A Literature Companion for Teachers by Lorraine McDonald has certainly been a companion to me! As an example Chapter 2 – Types of Literary Texts overviews a variety of genres and provides inspiration for practical approaches to provide meaningful learning experiences with reference to specific texts.
Recently I created a Genres Guide that students could refer to. This guide was used with Year 4 students to introduce the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Younger Readers chapter books. Reading an extract from the books and referring to the guide the students were able to identify the main genre. Providing students with extracts from a variety of book genres and getting them to examine and respond to the main genre with evidence from the text is another way to enable students to build knowledge of literary genres.
[embeddoc url=”https://libraryowl.edublogs.org/files/2020/09/Genres-Guide.pdf” download=”all” viewer=”google” ]
Reference: McDonald, L. (2018). A Literature Companion for Teachers.
Primary English Teaching Association Australia (PETAA)
Inspired by the SCAN article Book bento boxes: Creative reading response by Dr Jennie Bales and Louise Saint-John, I found myself absorbed collecting objects to design book bento boxes for two very special books. The experience was extremely rewarding and I look forward to working with students on creating their own book bento boxes.
In July this year, I spent two engaging weeks as an intern at the State Library of NSW. An overview of my learning journey can be found on the SLNSW Blog Internship at the State Library.
Sydney from the North Shore, 1827 / J. Lycett. Dixson Galleries, State Library of New South Wales
A highlight of the internship was spending time in the Exhibition Galleries to observe and select paintings from the collection suitable for a learning activity. One particular painting Sydney from the Nort Shore, 1827 by the convict artist Joseph Lycett, provided the inspiration to explore visual literacy and aspects of History – First Contacts for Stage 2 (Years 3-4). This lead to the creation of a learning activity which is now available on the SLNSW Learning at the Library resources ‘Visual Grammar – responding to historical paintings.’
As mentioned in the Blog Post ‘the two weeks at the Library was inspirational, I have grown from the experience, and I am energised and excited about what is ahead.’ Thank you Information and Access and Learning Services at the State Library of NSW for allowing such an experience.
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.
[embeddoc url=”https://libraryowl.edublogs.org/files/2018/12/Primary-library-overview-2018-1-2b3g772-2fegn8x.pdf” download=”all” viewer=”google” cache=”off”]
As the final days of the school year wrap up it is great to look back and reflect. It has been a busy but productive year, and we have worked tirelessly in the past weeks revamping the library collection, reorganising shelving and running a stocktake of the fiction books – it will be a fresh start next year!
I would like to acknowledge and thank the support and commitment of the library team and teacher librarian who taught the Year 6 classes.
The review is a snapshot of teaching and learning, special events, loans, resource use and top books loaned. What worked well, what requires change and improvement is in mind, but rest first is required.
Click the link to open the full review K-6 library review 2017
PS I used www.canva.com to create the Infographic.