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!

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!

A Magic Faraway Tree pendant

The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton has been my favourite book since I was a little girl and I noticed last term when we were making our light bulbs for Book Week that quite a few of our students love it too.  When I taught Year One many years ago I read The Magic Faraway Tree to my class. I decided to make a big tree trunk in the middle of our classroom and gave each student a paper plate to design and create a land they would like to visit at the top of the tree. I attached their wonderfully creative ‘lands’ to the metal rafters that went across our ceiling and our classroom was transformed into our very own Magic Faraway Tree! It is still one of my favourite teaching activities ever!

During the holidays I went to a craft market at Federation Square and discovered a talented lady who uses old books to make make jewellery. I was very excited to find a pendant  she had made by using a page from The Magic Faraway Tree! Now I can wear a piece my favourite book…

Book Week Creative Challenge winners

One of the ways students can participate in the fun of Book Week is by joining in our  Book Week Creative Challenge. They are encouraged to unleash their imagination and creativity on the Book Week theme which this year was Books Light Up Our World

It is like Christmas for me as students bring in their fabulous creations and I love putting them around the LRC for everyone to enjoy. The hardest part is trying to choose winners and I’ve done my best. I have also included photos of some of our Creative Challenge entries, but this is by no means all of them…

Congratulations and a BIG thank you to everyone who participated in our Book Week Creative Challenge and lit up our library with your imagination and creativity…

First Place Winners:

Maya K (1MB)  Chloe S (3C)  Oliver V (1MB) Indiana O (5DV)  Imogen P (3C)

Second Place Winners:

Layla R (6P)  Lily A (1C)  Mia L (3C)  Tara C & Claire L (3JC) Monica (3C)  Genevieve B (5DV) & Naomi B (3C) Mackinlie L (4W) & Elijah (6P)

Third Place Winners

Sam B (1C)  Ethan P (1C) Audrey C (4VT)  Max A (1GC)  Lauren B (5A) Ethan S (6P)

Book Week Creative Challenge Winners on PhotoPeach

Book Week Creative Challenge on PhotoPeach

Do you have a favourite creation?

Stories To Light Up Our Night @ St Martin’s

Our ‘Stories To Light Up Our Night’  Book Week event on Wednesday night was a magical evening of sharing and celebrating stories with our families, friends and as a school community. It was a wonderful example that books and reading are alive and well at St Martin’s.

The excitement almost rivalled a football Grand Final as children wearing their pyjamas and armed with pillows, returned to school under cover of darkness with their parents to enjoy an hour of stories in their classrooms and the LRC. Thank you to the 150+ families (over 350 parents and children) and fabulous storytelling teachers who made it an evening to remember…

What did you enjoy most at ‘Stories To Light Up Our Night’?