Showing posts from 2018

Community Building through Mother Tongue Read Aloud

"“Mother Tongue language” isn’t about a day in a year, it’s about a lifetime of language. " - Eowyn Crisfield

As a part of our United Nations Week, I began a read-aloud program inviting parents to read aloud in their mother tongue to our student. This is my third year running the program which I do twice a year, once during UN Week and again during our Book Week.  Being an educator and having a love of teaching reading, I know the value of maintaining a students mother tongue. It is the foundation for a child's literacy learning journey.

The structure is fairly casual and simple, students are invited to listen to a story read by a parent during their recess. Teachers are sent a schedule of which languages will be featured during morning and afternoon recess, and they share it with their students.  I used a google form to invite parents to read about 2 weeks before the event and then a week before I set up a schedule, send confirmation emails and ensure there's a balanc…

My Thoughts on Implementing Digital Tools and Pedagogy

During my studies for my Masters of Education with a focus on technology, I have been looking at mobile learning and the pedagogies that are being developed to support m-learning in schools.

In my role, I often introduce new tools to teachers. My personal pedagogy was to follow Regie Routman's 'Optimal Learning Model' since I found as a classroom teacher who used the Reading and Writing Workshop in her classroom that it was a solid way to individualize instruction. Generally, I begin with a pilot program and gather teachers together to demonstrate the tool and if they are keen then we move ahead and get trial. In another, longer session we explore the tool further, co-plan some lessons and assessments as well as develop a survey or other tool to assess the impact the tool has on student learning. As we move forward, we co-teach lessons and then the guided practice happens amongst teachers and students, we learn together. The final stage is to set the students free and guid…

Genre Tasting Theme Book Week

“Teaching reading is not supposed to be quick and easy. It’s supposed to be about human connection. It’s one conversation at a time.” - Pernille Ripp
Authentic conversations with kids about what they are reading is critical in building comprehension skills as well as empathy and tolerance. Through conversation, kids make connections to themselves, other literature or events in our world. As a librarian, one of my favourite roles is promoting the love of reading, to value my students' choices and encourage them to select something to saviour for just the fun of it. Jennifer Gonzalez’s blog ‘Cult of Pedagogy’ highlighted a wonderful interview with reading expert Pernille Ripp where she discussed the importance of our children having the time to read and enjoy without feeling pressured to complete a reading log or make a project. For our small book week, we wanted our students to select books that were from a new genre. Our theme, ‘Library Alive’, was to encourage students to awaken t…

Note-Taking: Print vs. Digital

As a one to one iPad school, our students are certainly mobile learners and as educators, we are navigating the waters of what is best for our students in terms when should learning use digital tools vs. old school. From my latest dabblings into Twitter blogs such as Jennifer Gonzalez's fabulous post on note-taking where she expounds the virtues of sketch noting but also has a word of caution for us sailing the digital waters in that the research against digital note-taking is young. Her post is definitely worth reading and it has me reflecting on my own practice as a teacher librarian who over the last couple of weeks has taught both sketch note-taking and digital note-taking.

My recent exploration in a Twitter book club which is reading Maryanne Wolf's "Reader Come Home: The Reading Brain in the Digital World" provides an interesting insight in all the different ways as mature learners we are reading the text and taking notes. For myself, I'm using my phone to …

Organizing a Nationwide International School Reading Festival

Singing, collaboration and the thrill of competition is a winning combination for our international readers. Seeing students smile with pride at their accomplishments plus working with students from other schools makes all the effort of planning worthwhile. The power of the International School Librarian Network of Singapore (ISLN) made it all possible. Katie Day and Barb Reid hosted a session on the power of a good librarian network and an event such as the Readers Cup really highlights the level of collaboration and interaction.

This year's Readers Cup Festival had a number of components: book trivia quizzes, book cover competition, viewing book trailers and, what I feel was the most enlivening component, students from different schools mixing together to work together on book-related activities. Our books are based on our 'Red Dot Books' which are selected by teacher librarians in the ISLN and are a diverse set of books from authors from various countries as well as a di…

The Value of Book Week

After an action-packed, at least from my perspective, Book Week I began to wonder what is the value added? 

My Book Week included daily mother tongue read alouds by parents in two different locations in the school, 5 local author visits so that every grade level saw someone, mystery readers hosted by the facility and the traditional Character Day. Inside the library, there was a 'Genre Graph' to track students from K-12 favourite fiction genre and a 1 question survey to ask about genrifying them. Also in the K-3 library was a 'Wonder Wall' for questions and students could add a book recommendation to a padlet. The Gr.4-6 students could make recommendations on a padlet and use a variety of QR codes to watch student trailers and publisher created trailers. Our last big event was a competition for our book club groups in a Kahoot team showdown with about 70 kids. However, after all of this by Friday afternoon, I felt like Drew Daywalt's pink crayon, who I happened to d…