Saturday, September 27, 2008

The week that was...

I have, as I am sure you do, endless lists. This morning I have decided to tackle my neglected blog. I must say it is wonderful to have a long weekend! Maybe I can at least think about buying bulbs! I notice that the date of this blog is incorrect, try October 11th!
In the world of literacy these are busy times. We have been busily trying to get our new service delivery model into operation in our elementary schools, for one thing. Highlights of my week included explaining independence and the daily five and the five R's in a third grade class at Waverley and watching how quickly they "got" it) and a literacy meeting with a dedicated intermediate staff at Cavell. The latter proved that you can have a lot of fun meeting with your colleagues. In order for us to meet, their principal worked with ninety students. They were a bit worried for him but since he was once my students' amazing P.E. teacher I had perfect confidence.
A couple of weeks ago, we launched our first grade seven-high school book study this term on Guiding Readers Through Text (Second Edition) This is a great book actually for teachers grades four to twelve. In that discussion I gave our participants some useful on line resources for classroom teachers.
I will share a couple here. If you would like great lessons from the New York Times at all levels and a variety of subject matters go to this website. Great resources at the National Science Teachers' Association website.
If you need anything to do with Canada some great resources on the Government of Canada website. Another useful website for Canadians is CPAC in the classroom. And our own Vancouver Public Library has a wonderful site to find online resources. For local and Canadian issues in the news you can go to the Vancouver Sun
Looks like a good place to end this blog! Happy researching!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Still here and we were paid!

I swear this will be a short blog to be worked on later! I have been cleaning out my e-mail and discovering interesting things that I had missed. For instance, I just found another good blog on current children's literature, The Joy of Children's Literature. Through the blog, I found out about a new free online science magazine which is great for children k-5, Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears.
Several people have asked me for suggestions for beginning of the year read alouds. I have lists but I always like to go with what is new-what kids might not have yet read. One good approach is to prowl around Kidsbooks. For those of you on the east side (well at least Main Street) is that there is a new children's bookstore, Once Upon a Huckleberry Bush, between 28th and 29th near the liquor store on the east side of Main. Since I live nearby and know how many children there are in the neighbourhood this is really exciting. I am also sending a compliment to Hagers' Books in Kerrisdale for giving me good leads on adult books and they also have a good children's books section. I so appreciate our independent book sellers and love supporting them. My current adult read is DeNiro's Game by Rawi Hage. I love it. Set in Beirut during the civil war it is a total page turner but gives a great picture of what life must be like in such a setting. The author, now living in Canada, will be speaking at the International Writers' Festival in October.
I have to go to work and I haven't even told you about my life as a spelling judge! Maybe I will just let you know when I appear on national TV for literally two seconds! As fun as it was, I am not ready to give up my day job for a career in television. Happy third week!

Monday, September 8, 2008

International Literacy Day

International Literacy Day always sneaks up on me! This year my first e-mail of the day congratulated me for being quoted in the Vancouver Sun. When I skimmed the paper there was a piece by children's writer, Melanie Jackson, who also works for the BC School Trustees' Association who had interviewed me last June for a piece for the BC School Trustees' Association newsletter so surprise, surprise! Here's the link!
One of my friends e-mailed me Friday, "the classes are organized and now the real work begins..." I have to say I always loved the beginning of the year, like a new fresh slate, figuring out all those new personalities and starting everything new with so many possibilities... And of course each year I was going to get it right this time!
And a bit more on International Literacy Day, if you are interested in learning about how students in Africa working collaboratively with students in Washington D.C. find out about Reading Across Continents- Connecting Students and Teachers around the World via Technology and Literature.
Here's a great quote from one of the authors involved in this project, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Nigerian author of Purple Hibiscus) "It is important that we recognize the equal humanity with the people in whom we share this world. It is important for us to conceive a world in which different is just different and not better or worse. I am obviously biased but I think that Literature is the best way to combat this stereotype, to come closer to a common idea of humanity".