Friday, March 13, 2009

Monkey Magic for Grade 3

Author and journalist Grant S. Clark will be talking with Grade 3 students on Thursday, March 26th, about the writing process and his new children's novel.

Book order forms are going home with Grade 3 students today.

Grant was recently interviewed on local television about his book. Watch a video clip below.

For more information about Grant Clark and his book, see Monkey Magic.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Heads up for Book Week, Mar 23-27

Plans so far:
  • D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything and Read) time every day;
  • Read for 2009 Seconds -- where everyone in the junior school simultaneously sits down and reads for 33 minutes 29 seconds;
  • Mother Tongue Monday -- where students, teachers, and parents are invited to conduct mini storytelling/read-aloud sessions in languages other than English during morning break and lunch break -- in the library and other venues;
  • Teacher Readers Tuesday -- where teachers swap classes for a special read-aloud session;
  • Poem in Your Pocket Wednesday -- where everyone in school must have a poem in their pocket all day long and be prepared to recite it (without looking) by anyone;
  • Non-Fiction Thursday -- where the focus is on non-fiction for the day;
  • Dress-Up Friday -- where everyone comes to school dressed as a character from a book or story;
Special Guest visits:
  • K1: Local illustrator Joshua Chiang will be doing live drawing on Monday, March 23rd;
  • K2: Local publisher Wan Hai of Ethos Books will be telling a Chinese version of The Elves and the Shoemaker from a book which she is just publishing this month and talking to students about how books get published;
  • Grade 1: Local author Shamini Flint will be presenting on her picture books re endangered animals on Friday, March 27th -- in 2 sessions (9:10 to 9:50, and 10:10 to 10:50);
  • Grade 2: a session with some puppeteers is being arranged -- to tie in with the "Arts Alive" unit of inquiry;
  • Grade 3: British author Grant S. Clark (resident in Singapore) will be talking about his recently published book, "Monkey Magic: The Curse of Mukada" (NB: book order forms will be going home next week);
  • Grade 4: Local author Shamini Flint will be spending time with each of the Grade 4 classes discussing her books "The Seeds of Time" and "Ten";
The main things you need to be thinking about are a poem for the Wednesday and a costume for the Friday.

I know I have to come up with a new idea since Abeer in 2MGo created a "Go Dog Go" hat for our 100th Day celebrations. He did a much better job than I would have done!

For those who want some ideas, see this document:
Book Character Dress-up Suggestions

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss

March 2nd is the birthday of Dr. Seuss. Born in 1904, he would have been 105 today (if he hadn't died in 1991).

Seussville is the official site for his children's books, which are so well-known they don't need mentioning.

But do you know what he did before he started writing for children? Check out his advertising work and his political cartoons written during WWII...

Teachers, want some Seuss-related classroom ideas? For literacy lessons, see this Web English Teacher webpage, while for science, see this lesson on Bartholemew and the Oobleck.

I'll end with my favorite Dr. Seuss quote:

I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, It's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, And that enables you to laugh at life's realities.

100 Days of Learning!

Monday, March 2, 2009, is our 100th day of school and we will be having a special assembly and events to mark it.

I just read Sir Ken Robinson's latest book, "The Element: how finding your passion changes everything" (yes, it's in our library) -- and towards the end of it he includes a poem by Loris Malaguzzi, the founder of the Emilio Reggio movement, which is -- appropriately -- about one hundred:

The child
is made of one hundred.
The child has
a hundred languages
a hundred hands
a hundred thoughts
a hundred ways of thinking
of playing, of speaking.
A hundred always a hundred
ways of listening
of marveling of loving
a hundred joys
for singing and understanding
a hundred worlds
to discover
a hundred worlds
to invent
a hundred worlds
to dream.
The child has
a hundred languages
(and a hundred hundred hundred more)
but they steal ninety-nine.
The school and the culture
separate the head from the body.
They tell the child:
to think without hands
to do without head
to listen and not to speak
to understand without joy
to love and to marvel
only at Easter and at Christmas.
They tell the child:
to discover the world already there
and of the hundred
they steal ninety-nine.
They tell the child:
that work and play
reality and fantasy
science and imagination
sky and earth
reason and dream
are things
that do not belong together.
And thus they tell the child
that the hundred is not there.
The child says:
No way. The hundred is there.

Want a book that features 100 in some way? Come into the library and pick up one from the display or see a full list from the catalog here.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Images and reflections on Fred Lipp's visit

(slideshow produced using PhotoPeach)

Several classes reflected in writing on Fred's visit.

From Rebecca in 3LWh:

"Frederick Lipp I think is a very good author. And I didn't know you could write when you're that old. I found it interesting that if you're an author you can also take part in the action. I like the idea of helping the actual people as well as writing a story. I also found interesting that it it takes a REALLY long time to write a book. I learnt that pictures also make a story come alive. I am glad Frederick Lipp is a children's author and not a grown-up author. Frederick Lipp is great at imagining and creating stories. In Cambodia Frederick Lipp made a new school for girls and boys. Someday I'm hoping to do the same! I can't believe that he came to our school and I would like to do this more often. One day I would like to visit Cambodia and help people. I wanted to ask him questions like: is Cambodia a really poor place, and what is the book that took you the longest to write?"

From Millie in 2MGo:

"I liked Frederick Lipp because he told us lots about Cambodia and he read his books to us. The book that he read was called "Running Shoes". It is about a girl called Sophy. Frederick Lipp was born in Maine, USA, and before he was a writer, he was a minister. I learnt that in Cambodia the way to make a wish is to go to the bird lady and buy a bird and make a wish as you let it go. If it flies free, your wish will come true, but if it goes back inside the cage, it will not come true. I found him and his wife, Kitty, very interesting."

In describing how seeing one photograph led him to write a children's book about Cambodia and eventually to setting up a charity to educate girls there, he told the students,

"Be careful what you write -- it can change your life."

Photos of Fred's visit can also be viewed here on Flickr.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Author visit, Mon Jan. 19: Frederick Lipp

We are very pleased to be welcoming Frederick Lipp on Monday, January 19, 2009, to our school.

Fred is the award-winning author of several picture books, including The Caged Birds of Phnom Penh and Running Shoes, both of which feature young girls in Cambodia striving for an education. (More information about his books can be found on his website.)

He is also the founder and president of the Cambodian Arts and Scholarship Foundation, a nonprofit organization providing educational opportunities for under-privileged children in Cambodia.

A retired Unitarian minister, Fred lives in Maine in the United States.

Below is his schedule for the day as well as the related Global Concerns and units of inquiry of each grade level that tie in with his visit.

NB: All presentations will be in the library/ICT room.

8:45 -- 9:45 AM
Group presentation to all Grade 2 and Grade 3 students

  • Grade 2's Global Concern is the Tabitha Foundation - Cambodia

  • Grade 3's Global Concern is PAL (Promoting Asian Literacy), which strives to provide basic education to those underprivileged children who do not have access to educational resources.
10:15 -- 11:15 AM
Group presentation to all of Grade 4
  • Grade 4's Global Concern is Child Workers in Nepal (CWIN), which acts as a voice for children forced to work as carpet weavers and campaigns against the exploitation of children providing temporary shelters and rehabilitation to children rescued straight of the street, often in bonded labour.
12:50 -- 1:20 PM Group presentation to one half of Grade 1
1:20 -- 1:50 PM Group presentation to other half of Grade 1
  • Grade 1 will be in the middle of a unit on "Work and Leisure", so the work of an author will be of interest to the children as well as thinking about the work and leisure aspects of children's lives in Cambodia.

  • Grade 1's Global Concern is Pinoy in the Philippines, which seeks to provide underprivileged children in the Philippines with quality education so they can break free of the poverty cycle.
We have Running Shoes and The Caged Birds of Phnom Penh in the library already, and the two other books (shown below) are on order from Kinokuniya.