The IRC place and space for Year 3 Guided Inquiry

Year 3 are all studying Minibeasts – having selected their favourite minibeast they have constructed some ‘wondering’ questions and are finding answers. The IRC space means they can work…
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Students are only using library books and all work in in workbooks with scaffolds pasted in before they began. The teachers are now experienced in Guided Inquiry and students are very focussed and excited about learning. Reading and Writing are integrated with Science for this unit of work.

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.

National Simultaneous Storytime 2013

Our school registered to take part in the National Simultaneous Storytime again this year. The three Kindergarten classes came to the IRC to listen to and read “The Wrong Book” by Nick Bland at precisely the same time as school libraries and public libraries all over Australia did the same.

Once again the story was brought to life by using an iPad app of the book projected onto the interactive whiteboard. Discussion of the characters and story followed after which students were provided with paper craft activities based on characters in the story. The students remembered the story from last year’s National Simultaneous Storytime, seen when in Prep, and we watched and listened to this book again as well.
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Katrina Roe visits Prep – Year 6 (Author of ‘Marty’s nut free party’)

Last week the IRC Theatrette was transformed into a party room for the visit of Katrina Roe who both entertained and educated our Prep – Year 6 students about food allergies. She certainly had the attention of all the students as she led them in party games then read her new book Marty’s nut free party. The students went away knowing how to hold parties that could be happily attended by friends with food allergies – and they really enjoyed the story as well!
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New research report on libraries and reading

Research into Parents, Children, Libraries, and Reading by Carolyn Miller, Kathryn Zickuhr, Lee Rainie and Kristen Purcell was released on 1 May by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. The findings and report cover:

  • Library visits by children
  • Parents themselves are considerably more likely than other adults to use library services
  • Parents are more likely to be interested in expanding library services and adding future tech-related services
  • Mothers stand out when it comes to reading and libraries
  • Lower income parents are more likely to view library services as very important

The vast majority of parents of minor children — children younger than 18 — feel libraries are very important for their children. That attachment carries over into parents’ own higher-than-average use of a wide range of library services.

…This report is part of a broader effort by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project that is exploring the role libraries play in people’s lives and in their communities.