Welcome to our Summer 2013 edition of English Practice, Teaching for Joy & Justice: Re-imagining English Language Arts. Here you will find articles inspired by BCTELA’s 2012 conference and its theme. Topics range from deepening students’ conversations about books, to the power and possibilities of graphic novels, to the questioning of rubrics as a form of assessment (have you ever wished you had a rubric for your dog? Hmm…). You will also find a book review about digital tools in the English Language Arts classroom, and an article that inquires deeply into the use of technology within learning communities as re-imagined through the Occupy Movement. Then there is the poetry – poetry that draws us joyfully through language into a re-imagining of how we live in the world, how we love the world, and how we hold our deepest beliefs about what society could be.
Every year, the BC Teachers of English Language Arts creates a publication of student writing called Voices Visible.
The contest is free, and students should submit their work by April 30, 2013.
Download the contest guidelines and cover letter here.
Make your students’ voices visible!
Guest Post by Ben Pare, Program Consultant: Literacy, Burnaby School District
Does this sound familiar?
You’re up late reading student essays when suddenly you come across a student who has obviously plagiarized.
Feelings of disappointment may be followed by ones of frustration or anger.
This seems to be a common experience.
As a secondary English teacher and Department Head, the issue of student plagiarism seems to be ubiquitous. Every year the topic seems to come up at one point of the year or another. And, every year, it remains a challenge for schools and teachers on how best to respond. (more…)
Submitted by Pamela Smith, BCTELA Executive Member and co-editor of BCTELA’s student journal, Voices Visible.
I have just returned from Mount Seymour where I snowshoed up to Dog Mountain. It has been a year since I visited that vista in the snow. Today, as I walked back to the car among the hundreds of people who were on the mountain to experience the glorious sunshine that we are so rarely treated within this part of the world during winter, I began to cry. (more…)
Submitted by Celia Brownrigg, Vice President of BCTELA
Sometimes I forget about all the great authors’ blogs and website out there. I forget that children’s and YA authors sometimes spend as much (if not more) time than me thinking about the reading lives of my students. Sometimes they spend less, but their perspective is different, which makes it valuable. Also, they’re authors; they like writing and they’re good at it. A number of the authors whose blogs I check regularly are quite prolific (in that they post regularly). Sometimes, though, the posts stop coming as frequently. That’s usually because they’re on tour or deep into writing a new book so I can’t fault them too much. (more…)
The Vancouver Island University and S.D. 23 (Kelowna) are partnering to host this summit. There will be a number of leaders in early literacy presenting their work. The summit will be held in Kelowna, BC on January 31st through February 2nd, 2012.
For more information, download the PDF.
Advanced registration for Friday’s conference has now closed. Do you still want to come?
Not to worry! We will be accepting walk-in registrations on Friday morning at Cariboo Hill Secondary. You are also welcome to join us for the wine and cheese welcome with Darren Lund on Thursday evening at the Executive Plaza Hotel in Coquitlam (7-9).
If you are planning on coming and registering on site, please have a look at our conference brochure (below) and have your first, second and possible third choices for each session ready in order to streamline your registration.
We’re looking forward to seeing old friends and making new connections. See you on Thursday or Friday!
Hello wonderful BCTELA members, BCTELA member and Teacher-Librarian, Celia Brownrigg, celebrated Poetry Month with her students by holding a “Poem in my Pocket” contest. She shared her experience with us in haiku form. (more…)
I remember feeling pleased with myself as I posted spreadsheets full of marks, several years ago. The essays had been graded, missing assignments had been assigned zeros, and my students would be able to check their progress in anticipation of the upco ming “marks cut – off day.” I occasionally heard a student exclaim, “Argh! She’s giving me 36%!” as he or she examined the spreadsheet. That sort of comment always frustrated me. I was not “giving” the student 36%. Rather, he or she had not submitted as signments. I began to realize that, for some students, the grade on the spreadsheet was the grade that they identified with; they did not see opportunity to improve, but they saw their own “failure” in the course and, therefore, my failure as a teacher.
Four years ago, as a fairly new Grade Seven classroom teacher, I discovered that I was not always the supportive, understanding type of teacher I had envisioned myself to be. Having come from a student services background I was mor e accustomed to working with students one – on – one, or in small groups, not having to meet the myriad demands of twenty – eight plus students. One area that particularly taxed my patience was the daily help students needed after school because they had been aw ay for reasons that were not necessarily related to illness viagra generique.