Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Today is National Children's Book Day!

It was in the third Tuesday of July when Jose Rizal's The Monkey and the Tortoise was published in Trubner's Oriental Record in London. History accords it as the first Filipino folk tale to be published in an international periodical. It would be important to note that, The Monkey and the Tortoise was dedicated by Rizal to his nieces and nephews. Translating and adapting two stories by Hans Christian Andersen (I can only remember The Ugly Duckling), Rizal seemed bent on leaving a legacy to his nieces and nephews, as well as to young Filipino people. 

Stories are legacies. Stories bridge time and space. Stories bring peoples together. Stories build communities.

And so today, the PBBY leads the celebration of the National Children's Book Day. Remembering Rizal. Continuing a legacy. Bringing people from all walks of life together.


This year's theme is Laging Bago ang Mundo ng Libro. Institutional members like the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Museo Pambata and the National Library of the Philippines have all scheduled activities for parents, teachers, librarians, book lovers and children's literature advocates. The PBBY partnered with the National Book Development Board for the second staging of the Philippine Children's Book Summit. A Syorytelling Festival and Illustrators' Fair are events included in the summit's program. It will be held in the GT Toyota Asian Center in UP Diliman.

If you are free today, drop by the CCP for activities and join us in the awarding ceremony of the Salanga and Alcala Prizes. The NLP will run a three day conference on Young Adult Library Services in Naga City on July 20-22. Museo Pambata has scheduled a storytelling workshop to be conducted by Kuya Bodjie Pascua on July 22 as well.

Happy NCBD! Laging Bago ang Mundo ng Libro!

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Lighthouse Diary Entry 1: Collaborative Work

It was our first day back at work in the Academy. The day started pretty much, chill (borrowing my daughter's vocabulary) with the head of school welcoming us all and introducing new faculty. I always look forward to the HOS's SONA. One would find nuggets of wisdom in his speeches and addresses. If one listens well.

This year, he walked us through the Academy's accomplishments of past school years and identified the achievements of the recently concluded academic year.  A necessary exercise to frame the next step of the journey. Setting directions. A time for reflection. A Janus moment. 

Of the many things that struck me from his presentation, it was his use of two symbols unique to the Academy namely, the mobious strip and the Griffin, our school mascot. Finally. We have a metaphor for which to use and anchor upon our goals and our dreams. For when we grope in the dark or doubt ourselves in moments when mistakes and failures come our way, we only have to remember that learning is a continuous journey and that the Griffin's courage, intelligence and strength can see us through.

Go Griffins!

In the afternoon, we had our first Academic session. Our Dean of Faculty assigned a design challenge activity that required us to create a moving robotic face out of popsicle sticks, folders, papers, masking tape, glue and other art materials we can get our hands on in nearby cubby holes and neighboring offices. This was a collaborative work of five to six people in a group. Our group had the slight advantage because we had the Design/Art Teacher in our midst. Lucky.

The long and short of it, we had fun working together and insights from the activity were aplenty! Indeed, there are many ways to approach a task and to solve problems creatively. 

What I like to focus on for this blog post is the aspect of collaborative learning and teaching that can be drawn upon from the Robotic Faces activity. It had been easy for us teachers to work together, to go along with the process as planned, to listen, to give way, to respect and  to watch how things would proceed organically. I think this dynamic is already in place among the faculty of the Academy. Yay! Kudos to the school leadership team!

But, children and young people may have a more challenging experience working in groups. A certain level of maturity is required to work well with different people. Then again, collaborative learning leads to that exactly - an opportunity to grow in mind and in heart as each member of the group take on roles, work with others to achieve a goal, to meet an objective or to complete a task. Communication skills are vital. A project is the object of collaboration. 

To structure a collaborative learning activity, here are some recommendations.

Set roles before or after presenting a task, a problem or a project.  Roles can be: facilitator, scribe, reporter, gopher, time-keeper, devil's advocate, cheer leader, researcher, and analyst. These roles may change depending on the collaborative task or project. Identifying each role and the contribution he or she can bring to the table help facilitate the process of competing the project. 

Think-Pair-Share is a strategy for collaborative learning. Students think through on their own the task or the project assigned to them. Working individually in gathering data to solve a problem or initially identifying steps to complete the project. A student finds a partner or work with one as assigned by the teacher. They share their data, findings, discuss the better course of action, plan and then solve the problem or perform the task.

Another strategy is the Jigsaw Puzzle. More cooperative learning in approach, but can be adapted into a collaborative learning experience, the Jigsaw Puzzle is aimed at allowing students to work on tasks and projects from their context and cultural backgrounds. These students are then grouped together to share and partake in a discussion of their output and how it fits in a bigger piece. The literary circles is one example of a Jigsaw Puzzle, I think. More about it in a future post.

The Fish Bowl technique can be used as well but for a specific task like discussions on topics of ethical and moral issues. A group inside the fishbowl discuss the topics. A group outside of it records the discussion and take notes of the dynamics in the smaller group. It can be a pre-writing activity that allow students to think in a group. Both groups, the one in the fishbowl and the one outside of it will benefit from the discussion. This technique can be a research strategy as well. Good to use in gathering of data, documentation, valuation and evaluation of information generated in the discussion groups.



Like all teaching strategies, I think the success lies in the teacher's creativity and competence when he or she plans and implements them in the classroom. But of course, the better teacher would know specific strategies to use based on students goals and needs.

Here are websites and links to explore on collaborative teaching and learning.


Jigsaw Puzzle - https://www.jigsaw.org/


That's it for today. Until the next entry in The Lighthouse Diary of Zarah G, your friendly teacher librarian and reading companion!



Friday, July 14, 2017

PPT on Storytelling as Truth Telling

To be delivered and presented in the Annual Lampara Books Seminar on Saturday, July 15, 2017.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Priming Activity 2: Media and Information Literacy


Priming Activity 1: Media and Information Literacy


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Media and Information Literacy Matrix of Topics

A Media and Information Literacy (MIL) matrix of topics I put together as product of my practice and research when preparing for training workshops on MIL for school librarians.

Please properly attribute and appropriate my work as source when you use the matrix. I would also appreciate an email or a message informing me that you used the matrix.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Post Script on Teacher-Librarian Collaboration and MIL Workshop for ALLPI

Dear ALLPI,

It's been a week since our workshop on Teacher and Librarian Collaboration and Media and Information Literacy. Thank you very much for making the workshop a meaningful experience for me. As always, I learned from the experience as well. Your presence and cooperation pushes me to improve my training module and the approach I can use the next time I get to do a similar workshop.

Among the many insights I gained from our workshop last week, it is the concept that MIL is a process - something we can work on together in steps and in progression. And while you may be connecting the dots on what you gained from the workshop with actual practice, I am sending these links your way to further enhance, enrich or support your understanding and competencies in MIL.

Read on! Take note. Write down your questions or what struck you along the way.

If you are new to assessment and the tools necessary to undergo diagnoses of skills and competencies, I recommend this PPT by Marjorie Pappas (2009). In her presentation, she explains the different kinds of assessments and the tools that are appropriate for each one. I particularly like the strategies and graphic organizers she identified for self-assessment not only on IL skills, but on creative and critical thinking skills applied in communication arts.

For specific rubrics and criterion based assessment tool on IL, here are three websites and links to each of them.

Information Literacy Skills Assessment for Students 
This assessment on IL is a free online assessment tool designed by the Kent State University Libraries. All you need is to get an account, verify it and you can use the assessment tool, known as TRAILS, for one-on-one, small group or class sessions.

Information Literacy Value Rubric for Projects and Finished Research Work - 
This is a PDF of an IL rubric to assess students' achievement on IL skills applied in creating and communicating a project or a research work. The PDF can be downloaded for free.

RAILS Rubric Assessment of Information Literacy Skills is list of assessment tools on IL skills and its sub-skills. You need to log in to get free rubrics and even contribute your own. Of the three, this is may favorite because, I am able to choose which is applicable for my students, my workshop participants and colleagues who need my help and assistance.

That's it for now. Do give me feedback or ask questions on the links I recommended.

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