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Thursday, 27 December 2012

New Report from Pew Internet Looks at How Teens Do Research in the Digital World

The teachers who instruct the most advanced American secondary school students render mixed verdicts about students' research habits and the impact of technology on their studies.
Some 77% of advanced placement (AP) and National Writing Project (NWP) teachers surveyed say that the internet and digital search tools have had a "mostly positive" impact on their students' research work. But 87% say these technologies are creating an "easily distracted generation with short attention spans" and 64% say today's digital technologies "do more to distract students than to help them academically."
More "traditional" sources of information, such as textbooks, print books, online databases, and research librarians ranked well below these newly emerging technologies.
The question of who should be mainly responsible for this part [critical research skills] of the curriculum was also open to debate in focus groups, with some teachers openly acknowledging that they do not currently feel qualified to teach some of these skills. Some reported that their school's English department takes the lead in developing research skills, and that their own role is mainly reinforcing these skills. Yet others suggested these skills need to be taught by all teachers across the curriculum, and that library staff can be a key part of that process.

Beyond Words: The Dollar General School Library Relief Fund

Dollar General and the American Association of School Librarians presented Cameron with a $15,000 "Beyond Words: The Dollar General School Library Relief Fund" grant check to rebuild the school's library.

"It's just fantastic, and we can't thank Dollar General enough for what they do for us and the community," Cameron said. "It's just going to help us continue to build our Seven Habits and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) programs.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

CMEC's Report on Reading Strategies and Reading Achievement

CMEC has just published PCAP-13 2007: Report on Reading Strategies and Reading Achievement, the third in a series of research projects in which the PCAP-13 2007 data set is used to examine questions of interest to educational policy-makers and practitioners in Canada. It focuses on the factors that contribute to the performance of 13-year-old Canadian students in reading.

Reading research consistently shows that high-achieving students are characterized by word-recognition and comprehension skills. The aim of employing reading strategies is to achieve fluent reading. Two essential skills in reading are: getting meaning from a written message (Carroll, 1970), and reading for remembering (Baker & Brown, 1984). Fluent reading involves understanding the meaning of a text beyond simple decoding and word recognition, which requires practice with a variety of texts (Pressley, 2006).


Reading at home contributes to overall reading competency. When schools encourage children to practise reading at home with parents, the children make significant gains in reading achievement compared to those who only practise at school (Henderson & Berla. (1994).


A major task of teaching-strategy research is to show which process factors "work." For example, Wang and Walberg (2001) set out 12 principles for "instructional effectiveness" at the teacher and classroom levels. These are:

1. supportive classroom climate where teacher functions as model and socializer;

2. opportunity to learn where most of the available time is allocated to engaging students

in curriculum-related activities;

3. curricular alignment and cohesive program to accomplish instructional goals;

4. establishing learning orientations, that is, structure to clarify intended outcomes and cue desired learning strategies;

5. coherent, connected content to facilitate meaningful learning and retention;

6. thoughtful discourse around powerful ideas;

7. practice, application, and feedback activities;

8. scaffolding students' task engagement;

9. strategy teaching, where the teacher models and instructs students in learning and self regulation


10. cooperative learning to construct understandings or help one another master skills;

11. learning goal-oriented assessment in which a variety of formal and informal assessment methods are used to monitor progress;

12. follow-through on learning-outcome achievement expectations.


Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Parenting Styles

Lessons in Learning - December 13, 2007

Series: Lessons in Learning

Authors: Canadian Council on Learning (CCL)

Collection: Research Materials

This paper summarizes recent research on parenting styles and highlights a number of programs aimed at helping parents improve their skills.

The authors explain that parenting styles can be defined along two dimensions: responsiveness, which measures how well the parent is attuned to the child; and control, or how much the parent supervises and disciplines the child and requires obedience and self-control. Those two dimensions determine whether a parent is authoritative, demonstrating high levels of both control and responsiveness; authoritarian, demonstrating a high level of control and a low level of responsiveness; permissive, demonstrating a low level of control and a high level of responsiveness; or neglectful, demonstrating low levels of both control and responsiveness.

As the child grows, authoritative parenting is linked to greater social and emotional competence, with the children of authoritative parents being good at making friends in their early years, less likely to use drugs in their teens, and emotionally stable as young adults.

Recent research suggests that parenting is not necessarily a natural skill and most parents would benefit from some degree of instruction, the authors note. In Canada, there are a number of parent-support and parent-training programs designed to help parents develop positive parenting styles and skills. More high-quality research is needed to determine how effective parenting programs are for Canadian parents in Canadian settings.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

White Oak Elementary School library hosted Bedtime Stories, the annual Family Reading Night event

The White Oak Elementary School library looked enchanted from the outside while the inside felt cozy and intimate. District 54 Librarian Marnie Garcia hosted Bedtime Stories, the annual Family Reading Night event on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2012.   
Students from District 54 were invited to spend the evening in the library with their parents and siblings celebrating time spent reading together. Everyone was encouraged to wear their PJs to the event.

The enchanted night started as participants walked into the library. Each child who entered the doors received a unique number printed on a golden star, which they were to keep with them throughout the evening. Once the star was in hand, participants were off to find just the right seat to listen to Garcia read two picture books to the crowd.

Once the crowd of parents and children had settled into every available nook of the library, Garcia introduced herself. Of course, the children who attend White Oak Elementary school felt like the already knew Mrs. Garcia. Well … they were WRONG!

Garcia told the crowd of her younger days, spent in the library at the school where her mother worked. The librarian at this school took the time to get to know the young Mrs. Garcia, learning her favorite genre of books, her favorite author and even her favorite characters. This particular librarian, whose name was not mentioned, helped to instill the passion Garcia has for books and reading.
After the heartfelt introduction, the reading began. A silence fell over the enchanted library as the words from "PSSSSSST! It's Me … the Bogeyman," by Barbara Park filled the air. While the title of this book may turn some off, the "Bogeyman" in this book happens to be quite hysterical and truly harmless.


Sunday, 2 December 2012

Traveling bookmobile for elementary school students

Thanks to Osborn Hill's traveling bookmobile, which made its debut at the Stillson Road elementary school last week.

the reason that first-grader Mallory Smith, 6, chose that book from among hundreds of books on the bookmobile, which was parked outside the school's entrance. Drawings of birds are on the book's cover, and Mallory said she chose it, "Because I like birds a lot."  
Mallory said she'd never been on a bookmobile before and liked it.

Addie Lunn, a 7-year-old first-grader, agreed. "It's fun because you get to go and pick out books," she said

Osborn Hill students are allowed to check out one book from the school library's collection and also one book from the bookmobile until they return it to check out a new one. The bookmobile was open to kindergarten and first-graders on Tuesday and was to be open for second- and third-graders Wednesday and fourth- and fifth-graders Thursday. While the Osborn Hill library remains closed, the bookmobile will make regular visits.

Rehder said Osborn Hill, which has 519 students, is the largest elementary school in town and that it's important for students to have a wide variety of books from which to choose.

Mary Sorhus, head of children's services at Fairfield Public Library and Fairfield Woods Branch Library, agreed. "If they're able to pick out their own books, it really empowers them to read," she said.

Read more:

Library’s Accountable, Collaborate and Transparent Service (ACT) to the community

Library’s Accountable, Collaborate and Transparent Service (ACT) to the community
This report informs the community members about the resources generated and reading development activities as a result of the TD SRC (Summer Reading Club). I would like to thank TD Bank, INDIGO Adopt a School, First Books Canada, Frontier College, IODE, Scholastic, UNESCO, and Prairie Tales for assisting with literacy. Please visit the following pages to view our children, youth and families reading together.
Key outcomes:
· Students excited about reading by engaging students and the outcome was a, ‘Books Are Like Kids Awesome’ display.
4. Relationship development and collaborative resource generation for staff and stakeholders
5. Literacy links and capacity creation as the program was run by volunteers
Opportunities for the library as a result of the summer reading program:
2. IODE to provide resources for the breakfast program
3. Reading is an essential skill community coffeehouse and books giveaway hosted on September 21 from 3 to 4 pm
4. Jessie and Xtine screened Prairie Tales and did an animation workshop on September 28 at the Ermineskin Mall
5. UNESCOs Freedom of Expression exhibit at Maskwachees Cultural College from November 5-30, 2012.
Accountability and connections plus reading activities and resources generated because of the program:
I am now working with the Maskwachees Cultural College. If you need books and literacy resources then please contact me at
Manisha Khetarpal,
Head of Library and Services
Maskwachees Cultural College