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Lost in a good book

Prioritizing reading at Shawnigan
Two years ago, the English department set a goal to increase students’ reading stamina to better prepare them for the reading demands at university. All of the English teachers read Penny Kittle’s Book Love and have been using her guiding principles and teaching suggestions in our classrooms.

To ensure that students are challenging themselves to read more, we have committed to starting every English class with 10-20 minutes of silent reading. We are in our third year of this program and both students and teachers are noticing positive changes. Students tell us they are reading more than ever before, and teachers feel better equipped to support reluctant readers. We are building a culture that values reading at Shawnigan. Some teachers in other disciplines have become vocal supporters of the program, encouraging students to read once they have finished their in-class work or handed in a test.

As we enter our third year of this program, we are now encouraging students to make reading a priority outside of class time. We will be asking students to find the time to read for two hours a week in addition to time spent in class. The English teachers are pushing themselves to better help our reluctant readers.

This year, several of us have joined the British Columbia Teachers of English Association’s book club. We will join hundreds of other English teachers in our province to read 180 Days: Two Teachers and the Quest to Engage and Empower Adolescents, written by Penny Kittle and Kelly Gallagher. It is our goal to improve our practice of teaching both writing and reading in our classrooms.

– Carmen Boudreau, Head of English

Shawnigan Lake School is adhering to all COVID-19 guidelines released by the BC Ministries of Health and Education, including those regarding learning cohorts, physical distancing and mask-wearing when appropriate.
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Shawnigan Lake School is an independent boarding school for Grades 8-12 on Canada's West Coast. Our modern, diverse and innovative programming helps shape the next generation of global leaders.