Christmas in the library

When I scrounged around at home, I found many more picture book-related toys to take into school to add to this year’s Christmas tree.


You might spot the Grinch, Selby, Max, Arthur, Captain Underpants, Bear and Chook, the Frog Prince – and many others.

I am again indebted to the neighbours across the road, who did a moonlight flit not long after their Midwinter Christmas party one year, dumping their huge, second hand, artificial Christmas pine tree onto the footpath. Looks much better in our school library, although storing it between outings is tricky.

Digital fables

Taking a break from stocktaking for a moment, I wanted to share some digital stories my Early Stage 1 bloggers made over the last few days. These Kinder students, plus a K-2 Language Support class, have continued coming to the library for their regular PSP literacy sessions – what to do now the book rap is over?! – and we’ve been able to extend their Term 4 class learning about fables. They have enjoyed incorporating ideas from Stage 2’s digital stories, which were support material during the recent Bear and Chook books rap.

As you will see from the two Powerpoints, first we read many versions of each Aesop’s fable, then spent time in the playground with mud-map storyboards, the library toy collection, some hastily-made props, and my trusty iPhone. After I uploaded the photos into Keynote (Mac) templates at home, I converted them to Powerpoint format and brought them back to school on a memory stick. The students then viewed their photos again on the IWB, and then we jointly constructed new text during Circle Time (talking & listening). Then some editing after feedback from other audiences – and uploaded to our school blog site.

The ant & the grasshopper

The hare & the tortoise.

If time allows, we may try to do The lion & the mouse next week. (Update! We did it – click on the title!)

This is my third consecutive year working with Early Stage 1 students on fables. The students who created our first batch on a wiki in 2007 (at still talk about them!

Aesop: biography of a great thinker

Plotting, planning, packing, roving

Lots of NSW DET school libraries seem to be preparing to pack up everything for longterm (temporary) storage while their new BER libraries are built on the site of portable buildings.

That will be happening here, too, but we haven’t been given evacuation orders yet.

A teacher librarian of my acquaintance asked about the security and weather-tightness of the supplied storage container, and was worried about the condition of the books when they emerge. nd what about the potential for vandalism of the container

I say, “Why worry?”

Many, many people store their possessions in large shipping containers for years on end – and most of our imported books arrive in Australia in the same type of shipping containers, surviving three months of perilous seas and weather. If some books get damaged, well… they get damaged. I suggested they think of this whole experience as an enforced cull. If necessary, make the insurance claims and then buy new resources to replace the damaged ones. Or simply have a smaller collection.

I did a massive cull of huge, dusty old hardcover tomes (and el cheapo, yellowing, brittle, 1970s paperbacks) at a school when we converted it to OASIS from a card catalogue in the 1990s. We cleared the shelves of hundreds of books, much to my principal’s horror – and yet our borrowing rates went way up!

(In any case, if vandals want to destroy library books, they’d have a much better time waiting till the new library is built. Vandalising books in a storage container is hardly much fun. Too much like shooting ducks in a barrel.)

Think positive: visualise our wonderful new school libraries – and spend the intervening months as a roving TL, getting to know the teachers on their own turf (ie. in their own classrooms!) – and plotting and planning how to maximise the learning possibilities of the new library when it arrives.

As for me, I’m really looking forward to plotting, planning, packing and roving – sometime in 2010!