Friday, 30 July 2010


Thought it was about time to sort out a header for the blog.
This is part of a display that we have had in the school canteen. It is on a huge display board so it was quite a challenge to come up with something that filled the space.
You can see the full image on my flickr photostream

Next challenge will be to change it regularly!

A passion for reading

As well as reading lots of fiction I do like reading books about reading. By fire my imagination and inspire me to keep on trying new tacks at school to get kids reading for fun.
My latest find is Steven Layne's Igniting a passion for reading

Although really for teachers it has some great ideas for how to do just that.
I am now reading it for the second time so that I can pick out stuff that will work for me.
I am going to use his idea of teaching students about shopping for books with the booked up books this September. ( the book is available online at the moment, this section being on page 78)
He suggests that students do not know how to shop for books in the same way as they would know how to shop for clothers, phones etc. and that at school we do not really model the choosing process. He reminded me of Goggle Eyes (Anne Fine) when he jokes about kids going into a shop and asking for the yellow dot section. My daughter hated choosing books at school because the teacher told her that as she was a good reader she could only choose from the pink shelf, which was all the classics, when what she wanted to read was the Jean Ure's and Paul Danziger's (it was a while ago)
Anyway I digress. The shopping idea model's the whole choosing process and cant wait to try it out. At least I get 10 tries at getting it spot on!
I also like the way he emphasises that it does matter that students remember who wrote a book. (and who illustrated it) His analogy for this is that students would know who made their favourite clothes, which team their favourite footballer plays for and who sings the songs they like so they ought to remember who wrote the names of the people who write the books they like.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

House of Commons

Time has flown as ever and the event now seems historic.
Got there early and it was great to catch up with people. I wonder if everyone's career world is so wonderfully networked as school librarian's, probably.
Cakes and tea were lovely, could have done with a goody bag as there was lots left over.
I was disappointed that Jim Knight was not there but Stephen Timms expounded the wonders of libraries.
Sue Shaper gave a great speech with key messages for different groups of people, will ask her if we can put her speech on CILIP SLG site.
As she said at that event we were preaching to the converted and in reality it is all the others that we need to reach.

Friday, 16 July 2010

SLG survey launch

I am so excited that I have been invited to the celebration at the House of Commons for the publication of the UK school survey. Stephen Timms is hosting the event and their should be around 50 plus people there.
Now what should I wear?.....

Surprising feedback

Last night I went to an end of term do and one of the teachers gave me some really amazing feedback, that I still cannot believe was genuine. She had been to an event at a uni with y12 and for their final activity the students had to create two brainstorms, one being on what they would miss from the school when they go to uni
One group drew me! The teacher chatted to them thinking at first that maybe they were taking the michael, but infact they weren't and did mean that they would miss me!
Makes me feel quite invigorated and keen to put lots of new things in place next year.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Frog and

Got v excited today when I learned that it is now possible to put Eclipse widgets into Frog and cant wait till tomorrow to ring up and find out how to do this. Apparently there are some lovely Frog brick that we can use

I am now going to redesign the student's frog homepage and add some Eclipse bricks. Let's hope it will work.

Changing titles

Just decided to change the title at the top of the blog. This was the title for my dissertation when doing Ultraversity course about 4 years ago and it has two meanings for me
1. the is the road I try to lead the students along when they read and research
2. it the the road I travel on my professional journey to trying to achieve the goal of helping the students to develop information and reading skills the need to succeed in 21st century!

Trouble is I do not think that I will ever reach a destination. The road seems very bendy with lots of u turns and very few Le Mans straights.
But as long as I am still enjoy the trip I will continue

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Book trailers

Started writing an article for SLA mag on trailers
Could spend ages searching for sources but did find some really useful stuff and this lovely trailer

Friday, 2 July 2010

Book borrowing data

Have just used Val's idea from SLN to correlate book borrowing with students progress in English throughout the academic year.
Although it does show students who have exceded targets have also borrowed, it also shows students who have failed to meet targets who have also borrowed loads of books.
So no nice neat pattern
My gut feeling is that some of these low ability students read lots but do not read like a reader. I know from chatting to one of the students that she does not remember much if anything about the books she reads and I wonder what reading conversation she has inside her head as she reads.
I would like to be able to do sessions with students like her to see if were to make any difference if we helped her to read like a reader.
Final number is the no of bks borrowed and preceding - shows that they have not met target and number prior to that is the no of sublevels they are below target
Think I need to ponder a while before deciding what to do and how to use the data

The separate list is students from the other end of the scale
student197 White - British Moderate Learning Difficulty 3 6c 5c 4b -2 - 130

student198 Chinese 3 6c 5c 4b -2 - 63

student199 White - British 4 6b 5b 4a -2 - 41

student200 White - British 5 7c 6c 5a -1 - 40

student201 White - British 4 6c 4a 4b -1 - 32

student202 White - British 5 7c 5a 5b -1 - 19

student203 White - British 6a 5b 5c -1 - 17

student204 White - British Behaviour, Emotional and Social Difficulty 5 6a 5a 5b -1 - 16

student205 White - British Behaviour, Emotional and Social Difficulty 5b 4b 4c -1 - 15

student206 White - British 6a 5a 5b -1 - 13

student207 Any other mixed background 5 7c 5a 5b -1 - 13

student1 Chinese 6a 5a 5a 0 + 78

student2 Indian 5 6a 5b 5b 0 + 49

student3 White 5 6a 5a 5a 0 + 44

student4 Refused 5 7b 6c 6c 0 + 42

student5 White - British 5 7c 5a 6c 1 + 38

student6 White - British 5 7c 5a 5a 0 + 37

student7 White - British N 4 6b 5b 5a 1 + 35

student8 White - British 5 6b 5a 5a 0 + 34

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Shamed into posting

What a shock I have just received when I have seen my own name listed in a list of Bloggers in the South East, in Eclipse the newsletter of the CILIP SE Branch.
I have never really managed to blog regularly and do wish I could get into the habit as it would be a good record of life and progress

So after pondering on what to blog about I thought I would reflect on the impact I make on teaching at the school. Often I am oblivious to the impact that I am making. On a few occasions recently I have noticed English teachers using materials that I produced a while ago for using with the Booked up books. I had produced a whole folder of activities that related to character, plot, setting etc and given a copy to each teacher. Anyway I now keep seeing teachers using the folder. One teacher said that the ideas in the folder are really good and that she uses them alot.

I have now decided that I will make the activities available through our VLE.

More and more I seem to be making my impact by helping teachers with their planning rather than with the actual teaching.

I did a session for NQTs earlier this week and was v pleased with the feedback. I gave them a number of ideas to tell students what to do with the information they cut and paste.

So all in all maybe I am of more value than I sometimes suspect