Saturday, February 26, 2011

CanAsian International Dance - Harbourfront

Friday, the Grade 7-8 class attended the annual CanAsian Dance show. Excellent show of 4 distinct and beautifully rendered performances that followed the tradional places of the Silk Road. Check out the video link on my side panel.

Whirling Dervish - My first real, live view of Turkish male dancer Ziya Asazi

Mi Young Kim - Korean Drum and Traditional dance

Bageshree Vaze - East Indian "Lucknow's Jewel" Kathak dance - tribute to God Ganesh, she also wrote and sings music

Khmer Rouge Classical Cambodian meets Modern - Tribal Crackling Wind-Peter Chin choreographer

Such a pleasure when I get to participate in class events... as the Teacher-Librarian I rarely get out!

Excellent review in the GLOBE & MAIL, Saturday:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Peyton & Tess write to author Norbert Rosing.................. Silver Birch Express Nominee

Dear Norbert,

I am writing to you to tell you how awesome your polar bear book is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I liked the picture were the cute little cub was trying to get up the hill with his mother helping him. It was super duper cute! I am also writing to you because your book is very good of telling what all the polar bears are doing in every picture. I would give you 2 thumbs up because it was so awesome
Thank you for taking the time for reading the letter I sent you.



Hi Norbert I really like your book on polar
Bears . My favorite picture is the one where the baby cub was high fiving his or her mother. Your book is truly amazing I would personally read it again. I also like the part where he or she was playing with the tire. I guess what I` m saying is your book is amazing and I would give you all of my fingers up.

Love always,

Silver Birch Updates

We held a great meeting of the Silver Birch READERS!!! today in the Learning Commons almost everyone was able to attend. We even had a special visit from our Principal, Mrs. Fisher, who is an avid Forest of Reading fan. She told us about her impressions of the Silver Birch book "The Giant Slayer". It is a book set in the 1950's in Canada at a time when hundreds of children were struck ill with a virus called Polio. Some children died, and many were taken to hospitals where they were put into huge tanks called "The Iron Lung" and it helped them breathe. Thankfully, today there now exists a vaccination that all childen get when they are young and they are protected from getting this disease. The other book she mentioned was "Coyote Solstice" a very short but powerful message about consumerism. When we often want to buy something and ask ourselves... do we really need it? Especially during the holidays, can we buy something as precious as "Goodwill"?

Last week, two of our readers, Tess and Peyton, took the time to write a very kind letter to the author they were reading: Norbert Rosing. He wrote the Silver Birch Express nominated title, "Polar Bears". We weren't able to find his email or mailing address, so we contacted his publishers at Firefly Publications. Much to our delight, they forwarded their two letters to Norbert, and within 24 hours, we received a reply... all the way from GERMANY!! Here is the flow of communication between our students and author Norbert Rosing:
An editor at Firefly Books writes us:

Hello Mrs. Dassios,
This was a fast reply from Norbert!
Note that he lives in Germany; English is not his first language.
Ann Quinn
Firefly Books

------ Forwarded Message
From: Norbert Rosing
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2011 04:29:25 -0500

Dear Mrs. Dassios,

Well, I cannot tell you how much enjoyed yesterday evening to receive the letters from your students. Isn`t that what life is all about? Thank you so much for forwarding the letters to me. I will honor these letters and keep them.

All the best
Norbert Rosing

To Peyton and Tess,

Yes - they do! Polar bears do Rock! Especially your heart. When I saw my first polar bear, he came straight at me while I was sitting in a car on a remote dirt road. With head up he came right up to the vehicle, looked at me, sniffed at the window (at that time I thought it was exciting - today I think it was pretty stupid of me to let the bear come so close). Anyway, it was one of my key experiences to decide, I want to become a polar bear and Arctic photographer. This is now many seasons ago, I have seen hundreds of polar bear. But the fascination is still there. You never now what they will do in the next moment. Sometimes they look very dangerous, sometimes you just want to go over there and hug them. Once I tried to hug a small polar bear cub while the mother was put to sleep by scientists. I soon as I touched the little guy he bit me in the arm and I felt how powerful the nice little fluffy guys are already. O.k., I learned my lesson right there. Don`t fool around with polar bears! Since that time, I keep my distance. Paying all animals respect. Don`t do anything to them you don`t want to experience yourself and feel on your own body. This attitude worked very good for me in all parts of the world.

To both of you - I was very touched by your letters and for me it means much more then payment for a picture. Maybe you will have a chance to go to Churchill Manitoba one day. I would love to meet you there.
Visit the webite of PBI also. (Polar Bears International)

All the best to you
Norbert Rosing

This week THREE (YES 3) poster prize winners (since Mrs. D completely forgot to do the draw! :D sorry!) WINNERS: Klarissa,

Friday, February 18, 2011

Week in review

Classes have returned in full swing to the Learning Commons this week. The Kinder's, Grades 1 & 2 are now halfway through the Blue Spruce Reading Programme. Students are enjoying hearing and responding to the 1st 5 books: Big Bear Hug, C'Mere Boy, Have I got a Book For You, Jack the Bear and Imaginary Garden. Check out my Shelfari LINKS to get more information about each title.

Our Silver Birch Club met on Wednesday. Several students had the opportunity to send a letter via email to their favourite authors. Peyton and Tess wrote to Norbert Rosling, "Polar Bears" and received a wonderful letter in return from GERMANY! within 24 hours of us having contacted the publishers to forward the mail. Norbert was very thankful and honoured to received the students' letters.

The Juniors, Grades 4/5 and 5/6 have been busy working on assignments mostly in the computer lab. Power Points on the Middle Ages, and Ancient Civilzations. The Intermediates have been presenting excellent assignments on Music. Using intrument props, (Neera - Indian, Bagpipes - Scottish) and even dance demonstrations.

Our student leaders did an outstanding job fundraising and raising awareness for the predicament of the Haiti situation. A brilliant talent show organized for the student body showed off the variety and extent of our students skills in singing and dancing. I had the opportunity to share a new book: Eight Days: A Story of Haiti, by Edwidge Danticat, Alix Delinois.

Have a wonderful Family Day weekend!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Saturday Day 4 - Super conference closing day

Imagine you are seated at a table, about to eat your lunch, surrounded by 2,500 librarians who have come from across Canada and the U.S.A... as the waiters take their stands, a lone operatic tenor voice bursts out in glorious song from the middle of the room. Suddenly, more sopranos join in, an alto here and there... and the whole room is drenched in the rising voices of the Toronto Orfeus Choir! FLASH MOB CHOIR!!! What an amazing experience of sheer joy and music. The song closing and 2,500 librarians rise to their feet in applause and appreciation of this wonderful gift from the organizing team of OLA.

The morning started with a very inspiring speech from Diana Swain of the CBC news. She spoke about the importance of recognizing leaders amoung us, who are not necessarily the top performers, nor the most important people. The world changes in little increments of helping and improving the human condition. We need to keep recognizing the importance of the little jobs and tasks that make our communities a better place to live.

I attending workshops learning more about Computer programs and Graphic Novels. Two great areas of our Learning Commons I hope to introduce to our staff and students. Uses for Frames4, and curriculum specific assignments Social Studies, Math, Science and Health. Use of claymation and various writing - procedural, persuasive and descriptive.

The highlight of the day was definitely the speech given by CBC radio broadcaster, Jian Ghomeshi. Did you know he was of Iranian background? He had many interesting takes on the changing media and how his program "Q" is multi-media, radio, tv, youtube, myspace... very interesting! Do you think the book is dead? Will we all only use a type of screen, computer or ebook to read in the future???

Friday, February 4, 2011

DAy 3 - Super dee Duper Conference OLA

Had another amazing day of interesting and informative speeches today. Started off with the Key Note address by Canadian Cinema Director - ATOM EGOYAN!! He spoke very eloquently about the collaborative effort on making movies. He had a really funny story to tell about his childhood experience with Librarians- He said a librarian got really angry at him because he made a tiny scratch on a vinyl record album (sort of like a CD - only wayyy older!)
Then I had a chance to view new books in the Commercial Show Floor. I bought about a dozen books for the school. I can't wait to share them with my students!
I stayed at the Forest of Reading table for a while, as I am the Vice-Chair this year and I had the chance to talk to 2 of our selection committee members from the Halton District (Burlington). At that moment, Canadian author Sharon Jennings stopped by! I had a chance to chat with her too!! She is nominated for 2 awards this year: Blue Spruce - C'Mere Boy, and Silver Birch - Home Free. What an honour!
Then I went to a session about how to set up a Learning Commons...well, I was very pleased to note that Chine Drive is far and away ahead in this department. Thanks to all the parents, staff, students and especially Mrs. Fisher our Principal who work very diligently to keep our resources and techology up to date. It is such a pleasure to work with a great team! See you tomorrow!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

OLA Day 2 @ Super Conference

Breakfast of Champions today! I got to meet up with the Forest of Reading committee members over breakfast. The 2010 winners of Forest Awards were all in Toronto for the Annual Showcase at the Toronto Convention Centre.

As the Vice-Chair of the programme, I shared the responsibilities with Gail Sedgewick to introduce the authors and illustrators. Amazing speakers, these authors. Today I was profoundly inspired by the work and words of: Jeremy Tankard, Larry Veerstaad, Susin Neilson, Pam Bustid and the very special team, Katie Smith Milway & Eugenie Fernandes, illustrator. I kind of got emotional as I introduced Katie and Eugenie. They had come to visit Chine Drive P.S. 2 years ago, but due to family circumstances, I was unable to meet them nor see their presentation. However, fate has a way of reuniting special people in our lives. The book "One Hen" a story about Kojo in Ghana, Africa, shows how one loan, microfinancing can change the world. Katie is a brilliant speaker and director for her Charity, One Hen Org.

Later in the afternoon, we heard Michael Wesch, Professor of Media Literacy speak about how technology and social networking is changing the world. Amazing talk!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ontario Library Association ~ 2011 ~ (OLA) ~ Super Conference ~ Day ONE

The weather forecast for Toronto this morning was severe winter storm - it must be Ontario Library Association Super Conference! It was the first time in 12 years, the Director of the Toronto District announced that the Public Schools would be closed for a SNOW DAY!

Although disappointed to miss the time at home, Mrs. Dassios braved the storm, and along with Mrs. Fisher was able to present a workshop at the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto.

We got online and had the opportunity to develop our "Twitter" skills.
You can follow Mrs. Dassios @ GuardLibrarian.

We were well received as we spoke about the ongoing Professional Development that is taking place at our Family of Schools in Scarborough SE. The new document "Together for Learning" is taking the libraries of Ontario in a new direction - The Learning Commons. Chine Drive P.S. is proudly taking great steps to the implementation of resources, technologies, timetabling and staffing to ensure that the students get the best Information Services available today. We hope to continue expanding the use of Professional Learning Communities with our neighbouring schools to demonstrate and learn the skills and knowledge for the Learning Commons.

Looking forward to many more exciting workshops this week!!!

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