Wednesday, September 14, 2016

(FREE) New Digital Resourcesfor Secondary Classes to Support Differentiation

Here are some of the NEW FREE DIGITAL Resources that are available to you. These resources have been matched to Alberta curriculum, are high quality, and are free for any Alberta student or teacher. Although these resources are excellent in any context, consider using them especially if you:

  • are looking for differentiated curriculum content
  • want easy to use content for with assistive technology accommodations like Read Write for Google.
  • are teaching student who are bringing their own personal devices
  • want to incorporate more technology into your class
  • want content to post in your Google Classroom or on your eteacher sites
  • are looking for a replacement for Discovery Education videos (EIPS is no longer paying for a district license, although you may still have a school license).  

Curriculum Video On Demand (Grades 7-12).
  • Access over 17 000 full length curriculum videos
  • Searchable database
  • Create playlists, clips and video mash-ups using the video segments and sharing tools embedded in the resource.
  • Full transcripts with real aloud and text translation features included for every video.

ScienceFLIX, (Grades 4-9)
  • Every article includes three adjustable reading levels to support differentiation
  • every article provides introductory videos to build/activate background knowledge and embedded read aloud support.
  • Multiple text types
  • hands-on projects,
  • science news with study guides and educator lessons plans
  • Topics Include: Earth Science, Life Science, Physical Science, Space Science, Health and Human Body, as well as Tech, Math and Engineering.  

Britannica School, Grades K-12  
  • 141 000 encyclopedia articles
  • educational videos, images, magazine articles and learning games.
  • two to three adjustable reading levels for each article enables differentiated access
  • read-aloud features (with highlighting text) and text translation (50 languages)
  • Canada In Focus is a section devoted to articles about significant Canadian people, places, and history.
  • Britannica ImageQuest with  over 3 000 000 copyright friendly images covering every subject area in one easy click.

These resoruces are available via --> Online Reference Centre. You will need the district ID and Password to  enter. I'm not allowed to post those credentials online, but I can  email them to you. Your school library will also have them.

The resources above will be available as of Thursday, Sept 15, 2016. There are several other resources available. Thanks to Jamie Davis, ORC Coordinator, for providing information on the ORC updates.

Please leave comments below.


Thursday, September 8, 2016

EIPS Read In Week 2016

  One World, Many Voices
The goal of Read In Week is to encourage a life-long love of reading and enhance literacy awareness involving students, staff, parents, and community members in reading. This year we will celebrate Read In Week on October 3rd to 7th with the theme One World, Many Voices. We share one world and fill it with many voices. Through reading, we learn from other people's lives and stories. Reading can inspire us to raise our own voices to tell our own stories. We look forward to seeing how this year’s Read In Week is celebrated throughout EIPS and encourage you to share your school's highlights using the hashtag #eipsreads.

A few ideas for the week could be…

How will you keep your literacy focus for the entire year?  Although Read In Week is a wonderful week of celebrating reading, let’s do it all year long! Below are some ideas to consider.

Share with us what other great ideas your school is doing to promote literacy during Read In Week and all year long and tweet about it using the hashtag #eipsreads.

Thanks to Shawna Jenkins who co-wrote this post with me!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

7 places to check for your school's reading culture

Is a Love of Reading evident in your building? Is there evidence that your school actively champions reading? Here is a list of things that school with strong reading cultures often have….how many does your school have?


School entrance foyer

    • Signs and displays about reading.
    • Notice of reading events:
      • Challenges, incentives, author visits, book awards
    • Photos of students, staff and other role models reading
    • The principal’s book of the week
    • Promotion of the public library and public library event
School Halls
    • Signs pointing to the library
    • Library open and ready to receive students all day long
    • Weekly Library quizzes- come to the library to find the answers
    • Student work about books - art, writing inspired by books, reviews
    • Information about new books coming to the library and upcoming events
    • Quotes about reading, favourite lines from books
The Principal’s Office
    • Evidence showing to anyone visiting, that the principal thinks reading is important:
      • Quotes, favourite books, books for students to read, students work about reading, books for parents
    • Establish a well-stocked school library that has materials for all students.
    • Support Reading, Book events and PD on them
    • Signs pointing to the library (how many steps to the library?)
    • A poetry walk around the school
    • Create a Twitter hashtag to share books
Staff Room
    • Professional reading about children’s books
    • Information from the library, and promotion professional development on YA literature
    • Notice board with must-reads, awards and recommended read alouds
    • Have a data wall to track student progress in reading
Teachers in Classroom
    • Reading alouds everyday
    • Making time for your students to read everyday
    • Plenty of great books on display
    • Sharing teacher reading with students
    • Give students choice in what they read
    • Build a high quality classroom library
    • Know YA books (maybe joining EIPS Mighty Book Smackdown or the Best of the Best)
    • Let kids talk about books and reading
    • Make reading fun (blind book dates, book auctions, etc)
Other Activities
    • Host book clubs for students or parents
    • Collaborate with public library
    • Support author visits
    • Host a Read IN
    • Share book talks
    • Take students on a book-buying field trips (we did this at 6 schools in EIPS last year, ask me for more details)
    • Listen to audiobooks
    • Learn about specific needs for specific populations
    • Adopt a whole-school approach...a great place is start is your School Library.
    • Celebrate. Celebrate. Celebrate

As you can imagine this is a beginning list, a place to start from and build on. Stay tuned for more LOOK FORS coming soon from your friendly nighbourhood SFS staff.

The above ideas are taken from a variety of sources.  Here are links to original articles and further reading on this topic:

Sources and Resources