Thank you and goodbye from Miss Y

I was lucky to join the wonderful St Martin’s community in 2000 as a Year 3 teacher. In 2002 when Mrs Smith retired from the library, I was excited to return to being a teacher librarian again. Little did I know of the adventures ahead, including packing and moving our library twice, operating the library in the GECCO for two years, celebrating the official opening of our brand new library and only six weeks later part of the ceiling collapsed during the Christmas Day storm in 2011 and flooded the library.  One of my favourite memories happened not long after we moved into our new LRC when we had a visit from a kangaroo on Top Yard. Life is never dull when you work in a school library!

The students at St Martin’s are my ‘School Family’ and it has been a privilege and a joy to be a small part of your reading and learning journeys over the past 15 years. In that time we have shared hundreds of books; welcomed authors; held Book Fairs; celebrated Book Week; gathered for Story Nights; participated in the Premiers’ Reading Challenge; read for the Yeo-low Medal; had fun doing Creative Library Challenges; begun our mornings with BRB @ the LRC; enjoyed Lunchtime Library activities; tweeted with authors on Twitter, learned how to to use Infiniti, search with Google, evaluate websites, avoid plagiarism and keep safe online; and we have connected globally via our LRC Blog where we have collected lots of wonderful library memories since I began blogging in 2009…

Book Week

Lots of our Book Week celebrations over the years have been captured here. In 2015 every student contributed a light bulb to our Book Week  display and we celebrated Stories Light Up Our World @ St Martin’s with our first Story Night (a dream I had for a long time). In 2016 we saw lots of fabulous Australian book characters in our Book Week parade for Australia; Story Country. This year we celebrated Book Week 2017 with our Escape to Everywhere Story Night and 400 parents and students enjoyed stories read by our wonderful teachers on a wintery Melbourne night.

Author Visits

Some of the authors we have been lucky to enjoy visits from over the years include Socceroos’ goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer and Neil Montagnana-Wallace , Jacqueline Harvey visited us on her very first book tour for her Alice-Miranda series. Our whole school had one of the best days ever ‘Kicking Goals for Readers’ with Felice Arena, Adrian Beck and Michael Wagner One of our Year 3 classes enjoyed a Google Hangout with Tania Ingram who lives in South Australia.  Kathryn Apel visited from Queensland and inspired us to flex our poetry and creativity muscles to paint pictures with words while Anna Walker shared her delightful collage and water colour illustrations with the Junior classes.

Some students have also been inspired to go along to meet their favourite authors including Jeff Kinney, Michael Wagner, Jackie French, Andy Griffiths, Judith Rossell and Sally Rippin.

The Premiers’ Reading Challenge and the Yeo-low Medal

Our school has been participating in the PRC since 2011 and it has been wonderful to see students challenge themselves to read more and to read a wide range of books each year. Some students have eagerly participated in the PRC each year and all are acknowledged for their fabulous reading effort. Yes, you can win medals and trophies for reading!

We have our author friend, Adrian Beck to thank for our our very own Yeo-low Medal reading challenge that combines our love of AFL football and reading and I’m honoured that it is named after me! Students complete a reading Scavenger Hunt (usually based on the Book Week theme) to have the opportunity to win either an AFL Indigenous football or the coveted Yeo-low Medal for Best and Fairest Reader. We have enjoyed celebrating three Yeo-low Medal Award ceremonies in  2015, 2016 and 2017

Reading Fun

Over the years we have had lots of fun reading and being creative in different ways, including counting our school Reading Minutes for a week, creating levels for a 38-storey Treehouse, making funny faces for  ‘When the Wind Changed’, raising money for books to send to Bangladesh with Monster bookmarks and Hugless Douglas hugs,  wearing PJs on Champions Read and DEAR day, making a huge 124 flavour ice-cream, posing for our Shelfies @ St Martin’s Challenge, enjoying #Reading IsFun with Pig the Pug, showing our Library Love @ SMOT, trying Blind Dates with Books, unleashing creativity with a Bookmark Bonanza, enjoying Year 4 Sleepover stories in the LRC, travelling with Pig the Pug on holiday with Miss Y, sharing Pig the Pug with Mrs Hembree’s library in Seattle, meeting Andy and Terry at the studios at Kids’ WB, making a life-size book cover  with Adrian Beck, having fun painting dinosaurs with chocolate icing tweeting with Felice Arena as we read his books and many other every day happenings in our LRC that have been captured on our LRC Snapshots page. You can enjoy taking a ‘trip down Memory Lane’ looking through the 167 blog posts on our LRC Blog any time…

Thank you for 15 wonderful years in our library and for all the times you have made my heart sing. I have loved being your teacher librarian at St Martin’s where our library is the heart of our school and where I know a piece of my heart will always remain…

Just as our Year 6 students leave at the end of each year so they can continue to learn and grow, it’s time for me to leave so I too can continue to learn and grow as a teacher librarian with new experiences and challenges.

My hope is that each one of you will continue to READ, to be curious and creative and to be the best person you can be.

‘I wish you more stories than stars’ (Amy Krouse Rosenthal)

Happy reading!

Miss Y  x

#ReadingIsFun

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Adrian Beck’s Author Hangout

Our ‘awesome author’ friend, Adrian Beck has come up with a fabulous idea to bring Aussie kids and authors together… 

Adrian Beck’s
Author Hangout

Adrian’s first Author Hangout was with Tony Wilson who we know best from his book picture book The Cow Tripped Over the Moon and he is also the author of the Selwood Boys series. As you can see from the photo below, Adrian has lots of fun interviewing his fellow authors. (I wonder if they eat all the cookies after the interview?)

If you are interested in finding out more about some of your favourite authors, looking for new books to read, want some great writing tips from authors or simply have some laughs watching funny challenges then Adrian Beck’s Author Hangout is for you!

These are just a few of the authors that Adrian will be interviewing in the coming weeks…

Adrian will add his Author Hangouts to his website so visit regularly.

Adrian has interviewed these authors

Tony Wilson

Tristan Bancks

Jen Storer

Tim Harris

Sally Rippin

Felice Arena

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Premiers’ Reading Challenge 2017

Congratulations to 104 Prep to Year 6 students who completed the Premiers’ Reading Challenge this year and together read 3,820 books. What an awesome reading achievement! 

Each student received a stunning Premiers’ Reading Challenge certificate which was illustrated this year by talented author and illustrator Marc Martin.

Two students from each year level received a trophy to acknowledge their fabulous reading effort.

We also acknowledge a Year 6 student who has participated in the Premiers’ Reading Challenge each year they have been at St Martin’s. Congratulations to Kaitlin who was awarded our PRC Challenge Medal for 2017!

#ReadingIsFun

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Yeo-Low Medal Award 2017

There was a buzz of excitement and anticipation in the library on Friday as an eager group of readers waited to see if their name would be selected to win the AFL indigenous football or if they would be announced as the winner of our coveted Yeo-Low Medal for Reading for 2017.

Congratulations to the 57 students from P – 6 who completed the reading challenge during Term Three by reading nine books based on the Book Week theme ‘Escape to Everywhere’ and also completed a creative response about one of the books. Your enthusiasm for reading and amazing creativity make my teacher librarian heart sing!

This is the third year we have held our Yeo-Low Medal Reading Challenge that was started by our author friend Adrian Beck in 2015. The Yeo-Low Medal combines our love of reading and AFL football and you can read about how it started hereAdrian has supported our Yeo-Low Medal readers each year and for the past two years we have been very lucky to have both Adrian and author friend Felice Arena host our Yeo-Low Medal award ceremonies which have been such a fun celebration of reading. This year Adrian and Felice outdid themselves….

A big congratulations to our winners and to everyone who participated in the Yeo-Low Medal Reading Challenge this year!

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Design-an-Alien Competition

When I saw author Adrian Beck and illustrator Heath McKenzie had a ‘Design-an-Alien Competition’ for their latest book The Alien Zoo…and You, I knew our three Year 4 classes would be up for the challenge!

The prize for the winner was to have their alien brought to life by Heath McKenzie and featured in Alien Zoo 2!! The challenge was on…

We looked at the alien creatures Adrian and Heath had already created in The Alien Zoo…and You. We talked about how we could mix up animals to create our own alien creatures for the Alien Zoo – what they could look like, how they could move, special features or characteristics etc and then everyone got to work designing their own alien creatures. 

The Year 4 students were excited to see some of their aliens feature in Adrian’s video updates of the entries he had received.

Adrian shares some entries with Lauren Phillips and Shane Crawford from Kids’ WB.

Adrian looks at more entries with author Felice Arena.

Today the winner of the Design-an-Alien Competition was announced by Adrian and Heath. They had over 300 entries from around Australia which made it an incredibly difficult decision to choose only one winner!

Congratulations from our Year 4 students to the winner, Will (from another school) for designing an awesome ‘Octorg’. We will look forward to seeing it in Alien Zoo 2

Thanks Adrian and Heath for your fun competition and encouraging so many kids to unleash their creativity!

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