Sunday, 12 March 2017

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

It's a long story, but the short version is that, in BC, we are looking at lots of new teacher hires as a result of a Supreme Court decision. With new positions opening up at each school, there is the potential for a lot of movement within the district which is something we haven't seen in over a decade. As a result, teachers are starting to talking about moving. 

Change is exciting and frightening at the same time. Because of the lack of movement over the years, there is a core group of teachers at CNB that have been working together for 10 years. Working together for that long means that you're comfortable in your surroundings and know how the building works. You know who you can lean on when needed and who you can rely on to push you forward. Moving means figuring out the invisible lines and divisions on a new staff and finding your own place and voice within the group. Yet it it also a refresh. Moving means you can leave behind expectations and forge ahead with new curriculum in a new space. The potential is there to reinvigorate your teaching and charge along a new path.

The next 8 weeks will be very interesting. I'm looking forward to seeing what our new timetable will look like and thus what class sizes will be across subjects. As always, I'm interested to see what library time will look like and what our M block (homeroom) will morph into.  I'm also looking forward to working with the new additions to the CNB staff and hope for me, that those changes will be enough to spur me on to try new things and recharge my own teaching.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

April #yabookchat picks!

For April, I picked 4 books from ALA's 2017 Youth Media Award winners. Book blurbs and pics from Goodreads

1. The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
Dill has had to wrestle with vipers his whole life at home, as the only son of a Pentecostal minister who urges him to handle poisonous rattlesnakes, and at school, where he faces down bullies who target him for his father's extreme faith and very public fall from grace.

The only antidote to all this venom is his friendship with fellow outcasts Travis and Lydia. But as they are starting their senior year, Dill feels the coils of his future tightening around him. Dill's only escapes are his music and his secret feelings for Lydia, neither of which he is brave enough to share. Graduation feels more like an ending to Dill than a beginning. But even before then, he must cope with another ending- one that will rock his life to the core.


2. The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the forest, Xan, is kind and gentle. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster named Glerk and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, Fyrian. Xan rescues the abandoned children and deliver them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey. 

One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this enmagicked girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. To keep young Luna safe from her own unwieldy power, Xan locks her magic deep inside her



3. Tell me Something Real by Calla Devlin
Three sisters struggle with the bonds that hold their family together as they face a darkness settling over their lives in this masterfully written debut novel.

There are three beautiful blond Babcock sisters: gorgeous and foul-mouthed Adrienne, observant and shy Vanessa, and the youngest and best-loved, Marie. Their mother is ill with leukemia and the girls spend a lot of time with her at a Mexican clinic across the border from their San Diego home so she can receive alternative treatments. Their world is about to shatter under the weight of an incomprehensible betrayal…

4. Arena by Holly Jennings
The RAGE tournaments the Virtual Gaming League's elite competition where the best gamers in the world compete in a fight to the digital death. Every kill is broadcast to millions. Every player leads a life of ultimate fame, responsible only for entertaining the masses. 

And though their weapons and armor are digital, the pain is real.

Chosen to be the first female captain in RAGE tournament history, Kali Ling is at the top of the world until one of her teammates overdoses. Now she s stuck trying to work with a hostile new teammate who s far more distracting than he should be. 


Questions for A List of Cages

Q1 Initial reactions to the book?
Q2 Which character saw the most growth?
Q3 Is Adam realistic?
Q4 Was Adam's anger at Emerald justified?
Q5 On page 83, Julian talks about loss. How much truth is in his thinking?
Q6 What about those lists?
Q7 Favourite quote/scene
Q8 If you liked A List of Cages, you'll also like...