09/12/2018

Primary Library Overview 2018

2018 has been a productive year for the Primary School Library with the update and introduction of new programs for Stages 1 – 2 and support to the newly implemented grade inquiry focus for Stage 3 – Years 5 & 6. The review is a snapshot of teaching and learning, special events, resource use and top books loaned by grade.

It is interesting to compare the overview to the previous year and reflect on areas of strength and those requiring improvement. Unfortunately, reports referred to for this overview highlighted a major reduction in borrowing for Years 5 and 6. Not only were borrowing statistics significantly reduced, the range and level of books being borrowed by Year 6 were also disappointing in comparison to the younger grades.

I believe a key factor that has caused such a change is the reduction of visits to the library and the fact that they became impromptu. The change to a grade inquiry block removed the weekly library lesson and borrowing time which included time to recommend books, browse and read. The result is of great concern and has prompted the need to provide a thorough report to the Executive team. In addition to statistics, I plan to revisit an article I wrote Creating A Community Of Readers and refer to current research by Margaret Merga  who has written extensively about reading promotion. It is critical to highlight the concern and suggest ways to encourage more reading and engagement with books.  In 2019 Stage 2, Years 3 & 4 will move to grade inquiry blocks which will affect the regularity of library visits. The best way forward is to consider practical ways to ensure students are exposed to books and encouraged to read. The change in support to inquiry units will require a tighter approach to information and digital literacy guidance and instruction to both teachers and students.

I would like to acknowledge and thank the support and commitment of Michelle the Primary School Library Assistant. Michelle has worked meticulously in managing circulation, processing resources, library upkeep and assisted in book selection and library displays. Michelle and I have both taken time to deepen our familiarisation with our cataloguing system Oliver by Softlink and we are about to embark on a Stocktake – thanks to Michelle’s recent training!

In 2019, I look forward to presenting at the 2019 Oliver v5 User Conference on information literacy for Stage 1 and running a Webinar for the Australian School Library Association (ASLA) in regard to visual grammar / visual literacy using picture books. Oh, I also have two subjects to go with my Master of Education – Teacher Librarianship at Charles Sturt University.

One final note, the overview was created using InDesign. Recently I attended a professional learning course for InDesign provided by Design Workshop Sydney. I was determined to create the summary using InDesign as my first project and it was the perfect opportunity to try out the program and execute my learning.

25/11/2018

Colour, Symbol, Image summaries

Although Book Week was some time ago now this Post showcases a selection of Year 3 responses to the six CBCA Short List Picture Books 2018. The students were introduced to the Visible Thinking Routine – Colour, Symbol, Image at the start of the series of lessons. After each picture book was read a brief sharing of ideas was completed to gain feedback on the response depth and to prompt additional ideas by building on what students shared. One additional task introduced was to list ideas that were interesting or important from the story – this assisted in building responses.
Although some responses were a little brief it allowed students to respond to each book. Lessons were around 30-40 minutes so overall I feel it was an achievement to read and respond to each of the six short list books. As the activity was repeated for each book students quickly became familiar with the routine. It was also helpful for students to reflect on their Colour, Symbol, Image summary as they voted for their favourite short list book. For additional information visit this previous Post Exploring The CSI Thinking Routine Through Picture Books.

04/11/2018

Year 1 Step Inside the Character 2018

In a previous post Imagine If You Could Step Inside The Character In A Picture Book! I outlined and provided ideas for a series of lessons related to the visible thinking routine Step Inside the Character. Leading up to Children’s Book Week, Year 1 was introduced to the Children’s Book Council of Australia six short list books. After each book was read the students worked with a partner and answered one question related to the Step Inside thinking routine:

  • Who is the main character? Are they human, an animal or an imagined character?
  • What can the character see?
  • What might the character think?
  • What might the character care about?

The responses were collated to form a group summary. Students chose one of the books to respond to by drawing and writing. The use of writing prompt assisted students to respond to the Step Inside questions.

 

 

26/09/2018

CBCA NSW Eastern Suburbs Sub-branch Children’s Event!

The Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) NSW Branch Inc Eastern Suburbs Sub-branch is a newly-formed branch. We are delighted to promote our first children’s event, Thursday 25 October at the Randwick Community Centre. We have three terrific authors lined-up to share their books with activities to follow. Meet the authors Antonia Pesenti, Lesley Gibbes and Yves Stening. There will be a book sale and raffle prizes. This is a free event – bookings can be made via www.trybooking.com/YCPX

Thank you to Cate James for the terrific invite!

26/09/2018

K-2 Vote!

Over the past weeks, the six CBCA Short List Early Childhood books were read to each class from Kindergarten to Year 2. The children were shown the voting chart at the start of the series of lessons and looked forward to voting for their favourite book. The voting chart was very exciting and lead to many hot discussions. It also helped to explain the Book of the Year and Honour books and how special it is for a book to have such an award. The children are thrilled when they find other award books in the library collection recognised by the shiny award sticker.

20/08/2018

Trove – access to primary sources for student research

Recently I was asked to provide Year 6 classes with historical research skills focused on inquiry to investigate primary and secondary sources. The students were at an early stage of a historical inquiry unit involving investigation of stories of groups of people who migrated to Australia and the reasons they migrated. In addition, students will be inquiring into their personal history that has shaped who they are, their community and identity.

By coincidence, I am currently completing the subject – Describing and Analysing Education Resources which involved investigation of Trove as an example of a federated search system managed by the National Library of Australia. Knowledge of Trove’s access to extensive online resources enable me to demonstrate to students a way to search and access digitised primary sources such as photos, journal entries, and newspaper articles from the past. As Trove is comprehensive it was important to provide students with suggestions of what to search, how to search and how to review the search results.

What to search:

Bonegilla from Migration Blake Education, 2014

Start with a nonfiction book at the student’s level. Highlight images and image captions as a source of information and keywords that would be useful to use in a search. For the migration example, I used Bonegilla Migrant as the keywords and then demonstrated a search. We were able to view various images, including the photo of a group of men playing volleyball on Trove which was the same photo in the text. We also accessed a Certificate of identity, for Irena Terkiewicz, relating to her immigration to Australia, 1949 after viewing this in the Migration text. From the book Coming to Australia: post-war immigration by Australian Geographic, 2015, we located important keywords such as displaced persons, refugee camps and the name of the Minister of Immigration in 1945, Arthur Calwell which lead us to newspaper articles from that time frame.

How to search:

Trove has created a video explaining how to search, taking a few minutes to view this and then some time to explore is highly recommended.

How to review the search results:

Understanding the different zones assists with viewing the results. Two important things to refine a search include selecting a time period or decade and clicking the Available online option.

Although we are at an early stage of investigation, Trove provided a platform to guide students to sources of information for their research rather than just using Google. Searching for family names was very stimulating for students, one student searched for the name of an invention by a great-grandparent and came across a newspaper article from 1913.

Trove provides a wealth of opportunities for teaching and learning purposes. Being able to access articles, photographs, and letters from the past is extremely valuable for historical research and inquiry learning.