Tuesday, February 28, 2006

EDSOR Before the State of Emergency

As a way to comemorate the historic People Power of 1986, the four schools in the EDSA-Ortigas junction convene every year. This year, Xavier School was host and as "punong abala", the FACAMPA of the school concocted a mass, a talk by Bishop Tagle and a concert for everyone to remember the heroic leadership of the Filipino.

Here is the EDSOR (EDSA-ORTIGAS Consortium) in pictures -


Liza?! We're all pointing at our heads!


Do we need an EDSOR assembly to complete the team?


The young and the restless (no rest at all)...


At the concert: Star in a Million finalist, Mabel sings with and Teacher Karen, Xavier School Prep teacher.


Edu Manzano did a very good hosting job. Aren't all La Salle alum blessed with the gift of gab? Now here is the spawn of Gary V. : Gabby V.


Dr. "Tenor" reminded all of us to be proud of our Pinoy heritage and culture.


Lovely ballerinas! Like doves flying!


Apat na sikat ng EDSOR schools - Fr. Johnny Go(Xavier), Bro. Bernie Oca (La salle) Ms. Rosa Basas (Poveda) and Sis. Dina (ICA)

ICA was generous enough to have us use their impressive theatre-gym. The event was held last February 23, 2006. That night, there was a failed coup. The morning after, school was suspended and the nation is at a state of emergency.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Student Services vs. Academic Program

To see where school libraries fall in the organizational flow chart of a school is a more interesting matter to me as an accreditor than the services and programs that it provides the community. I often start not by reading the self survey report, but by reading the organizational flow chart. From here, I can draw conclusions at how the school values and percieves its school library. I always get an impression on the role of the school library in the translation of the school's VMG when I read it. Most often, the problems and low evaluation of school library services and programs spring forth from this management scheme.

So far, most of the schools I've been to for accreditation place their school librray under Students Services. A few school libraries belong to the Academic Program. What is the difference?

Let me first identify the services or departments under Student Services. These are, Guidance and Counseling, Food and Health Services, meaning the canteen and the clinic, Student Discipline and Student Activities which are clubs and non-acedemic offerings of the school. The library often finds itself in this group based on the belief that the primary clients of school libraries are students.

True. I could not argue more. But, when a library proclaims that it supports the total formation of the student and the achievement of academic exelence, the library is not solely a service department for students. Like it or not, school libraries dabble on academic functions much like any subject or content area department. Now this is the reason why there are a few librarians who report directly to the school principal or the academic coordinator.

As an accreditor, I respect the organizational chart. My next step is to go beyond the rules and confines of the flow chart and see how the library is providing services to teachers and students. Because, even as it is classified under Student Services, librarians must assume the role of a teacher to better services for students. I look into the basic programs that it offers, the collection's depth and breadth versus the population, and how the staff is maximized to attain departmemtal and school wide goals.

I asked my chairman one time about this issue and she was wise enough to tell me that as long as the school library functions fully well for the community it serves, it does not matter where it is categorized. I have my own beliefs much as I find wisdom in her words.

(To be continued...)

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

PBBY Website

The PBBY Website is taking form. I'm just as excited as everyone else in the board since an online resource on PBBY is long overdue. After 22 years of existence, it will soon go online - a move that will help build greater awareness to the cause and advocacy that PBBY has fought and campaigned for.

Liza Flores' web design is cool, neat and nice. For a sampling of her work, click here. It is still a work in progress and I have some comments to make regarding content. But as far as design goes, I'm pretty satisfied. Drop me a comment if you have something to contribute and suggest. I'd appreciate it since it's feedback from potential users of the website.

On another interesting note, as I was editing a PBBY project last night, I stumbled upon a familiar name in the original statutes of PBBY. It surprised me, really, to find her name and signature in the last page of the statutes. Linda Nietes turns out to be one of PBBY's founding members. I met her online a couple of months back in Filipino Librarians, a Google egroup for Filipino librarians, their friends and supporters of Philippine libraries in particular.

Small world it is.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Happy Birthday, Filipino Librarian!

Wonder where I've been? Just around. Check my personal blog for the details. Nothing controversial or serious, but nevertheless, interesting.

So I'm putting aside my PAASCU-related post to greet Von Totanes congratulations. His blog, Filipino Librarian turned one year last February 18. Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!

Von's been successful at improving the image of librarians not only locally, but globally as well. His blog is a very effective medium to promote to the Philippines and to the world that librarians are dynamic professionals. Aside from this, his blog has given many readers, Filipinos particularly, new perspectives about the profession. His postings are not only informational but entertaining too. Because of this, he has earned the readership of Pinoy celebrity bloggers like Sassy Lawyer, MLQ III and Rickey Yaneza.

On a personal note, I will forever be grateful for Von because he gave me the inspiration to blog about school librarianship when I was stricken with the trepidation to do so. As I once posted in The Coffee Goddess, he is one of my four blogger idols. At that time, Scott of American Idol Season 4 landed a slot at the final four of the competition. When Von, read my post, he gave a comment. He was glad, but hoped that he was not the Scott among the four.

Well Von, should you blog hop this way of the blogosphere, I reassure you that there is no Scott in the list of my blogger idols, and each of you I hold with great respect. More power to you and God bless!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Evaluating Folktale for Children to Read

I came across this wonderful book on Children's Literature in the library of UP ILIS. It's written by Dianne Mitchell and as far as coverage is concerned, it is very comprehensive. Each genre of Children's Literature is identified - from realistic fiction to fantasy; concept books to biography. Add to that are the elements to evaluating a particular genre. Since I had a recent brush with a prominent publisher on folktale, I thought of posting the nature or characteristics that folk literature embody.

Folk literature reflect a people's culture and its perspective of the world.
1. It is a literature where a reader encounters the source of power in nature and in the world;
2. It contains a people's ethical codes and values;
3. Heroic images and roles of male and female are presented in folk literature;
4. It reveals how animals, nature and earth elements are regarded by a group of people or culture;
5. It offers the reader or listener assumptions about the world;
6. It is a source of wisdom;
7. It is a place of spirituality;
8. It reflects how a race or culture give importance to the accumulation of materials possession;
9. It emphasizes the beauty of the world, of music and movement.

If I may add the tenth -

10. Folk literature traces its origins in oral traditions. It is meant to be told and heard.

Should a folk tale find its way to the printed format, it should be something that is pleasing to the ear. I've encountered and read many folk tales that are very prosaic. I suppose these are not written for children. And that, the purpose of
publishing them is for posterity. Given these qualities of the folk literature, chidlren deserve to read and hear more of these kind that gives them insights to different world views and a rediscovery of their own culture.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Lesson Plan : Information Literacy using the Big 6 Model

Information Literacy Skills
Grade 6 (heterogenous)
February 10 – 13, 2006

I. Context
A. Objectives
1. Review of the Big 6 Model
2. Follow steps 1 – 5 as applied to a Reading project (Compare and Contrast, Venn Diagram of selected topics from grade level novel – The Watsons Go To Birmingham)
3. Use references in completing the Reading project
4. Cite sources used as references for the project

B. Topic
Day 1 – Review of Big 6 Model
Day 2 – Hands on activity – application of the Big 6 model to Reading project

C. Resources
Basic print references (encyclopedia, almanacs); biographies; online resources (big 6 website and online drills); PowerPoint Presentation; Computers

D. Time Frame
Two meetings – February 10 and 13, 2006

II. Learning Experience
A. Prelection
Solve the puzzle - Big 6 Puzzle
*Students do the puzzle online in 5 minutes.

B. Discussion
1. Library Teacher provides a review of the Big 6 Model - What are the six steps in the Big 6?
2. Individual work – students read the definition and the activities in each step - Further Reading on te Big 6
3. After reading, students answer the online quiz - Big 6 Online quiz

Group Work
• The class will be divided in 5 groups.
• Each group will have a topic to work on. The topic assigned to them is in preparation to the class’ Reading project.
• With the library teacher’s help, students identify the tasks to be done (step 1-2)
• Instructions (to complete step 3) :
a. Assign a leader, a secretary and reporter
b. Use the simplified Big 6 (Super 3) handout to guide you in completing steps 1-3 of the Big 6 Model
c. In your notebook, write your answers to the questions in the handout
d. After answering the questions, move to step 3 – Location and Access. Identify all the sources of information that you can use.

5. Library teacher recommends print and online sources for the project.

Day 2 – Continuation of Steps 4 – 5 / Hands on
*Reading teacher will facilitate on day 2.

C. Evaluation
Hand out of finished project and answers from group work will be graded.

III. Reflection
What problems and difficulties did you encounter working with your group mates?
How did you solve these problems?
How else can you use or apply the Big 6 Model?

IV. Action
Use of the Big 6 Model in other activities and assignment sin the content areas.

*This is a lesson plan following the Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm as espoused by Jesuit basic education schools.

Wednesday, February 8, 2006

Kids Lit

I discovered that my blog was featured in Kids Lit. It's a blog maintained by Tasha Saecker, director of Caestecker Public Library of Wisconsin. She's got some good things to say about SLIA. Read it here.

You may also want to check out the website of the Caestecker Public Library. There is an engaging e-book about libraries. You can view it online or download for free.

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

Reading & Borrowing Graphic Novels

While we're still on the launching of our graphic novels collection, we've came up with guidelines to facilitate the reading and borrowing of graphic novels. They are for "room use" only but can be borrowed overnight.

Here’s how to get one!

1. Graphic Novels are available for Grades 5 to 7 students ONLY.
2. Graphic Novels can only be borrowed and read in the LRC during recess, lunch break, and after dismissal.
3. Library Card is needed in borrowing the graphic novels.
4. Ask the LRC Staff for a copy, sign the card, and leave your library card at the Circulation Desk.
5. After reading, return the book at the Circulation Desk and claim your library card.

Last February 6, 2006, Monday, our acquisitions librarian went to Fully Booked and Power Books and did some selecting. I saw the graphic novels for acquisition this morning and they're spankingly cool! I can't wait to review and read the Encyclopedia of Superheroes. It features the more popular DC Superheroes, their history and ultimate nemesis. Ah...the perks of being a school librarian!

Friday, February 3, 2006

Comics and Graphic Novels in the School Library

The GS Learning Resource Center, in collaboration with the Reading and Language Department, formally launched its graphic novels collection last Thursday and Friday, January 26-27, 2006 at the Angelo King Multi Purpose Center to grades 5, 6 and 7 students. The launching was a talk-and-demo program that lasted for, more or less, two hours.

Students in the intermediate level well surprisingly participative from start to finish. They asked sensible and interesting questions during the open forum and were receptive to the resource persons. They clapped at a novel idea or a fresh concept; laughed at the jokes and funny anecdotes; and showed appreciation and courtesy by behaving well enough during the whole program. The activity was, likewise, well received by teachers in Unit 3. Recognizing the importance of providing a variety of reading materials and well selected learning resources for grade school students, Mrs. Ditas Dairo, GS Principal, and Mrs. Estrelle Nabua, Asst. Principal for Unit 3, gave their all out support.

In their closing and opening remarks respectively, they emphasized the relevance of reading in this time and age of technology. Mrs. Dairo pointed out the role that teachers and librarians play in helping students become critical readers and users of information taken from books, graphic novels and other forms of media. She extended her gratitude to the guest speakers, Atty. Andrew Fornier (’97), lawyer and comic book collector, Mr. Dean Alfar, businessman and multi awarded writer, and Mr. Elbert Or, illustrator and comic book creator, for willingly accepting the school’s invitation. Their presence in the event makes them partners in the advocacy of modeling good reading habits. Indeed, without them, the launching would not have been successful. The GS LRC was fortunate that they accepted the request to speak among young boys about comics, reading and creating graphic novels. All three gentlemen generously shared their time despite their busy schedules.

Atty. Fornier could not help but feel lucky for this current crop of grade school students. The library did not have graphic novels and comic books (back then, there were some issues of Tin Tin and Lao Fu Tsu, but these were not enough to satiate his reading apetite) when he was still studying in Xavier School. Mr. Alfar and Mr. Or, collaborators in the production of Project Hero, Siglo Freedom and Siglo Passion, were impressed on the GS LRC’s brave decision to include comics and graphic novels in its collection.

It would be good to note that the whole experience was symbiotic. The intermediate students are just as blessed to learn from Atty. Fornier, a Xaverian, that his search for good stories led him to appreciate not only the written word, but the powerful ideas, new information, and the strength and flaws of human nature that are all found in the images and visual metaphors of graphic novels. If Mr. Alfar and Mr. Or were impressed, so were the students, faculty and staff who witnessed them in unleashing their honed talents in writing and illustrating. They presented new perspectives and possibilities that inspired the young and the old alike. It is never a one way street in endeavors such as this.

Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Updates on Information Literacy in the SEA Region

Some news and insights on the recent Information Literacy workshop I attended last January 31-31, 2006 at the Ateneo de Manila University. The questions are all mine.

Updates, Trends and Developments on Information Literacy
* Governments spend large sums of money on ICT infrastructure. Therefore, there is a parallel need to develop a base for the effective use of ICT. This need is one that led to becoming a wise information consumer and a self motivated lifelong learner.

* Development of IL best begins in the school level. It is imperative to exert greater efforts to teach information literacy skills in schools. School administrators (principals and school directors) play an important role in the advocacy for an IL culture in their learning community as they are the ones who have a direct hand on the improvement of the curriculum.

* The possible inclusion of IL in college courses, particularly, teacher training courses.

* A national plan to promote IL is necessary, likewise, the support of ministry/department of education.

* There are many IL models that can be used. From the South Asia experience, they came up with the Empowering 8; the IL guide which was the product of the South East Asia experience, the 8w's was used as an IL model. Currently, Xavier Grade School LRC is using the Big 6 Model.

Back to Xavier

Upon reading the IL guide and listening to the input provided by the guest consultants, I have the following questions and insights.

• IL is also a culture. As a culture, it begins with an awareness and understanding of IL. The IL culture develops through the process of acculturation.

• Teachers, librarians and school administrators model the IL culture best only if they recognize its importance in this age of ICT.

• If we are, as a learning community, concerned with how our students use technology and how they process, create and communicate information, we shall work on ways to better facilitate learning and instruction.

• IL is integrative and collaborative in nature.

• IL can work in manual and automated library environments.

On the ILSP

We have a working framework for IL via the ILSP and it is currently being implemented. The framework, however, necessitates evaluation. The evaluation of the ILSP should go beyond the time and schedule for class meetings. Areas to look into are- the integration process and teacher-librarian collaboration; a stand alone program or a philosophy that permeates the curriculum; impact to student learning; effects to library services and librarians implementing the program.

Some questions to consider -

Does the current IL model (Big 6) fit into the context and culture of XS?

How can IL help enhance the GS curriculum in light of UbD?

What is the depth and breadth of collaboration between teacher and librarian?

How can we describe the school administration's support to ILSP in particular?

Is the collaboration a shared responsibility? Or we still work in isolation?

Against the IL guide, how do we measure?

What is the GS LRC’s priority - library automation or improvement of ILSP?

As a department, is the GS LRC prepared for further integration of IL skills in the curriculum?
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