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Articles on Literacy

Literacy and School Libraries 

The Daily 5™  is a structure that helps students develop the daily habits of reading, writing, and working independently that will lead to a lifetime of literacy independence. Many of our elementary schools in Quebec are doing Daily 5. For “Tip of the week” in February, 2012,  the 2 sisters emphasize “Schools who are doing things successfully are thinking completely outside the box when it comes to resources. One of the biggest shifts involves the school library” (Gail Boushey & Joan Moser, 2012).  In this article, the 2 sisters also introduce Shelly Harwayne’s book, Lifetime Guarantees : Toward Ambitious Literacy Teaching in which she describes her school and library collections.


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Research has found an association of certain school library characteristics with increased student achievement. According to Improving Literacy Through School Libraries Evaluation (U.S. Department of Education, 2005), many states conducted research on the impact of school libraries have found positive relationships with student test scores; a large number of factors have been specifically associated with improved scores (e.g., staffing/availability, professional development/training, collaboration/cooperation, electronic linkages and technology, collections and resources, usage). Therefore, the Improving Literacy through School Libraries grants were awarded to districts, similar to our “Action Plan on Reading” grants to support school libraries.

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Dr. Ray Doiron’s presentation on literacy and libraries broadens our understanding of literacy (Doiron, 2003). He points out that literacy is not just “an individual’s ability to write her/his name, “the ability to understand and use printed material found at home, at work and in the community – to achieve one’s goals and develop one’s knowledge and potential” (Movement for Canadian Literacy), or “an individual’s ability to read, write, speak, compute and solve problems at levels of proficiency necessary to function on the job, in the family of the individual and in society” (The US Workforce Investment Act of 1998). He emphasizes multiple literacies and a meta-literacy view. In this view, the school library is a meta-literacy space where “literacy is applied into real world contexts and into reader’s personal contexts”(Doiron, 2003).

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Papatoetoe East School in New Zealand talks about library and 21st Century Literacy and Inquiry:

Boys and Literacy

Ontario Ministry of Education provides teachers with teaching and assessment strategies and classroom practice for improving boys’ literacy achievement. The following links contain useful information. For detailed information, please check the website here.

A recent report by Professor Keith Topping of Dundee University analysed what more than 210,000 British primary and secondary school children are reading for pleasure. What Kids are Reading 2012 found that the difficulty level of books read by boys is no longer generally lower than girls.
To read the article:
Boys Literacy Books


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