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ELA Today

ELA Today is an online journal compiled and edited by the ATEQ Board featuring content relevant to English Language Arts Teachers in Quebec. It includes contributions from people in Quebec and from abroad in order to foster beneficial dialogue and share information, knowledge and pedagogical approaches.

Below are excerpts from ELA Today. Click on an excerpt to read the full article. Access to ELA Today articles is exclusive to ATEQ Members – make sure you are logged in to access content, or become a member if you aren’t one already!

Teaching Reading and Writing with Jennifer Serravallo

    In my work as a consultant, I often get asked about professional resource books. My usual go-to authors are Penny Kittle, Kelly Gallagher, and Linda Rief, as what they have to offer are classroom-tested ideas for English Language Arts (ELA). Lately though, I attended a webinar with Jennifer Serravallo and now I understand what everyone has been talking about. Her book list is long, however there are three titles that I think are essential for ELA teachers.

    The Marrow Thieves

      Are you looking for an engaging book to introduce into an existing unit or a new novel for literature circles? Cherie Dimaline’s The Marrow Thieves may be just what your class needs. This YA novel has much to offer a young reader, including issues related to family bonds, friendships, romance, adventure, survival and Indigenous culture and history, together with an element of suspense.

      Miss, do you have any books about videogames?

        Read about how this teacher answered this seemingly simple question. No matter how well-stocked we think our literary bookshelves are, we still have a lot to learn about what kids want to read and what will motivate them to read. The best way to do this is to listen. In this article, Ruwani says “We learned that a shelf dedicated to the video game genre must include books about art, design, and the culture of videogames. We learned that when it comes to books about videogames, students are knowledge bearers.

        ATEQ-EMSB Literary Joint Venture: Book Trunks

          The ATEQ Book Trunks are getting a makeover. Read all about the partnership and how this student is helping ATEQ members and fulfilling the WOTP work stage criteria. Books, books, and more books!

          A Journey in Online Learning

            During this unprecedented time, we’re faced with all kinds on inequity, especially where teaching and learning are concerned. Not just the disparity between public and private education, but also “tequity’, the disparity between those who have access to and knowledge of technology and those who don’t – teachers and students alike. Follow one seasoned teacher as she charts her experience with online teaching and learning, and draws more parallels than you’d think between the stage and the screen.

            Review: Sit

              A review of an anthology of short stories by one of Canada’s most talented writers. Each story makes us just a little more aware of the plight of children around the world, and a little more hopeful that the conditions under which they live may change for the better. Ellis invites readers to question and find out more about the struggles of children around the world such as the use of child labour in furniture manufacturing. Importantly for today, Ellis offers a much needed element of hope and peace.

              Calling Out Across the World Wide Web: Using Weekly Tumblr Posts in the Classroom

                Grade 10 ELA teachers pair up for a year-long blogging project which resulted in a self-published book of student work and a literary evening to celebrate student voice. What they got was “a window into how our students think and feel on a host of topics. We were given glimpses into their homes, their friendships, their passions, their reflections, the moral dilemmas they face, and more. Some posts were funny, some were sad, some were fueled by rage. The posts were – no surprise – as wonderful and varied as our students”.

                UDL in ELA

                  “Universal design for learning (UDL) is a set of principles for designing curriculum that provides all individuals with equal opportunities to learn. UDL is designed to serve all learners, regardless of ability, disability, age, gender, or cultural and linguistic background” (TEAL Centre, p. 1). The graphic novel is ideally-suited for integrating the intersecting principles of UDL, and, as such, serves as a highly democratizing force/form in the ELA classroom: the images on each page provide important visual and contextual cues for students who struggle with reading comprehension, and the complex interplay between image and text requires a different kind of reading which will both stimulate and challenge even the strongest of readers.

                  Taking Talk out of the Classroom

                    The Work Oriented Training Path (WOTP) program is designed to help prepare students for life outside of the classroom. It also has an academic component which needs to be evaluated. As usual, reading and production tasks came naturally to me and were completed with success, but when it came to talk I was at a loss. How do I prepare students for conversations outside of the classroom, inside the classroom? This is what inspired the “Coffee Klatch”. Approximately once a week, we gather around tables and we talk. There are no prompts, assigned topics, assigned seats, or technology of any kind; we simply re-create what the typical break room would look like, and practice the art of conversation.

                    Five Reasons to Teach Horror

                      The world is a scary place. War, racism, nukes… Trump! So why teach horror? Why challenge students to think about, and confront the dark parts of our humanity? Why dwell on that which hides in the shadows and the monstrous? Here are five reasons why you should explore the ghost with the most, groovy ghouls and creepy crawlers in your curriculum.