Thursday, 30 April 2009

A Wealth of Books

Somehow I stumbled upon Esme Raji Codell's website the other night, and it's become my new favorite read for book recommendations. The amount of work she has put into these lists of favorite fiction, picture books and others is astounding, and I spent some time today pulling some of them off my shelves for future read-alouds.

Also thinking I must read her account of being a first-year teacher, Educating Esme. And next on my list is her stories from fifth grade, Sing a Song of Tuna Fish.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

TechTrain 2010

I'm bubbling with excitement here in Bangkok. My fab teaching partner, Kim, and I have just been approved to host an EARCOS weekend workshop that we are calling TechTrain 2010: Beginners Learning Technology Together.

The idea came from a conversation about how we didn't know of a workshop that was designed solely for beginning tech users. This area is a huge interest of mine, and I love helping newbies with questions and going super slow to give them the confidence they need to begin embedding digital literacy skills in their existing curriculum. Kim and I talked about the possibility of putting something together in the Asian region, and before we knew it, we had submitted a proposal to EARCOS, got accepted and Kim created this snazzy wiki (if I do say so myself).

Our main goal is to go slow and give individual attention to the participants. We want everyone to increase their confidence and leave with some concrete tools under their belt: their own RSS page up and ready, perhaps their first blog post, a sample Voicethread, and ideas of how to use these tools in the classroom.

Feel free to pass on the TechTrain 2010 info to any colleagues you feel might benefit from this workshop, even though the wiki is still a work in progress. The workshop is scheduled for January 30-31, 2010. Can you tell we are excited since we began planning today for a workshop that isn't for another 9 months?

original image by Dan Kamminga

Sunday, 5 April 2009

FBA Poetry

As April in Poetry Month, it's the perfect excuse to really take a look at what is in the collection I inherited this year. One of my favorites is Love to Langston by Tony Medina, a gorgeous compilation of Hughes' poems that are appropriate for upper elementary. An added bonus is a short summary of the history of each poem, which is perfect for teaching points. I can hardly pick my favorite, but this one stands out in the crowd.

A Bag of Oranges by Langston Hughes

A bag of oranges is
What she brings me

With a great big dimply grin
Sweet as a georgia peach
Come to see me on my death bed

With her hand outstretched
Palm up, orange big and bright as the sun
As if death to her is a new day
She brings the sun!

That child
Makes the pain of my illness
Go away
This day

Dear sweet Alice Walker
One of my favorite young writers
Brings me a bag of oranges

Brings me oranges like
A bag of sun

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Just Cool

It would be weird to wallpaper the library with this, right? Very cool.