Friday, December 16, 2011

Hockey is ME!

Well it certainly has been one hectic first term at Chine Drive! I have been Choir conductor. Our Choir sang beautifully at the Remembrance Day Assembly. I am helping Mlle Asselin coach the Girls' Grade 5 -6  Volleyball team, and one AMAZING DEVELOPMENT... I have taken on the Chine Hockey Team responsibilities. We have 2 parents who will be the ice coaches, I will be the "GM" (General Manager)

After I  dropped by to see our 2 rookie players participate in the TDSB Hockey Clinic, I was challenged by the TDSB athletic staff to "LACE UP!" so I DID!!! Thanks to our friend Liz Pead, Hockey player and Hockey artiste extraodinaire, who lent me the Hockey equipment, I was able to participate in my very first Hockey lesson. I was so excited by that day of skating and hockey skills playing, I was invited by Liz to drop by and see her Hockey school... so... I am now a Hockey Student and hopefully will improve my skills as our students do... although many of our students already have Double AA playing abilities, I know I will never catch up, but I hope to improve and make it a life long sport to enjoy!

You can view my video of the TDESSA Hockey Clinic:

Mrs. Dassios Learns to Play Hockey!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5Jcm7zjWo8

Monday, October 10, 2011

Canadian Childrens' Book Centre CCBC - @ The Carlu!!!






CCBC - Canadian Childrens' Book Centre AWARDS 2011

I may only work afternoons at Chine Dr. P.S., but in my spare time, I volunteer many hours, this year, moving into the role of the Chair of the Forest of Reading, at the Ontario Library Association.
It is a tremendous honour, and I have to thank, literally, HUNDREDS of librarians and Teacher-Librarians across Ontario, for the countless hours they volunteer to make all the OLA Reading Programs such a success, selecting books and steering committees who run the programs.
FOREST OF READING, OLA site:
http://www.accessola.com/ola/bins/content_page.asp?cid=92

This past week, I was invited to attend the Canadian Childrens' Book Centre Awards at the very chic, Carlu Reception Hall, downtown Toronto. It was an amazing event, sponsored by the TD Bank.
The CCBC also organizes many fantastic reading programs and sponsors authors from across Canada to tour our country and bring their imaginative stories and illustrations to Canadian children.

CCBC : Canadian Childrens' Book Centre:
http://www.bookcentre.ca/
Several Awards were up for grabs, with hefty monetary prize attached to each:

* Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction $5,000
* John Spray Mystery Award $5,000
* Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction $10,000
* Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award $20,000
* TD Canadian Children's Literature Award  (English & French)  $25,000 each
and newly minted award which will be presented for the first time next year in 2012:
* Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction & Fantasy $5,000
I was honoured to meet and discuss the Childrens Books with authors, illustrators, librarians, publishers, book distributors and programming experts of the field. Check out my pictures and hopefully, you will get to read some of their wonderfully entertaining books.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

CHINE LIBRARY ON-LINE!!!

You hear about a news story that is covered in the Globe & Mail, the Toronto Star or Maclean's Magazine, and you are frustrated that you don't subscribe to these periodicals, well... fret no more!!
You and your family now have access to thousands of periodicals on-line.

AS students get into the Learning Commons and have re-established the routines, it is a great time for parents to get involved with their child's learning on-line. The TDSB has poured thousands of $$$ to purchase access to information that all Toronto Public School students and their families can access from their home computers for FREE! As your child or moi, Mrs. Dassios at the Chine Learning Commons (Library/Computer Lab) and we will get your the user and passwords to access all these resources on-line.

Lots of really neat and informative periodicals: American Artist, http://www.albertahistory.org/default/ ,
astronomy, The Beaver: Canada's History, Camping Magazine, Canadian Living... etc. etc!

Check with the TDSB Bookmark for User and Password access!

http://www.tdsb.on.ca/libraries/cat.asp?schoolNo=4390

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Meet the Teacher-Librarian Night, TONIGHT!!!

Come on down to the Learning Commons at Chine Drive P.S.!
Open house tonight and I will be putting lots of STUFF on display
for your reading and researching pleasure.
Don't forget to pick up your own
TDSB Library Website BOOKMARK!
It has all the user and passwords for you to
access THOUSANDS of amazing sites.
See you later, alligators!

http://www.tdsb.on.ca/libraries/cat.asp?schoolNo=4390

Festival of Trees 2011 Winners and Honour Books Ceremonies

Several Chine Drive Students had the honour of introducing and presenting
awards at the Festival of Trees last May, 2011.
*Klarissa, Sadhdb, Emelia, Tyler, Eric, Tess
Have a peek:


Friday, September 9, 2011

Welcome Back Chine Learning Common Followers!

Hello Chine Community! Welcome back to the Learning Commons!

I hope you have all enjoyed the first week of school. Over the summer, with the assistance of a team of 6 High School Volunteers, we were able to change the bookcase set up for our Smart Board ("interactive white board").
A big round of applause and many thanks go out to:
 Christian, Evan, Kathryn, Kia and Alessa.
I calculated that it required approximately 140 community service hours!!!

I am so excited to be working in complete PARTNERS IN ACTION schedule this year!
As we gear up for the new school year, we are consolidating class visits to the Learning Commons for book exchange, Smart Board and computer lab use. Each class will be assigned one or two time slots, which will be fixed for the most part. The Partners method of working in the Learning Commons means I will be flexible in my work with staff and students. As the need arises, we will schedule more or less work periods in the Learning Commons. Some days, we will focus on basic computer skills for one period. The following week, we may spend several periods engaging in initial research for a Science or Social Studies project. Other days, students may only hear one book talk, then exchange their library books, other weeks, we may be engaged in one of a series of 6 Literature Circles discussion meetings using one of hundreds of Junior or Intermediate Novels.

I have also resumed my volunteer work with the Ontario Library Association.
I'm thrilled to announce that this year, I am taking responsibilities of the
Chairperson, for the Forest of Reading Programs in Ontario!
I have already begun my duties last June, involved in many meetings with
staff downtown at Ontario Library Association.
Be prepared for another fantastic year filled with
AMAZING CANADIAN AUTHORS AND ILLUSTRATORS!!!

guardian_librarian out,
leaving you with one of the most spectacular images
I witnessed this summer, the Opera of "La Traviata" by Giuseppe Verdi,
staged at the Arena in Verona, Italy! Ciao for now!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Silver Birch news on CTS with Connie Smith

Silver Birch is reported on CTS "Always Good News" with Connie Smith. The May 20, 2011 broadcast she interviews several authors and students involved in this year's Harbourfront Festival of Reading event.

The Silver Birch clip starts at about the 4 minute mark:

http://www.ctstv.com/agn/

Thanks to Arthur Slade for posting on Facebook!

Guardian Librarian
aka Mrs. Dassios

Saturday, May 21, 2011

CBC National News!! Forest of Reading

Along with Silver Birch and Blue Spruce the Red Maple Non-Fiction Award was granted to an amazing young woman, Mariatu Kamara, a child refugee from Sierra Leone.

This was a particularly heart-wrenching story, told with dignity, grace and courage beyond belief. CBC National News reporters were at the Festival of Reading Harbourfront event
when Mariatu won the Red Maple Non-Fiction Award:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/arts/books/story/2011/05/12/forest-reading-awards.html

To find out more about "Bite of the Mango" go to Annick Press website:

http://site.annickpress.com/catalog/catalog.aspx?Title=Bite+of+the+Mango,+The

Monday, May 16, 2011

Silver Birch Fiction Award Ceremony - Video clip

From Youtube, Debbie Ohi was in attendance of the Festival of Trees and produced this short video of the Silver Birch Fiction Award Ceremony. Energy CUBED!! Thanks, Debbie!! Enjoy!

http://j.mp/lSSeMz

Mrs. D
aka Guardian Librarian

Friday, May 13, 2011

Silver Birch Ceremonies - Harbourfront

Marvelous day had by all! Congratulations to our student presenters and sign carriers, in the Silver Birch Fiction and Express Ceremonies. You did Chine Drive PROUD!

Klarissa & Sadhbh (Irish pron. "Sive") for SB Fiction author Jill McLean
Eric & Tess for SB Express - author Thomas King and illustrator Gary Clement

View the HARBOURFRONT
2011 Silver Birch Ceremonies pictures on line:

http://j.mp/iUMCS2

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Red Maple, Blue Spruce & White Pine HARBOURFRONT




















My very fashionable Forest of Reading - Canadian book covers HAT! With Red Maple Non-Fiction author Susan Hughes, "No Girls Allowed: Tales of Daring Women who Dressed as Men for Love, Freedom and Adventure!! (do I qualify???)

Chine Grade 2 students get to meet Dave Whamond, author and illustrator of "My Think-a-ma-Jink" the Winner - Blue Spruce Award 2011!! The reading and interview will be published on the Owl Kids website. We were very proud of our sign carriers from Chine: Tyler L. and Emelia P. Great job!

Today at Harbourfront there were 3,500 students to celebrate the great Canadian writers and illustrators nominated for the OLA Red Maple, Blue Spruce and White Pine awards. Fun was had by all, especially the authors and illustrators in Toronto from across Canada, being feted by their exuberant reading fans. The weather was excellent, sunny, clear as the students made their way to the West Jet stage and spent the day in craft, arts and game activities relating to the themes and books nominated this year. Day one over, and volunteers gearing up for the 3 Silver Birch Awards: Fiction, Non-Fiction and Express.

Elin Kelsey - Silver Birch Nominee visits Chine

Dr. Elin Kelsey, Ph.D. was in town from Pacific Grove, California. She was born and raised in Toronto, but now lives and works on the West Coast. She earned a B.Sc in Zoology at UoGuelph, M.A. at the UoBritish Columbia and her Doctorate from King's College, London, England.





She has published many science books for children over the past 25 years. She is leading change within governmental, non-governmental and non-profit organizations. From her Maple Tree Press interview she says she likes to interview scientists directly. She tape records information then refers back to do her writing.





Her personal motto: "Celebrate life!"







Monday, May 9, 2011

Shadows on the Train-Movie trailor by Mrs. D grade 4-5 class


video


The Grade 4-5 students of Mrs. Daskalakis' class have been working on Literature Circles.


One group read the book, Shadows on the Train by Melanie Jackson and produced this movie trailor in response to a great read!! Enjoy!!


From: Mrs. Dassios

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Aladdin Jr. Production @ Chine











The Chine students, from Grade 3 to Grade 8 put on a fantastic Aladdin Jr. show this past week. After 4 months of rehearsals, the community finally got to appreciate the musically and theatrically talented students performances on Wednesday and Thursday evening.

Deb Moore came in December to help select the cast. Every Wednesday after school was rehearsal time. We were very fortunate to receive most of the costumes and sets from neighbouring elementary school, Fairmount P.S., who had put on the same production in February. Many, many Chine parents were involved in pulling together the show, from getting students to rehearsals, practising dialogues and singing, photographs, program, make-up, intermission snacks and added props, costumes and set-up.
It was a wonderful experience for me to have worked these past months with the students, and especially along side of a professional director and producer of Children's Theatre. Many thanks to Mrs. Daskalakis, our grade 4-5 teacher and Mrs. Fisher our Principal who also helped with me to make this production a success. It truly takes a VILLAGE to make a show like this happen!

Enjoy the following photographs from Tuesday night Dress Rehearsal.

j.mp/mu58TH

and now... focus on Arts Day Thursday!!! Kindest regards, Guardian Librarian

Monday, April 18, 2011

VOTING!!! Silver Birch Club 2011 CELEBRATE!!! authors, books and US!! THE READERS!!!

Silver Birch Voting day came and went last Wednesday, April 13th at Chine Drive with great HOOPLA!! Cake, sushi, fresh fruit, cheese & crackers, nachos & dip... And VOTE THEY DID!!! Our Silver Birch Club readers put in their ballots for their favourite book of 2011. Our party was a great success, as was the reading, the books and the amazing Canadian authors & illustrators who were part of OLA's greatest reading program. View our pics and enjoy! http://j.mp/gKiSHJ Can't wait until we get to meet all the authors and celebrate with other readers, THURSDAY, MAY 12th at HARBOURFRONT!!! See you then! Mrs. D.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Hockey Artist-in-Residence @ Chine Drive P.S.



Liz Pead, artist, graduate of Ontario College of Art & Design, began the first of a month long visits @ Chine yesterday. Well versed in many media, she has recently specialized in the recycling of Hockey gear. She takes old equipment to be shredded, cut, or even full helmets, skates and are then applied onto large plywood canvases, creating the beautiful Canadian landscapes, as inspired by the famous turn-of-the-century Canadian artists, the Group of Seven.

On her first visit, she talked about her background, training, inspiration and experience in the world and in art. She showed the staff & students a series of slides depicting places she had visited that inspired her canvases. She also showed us many examples of her work, both large (4 metres square) and small (10 centimetres square). She also explores unusual mountings, such as a corner piece that wraps around from inside one wall to the next. She has created 3-D standing pieces of hockey stick Maple Trees, ironically decorated with every hockey player card imaginable, but NOT ONE single Toronto Maple Leaf player.

Visit her website to read and see more: www. lizpead.com

After the 1/2 hour presentation, we went out to the Chine Drive meadow over looking the breath-taking Scarborough Bluffs, and drew sketches, inspired by the view of nature around us. Liz has taken all the students' work and will go through the ideas to create a composite for our Gymnasium Mural. Stay tuned for more work reports with each of Liz's visits!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Emerald Ash Borer - Destroying Ash Trees in our School Field

Yesterday, workmen and trucks came to Chine Drive P.S. to cut down the Ash trees in our field. There has been an infestation of the Emerald Ash Borer. Once they arrive, most Ash trees in the vicinity are prone to their devastating burrowing into the trunks and central sap system.The Mountain Ash, with orange berries seems to be safe from this infestation.

http://j.mp/g5SZ05

Recent similar bug infestations include, Asian Long-horned Beetle and Gypsy Moth. Check our Toronto City information site:

http:www.toronto.ca/trees/

There is an excellent children's book written by Jane Drake & Ann Love, illustrated by Mark Thurman
ALIEN INVADERS! SPECIES THAT THREATEN OUR WORLD

http://j.mp/dGl5j5

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Teach Kids News!!! Excellent Canadian Website gets Global Accolades!!

http://teachkidsnews.com/

Reviewed in the Globe today and on the TDSB website! This site is developed by a Canadian journalist and 2 TDSB grade 3-4 teachers,Target audience Grade 2-6.

Curriculum tie-ins with each article.
Excellent font size, and so easy to navigate!
Fantastic for the upcoming elections!

Cheers! Guardian-Librarian

Teaching Kids the News (TKN) was created by educators Jonathan Ophek and Kathleen Tilly and freelance journalist Joyce Grant.

Jonathan Ophek is an elementary-school teacher with The Toronto District School Board. He has a B.A. in Philosophy from The University of King’s College and an MA in Child Study from The Institute of Child Study (OISE). Jonathan has been a speaker at conferences in Canada and the United States on the subjects of child development and psychology.

Joyce Grant is a veteran freelance journalist and editor. She has a strong background in marketing and advertising. She also produces the non-profit children’s literacy website Getting Kids Reading.

Kathleen Tilly is currently a teacher in the Toronto District School Board. She has a B.A. in Art History from Dalhousie University, teaching qualifications from the University of Edinburgh and a M.Ed from OISE, UofT. In addition to teaching, Kathleen has led education workshops and written curriculum for the TDSB.

Thank you for using TKN. Please bookmark this site and visit it frequently to help you get – and keep – your kids reading!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Shadows on the Train by Melanie Jackson ~ Movie Trailor in the making

A second installment of our Grade 4-5 class. This group has thoroughly enjoyed reading Melanie Jackson's "Shadows on the Train" a Dinah Galloway Mystery. Watch our video interview of the students as they discuss the work they are preparing for their Trailor which will be available in its final version in a couple of weeks.

In the Making - Movie Trailors for Literature Circles

The Grade 4-5 class of Mrs. Daskalakis have spent the past 6 weeks studying great Canadian novels. In the first of a series, we have Kyla, Holly, Abbey, Julian (coming soon is Hughsey & Michelle) we interview them as the prepare the skits for Natale Ghent's "The Odds Get Even".... have a look!


video

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Japan Crisis - Lessons to help Intermediate & Senior classes

Last week, while we were off on our March Break vacation, Japan was shaken by a severe earthquake and suffered tremendous damage, loss of life in the tsunami that followed. Here is a website that was put together by a global community of 7,000+ people who inform us about the up-to-date happenings in education and technology.
It is very helpful to understand the many ways and levels in which the people of Japan have suffered. It provides links to current sites that are updated daily, to receive the latest news.

http://edudemic.com/2011/03/japan-lessons/

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the survivors and rescue-workers.

Monday, March 7, 2011

BOOK FAIR... Final week before Spring Break!

Classes have been using the Learning Commons full throttle this week, along with the newly arrived iMacbook laptops in the Grade 5/6 classroom. The grade 5-6's have completed excellent Movie Trailers using iMovie software. They have created clips to connect to the Literature Circles studies of the new Silver Birch novel nominated this year. We will be posting a few examples later this week.

The parent council has been also very busy preparing our school for the SCHOLASTIC Spring Book Fair. Please check the schedule from Mrs. Fisher so you know when your child's class will be visiting the LC for a viewing and purchasing new books. Great time to do some Spring and Easter shopping! All funds will go towards purchasing resources for our Learning Commons. With March Break shortly upon us, parents are asked to help our students locate all library books and return them so that they can take out new books for pleasure reading over the holidays.

Lastly, the Grade 3 class is making excellent typing skills progress on the BBC Home page of the program called "Dance Mat Typing". Please view video below as our friend Michael F. interviews Lea S. Great job on the Movie and fantastic work on the Typing skills grade 3's!!
video

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/typing/

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

http://www.harbourfrontcentre.com/whatson/today.cfm?id=2469

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:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/arts/theatre/canasian-festival-serves-up-a-soulful-dance-travelogue/article1921262/

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.

Love,
Peyton
------------------------------------------

POLAR BEAR

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,
Tess

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.
Enjoy!
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) www.polarbearsinternational.org

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.

http://www.onehen.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!

http://www.youtube.com/user/mwesch

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!!!

Monday, January 31, 2011

OLA SUPER dee duper CONFERENCE!!!

The highlight of every librarian's year is just around the corner... Over 5,000 librarians from all over Canada and the United States will be converging on the Toronto Convention Centre this week.

Mrs. Dassios has the privilege of being the Vice-Chair of the Forest of Reading Programs for Ontario. There will be many opportunities to meet fantastic Canadian writers. Stay tuned for all the news on the new publications for Kids' books!

SILVER BIRCH READING CLUB--- WILL BE CANCELLED THIS WEEK.
Sorry, kids! But come by any afternoon and take out new titles to keep up
your quota for the week.

A la semaine prochaine! Mrs. D.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Silver Birch Reading Club @ Noon Updates

Silver Birch Updates from Mrs. Dassios:
Today we held our Silver Birch meeting in the Learning Commons today at noonhour. We discussed more of the Silver Birch books, the Fiction, Non-Fiction and Express titles. Last week's winner of a poster was Reese. Today's winner of a poster was Emelia.

For the first time, the students had the opportunity to go on the Internet to explore the books, authors and biographies on the Silver Birch website organized by the Ontario Library Association (OLA). Students started writing letters to their authors, which they will email to them and hopefully receive replies in the near future.

http://www.accessola.com/forest2011/SilverBirch/

We discovered an interesting series of videos on Youtube.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ut7ci-SJKRk

Eric says of the site, "The Youtube website has videos about the books. They are made byCitizenkidstrailors. Today I watched How to Build Your own Country, by Valerie Wyatt. It was telling you like the steps in a short way. The voice was by kids. It was kind of like, It wasn't too much like the book because it has some different steps. It didn't have some of the steps.. like make your own passport."

Students can access both sites from home.

Friday, January 7, 2011

First of all, I'd like to share with you a Science Unit Partners in Action project we did with Mr. Martynowski's Grade One class!! They spent many weeks studying and buiding air powered cars. Then they filmed their experience of racing their home-made cars to see WHO could GO THE DISTANCE!!! Please check out our video posted down the side of this blog.
video

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year in the Learning Commons!

Hello to everyone! After a very hectic first term at Chine Drive P.S., I'm happy to be back at the computer to finally keep you all up to date via our Learning Commons BLOG!

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