A busy week in the library!

It has been a busy week in the library!  Here are some of the things we’ve been up to.

Divisions 5,6,7,8 and 17 are well into their Canadian Picture Book of the Year project.  We are reading all five of the books nominated for the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book award and then voting for our favourite. So far we have read How To by Julie Morstad, Fox and Squirrel Make a Friend by Ruth Ohi, and this week we read My Name is Blessing by Eric Walters and illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes.

howto fox and squir




My Name is Blessing is a powerful story about a boy author, Eric Walters, met while visiting Kenya.  The students were moved by this true story of an orphan with a disability, and shared that, while some parts of the story were very sad, they thought it was beautiful.

My name is







The Kindergarten students have also been reading a Canadian author, Genevieve Cote.  The students have really enjoyed the characters of Pig and Bunny in one of her series.

me and you without you starring me and you




We have written letters to Genevieve Cote and will wait patiently and hopefully for a reply.

Finally, Divisions 5 and 6 are coming to the computer lab to learn some digital literacy skills.  They have learned how to log on, add tools to their desktop, bookmark a website and navigate some online story web sites.  They were hard at work this week listening to stories online on Tumblebooks and had fun at the same time!


Happy Halloween!

Well, it was another exciting Halloween at South Slope/ BCSD.  Today reminded me of how much I love my job and working at this school.  We had the primary costume parade in the gym, the haunted house, the intermediate dance and more.

it was also a fun week in the library with lots of great read alouds.  Here are some of the fantastic books we read this week.

Happy Halloween!


DEAR Day 2014

Today we joined thousands of students in Burnaby and across the province as we participated in Drop Everything And Read day.  This event is sponsored by the BC Teacher Librarians association “because the love of reading is a beautiful, valuable, lifelong habit that everyone should enjoy, every day.”

Here is what it looked like today at our school from 12:15-12:35.  Some classes even read for longer. Don’t forget to enjoy reading every day.  Reading is a beautiful thing!



I read because it’s beautiful

One of the sessions I attended at the IRA (International Reading Association) Conference a couple of weeks ago was called “The Art of Teaching Reading”.  It was presented by Tim Rasinksi, a professor of literacy education at Kent State University.  He shared the importance of ensuring our students enjoy reading through song, poetry and more.

One of the poems he shared reminded me that I “read because it’s beautiful”.

Read It Because It’s Beautiful
by Karen Morrow Durica

Somehow a life without poetry seems…
Not much.

So each day in my classroom I read…
Free verse—
And such.

An observer sat in my room one day…
Noted poem’s title
Evaluated delivery
Recorded “lesson” sequence—
Said dryly: “It seems

There’s no connection curricular-wise…
No anticipatory set
No vocabulary drill
No comprehension query—
Do they know what it means?”

I could have contrived a defense or two, but…
Spirits flowed with peaceful joy
Honesty prevailed
Simple truth explained—
“I read it because it’s beautiful,” I said.

She didn’t quite frown but recalled all the same, “We’ve…
Standards to meet
Timelines to keep
Pages to cover—
Important content to be read.”

I looked from her to my students’ gaze; they…
Had relished the words
Danced with the rhythm
Mused with the meaning—
Were richer in spirit than when we began.

I read it because it was beautiful. And beauty is…
Never superfluous
Never irrelevant
Always needed—
Always in my “lesson” plan.

I would love to hear your responses to this poem.  Why do you read?

Poetry here, poetry there, poetry everywhere!

imageApril is poetry month and we’ve been having lots of fun with poetry in the library this past week.  Students have been reading poetry and talking about what they notice.

Divisions 5 and 16 read many different poetry books and marked their favourites with a post it.  They then passed the book to a friend so they could read the poems they chose and maybe find one or two of their own.  Here are some of the things they noticed about the poems they read.

We also explored a great poetry web site. Poetryfpundation.org has some great resources including videos of poems.  We watched some in the library.My favourite was “Daffodils” by William Wordsworth

After divisions 7 and 8 listened to this poem with their ears and their hearts, we wrote our own poems using what we had heard and what words or phrases were most powerful for us.  Here are our poems:



Journey wins Caldecott Honor!

During literacy week we all read the book Journey by Aaron Becker. It is an stunningly beautiful wordless picture book that celebrates the imagination.  This week it was announced that Journey had been awarded the prestigious Caldecott Honor.  Congratulations, Mr. Becker!

Watch the video below to learn how the book was made:

Reading Opens Doors!

Last week we celebrated Literacy in a big way at South Slope/BCSD.

It all started with our Celebration of100 Learning assembly on Monday, Jan. 21st. First, we recognized all the staff and students who completed 100 nights of reading in our reading club.

Next, we were treated to three special Readers’ Theatre performances.  BCSD students performed Red Dragon, Red Dragon based on Eric Carle’s Brown Bear, Brown Bear. Leadership students performed a very funny pindexlay called, Claynocchio.  And finally, South Slope staff was very cool in their shades while they performed, Pete the Cat and his Magic Sunglasses.

On Tuesday everyone was invited to dress up as their favourite character from a book.  Can you guess who these staff and students are?








All week the school participated in Drop Everything and Read times every day.













On Wednesday, we had special guest readers for every classroom from the Burnaby School district and the community.










Every classroom all read the book, Journey by Aaron Becker.  Journey is a wordless picture book that invites readers to use their imagination and embark on incredible adventures.  Many classes have displayed their responses in the hallways.





reading Jan 2014


Our theme this week was Reading Opens Doors.  What doors has reading opened for you?  Do you have a favourite book that changed you or took you on an incredible adventure?  I’d love to read your responses here or come and talk to me in the library.