National Year of Reading meeting

UFO 1
2012 is the National Year of Reading. This meeting, for teacher librarians and other interested parties, will be a think tank at Penrith City Library,
High Street Penrith (next to Westfield Penrith Plaza)
on Monday November 28 from 3:30pm to 5:00pm.

Not restricted to Penrith area educators, it will include info about:
– National Year of Reading
– the work of Judith Ridge (Westword and The Western Sydney Young People’s Literature Development Project) – Judy Ridge
– NSW DEC initiatives and support for NYR – Colleen Foley, School Libraries & Information Literacy
– Penrith City Library activities – Sarah Dean, public librarian
– Children’s Book Council activities – Jackie Hawkes, teacher-librarian (ret.)

AND

– time for teacher librarians to share brief ideas that encourage our readers to keep reading.

Cheers – Jackie Hawkes

Invented spelling rulez!

Today, a Kindergarten student used invented spelling to write about liking Mondays because that’s the day he comes to have a library session with Mr McLean.

My name was rendered as “Miss the Cling” in his recount. His class teacher was so proud, and I received an urgent message from another teacher to “go and look”. So kewl! I love Term Four, when everything starts coming together for the Early Stage 1 students.

2012 is the National Year of Reading

I’ve just registered our school for the National Year of Reading.

Australian libraries are supporting the campaign to turn 2012 into the National Year of Reading, linking together all the great things that are already happening around books, reading and literacy, and giving them an extra boost, with inspirational programs and events taking place across the country. The website at www.love2read.org.au/ is already quite extensive and will continue to grow. There is also a wiki at https://love2read2012.wikispaces.com/ for resources and templates the committee has made available already.

The hobyahs!

Our Early Stage 1 and Stage 1 students revisit the old German-origin folktale, “The hobyahs”, every three years in our cyclic literacy program. We use both the Cornish turnip house and little dog Turpie version, which has quite dark overtones (with the kidnapping of a little girl) and an Australian version with a bark hut and little yellow dog, Dingo, who temporarily loses his tail, legs and head.

Here’s a Youtube production of the version by Simon Stern, set in the house made of turnips:


“The hobyahs”, narrated by garagarahebe

iInquire… iLearn… iCreate… iShare

#242

A good news story in an attempt to counterbalance all the negative dragon-lady news articles (Sydney Morning Herald; The Age) today:

In the current “Scan”:
“iInquire… iLearn… iCreate… iShare: Stage 1 students create digital stories” in Scan 30(2) May 2011, pp 4-5.
Stage 1 students narrate how they inquire, learn, create and share with ICT and Web 2.0 to produce online Photo Peach slideshows at Penrith Public School.

Many thanks to “Scan” editor Cath Keane. It looks great! Our students are going to be thrilled! And I look terrible in a twin-set & pearls anyway.

UPDATE: This afternoon, I returned to the library briefly after a staff meeting – and there was an urgent email telling me that ABC 702 radio commentator, Richard Glover, was seeking listeners to phone in and explain why they broke a stereotype. This segment was in response to the aforementioned newspaper articles about angry dragon-lady librarians in horn-rimmed glasses, cardigans, pearls and hair in buns. The suggestion was that I ring in myself, to explain that I broke that stereotype. I was sure I’d missed my chance, due to the meeting, but I did ring in and was put to air a few minutes later.

The call ended rather abruptly – no goodbye and thanks – so they must have only been after very brief sound bytes, like the ones I heard them playing while I was awaiting my turn. I wasn’t sure if they were wanted me for something meatier. I only hope I made some sense; it was all so fast. 15 seconds of fame, if that.

The new era of “sound byte” reporting, solidly with us these past few years, is certainly one of our biggest hurdles in getting a complex message (such as the points raised by the recent Parliamentary Enquiry) across – in any media.

Stars in the Star

A Stage 2 student from our school will be published in the “Penrith City Star” newspaper next week: with a book review of the picture book, “The Terrible Plop” by Ursula Dubosarsky & Andrew Joyner! The student gets his photograph and book review published in the newspaper (and we put the review on our school library wiki). The newspaper uploades all six reviews to their website. Another student in the six is drawn from a barrel to win a $25 book voucher from a local bookshop (Dymocks this year). That student is also photographed with his certificate.

I coordinate the reviews each year as part of my fifth day (I’m a 0.8 teacher-librarian), as a 0.2 Priority Schools Funding literacy support teacher. The Penrith Star Readers Program was developed with the DET and local principals as an annual event, rotated amongst various primary schools, modeled on a similar program in St Marys – and it gives K-6 students a great opportunity to be professionally published.

The Travelling Fearless Project

Fearless at the gate

My fifth day each week (timetabled in chunks across the rest of my four TL days) is to work with students on PSP (Priority Schools Program) literacy and numeracy projects. This term, it’s Kindergarten’s turn, and we’ve been part of the “Travelling Fearless Project”, in which Fearless, the misnamed, cowardly, British bulldog puppy from the Colin Thompson & Sarah Davis picture book, is visiting various schools, coordinated by Cath Keane at School Libraries & Information Literacy.

My Kindergarten literacy students (five representatives from three classes, working as a small group, four times per week) brainstormed this slideshow (content, poses for photos and captions) on Fearless’s visit to our school, making good use of our IWB and exploring every nook and cranny of the new library. Photo Peach is so easy, it’s almost foolproof:

View the students’ slideshow HERE! (Update: A sequel is now online HERE!)

I hope to provide annotations, and the results of our pre- and post-tests, on a parallel page to our wiki work soon: Select the third option on the menu. Enjoy!

When storyboards collide!

Last week’s literacy sessions with a new group of Stage 1 students proved to be a challenge!

Once again, the purpose was to create storyboards, based on a well known fairy tale, that could then be photographed as a digital story. The students managed to develop two separate storylines, although both arcs hit a stalemate before we could determine their resolutions. Eventually, one student suggested combining the two sets of characters, and the story of the unlikely friendship of an ugly cockatoo and a tiger with no stripes was born. Since the only obvious common locale for a black cockatoo and a tiger would be a zoo, the students were able to explore the possibilities with gusto.

Enjoy Cockatoo and Tiger, a digital narrative by Class 1K, also loosely based on the fairy tale of “The ugly duckling”.

Zoo

Or sample more digital story PowerPoints.

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 penrithpslibrary.pbworks.com still talk about them!


Aesop: biography of a great thinker