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.
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.
“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.
Katie Lepi wrote wrote about reading in an Edudemic post recently. The infographics by Grant Snider is a visual guide to understanding plot and could be used to encourage better story writing.
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!
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.
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!