Maine Literacy Council

April Newsletter

Professional Development Opportunities

"An Evening With Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple" and AuthorFest 2016 - Do you look forward to reading Owl Moon and How do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight to eager students each year? If so, you don't want to miss this special event on Friday, April 8, 2016. Jane Yolen and her daughter, Heidi Stemple, will host a discussion about their work.

Jane and Heidi will also be amongst over 80 authors and illustrators at CapeAuthorFest 2016 scheduled for Saturday, April 9, 2016 from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm at Cape Elizabeth High School.

NERA 2016 Conference Teaching Literacy: Power, Promise, and Possibility

Do you love networking with other literacy-minded people and connecting with some of the best minds in our field? Check out the line-up at NERA 2016: Nancie Atwell, Tom Newkirk, Franki Sibberson, Matt Glover, Kathy Colllins, Vicki Vinton, Katie Wood Ray, and others! Friday May 20th-Sat May 21st in South Portland. Click HERE to register!

Maine Author's Spotlight: Lynn Plourde

Lynn Plourde is an acclaimed picture book (and even a graphic novel) author who is about to launch her first middle grade novel in August: Maxi's Secrets (Or What You Can Learn from a Dog) She is also busy with the release of THREE new picture books for You're Doing That in the Talent Show? illustrated by Sue Cornelison (May 3rd) and Bella's Fall Coat illustrated by Susan Gal (Sept 6th) and Baby Bear's Not Hibernating illustrated by Teri Weidner (Oct 15th)

Lynn was born and grew up in Maine and still lives here with her husband, Paul. She incorporates much of her Maine experience into her books. You can read about WHO IS LYNN PLOURDE? at her website that is just as fun to read as her books!
Check out all of Lynn's books! She is a true Maine gem!

April is National Poetry Month

Is hip-hop breathing new life into poetry?

Poetry is an oral form of art which is regaining attention in our high schools. The Maine Arts Coalition states, "Recitation and performance are major new trends in poetry. There has been a recent resurgence of poetry as an oral art form, as seen in the slam poetry movement and the immense popularity of hip-hop music among our youth. Poetry Out Loud builds on this momentum by inviting the dynamic aspects of slam poetry, spoken word, and theater into the English class. The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation have formed a partnership with state arts agencies to support the expansion of Poetry Out Loud, which encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance. This exciting program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage. Registration is open to all public and private high schools in Maine as well as high school homeschooling populations."

Our 2016 State Champion, Rose Horowitz of Mt. Ararat High School, competed against more than 10,000 Maine students to earn her spot at Poetry Out Loud National Finals in May. To learn more about Poetry Out Loud and who our other state finalists are, please visit the Maine Arts Coalition.

Click here to see performances at the 2015 Maine State Finals. We look forward to seeing this year's State Final performances soon!

Mainer Blogs to Follow

The Nonfiction Detectives:
Two intrepid librarians review the best nonfiction books for children

Looking for some great nonfiction to share with your students ages 5-18? Then head on over to the Nonfiction Detectives blog. Cathy Potter is K-5 school librarian in Falmouth, Maine. Louise Capizzo is the Youth Services Manager at a public library in Scarborough, Maine. They have both served on student book award committees and review books regularly. Let them help you find that "just right book" for your students!
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Book Buzz

When you're talking about accessible, practical professional texts, there are a couple that immediately come to mind. The Reading Strategies Book by Jennifer Serravallo provides a comprehensive approach to goal setting and strategy instruction. With over 300 specific strategy lessons included, this book guides educators through examining data, in order to determine reading goals for their students. From there, teachers can determine which skills students need in order to reach their goals. Finally, once the skills have been identified, teachers can then select which strategies will be the best fit for which students. The strategy lessons can be taught as whole class lessons, small group instruction, or as differentiated lessons through conferences. Get your hands on this book today! You can visit her website here.

Close Writing by Maine Literacy Council president, Paula Bourque, takes a unique look at how to help students take more ownership of their writing, become more aware of their audience, and become close readers of their own writing. This text addresses a whole new level of metacognition and the type of reflective thinking that is necessary for students to accelerate their growth as writers. We are thrilled to congratulate Paula on the recent release of Close Writing ! We know that it will provide educators with a common sense approach to helping their student authors develop the habits of mind that will lift their writing to new levels! You can read more about it, preview the table of contents, and watch a short video with Paula here.

Member suggestions

We'd love to hear from members about what is going on in Maine literacy. Contact us by email, Facebook, or Twitter and let us know your ideas. (find links below)