August 11

Resources from the PD day

In this blog entry, you can quickly locate the digital resources used by the presenters at our Term 3 professional learning day, held on Monday 10th August (Week 5).

* Progressing with Oliver:
Research Projects – Evidence of how Oliver and Orbit are supporting student learning
(A) Primary: Julie Grazotis (Banks PS – their Oliver ClassMovie is linked HERE) and Ian McLean (Penrith PS).
(B) Secondary: Jenny Dengate (Glenmore Park HS) & Lolita Garcia (Richmond HS).

* STEPS Book Forum – Engaging your school learning community: Julie Grazotis (Banks PS) – Click down to Page 2 of the PDF.

* CBCA Update: Jackie Hawkes & Honor White (CBCA NSW representatives)

Book Week poster
Ian demonstrates the phone app that brings this year’s CBCA poster alive!

* Promoting reading through dynamic author/illustrator visits: Jenny Scheffers (Caddies Creek PS)

* Website of our Guest Author: Randa Abdel-Fattah (Click on the hyperlink).

Randa Abdel-Fattah
Randa Abdel-Fattah

February 13

First Professional Learning day for 2015

PMBW is conducting its first Teacher Librarian Professional Learning Day in Term 1.
Date: Thursday 19th March (Week 8) 2015
Host Teacher Librarian: Lynne Millson
Venue: Parklea Public School, 205 Glenwood Park Drive, Glenwood
Phone: 9629-2518.

Oliver Library System Update – Doug Jenkins (Senior Systems Analyst, Schools Admin Support, Information Technology Directorate) & Colleen Foley (Manager School Libraries & Information Literacy)
Panel Discussion of Teacher Librarians who are currently using Oliver

Concurrent Sessions split into primary and high school groups:
(A) Resourcing the new curriculum – Paul Macdonald (The Children’s Bookshop)
(B) Professional Networking-Group Discussion – with peers.

Register online at MyPL@Edu. Course code is NR07564 (where 0 is zero), or via the hyperlink:

Cost: $40 per person. Do not include GST. (MyPL payment option – please select CHEQUE.) PMBW sent out Tax Invoice forms by email for this event. Please give a copy of that document to your SAM for payment. Please send all cheques to: Attention Jan Poona, Rooty Hill Public School, Westminster St, Rooty Hill, 2766. Make your cheque payable to Rooty Hill Public School. For any queries about payment, please contact Jan Poona

If you have any special dietary requirements, please contact Jenny Scheffers:

September 10

Term 3 presenters’ slideshows

Following our recent professional learning day at Riverstone PS, here are the presenters’ PowerPoint slideshows, which may be useful when sharing your learning with colleagues in your own school and beyond. Please click on the hyperlinks below and, when you get to the slideshow’s link page, click on that hyperlink to “open” or “save” the slideshow.

* Review of the Shortlisted CBCA titles and What’s hot: Paul Macdonald (The Children’s Bookshop, Beecroft).

* Bringing authors and illustrators into your classroom: the value of using Connected Classrooms: Cathie Cattermole (Teacher Librarian, James Erskine PS).

* Unpacking the Teaching Standards for teacher librarians: Nerina Pretlove (Deputy Principal, Chifley College, President Professional Teachers Council NSW).

Ursula Dubosarsky
Author Ursula Dubosarsky and an elephant house – for elephants!

July 21

Term 3 Professional Learning Day

The Penrith, Mt Druitt, Blacktown and Windsor Teacher Librarian Professional Learning Group is hosting an exciting professional development day on Wednesday, 3rd September (Week 8) at Riverstone Public School. Please see the below agenda, which provides full details of the day.

Online registration through MyPL@DET is now available. The course title is PMBW Teacher Librarian Professional Learning Day Term 3 2014 and the course code is NR06461 (Note: 0 is zero). The event ID is 86099 if you have trouble locating the course using the course number.

Numbers are strictly limited. When completing the online registration, please select the payment option Cheque, as there is NO DIRECT DEBIT available. Your initial registration will be listed as Tentative. Once your payment of a $40 cheque has been received, your enrolment status will be changed to Confirmed. Cheques, together with details of your name and school, should be posted to:
Attention: Lee Arundel, c/- Blacktown South Pubic School, 183 Flushcombe Road, Blacktown 2148. Please make the $40 cheque payable to Blacktown South Pubic School. There is no GST involved in this registration payment.

If you have any special dietary requirements, please contact

The Committee hopes you will be able to join us for this exciting professional learning day!

Jenny Scheffers,
Teacher Librarian @ Caddies Creek PS

UPDATE: Three of the presenters’ slideshows are available for download HERE!

Host Teacher Librarian: Ros Graham
Venue: Riverstone Public School


8.15 am: Registration & Coffee.

9.00 am: Welcome by Principal & Housekeeping.

9.10am: Review of the Shortlisted CBCA titles and What’s Hot: Paul Macdonald (The Children’s Bookshop).

10.15am: Bringing authors and Illustrators into your classroom: the value of using Connected Classrooms: Cathie Cattermole (Teacher Librarian James Erskine PS).

11.00am: Sponsors’ Presentations: Tag-Alert Australia & Quantum Learning
Remote sponsors:
• Merchandising Libraries
• Fry Library Supplies
• All Barcodes Australia.

11.15am: MORNING TEA and Sponsors’ Displays.

12.00 noon: From Guinea Pigs to Spoonerisms: Author Ursula Dubosarsky.

1.00pm: LUNCH and Sponsors’ Displays.

2.00pm: Unpacking the Teaching Standards for Teacher Librarians: Nerina Pretlove (Deputy Principal Chifley College, President Professional Teachers Council NSW).

3.00 – 3.30pm: Concluding Evaluation / Lucky Door Prize Draw.

June 5

Minutes of professional learning day at Cambridge Park HS

Tuesday 22 May 2012, Cambridge Park HS
Teacher Librarian: Alison Johnson & Library Assistant: Renae Wheeler

Welcome: Mr Tony Diaczok (Deputy Principal Cambridge Park HS)
• Thank you to everyone for attending
• Key focus on literacy
• Teacher Librarians drive the literacy agenda in their schools
• Acknowledgement of the valued work done by Alison and Renae in the Library
• Enjoy the day.

Welcome & General Business: Jenny Scheffers (Chairperson PMBW Committee)
• Acknowledgement of traditional custodians
• Thank you to everyone for attending
• Apologies from Colleen Foley (Team Leader, School Libraries and Information Literacy Unit)
• Housekeeping matters – Alison
• Welcome and thank you to our presenters and sponsors
• Special presentations – on behalf of the PMBW TL group to Ian McLean (Penrith PS) and Paul MacDonald (Children’s Bookshop) for recently receiving School Libraries Association of NSW awards:
IanJohn H Lee Memorial Award for excellence in leadership in innovative and collaborative teaching practice through the integration of learning technologies (See also Penrith City Star article.)
Paul – inaugural Maurice Saxby Award for excellence & passion in promoting reading to children & young adults
• Committee has organised a gift to pass on to Colleen Blancato – past-PMBW Secretary, now working at DEC CLIC
• Beginners OASIS Training course – see Julie Grazotis (TL @ Banks PS) if interested
PRC update:
 Thanks to Belinda Guymer (Emu Heights PS) and Ian McLean (Penrith PS) for their assistance in sending a letter to Alan Booth (DEC State Office) re changes to PRC certificates
 PRC now run by one staff member
 Open to feedback at the end of the year
 DEC reviewing the situation
Sydney International Storytelling Conference – June 1-3 @ Baulkham Hills – see Jenny for further information
• Folder contains the following documents:
 Agenda
 Term 3 Afternoon Tea flyer – Wednesday 29 August (week 7) at James Erskine PS, 3:30 – 5:00pm, Topics – Book Week activities and CBC update; no cost and no need to register on MyPL@EDU
 Term 4 Literary Conference – Thursday 8 November 2012, Penrith Panthers 9 – 4pm, Cost: approx. $100
 Evaluation Form
 Flyer – CLIC
 Flyer – Alison’s Children’s Books
• Badge draw at the end of the day – prizes donated by sponsors and Colleen Foley.

Guest Speaker: Paul MacDonald (The Children’s Bookshop)Review of the Shortlisted CBCA titles and What’s Hot
• Email Paul at
• Rise of visual literacy – picture books
• Rise of Teacher’s Notes – lot of support material available for books
• Book Trailers – Google the term “book trailers” – way of the future – using technology to bring kids back to books, eg:

The last Viking book trailer – Norman Jorgensen & James Foley

Rudie nudie book trailer – Emma Quay

• CBCA 2012 Theme – “Champions read”
• Provides a focus to be advocates for reading
• CBCA awards tend to reward the adjective over the verb – nothing wrong with page turners – action books
• Should be a CBCA category for debut authors
• Children and teen book market booming – authors for the adult market are now writing teen fiction
• Books on Muslim faith are popular
• Easy reads abound – Beast Quest, Bill B Brown, EJ12, Hey Jack!, Zac Power
• Kids love book series
Diary of a wimpy kid – format is a hit, new book to be released later this year
• Dystopian teen fiction dominates
• Classic is cool! – The great Gatsby
• Graphic novels are popular
• Non fiction picture books – lighter on text.

* Download Paul’s presentation from HERE.

Guest Speaker: Jill Bruce (Author and NSW judge for the Children’s Book Council of Australia Literature Awards 2012-2013), Children’s Book Council of Australia
• Total of eight judges – one from each state
• Judges chosen from CBC members from each state – members apply or nominate for the position as judge
• 365 books read – every book read by every judge – report written
• Books can be entered in more than one category
• Attend Judges Conference – one award category dealt with per day – shortlist and honour books decided by secret ballot
• No category for books in a series – problem created when each book ends with a hook and the next in the series needs to be read
• Criteria for all categories:
 Outstanding titles with literary merit
 Language appropriate to the theme and style of the work with regard to the aesthetic qualities of language
 Originality in the treatment of literary elements
 Quality of illustrations, book design, production, printing and binding.

* Download Jill’s presentation from HERE.

Sponsor: Syba Signs (Jodie)
• Jodie is sharing conference visits with Phyl Williamson
• Involved with National Year of Reading – promotional products available eg. bookmarks, posters, floor mat
• Supporting the reading hour
• Professional Development program 2012 – available at venues beyond Sydney CBD
• Happy to visit schools to discuss your Library needs.

Guest Speakers: Cheryl Farkas (Literacy Consultant K-6 Western Sydney region), Caroline Hopwood (Middle Years Literacy Consultant Western Sydney Region), Julie Grazotis (Teacher Librarian, Banks PS)

Literacy Comprehension Strategies: Cheryl and Caroline – Introduction
• Literacy Continuum K-10
 Provides clear and accessible representation of the development of the critical aspects of literacy across the seven years of primary education
 Sound research based evidence to plan teaching to meet individual student needs at all levels
 Explicit descriptions of the skill and knowledge involved in progressive development and achievement in literacy
 Recognises and includes digital literacy across all levels of schooling
 Covers 8 critical aspects – 3 constrained skills and 5 unconstrained skills
Constrained skills – Phonics, Phonemic Awareness and Concepts About Print
Unconstrained Skills – Reading Texts, comprehension, Aspects of Speaking, Vocabulary and Aspects of Writing
 Each of the 8 critical aspects need to be unpacked:
One aspect at a time
Unpack the definition
Select the cluster most appropriate for your students
Unpack the cluster marker under the chosen cluster
Select the marker that needs to be explicitly taught
• Handouts – Literacy Continuum PowerPoint presentation & Teaching reading comprehension strategies.

* Download Cheryl and Caroline’s presentations from HERE (Introduction to the literacy continuum), HERE (interactive literacy continuum chart) and HERE (K-6 comprehension strategies).

• Contact Cheryl
• Contact Caroline

Primary Session: Julie Grazotis
Super Six Strategies – how to use them in the Library
• Good readers – Read, Make Connections, Predict, Visualise, Question, Monitor and Summarise
• Books are like windows and mirrors:
 Windows allow us to look through the book and see the lives of others. We can learn new ideas about people in the world
 Mirrors reflect our own lives
• Predicting – use ‘See, Think, Wonder’ model
• Visualising – ‘See With Your Mind’
• Questioning – The 5Ws (Who? What? When? Where? Why?)
• Monitoring – ‘The Five Finger Test’, ‘Can It Be For Me?’ – steps to select suitable and interesting books
• Summarising – PMI chart.

* Download Julie’s presentations from HERE (strategies) and HERE (reading solutions).

Guest Speaker: Lisa Forrest (Author/Olympian) – ‘Making the Most of It’
• A varied career to date – author, actor, TV and radio presenter, interviewer, mother and Olympian
• Experiences as a swimmer representing Australia, in particular, her representation at the 1980 Olympic Games, have influenced and provided subject matter for her writing
• 2012 CBCA theme might use a sporting angle in this Olympic year: “Champions read”.

Next Committee meeting: 3.45pm, Wednesday 6 June at Penrith Panthers.
Meeting concluded: 3:30pm

March 9

2012 National Year of Reading: CBCA activities

Just a quick reminder from Jackie Hawkes about some of the Children’s Book Council activities that may help your NYoR efforts and involvement

AAA- Anticipate, Appreciate, Applaud – Tuesday April 3
Lead up to the announcements of the short listed books for Book Week 2012 – Champions Read. Nadia Wheatley as keymnote speaker, panel of personal overviews of possible short list books in each Book Week category.

Maurice Saxby lecture – in honour of the amazing contributions of Maurcie Saxby in relation to Australian children’s literature – a lecture will be held at the State Library – Tuesday May 1

Writing Master Classes for teens – give your students’ talents a real chance to progress
29 March – What makes a short story? - Anthony Eaton
30 April – Write like a professional – Michael Pryor
23 July – “If I chance to talk a little wild” – Tony Thompson
5 November – The ultimate challenge – Ursula Dubosarsky

ALOUD Program enables schools to have authors visit schools for literature based activities

Frustrated Writer’s programs – to help unpublished authors gain mentoring to develop their writing. The target audeince for works must be children, and includes writer categories for adults (aged over 20), young adult (aged 15-20) and Juniors (aged under 15). Closing date for entries June 1, 2012.

Stories on Screen (primary schools) – students will select an Australian children’s picture book or adapt a favourite traditional story to give it an Australian feel and create a visual presentation of no longer than three minutes duration. Students can use any format but suggestions include Photostory, PowerPoint, Stop Motion Pro, iMovie and Moviemaker.

Full details are available on the CBCA NSW site.

Happy reading with a variety of ways of being involved and supported. Ideas from the November 2011 think tank for the National Year of Reading are HERE (click on the hyperlink).

Jackie Hawkes

2012 - National Year of Reading logo

January 30

2012 National Year of Reading: Great ideas for fiction promotion

Compiled from the CBCA-NSW National Year of Reading Think Tank at Penrith:
November 28, 2011

Me, My Shelf and I - Staff Photos in foyer of each teacher/support staff – Changed each year as a way of introducing teachers to our growing school. Photos are of teachers with their favorite book. We change photos of the staff and books each year after photo time. (Lorraine Husarek; Belinda Guymer)

Littlies in the Library – Week 5 of each term the pre-schoolers visit the school library and listen to 2-3 stories. We complete a simple craft activity. Children return to the large group to sing a song using the IWB. Local community groups provide morning tea for children and parents-great as a link to share ideas. (Lorraine Husarek)

Around the world in a book – NESB parents are invited to the library to read a text in their native language before school. Using multilingual text, the children read the fairy tale series – Global Learning Books. (Lorraine Husarek)

Photo contest – Forget planking or owling – send us a picture of you or a friend reading in some unusual setting. (Samples include in the refrigerator, on the side of a boat, floating in the ocean, scuba diving, buried in a sand mountain, in army fatigues, on a bike jump) Photos are published in the local paper. Amanda Credaro

Actively promote reading/literature during library lessons via book talks, serial reading and making time for browsing and borrowing – 15-20 minutes each 60 minute lesson. (Mike Botham)

Newsletter – regular column in school newsletter focusing on literary award winners, literary news, reading tips, etc plus cross promotion with local public library. (Mike Botham)

Know your readers – personal recommendations to students who don’t know what to borrow. (Mike Botham)

Reading as a priority – Need to make reading promotion a priority by making it the MAIN focus, and by making it a pleasant recreational experience. (Mike Botham)

Show bags – plus collaboration as a promotional tool which students create. Jenny Scheffers’ “Scan” article. (Sharon Laurence)

Book trailers (Photopeach)+ literature circles for Years 8, 9, 10. (Sharon Laurence)

Story times(Sharon Laurence)

Book sculptures – see Ruth Buchanan’s suggestion on “Skerricks” blog. (Sharon Laurence)

Literature show bags of items that relate to stories. (Jenny Scheffers)

Digital stories – create digital stories based on favourite picture books using PhotoPeach. (Jenny Scheffers)

Staff quiz – create a quiz of matching staff members with their favorite books. Each staff member supplies a clue to their favourite book title. (Jenny Scheffers)

Blog – Set up a blog for students to chat about their favorite books. (Honor White)

You just know – Make sure the kids know you want to know what they are reading and that you will buy what they want – i.e. an “in your face” suggestion box that they can’t miss. (Bronwyn Jackson)

Thematic book displays – fiction books displayed with eye catching posters. Change fortnightly so you don’t get overburdened. Easy library displays to promote reading.” Suggest you use book by Pat Pledger – Easy library displays to promote reading. (Bronwyn Jackson)

Changes – Regular changes of new books on display. Every week a complete change of books, even sneak in some old but good ones, too. (Bronwyn Jackson)

Art workshops – where the students illustrate their favorite story (a scene or a character). (Cheryl Gay)

Reading picnic – for the past 5+ years, our school has scheduled a Reading Picnic afternoon with varied themes – spring fling, multicultural, 90 year birthday of main building, trivia. Parents arrive, picnic food optional, rugs on grass, classes and families read in small groups. It costs nothing to run. Often runs from after lunch to just before the bell with sometimes a “report back” time. (Ian McLean & Kerrie Mead)

Connected Classroom – My principal is keen for our school to link up with others via video conference in 2012.(Ian McLean)

Book raps – can highly recommend the NSW CLIC raps and book raps. (Ian McLean)

Premier’s Reading Challenge (PRC) – Big push for the 100% participation this year. (Ian McLean)

I read because… with a photo of child/ teacher/ parent in each week’s newsletter. (Belinda Guymer; Julie Grazotis)

Author visits – Book an author or illustrator visit through “Lateral Learning”. This year I changed the management and got the author to sign pre-purchased books to give out at Presentation Night. (Belinda Guymer)

Read aloud to the whole school three times a year. Use ALIA’s National Simultaneous Storytime in March. (Julie Grazotis)

Book an author visit – Lateral Learning. (Julie Grazotis)

Promote iBooks – iRead class sets (Benita Sneesby)

Read aloud (earphones)/ interactive apps – e.g. Bartelby Vol 1, Wonky Donkey (Benita Sneesby)

Premier’s Reading Challenge in Book Week as “the theme” – to tie in with “Champions Read”. One very big display. (Benita Sneesby)

Skype – A list of author’s who are available to Skype. (Benita Sneesby)

Quick link navigational tools for K-6 and 7-10 students to search on NYR website. More graphics e.g. About the author, book covers, list of authors to skype, week by week updates, include a QR code for fun. (Benita Sneesby)

Summer reading blog – with a summer reading challenge to share great reads and achievements over the holidays for students and parents. Could also upload book trailers, and include links to public library events. (Amy Sivanandan)

Open day in Book Week. Not sure what this looks like yet but invite the community in. Maybe something like the Connected Classroom or Dad’s BBQ author event. (Amy Sivanandan)

Book talks - lunches once a week/ term/ month in a class, by students/ teachers/ tls/ community members as a regular event. (Amy Sivanandan)

Celebrate – school wide. (Amy Sivanandan)

Reading café – once a week the library is closed to all but members (seniors allowed). Kids read, eat lunch and talk books. (Jenny Dengate & Janelle Van Capelle)

Books and films – Linking books to films. Utilise film posters. Glue colour photocopied book covers around poster to create a collage. Laminate the whole collage. (Jenny Dengate & Janelle Van Capelle)

Book trailer competition – Run trailers on screen via computer and data projector on a loop at lunchtime. (Jenny Dengate & Janelle Van Capelle)

Bright, weird fabric – to hide and drape over pre-selected books when classes come in for wide reading. HA- they have to listen for just a minute to the intro. Then “Open sesame”. Lift the fabric to reveal great books. Pre-selected books get kids at least started in finding a book to enjoy. (Jackie Hawkes)

Plan “B” called Books – huge display of photos of staff and students reading. They can hide behind, under, with a book, serious or silly. We probably had 200+ photos of readers involved as the display/collage grew as a lead up to Book Week. (Jackie Hawkes)

Bibliographies/listings of genres of fiction, PRC listings, others, thematic, series and Aussie authors etc. Kids seem to respond well to some listings to get started in deciding on great books to read. (Jackie Hawkes)

This is a draft of the fifteen ideas sheets that were handed in on the meeting day plus a few emails (not yet) that were exchanged. 38 keen readers signed into the meeting. A number of additional ideas were exchanged informally and orally. Please do add other ideas to share. Thanks to all for your input. Happy reading and ideas sharing. Basically, NYoR is such a great excuse to fine tune and put a new twist on things you have already done to keep our readers’ circles growing and connected. Then, be brave and try something you wouldn’t have thought you could do. This is a wonderful excuse to celebrate and just let ideas and enthusiasm for reading really take off.
Cheers – Jackie Hawkes

July 29

“Room to Read” and “Governor Macquarie”

The Sydney chapter of the children’s charity, Room to Read, held its bimonthly function recently at the Kirribilli Club. “Room to Read” is an international organisation that raises funds to help children in the developing world by building libraries in schools, providing locally published books, and maintaining the children’s right to read and for the girls to have an education; an attempt to end poverty and change the world.

Room to Read
Back row: Sarah Charles, Linly Goh, Susanne Gervay, Deb Abela, Ian McLean.
Front row: Gus Gordon, Tristan Bancks. Photo courtesy of Susanne Gervay.

Deb Abela gave a warm and enthusiastic reading of the new picture book, “Zak the yak with books on his back” by John Wood & Abin Shrestha, and we all received a free copy of this book for attending.

Meanwhile, a teachers’ preview of Sydney’s Governor Lachlan Macquarie celebrations provided brief tours of the Hyde Park Barracks Museum, NSW Parliament House (many thanks Graham Spindler!) and the State Library. A NSW DET representative demonstrated the Centre for Learning Innovation’s “Macquarie 2010Notebook 10 materials for use with IWBs.

The State Library’s physical exhibit, “The Governor: Lachlan Macquarie 1810 to 1821″, is labelled with separate, colour-coded display cards for adults and school children. Well worth a visit, as are their online archives!

Governor Macquarie's chair