Boost your Global I.Q. with Batchelder Books!

The American Library Association will be announcing a plethora of awards this coming Monday, February 2. While I love trying to predict the Caldecott and Newbery awards, I especially look forward to one award whose winners are usually a complete surprise to me. The Mildred L. Batchelder Award is awarded to “the most outstanding of those books originally published in a foreign language in a foreign country, and subsequently translated into English and published in the United States.” Almost guaranteed to boost your Global I.Q., many past winners have proved to be both entertaining and rewarding. Here are a few recent favorites:

Big Wolf & Little Wolf by Nadine Brun-Cosme; translated by Claudia Bedrick; illustrated by Olivier Tallec; published by Enchanted Lion Books, 2009 (Originally published in French as Grand Loup & Petit Loup; Batchelder Honor 2010)

Sumptuous colors and expressive lines illustrate this delicately told tale. You cannot help but root for these two quirky, sweet, introverted wolves as they find their way to friendship. Followed by two sequels: Big Wolf & Little Wolf: The Little Leaf That Wouldn’t Fall and Big Wolf & Little Wolf: Such a Beautiful Orange!

Ages 5 – 9

Continue reading

Posted in Book Review, Global IQ, Graphic Novels, Lower School, Middle Grade Novels (Grades 4 - 8), Middle School, Picture Books, Upper School, YA Books (Grades 8+) | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Mock Caldecott 2015


Continue reading

Posted in Class Activities, Infographics, Lower School, Nonfiction (PS - Grade 5), Picture Books | Leave a comment

Fostering Participation from Introverts

cc Francodavi (Our students’ wall of post-it notes was nowhere near as pretty as this!)

This post is co-authored (and cross-posted) with Allendale Columbia School‘s Director of Curricular Technology, Tony Tepedino. Make sure to check out his blog TepTech.

One problem we tried to address this year in our Digital Literacy class was how to improve the participation of students who don’t normally contribute verbally. How can we fairly give a student a grade for class participation when we only give them one way to engage in discussions? Continue reading

Posted in Class Activities, Education, Middle School | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Top 10 Books for Youth 2013

This is a cross-post from the post I wrote for my school, Allendale Columbia.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What Would an 8th Grader’s PLN Look Like?

My colleague, Tony Tepedino, is pretty much a master at developing a PLN and inspiring other professionals to develop their own. We’re co-teaching Middle School Digital Literacy classes and we’re coming up with ideas for final project choices for our 8th grade students. I wasn’t surprised to hear him suggest that one choice could be for a student to develop his/her own PLN and present it to the class. So that got me wondering who else has already explored this territory…

I found an interesting infographic (I love infographics!) on social media, teen use and perceptions that I’d like to share…

Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics

What is initially frustrating to me is that all kinds of aspects of social media are addressed, but not much on the ability to LEARN with social media. The infographic does state that “21st century skills,” such as “communication, creativity, collaboration, leadership abilities, and technological proficiency” are enhanced by social media. What about academic skills or content; is it possible to use a PLN for students to enhance their academic pursuits? I know others are talking about it. First I found Steve Goldberg’s inspiring blog post called, “Own Your Learning… and Build Your PLN” which made me wonder why students everywhere aren’t already building PLNs. Steve’s post led me to Paul Moss’s fascinating article called, “Why Learning Through Social Networks Is The Future.” Rubrics, curation, and information management… now I’m hooked on the idea of fostering this in students!

But I didn’t really find much evidence of actual PLN creation by teens, let alone 8th graders. So, what would an 8th grader’s PLN look like? I have no idea, and quite possibly very few people do. But I’ll keep you posted.

Posted in Education, Infographics, Information Literacy, Middle School | 4 Comments

Book Review: The Golden Day by Ursula Dubosarsky


© Charles Blackman, White Cat’s Garden

I would never have learned of Charles Blackman, a wonderful Australian artist, were it not for this haunting gem of a book. Ursula Dubosarsky is an accomplished Australian writer who has named each chapter of The Golden Day with titles from Blackman’s series of schoolgirl paintings. Although not part of the schoolgirl series, the mood of “White Cat’s Garden” suits the opening page of The Golden Day perfectly:

The year began with the hanging of one man and ended with the drowning of another. But every year people die and their ghosts roam in the public gardens, hiding behind the gray, dark statues like wild cats, their tiny footsteps and secret breathing muffled by the sound of falling water in the fountains and the quiet ponds. “Today, girls,” said Miss Renshaw, “we shall go out into the beautiful garden and think about death.” The little girls sat in rows as the bell for morning classes tolled. Their teacher paused gravely. They gazed up at her, their striped ties neat around their necks, their hair combed.

And just that quickly, the storyteller’s spell is cast. When Miss Renshaw mysteriously disappears during that field trip to the garden, it feels not so much like an event as a surreptitious shift in these little girls’ understanding of their world. That one day and its aftermath consume most of the book, with an epilogue of sorts on the day of the girls’ last exam eight years later. Thematically, this story is riddled with the loss of innocence, but I suspect every re-reading would reveal yet one more motif deftly woven through. Meanwhile, the scenes are filled with the charms and foibles of the eleven schoolgirls, endearing precisely because of the specificity of their characters. And as you surely gathered in the quote above, the language is simple and evocative and even mesmerizing. Especially if you wish you had more time to read great classics, I invite you to try The Golden Day. This small bite of literature may likely prove to be a classic, but regardless, it spins a sophisticated tale, deeply satisfies, and lingers… 20131009-224049.jpg

© Charles Blackman, The Exchange

Image citations

Blackman, Charles. White Cat’s Garden. 2004. Limited edition silkscreen. Web. 10 October 2013.

Blackman, Charles. The Exchange. 1952. Oil. National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Web. 10 October 2013.

Posted in Global IQ, Uncategorized, YA Books (Grades 8+) | Tagged , | Leave a comment

New Professional Section in the Library

I’m very excited to introduce the newly located section of professional literature in the AC Rumsey Library. Previously, the collection was back in the stacks, a bit forlorn and unloved. Newly infused with lots of great new education titles, the collection is now very hard to miss!

Here are a few titles that have already been checked out:


AC Faculty: come visit and browse!

Posted in Education, Faculty, Professional | Leave a comment

Book Review: Pure

cc Pierre J.

Pure by Julianna Baggott     New York: Grand Central Publishing, 2012

Baggott has created an intriguingly strange and twisted world inspired from cutting-edge nanotechnology and the horrific aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The bombs in Pure are simply called the Detonations and everything is defined by Before of After these wicked explosions. The few people who weren’t killed outright became fused with whatever they were touching at that moment. Survivors are all scarred by burns, most have shards of glass or other shrapnel embedded in their skin, many are fused with objects, and a few are grotesquely fused to other people. Continue reading

Posted in Adult Books for Teens, Book Review, Faculty, Upper School | Tagged | Leave a comment