Literacy @ Lunch

2013/2014 Seminar Series

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"Open-ness: is a response to many of the aspects of our current system that may be described as closed, creating new ways of thinking about access to educational opportunities and resources, minimizing barriers and opening up opportunities for participation." (CORE Education Ten Trends 2012)

Join us for sharing and discussion of trends and issues in literacy. Help create a culture and environment of sharing and open-ness, where we can work toward helping our students become the best citizens possible.


Where: HSS Library

When: second Wednesday of the month @11:30am


Lunch provided by Jeremy Smith's Foods classes for a $5 donation.

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Literacy? What's new about that?

Our first session will be a chance for us to discuss what's new in literacy. What are the new trends and how has the literacy of our students changed. Do we understand how they read? write? view? We will look at CORE Education's 10 Trends and discuss how they influence our teaching and learning.

Session Leader: Lenora Poulin - Lenora has been an English teacher for 20 years and is currently the teacher-librarian at Hope Secondary. The last really great book she read was Wonder, by R.J. Palacio

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

So how do they learn to read in the beginning?

As high school teachers we assume our students come to us with a certain level of literacy - that they know how to read. Understanding how they were taught to read and write in the first place can help us in our lessons and with struggling students.

Session Leader: Heather Link - A 19-year teaching "veteran," Heather has taught every grade from Kindergarten to grade 12. She also spent three years teaching at an isolated, rural school in Lax Kw'alaams, and currently teaches grade 2 at Coquihalla Elementary.

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Social Media Literacy

Our students live in an era of "New Literacies." What does this mean and do we know what kind of literacy they need to function in this world of status updates, text messages, and 140-character tweets? Our students do most of their reading and writing in an on-line environment so we need to understand how we can use this to our advantage in the classroom.

Session Leader: Chris Wejr - Chris is the Principal of Kent Elementary and an international presenter on social media, assessment, and student motivation. Chris is a graduate of Hope Secondary and a true life-long learner. Follow him on GoodReads to see what he is reading.

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Parents - the "other" literacy teachers

It is important that we understand the diverse literacy learning that happens at home for our students. How can we help parents help their students, and how can we learn from parents to understand the literacy backgrounds of their kids and families.

Session Leader: Stan Watchorn - Stan is the Director of Instruction in SD #78 and the former Principal of Hope Secondary. He is also a Faculty Advisor and instructor for the Masters in Education program at City University and the Project Leader for AVID in British Columbia.

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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Encouraging Visual Literacy

We ask them to view presentations, films, charts, and images, but do they know how to "read" these visual elements we use in our classrooms. Being visually literate goes beyond seeing and noticing; our students are very quick viewers but what do they really understand about what they are viewing.

Session Leader: Chris Janzen - Chris has been the visual arts teacher at Hope Secondary for three years. He is an exceptional artist and a "fan" of popular culture. Chris will help us look at the visual elements we use in our classroom so that our students can "read" them better.

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

So I haven't written much lately? Neither has Shakespeare.

Do we model good writing? Do we share good writing with our students? How do they know what "good" writing is? Practicing our own writing skills and modeling this for our students can lead to better quality written work. In this session we will share some examples of writing and discuss what makes them good, and sometimes, not so good.

Session Leader: Lenora Poulin - Lenora has taught every level of English (except grade 10 - not sure how that happened?) as well as literature, journalism, and creative writing. She often writes with her students and shares her writing so that they can see that she believes in the process.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Diverse Learners - Diverse Literacy

The literacy abilities of our students are very diverse and many of them come to us with special needs, both identified and not-identified (but we know they need help). How can we help these learners in our classrooms? What literacy tools can we use to adapt our curriculum and also improve the literacy of these at-risk learners?

Session Leader: Dawn Friesen - Dawn has been a special educator for 20 years and is currently a science teacher at Hope Secondary and also the SD #78 Special Education Helping Teacher. Dawn is especially interested in improving the reading skills of our students and feels that this can be done in all of the curriculum areas.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Who cares if they can spell math, as long as they can do it...

Assessment of, for, and as learning is a "hot topic" in education, so how does that translate cross-curricularly? Should we care about their non-science literacy skills when they are doing science work? Should it matter if our students have trouble reading the word problems in math if they can actually "do" the math? This session will be an opportunity to share philosophies and also let each other know what our expectations are for our students with regards to literacy skills.

Session Leader: Shannon Perna - Shannon has been teaching math and science in SD #78 for 12 years. She often includes written and visual assignments to assess her students' math skills and believes that students will be most successful when they see the connections between the content of all of their courses. Shannon is an avid reader and especially enjoys science fiction.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Being socially aware of the materials we present in class

When was the last time you reviewed some of the "staple" materials you use in your lessons? Do they offend? Do they not reflect current beliefs and values? Let's discuss what it means to be socially aware and literate so that we present materials that reflect the inclusive nature of our school and classrooms.

Session Leader: Erin Wilkins - Erin has been teaching in SD #78 for 9 years and is the social justice teacher and sponsor of the Hope Secondary SH(OUT) group, (Students Helping Out), and the Gay Straight Alliance. She works tirelessly to help our staff and students be socially aware and socially considerate.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Now what?

Where do we go from here? How will we continue our literacy discussions and practices so that Hope Secondary students have the best opportunities for a literate future? Let's create our own list of "Ten Trends" that we can use to focus learning for our staff and students.

Session Leader: Jon Polishak - Jon has been teaching at Hope Secondary for 12 years and is currently the English Department Leader. He is a huge fan of graphic fiction and an inspiring drama teacher.

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Please SHARE!

Please invite other teachers and interested staff members to our Literacy @ Lunch seminar series.