Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Field Notes

  • From Pat and Celia: News they were the lucky winners of $500 worth of books, a prize from Rogers Chocolates and the BC Book Prize group. Check out the photo of Pat and Celia with a giant cheque!
  • From Steve, Angela, and ME here at the "mother ship": Look for packages in the mail, if you are an elementary or annex TL, with a That's a Family DVD and Teacher Guide; elementary TLs will also find a book entitled The Misfits.

  • From Meredyth, one "cubby" over, on the window side, Floor 4: [from the International Reading Association and the US National Council of Teachers of English] has just put up its new reading resource called Learning Beyond the Classroom, described as "a site designed to help children and teens continue to build their literacy learning outside of school, offers activities for children ages 4 to 18, as well as booklists, reading logs, book review podcasts, and best practice videos to help caregivers and tutors make the most of summer reading and writing opportunities."

  • From Alan Z: Parents can access All the Right Type cheaply for student home use. There is a $12 home user download price.
  • From moi: The "hybrid" Google Tools after-school workshop was attended by over 20 educators, more teachers than TLs, some elementary, some secondary. Alan Z, David, and I co-presented ... well, Alan and David did most of the presenting. I did a little show-and-tell and the organizing, promoting, and delivering of food. It was a great session.

    Part 2 is May 21 at Kerrisdale and will feature the collaborative capacity of Google's applications and tools. Homework: Find Waldo atop a building in Vancouver, using Google Earth (but before you spend too much time on this, the maps have probably not been updated since when Waldo was painted by a local artist). Also, create your own iGoogle. Sign up for gmail. Check out Tools for Educators, including Page Creator, Earth, Picasa, iGoogle, and Notebook.

    Here's my Poetry Notebook; it's an annotated bookmarking site with organizational capacities. The opening paragraph explains Google Notebook. The categories of poetry sites are found in the lefthand sidebar. It can be "published" (as this is) or open only to invitees. Nice possibilities for having students collect "websites" and construct projects.

  • From Sylvia Z: The first completed order form for BC Books for Vancouver Kids, joyfully submitted! Way to go, girl!
  • From Gwen: Word that Moberly is buying a cow ... for a village in Uganda. It's true, and it all began with a collaboratively developed Global Issues unit that incorporated resource-based inquiry in the school library. Amazing!

  • From Webbits: Study the Earth using Digital Library for Earth Sysem Education, an easy-to-search site with "electronic materials for both teachers and learners, such as lesson plans, maps, images, data sets, visualizations, assessment activities, curriculum, online courses, and much more" in the area of the study of the Earth
  • From our unretiring Karen C: Susan Juby grew up in Smithers, BC, and is the author of the popular and multi-award winning Alice books: Alice, I Think; Miss Smithers; and Alice MacLeod, Realist at Last. They were adapted into a television series which aired on CTV and the Comedy Network. Her new novel will be released in September 2007. Susan Juby's course, Writing for Children and Young Adults, is July 14th to 18th.

    From the UBC website: "Join Susan Juby, the popular author of the Alice series, for this intensive workshop. This writing workshop will inspire you to start or complete your own work and will teach you how to understand the components of successful children’s books. Guest speakers including a publisher, an illustrator and a children’s literature professor will share their expertise in what will prove to be an informative and enjoyable week in the land of imagination. " For those of you who didn't hear Susan speak at the VPL or at the BCTLA Conference, she's a dynamic and engaging presenter ... I bet this class will be loads of fun.
  • There are also some other courses worth considering, including spring session evening courses - Children's Book Workshop and Children's book Illustration among others. Check out the UBC Writing Centre course descriptions.
  • From Sarah Bagshaw, Web Manager, Vancouver Kidsbooks: "We are hosting a Mo Willems event. He is the author of Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus and Knuffle Bunny picture books. This will be a great event for all teacher/librarians in elementary schools as these books are hilarious read alouds for the primary grades. This event is going to sell out -- it's on Friday, April 25, 6:30pm, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Gymnasium, 2550 Camosun @ 10th Ave. Tickets are $5.00; everyone attending has to have a ticket and they must be purchased before the event. For more information, see Kidsbooks' Events page.
  • From Amanda Holland: "Journey through the pages of time. The Province Newspaper published its first edition on March 26, 1898. To celebrate our 110-year anniversary, we're providing an historic front page from our archives on every day we publish until the end of 2008. You can download the page and see it just as it appeared on the day it hit newsstands. On some pages, particularly older ones, the text may be slightly difficult to read. We've done our best to make it readable. If you have trouble, try zooming in close using Adobe Reader. Please check back every Sunday through Friday for a new page to download."
  • From Carol H, busy Kitchener weeder: I have been weeding ... but as I do [it, I see] how behind we have all got, partly I'm sure for not wanting empty shelves. Today I just deleted Cybersurfer the Owl Internet Guide for Kids, which I'm embarrassed to say has a 1996 publication date. But the real horror is that 66 schools still have this in their collection.

    Here's a weeding suggestion or two -- have a look at the time-sensitive areas of your collection and at least weed those. Some books have just lost all their relevance. As you delete, you will see the circulation records of that item for other schools. Many times the number is 0 or 1. Try running an IGE for "last CKOs prior to" to get an idea. As you catch these embarrassing items, post the information to the email as a "Weed Alert"!
  • Finally, from Glenys at Tupper: Thanks for the lovely note about this blog which made my week and nicely offset the tooth I broke on a late-night snack of Grape Nuts! I will endure the drills and needles more readily knowing that the blog is read and appreciated. Thanks again, Glenys.
  • The Comments feature is available for you to post to this blog if you have a gmail address. As those who attended this week's Google Tools workshop saw, gmail is the key to a great little system of online applications and tools. Get yours now.

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