Friday, September 25, 2009


The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa is the book selected by the Westport Public Library for the ONE book that all interested readers in Westport will focus on in January 2010 as part of WESTPORT READS. Many activities are being planned to complement and enhance the themes of this book.

The book deals with a math professor's brain injury and resulting short-term memory loss after each 80 minutes. The story details the relationships between the professor and his housekeeper, and the housekeeper's young son, "Root." The professor relies on his knowledge of equations and mathematical relationships, as well as his knowledge of Japanese baseball, to create strong, meaningful connections between the principal players.

Today Maxine Bleiweis, director of the WPL and Marta Campbell, collection development & readers' services coodinator, met at Staples High School with Lis Comm, 6-12 English curriculum leader, Frank Corbo, 6-12 Math curriculum leader, Julia Roberts, SHS library media specialist, Robin Stiles, SHS library media specialist, Rita Hennessey, BMS library media specialist, John Horrigan, CMS library media specialist and me.

We learned about some of the plans the Westport Public Library has for Westport Reads, and the curriculum leaders and library media specialists talked about how they could support the upcoming January community event. Here are some of the ideas or plans that were presented, planned or discussed during the meeting:
  • The translator of the book, Stephen Snyder, a teacher at Middlebury College will present at the WPL on January 11th.
  • A neurosurgeon will speak at the WPL about memory loss.
  • A speaker on Japanese baseball will possibly present at the WPL.
  • WPL wants to involve school kids in Westport Reads.
  • Frank Corbo reported that Bill Walsh, Math teacher at SHS, had presented about the book at a Math department meeting. Talked about the possibility of creating a panel of kids who could talk about why they enjoy Math.
  • Possibly the panel of Math kids could present during a lunch time activity in the library media center.
  • Is there a possible ART connection that can be made?
  • There are 10 community book groups that are planning to focus on the book in January.
  • Could be a connection with Math Counts in the two middle schools.
  • Maybe students will create a promotion for the book on SHS, BMS and CMS morning television programs.
Lis Comm is planning to purchase 24 books, one for each English teacher.
  • The library media center will purchase 10 copies of the book, create a display and plan for some lunch time activities and presentations in January.
  • Wednesday, September 2, 2009


    The BMS ITL committee met for the first time this year from 3:00-4:00 this afternoon. Rita Hennessey, LMS, and Lauren Bullock, technology teacher, are the new co-chairs of the committee and Rita Hennessey led the meeting. Members of the committee able to attend included: Meg Tiley, assistant principal; Laurie Gray, math teacher; Anitha Bolar, math teacher; Jeremy Royster, social studies teacher; Kathy Fleming, technology teacher; Lauren Francese, science teacher, and new member, Susan Cyrulik, science teacher.

    Rita provided an overview of this year's ITL Summer Camp. 1-2 participants from every school learned about, used and explored the relative advantages of using: Smart Recorder to create screencasts, Flip cameras, MovieMaker, Diigo, Skype,, Scratch, Google Forms, evaluation tools for websites, and Google Earth to create virtual tours.

    There was also a discussion that I led about the Nov. 3rd ITL professional development day for all staff grades 6-12. We looked at the existing list of possible topics, and discussed if there were any topics missing. No new topics were added. We also discussed the structure of the day (8-9:30 - Keynote by Bernajean Porter; 10-11:30 - Workshop 1; 12:15-1:30- Workshop 2; 1:45-3:00 - Workshops 3; OR one afternoon workshop from 12:15-3:00). The group looked at the other possibility of having ONE workshop from 10:00-3:00, and although there were some advantages, everyone thought it was more important that teachers be exposed to at least two different topics.

    Rabbit Hill, a Festival of Children's Literature, was briefly discussed. (There will be future posts on this, I am certain!) This amazing literature program sponsored by the Westport Public Library will bring five authors to Bedford and Coleytown Middle Schools on Friday, Oct. 23rd. On Saturday Oct 24th, the authors present at Saugatuck Elementary School at a free morning event, with workshop sessions offered in the afternoon. The reason for putting Rabbit HIll on the agenda was to support the preparation of students as much as possible for the authors' visit to maximize the impact of their presentations. Kathy Fleming and Rita Hennessey discussed connections with the TV Studio and the LMC.

    Two future faculty meetings may be used for ITL workshops this year after the ITL PD day on Nov. 3rd.

    Attending the meeting and hearing about potential ITL work this year at Bedford was a great way to end the 2nd day of school (for students).