Stage 2 students investigate world religions

Stage 2 students are studying world religions and festivals in their HSIE work this term. A useful website should be Religion for kids. Other Youtube video clips and Creative Commons images (below) will be our starting points to start explore essential field knowledge.

Religion Global History Timeline 1 min 30 sec (Was: History timeline: world religions conquest map HD)

The teachers have requested that five religions be examined during library sessions, including famous identities associated with the beginnings of each religion and original and now-famous buildings for each religion.


5 Pillars of Islam – part 1 | Cartoon by Discover Islam UK

The 5 pillars of Islam animated in English (includes previous clip at the beginning)

Story of Islam

Hajj view of the Kaaba as pilgrims walk

Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal by ndj5, on Flickr Creative Commons


What is Buddhism?

The story of Buddha

Basic Buddhist teaching

Mythology – Lord Buddha

The story of Buddhism

Ananda Pagoda
Ananda Pagoda, Myanmar by Hella Delicious, Flickr Creative Commons

Cherished Mausoleum
Cherished Mausoleum, Manila, by Wayne S. Grazio, Flickr Creative Commons (Second oldest cemetery, the resting place for Chinese citizens denied burial in Catholic cemeteries during the Spanish colonial period.)


Hindu creation story

Explanation of the Hindu Gods

Hindu Gods Ganesh

The story of Hinduism – final video

Akshardham Temple, Delhi
Akshardham Temple, Delhi by travfotos on Flickr Creative Commons

The Virupaksha Temple
The Virupaksha Temple, Hampi, by Neha Singh on Flickr Creative Commons. (It is believed that Lord Shiva and Parvati got married at this location.)


The story of Christianity

Origin of the “Jesus fish”

The Vatican
The Vatican, Rome, by Mike on Flickr Creative Commons

St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul’s Cathedral, London, Pablo Fernández on Flickr Creative Commons

St Mary's Cathedral
St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney, by Norman Z on Flickr Creative Commons


Judaism: sacred symbols and rituals

The story of Judaism

Tomb of   Prophet Job, Salalah, Oman
Tomb of Prophet Job, Salalah, Oman, by -Reji on Flickr Creative Commons

Staunton Synagogue
Staunton Synagogue, by Mike Freedman, Flickr Creative Commons (Temple House of Israel, a Reform Synagogue in Staunton, VA, USA)

IMG_2934, Great Synagogue, Sydney, by Matthew Shugart on Flickr Creative Commons.

Book Week displays come rolling in!

Books light up our world by 1S
Books light up our world by 1S

Click HERE for a slideshow of each class display.

UPDATE: The students who created this amazing 3D display for Scary night just heard back from the author, Lesley Gibbes:

Scary night by 36R
Scary night by 3-6R

Lesley wrote, “Thanks so much 3-6R, your display is amazing! Have a wonderful Book Week celebration!” And then, a courier arrived, with free copies of Scary night for the creators!

Make sure to check out out the free Apositive phone app and make the CBCA firefly fly – and read, and wave!
Book Week 2015 poster

Research projects: Progressing with Oliver and collecting evidence

At Penrith Public School, the transition to Oliver (from OASIS Library) and the students’ interface, Orbit, had to be delayed slightly due to long-service leave. It has been a very busy year: in addition to volunteering to be a Lighthouse School – demonstrating implementation and integration of Oliver through action research – we have been celebrating our school’s Sesquicentary celebrations. We have also been adapting from a complete Collaborative Planning, Programming and Teaching Program (CPPT) K-6 to the teacher-librarian providing one hour of Release-From-Face-to-Face (RFF) teaching for each class teacher.

Despite these hurdles, I am committed to continuing to involve most Stage 2 and Stage 3 students in the Guided Inquiry approach and collecting data on student learning with the tools of evidence-based practices.

Because the RFF program had to commence in Week 2 of Term 1, and it was not yet decided on just when the Oliver transition would occur, it was essential that I continue to collect quantitative and qualitative data using the SLIM tool kit survey forms (School Library Impact Measure, designed by Todd, Kuhlthau & Heinström, 2005). I highly recommend the collection of such data for all Guided Inquiry activities.

^ SLIM toolkit template (Todd, Kuhlthau & Heinström, 2005)

Surveys (as adapted for each unit from the template) are routinely filled out by students at pre-, mid- and post- intervals, even if not all data is tabulated immediately. I know that some teacher-librarians prefer to use an abbreviated survey (the so-called “Skinny” toolkit, as adapted by Lee FitzGerald and others), I do like to have all the data on hand simply because one often doesn’t know what evidence might be required/requested in the future.

For the two Guided Inquiry units started earlier this year – Stage 2: Built environments (science & technology) and Stage 3: Global connections (HSIE) – it became obvious, but too late, that the best way to integrate an introduction to Orbit would have been when locating relevant websites for research. By the time Oliver had arrived at Penrith PS, we unfortunately had already progressed past the Initiation and Selection stages of Guided Inquiry. (For the next time these units are taught, I need to ensure that all of the new and useful websites we found the hard way are represented in the new catalogue, so that students will achieve scaffolded success in their early searches).

For the purpose of today’s presentation, I am drawing my examples of a previously-taught Stage 3 unit, Endangered animals, for which a full set (pre-, mid- and post-) of survey responses is already available.

^ Question 1 responses (Click on the image to download)

^ Question 2 responses (Click on the image to download)

^ Question 3 responses (Click on the image to download)

^ Question 4 responses (Click on the image to download)

^ Question 5 responses (Click on the image to download)

Above extracts (pp 31-33) are as featured in McLEAN, Ian. ‘Research columns: Taking the plunge: Guided Inquiry, persuasion and the research river at Penrith Public School’ in Scan 30(4) Nov 2011, pp 26-35. (Stage 3 students used a weblog to showcase their learning journey in Guided Inquiry, and to share their persuasive multimedia slideshows on endangered animals with the extended school community – and beyond. This action research paper is peer reviewed.) Download the whole article as a PDF from HERE, courtesy of NSW DoE’s School Libraries & Information Literacy.

Todd, R.J., Kuhlthau, C.C. & Heinström, J.E. (2005). School Library Impact Measure: SLIM: a toolkit and handbook for tracking and assessing student learning outcomes of Guided Inquiry through the school library, Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries at Rutgers University (CISSL), New Brunswick, NJ.

* Banks PS teacher-librarian, Julie Grazotis, has a wonderful ClassMovie video clip about their Oliver journey HERE. Other links to local preliminary Lighthouse School Library System projects are HERE.

More about whales

Past student book rappers created a digital slideshow on Photo Peach to accompany our work on the Aboriginal Dreaming story, How the whale got a hole in his head:

How the whale got a hole in his head

Humpback whale shows amazing appreciation after being freed from nets

Additional audiovisual resources on whales, starfish and barnacles, used in previous years of the cycle, are HERE.

The simultaneous Brothers Quibble

Yesterday, our school participated in ALIA’s National Simultaneous Storytime. Each Stage gathered in groups around the school at 11am (simultaneously with schools all over Australia) to share the picture book, The Brothers Quibble by Aaron Blabey!

The Brothers Quibble

The Brothers Quibble [Auslan version]

Aaron Blabey – Picture book maker [Story Box Library]

Our previous links are HERE.

Investigating kangaroos

Early Stage 1 and Stage 1 students have been learning factual information about kangaroos, after hearing the Aboriginal Dreaming story, How the kangaroos got their tails.

Newborn baby grey kangaroo – Attenborough – Life of mammals – BBC

Kangaroo boxing – Attenborough – Life of mammals – BBC

Previously, we had used these other useful Youtube clips, featuring a young joey learning to hop, and newborns in the pouch. Click here.

Built environments and interior design

This term, Stage 2 students are investigating aspects of Built environments in their science lessons. In the library, we shall extending this work by exploring the interior designs of: railway carriages, aeroplanes, ferries and cars. Also, how do people move within the interior of a built environment? ie. stairs, escalators, lifts/elevators.

German ICE train ICE 122 interior – Frankfurt HBF – Amsterdam Centraal

Airline: the story of Pan Am – YouTube trailer version

How to design an aircraft cabin

Simara ACE – ACE link – ferry exterior styling and interior design

Making of BMW i3: interior design [electric car]

20 attractive wooden staircase design

Spiral staircase design | Beautiful collection of staircase designs as modern interior

Sydney wooden escalator at Wynyard (Walkabouter’s guide) #84 [railway station]

And if you’ve ever wondered where the Wynyard Station wooden escalators originally came from…

Luna Park big slide [Coney Island, Milson’s Point]

Elevators – How do they do it?

Otis traction scenic red elevators @ Westin Bonaventure Los Angeles CA

Elevator machine room tour: 1965 Otis gearless traction elevator relay logic unit

Beautiful 100 year old Van Emon elevator @ Golden Gate Hotel San Francisco CA

Tiny vintage Curtis traction elevator @ 100 W 23rd st New York City New York

National Simultaneous Storytime: The Brothers Quibble

Each year, our school’s community (K-6, and often the preschool) has participated in the annual ALIA National Simultaneous Storytime. Each Stage gathers in groups around the school and the library to read a specified picture book together at 11am, simultaneously with schools all over Australia.

This year’s book is The Brothers Quibble by Aaron Blabey! The event occurs on Wednesday 27th May.

A message from Aaron Blabey NSS 2015 author

The Brothers Quibble read by author Aaron Blabey [Story Box Library]

Mirragan and Guranggatch

This week, students in Stage 1 and Early Stage 1 are learning about a local Gundungurra Aboriginal Dreaming story of Mirragan and Guranggatch, which tells of the creation of the Nepean River, Blue Mountains and Jenolan Caves. It was first recorded Europeans in the early 1900s by RH Matthews. We are watching this Photo Peach slideshow, which uses the art from a school-created “big book” from 1995. The beautiful artwork is by Mrs Bagnell, with one mural panel by a former Penrith PS teacher, Mrs Martin.

Mirragan and Guranggatch