text, we have chosen to build a text-set of four articles. The articles have been carefully chosen to provide a comprehensive foundation from which to further explore and discuss what it means to teach BC students to read and write stories set in BC.
The discussion format will be similar to what we have done in the past: we will use Twitter as an accessible platform and divide the reading into a few hour-long twitter chats. The chats will be on July 9th from 10-11am, and on August 11th from 11am-12pm. As usual, our tweets will be delineated by the hashtag #bctelabook.

If you are interested in reading along with us, download and fill out the 2015 BCTELA book club application and email it to Celia Brogan (address on the form) by June 25th.

English Practice wants your writing about place, identity and English language arts!

English Practice, the journal of the BC Teachers of English Language Arts, is a peer-reviewed, open access, online publication published twice annually.

We accept submissions under the following categories:

  • Teaching Ideas (classroom lessons and strategies)
  • Investigating our Practice (teacher inquiry)
  • Salon (Literary & arts-based pieces)
  • Check this Out (book reviews)

In line with the theme of the 2015 BCTELA conference we invite you to submit pieces for our our upcoming issue.

Call for articles – Spring 2016:  Story and the Landscapes of Learning 

A pheasant rises wild from the pea vines. 

A shadow settles in the maze of poverty grass. 

Home at last, I scrub my hands, the peasant’s song in me. 

(Patrick Lane, Washita, 2014, p. 50)

Powerful stories are located in our personal and social geographies. Our stories both shape our world and are shaped by our world, helping us to create identities from individual and shared experiences. In line with the BCTELA 2015 conference theme, English Practice invites you to submit teaching ideas, classroom inquiries and practice-focused research, reflective and critical narratives, poems, fiction and other arts-based renderings, as well as book reviews for our upcoming themed issue on place-based learning and English language arts. Entitled Story and the Landscapes of Learning this issue delves into the vital relationships between identity and the places in which we live and learn. We invite pieces that explore the role of place in informing our stories, our literacies and our practices, and pieces that help us to understand the role of English language arts in deepening our relationship to place and the environment.

Questions to consider might include:

How are we shaped by the places in which we live and learn? How is our environment our teacher? How does place influence our teaching practices? How do we make visible our relationships to our environment? What kinds of learning experiences do we owe our students so they can connect with, see themselves in, and become stewards of the places in which they live? How can we help students develop their own sense of home, place and identity through writing and texts?

Deadline: January 31st, 2016

Please see our <a href="http://bctela.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Criteria-and-guidelines acheter viagra original.pdf”>Criteria and guidelines for more information about the submission process, and send your queries and completed submissions to: englishpracticejournal@gmail.com

Editors: Pamela Richardson, Sara Davidson and Ashley Cail

 

 

It’s Time to Get to Know Patrick Lane

Posted by Pamela Richardson

Washita by Patrick Lane
Harbour Publishing, Madeira Park, BC. 2014

If you are looking for new poems from a BC writer that are both masterful yet accessible for adolescent readers and writers then Patrick Lane’s more recent collection, Washita, is a wonderful selection. His imagery, often drawn from the natural world of BC and Western Canada is relatable and evocative, and his language is powerful, often direct and not overly obscure (“I woke up on Six Mile Creek, a willow grouse falling from the sky”) helping us to get to the emotional truth of a moment. He generously provides a glossary at the end to give context for more obscure references, which adds an interesting historical and linguistic layer and commentary. In this glossary we learn that a washita is a sharpening stone fashioned out of white quartz rock from the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas.

The collection itself was fashioned extremely slowly, as Lane explains in the afterwards to the book. Due to a frozen right shoulder he could not raise his right hand to the keyboard. Lane, a right-handed, one-fingered typist, painstakingly crafted each poem using his non-dominant left index finger. Moreover, his left hand (and right side of his brain) did not know, as his right-hand did, where the letters on the keyboard were and so he had to search out each letter, each time, for each word: T—h—e…. Even simple little words took a while. This gave him lots of time to consider what he wanted to say and how. This writing process brings a stillness and meditative quality to the work and a sense of the poems being utterly balanced.

I had the chance to hear Patrick Lane read from this collection at the book’s launch in the Fall of 2014 in Victoria. Lane is a superb reader of his own work. While I don’t have a clip from Washita, I recommend clips such as this one to hear him read his work.

Don’t have much time? Try this.

Posted by Celia Brogan

We’re all so busy. We are passionate educators and want the best learning experiences for our students and there are always so many things we want to plan for them, and learn for ourselves. Finding new local texts to offer our students is something that can take a bit of time if we don’t have reliable sources to which to turn.

Choc Lily logoWell here is a source for you: The Chocolate Lily Book Awards is a reader’s choice award for young BC readers reading BC authors and illustrators. Read your way through the shortlist (or give the titles to your students) for a great snapshot of some of the best current BC books for young and middle years readers.

Even better, register your class (or ask your teacher-librarian to register your school) and vote for your favourites! What a great way to participate in our province’s reading culture.

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