Friday, November 14, 2008

Celebrate Canadian Children's Book Week!

Check the CCBC website for resources that encourage, promote and support the reading, writing, illustrating and publishing of Canadian books for young readers. Programs, publications, and resources help teachers, librarians, booksellers and parents selet good books for young readers. Click here for resources for use in schools or at home. Shall we order the CCBC publication Best Books for Kids and Teens: Annual, 2008 ($5.95)? This guide contains over 425 recommended books for kids and teens ages 0-18 deemed the very best books Canada has to offer by expert committees of educators, booksellers, school and public librarians from across Canada, so every book included in the guide is guaranteed to be a great read!

Considering an author visit to extend the "book celebrations"? Check the list of local authors at CWILLBC (Children's Writers and Illustrators of BC) -- under H, you will find our Nancy Hundal, author of nine picture books and soon to publish her first chapter book, and Glen Huser, my neighbour and Governor-General Award winning author of Stitches and more.

More Professional and Practical Resources
Journey back in time with The Vancouver Sun . On Wednesday Nov 19th check the feature "An Immigrant's Journey: 150 years of Newcomers to B.C." and join in celebrating BC’s birthday by engaging your students with articles, photos and video from the past 150 years.
Have you checked out the Newspaper Resources on our Databases page of the Webcat, yet? These are worth sharing with your teacher colleagues.

Ministry-provided BC150 Resources are available online -- website BC Education: The Story of the One-Room Schoolhouse; Far West: The Story of British Columbia Teacher's Guide (pdf) and text; The Rush to BC: A Social Studies Resource Teacher's Guide and Student Activities; BC History in Action: A Guide to Teaching History through Drama (pdf) K-7 and 8-12.

Shall we Bulk Buy?
Vancouver: Stories of a City, by Lisa Smedman, published by The Courier. $47.20, or multiple book order deal available. More than 300 pages with historic photos, maps, and illustrations of the history of our city, neighbourhood by neighbourhood.

New Resource for Teaching Research in the Digital Age

Meredyth, ever watchful for resources that work in school libraries to promote the multiliteracies, including information literacy, brought this to my attention. I hope to have a copy for preview by Monday; Meredyth's disappeared before I could grab it. My reviewing question will be, Would this make a nice Christmas gift for school libraries? Being a huge fan of Toronto-based Koechlin and Zwaan (who often work with American school library researcher at San Jose State, David Loertscher), I can't help but think so, but I would like to check that it works for all grades first. You can check this new publication description (from Pembroke Publishing online catalogue):

BUILDING INFO SMARTS: How to work with all kinds of information and make it your own by Carol Koechlin & Sandi Zwaan.(Pages: 32 ISBN: 9781551382265 Price: $ 12.95). The online catalogue describes this as an "innovative flip book [that] shows students how to identify their learning style as they build important information literacy skills. The book explores strategies learners need to be successful when working with digital media, as well as global and more traditional literacies. Students will investigate effective strategies for finding and using all kinds of information and making it their own from reading books and analyzing a movie to working on a research project. As they work with data that they gather, students are encouraged to build personal understanding so their projects reflect original thought. The book is committed to nurturing confident learners who go beyond mere retelling of information and focus on a deeper understanding of the information they experience."


"How Canada Came to Be" CD from Rhonda Draper, SD#23 Kelowna, Governor General's Teaching Award winner for the Teaching of Canadian History. This CD, the story of our country through song and oratory, includes 14 folk songs representing the many regions and eras of Canada's history. You can order this for $20.00, including tax; S/H, add $7.00. As well, a teacher's resource package ordered for $15. Rhonda is a music specialist, children's performer, and recording artist. Order directly: Might your social studies teachers be interested in this? Suitable for grades 3-6 and younger children like the songs.


Evaluating, Selecting, and Managing Resources: A Guide (revised 2008) replaces the previous version (last revised in 2002) and has been specifically revised to include the role of ERAC in evaluating resources for districts. This document articulates the current criteria for resource selection in schools, the role of teacher-librarians as site-based resource experts, and the role of the centralized media and library services and personnel in district resource management processes. It's long and full of forms but it would be well worth your while to review it yourself and to make an appointment to review this with your administrator and staff (but do make a point to see pages 61, 62, and Appendix 10).


Interesting Readings:

Edutopia article: Google for Educators -- The Best Features for Busy Educators by Sara Ring

Educational Leadership (Nov 2008) article: Footprints in the Digital Age by Will Richardson


The Latest From The Critical Thinking Consortium:

Interested in a repertoire of thinking concepts and strategies to improve the ability of students Grades 5 to 10 to think critically about a variety of topics? Download the inaugural issue of "Tools for Thought" from TC Squared. Let me know what you think. Is this something your school might be interested in purchasing?


2009 Canada-Wide Virtual Science Fair: Connecting Scientific Minds from Coast to Coast. Here you will find an annual online science and technology contest open to all Canadian students in grades K-12. This year there will be special awards for Going Green. Share this with the keenest science teachers in your schools.


Find the right video for what you are planning to teach on The Futures Channel: Connecting Learning to the Real World. It's free videostreaming and it's worth looking through their collection.

ALA's Great Websites for Kids: The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association, has added Web sites this fall to Great Web Sites for Kids, its online resource containing hundreds of links to commendable Web sites for children. "Sites must stand up to an evaluation and voting process by the committee before being deemed ‘great’ and added to the GWS page.”


VPL Events of Interest:

  • Alice MacKay Room, Lower Level, Central Branch, 7:30 to 9:00 pm, November 20: Stephen Hume presents his book, Simon Fraser: In Search of Modern British Columbia. Journalist and poet Hume followed in Fraser's footsteps and canoe wake for four years.
  • Alice MacKay Room, Lower Level, Central Branch, 7:00 to 9:00 pm, December 12: City Reflections: 1907 - Vancouver - 2007: Join the Vancouver Historical Society in viewing Vancouver's earliest surviving film, taken from a moving streetcar in 1907. The film has now been replicated 100 years later. The viewing will be followed by a question and answer session.

Kidsbooks Event Features Adrienne Gear

There is a group of TLs going to Adrienne's Book Launch at Kidsbooks on Broadway, Monday, November 17, 7 - 9 pm. Why not come along for the event.


The Children’s Literature Roundtables of Canada have announced the 2008 INFORMATION BOOK AWARD for excellence in Canadian non-fiction aimed at informing, inspiring and connecting young readers from coast to coast. The 2008 Information Book Award of $1000 will be presented on February 28, 2009, at the Vancouver Children’s Literature Roundtable Serendipity Conference.

WINNER: One Well: The Story of Water on Earth by Rochelle Strauss, illustrated by Rosemary Woods (Kids Can Press)

HONOUR BOOK: Carnation, Lily, Lily Rose: The Story of a Painting by Hugh Brewster, paintings by John Singer Sargent (Kids Can Press)

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