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Reading for Reconciliation

Welcome to Top Grade: CanLit for the Classroom, a blog and preview video series that features new releases from Canadian book publishers ideal for use in K-12 classrooms and school library collections. Throughout the year, we will dive into new titles, highlighting relevant curriculum links and themes.

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Written by secondary school teacher Spencer Miller
 
Today, we are celebrating the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation for the first time. This is a day to recognize and commemorate the legacy of residential schools and make a renewed commitment to the reconciliation process. We can use this day to start a conversation in our classrooms that lasts all year long.

Books are a powerful tool for teaching towards reconciliation. Guided by the calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, teachers should seek out learning resources that teach about treaties, the legacy of residential schools and Indigenous peoples’ historical and contemporary contributions to Canada. Teachers should make sure to include books that celebrate Indigenous cultures, including languages, arts, medicines, storytelling, and ways of living on the land.

Being a non-Indigenous educator, I have a responsibility to bring Indigenous voices, perspectives, and ways of teaching an …

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Building a Classroom Library

Welcome to Top Grade: CanLit for the Classroom, a blog and preview video series that features new releases from Canadian book publishers ideal for use in K-12 classrooms and school library collections. Throughout the year, we will dive into new titles, highlighting relevant curriculum links and themes.

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Written by secondary school teacher Spencer Miller

Every teacher should have a classroom library, regardless of what subject they teach. Every classroom benefits from books, and all teachers can support literacy development by giving students time to read in their class.

In my class, reading time is a reward. We read to take a break. We read when we finish early. We try to read every day! Whatever age group or subject you teach, imagine the kind of reading and the kind of books that fit best in your classroom.

I look to fill my classroom library with books my students will benefit from exploring on their own. I search for culturally relevant books, books my students can connect with that feature characters of similar ages and similar experiences. I make sure to include various Canadian books from authors with a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives.

I’m also a strong believer in letting my students make their own reading choices. I watch the way my students sel …

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Inclusive Learning, Diverse Books: Introducing Top Grade 2021

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Welcome to the Association for Canadian Publishers’ Top Grade: CanLit for the Classroom, a blog and preview video series that features new releases from Canadian book publishers ideal for use in K-12 classrooms and school library collections. Throughout the year, we will dive into new titles, highlighting relevant curriculum links and themes.

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Written by secondary school teacher Spencer Miller

I never grew out of the books I read as a child, spending my time at university reading, researching and writing about all the books I loved growing up. During my studies of Children’s and Young Adult literature, I had the chance to learn from experts, educators, authors, and young readers across the country about what makes books for kids so special. After graduating last spring, I moved to Montréal to complete my first full year as a secondary teacher. Through all the ups and downs of Covid, one thing remained constant for me and my students: our love of stories. Stories carried us through this difficult year and on to meaningful learning.

I am always reading with my students in mind. Each time I open a new book, I consider how the story could be potentially life changing for a young person. Throughout this year, I will be sharing new titles from Canadian writers tha …

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