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Grammar Tips: Pronoun Agreement

Personal pronouns must agree with their antecedents (the words they are referring to). They must match by person, number and gender. Here’s guidance on the basics from TERMIUM Plus, Canada’s terminology and linguistic data bank: Pronoun agreement: person Pronoun agreement: number Pronoun agreement: gender There’s also advice for when things get more complicated: Pronoun agreement:… Read more

New Adult Literacy Education Journal

The inaugural issue of ProLiteracy’s Adult Literacy Education: The International Journal of Literacy, Language, and Numeracy has been released. This online, peer-reviewed journal will be published twice a year and it’s free. The journal will cover research on adult basic and secondary education and transitions to college and career programs. Research will reflect best practices… Read more

Teaching and Assessing Spelling

A new Literacy Leadership Brief from the International Literacy Association examines Teaching and Assessing Spelling. It underlines the importance of spelling for reading and writing, and describes the many different kinds of knowledge needed for spelling in English. It also looks at diagnostic analysis of spelling errors to provide a picture of students’ strengths and… Read more

Brain-Building Serve and Return

This new how-to video from the Harvard Center on the Developing Child illustrates five steps that parents and other caregivers can use to help build a child’s brain. 5 Steps for Brain-Building Serve and Return is an accompanying parent information sheet. To learn more about the importance of responsive relationships, read Serve and Return.

Fish Idioms

Idioms are tricky in language learning. Even if you know the meaning of each word in an idiom, you won’t necessarily comprehend what the idiom means. For example, these fish idioms are commonly used, but a literal translation of the words doesn’t convey the meaning. Idioms are tricky when you’re translating a language as well… Read more

Families and Climate Action

Today is International Day of Families and the theme is “Families and Climate Action”. What can families do about climate change? For suggestions, read: 13 ways to save the Earth from Climate Change – a poster from National Geographic Kids It’s Important to Talk to Your Kids about the Climate Crisis from The Climate Reality… Read more

Exploring STEM through Play

Looking for STEM activities for young children? There’s help available in the Decoda Library. Here’s a sample of what you can borrow: To borrow these titles or get more suggestions (there’s lots more available!), email This library service is available to all adults in BC.

Quirky Collective Nouns

A collective noun refers to a group of people, animals, or things.  Some of them are familiar such as family, class, and collection. But, some are less commonly used and sometimes unexpected. If a collective noun is the subject of a sentence, do you use a singular or a plural verb? Generally, a singular… Read more

A Surprising Way to Help Kids Cooperate with Each Other

What can you do to help kids learn to play and work together? Here’s a strategy you might not have tried. For a glimpse at the research behind this video, read More than recess: How playing on the swings helps kids learn to cooperate. The video is an entry in the APA Psychological Science Video… Read more

Commonly Misspelled Words

Homophones are words that sound alike but have different spellings and different meanings. They can be tricky. Here’s a list of 17 to watch out for.