Friday, November 7, 2008

Oh, DEAR ... and so we read!

Thank you, Minister Bond.
Education Report: 2008 October 31

and this Gold Star is also for Steve Mulligan for
drive-by readings at FIVE schools
on National School Library Day
and for his on-going attentiveness to school libraries --

Thank you, Steve, from all district TLs.

Vancouver schools took part in DEAR on October 27 National School Library Day with enthusiasm. Our Trustees and BCSSTA office staff read at 11 am, Education Minister Bond read at 11 am, colleagues at Learning Services and MLST were observed reading and eating "School Libraries: The Heart of Literacy" chocolate bars , and staff at The Vancouver Sun read too.

October 28, The Vancouver Sun:

Here's a "snapshot" of what you could have observed in our schools:
  • Van Horne experienced a rare silence throughout the school
  • Henderson featured some readers dressed as favourite storybook characters
  • Trudeau readers with painted faces listening attentively as firefighters read to them
  • Tillicum's “the reading train” ran down the entire central hallway, complete with whistle stops and loads of book-talking

  • Mt Pleasant kicked off One Book, One Class for November and Steve Mulligan did two readings

  • Weir's guest readers included Maryann Kempthorne, Angela Brown, Gary Little, Denise North, Steve Mulligan, and VPL children's librarian, Noreen Ma

  • Carr students camped out and read in tents; Steve Mulligan appeared here too for a reading!
  • Moberly invited Wally Oppal; see the picture with Wally Oppal (see blog, October 27) in the blog archives for October 27
  • Gladstone has silent reading every morning; they read again in the afternoon and teachers were seen nibbling the same chocolate bars as were featured here in Learning Services and elsewhere (but then a student at Gladstone had designed them, so that made it okay to eat chocolate!)
  • Tupper students got their heads into the brand new school library books
  • Templeton stopped everything from 10:30 - 10:50 am, as agreed by Staff Committee, and it worked so well that a number of teachers will be incorporating a stop and read on a more regular basis

What's new?

Vancouver Children's Literature Roundtable Hycroft Event - November 12, 6-9 pm, 1489 Macrae Avenue, just east of 16th and Granville. Light refreshments after the presentations. Street parking only.

Special Guest Kathy Stinson plus BC authors and illustrators will be presenting their
new children's books

BCTLA Forum posting by Val H this week has generated a flurry of commentary. Read: "Flip This Library: School Libraries Need a Revolution/School libraries need a revolution, not evolution," by David Loertscher in School Library Journal, 11/1/2008. The article begs the question, so how might this look?

My new Australian friend, Patricia Carmichael, whom I met at the IASL Conference, is presently working on her PhD at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales. To see how this might look read a summary of a program that offers one version of a program that incorporates the notion of "learning commons" click here and scroll down to the last summary. Consider also that our local university libraries both have Learning Commons within their campus academic library programs.

James Henri suggested revolution to us in August; we need to focus on the teachers, he said, and if we see that the learning that takes place in school libraries is integrally tied to the needs of 21st century learners, we need to find ways that it can evolve with our leadership to better support the learning styles, experiences, and interests of our educational community, including teachers and students. We need to explore ways of building our programs on the "google" concept ... if they build it (the program, the curriculum, the learning landscapes), they will use it. What we have built needs to be carefully considered for nudging along the continuum or we risk being rendered obsolete.

Remember, we are at the start of a revolution and the outcome will be uncertain and it will be stressful along the way. But we most assuredly need to ask ourselves, is what we have been doing working? Is it the best way to serve our educational communities?

Multi-vendor Display and Chapters Workshop

This year's event seemed a great success. Those of us who enjoyed Chapters/Starbucks hospitality had a great opportunity to shop in "gaggles" and hone in on the real bargain-price items, as well as hot new reads for students. Maryann's workshop provided plenty of direction for program and collection building. There were more secondary resources than last year and will be more next year too. Wednesday seemed busier than Thursday, but everyone seemed to be very focussed and deeply occupied with that most challenging part of our job, shopping!

Workshop with Judith Comfort

A few of us "secondary types" spent late Thursday afternoon at Churchill with Coquitlam TL Judith Comfort exploring the possibilities of her approach to technology integration, a strategy she calls multi-level resource-based online learning. Click here and check out some of the Teaching Activities. The group is going to try some out together ... stay tuned for how we do. And thanks, Judith, for a very interesting afternoon. We were a keen audience.

7 from Greg Smith's Social Studies "Top Ten" List

Being Victorian. Welcome to Victoria BC circa 1858-1914! Visit this great new site with an innovative format and written for Social Studies

Green Learning. Comprehensive, fun and free lessons aligned to the BC curriculum and designed to help students participate in their own learning regarding today’s complex energy and environmental issues.

History of Quebec. Get to know La Belle Province a little better. This site has all the information plus great self scoring tests and tutorials.

History Wire. HW invites your perspectives, stories and opinions on the relevance of history in understanding current events, the importance of history education and much more.

Law Courts Education travels BC. The Law Courts Education Society of BC will hold 6 regional law workshops for teachers in early 2009. Kelowna, Prince George, Surrey, Coquitlam, Vancouver and Victoria. Contact Marylou Leung at or call 604-660-9874 to attend.

Online Publishing for Social Studies Teachers. Check out Judith Comfort’s site on why, what and how to publish as well as a portal to other great Social Studies resources.

Women in World History. This unique site is full of information and resources to help you learn about women’s history in a global context.

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