What is Literacy? (Alberta Education’s Website)
Literacy is about more than reading and writing - it is about how we communicate in society. It is about social practices and relationships, about knowledge, language and culture.
Literacy…finds its place in our lives alongside other ways of communicating. Indeed literacy takes many forms: on paper, on computer screen, on TV, on posters and signs. Those who use literacy take it for granted-but those who cannot use it are excluded from much communication in today’s world. Indeed, it is the excluded who can best appreciate the notion of “literacy as freedom”. (UNESCO, statement for the United Nations Literacy Decade, 2003-2012)
Finding Quality Texts & Encouraging Reading
Readkiddoread - A website created by James Patterson to encourage finding books that children will love in an effort to get them to love reading. There are book recommendations for children ages 0-10+, as well as some interesting articles about getting your kids to read.
Empowering the Spirit - A website that is full of Indigenous literacy resources. There are not only book suggestions for various age groups, but also resources about Indigenous philosophies and teaching resources.
CommonLit - This is a site with free reading passages on a variety of topics, with tracking tools, for students in grades 5-12. It’s free to sign up for an account. They also have a ‘guided reading’ feature that will read the text aloud when activated.
What’s Going On With This Picture - This is a resource put together by the NY Times. It is a variety of images that have been stripped of their captions, in order to encourage students to create a hypothesis about what’s going on and find evidence to support their theory. There is an option to go and read what other students have thought about the picture as well.
Literacies on the Land - This is a series that was created by the CBE in order to create more opportunities to provide literacies that are connected to the natural world. This deals specifically with Calgary/Alberta.
Calgary Public Library Resources
Every student is entitled to a free library card...
Comprehensive Literacy Guides - This is a set of resources that was put together by ARPDC, a large cohort of literacy leaders from the greater Edmonton area (ERLC) collaboratively developed a series of Elementary Literacy Guides in 2016-17 to support teachers, administrators, learning coaches and other educational staff.
These eleven learning guides provide a foundational understanding of the key components of elementary literacy instruction. Each guide includes a snapshot of the identified literacy component, connections to the Alberta English Language Arts Programs of Study K-6, planning and assessment guidelines, insights from consultants and literacy experts, photos and videos of
the strategies in action, and recommended resources, as well as options for modifications, technology integration and considerations for inclusion.
Literacy Progressions - These are a variety of resources put together by Alberta Education around literacy. Literacy progressions identify the aspects of literacy that apply across subjects in each division level. The progressions provide educators with a common reference for literacy and numeracy development within certain age ranges or divisions.
- Research has shown that elementary students who engage in reading for just 20 minutes daily are exposed to 1, 823, 000 more words in a year and are most likely to achieve at the 90th percentile on standardized tests. (Literacy Today, July/August)
- Studies have shown that a child’s motivation for schooling increases when his or her parents’ interest is apparent. (Literacy Today, July/August)