Saturday, October 26, 2013

Jump Starting Boys

  Occasionally I  give a mini review of books that I think that parents might want to have a look at. I read many books about teaching and learning... some of them are geared toward teachers, some are geared toward parents. Sorry - this is a long post :)

This post isn't just for the parents of boys! Parents of girls, keep reading!

This week I am reading "Jump Starting Boys: Help your Reluctant Learner Find Success in School and Life". (click on the book to go to

Jump Starting Boys is very readable -- and gives a lot of practical information that we can use right away. Boys seem to lose a lot of interest in reading (and academics) at around age 10. They aren't motivated, and they don't find school relevant. Fact: The more kids read, the better they do in school. But how to get them reading? How to get them comfortable reading? Keep reading aloud to them! Show them that YOU love reading too. Go to the public library weekly (take out lots of books. Let them listen to audiobooks. Let them read books on the computer or tablet. Encourage them to read the SAME book as a friend (or sibling), then encourage them to talk about the book. High Interest/Low Vocabulary books are great to get your child interested in NonFiction.
This is one of the best books that I have read about encouraging our reluctant readers to read (not just boys -- girls too).

 Take this one out of the library. And speaking of the library..... Did you know that you can take hundreds of digital magazines out of the library? Through Zinio.  Go to the Toronto Public Library website... and the TPL Zinio link is (for now) at the bottom of the left side. Follow the directions to set up a Zinio account and a TPLZinio account. You can read the books on a tablet or on your home computer. I've saved hundreds of dollars in magazine subscriptions. Oh, perhaps I should be saying that, seeing as our big fundraiser is selling magazine subscriptions....

Parents -- we are partners in your child's school experience -- I want to make it the best it can be. If you know that your child has a particular learning style-- let me know. The sooner I know these things, the better I can teach.
If your children have an interest in something (anything!) please let me know.  Are they interested in volcanoes, hurricanes, tornadoes, destructive weather? Let me know and I can pull books from our school library and the public library for our classroom. Let me know the tv shows that they love or the websites that they are "addicted" too. We can work that into our reading AND writing. Encourage your children to tell me their interests and their extracurricular activities. For this age group, I try to use a lot of humour in our class (and try to have many humourous books around)

 AND -- if any parents want to start a book club for parents and children (for older children too), have a look at this website -- The Lyceum of Literature and Art. It is a place of learning in Vancouver and it looks fabulous. Does anyone know of anything like this in Toronto? I'd like to hear about it. And I'd like to be part of it!

Here is the Lyceum's philosophy:

"The Lyceum is a place where literature is transformed into experience and experience is transformed into literature through passionate discourse. In the spirit of the French salons of learning, the Lyceum brings together writers, illustrators, educators and families to share diverse streams of thought through the medium of story - oral, written and visual.

"A love of literature is caught, rather than taught."
It is easiest to spread literary contagion through books that arouse emotion around challenging social issues. A student who feels an emotional connection to a subject is in the zone of proximal development, ready to become a passionate learner/researcher"

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