The first week of November we celebrated Wordfest at MidSun. On Monday afternoon, we had author David Rvachew speak with two groups of grade 7 students in the Library Learning Commons.
He was very engaging and we look forward to having him return another time to speak with more students about the writing process.
We also had the pleasure of having a parent, Adria Laycraft, who is a published author and professional editor and ghostwriter come and talk to the kids Wednesday. She spoke with 6 of our grade 7 groups including those who missed out on Monday’s author talk. It was great to hear from her unique perspective. We also look forward to having Mrs. Laycraft return to work with some of our eager writers to help them in their goal to get published. If you’re a student at MidSun who dreams of being published one day, stay tuned for announcements of this in the spring!
To top it all off, author Simon Rose was another great speaker we had this Wordfest. He kept up his amazing energy and stamina all the way through 7 fabulous sessions of 60-90 kids, about his many books and the writing process. You can find out more about him through his website: http://simon-rose.com.
Actually, there were a number of other ways we found to celebrate words this year. At lunches, students had opportunities to participate in various activities that celebrated words – both spoken and written, including: Wheel of Fortune, Readers’ Theatre, and Karaoke. There is a display of Staff Picks favourite books as well! In classes, many teachers took the opportunity during this week to focus on the power of words through vocabulary studies, games, and other word-related activities.
Finally, Humanities teachers used this week to kick off our new Home Reading Program. In seeing that our students’ scores have dipped from previous years in the areas of reading, and especially in drawing inferences, we are instituting this exciting new program. Humanities teachers sent home materials for parents to use in support of this new program. In a nutshell, students are expected to read at home 20 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Afterwards, students and parents choose a prompt from the list provided and have a short 1-3 minute discussion about what was read. Lastly, parents sign off that the reading and discussion happened and when the sheet is completed, students return them to their teacher. The research tells us that the number one way to improve reading is to do more reading, so we are very optimistic that our students will experience improved scores as a result of this program. See your child’s Humanities teacher should you have any questions about this new program.
A special thanks goes out to all the teachers and students who made this year’s Wordfest a big success!
Humanities Learning Leader