Monday, June 13, 2016

#EIPSWRITES Creative Writing Contest Winners!

Hello All,

I wanted to take a moment (at this busy time of year) to send a BIG, HUGE THANK YOU to all of the EIPS teachers who entered their students' writing into the #EIPSWRITES CreativeWriting Competition. The Students sent in some awesome work and I know that means that YOU teachers did some awesome work with your students.

Last Saturday (June 4th), students who submitted work to the #EIPSWRITES contest were offered the chance to attend a Writer’s Workshop with Gail Sobat. The kids had a great time! As they were leaving, I asked them to rate the day on a scale of 1 to 10. Most of them answered 9 and 10…a few said ‘infinity’….and the lowest score was 8.5. So I would consider that a success! For me, what was really cool about that day was to see a group of like-minded (but not necessarily similar) kids get together to talk writing. It was clear as they day progressed that a community was developing. It was fairly amazing. Thank you to those teachers who filled out, collected and encouraged your kids to attend. If you have creative writing kids that were unable to attend, but who might be looking for a writing camp this summer, I do recommend Youthwrite. You can read about it here.

Another big round of thanks to the teachers that indicated interest in the Creative Writing Competition back in November when this was just a thought.

Thank you to those of you who attended the meetings to establish the contest and rules.
Thank you to those of you who helped create promo materials (including the promo video).
Thank you to those of you who found prizes for the competition.
Thank you to those of you who promoted the contest with your students.
Thank you to those of you who tracked down student and parent signatures.
Thank you to those of you who sent in entries to me via fax, email and courier!
Thank you to those of you who set up, supervised and fed students at the Writer’s Workshop.
Thank you to those of you who helped with the judging.

Although the big win for me of this whole writing contest was the beginning of creating a community of people who care about creative writing (teachers and students) in EIPS, we also have some student winners to announce for the 2016 competition:

Grade 11/12 – PROSE : Mackenzie S. (SAL)
Grade 9/10 PROSE- Alexis M.(FRH)
Grade 9/10 – POETRY – Jonathan E (AJS)
Grade 7/8 – PROSE – Kathryn R. (AJS)
Grade 7/8 – POETRY – Lucas H.  (FTV)

Looking forward to next year!


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Summer Reading 2016

I have had some questions about Summer Reading ideas to give to students and/or parents over the summer. As we all know, students who read over the summer do better when they return to school in the fall. In addition, that reading develops stronger literacy skills that they will carry forward in all areas of life. Below are some ideas/links/resources related to Summer Reading that you may find useful. Feel free to copy and paste anything that seems relevant or interesting to you…

Writing Camp

If you have a student who would like to work on developing writing skills, YouthWrite hosts a camp every year that targets writing specifically. The work they do is fabulous and if you have a spare 1:42, the video below is worth a watch. The camp is extremely engaging, focuses on writing, word play and creativity. More Info: Brochure,  Website

YouthWrite: a camp for kids who love to write...just about anything from Geoff McMaster on Vimeo.

Reading Programs

Every year the Strathcona County Library hosts a reading program.

The 2016 Teen Summer Challenge seeks to explore and celebrate multiple literacies. In addition to encouraging teens to read over the summer, this challenge (comprised of 27 choices) encourages viewing, listening, writing, cooking, making (e.g. crafting), creating art, volunteering etc. We have four amazing gift baskets up for grabs full of fantastic prizes. The themes of these baskets include the following: music, craft it, nerd out, and movie night. Every time a teen completes a challenge (such as reading a book/graphic novel, cooking something new, or attending a teen program), they get to submit a ballot for the gift basket of their choice. Our goal is to promote a maker culture while also encouraging teens to read. After completing six challenges, each teen receives a brand new book of their choice courtesy of Imperial Oil. Teens make complete as many challenges as they wish.

summer reading.png

At the time of writing this post, the Fort Saskatchewan Public library didn't have their Summer Reading info posted, but I know it is coming. Check their website for more info.

Teen Volunteer Positions

Strathcona County Library is looking for Teen Volunteers to help with the Summer Reading Program. This is a wonderful opportunity for students!  Applications here.

Summer Reading List - Books for grades 7-12

Are you looking for suggestions for book to read this summer? Here are a bunch of fabulous titles, with support resources for students and parents. QR Code Flyer Bookmark Printable

Link to Summer Reading Book Recommendations

Reading Tips - Parent Handouts

Here is a link to a blog post that contains a lot of info on reading. Most of the info is written for parents...Feel free to mine the post for info.

Take care of yourselves as you RAMP up to this year end....we all know there is no WINDING down in June!