Terri Rose Baynton author of ‘Mr Bear Branches and the cloud conundrum’ visited our year 2 and year 5/6 classrooms last week. Thanks to Electroboard, Polycom and HarperCollins Terri Rose presented a workshop to each class engaging readers through Visual Literacy and Problem Solving. We didn’t really know a lot about Terri Rose or her book before the video conference session. There is a YouTube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbKL-RUQfZA which we watched, but that is all the prior knowledge students had. Students entered the session with anticipation, looking forward to Terri Rose reading her book. It’s a fantastic experience to have an author read and share a book they have written. Being able to discuss the characters and learn how they were developed was amazing. After reading the book Terri Rose took us through different parts of the story and described how her characters developed and stepped us through the illustration of Mr Bear Branches and his friend Lintfrey Longfellow. Each child and teacher participated in the drawing process with results that amazed themselves. Students have time to think and prepare questions they may like to ask both before and during the workshop and conversed with Terri Rose as though she was physically in the room. The sessions run for approximately 45 minutes and the time just flies as everyone is so engaged and busy.
Students in years Prep-6 and year 8 participated in Book Week extension activities through Polycom video conferencing and Electroboard using Bridgit software to show note pad presentations and demonstrations. This was the first time we have put this equipment through its paces and expectations of success were not disappointed. Although there were some connection issues, once that was sorted out, it all ran very well. Both the Polycom and Electroboard help teams were great with advice and navigation assistance.
The busy week began on Monday with year six students in the classroom at Hawkesdale P12 and author Libby Hathorn being streamed in via video conference on Polycom from the State Library of NSW. The students listened and interacted with Libby who discussed the books she has had published, her most recent ‘A boy like me’. Libby then led the students in an interactive poetry workshop. It was an amazing experience for the students who produced great poems that they are very proud of. The sessions are all limited to one hour and it is amazing what can be accomplished in that time.
Tuesday the prep/one classes joined in a visual literacy session using Smartboard notebook on the Electroboard through Bridgit and video conference with Polycom. There were a few technical hiccups in this session, but once it was all up and working it was great.
Wednesday, we had two sessions, year 2/3 developing characters through drama and year 4/5 extending literacy through pottery. The year 4/5 students made their favourite book character from clay as directed by their video conference teacher Ms Devine. Who demonstrated pottery skills to develop and extend students’ knowledge in this area. See photograph of all busy at work.
Friday year 2/3 students participated in the visual literacy workshop using the book ‘Into the forest’ by Anthony Browne linking fairy tale characters into story writing. The week wound up with our year 8 students participating in a workshop with James Moloney, another great experience.
It is safe to say that we put Polycom and Electroboard through their paces during the week and as the week went on we grew more confident in setting up and connecting. The presentations/workshops were all great and both teachers and students worked with the new technologies very well. It is great for a rural school such as ours to have access to this type of learning. The students were amazed that the presenters were in Sydney or Melbourne.
The calendar for the programmes can be found at See Share Shape http://www.seeshareshape.com.au/share/VC/default.aspx you can just browse at what is on offer, but to book you will need to make an account and then you are on your way, just follow the prompts.
Students in prep to year 6 and year 8 will participate in a range of extracurricular activities to celebrate Book Week this year (August 20-24). Using the Polycom Video Conference equipment and Interactive Whiteboards teachers and students will interact with authors in extension activities related to specific books. Creative arts are also on the activity list with Hands on Literacy through Pottery and the use of Drama to Develop Characters. The programme begins on Monday when we have Libby Hathorn working with year 6 with her book ‘A boy like me: a story about peace’. Tuesday the prep and year 1 classes will explore illustrative text and fairy-tales using Anthony Browne’s book, ‘Into the forest’. Wednesday has two creative arts sessions, the first is for the year 4/5 class exploring Literacy through Pottery followed by the year 2/3 class who will experiment with Developing Characters through Drama. Friday finishes the week off with year 8 students participating in the interactive author workshop with James Moloney working with his book Tamlyn. What wonderful way to bring these special events and activities to students, especially in smaller rural communities.
The First Tuesday Book Club, ABC TV are looking for the 10 Aussie Books you should read before you die. You can have your vote now http://www.abc.net.au/arts/aussiebooks/ Great titles have been shortlisted to choose from. I agree with Mex Fox that Tim Winton’s ‘Cloudstreet’ is a favourite. There are too many great books to vote for just 3, read them all!
This years book is The Very Cranky bear by Nick Bland.
It’s Education Week in Victoria and this will be one of our special activities for the week.
Link to ALIA for more information and resources http://www.alia.org.au/nss/
Scholastic teacher notes http://www.scholastic.com.au/schools/education/teacherresources/assets/pdfs/Cranky_Bear_TN.pdf
During February and continuing in March you will see many new books on the library shelves. These range across all areas, picture story, junior fiction, teenage fiction and general fiction. Our order from World Book has just arrived as well so keep an eye out in the non-fiction and reference areas for new titles there as well.
Teachers, Lamont Standing Orders have supplied great teaching notes for the titles received in February and March. These are available on request from the library. Check out Lamont SO titles on their web site http://www.lamontbooks.com.au/info/taxonomy/term/5
A full list of new titles and other additions to the library collection will be available shortly….
Year 7 – Tomorrow when the war began, John Marsden – Finding Isabella, Alison Robertson
Year 8 – The gathering, Isobelle Carmody – plus selection of titles by various authors
Year 9 – Looking for Alibrandi, Melina Marchetta
Year 10 – The curious incident of the dog in the night time, Mark Haddon
The three billy goats Gruff : Retold by Magee, Wes ; Burnett, Julian
The three little pigs : Retold by Walter, Anne ; Postgate, Daniel
How to lose all your friends : Carlson, Nancy
King of the playground : Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds ; Malone, Nola Langner
The recess Queen : O’Neill, Alexis ; Huliska-Beith, Laura
We honestly can look after your dog : Child, Lauren
My wobbly tooth must not ever never fall out : Child, Lauren ; Hall, Samantha
My mother’s eyes : the story of a boy soldier : Wilson, Mark
The terrible plop : Dubosarsky, Ursula ; Joyner, Andrew
The smallest bilby and the Easter games : Hilton, Nette ; Whatley, Bruce
The firefighters : Whiting, Sue ; Rawlins, Donna
Jasper McFlea will not eat his tea : Fox, Lee ; Vane, Mitch
My footy scrapbook : Sanders, Jay
A child’s garden : Foreman, Michael, Alexis ; Huliska-Beith, Laura
The adventures of Nanny Piggins : Spratt, R.A.
Darius Bell and the glitter pool : Hirsch, Odo
The remarkable secret of Aurelie Bonhoffen : Abela, Deborah
A certain music : Walters, Celeste ; Spudvilas, Anne
The land of Kur : Morgan, Sally et.al.
As I am blogging today we have all students in the school spread across five classrooms as well as the library participating in a live classroom link up with Jean Pennycook, teacher and author in Antarctica. The live classroom is also active in Perth, Aust. with Geoff and is hosted by Lorraine at Jackson School in USA. It doesn’t stop there, we are live with Rob at Adelaide Uni, Vinny in Taiwan, Gabrielle in Argentina and Lorraine, Alfred and Breanna in Boston USA. Some of these participants are in their workplace or school, others are in their own homes. This is an amazing activity with students and teachers totally captivated with the information Jean is providing. The students have so many questions about the penguins Jean is researching as well as Antarctica. They have been online for almost an hour and there are still so many questions still being asked. Check out Jean’s web site http://polardiscovery.whoi.edu/expedition3/crew-pennycook.html