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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
Do you know when to use ‘LOL’ and ‘slash’ in your texts?
In his TED Talk Txtng is killing language. JK!!! , John McWhorter says that texting is actually an expansion of people’s “linguistic repertoire” and is “language in speech” and not writing as we have come to know it. He notes an emergent complexity in the subtle structures and conventions of its use.
Does texting mean the death of good writing skills? John McWhorter posits that there’s much more to texting — linguistically, culturally — than it seems, and it’s all good news.
Linguist John McWhorter thinks about language in relation to race, politics and our shared cultural history.
Our Reading Room has a new popular piece of furniture and teachers are often seen reading aloud to their Primary classes in here. The ‘Dewey’ mat is also a great hit!
It has become a tradition in our library for all of Year 9, on February 14 each year, to take part in ‘Speed Dating’. Books are pre-selected from all genres with appropriate but varying levels of reading.
Senior students observing the ‘set-up’ this morning could be heard reminiscing about their own experiences doing this three years ago. Clearly it was memorable and favourable!
Statistics are kept from the ‘rating’ sheets to make a display of most popular ‘dates’ and many students come back for second dates.
Library’s Lovers day!!
By Hayley B (Year 9 student)
Today was Library’s Lover’s Day 9. Our English class made their way down to the IRC where we stood behind a table, which was very prettily decorated, and which made us feel as if we were in a restaurant with our date sitting there staring at us. On the table next to our ‘date’ we had a cute red heart chocolate. Everyone was nervous for their first date, sitting down and opening to the first page and getting to know all about their date. After four minutes everyone rated their date and moved on to a new date and did the same thing all over again.
I think being at Library Lovers Day today was a great experience for everyone to perhaps find the right book for them, one which suits them best or maybe not even finding the right date at all but reading a variety of books.
Yesterday the Year 9 Child Studies students came to the IRC for their lesson . First they were taught about the stages of the development of literacy skills from birth to school age, with emphasis on the importance and inter connectivity of all forms of communication. The use of books, digital or print, as a foundation for literacy development was demonstrated with illustrations from baby’s first recognition of shapes on a page. The introduction of words that eventually introduce concepts of fantasy as distinct from reality was then discussed – the problems this can cause and the fun this can initiate.
The Year 9 students looked at the K-2 collection of books and as Year 3 was in the IRC ‘borrowing’ books at the time, their teacher allowed us to ‘borrow’ the students in 3B to read them stories and discuss their story choices. A great time was had by all!
One of our teachers is working with hearing impaired students and this will be of great interest to her students. Embedded into a Moodle lesson, students would have a relevant visual starting point. Clearly this site is being developed and we will watch with interest to see its final scope. The possibilities are enormous.
Jamie McKenzie has been offering free online educational articles and information on his site From Now On: the educational technology journal for years. I have followed his work for over ten years. These days one would say he is part of my PLN.
His latest article is about eBooks Vol 21|No 4|March 2012.
As books become more interactive the possibilities in the educational environment are enormous and exciting. This article is a great place to begin learning about how to embrace change.
The New Book, the New Reading and the New Reader: We’re talkin’ ’bout revolution This article discusses:
- reading as a dialogue
- reading as an exploration
- and the challenge for schools?
Jamie McKenzie also has made available his own eBook, The next best thing, from this site. It has just become part of my collection!
Yesterday we celebrated reading and picture books by taking part in the National Simultaneous Storytime event. Right across Australia, in schools and public libraries, children gathered to read The very cranky bear by Nick Bland at 11:00AM.
Three Kindergarten classes came to the IRC where they were enthralled to see and hear the story unfold through the use of the iPad App “The very cranky bear” which was screened on the Smart Board.
A group of Year 10 students then performed a Reader’s Theatre production of the book
…after which the children heard the story again – taking the part of the bear. Roars of sixty very “cranky bears” filled the IRC followed by the appearance of Happy Bear masks at the end of the story.
Not many of the thirty Senior Year 12 students “studying” in the IRC did much work that period – they also chose to enjoy the experience!