My Heart Fills With Happiness - TD Grade One Book Giveaway | Toronto Teacher Mom

My Heart Fills With Happiness - TD Grade One Book Giveaway

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

My Heart Fills With Happiness - J'ai le coeur rempli de bonheur - TD Grade One Book Giveaway

This post is in partnership with TD Bank and the TD Grade One Book Giveaway program.

If you've been following my blog for a while, you'll know how much I love languages. Having studied languages during my undergrad, I am now able to speak French, Italian and Spanish in addition to Portuguese, which I learned from my parents. There is something about learning new words and being able to communicate with people from all over the world that fills my heart with happiness. It's one of the reasons that I count myself among those lucky few who absolutely love their job. Teaching French to students as early as grade one brings me great joy out of the sheer fact that not only can many of my grade one students have basic conservations with me and their peers in the target language, but they can also read many high frequency words as well. While I am only required to assess them on listening and speaking at that age, reading plays a huge role in their learning and thus, in the way I teach.

Even though I've been teaching for over 17 years, it wasn't until a few years ago, when I adopted a different teaching method based on storytelling and plays, that I truly began to appreciate the importance of reading and re-reading stories to children. I liken it to when my own children were infants and were first learning to speak. They would often repeat what they would hear us say, the songs we sang or the stories we read. These stories would become so familiar to them that the day they picked up those storybooks, they were able to read most of the story on their own or, at the very least, had the confidence to retell the story based on the pictures. It was that connection to the story that helped them to persevere along their journey to becoming fluent readers. 

Knowing how beneficial it is to expose children to books as early as possible and as much as possible, I am overjoyed that the TD Grade One Book Giveaway provides more than 550,000 English and French grade one students with a free children’s book written by a Canadian author. And if taking home their very own book to share and read with their families wasn't awesome enough, I couldn't be more thrilled to learn that both the French and English versions of the book include a translation in Plains Cree text in honour of 2019 being named the International Year of Indigenous Languages. The story is called My Heart Fills with Happiness / sâkaskinêw nitêh miywêyihtamowin ohci and is written by award-winning author Monique Gray Smith, with beautiful illustrations by Julie Flett. 

My Heart Fills With Happiness - TD Grade One Book Giveaway

My Heart Fills with Happiness focusses on finding the simple things in life that make us happy and was actually written to support the wellness of Indigenous children and families. I love that the story and the illustrations embrace the joys we typically associate with childhood but so often overlook in adulthood, such as walking barefoot on the grass, feeling the warmth of the sun on your cheeks, holding the hand of someone you love or dancing like nobody's watching. It's easy enough for early readers to enjoy and I know my grade one students will love reading the French version as well. The book will be an excellent conversation-starter as we reflect upon and discuss that which fills our hearts with happiness. Je suis content(e) quand je danse, joue avec mes amis, lit mon livre favori...

About the TD Grade One Book Giveaway

Working with the Canadian Children’s Book Centre, the TD Grade One Book Giveaway has  been designed to encourage literacy in young children and to promote a love of reading and passion for books. And thanks to this program, which first began in 2000, more than 9.5 million Canadian children’s books have been distributed to children nation-wide. It is part of The Ready Commitment, a multi-year program launched by TD last year that supports a variety of programs to promote children's literacy, such as the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, TD Summer Reading Club and more. TD is committed to giving youth access to reading programs at a young age, as early learning leads to the ability to succeed with confidence later in life.

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