13/08/2017

CBCA Book Week – Escape to Everywhere displays

The CBCA Book Week theme Escape to Everywhere has encouraged a lot of discussion with children about what happens when we read, how do we escape with a book, and what are the books we love to escape with.

Escape to Everywhere – Imaginative focus

Books featured:

  • A Child of Books by  Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston
  • Return by Aaron Becker
  • Book by David Miles and illustrated by Natalie Hoopes

Images from Pinterest Book Interest

Escape to Everywhere – pack up and travel with a great book

The old suitcase was found not far from home on the side of the street, it still had the SYD Qantas tag attached! It was not hard to find classic book titles related to journies to fill the case and a create vintage style display. The poster Reading Takes You Places was from Scholastic Book Club. There are some authentic looking airline tickets that we created for book characters using an airline ticket generator (an idea found via The Book Chook) and few genuine looking travel tags that made the final touch.

29/07/2017

Read, respond, celebrate: engaging with the CBCA short list

Each year The Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) promotes and celebrates children’s books with the major event of Children’s Book Week during August. There are several Posts related to Book Week on this Blog as it is a very special part of the Library program. Recently SCIS Connections published an article I wrote focusing on using the Early Childhood and Picture Book short list books, as well as providing an insight into exploring the Younger Readers chapter books in the F–6 school context. The full article can be found via Read, respond, celebrate: engaging with the CBCA short list

Book Week suitcase

SCIS Connections 102 Read, respond, celebrate article PDF.

 

15/07/2017

Creating a Community of Readers – Our purpose is to make a difference

Creating a Community of Readers – Our purpose is to make a difference, was presented at the Australian School Library Association (ASLA) Biennial Conference – Challenge to Change, 13-14 July 2017.

Creating a Community of Readers highlights and explores aspects of The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) and the Australian School Library Association (ASLA) Standards of Professional Excellence for Teacher Librarians. The Standards aim to enrich teacher librarians’ professional engagement and develop student learning outcomes. The Standards comprise three facets – Professional Knowledge, Professional Practice and Professional Commitment. Within each of these, the focus and importance of reading is prevalent.

The Standards have been an essential companion to my experience and have assisted greatly with guidance and planning, promoting and strengthening the service of the library, and have provoked professional learning and connections.

Additional posts related to the presentation to follow.

12/07/2017

Visual Literacy using the CBCA Short list Picture Books

The CBCA Short List Picture Books provide many opportunities to explore and engage with quality literature. This term Year 5 will explore the short list books in relation to visual literacy or ‘visual grammar.’

Visual Grammar helps us understand and describe the features of a picture that create visual meaning. We learn who or what is in the picture, the activities involved, interactions between characters, emotions, and how the image catches our attention. We can learn to discover by looking deeper and thinking about what we see.

As advised by Callow, 2016 “Talking about the various features of picture books before, during and after reading allows us to teach children about their various features.” Using the CBCA Short List Picture Books offers a perfect way to introduce or extend on visual literacy. Exploring the themes and issues and applying visual grammar elements allows students to deepen their engagement with the books. Furthermore, “formal teaching around visual grammar, with some rules and direction about how to identify and name visual resources and to discuss their effects, will develop visual literacies and allow more people greater access to a wider range of visual skills” (Forrest, 2017, p.43).

What is planned?

  • Introduce one of the CBCA Short List books and highlight visual grammar elements
  • Provide students with the Visual Grammar Guide available from my TES Resources site
  • Group students into small groups and allocate one of the picture books. Working with a partner create a sub-group where each sub-group selects one page (image) to focus on
  • Take a photo of the image and using Word or a simple photo writing App such as Phonto annotate onto the image
  • Post work to class Blog and share findings

Below is an example applying visual grammar following the guidelines that I created for student use. Goanna by Jenny Wagner is one of the first picture books I purchased in my early teaching days, I found it on my bookshelf and so loved reading it again.

Continue reading

03/07/2017

Book Week Escape To Everywhere – Postcard from your reading journey

The Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Book Week 2017 theme Escape to Everywhere opens many opportunities to connect with literature and have fun. In addition to the Missing Book Character Poster activity planned for students in P-2 we are planning a writing reflection activity for Grades 3-4. The task encourages students to engage with a book they have enjoyed reading and write a Postcard imagining they are in the story. This activity aims to get the student inside the book, experience an event with the character and reflect on where else they could go within the story.

Steps to promote this activity:

Choose a book you have really enjoyed reading – it could be a picture book or chapter book.

Make a list of ideas, the questions below will help get you started – remember a postcard aims to capture where you are, what you are doing.

  • Who is the character(s) you are with?
  • Where are you? What you can see.
  • What activities are you doing?
  • Where might you be going?
  • Address you postcard to your class and remember to write your name and class
  • Draw a stamp for your postcard
  • Draw a picture that is connected to the book
  • Write the book title and author on your drawing so we all know what great book we can read next

I am planning on introducing this as a competition for students in Grades 3-4 to be done at lunch in the library, one entry per student to be entered. If you decide to run this at your school I would love to hear how it goes.

The guide and a postcard template are available via my TES Resources page.

25/06/2017

What can we learn about history through pictures – take a look at the $20 note!

This term Year 2 were investigating The Past in the Present (NSW Syllabus). During the library lessons we undertook an inquiry into How can we use nonfiction to be better researchers? The series of lessons which investigated informative books will be summarised in a separate post as I would like to share the final lessons which were most amazing – we took a good look at the Australian $20 note. 

The investigation links in with History: The Past in the Present HT1-2 where students identify and describe significant people, events, places and sites in the local community over time.  Continue reading

24/06/2017

Book Week Escape to Everywhere – Missing Book Characters

I am looking forward to Term 3 to share and explore the Children’s Book Week Short list books and exploring the theme Escape to Everywhere. A few weeks ago I wrote about a rabbit visiting the school library and a missing rabbit poster I spotted which inspired an idea! This idea has now come to a reality and we will be promoting a Missing Book Character poster competition for students in P-2.

Steps to promote this activity:

  • Promote Children’s Book Week – Escape to Everywhere to the school community
  • Introduce the Missing Book Character Poster to students in the selected grade(s)
  • Instruct students to select a book they have read and enjoyed
  • Follow the writing format Heading – Missing; Name of character; Last seen – choose a place in the book the character visits – a setting, Likes – think about what the character likes; If found – child’s name and class
  • Provide copies of the template – available for free from my TES Resources page

I am planning on introducing this as a competition for students in P-2 to be done at lunch in the library, one entry per student to be entered. If you decide to run this at your school I would love to hear how it goes.

21/06/2017

Book Week – Escape to Everywhere QR Code Treasure Hunt

Inspired by a QR Code Treasure Hunt at EduTECH, with the prize a new car (no I did not win even though I spent time hunting for codes) I have created a Book Week – Escape to Everywhere QR Code Treasure Hunt linked to the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Shortlist Younger Readers and Picture Book books.

Sample

The Younger Readers Treasure Hunt, Picture Books Treasure Hunt and Answer recording sheets can all be found on my TES Teaching Resources site and they are free!

This Treasure Hunt is aimed at Years 3-6 and due to students needing to know a little bit about each book, it would take a few lessons. Students will need a QR Code reader to scan the codes.

To set this task up I suggest the following:

  • Introduce/read the CBCA Shortlist Younger Readers and Picture Books
  • Print, cut out and stick the QR codes around the library or school (do not cut off the header or question numbers)
  • Print out the answer sheets for each student
  • Introduce the task, demonstrate how to scan and fill in the answer sheet
  • Plan when students can do the Treasure Hunt and for how long it will run
  • Have a special box for the answer sheets (one for Younger Readers and one for Picture Books)
  • Draw an answer sheet from the box, the first one with the correct answers wins a prize

I would like to thank The PE Geek who’s guide How to make a QR Treasure Hunt provided a step by step guide and link to Classtools.net QR Treasure Hunt Generator which enabled me to create this QR Treasure Hunt.

14/06/2017

Role of the Teacher Librarian

I completed the Graduate Diploma in Information Studies Teacher Librarianship some time ago and have been working as a Teacher Librarian since 2002. I have also worked as an Information Specialist in a corporate setting. This year I am extending my professional learning and updating my academic studies to a Master of Education Teacher Librarianship at CSU. Looking back my motivation to become a teacher librarian was inspired by a teacher librarian at a school where I worked on a casual basis, I considered the role to be special in that you taught all classes K-6, teamed up with class teachers and spent time with books and organising information – this was the mid 1990’s so technology in school libraries was limited. During my experience I have witnessed considerable changes to the teacher librarian role particularly in regard to technology (Boyer, 2015) for management of resources and for teaching and learning. More recently, the implementation of the Australian Curriculum has provided significant opportunities for teacher librarians particularly in regard to the General Capabilities and Cross Curricular Priorities, the focus of quality literature (McDonald, 2013) in the English Curriculum and the attention to inquiry learning (Lupton, 2012) and (McIlvenny, 2013).

Teacher librarians have a unique and important role in schools, day to day responsibilities range from collection development, reading promotion, information and digital literacy guidance, manager of the physical collection and library layout, designer and manager of the online library, facilitator and provider of professional training (Lupton, 2016) and a central person to many students who find the library a special place to be. Implementing literature, information and digital literacy skills into the school curriculum is an essential role of a teacher librarian as noted by Scholastic (2016). More recently teacher librarians have been involved with the Makerspace Movement (Bonanno, 2016) requiring skills in new technologies exploring design, creativity and problem solving. As this could all be in a day’s work the need to be welcoming, up-skilled, organised, flexible, and able to prioritise is essential. Continue reading

12/06/2017

EduTECH – Future Library Congress, 8-9 June 2017

The Future Library Congress explored how libraries are progressing in the changing nature of education. Librarians and industry leaders shared expert advice from school, university, museum, and government libraries. Insight into the changing times of libraries, passion for information literacy and literature, the important link to technology through the Maker Movement and tools such as Virtual and Augmented Reality were key features of the presentations.

This post highlights key learning specific to school libraries and the role of the teacher librarian.

The Congress sessions were opened by Sandra Moore, President, Australian School Library Association (ASLA) who encouraged us to walk away from the Congress with three things learnt, two things confirmed, and one challenge. Sandra reminded us that teacher librarians require curiosity, kindness, stamina and a willingness to look stupid. It was also advised in order to be creative we need to steal ideas from others by way of honouring others work; study; taking ideas from many; crediting; transforming; and remixing.

Vickie McDonald, State Librarian and CEO, State Library of Queensland (SLQ), shared her journey through the changing nature of libraries and in particular stories of change at her former position at the State Library of NSW, as well as current change within SLQ. Vickie focused our attention to leading change and the importance of libraries meeting the strategic direction of their organisation. It was noted that key factors of successful leadership of a library include trust, predictability, honesty and fairness, being able to listen and communicate effectively. Vickie stressed the need to be highly visible, update staff and the library community regularly, share highlights, attend as many meetings as possible, meet with small groups to assist connections and engage staff with change. 5C’s of library leadership were highlighted: clarity, communication, clients, collaboration and collections. Vickie’s presentation was inspiring and showcased a selection of engaging images from the SLQ.

Jenny Kemp, Leader of Learning, St Andrew’s Cathedral School challenged us to think about what we are offering at our school library, and why does our school need a teacher librarian. Jenny reminded us that a teacher librarian is a complex position and requires a high set of skills. A major strength of the teacher librarian as promoted by Jenny was to teach and guide students with information literacy. Collaborating and knowledge of teaching programs to find opportunities to tie in information literacy skills was also emphasised, as well as going to classrooms rather than only being seen in the library.

I was very pleased to hear Jenny say ‘be the teacher librarian’ a factor that can get mixed up when we are all aiming to do so much. Furthermore, Jenny suggested that ‘explicit teaching has got lost with all the exciting other learning’ a statement I agree with and one that is challenging when there are so many exciting other things to incorporate – particularly when astonished with all the tech at EduTECH. Similar to Vickie McDonald, Jenny promoted understanding the school structure, being involved with faculty planning, promote skills – don’t wait to be invited, ensure you promote a clear vision of what a you can offer, and to reflect on how the library staff are using their time. To finalise her presentation Jenny promoted library space as the third space a place that is very important for a school.

The third space was also encouragingly promoted by Andrew Stark, Head of Libraries, The Southport School QLD, he referred to libraries as important meeting points, that library space should be embraced, it is not just space – it is how you fill it. Andrew also stated that a child’s feelings with their school library is something they will take with them in their learning journey. Continue reading