Every year, the librarians at IST produce a report for the school administration and staff. This year, we took a more visual approach. We welcome your questions and feedback so if there’s anything here you see that you’d like to know more about or anything you think we should have added, please contact us or leave a comment below.
As parents, one of our major roles is to make sure that children set aside time every day to read – to read for pleasure, for information, for the vicarious thrill of living in an imaginary world. (Julie M. Wood)
If you’ve been reading the weekly Blaze, you might have noticed that we’ve been quoting Julie M. Wood from the article, “Helping to prevent summer reading loss.” Dr. Wood is only one of the many literacy experts who emphasize the importance of maintaining literacy levels over the summer holiday. In fact, continuing to read over the summer can boost student learning–and we want to help!
Here are a few things parents can do to encourage more reading over the summer:
- Let your child choose what to read. The library can help. Secondary students can check out as many books and magazines as they would like over the summer. Elementary students need a signed permission slip from a parent. You can download the permission slip here.
- Use our Summer Reading brochures to help your child make good reading choices. You can view or download any of our four brochures by clicking on one of the following links: Nursery to Grade 2, Grades 3 – 5, Grades 6-8 and Young Adult.
- Take reading material everywhere. Always have books, magazines or graphic novels in your child’s bag when you’re traveling, staying with relatives and going to the beach.
- Read aloud to your children–no matter how old they are! Alternatively, listen to audio books on long road or plane journeys. (See this recent blog post from Stacy Fisher entitled “Free Audio Books: The Fifteen Best Sources Online.”)
- Use Tumble Books, an online collection of high-quality, age-appropriate novels, graphic novels and nonfiction books at all reading levels. For Kindergarten to Grade 2, use the TumbleBook Library; for Grades 3 to 5, use the TumbleBook Cloud, Jr.; for Grades 6 and up, go to the TumbleBook Cloud. The username and password can be found on the library homepage. Just visit library.istianjin.net and log in.
Today we celebrated World Book Day in the library with Character Dress Up Day. It was wonderful to see so many students and teachers dressed up in fantastic costumes. We had a lunchtime parade, took green screen photos in the library, and activities for students who wished to stay in the library at lunchtime. Please enjoy some photos from this fun and exciting day at IST!
We have been having a wonderful time celebrating Poetry Month over the past week. Students have enjoyed creating poems on our magnetic white board, exploring websites where they can read and write poems, and enjoying reading some of our fantastic collection of poetry books.
Next week will be even more exciting with all of the fun events we have planned, especially Character Dress Up Day on World Book Day Monday, April 24th!
Lucy, in kindergarten, donated the birthday book Princess Hyacinth: The Surprising Tale of a Princess Who Floated by Florence Parry Heide and Lane Smith. Lucy enjoys reading books about princesses, so we hope she will like this story of an unusual princess! Lucy was the first student to check out the book from the library this week. We hope you enjoy it!
If you would like to celebrate your child’s birthday with the IST Library Birthday Book Club, please contact the librarians at Linnea_Simon@istianjin.net or Eleanor_Surridge@istianjin.net for more information on how to join.
All next month we will be celebrating the power of poetry at the IST library. Please stop by the library for:
- displays of some of the wonderful books of poetry we have in the library collection
- have fun creating your own poetry with our huge magnetic poetry board
- write a poem on a postcard and post it anywhere in China or overseas (1 RMB in China and 5 RMB overseas)
- Create and illustrate your own poems
We will celebrate World Book Day on April 24th and continue all week long with poetry quizzes (and a chance to win prizes!), special prizes for some of our library patrons, and lunchtime activities.
Come celebrate Poetry Month with us!
The recent U.S. elections in the United States have brought to light the need for all of us to be better critical thinkers and fact-check those Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and WeChat posts that enter our feeds and fuel our anxieties.
Here are some steps to take when you read something shared by a friend but not supported with reliable evidence:
- Google it. Or Bing it or Yahoo! it or Baidu it or Naver it or do whatever you do to look up information quickly;
- Look to see if a reliable news source (a news site that pays its reporters to do real, investigative journalism) has reported on the event in question;
- If you can verify that the information is true, share it;
- If you realize that the information is not true or you can’t be sure it’s true, challenge it. Comment on it and send a message to your friend to let them know that they need to question their sources.
Here are two sites that make it their business to verify information that we find online:
Snopes.com: Attempts to give accurate information about rumors and urban legends on a variety of topics, including war, business, events, toxins, science, military, popular…
Factcheck.org: Monitors the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews, and news releases.
In 2011, Eli Pariser gave a TED Talk on the topic of the “filter bubble” and the ways in which Google, Facebook and other sites tailor what we see depending on our past web-browsing behaviors. Parents and (pre-)teens (preferably together) can watch his TED talk (see below) and discuss what this type of invisible editing does to our world-view. Pariser warns that we need to balance our “information diet” and not just feed on the “junk food” diet fed to us by those who have decided what’s most “relevant” to us–not necessarily what’s important.
Pariser went on to co-found the good-news sight, Upworthy, and to write the book titled, The Filter Bubble: What the internet is hiding from you.
Do you have a resource that you use (perhaps in your mother tongue) for fact-checking or promoting critical thinking? Please let our librarians know so we can share it with our community. Email us at Eleanor_Surridge@istianjin.net or Linnea_Simon@istianjin.net
Scholastic book orders have arrived! The IST library staff were very excited to receive a large shipment of Scholastic books this morning. Library staff worked hard today to organize the orders, and most students who placed orders received their books this afternoon.
New furniture for the library! The library is getting a facelift with the addition of new, comfy furniture perfect for relaxing with a favorite book. Stop by the library to see our cozy, comfy new spaces!