The eve of our return to a new way of being together

Greetings Quilchena families,

I hope that you are all healthy and that you are finding ways to be calm and joyful these days. This is a very strange time we are living through right now and there are so many different ways to react; we may experience many of those different reactions all in one day!

As we navigate the next few days and weeks, you will hear from classroom teachers and from Mrs Sleep. You can also stay tuned here for links to activities, conversation starters, and other helpful connections to our learning community.

You will hear from your classroom teacher by the end of this week. In the mean time, start getting up at a regular time each day and follow a basic schedule (that includes getting dressed and eating regular meals 😉) and KEEP READING.

I’m looking forward to the interesting things we will discover as our attention is focused in different ways over the next few months. Please reach out if you are struggling: hearts are open.

take care, and stay tuned.

Tips for Reading Aloud: March edition

Image result for parents reading booksThere is something extra special about sharing a beloved book from our childhood with our own small people. There are a number of picture books from when I was little (early 80s) that are still in print today.

It is always a good idea to preview a book before beginning to read it aloud. In the case of a book we remember fondly from childhood, the preview isn’t so much about making sure the text works well as a read-aloud, but rather to screen it against the test of time. The fact is that some books, despite our fondest memories, do not age well. When read today, to today’s young audience, a number of “classics” are rather jarring in their treatment of diverse characters (read: they are sexist and racist.)

Image result for reading AND together OR kids OR parents

Sometimes we can change words on the fly, if we encounter a problematic term and it’s fairly isolated. Other times the prejudice becomes so thick, so quickly, that the best thing we can do is to stop reading and show our authentic dislike of the text; talk about why the prejudice is not okay as well as how you remember reading the book as a child (when it wasn’t something that stuck out as inappropriate) and isn’t it great that we can see a tangible example of how we are getting better as a society?

Keep sharing your favourite stories with the young people in your life.

Happy reading!

Tips for Reading Aloud: February Edition

*a few days late

Among other special days (like my birthday) February sees us celebrating both Family Day and Pink Shirt Day. Both of these days are inspiration for this month’s tip(s) for reading aloud.

Reading aloud together is a wonderful way for family members to bond with children. Try to make some time on your next visit with extended family for them to sit with the kids and read. Older siblings can also read to their younger brothers and sisters and, in doing so, strengthen their relationship in a unique way.
If a family member if willing to try reading aloud, they may not have a good book at hand. It can be helpful if you have a title to offer in case it’s needed.

Pink Shirt Day reminds us that it is better to face discrimination head-on. By standing up, speaking out and taking positive action we can often deflate hurtful situations. One way to start preparing young children for the inevitable day that they will be faced with injustice is by reading stories about significant issues and talking about them together. By experiencing troubling topics in the safety of a story read aloud while cuddling on the couch, children develop the emotional skills they will need when confronted with a troubling situation in real life.

Quilchena Reading Challenge: March

Image result for march is reading month

We had even more completed reading challenge sheets turned in for February that we did for January. Well done everyone!! Let’s keep that trend moving up.

We only have two and a bit weeks of school in March but that doesn’t mean that we can’t do a whole reading challenge. In fact, everyone will have SO much free time I should make this one longer! (just kidding)

In the spirit of this month’s Spring Break, the March Reading Challenge invites us to combine our love of reading with our love of the other activities we do. Books about hobbies, sports, music, whatever you like to do in you spare time (other than reading… or maybe including reading?) are what we’re looking for this month.

If you’re just joining the fun, here’s how to participate:

  1. Download the March Reading Challenge and print it.
  2. Start reading! Choose books that match the categories in the challenge and write down the titles as you complete them. You must read these books in March. (There is no length/difficulty requirement. Choose books that interest you, or that are an interesting stretch.)
  3. If you finish this month’s challenge, write your name on your sheet and hand it in to Mme Brogan in the library. There will be a draw for a prize for students who complete each month’s challenge.

I will create a new challenge each month from now until June. There will be a special prize draw for readers who completed and handed in all 6 challenges.

Read on for the March edition of the Quilchena Reaching Challenge:

Recreational Reading
We enjoy spending our time reading but it’s not the only thing we do for fun. Sometimes it’s fun to combine pastimes and read books about our other activities! We get a particular pleasure from spending time in a story that deals with subject matter we already know about. On the flip-side, when we read about an activity that is new to us, we get to experience a bit of what it’s like to be part of that community; it can be fascinating and inspiring.
March is also the month of the vernal equinox. It’s a good time to reflect on the balance in our lives.

1. A book about a sport.

2. A book that features a game.

3. A book about music.

4. A book about a pet (or pets.)

5. A story that is told from multiple perspectives.

The Quilchena Reading Challenges are for all students, teachers, and parents. The categories are designed to be applicable to any and all reading levels. As a reader, you get to choose how long, how hard, and in what format the books are to complete this challenge. I trust you to make good choices for yourself.