2015-2016 NWSS Library Report

2015-2016 was an exciting school year at NWSS Library. Ms. Jones and Ms Wethered’s overarching goal for the year was to move ever closer to the Learning Commons model. While our core values remain the same – resource-based learning, information literacy, and a love of reading, our journey into the question of what is a Learning Commons quite literally took us across the Fraser River and the Salish Sea. We visited schools in Saanich and Surrey , drawing inspiration from innovative colleagues, ready to share and support our change. Thank your SD40 Innovation Grants, BC Association of Teacher Librarians and NWTU for supporting our study.

DSC_0337We implemented new technological innovations so that students could be ever more creative in how they express their learning. Ms. Wethered led students through the creation of video book trailers while Ms. Jones used green screens , coding, and computational thinking. We made steps towards creating a Maker Space as well. Students constructed homesteads for Social 10 and our volunteers upcycled the materials for future projects. Ms. Jones taught basic parallel circuits to Planning and English classes so they could “illuminate’ their thinking in various ways.

We continued to advocate for social justice and provide a safe haven inclusive of all. Global Issues Week 2016 attracted 1500 students. On a daily basis, we worked alongside our industrious volunteers and shared laughs and experiences with the Star Wars, Dr. Who, and Movie clubs. We would sincerely like to thank NWSS PAC, parent participants, and community members (Vancouver Writers Festival, NWTU) for their fine contributions towards our resources and events. There’s an open invitation for parents to come to the library and see what’s new – perhaps participate as a guest speaker? Wish list : guest speakers, Maker Space materials.

Library events:

mining presentation (26)All candidates meeting for youth: NDP, Liberal Party, Green Party
Global Issues Week Speaker Series: Justice Theatre, BC ALPHA, Sexual Health, LNG Pipeline, Earthsave, Peter Julian , MP.
Foundations program Spring Tea
Mr. H. Marsden: Exploration Geologist
Hour of Code – in English, Spanish, and Japanese
Reader’s Theatre: Colin MacKay Memorial Bursary Fundraiser
Library Olympics
3 new art murals painted by students

Author visits:

Arno Kopecky. Oil man and the sea.
Elizabeth Stewart. Blue Gold
RC Weslowski. Spoken word poet and storyteller.
Julian Legere. Actor, director, & playwright.

Ribbet collage authors 2016





Reading programs:
hyack teen read award 2015 2016Hyack Teen Read Award. Hyack Book of the Year: Sisters by Raina Teigelmeier.
Million Page Challenge
Reading Challenge


Library-sponsored clubs:
Dr. Who club
Star Wars club
Knitting club
Library volunteers
Movie club
Cultural Universe club

Collection Development:
198 Fiction books
62 Non-fiction books

Some collaborative lessons and units:

homestead forestLibrary Science. Z block – 4 credit course.
Japanese History
Blind date with a book
Computational thinking and coding
Authentic First Nations Resources
Novel Study: Blue Gold
How to make a book trailer
Student-produced Library Orientation Video
Canadian mapping and geography for ELL.
Greatest Living Canadian of the 20th century
How to illuminate your thinking using electric circuits
English: Understanding Literal vs. Figurative meaning in picturebooks
Chicago, MLA, and APA citation requirements for IB Diploma Program.


Ribbet collage library report 3

Book review: From Master Teacher to Master Learner

From Master Teacher to Master Learner argues that  the teacher should be someone who models learning as opposed to modelling being a content expert. The teacher models learning by delving deeper into their own practice and emphasizes depth over breadth. Richardson’s “modern learning” uses technology as a tool for inquiry, and is student-led as opposed to teacher organized. The rest of the book is a toolkit of web tools and teacher dispositions meant to drive classrooms towards this modern learning environment.

The teacher as learner: computational thinking

IMG_0530Reading this book has encouraged me to continue to learn about coding. Having been given the opportunity to collaborate with Ms Cechini’s and Ms Kuo’s ELL classes, I encouraged them to learn with me about computers and technology. Since I don’t know very much about coding, I recognized this process as what Richardson calls “an equal partner in the learning.” It has been a steep learning curve, I had to confront math anxiety, and log more than 15 hours learning about computers, circuits, and innovations. However, the process has given me renewed energy for breaking new ground, I love seeing student engagement and I’ve received the unexpected gift of more family time. Mr. Jones is a software engineer and has been good about explaining the basics of computing . Our five year old listens attentively and has been my partner solving binary math problems. From Master Teacher to Master Learner is a quick read and a fine introduction to teacher development in the digital age.

Inquiry into Social Justice

The aim of this project is to extend our experiences with teacher inquiry into conducting our first Social Justice inquiry project.  Our vision of this summative task is to make visible our thinking about social injustice.

Phases of Inquiry Exploration

1. Intitial question.

Why is this question important to me ?

How is this question connected to my life / my beliefs ?

Discussion and further thinking on the question.  How did group processes help/ change my thinking ?

2. Data Collection

How will I explore my question

What information sources are you using most of the time ?

What information sources are you rarely using ?

What are some interesting quotes I found in articles / books, etc.

Did I find something I did not expect to discover about the issue ?

3. Data Analysis

What did I discover ?

Do I see emerging themes or patterns ?

What are the most important things I discovered ?

How did my conversations with my peers help me get insight into my issue/ question ?

4. Implications

How can I connect my question to my school, the community, a political policy ?

How did my inquiry change my thinking ?

What new questions do I have now ?

5. Sharing my inquiry

. Impact my peers in school in a positive way

. Keep journals and reports.

. Add visuals

. Blog/ Prezi / video





PQT Protocol : Checking In

rainbowChecking In is done at the beginning of sessions.  Checking In is a respectful protocol that recognizes that participants have things going on in life besides your session / lesson.  It will be hard for people to be “present” to your session if they’ve had a stressfull morning, a personal issue, or are just feeling tired.  Letting people verbalize where they are in their head clears space for them to do the work they need to do. Strategy for Checking In:

Color Check-In.  What colour represents how you are feeling now ?  What colour would you like to be at the end of the session ?


Gallery Walk using Inquiry structures

“How much does the class already know about social justice issues ?” “How can we broaden the topics of research for students in a way that goes beyond just handing out a list of topics?” In order to find answers to these questions I consulted two resources given by the BCTF Program for Quality Teaching.  Making Thinking Visible is a book of reasearch-based thinking routinesthinking visible designed by Project Zero at Harvard.  Groups at Work  is a book of strategies and structures for generating dialogue.

Using these two books,Demetra, who teaches Social Justice 12, and myself, as teacher-librarian, designed a Gallery Walk of social justice stations, each with print, digital, or visual resources depicting a social injustice.  Sample stations ranged from the death penalty, ocean groups at workcontamination, and consumerism.  Groups of students visited each station and went through the “Think / Puzzle/ Explore” protocol described in Making Thinking Visible.  Once the activity and class discussion were completed, we concluded with “Go to your corners” from Groups at Work. In our variation, the corners were Greenpeace, Amnesty International, Save the Children, and the United Way.


key questions:

What is the collective knowledge of the class about the social injustice ?

What questions does the class have about the social injustice ?

Where can we find answers to these questions besides just looking them up on the internet ?

You have been offered a one-year intership by one of these NGOs.  Which one will you apply to ? Why ? What qualities or experiences do you possess that make you a good candidate for this NGO ?


Using Faciliation Strategies in the classroom

This year I am co-facilitating a Differentiated Inquiry group in Surrey on behalf of the BCTF. Amanda, my co-facilitator, is a French Immersion teacher with a Drama background.  While I plan some parts of our session, Amanda is great at doing the icebreakers and creating a community.  As we talked about Inquiry I noticed that the participants were taking notes about Amanda’s activities as much as about Inquiry ! Many of these activities would work great in the classroom as evidenced by Monica’s arrival next meeting with her own spiky ball with questions for her French class. Here are some of these facilitation activities.  Could you use these in your teaching ?

1.  Spiky ball with questions. Answer the question underneath your left pinkie finger.inquiry

Where would you go to and eavesdrop

two books you’d take to a desert island

longest you’ve ever waited and where were you

place where’d you’ld love to be an Evil Dictator

The most frequent compliment you receive

Oddest item in your wallet

and more….. This would work well in a foreign language classroom.inquiry 2

2. Twizzler Sculptures

Part I : How did you your morning /day / afternoon at school / teaching go ? Make a Twizzler sculpture to represent.

Part II: Make another sculpture to represent howo you would like to feel at the end of this session / class.

3. Guided Visualization

Take 3 deep breaths : One for how the day has gone so far. One for yourself. One to bring you here. Now relax and imagine yourself at a secluded beach. As you walk on the sand, you find a box . Open the box and read the message inside. Keep the message with you or read the message and return it to the box. Share the experience with the group.

4.  Constellation

There are two cards (stars), one says “Inquiry” , the other “My Question.” Locate yourself nearest where you feel the most clear – if you are more clear about your question, stand near your question or vice versa, or straddle the two.


BCTF Program for Quality Teaching

Being part of  the Program for Quality Teaching has introduced me to  Inquiry  as a methodology for expanding my teaching practice.  The BCTF  PQT supports teachers in developing their own knowledge by asking personally meaningful questions about teaching and learning. This teacher-driven experience is transforming traditional conceptions of professional learning since expertise is given to the teachers and the members of the Inquiry group. As a facilitator, my job has been to support teachers with ideas and protocols for developing an Inquiry question, uncovering their passion, (ie: an indiviual child, social justice , or the curriculum), problematizing issues in education,  and encouraging teamwork and critical thinking. The Inquiry  is finished when participants share their Inquiry results with their colleagues, the community, or the world. For more information about the BCTF PQT visit bctf.ca