Love this blog. Thank you Steve McCurry for sharing these stunning photographs of people reading around the world. Burma

Taken from Steve McCurry’s blog. Accessed 9.3.12


Happy days

How brilliant the last few weeks have been. Feedback for my last assignment was very positive and I feel that my learning really moved forward this semester. It has also been great to have some time off to do some reading. I have loved the children’s books that I was lucky enough to read over the half term. Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thieves (Riordan) was much better than I had anticipated. I loved Sky Hawk,( Gill Lewis) a book based in Scotland and Africa about ospreys and relationships. I think my favourite though was A Monster calls By (author) Siobhan Dowd, By (author) Patrick Ness (ISBN 13: 9781406311525) An absolutely brilliant book that deals with death and bereavement and includes the most wonderful illustrations. Lucky me, Wonderstruck has also just landed on my doorstep. (Brian Selznick ISBN 9780545027892) although I doubt I will have time to read anymore as EER 500 is about to start. I had promised myself I would read some of the Booker shortlist and long list this year and I’ve managed 2 so far. However it will probably be Christmas before I get to the rest.
EER 500 seems quite interesting although I doubt that it can top Children’s literature which is my passion. If I could combine my interest in children’s literature in this next assignment it might just help me. However at the moment I seem to be able to find lots of stuff on E Books and little on children’s literature, especially in Hong Kong. I’ve contacted Beverley already and mentioned that something related to International Education and Children’s literature might be a possibility and she seemed to agree. So all in all a productive few weeks. Feeling positive and I’m almost half way through! 4 out of 9 ain’t bad!

Not a bad place to catchup on some reading.

End of the year and end of ETL504

And now the end is near…. What a year! My learning curve has never been steeper. Not only have I now completed 3 subjects for MTLship but I’ve survived my first year as a TL. The LC is now a a more important place in school and offers a space for children to read, play, learn and inquire. The books are on the way to being more recent and of a better quality. Our online subscriptions are being well utilised, and have been expanded, as have our periodical subscriptions. All the posters have now been sorted and weeded. Guided reading is mostly labelled and hopefully we will have fewer wrong returns in the future. We have a new OPAC system and this is now accessible from anywhere in school and at home, a big step forward. Our book week was a success and it looks like we will have have one next year too. Our TR selection is growing and things are looking up!
It looks like that the timetable next year will allow me to attend most planning in the week but this does mean that i need to build three teaching spaces into the LC and try and include more work space. I also want an exploratory zone where children can learn through direct physical inquiry ie we always have a digital microscope set up, magnifying glasses, things to handle and touch that change regularly and inspire children to explore and learn.
A good year on the whole…looking forward to the challenges that the next one holds.

Read The Book Whisperer this week. Inspirational! Go out and buy it as it is a must read for teachers. Donalyn Miller’s ideas make so much sense and I love her book lists. She makes me want to go out an read them all. Hopefully this will feed into my next module on children’s literature ETL 402, I think.

World Read Aloud Day

A great day with all involved being enthusiastic and motivated. It was fantastic to see the LC so busy today. We were never without children and the story telling at snack time and lunchtime proved to be a great sucess with our 120 children during second lunch…almost too many! Loads of teachers got involved, EAs read in their mother tongue and parents also dropped by to help. Our VP is reading via SKYPE tonight to a school in America as part of the whole day. It really raised the profile of reading and took almost no time to organise, lets hope Book Week is as sucessful.

Reasons for reading and a trip to the library.

Having lived for 8 years in a country where there appeared to be no real library service that I could access it was with joy and real interest that I walked down the hill to join the public library today. It was swift, it was easy and thoroughly painless. I had forgotten the pleasure of wandering the shelves soaking it all in. I had forgotten how much pleasure I got from simply being there amongst all those other people who were reading or online, who were browsing, chatting (quietly) and in some cases sleeping. I can’t say I got the feeling that it was a library of the future, there was no collaborating that I could see, no real creating going on and certainly no eating or mobile devices. The on-line section was quite limited with no English fiction but it was still a great trip. I had forgotten how lovely it is to think you can take the books home with you. You can try something new and not feel guilt about deciding it’s not for you or you can uncover a gem that you might want to keep longer.

Talking of which, whilst I was there I had a look at the collection based around school libraries. Not particularly extensive but it did have a few texts that I think I will be exploring in the future. One that I brought home was Twenty first century kids. Twenty first century librarians. Walters, V.A. (2010) I particularly liked the chapter on the children we serve. Walters challenges her students to come up with the top 10 reasons for children to read fine literature. So I thought I’d set myself that challenge. I’ve got 11 but there are probably a lot more out there.

Top 11 reasons to read.
1. Reading is enjoyable and can bring joy and delight.
2. Reading gives us a global community. It keeps your own identity alive whilst describing people and lands outside your frame of reference.
3. Reading enables us to access information and to learn about whatever we are interested in.
4. Reading forms bonds between parents, guardians, caregivers and children. It can do the same between adults through discussion and book clubs.
5. Reading enables people of any age to make time for themselves.
6. Reading develops vocabulary, giving us words to think with and to manipulate. (Walters, V.A. 2010)
7. Reading gives you something to do on those boring journeys, when you are ill or on those rainy days.
8. Reading gives us power.
9. Reading fosters the ability to focus and concentrate.
10. Reading fosters the imagination encouraging us to make pictures in our heads.
11. Reading gives us stories to make sense of the world and our own lives.

Now whether this reading is done online, with a book or with an e-reader or other mobile device I really don’t care. I don’t feel the need to keep the paper book or see the e-reader taking over completely. What does interest me though is whether will we always need to read. In the future will there ever be a time that reading is marginalised? a time when we don’t need the skill because we will have developed other forms of communication that will take over.
Hmmm more thinking required.