Ready, Set, Spark!

Spark Reading Newsletter | Feb 2023

In this month’s issue, we’re sharing teacher-approved ideas for using Spark in your classroom! You’ll also find tips for combining Spark books with our Special Days Calendar, an intro to Spark’s Interactive Activities, and books we think your students will love reading this month.

Teacher Tips: How Spark Can Contribute to Your Literacy Program

Teachers love to share how they use Spark to support their literacy programs, and we love sharing those ideas with you. This month we have more fabulous teacher feedback you can draw from to find new ways to use Spark in your classroom.

To Accommodate Split Classes and Varying Reading Levels

“As I have a split, I encourage kids to read [in Spark] when they have completed all their work. This allows me to work with one grade at a time.”

— Grade 2/3 Teacher

To Encourage At-Home Reading

“[To assign] leveled reading homework, I select books, and the students are also free to select books.”

— Grade 2 Teacher

Offering it as an incentive to read at home and earn reward points at school.”

— Grade 4 Teacher

To Provide 100% Decodable Books

“During my literacy block, I use Spark by sharing my computer screen. I love using the decodable books with my Grade 1s and absolutely appreciate mentioning the letter sounds that are focused on in those books. Together, we review the sounds, and then everyone takes turns reading a page of the book.”

— Grade 1 Teacher

As a Part of The Daily 5 Literacy Framework

“Perfect for students to use for Listening to Reading and Reading to Self during Daily Five Literacy.”

— Grade 1 Teacher

Tip of the Month! Connect Spark Books to Special Days

Tying books to special days of the month is a great way to add extra fun and learning to your literacy program. Combining Spark Reading and Pearson’s Special Days Calendar makes that task easier.

Check out some of this month’s special days below and follow the link to find a page with related quick “Activity Bursts” to get your students talking and thinking. Then check out this month’s Book Spotlight for books related to these special days.

  • Black History Month, February 1-28 (Check out the January Book Spotlight)
  • National Flag Day, Feb 15
  • Canada’s Agriculture Day, Feb 15
  • Pink Shirt Day, Feb 22 

Feature Highlight!

Check Their Reading Comprehension with Interactive Activities

Every book in the Spark Reading library (except our decodables) has two or three interactive activities included in the text. Each activity consists of closed questions related to a reading comprehension strategy. (Note: Books in level A-G include audio for all question text.)

Activities include the following formats:

  • Multiple choice
  • Multi-select
  • Fill-in-the-blank
  • Drag-and-drop

Students can find these activities by looking for the yellow Gem icon in the top right corner of a page.

Want to try interactive activities with your students? Use these videos and articles to get started:


Special Days

This month we have books to help your class celebrate Black History month, Canada’s Agriculture Day, National Flag Day, and Pink Shirt Day. 

Our Families, Our Homes

(Reading Level I)

Every family has its own story, but they all add up to fun plus love.

STIM : Des emplois stimulants au Canada

(Reading Level O)

STIM signifie Science, Technologie, Ingénierie, et Mathématiques, et beaucoup d’emplois passionnants!

Ottawa: Canada’s Capital 

(Reading Level N)

Come on a tour of Canada's capital city and find out what an exciting place it is!

Prairie Seasons

(Reading Level I)

Welcome to the Prairies! You can visit our farms in every season. What do you think you will see?

Drummer Boy

(Reading Level O)

Things don't get off to a good start for Jake at his new school.

Stop Bullying

(Reading Level Y)

Bullying comes in many forms and being able to identify them can help combat the problem.