06/09/2017

Creating a Community of Readers article

Creating a Community of Readers was a presentation at the Australian School Library Association (ASLA) Biennial Conference – Challenge to Change, 13-14 July 2017. Details of the presentation are provided in a previous Post.

The full article related to the presentation has been published in ACCESS the Journal of the School Library Association of Australia.

Creating a Community of Readers. ACCESS, Volume 31, Issue 3, September 2017.

Click below to obtain the article:

Laretive J ACCESS September 2017-2kldnxb

 

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.

 

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

11/06/2017

EduTECH Australia – Maker Movement Masterclass

I was fortunate to have attended EduTECH Australia 7-9 June. It was an exciting three day conference and I have come away with so many new ideas and stimulation for the school library. Key aspects introduce new hands-on activities with the Maker Movement, consider and act forward in regard to the changing nature of education and how school libraries are relevant, reflect on information literacy learning, and immerse more deeply into the school. This post focuses on the The Maker Movement.

The Maker Movement 

Presenters – Amber Chase @ChaseyA29  and Lisa O’Callaghan @kallicani from Calrossy Anglican School, Tamworth NSW.

Their STEM Blog https://stematcalrossy.wordpress.com/

The day kicked off with creative activity – light up your name! It allowed me to fiddle with little bits, I admit I needed some assistance by helpful teachers but it did work in the end and I was proud to light up my name.

Background

The presentation focused on STEM and the Maker Movement – ideas to get Maker happening at your school and participate in Maker Culture. The Maker Movement is creative and promotes confidence in trying new things, it is a mindset that applies various skills, connects all disciplines, encourages innovation, is engaging, hands-on and fun. It aligns technology, arts and craft.

A segment of The Four Corners program Future Proof was previewed to put the Maker Movement in context of changes in school and work.

The masterclass promoted many areas to get ideas from but for big picture information it was advised to visit: NMC Horizon Reports for K-12 Education and Libraries  and the Royal Institute of Australia RiAus.

How to start

Best advice is to start small. Continue reading

28/05/2017

National Reconciliation Week

It was wonderful to create the new library displays to commemorate National Reconciliation Week. This year we have two displays – one focusing on animals and the beautiful colourful artworks in a selection of children’s picture books, a wooden lizard from Uluru and a turtle painted on stone. The other display represents family highlighting children and traditional artworks on bark from my personal collection.

Australian animals

Children, family and culture

To commemorate Reconciliation Week all classes will be involved in activities and there are special visitors to share stories and knowledge with the children. In addition to the outstanding collection of picture books featuring Australian Indigenous peoples and culture some of the resources that class teachers have been particularly interested in for teaching and learning include:

Say Yes: A story of friendship, fairness and a vote for hope by Jennifer Castles, and illustrations by Paul Seden. This picture book sensitively captures the 1967 Referendum in way that enables historical issues and perspectives to be shared with children. The Allen & Unwin site provide teaching notes and Reading Time has a superb review, the suggested reading age is 7-12.

Stories for Simon by Lisa Sarzin and Lauren Briggs, a moving and beautifully illustrated picture book that helps explain the Stolen Generations to younger students. The Stories for Simon website provides background material about the story and links to Teachers’ Resource notes. The illustrator Lauren Briggs has visited our school on sharing the story with primary students and art workshops with high school students.

Welcome to Country written by Joy Murphy and illustrated by Lisa Kennedy is an outstanding picture book portraying personal traditions of Aboriginal people allowing for teaching and learning of understanding and respect for Aboriginal culture. Walker Books have provided extensive Teacher Notes for this book and a reference to a wide range of resources including picture books with Aboriginal themes, nonfiction books for younger and older readers, websites and video links.

The Message Stick book series published by Nelson Cengage are a wonderful series of books offering Dreaming stories with short plays such as How the Murray River was made and informative books on fishing, hunting and gathering, and bush tucker. The illustrations and photos are highly appealing and informative and text at a level suitable for lower grades. The series also includes a Teacher Resource book.

A special book I enjoy reading to Kindergarten classes is No Way Yirrikipayi! by the children from Milikapiti School, Merville Island and Alison Lester. This is a story of a hungry crocodile that wonders through the natural environment seeking food. Written in English and Tiwi it offers a rich resource to read aloud and encourages children to join in with the repeated phrase “No way Yirrikipayi your not eating me today.”

Books featured in the displays:

Kangaroo and crocodile : my big book of Australian animals by Bronwyn Bancroft

Where is Galah by Sally Morgan

ABC Dreaming by Warren Brim

Children of the Lake by Percy Trezise

Going for Oysters by Jeanie Adams

Welcome to Country by Joy Murphy (two images)

Torres Strait Islander girl and Aboriginal boy from Scholastic School Essentials 

Lizard, stone and bark artworks from my personal collection.

22/04/2017

ANZAC Day library display

“Anzac Day, 25 April, is one of Australia’s most important national occasions. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War.”

(Australian War Memorial, 2017)

Information about the Commemoration and Educational resources and activities  are provided by the Australian War Memorial. The Primary English Teaching Association Australia also provides Lest We Forget which comprises six literature-based units of work for PETAA members.

A collection picture books, some with teaching notes are available via my Pinterest collection of ANZAC Day commemoration picture books.

25/01/2017

Story Elements – Read, Think, Collaborate, Create

Diorama based on the book Perfect by Danny Parker

This post showcases the amazing dioramas Year 2 created for the CBCA Shortlist Early Childhood Books. I wrote in a previous post about the project explaining how we started and the information the students were focusing on for each book.

In summary, after reading each of the shortlist books small groups worked on specific questions related to elements of the story:

  • Who is the main character? Are they human, an animal or an imagined character?
  • Are there supporting characters? Are they human, an animal or imagined characters?
  • Where is the story set? Is the setting realistic, magical, set in the past, present time or future?
  • The message or a lesson from the story is…
  • A symbol (object, action, or expression) in the story is…
  • The story made me think about…

Once we had finalised the reading and summarising lessons students were placed in small groups and provided with a shortlist book to focus on. The first task was to answer questions about the book and then allocate a job for each student, before they could start with the design and construction of the dioramas each group had a conference to ensure all were on task and had appropriate roles. A Diorama guide planning sheet was used to help plan work. To make life easier (I had four Year 2 classes complete this activity 24 dioramas in total) I purchased diorama boxes from Clever Patch. Crepe and tissue paper, cellophane, pipe cleaners, glue are required, as are pencils and textas, water colour paints – whatever you have in supply will work, a glue gun was very handy (teacher use only).

Below are work in progress samples and completed dioramas. Continue reading

06/01/2017

What site should I use? Evaluating websites

The final lessons in the online search skills series of lessons focuses on evaluating websites. There are numerous guides to provide to students, depending on age of the students the selection of evaluation terms is important. I found the 5W’s of Website Evaluation by Kathy Schrock very useful but made slight changes so that it matched the video clip on Evaluating the Web using the 5W’s.

To start the lesson we watched the YouTude clip Evaluate Search Results, this reinforced prior exercises and introduced new skills setting the scene for evaluation. At the end of the clip the class discussed what stood out.

We then watched the second video clip which is fast and exciting and it opened the door to the 5W’s of Website Evaluation exercises. Continue reading