Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Saying Good-bye to '08-09 and Many Colleagues

Dearest Friends,

Memorial Day has come and gone; June grass is colorizing mountainsides; and temperatures are rising – in and out of the classroom! School year ’08-’09 is nearing the end. But this culmination is different than any other as we not only say good bye to students, but we bid farewell to many of our colleagues who will be part of the new Canyons School District. While this can't help but be a melancholy occasion, it is my hope that we keep in touch through email correspondence, mutual opportunities for professional development, blogs, wikis, websites, and professional organizations.

I am happy to announce that the Jordan Council of the International Reading Association (JCIRA) will remain the local council for teachers in both Canyons and Jordan Sistricts. Next year, I am working with the JCIRA board to provide more secondary presenters. Already I have lined up Terry Jensen of Valley High to share information about his wildly successful "Book Affair." I am also inviting teachers from other schools to talk about their "literacy nights" and poetry slams.

Cindy Mitchell, host of the blog site, Kiss the Book, will also review dozens of YA novels at one of our meetings. She reads and reviews more than anybody I know! You won't want to miss this opportunity to learn about the latest and greatest in adolescent literature.

I am also working on scheduling Sara Zarr, author of National Book Award Finalist Story of a Girl and Sweethearts, to speak to us in March. I've gotten to know Sara a little, and I'm quite confident she'll be able to join us. She is awesome as is her writing. Be sure to add her works to your summer reading list. (If you want to check out a teen online writing experience hosted by Sara, click here. It's looks like great fun!)

Brad Wilcox, author of the children's picture book There's Always a Way Annie McRae, will give tips on becoming better writers and better teachers of writing. I attended Brad's presentation at Valley High, and if you think he can only present to elementary students and teachers, he'll really surprise you.

That's just a hint about what's coming next fall in JCIRA. You'll want to participate for the following reasons:
  • Great presenters and professional development opportunity
  • One-half credit hour of professional development can be earned
  • Membership of one of the strongest organizations that promotes literacy in our area
  • Opportunity to mingle with current and former colleagues in both districts

Before signing off, I invite you to go to the Literacy Link-up Wikispace to find a list summer reading titles for your students. You can copy and paste the info and give it to them as a farewell gift. I also invite you to revisit the blog I posted last year about reading for pleasure.

If you're wondering how to make the most of your summer, check out Dr. Deborah Dean's UCTE/LA Teaching Tips for May. She provides some great ideas for professional growth in our chosen profession.

This summer I will continue posting to Link2Literacy and will notify you of the topics in case you'd like to drop by and say hello! In the meantime, enjoy the rest of June, July, and most of August.

Wishing you all well,


PS. Other LiteracyLink-up Booklists: Novel Links; Graphic Novels; and "Guy" Books