Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Lucky Us!

Friday, October 2nd, at 12:45pm in the Chapel, we will warmly welcome the amazing duo of Mac Barnett and Christian Robinson.  Both have written and created numerous books, but this is the first time they have teamed up together.  They come to us thanks to Green Bean books as part of their Leo: a Ghost Story Book Tour.  Here is a preview, from the 2015 National Book Festival, of the joy they both bring to their work.  Mac also has a powerful TED Talk about how a good book is a "secret door".

Stay tuned for pictures of the event!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Author Ben Hatke Enchants Lower School

Lower School students were treated to a sneak preview of Ben Hatke's newest book "Nobody Likes a Goblin" in addition to hearing how he creates story through his art and words.  He talked about visual story-telling and how you can tell a story through intentional gestures and depth in your illustration. Thanks to Powell's for connecting us with such a terrific author!

Welcome Ben Hatke!

In preparation to welcome Mr. Hatke to our school, 3-5th graders have, using on-line resources, researched a few vital facts about him such as favorite ice cream flavor and whether he prefers cats to dogs.  Mr. Hatke will present to 9 classes today.  Thanks to Powell's for making this visit possible!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Judy Schachner Spins Her Tales

Judy Schachner delighted K and Primary students this afternoon with engaging stories about her life, her inspirations, her cats and collections.  She let students know that they, too, can create magic and fun with the stories that they write.  Thanks to the fabulous Powell's Bookstore for her visit!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Upcoming Author Events!

We are very excited to announce three upcoming author visits as we start the school year.  We will first welcome Judy Schachner of Skippyjon Jones fame on September 17th who will meet with our K and Primary Students.  She will share her newest book Dewey Bob.  On September 24, our 3-5th graders will get the opportunity to listen to graphic novelist Ben Hatke.  Both Ms. Schachner's and Mr. Hatke's visit come to us from Powell's Books and we offer the opportunity to pre-order books for the visit.  Pre-orders are entirely optional and Ms. Schachner's pre-orders will be due Friday, September 11th (this week!).  Mr. Hatke's pre-orders will be due by Friday, September 14th.    

The power duo of author Mac Barnett and illustrator Christian Robinson will visit on October 2nd thanks to Green Bean Books and will present to grades K-2.  Their latest book, Leo: a Ghost Story, is extra special and will be the focus of their talk.  Again, pre-orders will be available through Green Bean Books and will be due Friday, September 14th.

Also, bring in those summer reading forms! 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Learning at the Library of Congress

I had the great privilege of being selected as a participant for the Library of Congress Primary Source Civil Rights Teacher Institute in Washington DC during the week of August 3-7.  It was an incredible opportunity to explore how to use primary sources such as photographs, maps and original manuscripts to develop questions and deepen student research.  The work ties in beautifully with our inquiry-based approach here in the Lower School.  I look forward to sharing what I learned with both my colleagues and students.

My expectation to be able to become a super-searcher of the Library of Congress holdings was dashed fairly quickly when I realized how vast the holdings are and that they are a bit quirky to search. Yet, the sense of vastness vanished when we luckily were introduced to the Rosa Parks collections. I found the humanity that surrounded these documents so rich and telling of history that my urge to “find everything” was quelled. I have learned that the human angle of the story is what spurs me to dig deeper. I then can find the pieces, the facts, the bits that surround that story (whether an event, a person, a group) and come to my own understanding of the story.

I was reaffirmed in my belief that history is told through both inclusion and exclusion. We can see what is included through the filtered trail of documents, but it is much harder to know what is left out. Our afternoon with the panel from the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute gave us pieces that have been left out, forgotten, sidestepped.

We also were able to delve into the current exhibition on the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and discovered stories and images which can be powerfully used with our students to bring to life the people and events that brought us to today.

I would like to thank OES for supporting me professionally and helping me to be a part of this enriching learning experience.