Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Fellows of the 1st KABANATA Workshop

Congratulations to the fellows!

Gabriela Lee
Mary Amie Dumatol
Raissa Rivera Falgui
Ricky Ornopia
Jonellie Santos
Bernalyn Sastrillo
Fe Esperanza Trampe
Michael Jude Tumamac
Marjorie Anne Yoro

For details, visit the Adarna House's blog.

Call for Entries: 2015 Salanga Prize

Lifted from the PBBY website -

The Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) is now accepting entries for the 2015 PBBY-Salanga Prize.

The contest is co-sponsored by the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and The National Library of the Philippines (NLP). The winner shall receive Twenty-Five Thousand Pesos and a medal. Prizes will be awarded in an appropriate ceremony to be held during the celebration of National Children’s Book Day in July 2014.


  1. The contest is open to all Filipino citizens except those who are related to any PBBY member up to the third degree of consanguinity.
  2. Stories should be intended for children aged 6 to 12 years old. The plot and the sequence must be capable of sustaining an illustrated book of 28 to 32 pages.
  3. Entries may be in Filipino or English.
  4. Entries must be in hard copy, double-spaced, on short bond paper. Maximum length is five (5) pages.
  5. A contestant may send in more than one (1) entry.
  6. Each entry must be signed by a pen name only. Five (5) copies of each entry should be placed in an envelope, on the face of which only the pen name of the contestant should appear.
  7. Together with each entry, contestants must submit a second envelope, on the face of which the pen name shall appear. This must contain the contestant’s full name, address, contact numbers, a short literary background, and a notarized certification from the author, vouching for the originality of the entry and for the freedom of the organizers from any liability arising from the infringement of copyright in case of publication, and affirming that the entry or any variant thereof has (a) never been published nor (b) won any other contest i.e. that it has never won 1st, 2nd, 3rd, honorable mention in any other contest or otherwise been awarded a medal, a citation, or included in a publicized list of meritorious entries to a literary contest.
  8. All entries must be sent through snail mail to the PBBY Secretariat, c/o Adarna House, Inc., Scout Torillo cor. Scout Fernandez Sts., Barangay Sacred Heart, Quezon City.
  9. All entries must be received by the PBBY Secretariat no later than 5:00 p.m., December 1, 2014.
  10. Winners will be announced no later than January 23, 2015. Non-winning entries will be disposed of by the PBBY Secretariat.
Winners will be announced no later than December 13, 2013. Non-winning entries will be disposed of by the PBBY Secretariat.

The winning story will be the basis for the 2015 PBBY-Alcala Prize. For more details, interested parties may contact the Philippine Board on Books for Young People, at 3526765 local 203 or pbby[at]adarna.com.ph

Book Convo: Shine by Candy Gourlay (SPOILER ALERT)

I love it when my kids read with me. When they read YA books of my choice and I in turn read theirs, I feel bonded with them. I love it even more when we talk about books we have read. I get new insights from them. I learn about their thought processes, their choices and current disposition. Then, I recommend more books for them to read! 

So I thought of sharing our book conversations (convo) with you all.

These are my questions for Zoe, my daughter (13 years old), who read Shine at the height of Candy Gourlay's rock star visit in Manila.

Mama Z: What did you like about Shine?

Zoe: I like the idea of the surprises in the novel. It gave me goosebumps!
Mama Z: What did you not like about Shine?

Zoe: Nothing. I liked everything about the book. Oh, except for Kat.
Mama Z: Who was the most interesting character and what made him/her interesting ?

Zoe: Danny and Rosa are interesting. I am not sure if Danny has another story. Where did he get weird tattoos? How did he know Rosa all along? Even if Rosa is the narrator she has that "something" and that makes it interesting.

Mama Z: That "something" is perhaps, her attitude? Her curiosity?

Zoe: Hmm… I think so. She sounds like one of my friends.

My recommendation: Read this book with an older set of readers and talk about it.
There is so much to peel away from Shine: relationships, the ghosts of our past, the truths we believe in;
the choices we make; the stories we tell and share.
In the end, the reader would further ruminate on the things that matter in his or her life.
That's what the book did to me. It gave me a lot to think about.

Mama Z: Do you think the death of _____ was worth it?

Zoe: I think she deserves it. She could harm Rosa really bad. Like what she did with Rosa's mom.

Mama Z: What would you want to ask Candy Gourlay?

Zoe: I want to ask Ms. Gourlay if there will be a book 2 of Shine. Will Danny and Rosa's friendship 

At first, Zoe didn't fully grasp the death scene of one of the characters in the novel. We had to go back to the text and unlock the description of that character's passing. The teacher in me had to tell her how words can be used to say something and mean another and that, much of our experiences in real life come into play when we read.

Books bring people together. Keep reading! And keep talking about books read with friends and family, and people who share the same passion. Until the next book convo! Abangan!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Another Storytelling Contest

Ooops. I did it again. I judged another storytelling contest. This one was sponsored by Lampara Books in partnership with PETA. It was held during the 2014 MIBF.

I'm sharing a comment I posted on Jack Javier's FB post regarding a photo of the winner in Category A. Apparently, his mother was the coach of Chelsea, the student who won first place. Chelsea is studying in Comembo Elementary School.

Chelsea, was my 1st choice. 
She has a solid and comforting voice. I hope she learns how to control it as she grows up and become a good storyteller, performer or a public speaker in the future. She appeared relaxed and comfortable telling the story. Thus, her actions were not a nuisance to her performance, rather, it enriched the telling. 
She can do a lot with her voice. I closed my eyes for a few mins during her performance and I could see an image  of Nanay, haggard but happy being superhuman. This is one way of telling how effective the storytelling is- when listening to a storyteller would elicit images that connects the listener to the story being told. We've grown too accustomed to visual images when in fact, before TV and the Internet, we had the radio. And before that, we had oral literature. And in this tradition, storytelling is meant to make people LISTEN. When we listen, we are SILENT for a while so that, we can use our brains to imagine, to see images using our minds and to allow another person, in this instance, the storyteller to affect us. 
hope teachers and coaches of storytelling remember this value of storytelling as an oral and aural tradition. And lastly, when we allow another person to affect us, we learn to trust. We build compassion. See how powerful storytelling can be? 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Grants! Contests! Scholarships!

Post MIBF Insights on Forum & Talks

We need more librarians!
My attendance and participation in last week's MIBF is the most insightful yet. Here are my insights in random as I look back at the forum, conference and workshops I took part in.

At the ASEAN 2015 Integration Forum

In classic Lourdes David fashion, a complex topic such as the ASEAN 2015 was pared down to its most substantial content. The convergence of countries in South East Asia is a move towards globalization and internationalization, where knowledge is the base of the economy. Librarians are, therefore, necessary to keep this knowledge base economy, strong, thriving and healthy. This would imply a sturdy research management system, well funded educational programs and a paradigm that welcomes collaboration from all participating countries of South East Asia.

Librarians are living in very challenging times, indeed!

As my response, I can begin by assessing the programs and services I plan, implement and evaluate in the school library where I work in. Our curriculum is internationally K-12 compliant, so that would make the library a viable support system towards the attainment of curricular goals. How is the school library supporting this international K-12 curriculum?

The invitation to continuously grow and develop is very much open in the ASEAN 2015 convergence. A graduate degree and doctoral degree are of great advantage to further one's professional agenda. Librarians need to direct their own paths of learning based on international standards. Having said this, Filipino librarians need to look at how they are learning; where they get their learning from; and how they use learned skills and concepts.

Start 'em young on copyright!
Copyright and Repro Conference

Oh dear.

I left the conference with more questions than answers.

I do recognize that copyright and intellectual property rights are important, especially in a knowledge base economy. But these two carry on socio-cultural issues as well that would take time to resolve and conquer. How can copyright enforcement be made consistently possible when our research management system is utterly weak? And then there is that question on reading. Do Filipinos read. Filipinos do read. We read romance books. A lot. So, what kind of knowledge producers are we?

I find myself lamenting once again on the lack of support for library development in the country.

As a school librarian, I will support the school's Academic Honesty policy and strengthen ties with teachers in the instruction and teaching of Information Literacy Skills. But when students actually apply themselves in the bigger world, what structures are in place to continue this on?

Writing Workshop: Lampara Books Children's Writing Workshop

I enjoyed this workshop, because, I learned a lot from my co-speakers.

Prof. Rolly Dela Cruz's lecture on the historical and cultural profile of children's literature in the country was enlightening. His presentation on literary theory of Aristotle, Horace and Longinus are thoughts to slowly nibble on. Stuff to reflect on in little chunks. Prof. Eugene Evasco came next. He talked about Filipino picture books and how the structure of story is illuminated in the marriage of text and pictures. Then, I was next. I offered tips and strategies on how one can start writing; where to get stories from; and use a set of "values" in one's enjoyment and judgment of children's literature.

One participant was inspired to sketch "us".
A week after the MIBF, all I can say is this: perhaps the age of seeking magic in Philippine Children's Literature will always be pursued, but it is about time when we, book creators, teachers, librarians, parents seek truth through and create truth seeking through literature.

Friday, September 19, 2014

MIBF 2014 Moments (Day 2)

I was at the MIBF yesterday. I attended a forum conducted by the Univeristy of the Philippines Library Science Students Association on the ASEAN Economic Integration 0f 2015; went window shopping for books to buy (one day is not enough to do all the buying); checked on the NCBA 2014 Best Reads; dropped by Lampara House's booth; and met up with friends in the industry.

Something to digest in the next few days.

YAY! My new books.
These new titles for the beginning reader, STARS Kindergarten Level,
are available at the Lampara Books booth.

Pinoy YA titles for the Pinoy teenager. Visit the Adarna House booth.

Librarians are encouraged to attend the Asian Festival of Children's Content.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Throwback Thursday: The Pilar Perez Medallion (c. 2000)

Once upon a time, a Filipino Librarian inspired literacy advocates with her work on children's and young adult library services that her name was immortalized to award books for young adult readers. Thus, the Pilar Perez Medallion came to be. Notable winners of the medallion were Eugene Evasco's Anina ng Mga Alon, Mga Ako by Amalia Salamat; Ang Lihim ng San Esteban by Annette Flores Garcia.

Sadly, the award was short lived. That, my librarian friends, is another story.

So, for this blog's Throwback Thursday, and PBBY's initiative on the KABANATA Workshop, I asked permission from Ms. Neni Sta. Romana Cruz, NBDB Chairperson, to post her article on the Pilar Perez Medallion. She graciously agreed, so here it is.

The article was published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer in November 6, 2000.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Meme: 10 Books That Have Stayed With Me

This one is for Kate Osias and Car Fernando.
I have been challenged to list 10 books that have stayed with me in some way, and tag people to do the same. Rules: Don't take more than a few minutes and do not think too hard. They don't have to be the "right" books or great works of literature, just the ones that have affected you in some ways. [Then tag 10 friends, including me, so I can see your list.]
1. The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss

2. A Fish Out of Water by Robert Palmer

3. The Big Book of Dinosaurs

4. Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume

5. The Outsiders by SE Hinton

6. PS I Love You by Barbara Conklin

7. Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling

8. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by JRR Tolkien

9. Stardust by Neil Gaiman

10. Landline by Rainbow Rowell

I am tagging anyone who wishes to do the meme. Happy reading!

And today is the first day of the Manila International Book Fair!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Book Launching at the 2014 MIBF

Visit the Lampara Books booth on September 20 and 21, 2014. My books will be launched at the 2014 MIBF.

Start Right Reading Series Kindergarten Level: 12 picture books for the Kindergarten reader.
Illustrated by Bernadette Solina Wolf

Only ten books in the photo but, trust me, there are twelve books in the series!

Dear Nanay
Liza Flores' cut outs and paper sculpture art are awesome!

IL Lesson: Academic Honesty, Plagiarism and Citation

Information Literacy skills can be taught in chunks. This week, I'm facilitating a session on academic honesty, plagiarism and citations.

Sharing my PPT -

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Book Review: Landline by Rainbow Rowell

By Rainbow Rowell
St. Martin's Press, New York, US

What the book is about

Georgie McCool's marriage is in trouble. Her husband leaves for Nebraska a few days before Christmas bringing their two daughters along. Georgie chooses to stay in Los Angeles to work on a big script with a bosom friend and work partner, Seth. Torn between her career and her marriage, Georgie is pressured to make a decision with the help of an unlikely gadget from the 90's.

What worked

This is a classic Rainbow Rowell novel: the quirky characters; the witty dialogues; the wonderful promise of conflict to come that is established on the first sentence of chapter one; the exciting middle parts that make you want for more when you reach the last page. These are all there for the taking. But this time, Rowell drove me closer to home. In Landline's pages, I found myself as an adult.


Her story is my story. And I feel validated. For this I am thankful that there is a romance writer out there who amplified the beauty of a married working woman's dilemma.

What may not work for some readers (but definitely worked for me)

Not all readers, women especially, will easily grasp the choice Georgie made at the end of the novel. But if you have been lost in love, then you will understand Georgie's choice. It doesn't help that Georgie arrived at "the choice" through an analog phone. Then again, this intervention from a 90's gadget is, as I take it, a metaphor of going back to what is basic and fundamentally essential in Georgie's relationship with her husband, Neal.

In moments when we are led astray by our own decisions and life is slowly falling apart, all we need to do is to go back to the beginning of things to find our balance once more. Isn't this romantic? That is why the rotating telephone intervening between time and space in Georgie's past and present relationship fits in the novel's plot. It is Neal and Georgie's connection to where their story of commitment began.

But the question of using another object to bring Georgie back to basic remains. She could have read letters, diaries, looked at pictures, even watched videos of their time together. No. Listening is different from looking and reading. Looking and reading involves cognition. Listening involves the emotions. Georgie needed to know what was going on affectively with herself and with Neal. The telephone conversation provided her with that affective knowledge. She needed to listen to Neal and to herself to understand the most important thing in her life at that moment.

And then, Rowell pulled another trick from her bag: Neal at Georgie's door step making his choice and taking that leap of faith.

Rowell continuously deconstructs the romantic hero. Park. Levi. Lincoln. And Neal.

Long live the man in my life who takes care of my babies and make it look so ultra sexy!

Rating: 4.5 Bookmarks

Image source: http://www.amazon.com/Landline-Rainbow-Rowell/dp/1250049377

Friday, September 12, 2014

Book Preview: Book 5 of the Start Right Reading Series (STARS)

This is Magic Words, book 5 of the Start Right Reading Series (Lampara Books), by me and
illustrator Bernadette Solina-Wolf. There are twelve books in the series
and we are hoping that these will all be launched in the MIBF this September.

Special thanks to Carlos Manalansan for sending the photo.

Noteworthy Forum and Lecture at the MIBF 2014


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Meme: Liebster Award

I accept C8's nomination! 

Here are the questions she posted in her Reading Good Books, for this meme. 

1. If you are moving to a fictional world – either found in books or screen – where will you choose to settle and why?

Hogwarts. Hermione doesn't deserve a vulture like Madam Pince as librarian. Though JK Rowling expressed her reason why she made her an irritable character, I still think teens need a librarian who can work with them and meet their needs.

2. If you can change the ending of a particular book, which one is it and how will you change it?

Eleanor and Park. Well, I won't change the ending, but I'll have an epilogue for Eleanor and Park. Like, ten years after they parted ways (SPOILER!) they meet again and fall madly in love. But... I'm a true blue romantic so it won't be easy for Park, especially.

3. How long do you think you’ll last in The Hunger Games?

Hahaha! I will find a way to cheat my way out before the games even begin!

4. Browse your own blog.  Now, post a link to your favorite post that you wrote.

Hmm… this is tough. Pass. I will get back to this item.

5. Can you recommend other blogs – book-related or not – that I should be reading?

Oh dear. I have not been blog hopping in recent years. The Filipino bloggers I followed back in the early 2000s have all gave up on blogging and migrated to social media. Tsk. See how technology changes the web content creation game?

6. Have you purchased a book just because you saw your idol holding/reading it?  (I have. Many times.)

No. I get recommendations from friends, students, my kids and people in my reading circle.

7. You’re meeting your favorite celebrity.  Autograph or picture?  Pick just one, can’t be both.

Picture! I love selfies with popular peeps.

8. What is your fantasy dream cast for [insert book-to-movie here]?  (Even if a movie exists for that book already.)

I dream of seeing Cumberbatch and Martin do a movie version of Sherlock.

9. What is your stand in the ever-changing debate of… “the printed word vs digital books”?

It should be "the printed word AND digital books". The reading experience doesn't change. Comprehension is not affected by the format of technology used for reading. But, different cognitive functions come into play when our brains encounter print materials and digital books. Our brains need both and we need to seamlessly transition from one media to another. It's a matter of training the brain.

10. Name a book and/or movie that you and your mother both love.

ET: The Extra Terrestrial. Now this answer dates me.

11.  Why are you following/reading my blog?  For whatever reason, THANK YOU!

Because you tagged me! Thank you!

Monday, September 8, 2014

ThingLink: Author Visit PR for Ms. Candy Gourlay

Here's a PR material I whipped up for the author visit of Ms. Candy Gourlay in our school. I'll be using this interactive image for presentation to the publications club during club time today.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Author Interview: Candy Gourlay Shines!

Novelist Candy Gourlay will be in Manila for a series of book talks, school visits and literacy advocacy work. Her new novel, Shine, will be launched on September 27, 2014 at the National Bookstore Glorietta branch. Ms. Gourlay graciously replied to my request for an interview. Here she talks about Shine, the novel she wished she had written and the experiences that shaped and influenced her in writing about Rosa.

1. What made writing Shine different from Tall Story? Tall Story was very successful. Did you feel any weight or pressure to do better in Shine?
Yes indeed! As I began working on Shine, Tall Story began clocking up shortlistings and great reviews. Every morning when I started writing, my head was not in the right place. What if it was just a fluke, what if you can't do it again? This book can't possibly be any good! Have you chosen the right story to write? And on. And on. I had to shake off all the doubt in order to be in a place to lay down the words of my next book ... in the end it took me three long years to write Shine. I learned some things about myself - that it wasn't success that gave me self-belief but a confidence in my story. And to get the confidence in my story, I had to ask every question that had to be asked.
2. Your use of folktales and legends in both Tall Story and Shine to prove a point or address a message is very effective. What folktale or legend best describe your life?
It has been said that Mythology was the first Science. Because it is through mythology that we try to explain our world. To write a legend, you have to imagine the world that existed before whatever it was came to be. Perhaps the title of my legend will be How the Writer Learned to See -- because the process of writing long-form fiction involves digging deep to see what lies under the surface.
3. I'm really mesmerized by your use of tales and legends. Where most writers fumble at this technique, you SHINE. What do you see in tales and legends that seamlessly bridge reality from our own imagined worlds?
Ah but to have these tales and legends, you need a storyteller. The myths are a reflection of the storyteller's own perception of the world, the stories bring to life both her deepest fears and highest ambition. I like having these characters because they bring me home. Every Filipino has someone at home who described the world to them in this way. So I feel they are an essential part of the casting of any Filipino book.
Also, when I was growing up, I became aware of a certain embarrassment amongst Filipinos about the limitations of our literature. Epics and other grand forms are thin on the ground of our cultural heritage. But does that mean the legend and folk tale should be denigrated? These are such important parts of our literature, I want to celebrate them.

4. The women characters in your novels are interesting and complexed. Who is your pattern for Rosa? Even her voice and personality SHINE through the novel the whole time. Even Yaya is funny and hilarious!
The idea for Rosa was sparked when I met a Vietnamese teenager who had arrived in England as an unaccompanied minor. This meant she came to the UK, speaking no English, with no apparent adult companion. Because she was a child, UK government took her into care even though she was an economic migrant.
I didn't get to know this girl at all, but I was thinking about her a lot. She was only a child, and yet she had to hide many secrets about how she got to the UK and who took her in. As an unaccompanied minor, she was regarded by derision by many who resented the fact that she was being cared for by the state. She was innocent. And yet she wasn't. And I thought, how unfair it was to put a child into that position.
Originally, most of Shine had Rosa, mute and lost in the streets of London. It was only as I explored Rosa's character that it dawned on me that the story didn't belong to London but to Mirasol, the island where Rosa was born. My musings about innocence fed into Rosa's situation: in which she is undeservedly shunned by the islanders.
As for Yaya, I think there is a Yaya character in every Filipino's life. Feisty, complaining, scolding in non-sequiturs, off kilter, funny-but-not-on-purpose, down to earth, loving, irritating, essential. (I have sneaking feeling that I am that character in my children's lives!) Yaya is like Jiminy Cricket, she says aloud what Rosa and her father know to be true. She doesn't tiptoe around niceties which means she is the one person Rosa can really trust.
5. You made me sympathize for Kat. She is a complicated character and she fits in the climax of the novel perfectly. How do you form your characters: plot dictating the character or character dictating the plot?
I always begin with the character. I have a rough idea of my plot but to begin with, I try to get to know my character by writing the scenes that reveal to me who she is. I write many, many, many scenes. And then the story begins to take shape and I become aware of the rise and fall of a plot. Then I rearrange my scenes and develop the structure of the book, heightening the conflict here and there to create a sense of rising tension as the story progresses.
In one of Shine's many drafts, the character of Kat emerged at the very end of Rosa's adventure as one long piece of exposition. It was as if an entire story was playing out ... except it was at the wrong end of the book! I needed Kat's story to develop alongside Rosa's, following the rise and fall of the plot.
I thought of having Rosa read letters from Kat or even a diary, but it seemed too contrived. In the end, my editor said, 'Well why don't you just tell Kat's story alongside Rosa's in semi alternate chapters. You don't have to explain anything.' And that is what I did.
Some people get confused and annoyed when Kat's voice appears. But nobody said a book should make things easy for the reader.

6. What is the novel you wish you had written?
I love so many novels. Perhaps Holes by Louis Sachar. But you know what, I believe each novel is as unique as a fingerprint. And if Holes appeared under my pen, I would've freaked out, wondering where the hell it came from.
7. One of my favorite lines in the novel: "a librarian would never lie" - - where did this come from?
Heh, it's just my little homage to librarians. I've always had great friendships with my school librarians. And now, visiting schools as an author, I get a real peek into the impact they can have on children's lives. It was a grade school librarian that once took me by the hand and said, 'Here, you might like this.' And look at how it's made my life turn out! Every child deserves to have a librarian around to change her life.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Book Signing & Talks at the MIBF 2014

Last year, around the same month, I posted a photo of Liza Flores' study of our book, Dear Nanay ,
In January 2014, our book was published by Lampara Books. This coming MIBF 2014, I'll be at the Lampara booth to sign copies of Dear Nanay on September 20 and 21. 

I hope to see you there!

I will also conduct a writing workshop for grade school students on September 21, 2014. I will post details before this week ends. Hang on!

Another event that I'm excited to participate in during the MIBF is the Klasrum Adarna Workshop for Book Creators. I will be presenting grants, scholarships and funds that support book projects to Filipino book creators. 

So, see you at the fair!

Copy & Repro: International Conference on IP Policies & Copyright for Schools & Universities

Among the fora and lectures being offered to the public in the Manila International Book Fair, it is the Copy & Repro conference I am most interested to attend in. I officially received an invitation from FILCOLS last week.

August 29, 2014

Ms. Zarah Gagatiga
Teacher Librarian

Dear Ms. Gagatiga:

We respectfully invite you to the Copy & Repro: International Conference on IP Policies and Copyright Licensing for Schools and Universities on September 19, 2014, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at the Function Room 2, SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City. (See enclosed Event Fact Sheet, Program, and Registration Form)

Copy & Repro is the first international conference that aims to provide a forum on the implications to schools and universities of RA 10372 which amended the Law on Copyright in RA 8293. Aside from local experts, we also invited some members of the Asia Pacific Committee of the Brussels-based International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organizations (IFRRO).

Copy & Repro is a special event at the 35th Manila International Book Fair. The special event is organized by IFRRO, Book Development Association of the Philippines (BDAP), and FILCOLS.

By virtue of Sec. 183, IP Code as amended, IP Philippines declared FILCOLS an accredited CMO last April 23, 2014 during the celebrations of the World Book and Copyright Day. (See enclosed copy of Certificate of Accreditation)

To register, please complete the enclosed Registration Form and return it with the original deposit slip not later than September 5, 2014 to FILCOLS secretariat via email filcols@gmail.com or fax (632) 439-2204 or (632) 645-7765.

Conference fee includes morning and afternoon snacks, lunch, certificate of participation, and conference kit. Regular rate is PHP 1,500.00. Discounted rate is PHP 1,200.00 for SUCs and for groups of three (3) or more participants from the same institution/company.

Best regards,

 (Original signed)
Alvin J. Buenaventura
Executive Director

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Learning From Peers: Sitting in a TOK Class

A few weeks ago, I sat in a TOK (Theory of Knowledge) class of a colleague to learn something new and to think about my own "unique" teaching roles. This activity is part and parcel of our school's professional development program. Here are my thoughts on the experience.

Highlights of the session (areas, teaching/ learning moments or observation points which strike you and why)

The highlight of the session for me was my colleague's modeling of the thinking process. He identified a real life situation (RLS) and asked the students to convert the RLS to a knowledge issue (KI). Students fashioned a knowledge question (KQ) from the KI. My colleague facilitated this process through group work and discussion.

The exercise he did with his students on the TOK criteria was a practical strategy to hone their evaluation skills. This way, students were made aware of the assessment rubrics as well as the required skills and competence expected of them in TOK.

Short reflection on your own practice: any new learnings gained which you would like to try in your class? Any questions you would like to raise about your own teaching practice as a result of this 'preview' of your colleague's ' teaching and learning event? 

I think the pattern that my colleague used in arriving at a KQ can also be used in helping the grade 11s craft their research question (RQ) in the Extended Essay. However, there is time and class hours devoted for TOK where as in the EE, the time allotment given to assist students is during big group assemblies. In the TOK class, students are guided through the application of thinking across subject areas. I see no difference in the EE, only that, students need to investigate a bit deeper on chosen topics of research.

How can such thinking strategies be transferred to the EE?

Any feedback and comment you'd like to offer?

Since I saw the value in the group's formulation of KQs, I think it would be good to write the finished KIs and KQs on manila paper or cartolina. Have these written KIs and KQs posted on the bulletin board. Teacher and students revisit them as they go through the whole exercise of nurturing this kind of thinking strategy. By doing so, teacher (not necessarily the TOK teacher) can use the written output for a language lesson or a lesson on grammar, vocabulary development and sentence patterns. This can be converted into a mini-lesson on writing. Once edits and revisions are made on the KQs, it can then be finalized and approved as an acceptable KQ based on criterion.

The Manila International Book Fair 2014

Extended Essay: A Tension of the Opposites

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