Fostering a love a literature

[ The following blog post was originally published as part of my university studies on, 07/10/2016 with the title ETL402 A Reflection ]

 

Prior to commencing this unit, I was stuck in a rut and looking for ways to motivate and engage readers as well as make staff aware of the benefit reading can bring to their curriculum. It turns out we were limiting ourselves by only focusing on the area of book talks, what I’ve learnt is that to have an impact we need to integrate literature into all aspects of the curriculum.

A concept I’ve been grappling with is how do we foster this love of literature? At the start of ETL 402, I couldn’t answer this question.  In my current job we battle with this scenario.  We want to have classes coming into the library and when they do we always do a book talk, promoting the latest books and some old favorites and although talking about books has been recognized as being a powerful motivator (Cremin, 2010, p.16) it is sometimes not enough, especially when it is usually only the English teachers who come in.

Now, at the end of the unit, I realise that we need to be aware of the 21st century needs and textual preferences of our students so that we can somehow foster a love of literature (Cremin, 2010, p.12).  We need to be aware that the concept of reading has changed, our students are savvy and have been exposed to the digital environment (Madej, 2003, p. 2), therefore we need to incorporate this into our quest for creating motivated readers.

Through ETL 402 I learnt that what we need to be focusing on is literary learning, we need to embed this into all areas of the curriculum, which also means effective collaboration between the teacher librarian and the subject teacher (Cooper & Bray, 2011, p. 48).   This can be achieved by including a literature based goal directed activity that encourages social interaction (Guthrie, Alverson & Poundstone, 1999 p. 9) The teacher librarian can simulate a curiosity for learning by collaborating with subject teachers to create literature based strategies that promote reading whilst also engaging with curriculum outcomes (Guthrie, Alverson & Poundstone, p. 13).  In doing so, the teacher librarian is exposing students to genres and texts they may not read and therefore, creating conditions for the students to develop new interests.

Combining technology and reading is an area that I will bring into work and experiment with. The literary learning program (assessment 2) was done in conjunction with our HASS department, which is a step in the right direction to working collaboratively and letting departments know what we in the library can offer.  I am hoping, once it has been marked and then modified with feedback in mind, to give this resource to the department to trial.  I intend to seek feedback from both staff and students to I can continue to work on fostering a love of literature across the curriculum.

References

Cooper, O.P. & Bray, M. (2011). School library media specialist-teacher collaboration: characteristics, challenges, opportunities. TechTrends, 55(4) 48- 55.

Cremin, T. (2010). Motivating children to read through literature. In J. Fletcher, F. Parkhill, & G. T. Gillon (Eds.), Motivating literacy learners in today’s world (pp. 11-21). Wellington, NZ : NZCER

Guthrie, J., Alverson, S. & Poundstone, C. (1999). Engaging students in reading. Knowledge Quest, 27(4), 8-16.

Madej, K. (2003). Towards digital narrative for children: From education to entertainment: A historical perspective. ACM Computers in Entertainment, 1(1), 1-17.

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Speed Dating

Speed dating, the perfect, non-committal way to be introduced to someone/ thing new.  In my case, science fiction.

robot-2256814_1920.jpg

 

Photo credit: kellepics from http://bit.ly/2qihF95

 

Our year nine students are about to embark on studying the science fiction genre in their English classes.  So we thought, what better way to introduce them to the genre than by showing them the LibGuide we have created on the genre and exposing them to a variety of novels via speed dating with a book.

I decided to join in the fun, not being a fan of Sci-Fi I thought this was the perfect opportunity to see how successful this activity can be in introducing students to new books.  Below is a copy of my notes, the students were asked to create the three columns and complete with the relevant information.

Screen Shot 2017-05-14 at 3.53.10 PM

At the start of the activity, the majority of students are inevitably reluctant, they are being asked to step outside their comfort zone instead of nestling up to a familiar novel, author or genre. But, once we were underway silence descended and the students were eager to talk about their first impressions when the timer went off.

As for me, I enjoyed the activity and it seems the students did too. This activity can be developed further by possibly having each student borrow something new and possibly even create a report on it to share with the class – something to the think about for next time. But for now, I have two new books to add to my list so I better hurry up and finish my book!

 

Not a bad read, just not a good read…

Bad BehaviourBad Behaviour by Rebecca Starford

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’ve made up my mind about this one, despite the fact that I’m not yet finished… The main ‘character’ Rebecca frustrates me. Perhaps I should be more sympathetic as she’s clearly struggling with her sexuality and therefore yearning to be accepted, but at times, she comes across as insipid. Not a bad read, just not a good read.

View all my reviews

Bread Alone

Book Crossing.

Read and Release at BookCrossing.com...

I had never heard of this until Sunday when I was out for walk with a friend and her dog when I found a book in one of the pavilions in the middle of the floor.

Lola- Book Detective

Lola- Book Detective

I picked it up and actually wondered who would just leave a book like that but I noticed the sticker the yellow sticker on the front of the book:

What is it? Book trading with strangers

What do you do? When you find a book registered log on…then read and release me….

I was a little unsure whether I could take the book, having never heard of Book Crossing, but we decided that it was ok to do, especially after we read the sticker on the inside of the book:

Making acquaintances

Making acquaintances

Bread Alone, the  book I found, is probably not one I’d pick up in a bookstore, but it does sound good and is perfect for a drizzly day like today.  So, I’m looking forward to starting it and then seeing how far it travels once I’ve released it back into the wild. 

This is such a cool concept, I love the idea of releasing a book into the wild and being able to see how far around the world it gets. I haven’t released a book yet, but I will and I’m pretty excited about it too! I wonder how many other people have heard of this and are actively involved?  

It would be really cool to get schools involved and have the students take a book with them when they go on a trip somewhere. If I was still working at a school I would definitely use this with the book club programme, anything to keep reading alive.  

So, from now on I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled because you never know when you might stumble up on a book…

Read and Release at BookCrossing.com...

 

 

Who Was I?

This was part of my costume, who was I?

Who was I?

We celebrated World Book Day on Thursday 6th March…The above is part of my costume….who did I dress up as?

Clues:

She doesn’t just develop as the novel progresses, she changes. Even her name changes

A large part of the plot is about finding her loot

She was famous for her spiced peaches

She was also a teacher….

Who was I?

World Book Day: I’m excited!

Tomorrow we will celebrate World Book Day and I’m excited.

I’m excited because I love books. I’m excited because I love reading. I’m excited because….I love to play dress up!

Picture courtesy of http://readingagency.org.uk

Picture courtesy of http://readingagency.org.uk

One of the reasons I became a teacher is because I love to read and wanted to share my passion for reading and creative writing with others. The reality is that as an English teacher I don’t get to spend as much time as I’d like talking about books.

Instead, I have to focus on teaching how to write in different styles and working out why a writer has used a specific word in their sentence and focussing on helping students to make the top grade. It’s marking, reporting, assessing…

So, when days like these come along, and I can momentarily abandon the syllabus I make sure to make the most of it. There are so many fantastic YA novels out there at the moment that not only is there not enough time to read them all, but the possibilities for tomorrow are endless.

I think it’s safe to say that there will be plenty dressing as Katniss Everdeen’s and Tris Prior’s… but, I wonder who else I will see wandering the hallways tomorrow?

More importantly, who will I be?

 

@allbooklovers where have all the #books gone?

I’ll be honest, I’d never really given much active thought to the history of the book. Books are something that I’m constantly surrounded by, maybe I’ve been taking advantage of the privilege. We all know that man has recorded facts and stories for thousands of years from cave paintings to chiseled markings on stone to long diaries and bestsellers. It’s nothing new that we like to record what we do and how we do it.

Twittering and tweeting

Twittering and tweeting

We just have to take a look at all the social networking sites to see our need for recording our every day lives. We all need to share everything from the mundane to the life changing experiences. I recently wrote about the impact ebooks are having on our bookstores, and I do think it’s a tragedy that this is occurring. But, it’s essential to consider why it’s happening.  Not everyone gets to have a book published, granted, not everyone wants to have a book published and when we spend time looking at the content of specific social network we can see that it’s not exactly works of genius being posted, but we all have this innate need to record/ share what we’re doing.

I should point out that I’m becoming a social media junkie a little more every day. I have account in many sites and actively participate in recording my everyday history and rambles. It does have it’s merits. We’re a society built on instant gratification, and social networking checks all the boxes.  It’s also a reason why ebooks are doing so well. We click ‘buy’ from  our armchair and the book miraculously appears. Instant gratification.

Since writing my post about my disappointing visit to what used to be my favourite bookshop I have thought a lot about books. As a child, I was extremely lucky, I had so many books. We had bookcases and bookcases filled with various stories, facts etc. And, I wonder what it will look like now but maybe more so in a few years for children. Will they have the privilege of seeing and having access to huge bookcases or shelves overflowing with journeys, tales and experiences? Or will they have a small tablet within easy reach? Will the mystery and magic of the story be lost?