March 2

Term 1 afternoon tea and hands-on workshop: S.T.E.M.

Where: James Erskine Public School’s Library I-Centre
53 Peppertree Drive
Erskine Park.
When: Wednesday 11th April (Term 1, Week 11)
Time: 4.00pm – 5.30pm
Cost: Free
Parking: Available onsite, or in car park across from the school

This is an opportunity to network, have afternoon tea, and a local teacher-librarian sharing with you:

* A brief overview of both the process and the value of S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering and maths)
* Problem solving, critical thinking and the importance of the school library
* Participate in a Picture Book S.T.E.M. challenge
* Try a variety of “Make & Take” challenges
* Meet and play with JEPS robots, Bee-Bots, Construct-a-Bots, Ozobots, Wonder Dash & Sphero
* Access to a Google Doc file of Picture Book S.T.E.M. ideas.

We hope you can join us.
RSVP closing date: Friday 6th April
Contact Cathie to RSVP at

Please note: Due to the nature of this workshop, it is limited to 40 attendees. RSVPs will be recorded in order of receipt. TLs will receive priority as the local PMBW TL Committee is hosting this event. Other teachers are welcome and will be advised is there are places available after the RSVP cut-off date. Thank you.

UPDATE: Here are some photos of the day…


Click here for slideshow (Requires Flash)

Or go to the album HERE.

November 8

Today’s seminar in pictures

Our highly successful Reading Beyond 2012 conference was organised by Paul Collins, of Creative Net Speakers’ Agency, who hires out Australian authors and illustrators without the cost of a booking fee.

It was a great way to equip teacher librarians with strategies to keep the National Year of Reading momentum chugging along beyond 2012. Here are some photos of the day:

TL PD Conference - Judith
Judith Ridge, MC and keynote speaker, introduces the day’s program

Deb Abela at the PMBW teacher librarians' conference
Deb Abela at the PMBW teacher librarians’ conference, Reading Beyond 2012!

TL PD Conference - Deb
Deb Abela

TL PD Conference - Louise
Louise Park reveals some secrets about Zac Power and Boy vs Beast

PD TLs learn a secret code
Teacher librarians learn a secret code involving a Chicken Dance manoeuvre

TL PD Conference - Paul
Paul Collins presents a writing activity based on the 12-Act Structure of fantasy novels

PD TLs use Paul's 12-Act Structure
In pairs, PMBW’s teacher librarians create outlines for their own fantasy novels

Susanne Gervay at the PMBW teacher librarians' conference
Susanne Gervay tells the very personal story of Ships in the field

TL PD Conference - Susanne
Susanne Gervay

TL PD Conference - Louise and Kim
Louise Park and Kim Miller

TL PD Conference - Group of authors
Susanne Gervay, Deb Abela, Paul Collins, Judith Ridge and Sophie Masson

MC Judith Ridge and a panel of authors at the PMBW teacher librarians' conference
MC Judith Ridge and a panel of authors: Meredith Costain, Kim Miller and Sophie Masson

Susanne and Ian with elephant puppet
Susanne and Ian, with his badge-draw prize elephant puppet

Jackie Hawkes at the PMBW teacher librarians' conference
Jackie Hawkes farewells a retiring Honor White

Honor White is honoured at the PMBW teacher librarians' conference
Teacher librarian and committee member Honor White is honoured at the PMBW teacher librarians’ conference.

Photos courtesy Ian McLean and Paul Collins

UPDATE: If you Google all the authors listed, most of them have websites. Deb Abela specifically offered to send out her teachers’ notes and links to anyone who emailed her.

Paul Collins and Ford Street Publishing have notes for their authors (including Susanne Gervay’s “Ships in the field”).

Judith Ridge runs Westwords and is very keen to get western Sydney schools (and beyond) involved in their events.

November 2

Reading Beyond 2012!: a PMBW literary conference

Where to now, after the 2012 National Year of Reading?
Applications have now closed for attending our 2012 conference. Here are some important details:

Date: Thursday 8th November 2012 (Term 4)
Venue: Penrith Panthers
123 Mulgoa Road, Penrith NSW 2750
Phone: (02) 4720 5555

Registration is from 8am and the Conference runs from 8.45am – 4.00pm. In ground free parking is available at the front of the Club. Please enter Panthers from the side door on the right hand side of the Main Entrance and proceed up the escalators. You will not need to sign into the Club unless you wish to enter other areas of the Club. If you have any special dietary requirements please contact Colleen Allen (Panthers Events Manager) on 02 4720 5531 ASAP.

Paul Collins (one of our guest presenters and book publisher) will have a wide range of books for sale. Payment will be by cash, credit card or the school may be invoiced. You will be able to take purchases with you on the day and have them autographed by our guest authors!

Scholastic, World Book, Elizabeth Richards and Bizfurn will also have trade displays.

Please check your enrolment status on MyPL@Edu; “Confirmed” indicates that your $120 course payment has been received, “Tentative” indicates that payment still needs to be made. For any queries regarding the Conference please contact either Jenny Scheffers (Caddies Creek PS) or Lee Arundel (Blacktown South PS).

The Committee looks forward to sharing a very exciting and dynamic day of literature and professional development with you!

8 am Registration.
8.45am Welcome & General Business.
9am Judith Ridge – speaker & MC for day. CS Lewis said, “We read to know we are not alone.” Reading is not just a solitary pursuit, but has become a shared experience. How to encourage a reading community and introduce Westwords Bookclub .
9.45 am Deb AbelaThe write stuff! An activity to get your kids writing their own stories.
10.30 am Morning Tea.
11.15 am Louise ParkBoys who love computer games and not reading, girls who like reading but want more than fairies and ponies. Engaging readers on their own terms.
12pm Paul CollinsAudience participation on creating a fantasy novel outline from a 12-point structure.
1pm Lunch.
2pm Susanne GervayAustralia is an immigrant nation in an immigrant world- presenting complex yet accessible visual literacy and identity through the book “Ships in the field”, a moving exploration of the migrant experience.
2.45pm Panel Discussion: Kim Miller, Meredith Costain and Sophie MassonReading the Future.
3.30 pm Thanks, Evaluation & Lucky Badge Prizes.
4pm Conference concludes.

Gotta keep reading

September 16

Lightning strikes!

Lightning strikes

Walker Books present an event for teachers, parents and teacher librarians. Featuring five Australian authors, Sue Whiting, James Roy, Moya Simons, Janeen Brian and Aleesah Darlison, the topic is how to inspire and engage young reluctant readers.

The event will be held at Gleebooks, Glebe, on Thursday 20th September at 6pm. RSVP (02) 9660 2333.

August 27

Reading Beyond 2012!

In support of The National Year of Reading, the Penrith, Mt Druitt, Blacktown & Windsor Teacher Librarian Professional Learning Group is proudly hosting an exciting Literary Conference. This major professional development event will be held on Thursday 8th November Term 4, at Penrith Panthers.

The Reading Beyond 2012! Conference, which is a celebration and exploration of Australian literature, aims to:

· expose delegates to a wide range of well-known and award-winning authors

· provide delegates with practical and successful teaching strategies that will extend students’ writing skills

· provide suggestions for promoting students’ continued interest in reading, particularly in the transition to high school

· provide discussion about the current trends in reading and book publication.

Please see the program below, which provides full details of the day.

8 am Registration

8.45am Welcome & General Business

9am Judith Ridge – speaker & MC for day. CS Lewis said, “We read to know we are not alone “. Reading is not just a solitary pursuit, but has become a shared experience. How to encourage a reading community and introduce Westwords Bookclub.

9.45 am Deb Abela – The write stuff! An activity to get your kids writing their own stories

10.30 am Morning Tea

11.15 am Louise Park– Boys who love computer games and not reading, girls who like reading but want more than fairies and ponies. Engaging readers on their own terms

12pm Paul Collins – Audience participation on creating a fantasy novel outline from a 12-point structure

1pm Lunch

2pm Susanne Gervay – Australia is an immigrant nation in an immigrant world- presenting complex yet accessible visual literacy and identity through the book Ships in the field, a moving exploration of the migrant experience

2.45pm Panel Discussion (topic to be finalised): Kim Miller, Meredith Costain and Sophie Masson

3.30 pm Thanks, Evaluation & Lucky Badge Prizes

4pm Conference concludes.

Online registration through MyPL@Edu is now available. The course title is PMBW Term 4 Reading Beyond 2012! Conference and the course number is NR03812 (note 0 is zero). Please register as soon as possible, as 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 $120 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 $120 cheque payable to Blacktown South Public School. There is NO GST involved in this registration payment. If you have any special dietary requirements, please contact teacher librarian Jenny Scheffers at Caddies Creek Public School ph: 8814-5916.

The Committee looks forward to sharing a dynamic day of Australian literature, professional learning and networking!

Jenny Scheffers
Penrith, Mt Druitt, Blacktown and Windsor Teacher Librarian Professional Learning Group

Instructions for registering
1. At our DET homepage click on the ‘My applications’ tab.
2. Click on the ‘M’
3. Scroll down & select ‘My PL@Edu’
4. Select ‘Search/Enrol for Event’
5. In the ‘Refine your search’ section locate the ‘course code’ box and type in NR03812 (0 is a numeral)
6. Scroll down & select ‘search’
7. You should be able to click on the course title, scroll down to ‘Event Enrol’ to register.
8. Don’t forget to select ‘cheque’ as your payment option.

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