Monday, June 18, 2018

At the Mercy of Mother Nature


Volcanoes have been making the news lately with the Big Island of Hawaii and Guatemala reeling from the devastation caused by recent eruptions and a skeleton found underneath a large rock in Pompeii that had been jarred loose when Mount Vesuvius let loose in 79 A.D. Geology rocks! (Pun intended.)

Because erupting volcanoes can be such a dramatic and, sometimes, traumatic event, it can capture the imagination especially for young readers.  There are a number of books that I recommend to support this interest and learning for a budding geologist.

Here are a few of my top picks:


An Island Grows by Lola M Schaefer
A picture book for the primary grades that shows how an underwater volcanic eruption can be the starting block of new land mass being created. Over a long period of time, this mass of rock will result in new land being formed that will eventually allow life to take hold and begin to flourish. Told in rhyme with very few words it captures the dynamic nature of Earth and that things are changing all the time.  The concept of ‘geological time’ may be difficult grasp from this book as this process is not a quick process.


The next two books I recommend are from the Scientists in the Field series.  I love this series. It is fantastic and I highly recommend it.

The first one is Life on Surtsey: Iceland’s Upstart Island by Loree Griffins Burn. It is perfect for middle grades to see how new land off the coast of Iceland is being ‘colonized’ by plants and animals.  This has become an opportunity for scientists to observe this process as it happens in front of them.



The second book is Eruption!: Volcanoes and the Science of Saving Lives by Elizabeth Rusch.  This books looks at how scientists are able to prevent loss of life for populations living near active volcanoes around the world. Science is a critical tool for predicting when a volcano will erupt to give people enough notice to evacuate regions that will be hit with ash, lava, gases and related earthquakes.


Into the Volcano: a Volcano Researcher at Work by Donna O’Meara conveys the passion that volcanoes can ignite (no pun intended, here) in people.  O’Meara’s life work is tracking volcanos around the world to study and understand them better and to help people who live in the vicinity of active volcanoes.  As she describes her adventures, studying volcanoes, we learn a lot about all facets of volcanoes along the way. Student in middle grades will find this book appealing.


Another series that explores many different fields of science is the Max Axiom, Super Scientist Graphic Science series.  Using a comic book format, The Explosive World of Volcanoes with Max Axiom by Christopher Harbo, illustrated by Tod Smith will appeal to elementary level students for a basic introduction to the different kinds of volcanoes and their characteristics.



Some of the interest about volcanoes has come from scientists looking at historical eruptions and the impact they had on people.  The book, Bodies From the Ash: Life and Death in Ancient Pompeii by James M. Deem shows us what Pompeii the city looked like before 79 A.D., the eruption and then lots of pictures of the casts that were made of the people who died there. There is a morbid fascination with these images as we see who died and we are left to wonder about them as well. I recommend this for grades 7 & up.


My last recommendation is The Day the World Exploded: the Earthshaking Catastrophe at Krakatoa by Simon Winchester. This book is an adaptation of Winchester’s adult book, Krakatoa. This renown explosion took place in 1883 in the Sunda Strait, between the islands of Java and Sumatra. This volcanic eruption and the after effects were felt around the world, killing thousands of people. I would recommend this fascinating book for students, grade 7 and up.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Inspirational Photos Instilling Wonder While Teaching


In looking closely at the three books I’m blogging about today, I realized that there was a connection between them going beyond the fact that these are all coffee table books filled with beautiful photographs. The connection is that these beautiful books engage our imaginations, opening up the worlds they present to us, provoking questions, instilling wonder and informing us, along the way.

First up is a book published by National Geographic, Stunning Photographs compiled by Annie Griffiths. As soon as I mention National Geographic, you’re assured that this book will not disappoint. Divided into six sections, Mystery, Harmony, Wit, Discovery, Energy and Intimacy, the photos in each embody some sense of the section’s title. I especially enjoyed the section, Wit as there was a great deal of humour and playful tweaking of our perceptions in these pictures. Really lots of fun. There are hundreds of pictures in this book, created from every corner of the world, I’m sure, and that will amaze viewers of any age.

My next recommendation is, Microsculpture: Portraits of Insects by Levon Biss.  I adore macro photography and this book is fantastic. Using preserved insect specimens from the Oxford University Museum of Natural History collection, Biss takes thousands of pictures of each insect and its parts and then reconstitutes them to give the viewer an amazing close-up. We get to see every pockmark, scale, whisker, hair, and ridge, plus an array of beautiful colours and shapes of 36 insects from various parts of the world. Each insect is given a short descriptive paragraph often discussing some weird feature and the importance of this particular adaptation. There are some amazingly bizarre looking creatures out there. When thinking about the number of science fiction and fantasy movies  that incorporate ‘out-of-this-world’ looking creatures, designers need go no further than Earth’s own insect population for inspiration.


My last selection is Through Darkness to Light: Photographs Along the Underground Railroad by Jeanine Michna-Bales. This photographer recreated a 1400-mile journey, from Louisiana to Ontario that slaves may have taken when trying to escape to freedom. Based on her research, she went looking to document some of the areas that slaves and sometimes, those helping slaves escape, would have passed through but also convey the sense of what it might have been like traveling, mostly at night, through unknown landscapes, living in fear of being recaptured.  The photographs are not necessarily the most interesting as they’re often murky and show deeply shadowed forests, meadows, and wetlands. But taken in context of a fugitive running for their life, the book does convey the danger, fear, and beauty that might have been experienced. The accompanying essays also provide a lot of interesting information about the Underground Railroad. This book will be most effective in the classroom that is already studying American slavery and the Underground Railroad and would be an interesting companion book to novels such as Underground to Canada by Barbara Smucker, Crossing to Freedom by Virginia Frances Schwartz, and A Desperate Road to Freedom by Karleen Bradford.

I recommend all three of these books for all ages.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Fact or fiction?


Now this is a book that teachers, librarians and those of us who teach research skills will approve –

Two Truths and a Lie: it’s alive! by Ammi-Joan Paquette & Laurie Ann Thompson is a pretty fun book that teaches us about the natural world (plants, animals and us, humans, too) but promotes critical thinking and digging for the truth, along the way.

The book is divided into three parts each focused on either plants, animals or humans. Each part has three chapters and within each chapter there are three stories written loosely connected about a particular topic. 

Now, the three stories within a chapter has two stories based on facts and one that is fabricated.  All the stories capture the mystical nature and sometimes strange wonder of the natural world making it tricky to figure out which one might be the ‘lie’. The fake story often does contain bits of information that is true but the overarching information is false.

Along the way, there are pull-out boxes that give us additional information, quick lists of true or false statements to research, define words, provide maps and photos, and suggest activities and tips on research.  The answers are provided at the back of the book as well as a bibliography of the sources the writers consulted.

The introduction sets up the book, what to expect and how to read through it.

A section at the back of the book provides the reader with suggestions on how they might tackle figuring out which stories are true and which are not. It promotes using the internet and how to best work through the information found there. They caution the reader to be extra careful as there are people out there who intentionally want to fool us into believing false information. Selecting reliable sources, checking these sources, verifying information from more than one source, visiting libraries and thinking critically about what you’re reading are outlined in the book and promoted as crucial for good research.

This will appeal to a certain kind of reader who will likely be keen to work through it on their own but I think this book will have a bigger appeal for classroom work teaching research and critical thinking skills. The stories have a ‘wow’ factor that holds the reader’s attention and then there’s the gaming element that presents a challenge of figuring out fact from fiction.

I can see introducing this book to student-teachers when I next hold a workshop about information literacy or dealing with ‘fake news’.

I highly recommend this book for grades 4 to 8 but could see it being used at higher levels, as well.

Monday, May 21, 2018

#NotYourPrincess



Editors Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale have compiled writings and visual art from over 50 contemporary Indigenous women artists from across North America in their latest book, #NotYourPrincess.

These artists highlight aspects and issues of life as Indigenous women such as identity, assimilation, racism, abuse, murdered and missing Indigenous women, resiliency, connection to the land, hope and change for the future.

Each entry is one or two pages long and vary in format from short essays, poems, interviews, letters, brief quotes, to photographs and drawings.

The writing and images are strong and convey the strength, love and recognition about who they are and where they come from. These are contemporary women connecting past, present and future.

This book is another important resource to make available in high school classrooms for all students.

Charleyboy’s and Leatherdale’s first two compilations are Urban Tribes: Native American in the City and Dreaming in Indian: Contemporary Native American Voices which I also highly recommend.


Monday, May 14, 2018

In celebration of National Sea Monkey Day



Let’s hear it for Sea Monkeys and all cheesy things advertised in the back of comics from the days of yore.

Hurrah!

To celebrate this day, Paula and I thought it would be a great idea to list some of our favorite comic/graphic novels which is where most of us were introduced to the sea monkey phenomenon.

Primary Grades (K-4)
The Bad Guys (series) by Aaron Blabey
Baby Mouse (series) by Jennifer Holm and Matthew Holm
Binky Takes Charge by Ashley Spires
Dragon Breath by Ursula Vernon
Dragons Beware by Rafael Rosado and Jorge Aguirre
Jack and the Box by Art Spiegelman
Little Mouse Gets Ready by Jeff Smith
Squish, Super Amoeba (series) by Jennifer Holm and Matthew Holm
Zoe and Robot by Ryan Sias


Middle Grades (5-8)
Amelia Rules! By Jimmy Gownley
Amulet (series) by Kazu Kibuishi
Graveyard Book by Neil Gaimon, graphic adaptation by P. Craig Russell
Rapunzel’s Revenge by Shannon Hale, illustrated by Nathan Hale
Sisters by Raina Telgemeier
War Brothers: a Graphic Novel by Sharon McKay, illustrated by Daniel LaFrance
Zebra Fish by Peter H. Reynolds


Senior Grades (9-12)
American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
Fagin the Jew by Will Eisner
Ms. Marvel (series) by G. Willow Wilson, illustrated by Adrian Alphona
The 99 (series) by Naif Al-Mutawa, Fabian Nicieza
Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman, adapted by Ian Edginton
Red: a Haida Manga by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas
Saga (series) by Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples
Spinning by Tillie Walden
Three Feathers by Richard Van Camp, illustrated by K. Mateus


Teaching with Graphic Novels
Nonfiction
The Arab of the Future: a Childhood in the Middle East, 1978-1984, a Graphic Memoir by Riad Sattouf
Darwin: a Graphic Biography by Eugene Byrne and Simon Gurr
Feynman by Jim Ottoaviani, illustrated by Leland Myrick
Gandhi: a Manga Biography by Kazuki Ebine
Louis Riel :  a Comic Strip Biography by Chester Brown
Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales (series) by Nathan Hale
The Shocking World of Electricity with Max Axiom, Super Scientist by Liam O’Donnell
Two Generals by Scott Chantler
Understanding Photosynthesis with Max Axiom, Super Scientist by Liam O’Donnell



Fiction
Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 by Tim Hamilton
Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery: the authorized graphic adaptation by Miles Hyman
Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, illustrated by Fabio Celoni
Hamlet (Manga Shakespeare series) illustrated by Emma Vieceli
Romeo and Juliet adapted and illustrated by Gareth Hinds
7 Generations (series) by David Alexander Robertson & Scott B. Henderson

Monday, April 23, 2018

Listen up

Another sign that winter is over is the return of free audio books from SYNC: Audiobooks for Teens.


Though it promotes itself as a summer program, the start up date is this week, Thursday, April 26th.  And, let's face it people, most of us are sick to death of winter and an 'early' start to summer is more than welcomed.

The deal with SYNC is to download two paired audio books based on a theme each week starting this Thursday until July 25th, 2018. You get a week to download the books and then get to keep them - forever! Such a deal!

Sign up by going to the homepage and entering your email address or texting syncYA 25827 to receive title alerts each week. 

First up are The Great War by various authors (including David Almond, John Boyne and Tracey Chevalier and A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro. (Both available in the Doucette Library, in case you want to read along.)














Click on this page to see this season's line up.

Happy listening, Everyone.



Monday, April 16, 2018

A real beauty


The Doucette Library is coming into summer-mode – students’ final day was last Friday, exams are scheduled for the next couple of weeks and then--- ahhhhh….sigh… Catch-up time!

Catch-up for me includes reading way more picture books and today’s recommendation is a beauty.


You Hold Me Up by Monique Gray Smith, illustrated by Danielle Daniel is topping my highly recommended list for 2018.

It is a beautiful book gently told and simply illustrated about treating each other with kindness and respect. Everyday activities such as playing, listening, singing, comforting are all ways in which we can hold each other up – the overarching message of this book.  
Monique Gray Smith, a Canadian author of mixed-heritage Cree, Lakota and Scottish descent, has written the book in the spirit of reconciliation. In the author’s own words, she tells us,
“I wrote it to remind us of our common humanity and the importance of holding each other up with respect and dignity… At its heart, it is a book about love, building relationships and fostering empathy.”

I especially appreciate the illustrations depicting Indigenous children and adults in these common, everyday events. The illustrations are perfectly matched to this book with bright, bold colours, uncluttered spaces and stylized figures. It’s in keeping with the sparsely-worded yet affecting text.

This book should find a home in every primary grade classroom for discussions about how to treat one another, family and community.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Food for thought


A couple of recent additions to the Doucette Library’s collection made me realize the number of books that are in the library relating food to social issues and current events.  What a great way to explore contemporary issues and something we can all relate to in an interdisciplinary way, if we wanted to.

Below I’ve created a list and grouped books according to what they focus on.  Click on the titles of the books to go to the library’s catalogue to read a short summary about the exact content.
  

Global Food Issues (such as access, international trade, etc.)



 -Down to Earth: How Kids Help Feed the World by Nutritional Issues (Gr.3-6)



Growing Food (eg. where does it come from)

-Before We Eat: From Farm to Table by Pat Brisson (Gr.K-2)


-Eat Up!: an Infographic Exploration of Food by Antonia Banyard (Gr. 4-7)





History and Culture


-Fifty Foods that Changed the Course of History by Bill Price (Gr.10 and up)

-Footprints: the Story of What We Eat by Paula Ayer (Gr. 6 and up)









-What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets by Peter Menzel (Gr.8 and up)



Issues and Events we hear about in the news (organic foods, eating locally produced food)

-Eating Local by Laura Perdew (Gr.4-7)

 -Meatless?: a Fresh Look at What We Eat by Sarah Elton (Gr.3-7)

-Hijacked: How Your Brain is Fooled by Food by David Kessler (Gr.7 and up)




These books become an interesting way to discuss health issues, current events, science, history. Tie these books to some of the kits also available in the Doucette Library like the "How Much Fat?" kits that looks at the quantity of fat found in common foods, "How Much Sugar?" kit, also showing us in a very visual way how much sugar we consume. There's great potential for developing an interdisciplinary unit about a subject that is relevant and important for all of us.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Making waves about the state of our oceans


The New Ocean: the Fate of Life in a Changing Sea by Bryn Barnard is a very informative book, challenging us (the human race) to change our ways before the ocean is irrevocably damaged to the extent of possibly resulting in the next ‘great extinction’.

It’s a pretty dramatic statement and certainly captures the sense that the oceans are in trouble and so are we.

Though it looks like a picture book and has some wonderful illustrations, this is not a picture book. This slim volume focuses on six species of ocean plants and animals (jellyfish, orcas, sea turtles, tuna, corals and blue-green algae) to demonstrate how the changes happening in the oceans impact them and, consequently, how this will impact humans.

For example, jellyfish are a highly adaptive species that can thrive in the oceans’ dead zones. Dead zones are areas having little oxygen because of pollution or changes to ocean temperature, currents and wind patterns. This results in other marine species avoiding these areas, allowing jellyfish to become the dominant species which isn’t good.

Compare this with the section about tuna highlighting the dangers of overfishing and pollution. Bluefin tuna are becoming virtually extinct because of two problems: overfishing AND mercury contamination. The higher up the food chain the fish is the higher the level of mercury to be found in their flesh. Bluefin tuna has the most mercury being at the top of their food chain. Humans consume a lot of this fish and we run the risk of making ourselves sick.

This book is a terrific resource that highlights the interconnectedness between the natural world and the plant and the animals living in it, including us. While it tells of the terrible damage that is being done to this crucial resource, it does offer hope by encouraging us to be aware of the impact our choices have on the environment and becoming involved in science as a way to help find solutions.  I loved that the invention of Boyan Slat, a young Dutch engineering student, that collects plastics comprising the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, is highlighted here. It’s estimated that the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (twice the size of Texas) will be halved in ten years.  That’s something to give us hope.

I recommend this for all middle grade students but it will be of special interest to those teaching Alberta science for the grade 7 unit, Interactions in Ecosystems.

Monday, March 19, 2018

PBA: Pinterest board ALERT!


Just a quick reminder to everyone out there about the Doucette Library’s Pinterest page.
This page includes numerous boards that support the Alberta Education curriculum but can support any kind of teaching depending on the topic.


Here’s the link for all the boards: https://www.pinterest.ca/tflander/boards/

If you’re teaching about plant and growth and in Alberta then you’re teaching grade 4 science and you can consult this board (https://www.pinterest.ca/tflander/science-gr-4e-plant-growth-and-changes/) to see what resources the Doucette Library has to support it.  If you’re not in Alberta, I think there is enough here that would useful for others to consult, as well.

What I’ve worked on so far:

**Social studies grades 1-9;
**Science grades 1-8 (9 is coming soon);
**Math grades 1-6 organized according to board mathematical concept;

 and many topical boards based on requests from the education program’s students such as LGBTQ resources, picture books for older readers, resources for STEM, activists and activism, funny books, fractured fairy tales,  and indigenous education.

I’m sending out the reminder because I’ve just added to new boards for English language arts (ELA).  These two boards compile titles of books with strong leads or good beginnings and literary devices.  These came about because students had asked for recommendations for both of these kinds of books and as a reference librarian it’s a time consuming request. This time I decided to record the work as Pinterest boards. I’ve also asked Paula Hollohan, coworker and guest blogger, to contribute to the boards to have a couple of different points of view.


Take a look and let me know if you have some suggestions of books to add. I’m always open to suggestions.

Monday, March 12, 2018

We are all treaty people - Classroom resources


Today’s post is focused on three new books in the Doucette Library. I know these books will be useful for classroom teaching in the primary grades. But I have some concerns about recommending them, too.

Let me explain…

The three books are The Handshake and the Pipe, TheFriendship, and We Are All Treaty People by Betty Lynxleg, illustrated by Scott B. Henderson and Amber Green and make up the trilogy, Treaty Tales.



From western Manitoba’s First Nation of Tootinaowaziibeeng Treaty Reserve, Betty Lynxleg presents information about symbols of respect between peoples, early contact with settlers in Canada, and the establishment and intentions behind treaties. They are well-written, explaining the importance of shaking hands and sharing a pipe as symbols of respect. It clearly explains how Indigenous peoples in Canada helped Europeans survive in North America by showing them what to eat, harvest, how to navigate and live with the land. The third book conveys the importance of treaties and the significance they have (or should have) for all Canadians.

 One of the real strengths of the series, is the way the story is laid out. It is a conversation between a grandmother and her granddaughter, emphasizing oral storytelling as a way of teaching between the generations. I think trying to convey the values of First Nations peoples and their connection to the land is valuable and important for all children to learn and these books do that.

I know these will be used in classrooms as they give easily understood explanations about the basic relationship between Indigenous and non-indigenous peoples in Canada.

And that may be where my concerns arise from.

Because the books are an introduction for grades 1 to 3, the complexities of the history and current events of today between First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples and the Canadian government are glossed over.  These stories do not reflect the circumstances that drove Indigenous peoples to live on reserves or the realities of living there. The brutality, harsh living conditions and breaking of treaty promises is not addressed in any way.


Not that teachers are going to want books that really go into all the severity and ruthlessness that the past and the present encompasses. But when I think of books like Stolen Words by Melanie Florence, When I Was Eight by Kristy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton or When We Were Alone by David A. Robertson, all relating aspects of life in residential schools, these stories convey the deprivation without the horrific details which is appropriate for young readers.




All of these books require additional instruction for young students to begin to understand what Indigenous peoples have endured and continue to struggle with today. It will take a sensitive approach to tackle tough issues but these books will be helpful in initiating these kinds of conversations.

Another curriculum area that these books tie into nicely is social studies grades 1 and 2 about community.


Monday, March 5, 2018

Guest blogger: The New Smoke Signals



Paula Hollohan is the Instructional Technologies & Information Specialist in the Doucette Library who keeps up with technology trends in education. Today's blog reviews a  book that describes various modes of social media and how Indigenous peoples are connecting with it. Check in with Paula's blog, Doucette Ed Tech if you'd like to keep up with all sorts of cool and interesting, wide-ranging topics.


There are many benefits to working in an education library including reading many great books and working with some leading edge technology.  Once you are immersed in the collection, sometimes you find special interests that merit some study.  For me, I am always on the look out for ways that the indigenous people of Canada bolster the connection between young people and the elders of these communities.  

The importance of keeping the language and the stories of the past alive with younger generations and the capturing of these narratives in their original language is essential to begin the healing and to grow a strong future.

There is a powerful digital world out there that can be harnessed to capture these stories and connect indigenous communities together.

TheNew Smoke Signals: Communicating in a Digital World by Rachel Mishenene  is a small but powerful book that links the indigenous world to the digital world in a easy, uncomplicated way.  The book has a variety of information in it.  She says, 

"First Nation, Inuit and Metis people across the country have embraced this relatively new way of communicating with each other, learning new things and preserving the old teachings." (p.5) 

And so begins a look at modern technology like cellphones, social media like LinkedIn and blogs, to help tell the stories that are important to indigenous communities.  I especially liked the example of the blog, where a free-lance writer named Stan reflects on the life of his aunt in a blog post after she passes away.  Contained within this section are the reasons someone would blog and the fact that most blogs are read in the morning along with a complete reprint of Stan's tribute story about his aunt.

This book is from a small publisher called Ningwakwe Learning Press (www.ningwakwe.ca) but does a fine job of bridging the gap between young and old indigenous people.


Monday, February 26, 2018

Five Star Fractured Fairy Tale


I’ve been getting lots of requests for recommendations for fractured fairy tales from the student-teachers as they head out on their practicums.  It’s just that time of the year, I guess.

I usually recommend checking out my Pinterest page first to see what grabs them. Many don’t come with any idea as to which fairy tale they want to look at so I find this kind of gets them started.


However, I have a recommendation today that I gave 5 stars to in Goodreads and would recommend for everyone. (I rarely give 5 stars for any books.)  After the Fall: How HumptyDumpty Got Back Up Again by Dan Santat is that wonderful!

This is Humpty’s story: he likes sitting high up on his wall to be close to birds; the Great Fall was just a silly accident; he was patched up but developed a fear of heights; not able to ascend his wall and commune with birds has left him joyless; a chance encounter with a paper airplane inspires him to construct a flying paper bird which helps take away a little of his sadness. His new found solace, however, is short lived as the paper bird flies over the wall by accident. Humpty almost walks away from the bird and wall but decides that he is not going to be defeated by this turn of events. He  tackles the wall, succeeds overcoming his fear and now wants to be known not as the egg who falls off a wall but the egg who gets back up.

This story definitely has a message, which might have been too didactic, but the way Dan Santat tells Humpty story, it’s not that in the least.  Humpty is very relatable as a character. He conquerors his fears that have developed from an incident that just happened. The illustrations add a level of humour which is subtle and wry but obvious. I especially loved the pages depicting Humpty grocery shopping for his favorite cereals which he can no longer reach because of his fear of heights.  All the ‘good’ cereals (aka. High sugar ones) are on the top shelf so he now must eat those he can reach which are all the ‘bo-rings’, ‘twigs & berries’ and ‘chicken feed’ brands on the bottom. The ending is uplifting and eye-opening, too. I had never really considered what kind of egg Humpty was and in this story we find out. Brilliant!

I highly recommend this title for elementary grades.

Monday, February 19, 2018


Today’s recommendation is Which One Doesn’t Belong? : a Shapes Book by Christopher Danielson.


It would be an interesting resource to bring into a math classroom especially when doing geometry but not necessarily only limited to mathematics. This book presents four varying shapes on a page and asks the viewer to select which one doesn’t belong.

There is no wrong answer.

Each shape has some feature that makes it distinct from the others. This promotes critical, analytical thinking and rationalizing skills as students look to justify their answers.
There is a teacher’s guide that I haven’t seen yet but the publisher’s information suggests that it will promote mathematical thinking across many grades going beyond the obvious geometry connections.

I do think the student book is quite clever in the way it gets the viewer to work through the reasoning behind their selections but then also to see how the other shapes are different in their own ways. I see this as good (and fun) practice for developing logic thinking skills.

I’m recommending this for elementary and middle grades. I have hopes that the teacher’s guide will have suggestions to use with high school students.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Hurray for imagination


I love This is Sadie by Sara O’Leary, a quiet reverie about a little girl using and enjoying her imagination.

Everything from a box becoming a boat that lets her sail the high seas, to imagining that her dresses have feeling which could be hurt if they knew she had a favorite, to being a mermaid, a wolf boy, and a fairy tale hero, she's been there, done that and bought the t-shirt. Her life is filled with colourful characters and play.
“But more than anything she likes stories, because you can make them from nothing at all.”
 Isn’t that the best?

This reminded me of a few other titles that also showcase the wonder and power of imagination.

Here are a few recommendations:



Imagine a city by Elise Hurst











Scribble by Ruth Ohi







Over the Ocean by Taro Gomi











What to Do with a Box by Jane Yolen







Use Your Imagination by Nicola O’Byrne










Imagine a World by Rob Gonsalves







There are so many more that could be added to this list.  These are only a few of some recent publications.
 
I recommend all of these for the primary grades.

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