Happy birthday to our Library!

Happy 5th birthday!!

It’s hard to believe that it was five years ago in November 2011 that we moved into our brand new library…time flies when you’re having fun!

Many of our current students don’t know about our original and much loved cosy little library that we had for 28 years or how we moved into the GECCO (our hall) for two years and transformed it into a library as we waited for our brand new library to be built. Read about it on our New LRC page and watch the video below…

The LRC is the place to be on PhotoPeach

What do you like best about our library?

What is one of your favourite events that has happened in our library?

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Congratulations to our Premiers’ Reading Challenge Readers

Congratulations to our 70 students who completed the Premiers’ Reading Challenge!

This year 221,800 Victorian school students participated in the Victorian Premiers’ Reading Challenge.

All together our students read 2,812 books and each student who completed the PRC received a certificate for their fabulous reading effort to complete the challenge.

The student who read the most books from each year level also received a small trophy to recognise their reading stamina.

Our PRC 2016 medal was awarded to a Year 6 student who has participated in the PRC each year during her time at St Martin’s…Congratulations on being such a wonderful reading role model!

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Pig the Pug’s Global Reading Adventures

We have had so much fun taking our two Pig the Pugs home to read to this year for #ReadingIsFun that I thought the students in Mrs Hembree’s library in Seattle might enjoy doing this too! Mrs Hembree was surprised to meet Pig the Pug and very interested to hear about how we take him home to read to each night…

Mrs Hembree decided that Pig the Pug would be perfect for her Year 3 students. She bought a suitcase for their Pig the Pug to travel home in each night and set up guidelines like ours for her students to ensure Pig the Pug enjoys a story is and returned each day.

I was SO excited when I returned home to Melbourne to see that the Year 3 students have started #CougarRidgeReads with Pig the Pug!  

Click HERE to see what Pig the Pug is reading with the Year 3 students and then scroll down to see their photos. 

Thanks to one of the students, Pig the Pug has a fancy pillow to sit on as he is read to…

and he is enjoying listening to lots of stories with his new American friends….

It makes my teacher librarian heart sing to see students in Melbourne, Australia and Seattle, WA having fun reading to Pig the Pug and sharing their books online at #ReadingIsFun and #CRReads. Thank you Mrs Hembree  and Year 3 for joining in…happy reading!

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When Miss Y met Mrs Hembree…

From my previous blog post, you will know that when I planned my trip to Canada and the USA, the top of my list was to meet my teacher librarian friend Mrs Hembree who lives in Seattle, WA in America.

Mrs Hembree and I had never met in person, but had shared ideas using Twitter and our library blogs since 2011. Mrs Hembree was just as welcoming, warm and friendly as I had imagined and when we met our online conversation simply flowed into our face to face conversation!

On the Friday when I visited Cougar Ridge Elementary School, I smiled because I arrived just in time for a whole school fire drill and thought to myself…schools are very much alike all over the world! It was the beginning of the year in American schools so just like us, they too were practising their safety procedures.

It was such a treat to spend the day with Mrs Hembree in her library and to see what her library looks like and how she teaches her classes. The first thing I noticed was how similar both of our libraries are and I immediately felt at home….

Watching Mrs Hembree teach her classes (and helping out a bit too), I felt like I was watching myself! We are both very busy trying to use every single minute of our library time with each class. The difference is that I have 45 minute classes and Mrs Hembree’s classes are only 30 minutes and for both of us that includes student borrowing time!

I really enjoyed talking with the classes that came into the library and many students commented on my accent which of course I didn’t notice, but I had noticed their accents! Some of the students were really interested in the size of Australia and surprised that it takes about 10 hours to drive from Melbourne to Sydney or just over an hour by plane. They didn’t realise how big Australia is!

I even did some scanning as students borrowed their books and met a big fan of Andy and Terry’s Treehouse series who was very excited that I had brought a copy of The 78-storey Treehouse book for their library. I asked Mrs Hembree if he could be the first person to borrow the book when it was ready. I imagine he has read it by now!

Mrs Hembree very kindly gave us a signed copy of The Honest Truth for our library. Having see Mt Rainier the day before, I was very excited and we had a great discussion with some older students about the  Australian and American front covers of the book as they are quite different.

Mrs Hembree also gave us two books ‘hot off the press’ that our Piggie and Elephant fans are going to love! Thank you so much Mrs Hembree.

We gave Mrs Hembree’s library some book gifts from our library and their very own Pig the Pug. You can read the next blog post to see what fun Pig the Pug is having with the Year 3 students at Cougar Ridge.

You can read more about my visit to Mrs Hembree’s on her blog post HERE and you will also know why I’m sending an Aussie Christmas book to her library…

I am so glad I made the journey to meet Mrs Hembree and to meet someone just as passionate as I am about libraries, books, reading and technology on the other side of the world…which isn’t all that far when you use technology to connect!

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Pig the Pug on Holiday

Pig the Pug has become quite a celebrity at our school! Over the past two terms he has gone home for the night with 153 students who have had fun reading him a story, taking a photo with him and some people have even dressed him up as you can see on our #ReadingIsFun page. So when it came to choosing a book character to travel overseas with me the choice was easy…it had to be Pig the Pug! Pig the Pug and I will be travelling together for a month to the USA and Canada as we visit Seattle, Vancouver, Toronto, New York and Washington.

Our first stop is Seattle, Washington in the USA to meet Mrs Hembree who is the teacher librarian at Cougar Ridge Elementary School. We have been communicating via our library blogs and Twitter since 2011. In fact Mrs Hembree was our Library Angel in Seattle when our library was flooded on Christmas Day in 2011. Using her blog and Twitter,  Mrs Hembree asked other teacher librarians to send books to our library to help replace books we lost with water damage. Mrs Hembree also introduced us to Elephant & Piggie when she sent us two of their books and they are now one of the most popular book series in our library! Mrs Hembree is such an inspiration to me with her Books to Africa Project; the fabulous book trailers she creates and her students do too; her love of books and the way she uses technology in her library. I am very excited about meeting Mrs Hembree and visiting her library…

Watch this slideshow to see photos that Pig the Pug and I will post of our adventures along the way…

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