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.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Translator of the Month: Eugene Evasco




Eugene Evasco, Palanca Hall of Famer and Salanga Prize Winner, is the translator of our new book, The Day Max Flew Away (Gagatiga and Tejido, Lampara Books, 2017). In this interview, he talks about his style and approach in translating stories in English text into Filipino. Read further on as he shares books that influenced him to write for children and his five dreams for the growth and development of Philippine Children's Literature. 

Book cover of The Day Max Flew Away
1. How do you approach translation work?

I have three approaches in translating literary texts for children. First and foremost, I must produce a text that will not sound like a translation. I have to make the translation of an English text “originally written” in Filipino. Secondly, though I have to respect the original intent of the author, I must assert my own voice and style in the translation. My style in translation is trying to write the text like my own work. Thirdly, and most importantly, after translating the text, I have to make sure that the product is child-friendly or readable.

2. What has been the biggest challenge for you as a translator of children’s books?

One of the biggest challenges is translators of children’s books in the Philippines are marginalized. Some are not acknowledged properly in the book production. They are not even considered as co-creators of the book. Another is the language problem. Translation is supposed to be a process to make the text accessible to Filipino readers. But in my experience, there are cases that some readers, young and old, are struggling to understand the Filipino language.

Title page, where Eugene Evasco is appropriated as translator
3. Among your published works, what book is the most meaningful and why?

Pintong Maraming Silid (The Door with Many Rooms) is a personal favorite. It is beautifully illustrated by Leo Kempis Ang. It is our ode to books and our testimony to the power of reading.

4. Five books that influenced you to write for children.

Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White- I personally asked my publisher, Segundo Matias, Jr. of Lampara to buy the foreign rights and publish my Filipino translation. This book taught me how to write in a lyrical way, using concrete images. Rene Villanueva’s Ang Unang Baboy sa Langit and Nemo, Ang Batang Papel. The Philippine Folklore series of Damiana Eugenio
is a gold mine of stories. I adore Mayroon Akong Alagang Puno by Carla Pacis.

5. Five big dreams for Philippine Children’s Literature.

-More handsomely-produced children’s books using high quality paper and binding, outstanding design, and thorough editing. We need to package our products properly.

-We need more radical, unconventional, and brave texts for children.

-Philippine children’s books should be visible in the world market. We need agents to sell our book in the international community. We never ran out of talent. We must invest in marketing our books.

-A book museum and research center focusing on Philippine children’s books.

-Establishment of a Children’s Laureate or the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature in our country.

Eugene Evasco is a panelist in the 2nd Philippine Children's Book Summit on July 22, 2017.
 

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Museums and Art in Public Spaces (2 of 3)

And so, our visit to the Ayala Museum was a rich experience of Philippine art, culture and history. The affordable fees allowed me and my daughter to view permanent exhibits with new additions in multi-media format and current ones that are relevant and accessible to visitors of all ages. An ongoing exhibit is Revolutionary, showcasing the talents and masterpieces of Julio Nakpil and Nick Joaquin. Don't miss it if you are in the neighborhood. Entrance is free for this exhibit in the Ayala Museum.

And now, we go to Quezon City.

Our visit to the Ateneo Art Gallety was accidental. We went to the Rizal Library in the Ateneo de Manila University campus (ADMU) for a different reason all together. Our walk to Gonzaga Hall at lunch time led us to the Gallery. That day, Manga Hokusai was on display! Zoe reads manga and watches anime. How can we resist this opportunity? 


Katsushika Hokusai created manga using block prints and the pages were stitched together by hand. His prints of the wave over Mt. Fuji is already an iconic image not only in Japanese manga but also in pop culture. Known as The Great Wave, it is a piece of work that is both magnetic and kinetic. The wave has a character of its own, like a water monster with claws ready to seize anyone and anything on its path. 

Before leaving ADMU, Zoe and I took pictures of the installation art in the campus. She particularly liked the cluster of bamboo poles. It looked perfect for a game of hide and seek. I liked the animal sculptures and the bench in between them. It seemed to invite me to sit down, to play with my imagination and to wonder. But, I didn't. 

Looking back, I think that is the whole point of the art works. I have been to the ADMU campus many times and I always get that feeling of youthful abandon each time I see these art pieces. Pause. Sit down. Breathe. Imagine. Wonder. Live.

Plet Bolipata Borlongan, thank you!

When I visit the ADMU campus again, I will take the artist's invitation to simply be. 

Friday, July 7, 2017

Museums and Art in Public Spaces (1 of 3)

In three weeks, Zoe and I will be back at school. She begins year 10 in the Academy and I carry on as teacher librarian. We are ticking the list of to do's one at a time and counting the days till the first day of school begins.

One of the activities we have ticked off our list is to visit museums. We have been to the Vargas Museum in UP Diliman, the Ateneo Art Gallery in Ateneo de Manila University and the Ayala Museum in Makati. All three museums are accessible to us with affordable entrance fees. As a matter of fact, I only paid Php 125 for Zoe and I went in for free in the Ayala Museum. 


Teachers only need to present their school IDs for free entrance to the Museum. So, if you are a teacher or a librarian with a faculty status, just make sure your ID says so, bookmark Ayala Museum's web page and follow the Museum's Twitter, Instagram or Facebook accounts for updates on workshops and new exhibits. The permanent displays never fail to mesmerize. The current ones are just as amazing. 

I have seen the Gold of Ancestors three times and this recent experience of looking and viewing at the artifacts made me more proud of my history, my heritage and my place in the world. Pre-colonial Filipinos (is there a better word or a term that is historically appropriate?) were already trading with the rest of the world and making art! The exhibit on textiles and indigenous weaving touched me so because the Gaddang people were part of it. One of my cousins in my father's side medntioned to me ages ago that we trace our lineage to the Gaddang. I will definitely go back and spend more time in that part of the Museum. Something about weaving, the meeting of the warp and weft, and the idea that man is a bridge between heaven and earth appealed to me. I find it strange how pieces of woven cloth moved me in ways I can't fully explain yet. I will keep this feeling on tab and park it in memory. In time, I will be able to connect the dots.




Another permanent display that engaged us was the Diorama Experience. I don't know about Zoe, but this exhibit is perfect for amplifying concepts in history like timelines and cause and effect, as well as human nature and the changing thought processes of each age and era. We missed the virtual reality on Rizal, but Arturo Luz's paintings and sculptures delighted us. It was simple but elegant. Unpretentious but classy. Less is more, indeed!

We went in at 11AM and came out at 1PM. Our minds and hearts were full. Our spirits lighter. We were hungry at the end of the visit that's why we had a heavy snack right after. That's the good thing about Makati. It makes everything accessible for everyone. 


Next post is about the exhibits in Vargas Museum and the manga exhibit in the Ateneo Art Gallery.



Thursday, July 6, 2017

A Day With Librarians of Laguna Province


My seminar-workshop on teacher-librarian collaboration in designing and implementing a Media and Information Literacy (MIL) Program with the Association of Librarians of Laguna Province Inc (ALLPI) was a success! There were 25 participants excluding the officers of ALLPI who came from private schools, public schools and colleges in the cities and towns of Laguna. Majority of the participants are first timers in a seminar-workshop on media and information literacy. This gave them reason to listen very well to my lecture and to follow the activities of the workshop. I felt their eagerness and enthusiasm in understanding the supportive roles they play to teachers and school leaders in the learning community. I think I gave a good introduction on this topic as well as presenting to them the basic concepts of MIL.

A few hours after my workshop, my Facebook feed received notifications of posts and tags on photos of the workshop. I did my own posting and I was happy to get a message from one participant saying that, "she always learn something new every time she attends my workshop." That is actually one of my goals in every workshop I do. One participant sent me messages over at Messenger today asking questions to clarify some points and concepts on MIL. Another' asked for my slide presentation and list of sources. Of course, ALLPI did an evaluation of the entire workshop but it is the direct feedback from participants that interests me more.

I do hope this is not the last MIL workshop I would do for ALLPI. In fact, I hinted on doing a part two. Let's see how things go because these things take time to grow and develop. Since MIL is a process oriented activity, something that can't be learned over night, I sure hope that there will be a follow up activity to the training.

The seminar-workshop was held at the Toyota Motor School of Technology in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Book Review: Issued to the Bride: One Sniper

Issued to the Bride: One Sniper (Brides of Chance Creek Book 3)Issued to the Bride: One Sniper by Cora Seton

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Getting an ARC of Cora Seton's book is always a pleasure to read and to write a review afterwards. The third book in the Brides of Chance Creek led me to familiar grounds, predictable troupes and plot lines and as usual, a comforting HEA (happily ever after). Not complaining. Going back to Chance Creek is like having coffee with friends I haven't met in a while.

In this book, Hunter and Jo went through all the motions necessary to end up HEA. The story stays true to its message of partnership, gender equality, compromises and women empowerment. Though, what I like about this series is Hunter's journey to redemption. It was his own and he was brave to face his demons that has haunted him for years. Thanks to Jo, love at first sight and the error of his ways. He was given a chance to begin life anew.

And when love is real, it does find a way.

It is now the General who baffles me. How his pride has gotten in the way of loving his daughters. The mysterious ways of his wife does little to make him go back to Two Willows. I wonder what big surprise Cora Seton has at the end of the series?



View all my reviews

Monday, July 3, 2017

Teachers and School Librarians Working Together for Student Achievement

This is a work in progress! Collecting and curating all my blog posts on teacher-librarian collaboration for Tuesday's training workshop. And for future endeavors. Blogs can be used as archiving, documenting and referencing tools.

Teacher-Librarian Collaborative Activities:  Library Scavenger Hunt
LSH 2016

Teacher-Librarian Collaboration Lesson Plans & Mini-Lessons
Lesson Plan on Information Literacy: Teaching the Big 6 Model (2006)
Dear School Librarian In Action: Library Skills Instruction for Prep Students (2012)

Teacher-Librarian Collaboration: Dynamics, Functions, Purpose and Roles

The Beacon Academy Library Packet for Teachers - A promotional material for inspiring collaboration with teachers (2012)

School Librarian as Collaborative Teaching Partner Five ways to make collaboration happen (2015)

Grade 9 English: Preparing for Personal Project
Grade 9 English: Preparing for Personal Project
A recent post on teacher and school librarian collaboration, where I worked with the English teacher in planning a mini-lesson on Search Strategies for Grade 9 students (2017)
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