I came across this post on my Twitter feed, https://strohreads.blogspot.ca/2017/11/the-power-of-picture-book-carrie-davies.html and I felt compelled to retweet it and share it on Facebook. Why? Because too often I have seen parents, in their well-meaning attempts to help their child improve her reading, skills, rush their children out of picture books calling them “too easy” or “babyish.”
Picture books are vital for many reasons. Author Emilie Buchwald said “Children are made readers on the laps of their parents,” and those parents are reading picture books. Children learn so much about reading long before they can read. They develop visual literacy skills, build vocabulary, and develop critical thinking. Picture books are the pathway to a love of reading; they provide a guide for children to make sense of their world, and they introduce them to a wide range of unique artwork.
Some picture books are funny and some are simple; however, many are complex, insightful and thoughtful stories about relationships, global issues, history and social justice among other themes. Frequently they are written at reading levels well above that of young readers although not their listening level. It is a mistake to assume that because it is a picture book, it is “easy.” And it is a mistake to rush children out of picture books. They are safe entries into important and sometimes difficult conversations. In fact, I frequently use them with high school students in History and English Language Arts when introducing new issues, events or people, particularly social justice issues. They are also wonderful examples of style, perspective, voice, character and use of language.
So, don’t rush kids out of picture books or off your laps for that matter. Keep reading to them even after they can read themselves. Keep talking. Keep exploring. Keep laughing. Keep picture books.
Tracy Woodward is a teacher at the Lester B. Pearson School Board (LBPSB) at Options, a satellite location of the Endeavour programme. She is also a member of DKG Quebec, Beta Chapter, and is currently serving on the Educational Excellence and Convention Committees.
I speak to parents about digital citizenship and their children's access to, and use of, devices such as cell phones, tablets and computers. Whether speaking to parents of elementary or high school students, I am always asked a variation of the following question – At what age should I give my child their own cell phone?
There is no right age or magic number answer to that question! Instead I ask parents to answer the following questions:
Now look at your answers – is your child ready to have a cell phone? You decide. You are the parent. The decision is yours not your child’s.
If you now decide that your child is ready to have a cell phone, add the following to their Contacts:
Name = ICE (in case of emergency). Contact information leads to you.
Maureen Baron is at the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) as an Information and Communications Technologies Education Consultant. She is a member of DKG Quebec, Beta Chapter, and serves as a technology consultant.
Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all - Aristotle
At Royal Vale School in Montreal, kindness matters. Several teachers having been working on projects that nurture compassion and empathy and help their students grow into caring citizens.
Kidknits Royal Vale
Royal Vale's Grade 6 and Grade 2 teachers Patrizia Battaglia, Laurence Elmoznino, Sophie Christopoulos and Catherine Legault have guided their students to buddy up to knit for a good cause. The grade 6 students mentor the younger grade 2 students. By purchasing fair-trade hand spun yarn from Rwanda and Chile, their students are knitting adult and children's hats for the homeless in the community as well as helping provide employment and financial empowerment to the women of Rwanda and Chile. The project will be continuing for the second year in a row.
Knock Knock Give a sock
Knock Knock Give a Sock was founded by Adina Lightman. Close to 2000 socks were collected by Royal Vale students to help the homeless stay warm. Most were donated to Dans la rue and Chez Doris The grade 2 students packed bags with socks, juice, cereal bars and handwritten notes. Some of the students, along with their parents and teachers, also handed out socks directly on the streets.The project took place during the month of May 2017.
Nathalie Malhamé is a French teacher at Royal Vale School in the English Montreal School Board and a member of DKG Quebec, Beta Chapter. Nathalie says, "Members of DKG can help by raising awareness about such projects and can contact Laurence Elmoznino at Royal Vale if they want to help out more directly."
THE 2017 NERC CONFERENCE… IN SIX WORDS
By Sylvie Bastien-Doss
Dear DKG Quebec friends, I’ve decided to describe my experience at the last NORTHEAST REGIONAL CONFERENCE in Windsor in six words. Here they are:
CONNECTING…with people from the US and across Canada. I enjoyed sharing both life and professional experiences with amazing women coming from different educational background. I was amazed to notice how people connected so quickly and easily at a DKG conference. It was like if we already knew each other, and if the DKG special bond that was linking all of us together was creating an immediate feeling of trust right from the beginning.
BONDING…with my DKG Quebec friends Anne Marie, Barb, Bev, Cathy, Rena, and Erika. We shared great times, laughing, eating, dancing, and even exploring the city of Windsor meeting with all sorts of people on the streets. Just ask Rena to tell you about our adventure!
LEARNING …on how you can get a 10$ deal on meals when subscribing to a new casino Total Rewards credit card! I still have the card, but I have no idea what to do with it. I guess I’ll keep it as a souvenir!
GIVING…my breakout session. I was thrilled to present my “Unleash your Team Potential – Create the Most Positive Workplace Ever in Your Team” to such an engaged and fun group of DKG women. Most of all, I am really excited about being invited, as a follow-up of my workshop, as a DKG international speaker by our U.S. friends from Maine, next March 2018! I was also sincerely touched by the presence of the nicest “Peace & Love” and “Zoom” Quebec friends who came to encourage me. May them bring “Harmony” and “Excellence” at our next executive meetings! I should in return, bring some “excitement” and “determination” according to the DISC human behavior model. Always remember that our differences make the best teams!
TOUCHED…by the new international DKG president’s message when she mentioned the following ideas on what we should promote in our DKG chapters:
THANKFUL…to DKG Quebec for providing me with this such a great personal and professional experience, and hoping to attend the 2018 International Conference in Texas, to continue connecting with more women educators from all over the world!
Sylvie Bastien-Doss is self-employed as a parent-school partnership and international relationship expert, speaker, trainer and coach.