Tuesday, 22 October 2013

A book that fits

This is the slide show that I've created to accompany my new Yr 4 library induction lessons this year. It has become clear that for many different reasons some of children coming in to the library sometimes end up borrowing books that are too challenging for them to read. By this I mean that the book may be too difficult in terms of their literacy level or not relevant to their age or interests. If you are trying to get someone to read for pleasure this is not a good situation as they will not enjoy reading a book that is too hard for them to read, boring for them or incomprehensible! Some of the main reasons for this happening are I believe peer pressure (they want to read the 'cool' book); not wanting to admit that they are not reading at the same level as their friends; ideas that they have about what they 'should' be reading rather than what they'd like to and also sometimes that they have no idea about how to start finding a book that they'd like to read so they just pick up the first thing that they see.

Surfing the fabulous Pinterest for some inspiration I came across the concept used in a lot of American school libraries to help children "P.I.C.K. a book that fits" so I have adapted it for use in my school and so far it has had interesting results. The 8 year old boys who were asking for the Hunger Games series, The Hobbit and the Percy Jackson series are now asking for the Astrosaurs series, Mr Gum books, Horrid Henry books and books by Roald Dahl and David Walliams for example without any heavy handed intervention by an adult. The shift in the range of books that they are now asking about is quite dramatic and all I had to do was to talk them through the P.I.C.K. model and explain the five finger test rather than having to get into lengthy and potentially embarrassing individual conversations about the books that they were choosing.

I'm hoping that by reinforcing this new model of book selection we can empower the children to choose what's right for them and what they will enjoy!

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Busy busy...

Sorry I've neglected this blog. For an idea of why I've been a bit quiet of late here is a link my school's library blog which shows some of the things that I've been up to recently- Edmund Smarticles at the Pre.

Here also is a time lapse film I've just created showing a few hours in the Pre Library. It included one break time and a class lesson in the Library- I edited the hour I did some cataloguing that morning and the shots of me shelving as they weren't weren't very exciting!

You can see some of my delightful library regulars in the film and the sheer number of kids streaming through the door- it's not a big school so it's great that so many come into the library whenever they can. I have the greatest job!

Thursday, 18 April 2013

I Want My Hat Back

We've just got the Greenaway shortlisted books for 2013 into my library and I'm going to be shadowing the competition with a group of keen kids on a Saturday afternoon. (Click here for the blogposts about CKG13 on my school library blog Edmund Smarticles at the Pre). I thought I'd get to know the books a bit first so I took three home to share with my sons this evening.

First up was:-

Helen Oxenbury (illustrator) and Peter Bently (author) KING JACK AND THE DRAGON

Puffin Books (3+)

ISBN: 9780141327594
We all loved the pictures in this book and both boys (a 7 Yr old and a 4 Yr old) were impressed by the den-making skills of the children and thought that the smallest child- Casper- was "cute and funny". I think that I probably enjoyed the book more than they did however.

Then we moved on to a book that one of my friends loved reading to her bounce and rhyme group so much that she brought it to Library Camp in Birmingham to share with me...

Chris Haughton OH NO, GEORGE!
Walker Books (5+)

ISBN: 9781406332254

I LOVE this book and both boys thought it was funny- mostly because of George's amazing eyes that express so much. My 7 Yr old says that he enjoyed the hanging ending and that the book's colour scheme reminded him of Little Big Planet.

Finally we read this book:-
Walker Books (5+)
ISBN: 9781406338539

Klasson's illustrations are gathering a bit of a cult following amongst some of my younger friends in their early 20s if their Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr accounts are anything to go by. I wasn't sure whether his style would appeal to my kids but they both liked his illustrations. I won't spoil the ending but it had me and my 7 Yr old "laughing our heads off" as he puts it, but my 4 Yr old (and his soft toy Rabbie) were not so amused...

What I particularly loved about this book was the subtlety... the 'twist' at the end led to a conversation about why we could guess at what had happened and led to us reading it again 'looking for clues'. Great stuff- unless you are quite young...or a rabbit...!

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Library Organisation

I have been experimenting with apps that I can use to produce slideshows to use in my library lessons, I'm going to use this with the Year 4s when I introduce the Dewey Decimal System to them. I usually start by drawing a distinction between fiction and non-fiction and then get them to think of reasons why sorting everything alphabetically might not be the most user-friendly approach- using a 'shelf' of fiction and non'fiction books (three on the same topic- scattered through the shelf when sorted alphabetically) as an example. I'm going to follow this slideshow with the Dewey Decimal Rap, show the kids a few examples to think about and get them to decide which classmark they might go under and 'ta da!' there's a neat little introduction to the DDC. Some of my Yr 4s this year can still sing the Dewey Decimal Rap even though I only showed it to them the once last term!

Sunday, 10 March 2013

World Book Week

This week I have mostly been doing this:-

2 school libraries
1 week
100s of children
100s of books
& lots of fun!

There were author visits, a poetry slam, new books, dressing up, free books, competitions, bedtime stories after school and lots more besides. For more info on what we've been doing at The Pre and at Ashton Gate this week for World Book Week see the blogs below:-

Saturday, 9 March 2013

A love of books is for life, not just for World Book Day...

I've been playing with a new app and used it on a photo of our shelves at AG Primary:- 

I would like to have the time to create more literacy/library photos to release into the digital wilds...if someone would just sort out those extra hours in the day...