Friends Rock: Books, etc.

December 7, 2010 Leave a comment

This Friday the primary school celebrates friendship throughout the day and after (with the Friends Rock social event).

Karl has collected some teaching resources together (see the PDFs in the Google Apps Shared Folder titled “Friends Rock”) as well as a list of online links (see the Diigo list: Friends Rock: Friendship Day).

The library also has plenty of books about friends (see the following Resource Lists).

Over 100 books are in the “Friendship” list, though there are obviously thousands that could qualify.  If I’ve left your favorite book about friendship off it, please let me know.

Classic friendship pairs in children’s literature include:

  • Frog & Toad — by Arnold Lobel
  • George & Martha — by James Marshall
  • Willy & Hugh — by Anthony Browne

More recent ones include:

  • Cat & Fish — by Joan Grant
  • Sheep & Goat – by Marleen Westera
  • Pearl Barley & Charlie Parsley — by Aaron Blabey
  • Little Beauty & the gorilla — in Anthony Browne’s “Little Beauty” (which is based on the real-life friendship told in the book “Koko’s Kitten” by Dr. Francine Patterson)
  • Bink & Gollie — by Kate DiCamillo
  • James & Eamon — in “A Couple of Boys have the Best Week Ever” — by Marla Frazee
  • Dog & Bear — by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
  • Cowboy & Octopus — by Jon Scieszka

One of our new books is a wordless exploration of the choices we can make every day in terms of friendship and inclusion.

“WHAT IF a boy found a beach ball and kicked it into the ocean? WHAT IF two seals found it and began to play? WHAT IF a third seal appeared on the beach looking for a friend?

In this spare and deceptively simple book, Laura Vaccaro Seeger shows us the same story with three different outcomes, each highlighting the possibility in possibilities.Youngest children will enjoy this visit to the beach and the chance to guess what happens when different choices are made.”

Come into the AMK library and browse through the basket of picture books on friendship — find something to share with your class on Friday.

A similar basket will be delivered to Kathryn (KMc) in Tampines tomorrow morning.

Image of clasped hands: via Flickr: Esellee

Categories: Books

United Nations Day – Resources

December 1, 2010 Leave a comment

Thanks, DGo, for prompting me to update my own list of resources good for UN Day.

First of all, here are some Resource Lists of books in our library — and a selection of picture books (suitable for read-alouds) will be available this morning in a basket on Kalimah’s side-desk counter in AMK — and a similar basket will be given to Kathryn (KMc) in Tampines.

Second, here is a list of web links related to UN Day — collected via Diigo, the social bookmarking site.  (All the links that Deb initially sent me are included, plus others.)

The links are roughly organized into the following sections:  Videos, Things for kids to do, Children around the world, World stats/maps, and United Nations info.

Check out the World stats/maps section for videos showing the “If the world were a village….” — and if you want to see numbers flashing with up-to-the-second stats on population, births, deaths, etc., go to WorldOMeters.

Categories: Resources, Special events

November 11: Remembrance Day

November 11, 2010 Leave a comment

Roxanne came in this morning and reminded me that today is Remembrance Day — the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month — when World War I ended.

Here is a resource list of books in the library on World War I.  Kalimah has pulled all the ones still available off the shelf and has them in a basket next to her desk.  Please feel free to come in and borrow them for a period or two.

I particularly recommend the story of the famous poem (NB: Roxanne has this book out, but will share it if you ask:

Here’s a moving song and dance rendition of that poem (Grade 5, perfect for your current unit):

Categories: Resources, Special events

BrainPOP and other subscription goodies

November 2, 2010 Leave a comment

Ben Morley just wrote and asked me re BrainPOP.  Yes, we do have a school subscription!

All the logins/passwords to school subscriptions can be found under the Quick Links tab on the Staff – East page after you’ve logged into the school website.



BrainPOP creates animated, curriculum-based content that engages students, supports educators, and bolsters achievement. Award-winning online educational resources include BrainPOP Jr.(K-3), BrainPOP, BrainPOP Español, and BrainPOP ESL. All are supported by BrainPOP Educators, and feature free lesson plans, video tutorials, professional development tools, graphic organizers, best practices, and much more.

The username and password can’t be printed here.  Go to the above school webpage to find them.

What else can you find there?  Login/passwords for BookFlix and TumbleBooks, Global Newsbank, Atomic Learning, etc.

Atomic Learning gives you instant access to technology tutorials on things like:

Go have a look at our subscriptions…..  Let us know if you have any problems logging into anything.

Note: Encyclopedia Britannica is the only one where we do NOT have a login/password for out-of-school access.

Inquiry with Kath Murdoch – Nov. 8-10, 2010

November 1, 2010 Leave a comment

Kath Murdoch returns one year later….

I’ve put various materials and links — all relating to Kath — on the Teacher Library portal.  See the Kath Murdoch page.   (There are still a couple of books of hers available in the library, and every grade level should have a copy of her Classroom Connections.)

The schedule for her visit has been posted on (see here).

Here are my (Google Docs) notes from her visit with us Nov. 9, 2009.  For those of you who were here, the notes should jog your memory.  For those of you who weren’t, it will give you some idea of what we did.

A few weeks after her visit, we did a walk around each other’s teaching spaces, looking for evidence of the kinds of learning Kath promotes.  Click here to see a few pictures I took that day.

p.s.  In preparation for Kath’s visit — and in thinking about inquiry in general, I recommend you read Kathy Short’s chapter “Inquiry as a Stance on Curriculum” in the book Taking the PYP Forward — which you can find online here on the Inquiry page on the Resourcing the PYP website.

(We do have a copy of  Taking the PYP Forward in the library, but it’s still being processed.  Will be available next week.)

Hands on Literacy – Sat. Nov. 13

October 26, 2010 Leave a comment

A reminder that you have until November 1st to sign up for the one-day professional development day

Hands on Literacy in the 21st century classroom and library

Time/location:  Saturday, November 13, 2010 — 9:00 AM – 4:30PM at Tanglin Trust School

I’m on the committee organizing it (so I highly recommend it!) and am responsible for the above website.

In connection with the conference, over the holiday I created my first mobile website as well as a QR (Quick Response) code to allow people to easily pull up the mobile website using their iPhone or smartphone.

QR codes are my latest thrill.  Have you seen them?

(NB: first download a free QR Code reader app for your smartphone – here’s someone who recommends a few)

You then point your iPhone/iPod Touch camera at the code and it automatically loads the information – e.g., the URL into your browser.

QR (Quick Response) Codes are a way of providing easy access to extra information.

Read the Wikipedia entry on QR Codes

Kaywa is a popular QR code generator.

Here’s a Google Doc listing interesting ways of possibly using QR codes in the classroom

If you want me to demonstrate them, stop by my desk.


October 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Yes, we have lots of books relating to Halloween – plus plenty of ghost stories and generally scary stuff.

See this Resource List in library catalog:  Halloween

(If you don’t see your favorite book here, leave me a recommendation in a Comment.)

Plus this related video book – perfect for playing on the IWB:

*BookFlix is one of the two video book subscriptions we have – along with TumbleBooks – both available from the library catalog homepage.  If the sites don’t automatically log you in, you need to use the login/password information which you can find under Resources & Information on the Staff-East page on the school website.  Remember: both these sites can be accessed from anywhere as long as you have the login/password information.

Alternatively, you can play the game “Pumpkin Remover” (this week only) with the kids on your IWB.  (And if you’ve never played “Red Remover“, you’re in for a treat.  A compulsive game that makes you think….)

NB: Tampines staff

I’m sending these four picture books over with Ernie tomorrow, checked out to Kathryn, for you to share.

This is a totally comforting story of a girl who finds ghosts in her house, so she washes them in the washing machine and then makes them useful around the house.  Beautiful orange, black, and white images

A Halloween version of “The Big Turnip” — how can they pull up the big pumpkin to make pumpkin pie?

A cumulative story full of noises — be sure to read ahead of time so you can act out accordingly.

A Halloween version of “The House That Jack Built”


Categories: Books, Special events