Thursday, October 15, 2009

Boys, Blogs and Belonging


Yesterday 35 librarians met for a staff development day at The Children's Bookshop at Beecroft. The event organised by the Teacher Librarians of Parramatta Diocese was entitled Boys, Blogs and Belonging.

The day focused on the sharing of information, knowledge and skills in literacy development of students in the classroom via Web 2.0 tools and deep understanding of the appropriate resources to support learning. Including a refresher on the copyright issues around the use of these digital tools.

There was a review of new books by Paul Macdonald, the owner of The Children's Bookshop. Paul has a Masters in Education and has almost twenty years experience as an English teacher at both Primary and Secondary levels. His working life has extended to writing English texts, lecturing and consultancy. Paul’s particular interest is the fostering of boys’ literacy, enthusing reluctant readers and the development of reading schemes to extend gifted students. Paul’s session discussed a range of books for boys and girls with a particular focus on the need to encourage reading for pleasure as a means to advance literacy. Paul stressed that “Books are not dead – they are just changing their face”. In fact there has been a growth in the teen reading market. Paul also discussed the blurring of boundaries between children’s, teens and adult books.

The day ended with a visit by an author-in-residence, illustrator and writer Nina Rycroft. Nina gave us an insight into the work process of creating illustrations for a picture book. Nina has just completed her own picture book called Ballroom Bonanza and discussed how she developed her ideas for the book and the illustrations.

The day provided an opportunity for teacher-librarians to extend their knowledge of what is new and relevant to supporting learners K-12 in reading and writing. Identifying and selecting appropriate resources to match reading ages is just one area where teacher librarians are able to support literacy learning in schools.


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