Friday, February 28, 2020

Room to Read Unveils Its First Children’s Books in Filipino Language

20 new books created by local authors and illustrators launched at Manila event

Room to Read, a global nonprofit focused on children’s literacy and girls’ education, has partnered with Philippine publishers Adarna House, Anvil Publishing, Lampara Books and OMF-Hiyas Publishing to launch its first children’s books in the Filipino language.
The 20 new children’s books were unveiled at Museo Pambata, Manila, at an event yesterday (Thursday, 27th February) attended by the Department of Education, publishers, authors, illustrators, NGOs and media.

The books, created by local authors and illustrators, all share the theme of inclusion and portray children with disabilities or living in diverse and often difficult circumstances. Topics included in the books range from living with grief and loneliness to issues surrounding special needs and gender equality. The stories will encourage Filipino children to both build reading skills and build confidence to confront challenges in their own lives.
Filipino marks the 36th language Room to Read’s books have been published in. Room to Read’s focus on encouraging life-long learners and ending illiteracy has  resulted in the distribution of over 26 million copies of its books around the world. The global education organization conducts workshops for authors and illustrators to create children’s books, helping to strengthen children’s books publishing industries in countries.
The new stories include:
“Paalam, Puti, (Goodbye, Whitey)” – a 9-year-old girl gives her beloved dog a burial, allowing children to understand mourning and loss.
“Sayaw ng mga Kamay, (Dancing Hands)” – Filipino sign language is introduced as a way of building friendship and understanding between two children.
“Ang Nanay Kong Drayber, (My Mother, the Driver)” – a child learns about gender equality as observed in his mother’s job and their everyday life.
“Sakto Lang, (Just Enough)” – a simple story of how siblings learn to be generous and to make decisions in coping with poverty.

Geetha Murali, CEO of Room to Read, welcomed the new language book launch:
“These exciting new books will give children in the Philippines a chance to improve their literacy skills while learning about themselves and the world around them.
“Children’s love of books develops faster when they can read in their local language and see characters they can relate to. That is why it’s critical we forge new children’s book publishing industries, to spread the joy of reading and learning.
“The new books in Filipino will be shared with children for years to come and we hope this will be the start of a long-term partnership with local publishers, authors, and illustrators. We are grateful for all the support received by the Department Education and local book publishers in making this book launch a success.”

About Room to Read
Founded in 2000 on the belief that World Change Starts with Educated Children®, Room to Read’s innovative model focuses on deep, systemic transformation within schools in communities during two time periods that are most critical in a child’s schooling: early primary school for literacy acquisition and secondary school for girls’ education. We work in collaboration with local communities, partner organizations, and governments to develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children and ensure girls can complete secondary school with the skills necessary to negotiate key life decisions. Room to Read has benefited over 18 million children across more than 37,000 communities in 16 countries. Learn more at  

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Update on Pathfinder: 2019 n-COV19 + COVID

Top three publishers of science research journals, Wiley Online, Elsevier and Springer Nature, brought down their pay walls and opened access to relevant studies on the Coronavirus. Click each photo to view the link and web page.


Link to access:

The interactive global map of experts looks impressive. Check the inks to educational products that teachers and HR Offices can use to educate students and the work force.

Springer Nature

Link to access:

For an academic reading of the health issue, go to the curated research and studies. For a more practical perspective on the virus and the state of the world, go to the Our Blog section. Blog articles and postings are written by resident scholars and scientists. The language is accessible; the content is valuable and relevant, and statistics, graphs and images are included to further help readers understand this health issue.

Wiley Online

Link to access:

Includes a list of CDCs (Center for Disease Control) from all over, and a live Twitter coverage on #COVID19 and #SCARSCOV2 by @wileyinresearch and @DrEricDing.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

My Life as a Librarian: Valentine's Day Love Note

This is my job description in two sentences. 

Monday, February 24, 2020

Dear Librarian: How do I make a 21st Century Library? (1 of 2)

Here is a question I received from one of my blog readers last year:

Good evening po ☺️  
Gusto ko lang po sana mag ask ng opinion niyo po or suggestion on what else can I do to make our library more like 21st century? Technology aside po, are there any other ways po kaya para maaddress yung 21st century needs ng patrons?
There are two concerns in the message namely, how to create a 21st century library and how can librarians address the 21st century needs of patrons. These are valid concerns and very relevant. Any well meaning librarian would be thinking of these concerns. There are many ways to innovate and reform library programs and services to fit the times and to meet the needs of readers. Strategic planning is essential and the support of the school leadership towards the changes can make a big difference.

Specifically, here is my advice to the blog reader.
I suggest you do research on 21st century skills and 21st century learning. There’s an entire new educational philosophy about it and how this philosophy translates to pedagogy. The next thing you can do is to understand them and connect them to school library services and programming. Find out if you can see or develop criteria, or draft questions to use as basis for assessing and evaluating current library services and programs that you have whether these are 20th century or 21st century skills/learning. 
You may be surprised to find out that what research tells us about 21st century learning/skills has been thought about, discovered and created by philosophers of long ago.
Do not follow trends to easily.  
Once you have done your research, present your findings to the head of school, including your recommendations. Another good resource to use is the IFLA Library Report of 2017-2018 where directions and prospects, focus and pathways are identified. These are presented in broad strokes so you would have to contextualize them for the school library. 
Understand what 21st century learning/skills are, how your school actualizes these skills in curriculum and pedagogy. Then, use all these elements to assess and evaluate existing library services and programs.  
Show your school head that you are taking careful and well thought out steps to manage the change. Communicate to her your research plus, recommendations for new projects or programs in the library.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Where is the Bata in Batang Mujahideen?

February is love month and arts month. That is why, the hubby and I found ourselves at the Cultural Center of the Philippines yesterday for the premiere of Batang Mujahideen. Super thanks to Teacher Ana Bacudio for making this Saturdate possible. 

Here now are my thoughts on the play.

It was my first time to watch experimental theatre. It was a new experience for me and I liked it. Batang Mujahideen is a play by Malou Jacob and Guelan Valera-Luarca directs and added text to the ten year old script. 

Tanghalang Pilipino’s staging of Batang Mujahideen brings in the new format of storytelling and fuses it with the old. It begins with a ritual and an oral telling of a Yakan folk story and moves on to a narrative of the lives of the characters like a documentary. There is mimicry and play through the use of puppets instead of real children. This, however, diffused the emotional weight of the issue on child soldiers. What could have been a compelling story of a child warrior became a cognitive and intellectual piece challenging the audience to ponder on the history of religious wars between Muslims and Christians. 

Overall, I admire and recognise the art and the well thought out production of Batang Mujahideen. Kudos to Tanghalang Pilipino for bravely and courageously portraying the lives of Filipinos caught in the continuing conflict in Mindanao particularly the Indigenous Peoples, Christians and Muslims alike. 

Thursday, February 20, 2020

MIL for Grade 10: The Appendix as Referencing System

The Personal Project Coordinator and I sat down this week to discuss and plan a session on creating the appendix. This is for our grade 10s who are in the process of accomplishing their written report on their Personal Project. For this task, the 10s are expected to provide evidences of their process, data and information gathered from their research, and the insights and knowledge they have taken from the entire PP experience. Since the written report is only 1,500 words long, an appendix is needed  for big information and lengthy notes on the sources' bibliographic data that support and supplement it.

For this session, I am approaching the teaching of the appendix as a part of a book. This part-whole approach drives the concept that information and knowledge are created and communicated in a responsible and honest manner. The different parts of a book are evidences of this communication process and responsible creation of information. Specifically, the appendix is a part of a book that communicates created information and knowledge, sources used for its creation and the process the writer went through to produce them.

Below is my library  lesson plan for this session.

PP Session for Grade 10
The Appendix as Referencing System

Goal: Students understand that the book has different parts and these are not isolated entities;
- Understand the appendix's form and function;
- Create an appendix for the written report of the PP;
- Gain confidence in making a referencing system such as the appendix.

Learning Experience

OBSERVE: Write the bibliographic data of the book. Use MLA or APA format.

 ANALYZE: Answer the following questions

a.       What is the overall theme or subject of the book?
b.      What topics and information are discussed in the book?
c.       Who would benefit from the topics and information of the book?
d.      Describe the book’s Appendix
e.       Explain the purpose and the relevance of the book’s Appendix to the reader

           WONDER: How did the writer create or make the Appendix?

Show samples of Appendixes: Tales from the 7,000 Isles (De Las Casas and Gagatiga, 2011) and PP Coordinator's Thesis
Assignment: Review and reflect on the draft of the written report.
PP Session 2: Creating the Appendix

Related links on the blog about PARTS OF A BOOK

Poem: Parts of a Book
MIL Lesson for Grade 2: Parts of a Book
Parts of a Book: the Appendix

Thursday, February 13, 2020

MIL Lesson: OPVL (1 of 2)

OPVL is a techniques used for the evaluation of sources in the humanities. It is an acronym that stands for Origin, Purpose, Value and Limitations. The IB has published guides on its use and many teachers and librarians have created handouts and worksheets.

Last year, our Personal Project Coordinator requested for a session on the use of resources and its evaluation. Since our grade 10s already know the use of OPVL, I thought of using Visible Thinking to assist them in reflecting through their selected sources. Below is the presentation slides I used in my session with them.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Parts of A Book: the Appendix

What is an Appendix?

The appendix is a part of the book that provides the reader additional and supplementary information about topics discussed in its contents. Most often, it is the non-fiction books that have an appendix.Graphs, tables, charts, maps, survey questions, diagrams and photos are information found in the appendix.This information helps the reader make connections and develop a deeper understanding of the topics in the book.

In a research paper or academic report, the appendix also functions as a referencing system. The reader of the paper can turn to the appendix to validate claims and discussions presented by the writer. Data and information found in the appendix reflects the careful research and investigation that the writer went through. It is evidence of the writer’s commitment, courtesy and integrity towards scholarly writing.

The format of the appendix and the entries of data and information may vary depending on the citation style that the writer, publisher or academic institution is using. Nonetheless, below is an example of a diagram in the appendix and as mentioned in the text . Most appendices follow this convention.

From the body of the text:
3.1 Models of Blended Learning
There are many models of Blended Learning. Practitioners of this learning approach have experimented on varied technology and face to face interaction using different teaching techniques and strategies over the years. The full diagram on the models of Blended Learning is in Appendix C. This chapter will focus on three models of Blended Learning namely, Project Base, Virtual Learning Platforms and Peer to Peer Instruction.

From the Appendix:
Appendix C: Models of Blended Learning

When to include an appendix in your book or research paper?

  • When the information identified inspire exploration and further reading; 
  • When the information backs up the claim or thesis statement;
  • When the information supplements the reader’s understanding of concepts and topics;
  • When the information’s bibliographic data does not fit the format of a footnote.

Recommended sources for citing, making and writing an Appendix

Prepared by:

Zarah Gagatiga,
Teacher Librarian 

The Beacon Academy

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Bibliotherapy Guide and Module: Storytelling for Growth and Healing - Sampler: Beybi Bibe

Bibliotherapy Guide and Module: Storytelling for Growth and Healing - Bibliotherapy Session Assessment, Evaluation and Debriefing

Assessment and evaluation of a bibliotherapy session can be done by qualitative measurements. A survey of reader satisfaction can be done after every session and at the end of a bibliotherapy program. Interviews with children can be a good measure of success or otherwise. Parents, caregivers and teachers who were present during the sessions can be interviewed as well. The art, writing and recorded music and play activities of kids, as well as the anecdotes recorded by the scribe are materials for assessment and evaluation also. Unless the bibliotherapy session is a research or a study, psychological measurements may be used.

Remember to always ask permission from parents and guardians. They need to be informed at the beginning of the session that record keeping and documentation will be conducted. Be aware of the Data Privacy Act. Agreement forms and consent may be drawn before a team engages in a bibliotherapy session with children. This would include photos to be taken and exposure to social media of the materials their children produced or created.

Debriefing of Bibliotherapy Team

The conduct and facilitation of a bibliotherapy session can be tiring. A lot of effort is already exerted in the planning and preparation phase imagine the energy that is involved in the actual implementation of the session. It is essential that the team go through a debriefing process.

1.      Let the dust settle. Debrief when all operational matters have been concluded.
2.      Debrief in a place away from where the action is. Determine the time and manner of your team’s debriefing session.
3.      Guide questions may be prepared ahead of time and team members can write and answer these questions. During discussion, everyone is ready to talk and communicate
4.      Document the debriefing session. It is advisable to have a minutes of the meeting. This is information for the team to improve the activities, sessions and programs.
5.      Celebrate a bibliotherapy session that you and your team finished conducting!

Monday, February 10, 2020

Bibliotherapy Guide and Module: Storytelling for Growth and Healing - Framework for a Bibliotherapy Session

A.      Pre-reading / During Reading / Post Reading

-          Establish rapport
-          Set reading and listening reminders
-          Introduce the book or the story
-          Opening activity (one that is related to the story): song, word games, play

Bibliotherapy Process

-          Gain the trust and confidence of the young reader / listener.
During Reading
-          Plenary storytelling / viewing of short movie (for big group)
-          Read aloud (small group)
-          Ask questions that prompts identification, prediction, inferencing and imagination or wonder (focus on characters and how they respond to plot and other charcacters)

 Bibliotherapy Process

-          Identification
-          Catharsis
-          Insight
Post Reading
-          Art activity that show insight of young reader / listener
-          Writing or art activity that will lead to taking action or follow through activity
-          Song, music and movement as taking action

Bibliotherapy Process

-          Identification
-          Catharsis
-          Insight
-          Taking Action
-          Follow Through

B.      3-2-1 Framework by Sanacore, 2012

·         Choice
·         Time 
·         Reading Responses
·         Making Connections
1.       Identify THREE important details and summarize them.
2.       Record TWO things that are of interest to the reader.
3.       Write ONE question about the text/story

Sanacore’s Framework is ideal for a one-on-one session or a small group session of three to five students. Nevertheless, a partner of the bibliotehrapist/storyteller is needed to anecdote the responses of the young readers and listeners.


Bibliotherapy Guide and Module: Storytelling for Growth and Healing - Bibliotherapy Sampler and Tool Kit

Before presenting samplers, activities and the approach into a bibliotherapy session, there are three basic points to remember when one is preparing for a bibliotherapy session. Teacher, writer and guidance counselor Theres Pelias, in her research on bibliotherapy in 2005, provides these reminders:

     Read. Nothing beats a personal knowledge of the story.
     Identify significant parts of the story that echoes your own feelings and thoughts.
     Be keen with connections you know the student/reader can make with the selection on hand.

                For school librarians, Keri McCaffrey (2016) has this to say:

     Develop a comprehensive bibliotherapy list – inclusive of all literary types, genre and media format.
     Accompany the book list or directory with displays of books.
     Create information on mental health and wellness books.
     Create programming with children and teens that address difficult issues and foster learning in a safe environment.

                Resources for bibliotherapy are very important. This is why, in cooperation with librarian friends in the Southern Tagalog Region, we have started collecting and curating titles of books recommended by teachers, parents, writers and concerned professionals. The link to the online form can be accessed here:

                The librarians involved in this project will be in-charge of the development of a Philippine Bibliotherapy Resource Center (PBRC). This establishment of the PBRC is an online directory and database. Inspired by the many initiatives of librarians, artists, cultural workers and storytellers working and helping evacuation center personnel, staff and volunteers in Batangas, the PBRC includes art, play, music and movement resources.  It has three guidelines for recommending books, activities and resources.

1. Our readers and learners are children in the K-3 grade levels. Consider their development stages in reading and information processing.

2. Our target readers and learners are children from Batangas who are affected by the eruption of Taal volcano. Context matters!

3. Universal themes such as hope, perseverance, kindness and the like are just as important as the readers’ context and developmental stages. Your recommended books and resources can go beyond topics and concepts on natural disasters, displacement, loss, and evacuation.

Here are seven easy to do starter tips for planning and preparing for a bibliotherapy session:

·         * Focus on your purpose: a bibliotherapist is a companion, a listener and a guide.
·         * Select a story that is appropriate for the occasion and purpose of the bibliotherapy session.
·         * Determine objectives and anticipate responses of young readers/listeners of your session.
·        * Follow the 3 steps plus 2 when planning: identification, catharsis, insight + taking action and follow through
·         * Assess and evaluate the bibliotherapy session by reviewing and reflecting the objectives after its conduct.
·         * Anecdote and document as you go. This can also be done by a partner. Needless to say, your preparation and planning can be approached through group or team effort. Composition of team: Storyteller; Scribe; Facilitator/s; Logistics and Operations

Sunday, February 9, 2020

BIbliotherapy Guide and Module: Storytelling for Growth and Healing - Reading Guidance, Reading Advisory and School Library Services

In school library services and programming, the conduct of reading guidance and reading advisory is part and parcel of the expected job output.  

Readers’ Advisory is a fundamental library service where librarians and libraries recommend and suggest books and other reading materials that meet the interests of readers. It is also conducted by bookstores and reading clubs. Information Communications Technology (ICT) tools can greatly support the dissemination of Readers’ Advisory lists, directories and titles curated from the collection. 

Not to be confused with guided reading, a teaching strategy applied by teachers, Reading Guidance is a library service of recommending books and reading materials that is directed to a specific group with an identified need or information problem.  It is at this juncture where bibliotherapy services and programs in school libraries, or even public libraries, find its place.

The American Library Association (ALA) adopted this definition of Bibliotherapy from Webster’s  Dictionary Third International Edition: “ the use of selected reading materials as therapeutic adjuncts in medicine and psychiatry; also, guidance in the solution of personal problems through directed reading.”

Definitions of bibliotherapy as contextualized in the school setting are as follows:

                Bibliotherapy is the provision of health  information and support through books (Brewster, 2008).

                Bibliotherapy is the method for helping human beings in emotional distress. Books are the specific modality, but may also cover films, picture books and oral storytelling (Cargo, 2005).

                Bibliotherapy is a strategy that helps students overcome or deal with current problem(s) or issue(s) in their lives (Stamps, 2003).

                Bibliotherapy is a method of using literature to help students understand themselves and cope with problems relevant to their personal situations and developmental needs (Herbert and Kent, 2000).

Notable findings of research on Bibliotherapy are identified below:

Bibliotherapy has a significant effect in the self-esteem of abandoned children in Children of Joy         Foundation,             Calamba Laguna. Children experienced identification, catharsis and taking        insight in the     bibliotherapy process. (J. Macheca, et. al. 2014.)

 Bibliotherapy is a valuable technique for preventing problems during childhood. (Pardeck, 1990)

 Bibliotherapy...helps promote attitudes of respect and acceptance in inclusive environments. (Kramer, 1999)

 Effective for boys since they have challenges verbalizing their feelings and may be better at solving problems through a third person approach. Characters in books serve as role models for them and help bright boys reflect topics that require analysis of a problem in a safe environment.
( T. Herbert, 1991)

Bibliotherapy with aggressive children in the school setting is effective. It can be applied by
by teachers and counselors in the reduction of aggression and power, and in the enhancement of empathy and self-control. (Shechtman, 2016)

Children’s books affect a child’s theory of mind – an understanding of the mental state of others… discussion of books read aloud to a child positively impacts a child’s
ability to empathize. (Solow and Owens, 2018)

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