Joyful Literacy: Developing Early Literacy Competencies

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French Immersion, District-level initiative, Fraser Valley Region, 2017-2018

Description

Since March, one elementary school is working in collaboration with the District on using Janet Mort's Joyful Literacy approach to develop early literacy competencies. The District provided TTOC days for collaboration and purchased $1500 of resources to support early literacy in immersion using high-frequency sight words. The French federal funding supported collaboration and the purchase of some games and printed resources to support the creation of "blitzing" literacy centers to practice skills learned and supported through text and oral comprehension. This approach has embedded assessment. These resources were purchased for both elementary schools as the teacher-learners will be sharing their practices at next year's French immersion conference. 

Outcome

The K-2 Ecole Mission Central teachers collaborated together to create a district program that is helping students learn how to read frequent sight words in French. Teachers were noticing at the end of the year that most students were able to read the high-frequency words and know where to go with the new sight words in September 2018.  A student who is undergoing a psychological evaluation for a learning designation also showed an increased understanding of French language and reading competencies being acquired. These successes demonstrate that this is an inclusive approach that focuses on student learning and French acquisition. This initiative has created a high-interest collaborative group of immersion teachers who are working together to create the district's lists of sight words and center activities to engage students in an experiential learning environment that focuses on repetitive practice.  Next school year at our new district immersion conference, the collaborative group will share their learning and teaching practices with the teachers from the other elementary school so that both elementary schools are using the resources purchased to support the Joyful Literacy approach and the practice center activities.  An added bonus is that all of the TTOC days were spent speaking in French to help develop teachers' French skills for the bilingual teachers in the team.

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