A Curation of Children’s Literature

I would describe my reading selection scheme as “eclectic” at best, so the idea of putting together a “strategic collection of 15 works” fills me with a degree of anxiousness. I found approaching this task daunting and troubling. I am far more used to being approached by colleagues or students and have them inquire about books and resources that will help for “blank.” From that, I have no trouble pulling together a plethora of titles that would help them accomplish their task.

The other selection criteria that I have typically used, as a teacher-librarian, has been to select books that have recently come into our library. While the vast majority are selected by the library team, we take requests too. Being informed and up to date on the books on our shelves is very important to me as a literacy advocate, as forming that trusting relationship with readers, wanna-be readers and “mandatory, this is for silent reading in class” readers is essential to have patrons come back to the library and utilize our space, for book selection and other activities.

Continue reading

Final Vision of the Tech-Sum Being Greater Than Its Parts

I will not lie, putting this together has been challenging. Considering where I started, a goodly portion of developing a final vision, specifically for the incorporation of technology, for our school library learning commons (SLLC) hinges on a great many factors. Not the least of which is developing a leadership plan for incorporating technology and taking steps to ensure that it is implemented effectively. No matter how glossy or great technology or its applications are, if no one is interested in using it, it goes nowhere.

Our school has really had consistent internet for a few years. Until very recently, teachers were hard-lining into the network via Ethernet cords into their district issued laptops for the hopes that they would get a consistent connection. Wireless was not even a thing worth considering until they upped the connections through the school and each classroom got its own node, with the SLLC getting two. So, it is only now, with consistent internet and Wi-Fi capacity that I really think that we can implement some of the technology that will make our learning commons and school more effective in what it is supposed to deliver. Continue reading

Warren’s Story

This year, I’ve tried to make more of an effort to model assignments in the classroom, particularly the presentation style assignments. As comfortable as the majority of my seniors are with presenting in front of each other, they have developed the safe and true method of speaking in front of a slide presentation. This has them relying on an oral essay style delivery with slides that are there to give the half interested members of the audience someplace other than the presenter to look.

With a bit of creativity, presenters can say more with some well crafted implications than they would otherwise be able through plain language. What’s more is that for the IB students, providing a creative outlet should be seen as therapeutic, giving them a break from straight up academics. Continue reading

Fostering Reading Cultures in Schools

I have been at the profession for a lot of years and I sometimes feel that I am no closer to figuring out how to get kids to read than when I started. What I do feel is that I have developed a better sense and explanation as to why we should read, especially as I let go of my snobby notion that only certain types of literature constitute viable reading material.

It was on the hunt of trying to communicate the answer to the question “why do we have to take English?” inevitably posed by a frustrated student, that I came across this video series hosted by John Greene, yes that John Greene. Though aimed at the study of literature, the reasons behind reading can certainly be more broadly applied. Continue reading

Well, I’m Back

In writing this I am in utter disbelief that it has been over five years since my last, true post. The shock was so much, in fact, that I pulled a couple of book reviews that I pasted up on another site that I was contributing to.

I am encouraged to turn a corner with this blog and incorporate more of my professional life into it. Well, through the schooling I’m doing, I am encouraged to bring my professional life into this blog. Currently, I am enrolled in UBC’s teacher-librarian diploma program and while our instructor has is desirous of use utilizing a blog to reflect upon and communicate our thoughts and learning of the material, it is probably about time that I admit what I have known for a while now; I love thinking, talking and writing about aspects about my profession. I feel as though I have lost myself in efforts to separate personal from professional in cyberspace by spreading the applications to thin and loosing focus between multiple forums, blogs, tweets and accounts in an attempt to facilitate my multifaceted personality. Continue reading