When I was in primary school, we would work on a project each term. The project topics varied – natural disasters, animals, medieval history, flags of the world, weather patterns, the Olympics and so on. Regardless of the topic, the projects all followed the same format: weeks of furious research in the library, followed by the painstaking process of ruling lines on your poster, creating a spectacular heading using The Lettering Book, inexpert use of tracing paper to press maps and pictures onto your masterpiece and finally, the addition of your text.
My memories of these projects are a mix of satisfaction and frustration – the right layout or a misspelt heading or once, a spectacularly bad portrait of Captain Cook, seemed to separate the great projects from the ordinary. But what of the actual content? Continue reading
Thank you to our librarian, Ruth Woolven* for her thoughts on sharing the reading experience –
A couple of weeks ago the Library opened after school for a Family Reading Afternoon. This was an opportunity for families to visit the Library and read together. It was wonderful to see parents and grandparents sharing stories and exploring the library collection with our students. Continue reading
When my kids were at kindergarten, the most popular corner of the kinder room was the ‘tinkering’ corner. Anyone who had something that could be taken apart (bits of computers, old VCR players etc) would donate it to the kinder, where the kids would spend hours managing screwdrivers, pliers and nuts and bolts (just look at the tiny screws in something like your computer keyboard to know what removing them does for the fine motor skills of a four-year-old!).
For all sorts of reasons, when kids get to school, time for unstructured play and ‘tinkering’ is often reduced. Happily, KPS provides opportunities for kids who like to learn in this way – the Makerspace program and Play for Life are two examples. This week, Ruth Woolven tells us about Makerspace –
For your child, tinkering and making is a powerful and fun form of learning by doing. It provides an opportunity to explore and express creativity. Continue reading
Many things come to mind when I think about my primary school librarian – she was the first port of call when we had a project to do; she was recommender of new books that I might like (hello Judy Blume); she was maker of amazing displays (I never knew I wanted to learn so much about the solar system until I saw her arrangement of books, foam balls hanging from the ceiling to represent the planets and a paper black hole); she was auditor of the MS Read-a-thon; she was driver of the microfiche; and she was also keeper of Where Did I Come From? (a book that only the grade six students were allowed free access to!). Continue reading
Thank you to Ruth Woolven for a recap of Book Week 2016 –
We have just finished my favourite week of the Library year – Book Week. This is a time to celebrate Australian authors and illustrators for children, as well as all the books we love. Continue reading
This week’s post comes from Ruth Woolven, our school librarian (but it introduces some of my favourite events – Book Week and the Indigenous Literacy Foundation Book Swap – so expect to hear more about these things over the coming weeks).
Every week in the Library we recognise and encourage the joy of reading. In Term 3 the excitement escalates with the celebration of Book Week (Saturday 22 August – Friday 28 August) and the awarding of the 2015 Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year. All classes will explore the nominated books in the coming weeks. Continue reading
I recently read some conference notes by John Womersley (a guy involved in science and technology communication) that really resonated with me. He said that “…astronomy is a ‘gateway drug’ to get young people interested in science.” It’s true – almost all kids go through a space phase. Some even go beyond sticking glow-in-the-dark stars on their ceiling and start getting up at the crack of dawn for specific astronomical events and checking out career pathways at NASA*.
I’d add microscopes to Womersley’s ‘gateway’ list, basically for their all-round coolness (who doesn’t want to look at their own spit under a microscope?). I’d also add dinosaurs for their early-introduction-to-evolutionary-biology-appeal.
In my life BC (Before Children), much of my work entailed science communication and to this day, I’m drawn to anything that takes a complex scientific concept and explains it in a simple way. Having kids gave me further reason to seek out the best in science communication, so I thought I’d share some of my favourite science books for kids (grown-ups will love them as well). Continue reading