Archive for category Primary school
Fabulous Flavourwire, makers of taste and purveyors of internet good taste have posted this list. The books are an interesting take on must read childrens classics. Would you have chosen them? It got me thinking, I wonder what would be on a similar list if it was made in New Zealand? Surely there’d be a Maurice Gee or a Joy Cowley, a Jack Lasenby or a David Elliot. There would also probably be some of the books on this list too. I know everyone else in the country would insert a Margaret Mahey but my kids never really loved those and I didn’t much love reading her books to them. My kids would have had Wombat Stew and Possum Magic and The Little Yellow Digger when really little and Harry Potter, Lemony Snicket and Matilda on their middle of their childhood lists. I guess everyone would have different titles but it is nice to have a think back and remember and also to think about the books which helped form you. Have they had an affect on your reading tastes in the long term? I wonder.
This fabulous cartoon came to me via Teacher Librarian Network on Facebook tonight.
What do you think? Is this the future? Swallow a pill and you’ve read a classic? Have the characters in a book step out and become a projected holograph on the wall in front of you? Robot library staff? Will we reach a time when paper books are just a fond memory?
I personally think not – at least not for a while. A quick pop quiz this week with a bunch of Year 10 classes as they passed through my booktalking clutches and quizzed them on their library usage – ours I know about, but I was interested in whether they used the public library. Most did not, and it certainly depended on the kind of class they were. Higher streams using it more than lower. Students seem to have had a range of experiences when they’ve been mixing it up in the public libraries. It seems staff there aren’t familiar with the kind of things they need, perhaps remembering from their school days what they required, or even more enthusiastically encouraging them to look at new things about which the particular librarian they approach is an expert. I think there is some room for public librarians to get familiar with the kind of things our students study, to find out what topics are taught and to make contact with school librarians to talk curriculum matters. What books work for subjects, what won’t work. That at least is the feedback I got from my guys. The quest for information to complete assignments often yields better results at school because we are working as a conduit between teaching staff and students, providing specific titles which match specific topics. We know the level of the resources the students need, and we can tailor our advice to the right level. (There is an exception to this though, one public library in our area is hugely popular with the students and has an ex school librarian manager, students report that they have loads of things that are useful and that they want to take home, that is awesome!) However I know that often the experiences of students at public libraries when on a quest for information are often less successful than if they took their query to their school library. The school library has purchased specifically for that curriculum area, we know the kind of information which will work for the student.
At school we are tailoring our stock specifically to our target audience, it is youth specific and responding to feedback from teachers and students. No robots can do what we do! In a school we are tailoring our services to our students, to the people we see in front of us every day. Micro tailoring if you will. This just isn’t possible when you are catering to a while town or city with a Public Library. They have more buying power than we do, are able to stock more copies of popular items but are more general in their approach because they have to be but in terms of having a specific focus on youth and the curriculum then the school library is where it is at. We should celebrate our specialness, and think about the students we have who are using the public library for homework and research and think about who is taking them there. That would in most cases be a parent. Do the parents think about the resources in the school library in the same way that they think about the public library? I think that perhaps parents are assuming that information is information and that the public library has a youth section and therefore will be able to cater to the needs of their kids. But that ain’t necessarily so bro!
Parents, your kids should use the school library as well as the public library, most times instead of the public library when it comes to resources for homework. This is our specialty area. Our whole library is a youth section! This again makes me wonder. How many parents ever set foot in a school library? Not many I’m thinking. There is scope for a parents information blitz here I think. Something to mull further on.
And I don’t mean who’s been naughty or nice, though anyone who works in a school library surely has a mental list of those…
But I digress. It’s that time of year when various book-related peeps put together lists of the best books of the year that’s nearly over.
Open in my browser tabs lately are these “Best of 2012″ beauties. Why don’t you start making your own “to-read” list for the summer now! Or make notes of titles to buy for your school library in 2013.
- GoodReads Choice Awards 2012
- Huffington Post
- RT’s 2012 YA award nominees
- CILILP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Children’s Book Awards long list
- Publishers Weekly Best Books
- YALSA 2012 best fiction for YA
- Tor 2012 World Fantasy Award winners
- New York Times best illustrated children’s books
- Amazon best books of 2012 (Teens)
- Kirkus Reviews best children’s books of 2012 (Teens list announced Nov 26th)
Get your buying list notebooks or apps out to take notes for when your budget is all filled up again, cos there are some things you’ll want to buy/read on this list folks. This is a list of the new cool stuff hitting the shops in the States this winter. Books for every level are here. Some are out already here, a couple are in my ‘I’m taking this home for the holidays box’ right now. Here is the link to the list. And look at that, here is a link to the downloadable shelf talkers. Oh how I love shelf talkers.
Link from 100 Scope Notes – full of the power of awesome.
Regular readers will know that Library Girl is my guru (well one of many but a majorly significant one), and while this blog has been in a little bit of a slump recently due to exotic travel, lethargy and a lot of other things that needed doing, I can rely on her to get me thinking, get me over the hump and talk some sense.
So when she is writing about getting people to just start doing stuff on their own, learning some cool skills and getting generally with the programme she is singing my favorite song. She is a believer in dropping folks in at the deep end and having them learn to swim on their own using tools that some of us have been using for what seems like ever!
The post is called Six Tips to Help Teachers Move From TechnoPHOBE to TechnoFAB! But it could be also used to prod along any school staff who are stuck in the back in the day and who are reluctant to upskill. She just talks a lot of sense. I love her idea of an “I Know Stuff” badge, I’m off to make one now! But that is only one tiny part of this excellent post. Go on over there and find more wisdom.
There are lots of other awesome postings on that blog at the moment, little embedded bunches of goodness that are well worth having a look at. Go on, take on her evangelistic stance and get out there and show your stuff, the non-believers will thank you for it in the long run.
The report of the All-Party Parliamentary Literacy Group Commission in the United Kingdom compiled by the National Literacy Trust report is just out. It is a large document at 28 pages but well worth the time spent browsing it. Certainly it is worth sharing with your Senior Management Team and with your English Department and Literacy teachers whatever school you are in if you have boys (or indeed are the parent of boys).
There is much for librarians to nod and agree with, some things of course we well know already from being at the coalface of literacy, but there are some recommendations we can work with too and it is always great when they are written in a report from an authoritative body.
The Commission’s Recommendations
1. Schools should have access to an evidence framework to inform
effective practice in supporting boys’ reading.
2. Every child should be supported by their school in developing as a
reader. Crucially, schools must promote reading for enjoyment and
involve parents (overtly fathers) in their reading strategies.
3. Every teacher should have an up-to-date knowledge of reading
materials that will appeal to disengaged boys.
4. Parents need access to information on how successful schools are in
supporting boys’ literacy.
5. Libraries should target children (particularly boys) who are least likely
to be supported in their reading at home.
6. Social marketing and behavioural insight need to be deployed
to encourage parents to support the literacy of their children –
7. Every boy should have weekly support from a male reading role model.
8. Parenting initiatives must specifically support literacy and fathers.
9. A cross-Government approach to literacy needs to be developed and
I thought this quote interesting too “Three-quarters of schools are concerned about boys’ reading” and the skeptic in me has the comment in return “then why are you busy chopping libraries of every kind and school librarian hours – surely there is an irony there!” I’m fairly certain that the UK is not dissimilar to us in respect of boys reading. Get this document out in your school and shout out the need for great books for boys. Boys of all ages! And maybe your school will sit up and note that school libraries are vital to getting boys interested in reading and give you a great big enormous budget next year. (Well you can hope!)
Get the report here
Image from: Image: ‘Doctor Who’ http://www.flickr.com/photos/41346951@N05/5717178307
In early June, the weekend course “Lighting the future – Libraries, learning, reading: Access and opportunity for children and young people” was held in the UK, a joint venture put together by the School Library Association, with CILIP’s Youth Library Group and School Library SIGs.
Many of the presentations from the weekend are now available online. Lots of great material there – definitely worth a look.
Over the last couple of months, I’ve been rather busy working on the next incarnation of the SLANZA website, which – fingers crossed – is due to go live very soon. As a result of that, I’m not spending so much time online, as I’m finding I just want to turn the computer OFF! Maybe there’s a future post in that – internet exhaustion.
Anyway, for now I’ve got nothing much that’s useful to share. So instead I have two completely random offerings.
Case #1: Scholastic’s Listen and Read site
This actually could be useful for primary school librarians, but I have to say it gave me a good laugh. Check out the “Librarian” title.
Primary school librarians – do you wear cream slacks to work???
I chose silly answers for the quiz at the end and was told “At story time, the librarian reads and children do not cry. Try again!”
Over on Babble, SunnyChanel blogs, “What happens when this recent kindergarten graduate judges a book by its cover? Here are the results.” And they’re hilarious! Lord of the Flies, for instance:
“This is all about a tiny town, beneath the ground. And it looks like it has a lot of people in the town. I think they live in Africa. It looks like a fun book for kiddies! Teens! All ages!”
I really enjoyed this story about a story by Daniel Pinkwater which was used on the New York State Test which primary school children sat. As New Zealand now has National Standards this story resonates!
Shared on Facebook by Support School Libraries. They post lots of interesting links on there and if you are interested in advocacy in school libraries you will find good stuff there (not all of which is relevant to us, but some is).
“The State of Wikipedia not only explores the rich history and inner-workings of the web-based encyclopedia, but it’s also a celebration of its 10th anniversary. With more than 17 million articles in over 270 languages, Wikipedia has undoubtedly become one of the most visited and relied upon sites on the web today.”
The video features the co-founder, Jimmy Wales as the the narrator.
Very clever, interesting and relevant, and very well done.