Sunday, September 8, 2013

Final Posting, Closing this Account

Dear Colleagues, Parents, Students,
I am officially signing out of this Blog. It has been fun working with you all.
With my new job full-time starting this autumn at Adam Beck Jr. P.S.,
I have decided this public forum no longer suits my work schedule.

If you still are interested in following my educational and recreational interests and postings,
please follow me on PINTEREST. I find this organisation much more suited to my work style,
and postings and links offer better layout. PINTEREST uses bulletin boards,
much in the way teachers have always posted in their classrooms and staffrooms.

Best wishes for your Learning Commons adventures,

Guardian Librarian,
Mme G. Dassios

Sunday, February 3, 2013

CNE Award Presentation @ OLA SuperConference

Alicia Cherayil & Candice McCavitt, Zis Parras, Mrs. D, Meredith Tutching
Exhibit Coordinators, Program Manager, (me), OLA Forest Program Coordinator

This past week, Ontario Library Association (OLA) held it's annual conference at the Toronto Convention Centre. I had the honour of speaking at the Forest of Reading Breakfast, where we bestowed an Honour Recognition Award to Zis Parras, Program Manager of the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE). He, along with his colleagues, Candace McCavitt & Alicia Cherayil were instrumental in hosting the Blue Spruce 10th Anniversary Exhibit at the CNE this past summer. Here is the speech I made:

Forest of Reading-  CNE,  Zis Parras, Candace McCavitt & Alicia Cherayil Presentation
- Breakfast - January 31, 2013.
It was in 2002 that OLA ran the first Province-wide Blue Spruce Reading Program. Ontario children from Kindergarten to grade 3 were introduced to the best in Canadian Children’s Picture Books.  I had the opportunity to meet artist Bill Slavin at this very Conference several years ago. When I asked him what he did with all the amazing artwork he created over 25 years of illustrating, he said, "I have a house full. You want some?"
So fast forward 10 years, we celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Blue Spruce Award. The Celebration took form in a National Exhibit of the original artwork that was borrowed from artists across Canada and displayed at the CNE.
It is my immense honour to introduce to you 3 outstanding individuals from the Canadian National Exhibition. 
Zis Parras, – Program Manager at the CNE
Exhibit Co-ordinators - Candice McCavitt & Alicia Cherayil
Although he warmly refers to himself as a "Carnie"... Zis is no stranger to the Canadian Arts Community. In the past, he has been:
  • General manager - Theatre Direct Canada
  • Outreach Consultant - Opera Ontario
  • Education and Outreach Director - National Ballet of Canada
  • Education and Outreach Co-ordinator - Canadian Opera Company
This past summer, the OLA staff and volunteers had a very special project that was finally realized with the partnership of the Canadian National Exhibition. At ‘THE EX’ we got the opportunity to be part history of Toronto’s landmark summer games and entertainment park. The exhibition size of the space Zis arranged for OLA to put on the exhibit was 75' x 20' = 1500 sq ft  for 3 weeks of time.This was the 134th year - 1879 being the first Exhibit year. This past summer the CNE was host to 1.9 million visiters, up 13% in paid attendance from 2011.
The Ontario Library Association would like to present a special recognition award to Zis and the CNE, on behalf of all the Librarians, readers of the Forest of Reading and especially the illustrators of Canadian Children’s Books who were nominated for the Blue Spruce Award in the first 10 years of the Blue Spruce Program. The CNE played a huge role in helping us promote the Blue Spruce artists and the 10th Anniversary Exhibit to the Canadian public and many, many visitors from across Canada and from around the world.
Watch in the next few days for more reports from OLA Super Conference.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Silence too long! This is Oh! so "PINTEREST"ing

Getting back to work full-time this year, 2 Toronto City communities to service, has been a hefty endeavour... to say the least!!! As I purused my colleagues' very informative, extensive postings, I thought tonight that I should once again post to my most valued readership!

Last week, I watched an episode of Jeopardy! that reminded me that no matter how hard I try to keep up with the pace of technology and all the web creations, there are so so many developments, I will never be able to keep up. One category was around Social Media on the Web, I was able to only answer 2 of the 5 questions, Facebook and Pinterest. So here now my reflections on the latter.

Case in point: Social media. "Pinterest".
I created a Pinterest account for myself to explore this new Social Media. I was taken by the very teacher friendly layout of Bulletin Boards! It appears like scrolling panels of themes that are related to the themes that you create and post. The algorithms of Pinterest recommend and post for you more bulletin boards in your sphere of interests... I could spend hours connecting world wide with people in education, new technology, delicious food, beautiful scenes and clothing. As I explored one link after the other, I was sent to many great educational sites and links. There are so many talented and generous teachers sharing ideas, lessons and skills for teachers and students.

Here's the link:

First Grade Faculty as an excellent example of resource rich sites:

Second Grade Squad:

Join up! Create an account and may your scrolling searches be fruitful!


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Canadian Children's Book Centre AWARDS!!!

Last night, as the Co-Chair of the OLA Forest of Reading Programs, I had the incredible privilege of attending one of the most sought after, hottest ticketed events in Canada...
The Canadian Childrens' Book Centre AWARDS.
It was held @ the truly, ritzy, glitzy,  RITZ CARLTON HOTEL in downtown Toronto, sponsored by the TD Bank. It was an outstanding reception, well attended by all areas of Canadian Children's literary and publishing industry. We were served delicious hors d'oeuvres, and at several buffets feasted on a variety of dishes, from antipasto, to seafood crepes and a mouth watering surf 'n turf stir fry. With my Co-Chair Helen Kubiw, we had the honour of hobnobbing with well known, and new authors and illustrators. I had the chance to connect with Teacher-Librarians and book publisher and distributors.

A particularily delightful encounter was Montréal author/illustrator, Philippe Béha, who is the current winner of the Grade One Canadian Book give away. He is also currently on a Canada-wide promotional tour for the book, visiting schools and libraries from Newfoundland to British Columbia.

The Awards Ceremonies themselves were MC'd by vivacious host
Garvia Bailey, of Big City, Small World on CBC One.
The winners of each award gave some of the most gracious and articulate acceptance speeches in recent memory, as was pointed out by President and CEO of TD Bank, Mr. Tim Hockey. (Yes, we are quite impressed by the Canadianism of his name, so so appropriate for the evening's event!)

So, you need to find a fantastic book??? You have to check out all the books that were nominated at the CCBC website... and of course, below that, the winners. But in my Teacher-Librarian book,
they and we are all winners for these publications. Enjoy! and enjoy my pics!


Gianna and Helen - "Putting on the Ritz"!!!

Philippe Béha - "I've Lost My Cat"

Winner of the Grade One Book Give-Away

John Spray , President, Mantis Investigation Agency, Presenter

John Spray Mystery Award ($5,000)

Charlie’s Key   by Rob Mills (Peterborough, ON)
Orca Book Publishers


Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy

What Happened to Serenity?  by P.J. Sarah Collins (Vancouver, BC), Red Deer Press

The Hangman in the Mirror by Kate Cayley (Toronto, ON) Annick Press

Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction ($10,000)

Presentors: Mr. Fleck & daughter Quinn Fleck

Loon  by Susan Vande Griek (Halifax, NS) Illustrated by Karen Reczuch (Acton, ON) Groundwood Books

Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award ($20,000)

Without You - Written and illustrated by Geneviève Côté

(Montreal, QC)   Kids Can Press

TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award ($30,000)

Sponsored by TD Bank Group

                  Stones for My Father

Written by Trilby Kent - Tundra Books

Helen, Gianna Shelagh Paterson - OLA President

Karen Reczuch (Acton, ON)

                Philippe Béha, Richard, Geneviève Côté

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A New School Year, A New Job!!!

Welcome back to the Guardian Librarian site!

I am so thrilled to join the Adam Beck P.S. staff this fall in the Learning Commons as the IT/Informatique instructor!!! Each day, I am quickly finding my way more confidently around this huge facility. Administration, Staff and students have all been so helpful when I am lost or not sure of the routines. I hope all the years of training and experiences I bring to Adam Beck will benefit staff and students as the year progresses.

I'm looking forward to an exciting year of teaching both at Adam Beck P.S. and Chine Dr. P.S.
As you may have already noticed, I have updated the title to reflect my new job and responsibilities...
Going back to French Immersion milieu ... un grand plaisir... is such a great pleasure to use my French language skills once again on a daily basis.

First of all, a big thank you to all the OLA staff and volunteers (over 50!!!) who came out to the CNE this past summer to help us run the Blue Spruce Award Exhibit, 10th Anniversary of programming.
It was a thrill to be up close and personally viewing the original artwork that had been created for Canada's best illustrated picture books. Meeting Kari-Lynn Winters and Sean Cassidy was also a wonderful highlight of the programme. Many thanks to the CNE, Zis Parris, General Manager of Programming for coordinating the 75 feet of exhibit space for our programme. For my first posting, I will reflect on the amazing collection of authors and illustrators that made the OLA's Blue Spruce Award Reading Programme such a huge success. Check out my picture slideshow coming soon!
Enjoy... Au plaisir de la prochaine rencontre!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Blue Spruce 10th Anniversary @ the Canadian National Exhibition

10th Anniversary Blue Spruce™ Award Program Exhibit !!!!!!!

Join us at the CNE this summer!!!
Daily: Friday, August 17th - Monday, September 3rd
Open: 10 am - 10 pm
Booth 711, Arts, Crafts & Hobbies Pavilion
The Ontario Library Association and the CNE are proud to present this exhibit celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Blue Spruce Awards. The Blue Spruce Award is an annual award honouring the author/illustrator of the best picture book as chosen by Kindergarten to Grade 2 students from across the province. This exhibit will feature artwork from some of the 100 books nominated in the last 10 years, as well as interactive children’s crafts and a reading corner.

Photo: The Farm Team by Bill Slavin

Canadian National Exhibition - Home
Come join me and many volunteers from OLA, to see the ORIGINAL whimsical water colour paintings of Bill Slavin, finely sculpted, colourful bas-relief images from Barbara Reid's "Subway Mouse" and "Perfect Snow",  Bruno St-Aubin's capricious and funny illustration from "The Hockey Sweater", Stéphane Jorisch's stylized "Suki's Kimono" and Jeremy Tankard bold graphics in "Boo Hoo Bird".... just to name a few!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

La Belle Provence! Québec City

Bonjour mes amis! Last week, my principal, two other staff members and I had the pleasure of accompanying our Grade 7 and 8's to do a bus tour of Québec City. Ten hours on a bus, albeit a brand 3 month new Luxury Coach Bus, is still a very, very long bus ride! We picked up our very enthusiastic born and raised in Québec guide, Mathieu, at the Pickering GO Station. I also did this trip with our students 2 years ago, and I was amazed at how quickly the actual drive passed, with talks and rules recited by Mathieu, music and movies to hold our attention or not, I was equally surprised at how slowly the 2 days of touring seemed to go, as we packed each of those two days with more site seeing than I would do in a week. I had the feeling that days were much longer.

Removed from my Learning Commons Library and Computer Lab, I was reminded the importance of getting in touch with the real places and people of the world, and how much learning goes on:
@ Musée du Fort, where one of our male students exclaimed, "That is one the best history lessons I ever had. That's how I learn best!" Models of land, battles, slide show of armies, navies...
Always impressive, is being able to talk in French, non-stop to everyone you meet. Here's a quick list of the great places we visited:

  • Ste-Anne de Beaupré Cathédrale
  • Chez Marie Patisserie et l'érable
  • Les Chutes Montmorency
  • Soirée au Manoir Montmorency
  • Buffet breakfast and return to Toronto... pics to be posted tomorrow!!!

A library book opens the door to visit anywhere in the world

A library book opens the door to visit anywhere in the world
Lago di Como, Lombardia, Italia