3MC’s Google Hangout with author Tania Ingram

Towards the end of Term One, I introduced the Year 3 classes to the new Jinny & Cooper series by Tania Ingram and the books were a big hit! 

I wanted to build on the interest for this series, but it’s tricky to do in depth work on a novel when you only see classes for 45 minutes once a week. So I asked Miss Mc who teaches 3MC if she would like to read the Jinny & Cooper books to 3MC and then work with me in the library on a Friday. Miss Mc did a fabulous job reading and discussing the books with 3MC.

At our first session in the library we talked about what we liked about the books and which was our favourite book and character, with both The Revenge of the Stone Witch and Cooper the guinea pig being the clear winners. Then 3MC had fun making Cooper pop-ups from Tania’s website and I tweeted our Cooper pop-ups to Tania.

Our second session in the library had students thinking, sharing and recording their responses to the books. 3MC discussed how the first book, My Teacher’s Secret  was important because it introduced each of the characters. In the second book, The Revenge of the Stone Witch, Tania developed the story using exciting cliffhangers and created a mystery that wasn’t solved until the very end. 

The third session was a busy one with 3MC exploring Tania’s website to learn a bit more about her. Then 3MC were VERY excited to hear they were going to talk to Tania via Skype! In small groups they brainstormed questions to ask Tania under the headings Life, Writing and Books. Those questions were then shared and finalised to create a set of questions to ask Tania.

Last Friday was the BIG day and 3MC arrived in the LRC full of excitement (and some nerves) to find the chairs set up in front of the IWB ready to Skype Tania. Miss Y had tested Skype earlier in the week to make sure it worked BUT there were gremlins around! Miss V came and helped to get the microphone working, but when we tried to skype Tania the call FAILED each time. Tania suggested we try a Google Hangout…and it worked!!!

Thanks to technology we were able to sit in our library in Melbourne and hang out with Tania at her house in Adelaide to talk to her about her books and writing….what a fabulous Friday morning in our library!!

THANK YOU TANIA!

These are some photos from our Google Hangout with Tania…

Click on the 4 arrows to make the slide show full screen

Some of the things we discovered about Tania…

Tania’s daughter is a great source of ideas for her stories
Tania writes at home in her lounge room or at her kitchen table
Tania types her stories
Tania really enjoys creating and writing stories.
Tania thinks chapter books are easier to write than picture books (that made people think!)
Tania likes chocolate
Tania is a bit quirky like Cooper

Cooper is based on Tania’s dog that would eat EVERYTHING 
Tania likes chickens (We think her next book should be a chicken story!)
There will be another talking animal in one of Tania’s next Jinny & Cooper books (We’re not telling!!)

We can’t wait for the next two Jinny & Cooper books…

 

How did the pages of our book go missing?

Tristan Bancks always encourages his readers to write about things that happen to them so I’m writing a story about what happened to our copy of Tristan’s latest book…

A few weeks ago as you know, I went along to an Author Afternoon Tea at The Little Book Room. I was excited to have our copy of Tristan Bancks’ latest book My Life and Other Exploding Chickens signed for our library.

Three nights later on the Sunday night, I snuggled up on my couch to read Tristan’s new book before everyone else at school got their hands on it and I wouldn’t be able to borrow it for months! I laughed and groaned as I read Tom Weekly’s stories. I was reading ‘Death by Clown’ and feeling sorry for Tom at the circus and his fear of clowns when I reached page 78 where Giggles the Clown had control of the remote control and was driving Tom towards a ring of fire and to my horror I discovered the story skipped to page 85!!! Oh no! Pages were missing! Who was going to win the battle of Tom Weekly versus Giggles the Clown??

At first I wondered if Tristan was playing a trick on his readers by leaving the last few pages out of his story. Then I looked a little closer and the pages hadn’t been left out, they had been RIPPED out of the book! How did that happen? Who would do that to a book? Leesa at The Little Book Room was as perplexed as me and kindly offered to replace our book.

In the LRC that week I told the Year 3-6 classes about the mystery of the missing pages and we all wondered why someone would rip the pages out. We had fun listening to ‘Sit Where You Knit’ (some of us with grimacing faces and tears in our eyes) before I posted the book back. I then rushed out to buy another copy of the book so we would have two copies, but more importantly I had to see if Tom beat Giggles and also finish reading the remaining stories! (You can now borrow the book to find out too).

On Saturday morning the mystery of our missing pages was solved! I watched the Kids’ WB show and their interview with Tristan Bancks at The Little Book Room. Adrian Beck, Shane Crawford and the Kids’ WB team had fun disguising Tristan so he could prank some kids in the book shop….Tristan was hilarious!

Some of the pranks Tristan did included ripping a copy of his new book in half, dropping an ‘original’ Wimpy Kid picture ‘accidentally’ into a fish bowl and ripping pages out of his book to eat! Yes he RIPPED pages out of his book! I laughed and laughed when I realised THAT must have been the book I picked up and bought and asked Tristan to sign!! What were the chances of me picking up that book?

The mystery of the missing pages in our book has been solved and who would have thought it was the author who was the culprit! Now we have our own fun story to tell about My Life and Other Exploding Chickens….

#ReadingIsFun

Year Two’s surprise visit from Felice Arena

Last year (when they were in Year One), the Year Two classes had lots of fun tweeting and connecting with author Felice Arena as we read the books in his Sporty Kids series. So this year Felice and I had a surprise for them! This morning the three Year Two classes came to the library with their teachers thinking I wanted to have a serious talk to them. You can imagine their surprise (and I think some of them were a bit shocked) when Felice appeared! 

What a wonderful hour the Year Twos spent with Felice! They had fun silently cheering on their very own Specky Magee in slow motion. Everyone listened closely as Felice read his Swimming book from Sporty Kids and some students even knew the story off by heart! Felice told them about some of the other books he has written including Specky Magee, Andy Roid, Farticus Maximus (lots of laughs talking about this), Stick Dudes and his picture book Sally and Dave, A Slug Story (which translates differently in Chinese!). He also revealed that he had been an Art teacher and actor before becoming an author. Felice explained that listening to music as he wrote his latest book for older readers helped him think about the setting, plot and mood for his story. He played some of this music and asked students what they were thinking as they heard the music. I think we might have some budding writers in Year Two because their responses were very closely connected to Felice’s new book!

Thank you Felice for coming to visit the Year Twos, and for bringing your books to life and making reading fun!

Here are some photos from Felice’s surprise visit…

Ziggy or Archer?

Imagine both my surprise and excitement when I received this tweet from author Gabrielle Wang who I have been lucky to meet and also follow on Twitter. 

Gabrielle also added that the character is a girl who is different from everyone else in town…

It was our first week of classes in the LRC and the Year 4-6 classes were certainly intrigued when I explained Gabrielle’s request. Voting for the character’s name generated a thoughtful discussion about why students chose Ziggy or Archer. Many voted for Ziggy or Archer name because it was an unusual or unique name to them and so it suited a person who was different. Some people chose Archer because it would suit a tomboy or others thought it was a good name if the character might have been going on a quest. There were lots of questions and wondering about the character which encouraged the students to think like a writer.

It was also an opportunity to discuss the concept and value of ‘crowd sourcing’ because Gabrielle was using social media to ask her readers for their opinions and ideas.

These are the results of how our Year 4-6 classes voted for Ziggy or Archer. It was interesting to see how results varied within year levels…

Gabrielle had also asked some other schools and one school had 70% voting in favour of Ziggy. 

This week quite a few of our students asked if Gabrielle had decided on her character’s name yet so I asked her on Twitter and this was Gabrielle’s response.

The book Gabrielle is writing with Ziggy as one of the main characters is called ‘Hushing Wood’ and it will be published in February 2017. You can read more about Gabrielle’s writing and illustrating on her inspiring blog.

Thank you for the opportunity to be involved in your book in a small way Gabrielle. Good luck as you continue editing, and illustrating ‘Hushing Wood’. We’ll look forward to it being published so we can read about Ziggy in a year’s time…

Mo visits the LRC

The students in Year 2VL have their very own class mascot this year called Mo. Each lucky student will have the opportunity to take Mo home with them to show him something, include him in family activities or even take him on adventure. They will also write about Mo’s visit with them in their Mo Diary. I’m sure Mo is going to have a fun-filled year with his friends in 2VL!

Mo visited the LRC on Thursday morning and as you can see he enjoyed sitting in our Story Chair!

Mo is really looking forward to his adventures and reading about them in his Mo Diary.

Happy reading Mo!