This article is the thirteenth in a series that summarizes and reflects upon the Ontario Ministry of Education 2009 document Me Read? And How!
The thirteenth strategy advocated for improving boys’ reading:
Build a School-Wide Focus
The second last boys’ literacy recommendation is to build a school-wide focus: “make it a high priority to identify and promote strategies for literacy improvement…for all students” (79). To make it a high priority, your school staff need “to make literacy a key part of their teaching practice and of the life of the school” (79). Staff needs to plan together to determine what their school needs to improve its literacy.
Ideas for school-wide literacy:
- give away books on school event nights, i.e. information nights, concerts, etc.
- literacy planning across grades, divisions and panels (instead of only focusing on the grade that you teach)
- school board has a comprehensive literacy plan; schools set goals that are consistent with the board’s literary goals, reflects on their achievement of these goals, and then sets new goals
- Professional Learning Community or Literacy Team to investigate boys’ literacy: book studies, workshop presentations, liaisons with universities or colleges, and literacy conferences; also, take time to discuss boys’ work and then develop plans and teaching strategies to help them achieve success
- language and literacy events to demonstrate “positive values and attitudes towards literacy” and to “celebrate…the joys of literacy” (75)
- develop school and classroom libraries to provide engaging and quality books
- invite authors to speak to students and parents
- create book displays in the school with various themes
- school-wide contest, i.e. persuasive essay on why they love reading
- school-wide writing framework so that all classes study the same writing form at the same time
- discussion at division meetings or staff meetings to enable staff to share ideas, strategies, and trouble-shooting tips
Next Boys’ Literacy Strategy: #14 – Split Them Up