This month, we’re sharing details about our DEI review, a new self-assessment feature, over 100 new French books, and this issue’s Book Spotlight, which highlights books supporting science.

 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Spark Reading

We want you to feel confident using Spark Reading with ALL of your students. That’s why this year, we launched a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) review of all books available in Spark Reading.

What is a DEI review?
We asked two DEI experts—who are also educators—to conduct a deep analysis of all Spark content to ensure this resource is both culturally responsive and appropriate. This review includes considering big picture thinking such as, “Is this author appropriate for writing about this perspective?” as well as asking more nuanced questions such as, ‘Is this the appropriate word choice?”

Multiple colored paper hands surrounding the Earth

Takeaways for Teachers
When the Spark DEI review wraps up in the summer of 2022, here’s what you can expect:

  • Where appropriate, we will add Teaching Notes to point out opportunities for DEI teaching moments and discussions with your students.
  • Books that are not culturally appropriate will be removed from the Spark library.
  • Going forward, this deep analysis will apply to all new books added to Spark Reading.

In the coming months, we’ll share updates on our DEI review and tips from our reviewers on how you can increase your awareness of DEI issues in classroom books.

 

NEW FEATURE ALERT!
Listen to Myself Reading Feature Helps Students Self-Assess

Boy with headphones browsing on a tablet

With the new Listen to Myself Reading feature, your students can engage in assessment-as-learning practices while increasing self-awareness of their reading process. Super helpful for your busy classrooms!

Students can record themselves reading with Listen to Myself Reading. Next, they can independently answer questions that encourage them to think about themselves as developing readers. These questions also motivate students to think about how they apply comprehension strategies and decoding skills.

As your students reflect on these questions, they’ll also build their metacognitive vocabulary and understanding around literacy strategies and skills.

Try Listen to Myself Reading with your students today.
This
quick how-to video can help you get started.

 

We’ve added French books!

French Immersion classrooms now have digital access to a library of 110 French books in addition to Spark’s 711 English books.

Students can read or listen to books from three popular series including Les Échos de L’île de la Tortue (Turtle Island Voices), Vivre au Canada (Celebrate Canada), and Petits livrets de Mathologie (Mathology Little Books).

Each book is read aloud by francophone actors at a pace appropriate for a French immersion context. All Teaching Notes and activities are also in French. Use our new language filter to find and use these titles today!

 

BOOK SPOTLIGHT
Cross-Curricular: Science

Did you know you can filter books by discipline? Here are some examples of the high-quality books you’ll find in Spark that relate to our Canadian science curriculum.

Level D

Learn how the sun makes shadows and how shadows change throughout the day. Do a simple experiment to make connections.

Level K

Take your students on a guided tour through the design and manufacturing process for cars.

Level L

Use this beautiful visual book to introduce the three types of rock (igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic) and the rock cycle.

Level P

Check out amazing facts about Canadian sports & recreation innovations and inventions.

Level R

Wow students with this introduction to accidental discoveries!

Level W

Explore the history of cryptography and specific methods of encryption used by monarchs, spies, and soldiers.