Saturday, May 30, 2015

Live Blogging: Teaching with the Web

My workshop on Web Enhanced Teaching is on going. It is sponsored by Phoenix Educational Systems Inc. to further assists subscribing clients in the use of World Book Online. Participants are teachers and librarians from private schools. But, I am pleasantly surprised that seven librarians from the Quezon City Public Library are likewise here!

Right now, teachers and librarians are working on the tasks I gave them. Each group is involved not only in exploring World Book Online but in the discussions in their groups. Earlier, I moved around to see how each group is doing, working and exploring web channels in World Book Online (WBO). Some encountered connection problems; others had difficulty navigating the web channels; a good number of the teachers have gone beyond the given task and explored the contents, activities and interactive feature of WBO.

I am looking forward to the sharing of each group. This is where feedback, insight and an awareness of processes the group underwent are revealed. Completing the task is important, but knowing the steps and evaluating if the steps led to a good product is a practice of information literacy skills.

For this workshop, I designed it in such a way that inquiry and discussion are fused together. The questions came from me for each task assigned and participants discuss it among themselves. In the big group discussion, participants are will be encouraged to express insights and ask more questions.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Think with Me! Write with Me!

Congratulations to the Philippine Association of Teachers of Library Science (PATLS) as it celebrates its 5oth year this 2015!

How apt that this year's batch of officers kicked off the organization's golden year with a summit focusing on research in Library and Information Science discipline. It is a great honor to be one of its esteemed speakers. For this, I thank the PATLS Officers for the opportunity to speak about topics and an issues that are close to my heart: school librarianship, children and young adult literature, storytelling, reading advocacy and Information Literacy. Though I was a resource speaker, I was also a participant who learned from my peers and mentors in the LIS profession.

I learned that there are many brilliant and passionate Filipino librarians alive today! I learned that the task of advocating for the growth of the profession is an unending cycle. I am affirmed once more on the importance of collaboration; that while there are differences that divide us, we are all one in the goal of improving LIS education in the country today. I felt hopeful!

And so, my take away from yesterday's session is to look for co-writers. Check my photo of the research agenda. Tell me what moves you. Are you willing to think and write with me? Send me a PM on FB or comment on this blog post!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Children's Book Summit on the 32nd National Children's Book Day

Adarna House Brings Books Closer to Young Readers

Books bring people together!

Adarna House celebrates its 35th year anniversary with a slew of activities for kids of all ages. One activity I was fortunate to partake in was the Reading Camp in Brgy. Janusa, Talim Island, Binangonan, Rizal. Read on the press release of the activity by heading on to the Adarna House blog.

Needless to say, Darrel Marco and I had loads of fun telling stories with the kids, playing games with them and helping them write stories about their families. Seeing them read books was like seeing them open gifts on Christmas Day. What I find remarkable about the experience was the look of wonder painted on their faces when they saw the Adarna books all splayed out for their choosing. And when they started reading, some did picture reading, a few merely looked at the illustrations, there was engagement and connection. The kids' eyes would narrow and widen; some would smile; a few would stare at drawings and touch the pages with hands dirty from play. What joy to hear them read aloud!

My only hope is that a repeat of such an experience would happen soon. Access to books is the first step to literacy and reading development. As a librarian, I am humbled to be a part of this development in the community at Talim Island.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Book Spine Poetry Winner 2015

This year, we had two judges for our Book Spine Poetry Contest. MJ Tumamac and Beverly Wico Siy graciously accepted the judging duties. Here are their notes and reviews on the winning poem.

Beverly Wico Siy's review:

Napakahusay bilang description ang tulang ito. Matatakot ka sa nilalang na ipinakikilala bilang mamamatay-tao hindi lang dahil sa itsura nito (Big mouth and ugly/Freaky green eyes) kundi maging sa ugali at espiritwal nitong katangian 

(Unclean/Unholy/Wicked). Ang big mouth ay maaaring mangahulugan ng pagiging madaldal, maingay, buka nang buka ang bibig dahil sa pagsasalita. Maaari din itong ipakahulugan bilang matakaw, lamon nang lamon, kinakain ang lahat ng makita. Gahaman, sa maikling salita. 

Ang Green Eyes naman ay puwedeng ituring na reference sa dayuhan, partikular na sa mga taga-Kanluran. Kaya masasabing ang tulang ito ay isang epektibong babala: may naghihintay sa dilim, mga nilalang na walang sinasanto na maaaring magmalupit sa iyo at magdulot ng kamatayan. Sa anong dahilan? Sa kawalan nito ng kakontentuhan at matinding kagutuman.

MJ Tumamac's review:

Sa pag-aayos ng mga linya, hindi lang mahalaga na tunog matulain ang bawat linya; mahalaga rin kung may nabubuo itong diwa. Una, diwa sa literal na nibel. Tulad ng nabanggit ko na dati, hindi palabuan ang pagtula. Una kong tinitingnan kung maayos ang pagkakalahad, lalo na ang gramatika nito. Mula sa maayos na pagkakalahad ng ideya, tiyak na lilitaw na may talinghaga ang tula. Tulad ng tula sa ibaba, malinaw ang paglilista ng mga katangian muna.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Summer Reading Program 2015

Here is the guideline of our library's Summer Reading Program. I will post the progress of the activity in the blog in the coming days.

Summer Reading Program Guidelines

  1. Books from the BA Library collection can be borrowed over the summer. There is no limit to the number of books that can be borrowed. This is open to all members of the BA community. Book borrowing begins on May 22, 2015. All books borrowed during the summer must be returned on August 4, 2015.

  1. Students, teachers and staff can sign up for a Summer Reading Passport. Registration begins on May 22, 2015. Those who sign up will be given a reading passport.

  1. How does the Summer Reading Passport work?

    1. A minimum of 10 books is required to join in this summer reading activity.
    2. Upon signing up, you will be asked to define your reading goal.
    3. Choose at least 5 books from the recommended list found in the Summer Reading Program brochure and 5 books of your own choice from the BA library’s collection.
    4. Use the reading passport to record and log insights, reflections and responses on the books you have read.
    5. Take a photo of the top 3 best books you have read from the 10 books and post it on IG using #booklove, #bestreadsofsummer and #griffinsread.
    6. On August 4, 2015, return your completed reading passport to Mr. Flynn for a token or a reading award. Completed reading passports qualify as raffle tickets to the Back to School Book Giveaway Raffle Draw. The winner will be announced during the assembly.

Important reminder: Your reading goal must help you choose the books you will pick out from the recommended reading list and from the library’s collection.

Summer Reading Program (SRP) Schedule

May 18, 2015 Announcement of SRP via email
May 20, 2015 SRP Brochure distribution
May 22 - 28, 2015 Sign up days for Summer Reading Passport 2015
May 22, 2015 - August 3, 2015 READING TIME 
August 4, 2015 Return all books borrowed to the library

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Book Spine Poetry Contest 2015

Last March, I opened the Book Spine Poetry Contest to the student body. By mid-April, there were ten entries to the contest. I will be posting five poems today, then the second five tomorrow. Judges' comments and feedback will follow after the poems are all posted in the blog.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Behind the Scene at the Creative Reading Activities Workshop

Here are some wonderful stories I encountered during my week long stay in Naga City, CamSur for the Educo and Adarna House sponsored teacher training workshop.

Mr. Peralta proves himself a leader and mentor.
1. I met the teachers I had trained for the Sa Aklat Sisikat (SAS) Read-athon Teacher Training Workshop in Donsol, Sorsogon (2009) in the Creative Reading Activities Workshop (EDUCO and Adarna House). Mr. Arnold Peralta was then a principal in Donsol. He is now a district supervisor. He is still the same jolly guy I met six years ago who asked all the silly questions and joked through the Pinoy Henyo game we had. In this workshop, he proved himself a trooper once more. He worked with his groups mates, he created a mini-book with a partner, and read the story out loud for everyone to hear. In a short personal conversation I had with him, we both agree how transformational the SAS workshops were to his teachers. He was transferred to another school after the SAS workshop but he recognized and saw the impact it had on his teachers who attended the Gurong Kaakbay Conference in the Ateneo De Manila Univeristy in 2012. It was the last Gurong Kaakbay Conference.

With Teacher Irish of Donsol, Sorsogon
One of Mr. Peralta's teachers, Teacher Irish, who was also a SAS Workshop participant in Donsol, is now a master's degree holder. She has a specialization in Music Education. She completed her MA from the Bicol University. Her thesis is a compilation of Bicol and Donsol folk songs for children.

I met school leaders from Nabua, CamSur who know my grandaunt. This prompts me to think of visiting the region once again. This would mean planning a trip to may parents' provinces: Tuguegaro, Iriga and Nabua sooner and not later.

I let my hair down during the cultural night. Teacher Pam, Teacher Michelle and myself sang "Kahit Maputi Na Ang Buhok Ko", with matching choreography. There is a video of this "amazing" number that brought the house down. As of writing, it is an exclusive property of Adarna House. Until Teacher Pam gives her consent to have it on public viewing, for now, a picture of us three will have to do.

Workshop facilitators by day, performers by night: Lower photo: L-R Lea S. Eugene Domingo and Jennylyn Mercado

Creative Reading Activities

The three day workshop on Creative Reading Activities sponsored by Educo and Adarna House in Naga City, CamSur ended yesterday. There were two batches of teachers who attended the workshop. Along with these teachers are their school leaders: reading coordinators, division and district supervisors, and regional supervisors. The three day workshop consisted of topics on Creative Play and Movement, Developing Creative Connections (which focus on literacy and thinking skills) and Library Improvement. Apart from myself, Teacher Pam Razon and Teacher Michelle Agas were the two workshop facilitators.

In my workshop, participants recalled their reading history and identified their reading beliefs. I had an input on library concepts and the role of books on national development. In the afternoon, I conducted a workshop that allowed teachers to create books and assemble a classroom resource center. Since the theme of the workshop is creativity and connections, I instructed the teachers to save their output from Teacher Pam's and Teacher Michelle's workshops since these will be place in the classroom resource centers that they will set up.

The participants had a working knowledge of the topics I covered thus, the different groups of teachers produced wonderful outputs. What I enjoyed doing the most with them was the book making activity. Teachers made mini-books. They wrote, illustrated and read aloud their stories. Using story prompts, they were all able to finish one after an hour and a half of work. Teachers who read aloud their stories were very proud of their work. Indeed, reading, writing, speaking and listening are empowering skills to have!

I then reminded the teachers to keep their books since they can build a collection of mini-books in their classrooms. They can do this project with their students. So, the concept of the process of creation is an experience that both teacher and students experience. Keeping these "self published" books in the classroom as a collection is one way to CREATE a LIBRARY. After this activity, the groups of teachers assembled a classroom library where, apart from the books available in their school library, can have the self published books, and visual aids made by the teacher.

In this time of budget cuts and limited resources, creative ways to set up libraries as literacy centers must be thought about. The how-to can come easily, but it is the concepts and principles that would hold the steps and process in creating libraries as literacy centers together.

In a lock-in session I had with the school leaders during the workshop, I learned how they cope and survive with the challenges of limited resources. Activities and programs like, mobile libraries, reading marathons, volunteer storytellers visiting their schools came up as sustainable projects. Sadly, there was no mention of the library hub in the region. Though the presence of the library hub is recognized, it does not seem to make an impact on the identified recipients. I see this as an opportunity to study the operational model and socio-cultural factors that affect its success, to some communities, and its failure in others.

For now, it is good to know that there are committed school leaders who will try their best to supervise and mentor teachers in developing creative literacy activities by bridging books to children through programs, working with the DepEd and making linkages with NGOs.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Live Blogging: Book Making Activity

I am in Naga City, Camarines Sur running a workshop on Library Improvement. This workshop is part of Educo's three day Training Session for teachers in schools where they have set up libraries and reading centers. Creative Play, Movement and Creating Connections are the other two workshops that are part of the training program. Working with Adarna House, Educo was able to assemble 150 teachers from the CamSur region for this training program.

Right now, I am facilitating a book making activity with the second batch of teachers. The room is quiet as everyone is busy writing their stories and drawing illustrations. In a few minutes, we will have a read aloud of the stories they wrote. Their mini-books will be put on display at the end of the day.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Blog Contest: Mother's Day Special

It's Mother's Day on May 10!

Make Nanay feel extra special on Mother's Day. Send me a letter via email or PM over on FB, or post a comment on this blog post on how you plan to celebrate Mother's Day with your dear mom. The first five letters recieved, replies or posts made on this blog will get an authographed FREE copy of my book, Dear Nanay.

This contest is open to all. It starts tomorrow, May 5, 2015 at 12MN and ends on May 9, 2015 at 12NN.


Dear Nanay is illustrated by Liza Flores and is published by Lampara Books.
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