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.

News Flash – Article published!

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 here to obtain the article: Laretive J ACCESS September 2017-2kldnxb

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 is available for download.

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 download below

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.

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

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.

Matlida – 29 years young!

Matilda by Roald Dahl will turn 30 next year, a fact I accidentally discovered as I was organising the items for the book display in our school library. We had several versions of the book with differing styles of covers and some very well read Matilda editions. I think a celebration next year with tea and cake will be superb to honour the enjoyment this book has provided to readers for many years.

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.

Ignite wide reading with diverse resources at your school library

School libraries have a vital role in the provision and promotion of quality and diverse reading materials that inform, value and ignite reading. Promoting “a reading culture through the active promotion of literature” (Australian School Library Association, 2004) is one of the ASLA teacher librarian standards. Promotion and access to varied reading materials “helps students to engage imaginatively and critically with literature to expand the scope of their experience” (Australian Curriculum English 8.3). Encouraging wide reading and access to a variety of reading materials increases students interests and motivation to read (Miller, 2012). “Numerous research studies prove that wide reading improves children’s comprehension, background knowledge, vocabulary, fluency, and writing” (Krashen, 2004 as cited in Miller, 2012). Furthermore, literacy development and achievement is benefited by recreational reading and reading for enjoyment (Merga, 2016).

The following resources have made a difference to the diversity of reading resources available to children at my school library adding to the existing range of imaginative and informative books. The resources that follow also link to the Australian Curriculum in that they provide access to imaginative, informative and persuasive texts in different formats and for different age levels.

Crinkling News: Australian Newspaper for Young Australian’s 

The Crinkling News newspaper has been very popular at my school library, it is a subscription based tabloid format newspaper published weekly for children aged between 7-14.  The Crinkling News website offers some additional features – videos, opinion polls, and comments. Readings.com.au spoke with the editor Saffron Howdon about the importance of media literacy for children.

Story Box Library: Australian Stories read by storytellers

Story Box Library is an online subscription based resource that contains a collection of Australian literature read engagingly by storytellers. Story Box Library promotes the resource as a “reading room” where books are communicated through film providing “…a vibrant, interactive experience via a diverse range of everyday Australian storytellers”(storyboxlibrary.com.au). The resource also provides theme details and valuable classroom notes for the stories.

DK findout! Visual and engaging information, images and videos

DK findout! is a free website that is visually stimulating and contains appealing content for classroom teaching and learning. Information is concise, the page layout is well organised and the reader is able to click to reveal summaries or listen to a sound recording. This resource is very attractive and provides wonderful opportunities for learning and general interest exploring. I suggest taking a look at the Volcanoes page as it provides an excellent example of the high standard of information and design. Continue reading →

Where’s Wally turns 30!

It was great fun setting up the Where’s Wally display for the books 30 year anniversary. Young children have stood eyes wide closely looking at the items in the display case. It was noted in the ABC News article that drawing each scene takes “months to draw…as I work my way through a picture, I add Wally when I come to what I feel is a good place to hide him” (Martin Handford as cited in ABC News, Where’s Wally fans still search for elusive character 30 years

Book displays to promote reading

I am always on the look out for interesting items to add to the book display cases in the K-6 Library. We have two display cases, one in the K-2 section and one in the Primary area. The displays focus on book promotions, book anniversaries, literature themes, story elements or events such as Reconciliation Week. This year students were welcomed to the Library with Peter Pan and the display for younger students showcased some special book characters. Today we created a Harry Potter and Mr Chicken books display. It is a pleasure to see students enter the Library and look into the display cases with excitement.

Harry Potter

Book Characters

Peter Pan

Mr Chicken

I Read!

Reading was the focus for Year 2’s first Library lesson. I read Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book 
by Julia Donaldson which inspired great discussion. The students were then invited to write about themselves as readers starting with ‘I read…’ ideas were shared and I was able to get a quick snapshot of what the students were currently reading, where they read, when they read, who they read to or with and other interesting going on’s about reading. It also made for a quick display of readers.