Book Week 2016 – Australia: Story Country

Junior School (Years K-6): On Monday morning the Junior School celebrated Book Week with a Grand Parade of Australian Stories. Every class recited a poem they had learned, dressed for the occasion and also decorated the hall with art work to illustrate their recitation.

Old Man Platpus

Old Man Platypus Display

A ‘Shelfie’ competition is taking place this week in the IRC for the Senior School (Years 7-12). Students and teachers have to guess which teacher belongs to which ‘Shelfie’. Next week all will be revealed with the teachers’ ‘Selfies’ that were taken in front of their bookshelves.

Shelfies

IRC Display

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National Simultaneous Storytime 2016

Year One came to the IRC to officially take part in the National Simultaneous Storytime event for 2016. The students all came appropriately dressed with hats representing many things – from Vikings to sportsmen. NSS6

After some activities involving hats the students listened to the book version of I got this hat by Jol and Kate Temple, they then watched a few renditions online from the NSS site. We also really enjoyed the illustrated Auslan version in sign language.

These faces tell it all:
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Grandparents’ Day in the IRC

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We had an amazing response from grandparents to our “Donate a Book to the IRC Collection” activity. As the following photos illustrate, it was a ‘sellout’! Each book had been especially selected as one that we wanted for our collection and they were very reasonably priced. As soon as the books are processed they will be borrowed out to the grandchildren to take home to read – as the first “borrower” of our new books.
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Quiet spots were well used and special memories made.
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Launch of Mrs T’s Kooky Pants

One of our Primary teachers, Jennifer Reid, recently had her first children’s book published. A number of teachers from Broughton and some of her students attended the launch at The Children’s Bookshop at Beecroft.
Drawing on her own experiences, Jennifer wrote the book for children to help explain about cancer in a way that they can understand.

Kindergarten’s ‘Farm Day’

After a day filled with exhausting ‘farm’ activities all three classes headed to the IRC for some ‘Farm’ stories. First we read two stories illustrated on the Interactive Board attached to a projection lamp so everyone could see the book. Michael Rosen‘s picture book Oww!: A wriggly piglet with a prickly problem was popular then Russell the sheep by Rob Scotton was a real favourite!
Finally we had some good old-fashioned fun singing “Old MadDonald had a farm” with all the puppets and sound effects we could muster.
RussellTheSheepPuppets

Animalia Puzzle a great hit

As a Book Week “Connect to Reading” activity for the High School we set up a puzzle board for a jigsaw puzzle based on the ‘L’ page of the Graeme Base book Animalia. This was a great hit and in less than two days the puzzle was complete and, by popular demand, another started. Year 12 claim it affords great stress relief in their last few weeks of school!
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To Read… or to Abandon: Selecting a good book

It is always interesting to look at the data after we run a “Speed Dating” activity. A few books are enjoyed by almost everyone who read them and a few are disliked by everybody. The rest, however can be equally enjoyed by some and disliked by others. What makes for a ‘good read’? Why are some books abandoned?
Edudemic post,Why Do You Abandon A Book? by Katie Lepi lists
‘Top 5 Abandoned “Popular” Books (and some reasons why)’
‘Top 5 Abandoned Classics’
‘What Makes You Put A Book Down?
‘What Makes You Want To Keep Reading?’

The infographic The Psychology of Abandonment visualises this whole scenario.
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Library Lovers Day @ Broughton

Every year, on Valentine’s Day, the English Department joins with the IRC in a little bit of silliness that actually becomes a very successful time of reading for enjoyment. We have been doing this with Year 8 or 9 English classes for six years. Even students who do not normally read for pleasure take part enthusiastically and have an opportunity to experience many genres especially selected for their age group.

Neil Gaiman lecture on “reading, libraries and daydreaming”

The Guardian recently published a lecture by Neil Gaiman entitled Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming
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The simplest way to make sure that we raise literate children is to teach them to read, and to show them that reading is a pleasurable activity. And that means, at its simplest, finding books that they enjoy, giving them access to those books, and letting them read them.

The whole lecture is worth reading but this quote emphasises what I discuss with secondary students constantly as I try to entice them to read for pleasure.

And the second thing fiction does is to build empathy. When you watch TV or see a film, you are looking at things happening to other people. Prose fiction is something you build up from 26 letters and a handful of punctuation marks, and you, and you alone, using your imagination, create a world and people it and look out through other eyes. You get to feel things, visit places and worlds you would never otherwise know. You learn that everyone else out there is a me, as well. You’re being someone else, and when you return to your own world, you’re going to be slightly changed.