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

An Information Literate School Community

Did you know the Teacher Librarian can wear up to 500 hats? Barbara Braxton is working her way through a description of each and today’s ‘Hat’ is both informative and challenging. Read about The Information Literacy Hat on her blog 500 Hats.

Info LiteracyAn ILSC is one that “places a high priority (policy, benchmarking, funding and evaluation) on the pursuit of teacher and student mastery of the processes of being informed,” (Henri, 2005, p12). ..

…Students will need to be able to survive and thrive in an information-saturated and technology-rich environment, and be independent, creative thinkers, making informed decisions based on careful evaluation and interpretation of available information, developing expertise through experience, and be lifelong learners. They need to be information literate.

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.

The Role of the Teacher Librarian (Library Media Specialist)

It was announced yesterday that I was the Australian Teacher Librarian of the Year 2012 What an incredible honour and privilege! I have been inundated with congratulatory emails and social networking messages from family, friends and colleagues – many of whom  know what the role of Teacher Librarian entails.

It has been interesting to hear the reactions from many who do not know what a Teacher Librarian does in the day-to-day life of the school library. A relative of mine jokingly said to my daughter: “So what did she do to win this award… invent a new Dewey Decimal System or a new way of filing?” … I want to thank my two Cert III qualified Library Assistants who make it possible for me to do much less of the “book” work behind the scenes (shelving, cataloguing, covering) and a lot more of the specialized teaching role that is that of Teacher Librarian!

The role of Teacher Librarian means
• Working with and for the whole school community – not just a few classes, but all students, teachers and administrators and even parents and grandparents
• Selecting and providing resources for all curriculum taught in the school – not just books both physical and digital but also online links to sites and database access to authoritative works in journals, magazines and newspapers
• Determining how new technologies can be best incorporated into units of work to make the tasks more interesting and/or collaborative
• Assisting in the teaching of ICT skills across the curriculum – for both staff and students
• Promoting reading and literature – this is a constant, enjoyable, daily part of the job as literature is discussed with students and teachers looking for appropriate reading material. Events to promote reading need to be organised (We have Library Lover’s Day, Grandparents in the IRC, National Simultaneous Storytime, Book Week Activities and a Book Fair every year)
• Leading in introducing new pedagogical skills (Guided Inquiry has been introduced and is being used widely at Broughton and the Teacher Librarian teaches along side the class teacher to assist with supporting the process, information literacy skills and digital literacy skills)
• Having a voice on various collaborative school committees to discuss school policy and direction (eg IT Committee, Assessment Committee, Professional Learning Committee)
• Caring for students who use the library as a refuge from the playground and often develop new friendships in this environment
• Overseeing and assisting students in the library since it has become the school’s “lounge room” (where students relax together before school and at lunch, collaborate together over projects, play board games, read quietly or discuss books together)
• Display work for all classes and students K-12 in a prominent place for the whole community to share in their achievements

The list could go on. Above all Teacher Librarians are passionate about what they do, about promoting life long learning for everyone – which means finding new ways of teaching and learning and promoting older ‘tried and true’ methods, accessing new digital literacies but still using the best of the old, integrating learning and making it relevant to a student’s experience and ‘supporting’ all who enter our library doors!

At a time when the role of Teacher Librarian is so misunderstood and therefore many TLs (Library Media Specialists) are disappearing from schools under budget restraints, we need to ‘shout it out’ and make School Principals aware of the role – and the need for information specialists in every school.
The Dewey Decimal System barely comes into it ☺

The future of libraries

In his paper The Future of Libraries, Futurist speaker Thomas Frey delivers a history of the role of libraries over time – from the preservation of Da Vinci’s work to today where “Collections are often used by people who choose not to, or can not afford to, purchase books for themselves.”

All this is changing, however, and the role of libraries and librarians is dramatically shifting. Frey’s paper discusses ten trends and concludes with four recommendations that are great food for thought and action.

The One Hundred Acre Wood – 2B learns about relationships

Towards the end of last year and with a focus on the coming National Year of Reading class teacher, Kate Bradley, drew on A. A. Milne’s timeless classic Winnie-the-Pooh to help her class learn about relationships and also to use this literature to bind subject areas into an integrated unit of work. The students read the book then created their own characters who had to live together in their own class One Hundred Acre Wood behind the IRC. Students visited their ‘Wood’ often -sometimes bringing down their writing materials and working outside for added inspiration. This became their presentation area with characters (plastic bottles) standing next to poetry compositions (laminated on sticks). The display became a collaborative effort between the classroom teacher and Teacher Librarian with some Senior Students also assisting during study periods and the students benefited from all the added attention! In the following video Kate describes this unit of work.

School Libraries and Teacher Libarians promoting literacy

In her latest post in An awfully big blog adventure, award winning author of 60 books for children and teens, Linda Strachan says:

We all know that children have to learn the skill that is reading so that they can discover the joy of losing themselves in a book, the delight of living new experiences through the characters in their favourite books

…we need our schools not only to help children learn the skill of reading but to find joy and delight in a broad range of books, to help them to become enthusiastic readers.

She goes on to discuss the role played by the school and Teacher Librarian in the of promotion of books and reading.

Ten inspiring teachers share in TED talks

The TED Blog informs us about, and links to, ten inspiring ‘Talks’ by teachers from many areas of school education.

Arthur Benjamin: Teach statistics before calculus
John Hunter: Teaching the World Peace Game
Emily Pilloton: Teaching design for change
Dan Meyer: Math class needs a makeover
Aaron Sams: How to speed up chemical reactions and get a date
Sugata Mitra: The child-driven education
Liz Coleman: a call to reinvent liberal arts education
Conrad Wolfram: Teaching kids real math with computers
Clifford Stoll: The call to learn

E-Portfolios for reflection and goal setting

Traditionally schools have collected student work samples to store physical examples of accomplishment and compare individual achievement over a period of time. E-Portfolios have so much more potential. They can be used to “help students find purpose and passion through reflection and goal-setting” as they develop their own record of learning. Dr Helen Barrett explains how it is possible to incorporate the use of digital tools in learning to achieve this goal.