Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Great Reads!

At Learning 2.0 in Shanghai, I remember talking with a group of librarians about blogging, and a comment that stuck in my mind was, "What do I have to say that anyone wants to hear?" Ever since, I've been planning a beginning blogging for librarians session in my head about how to get started and all the things that librarians do have to say.

Enter the perfect starter blog for librarians: book recommendations. We do it all the time anyway, why not put it on a blog to share with others? Everyone appreciates a recommendation, it gets people talking and reading, and most of us love the beauty of book covers.

I've created a new blog called Great Reads! It's my way of communicating with students, teachers and parents about fabulous books I find.

Image above is from my newest FBA alphabet book, a gorgeous read for any age!

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Room With a View

As a librarian new to my school, I've been trying to find ways to collaborate with teachers by embedding 21st Century Literacy skills into their existing curriculum. We all know teachers are insanely busy, so finding something cool that doesn't become "one more thing" is crucial for me at this stage of collaboration.

Enter Room With a View, a fabulous worldwide project started by Jennifer Wagner. Our second grade classes do an Air and Weather unit, and so this project fits seamlessly. Classes from around the world take a picture each month of the view outside their classroom window. With this picture, we do a shared writing lesson describing the picture, what we see, what is happening with the weather, and any other observations.

One of our wonderful second grade teachers, Susan Souza, agreed to team teach the project with me this year, and it's my baby step into collaborating at a new school. Since we live in the tropics, we thought at first that our picture wouldn't change much, but we were wrong. All sorts of great noticing is going on, like what happens to the leaves on the trees in the heart of the rainy season. We are now connected with two other classes and planting the seeds of global conversations: one class in California and another in Wisconsin.

Check out our Bangkok View wiki. We'll update it each month of the school year.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Google Docs

Oh, the myriad of tools available on Google now! Just this school year, I have been introduced to the wonder of what is called a "Google Doc." It's a brilliant concept--a word document that all invited can see (you need a gmail account to do so)and everyone can also edit the document at the same time. With this feature, a group of people working on a document can edit from anywhere and save the changes, continually adding to the existing document that everyone sees.

Google docs can be found in the upper left-hand corner of your gmail account page. Click NEW to start the document and SHARE to invite the people in your group.