Friday, 31 January 2014

Genre-fication, Ninja Readers, eBooks and a Proposal

Even though the school year does not start until Monday I have done a whole lot of planning over the holidays (as well as opening the library to students every Monday afternoon and issuing over 1000 books!).

Here's what's on the agenda for 2014:


After reading Jennifer LaGarde's article in Collected Magazine I revisited the idea of shelving by genre and just couldn't find any reason not to. Surely anything we can do to help our students find more of the books they like to read is a good idea.  I found an excellent website by Mrs.Readerpants that gives lots of information about the process of shelving by genre.  She also has a fun genre quiz that I am in the middle of adapting for a NZ primary school.

I worked my way through which genres I wanted (ten of them) and then had fun choosing spine label stickers for them.  On advice from NZ library guru Miriam I approached Book Protection Products, used some of their spine labels and also got them to make up some of my own.  I found a great site for copyright-free clipart called Pixabay that had just what I needed.  I can't wait to see the finished products.


Ninja Readers

I started a book club last year for our Year 6 students and while it went OK it didn't meet the visions in my head.  So on to bigger and better things this year.  First, I chose a new name.  I thought it would be empowering for last year's members to choose their own name but then they came up with "Very Important Readers" and I hated it!  I want my book club members to be brave and explore new books so I came up with "Ninja Readers".  Hopefully I'll convince my husband to make a logo for me, but I've had him doing other tasks - more on that later.  

I'm opening the club to Year 5 & 6 students this year and will run two divisions, either by year level or gender.  Given I'm genre-fying I thought I would work through each of the genres with my book club.  I'll start each division with a different genre and give them two weeks and then they can swap genres and recommend books to the other division.  I bought some little notebooks for them to record their reading, based on ideas from Donalyn Miller's "Reading in the Wild" (LOVE this book!).  I also thought I could give them a challenge to read three books from each genre and then they could earn a genre sticker to go in a "challenges" section at the back of their notebook.  Thanks to Donalyn I also have a lot of ideas for conversations around books that I can have with my Ninja Readers. 


Thanks to a large parent donation at the end of last year we will be venturing into e-books this year.  I'll have to wait until I can pin down our IT guy so I haven't done much thinking around this just yet.


The length of a library visit for each class was reduced in Term 4 last year from 40-45 mins to 25-30 mins.  This was due to an ever increasing number of classrooms in our school.  So, I asked to speak to the Board of Trustees and proposed that we expand the size of the library so that it is possible to have two classes in there at once, and therefore be able to return to 40-45 minute visits.  This took a huge amount of time as I prepared a slideshow, visited our wonderful National Library Adviser in order to get statistics about other school library sizes, and spoke nicely to my husband so that he could make 3D computer models of what the library would look like.  The BOT were impressed and have asked me to investigate further!

So, four big projects and I'm excited to get started on all of them.  And just to prove I did have some relaxation time in the holidays, here's a photo from our lovely holiday in Napier.