Never waste a great opportunity for a bit of fun in the library whilst introducing students to books they would otherwise never ‘meet’!
Our five Year 8 classes came during their English periods on 14 February for a session of ‘Speed Dating’ some carefully selected books. There were NonFiction, Biography, Graphic Novels and Fiction books from many genres. The students sat around tables randomly and spent four minutes with a book before rotating to another table for up to four more sessions. The final session was for students to have a ‘Second Date’ – and many took this opportunity to get to know one of their previous dates even better.
Our library mascot, Edward the Emu, was in his element. He has had a very busy week taking part in many activities!
At BACIRC we are starting the new year with more initiatives than ever to encourage reading right across our P-12 school.
A recent article in The Age newspaper focuses on a school that insists on 20 minutes per day of reading for pleasure by every student. This activity is being followed through research done by Dr Margaret Merga from Edith Cowan University and this article is worth consideration.
‘Sense of urgency’: One school’s bold plan to get teenagers reading
Reading is so critical to the development of vocabulary and in-depth knowledge of the world around us and without actually practicing the skill of sustained reading, it can be lost in a practice of skimming content with no depth of knowledge as a result.
Our library at Broughton is very involved in the Primary section’s reading programme. We also assist with ‘Wide Reading’ and the English faculty in many classes from Years 7-9. Our aim as Teacher Librarians is to assist in the selection of books for individual students and also to inspire a love of reading through lessons containing excerpts of ‘good reads’, and many literary displays and activities.
Ernest the Emu: “Ernest loves to see students just sitting and reading. If you let him, he will tell you that being read to by proficient readers, and spending 20 mins a day reading independently are vital to developing literacy skills.” (Mrs Havenaar – our new Teacher in the Library)
Ernest can be seen taking part in many lessons throughout the day and even watches Senior Students as they study in our K-12 library.
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.
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.
Danyah Miller writing for theguardian.com on Monday 6 October 2014 shares ideas about ten ways to make our storytelling come alive for children.
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.
“Little Free Libraries — hand-built boxes where neighbors can trade novels, memoirs, comics, and cookbooks, and connect with each other in the process.”
What a great idea!
There are many versions of the same on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/Univerba/book-exchange/
Click the picture to see more about this event!
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.
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 Guardian recently published a lecture by Neil Gaiman entitled Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming
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.
Our major library fund-raiser begins tomorrow. Students are already excited and filling in their “wish-lists”. Books are ‘alive and well’ at our school!
We won’t be trying to break this record at Broughton – but what a great idea! Maybe we might try this on a smaller scale just for fun. Can you imagine returning all of the books to their proper place on the shelves?