Friday, January 11, 2008

Happy New Year!

I have saved this link to as a reflective holiday greeting:
What is eaten in one week (by one family around the world) is for consideration in our own New Year’s planning or for use with social studies or social issues lessons.
I will be away from my desk on Tuesday and Wednesday next week. Yes, I am off to give a workshop in School District #6, Rocky Mountain, in Invermere, BC. I will be using our "Role and Responsibilities" document (sent to new and nearly-new TLs this week). For anyone else who may wish to review the scope and nature of the wonderful work you do, check this 6-page document in section 1 of your TL Handbook.

Heidi, Literacy Mentor here at the VSB, sends the following
clever “marketing” youtube link of interest for TLs.

Our first TL Studio Workshop of 2008 had 15 registrants but only 5 showed up. I hope that people just forgot and have not lost interest. Michele showed us all kinds of new “open source” resources like Froguts and Scratch, as well as what can be done with the Smartboard. We met John, the new Online Learning Consultant, resisted chocolate, and considered how we might use the new tools. Attendees submitted comments in response to my blog!

I hope you find you can respond to this blog by going to the end of this January 11 entry and clicking onto “Comments.” You can mark this as a favourite and come back to it at any time.

NOTE: A blog is an online diary – we discussed possible applications for Reader Response but the jury is out on educational applications for these. It is a Web 2.0 tool in that it is interactive. Where wikis are a tool that can be collaboratively developed, blogs are written by one person and responded to by others. In blogs, the first entry is the most recent. Older entries are “archived” or scrolled through. I am still learning how to do this and will be looking for how to make it searchable. But I did choose the background and video clips, post my photo taken from a window of the Bodleian Library in Oxford, and successfully enter the emails I sent you previously. Stop reading when it begins to feel as though you’ve seen this before!

Little Library in Malawi: I got a call this morning from Deanna to say thanks for the donations of really fine reading materials and supplies for the new library in Malawi. She was able to take some books with her and has just sent off 90 lbs more (with the help of a $450 community donation).


District Literacy Day, Feb. 8: Information will be in the schools next week. 34 workshops to choose from. Be sure to promote workshops with your colleagues, and check out the ones given by TLs.

District Technology Day, Feb. 8: Check the workshops for the Faces of Technology Conference 2008 online.


Don't forget to register for:

Wednesday, January 16, 2008, 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Prince of Wales Secondary Library, 2250 Eddington Drive (just north of 25th and west of Arbutus) with our David and presenter Dennis Staples, Education Specialist, EBSCO Publishing.
This is the last opportunity of the year to get first-hand answers from the company rep. We have asked Dennis to be prepared to "customize" his workshop for the questions and interests you have.

We need more sign-up for this session!

What Research Says About Improving the Literacy Achievements of Students of Diverse Backgrounds

Sponsored by BCLCIRA, this evening of professional development with Dr Kathryn Au will be held on Thursday, January 31, at the Italian Cultural Centre from 5 pm to 8:30 pm. For the registration fee of $55 (before Jan 17) and $65 (after Jan 17), you will have a full Italian dinner, an educational evening, and an opportunity to socialize with other literacy-minded educators.

Dr. Au, VP, International Reading Association and Dai Ho Chun Professor of Education at University of Hawaii, has authored numerous books and chapters on multicultural classrooms, diverse learners and effective literacy instruction for all students. Based on research on language and culture, Dr. Au will present evidence-based, practical instructional strategies that address the needs of all literacy learners.

Email Meredyth - – if this sounds like an evening for you:

Nick Glass, Founder and Principal of TeachingBooks,
makes a webinar offer

If you would be interested in attending a free web seminar, or if you think a group of our colleagues might like this, let me know. Glass writes, “This live training session would enable your librarians, reading teachers, and anyone in your district who uses books to learn directly from TeachingBooks staff about how this electronic resource supports their existing library and reading initiatives.”

He continues, “What we ask is that we have an audience. Your colleagues could be gathered in one place, spread out throughout the district, or a combination of the two. Webinar attendees need only a computer with Internet access and headphones or speakers …. The webinar would have value both live and beyond. We will record the seminar and provide you with a link to share the recording throughout your district.” Call Moira if you would like this set up.

From VPL and Hastings Library -- Teen Book Club and Palmistry for Teens

It’s back! Saturdays, 2:30 to 4:30 pm, Jan 19, Mar 1, Mar 29, Apr 26, May 24. It’s FREE. They provide the books and snacks. Registration is limited to 15 and has started already. Call 604-665-3959 to register or to get more information.

Or how about another exciting program, Palmistry for Teens, coming on Jan 26, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 pm. Again, registration has started. Limited to 15.

More Teen-focused workshops are anticipated. Says Karen Sharkey, Teen Services Librarian at the VPL: “We will be having a gaming program, a beauty bootcamp and a graphic novels workshop coming later in the spring and I'll keep you posted.”

Karen also thanks TLs in Vancouver for promoting the Teen Bookmark Contest. “We had over 200 entries and the 2 winners are both from Vancouver. I am working on finding an event to present them with their cheques and the big 4 foot bookmark that we give them with their art. If you have any suggestions about school events where we could do the presentation, that would be great! I am going to see if the city youth team has anything where we could do the presentation.” Stay tuned.

Vancouver Kidsbooks: Pre-Sale Event for Teachers and Teacher-librarians

Phyllis Simon sends her personal invitation:

"To all our wonderful teachers!! We invite you to our Annual Sale Teacher's Night Preview for fun, refreshments and first kick at our 20% off sale."

The Pre-Sale Evening will be held at all three stores (Broadway, Edgemont, and South Surrey) from 6:30 to 9:00 pm. RSVP 604-738-5335.

The Annual Sale with 20% of all stock and 30% off Christmas stock will run from Thursday Jan 17 to Sunday Jan 20.

Please promote this event … and come with teacher colleagues. Flyer sent by email.

NFB Learning Resources Catalogue:
Order by calling 1-800-267-7710

Lots of new titles on the environment, diversity, history, government, Language Arts, aboriginal studies, science and nature, media issues, teens, and more.

You can shop online at, search the free online study guides at, and know that NFB DVDs are cleared for classroom use and public performance where no entry fee is charged.

From Elizabeth Graves of ULS comes news of the January Blowout Sale:
January 14 - 19, 2008
Discounts up to 36% off on all Hardcovers (in house purchases only)

Extra bonuses include:
• A huge clearance section of 80% off titles
• 50% off selected French Books
• Free Shipping
• Lots of Reading Power titles in stock

Sale Hours:

Mon., Jan 14: 8:30am - 5:00pm; Tues., Jan 15: 8:30am - 5:00pm; Wed., Jan 16: 8:30am - 5:00pm; Thurs., Jan 17: 8:30am - 5:00pm; Fri., Jan 18: 8:30am - 4:00pm; Sat., Jan 19: 9:00am - 2:00pm (NOTE: Saturday opening)

101B - 3430 Brighton Avenue, Bunaby BC V5A 3H4
604-421-1154 or toll-free 1-877-853-1200

Elizabeth Hennessey Graves, Sales, BC Schools & Libraries
United Library Services, 101B 3430 Brighton Avenue, Burnaby, BC V5A 3H4
T: (604) 605-8926 F: (604) 605-8961 e:

Awesome Stories – The January issue

I know I’ve talked about this site before. The January Issue is available now. And there is a subject index , a separate section for learning tools such as animations, online games, and virtual field trips, and streaming audio recordings of their stories. You don’t have to load a player; just click on the green arrow at the top of each recorded chapter and off you go. Look for podcasts of stories soon. We have now got an academic membership using 39vsb as the password.

Writers In Electronic Residence Launches 20th Year
Jan. 14: Linking Canada's Writers with Canada's Schools

Imagine having Wayne Gretzky assess your stick work, or Elizabeth Baird test your butter tarts. Then imagine that their advice was part of a free exchange of ideas among other students, teachers, and the pros, culminating in everyone joining in a practice hockey game or sitting down to eat the final creation. This captures the reality of Writers In Electronic Residence, where the coaches are prominent Canadian writers, working online wth students and teachers in elementary, middle and secondary classrooms across Canada--Iqaluit to Toronto, Vancouver to St. John's.

WIER's winter term will open with its usual two-week "introductory period" on January 14, 2008. Space is available in each of WIER's online writing programs--elementary, middle school, and secondary school levels. The term will run until April 5.

Please visit for program information, student writing samples, author biographies and the like. Here's a quick link to WIER's registration FAXBACK FORM.
WIER is administered by the Canadian Education Association in alliance with OISE/UT.


From former TL Val, now Co-ordinator, Artists-in-Residence Program, here at the VSB:


This year celebrate BC’s 150th birthday using this new online learning resource: It provides a uniquely creative perspective on BC's social and economic history. Collaboratively developed by a TL and a singer/songwriter John McLachlan, Working Lives works well with the Social Studies 10 BC Resources unit. Historical figures are kept alive through the songs they inspired.

Each of the 10 songs can be downloaded. Archival photographs and pen and ink drawings give the songs a visual context, while background information and learning activities in a PDF format encourage students to actively engage with the website. Extension activities and extensive bibliographies enable further research. Working Lives was classroom tested during the development process.

To launch Working Lives as a classroom resource in BC schools, request one of the FREE CDs (limited number) from BCTF Lesson Aids: 604- 871-2180. A $5.00 charge for postage and handling will apply.


New Book The Evergreen Country: A Memoir of Viet-Nam
By Thuong Vuong-Riddick

Some of you may know Mimi, Settlement Worker in School (SWIS) at Churchill. Her sister Thuong Vuong-Riddick has just published her second book. Mimi has emailed me to say Chapters doesn’t have enough copies at the moment so you can contact Thuong directly with questions or ordering information. Five secondary schools have her first book of poems, Two Shores : poems = Deux Rives: poemes


If you haven’t looked at this resource, you should do. It caters to school age children and provides access to British Columbia historical documents, images, and other multimedia information in a format that they can relate to.

Archival documents (photos, newspaper clippings, drawings, paintings and pages from people’s journals etc.) are grouped into 11 collections that range from “Families in B.C. History” for grades K–1, “First Nations Art in B.C.” for grade 4 and “Women in B.C. History” for grade 11.

The Time Machine is the winner of various awards and “best-of” lists and received a five-star rating from the Encyclopedia Britannica Online.

And finally, this week …

A REMINDER: Sun/Province AFFIDAVIT WEEK IS COMING UP! Here's a suggestion from a TL colleague: Fill in every blank except the date (# of licences = the number of students in your school), photocopy it 6 times so you have enough to send in until June, then each month you only have to fill in the date and FAX as required.

New TL Directories have been sent out. Please replace the ones from the Fall. Some changes have been coming in. We will send these out by email so that you can make relevant changes on your print copy.

Have a great weekend!


Bookminder said...

Moira, this is a fantastic blog. You can make it searchable by adding tags to each posting. The tags act as keywords. There is field to enter them on the edit page of each posting. You'll see a search box at the top of the page on the left which viewers can use to locate information in your blog.
If you need further explanation just email me.
Lesley Edwards - Seycove Secondary, N.Van.

moira said...

Thanks, Lesley. Got it! That makes so much sense, and I have also figured out to post one blog per page. The divisions were hard to see and just scrolled interminably on and on! I'm likin' it!

Al Smith said...

Good luck with your new VSB TL blog! Good for you to try reaching out to teachers. I look forward to hearing more later....a few years ago our District purchased Firstclass for all students, tecahers and support services. Initially it was a nice email package but recently the bbs and web hosting side of it has shifted behaviour. We have district, PSA, and local school conferences that act like blogs in a way. People are better informed.

Your use of Blogger illustrates not only your current knowledge and skills but delivers a professional attitude to others in VSB. You are showing leadership. It also has the extra benefit of allowing outsiders to sneak peek once in awhile. Keep up the "Whooing".... :-)
Al Smith

Anonymous said...

Great for outsiders to see what is happening in Vancouver. Is the 'Roles and responsibilities' document available online?

moira said...

No, not online yet. We have one more step to go before we can "publish" it but I think I can safely say we will do so in February.