CDSBEO Indigenous Education and myON

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In response to the Ministry focus on early reading and gap closing in literacy, the myON reading license was purchased for all students in the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario [CDSBEO]. This unique reading program gives students access to over 6,000 rich digital texts and books which can be matched to each student’s reading level, interests, and grade level. myON contains fiction and non-fiction texts, and throughout the year, great resources in areas of Black History, Indigenous Education, as well as anti-bullying are highlighted. myON is an excellent resource to support Indigenous teachings throughout the CDSBEO.

Superintendent of School Effectiveness, Brent Bovaird, introduced Principal of Curriculum, Tracy O’Brien, along with Melissa Bingley, Curriculum Consultant, and Melissa Mader Tardiff, Indigenous Education Consultant, who presented details of the myON digital resource to members of the CDSBEO Board.

“Using a tool like myON helps to ensure that our synchronous students in our Virtual Learning Elementary School continue to access the same resources available in our brick-and-mortar schools,” began Principal O’Brien. “Likewise, myON provides support for our students with special needs in a variety of ways. myON features include text-to-speech functions, and note taking. Additionally, myON provides low vocabulary/high interest language and appeals to all students, as it supports students at various grade levels and different reading abilities.”

Another benefit to the myON program, is that it supports CDSBEO educators in lesson planning. Embedded within the myON platform, teachers in grades 1 through 8, are able to locate curriculum expectations and specific strands in Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies, and myON will make recommendations of digital resources that can be used to support the learning.

“With close to 1,000 books that directly connect with curriculum expectations at their fingertips, teachers can assign books to students in their classroom to support learning of concepts. Teachers have access to books that are not typically housed within a school library, and this allows for more diversity of reading material for our students all through the board,” noted Curriculum Consultant, Melissa Bingley.

In addition, a dashboard is available to educators to track statistics on student reading patterns. Since September, CDSBEO students (K-12) have read 32,700 books, spent 246,000 minutes reading, and have read 577,000 pages in total, from both fiction and non-fiction texts.

“There are valuable resources to support our CDSBEO Indigenous Learning in the myON digital resource,” added Indigenous Education Consultant, Melissa Mader-Tardiff. “The ‘Under One Sun’ and ‘Circle of Life’ collections offer our students an authentic Indigenous perspective, and support the work being done in our CDSBEO schools and in conjunction with our community partners.”

Under One Sun is a Kindergarten to grade 8 resource which offers 52 different titles featuring authentic, modern content and illustrations, focused on the culture of contemporary Indigenous communities. Components offered in a mixed print and digital format bring new and exciting content to K–8 classrooms. The resources have been designed to support balanced literacy learning, reinforce cross-curricular content, and teach students about treaty education.

The Circle of Life series contains 192 levelled books for grades K–6, that build knowledge and understanding of Indigenous culture and traditions. The stories connect thematically to teachings and principles from Indigenous worldviews. To support our educators, the Circle of Life resource also offers access to professional development videos and supports.

“For the International Day of Human Rights and The Return of the Sun, the Indigenous Education team created resources that highlighted materials which are readily available throughout the board,” she continued. “For International Day of Human Rights, the focus was the Water Crisis in Indigenous Communities. myON’s The Gift of Water, was recommended to educators as a resource to support the theme. The Gift of Water explores the fact that the women’s role in Anishinaabe culture is to protect the water.”

The Indigenous Education team also provides on-going training to CDSBEO staff and moving forward, NTIP teachers will also receive Indigenous Education professional development where myON will be featured.

“As you can see, myON provides our students support in many capacities; it meets the needs of all learners, at any grade and any reading level. Staff and students alike can have equal access to quality reading material both at home and at school,” concluded Principal O’Brien.

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