These are the Library contributions to the weekly school email newsletter
The holidays are a great time for reading. However, students may find a book that they love, but then find it difficult to locate similar books to read next. A free site that can help with this is http://www.goodreads.com/ . One AHS year 10 English class has been using goodreads at school this term to host a class online bookclub. Goodreads not only allows users to review, rate and record books that have been read, but there are many different options for finding book recommendations. You can set up shelves for different genres and record books to read next. Goodreads reading information can be set as private or public. Instructions can be found at http://www.blogher.com/how-get-most-out-goodreads and http://www.goodreads.com/help and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKi5jknIdq4 .
Goodreads can be a social site, where members can choose to share reading with friends online. It can be linked to other communication sites such as email and facebook. Apps are available for both android and apple devices. These allow a range of functions, including using a smartphone to scan a book barcode to quickly add a book to your goodreads account.
2011 will be remembered as the year the Harry Potter movie series concluded. These books appealed to many students and similar books can be found at: http://classiclit.about.com/od/ifyoulike/tp/aa_if_you_like_harry_potter.htm
One of the most popular recent book series has been “The Hunger Games” and this movie is due for release on March 23, 2012. The movie trailer is at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIVKX4Wu77U This is an example of dystopian fiction, a genre that is replacing vampires and angels in terms of popularity. Dystopia refers to imaginary places where everything is as bad as it can be. “Delirium” and “Divergent” are further recent books that are currently very popular with teenagers. Please find more dystopian fiction at the sites below.
Finally, an urban fantasy, “Daughter of Smoke and Bone,” is also gaining rapid fame. It follows the angel/demon trend. For more reading ideas, teenagers vote on the top teen books each year, and these lists can be found at the following site:
http://www.ala.org/yalsa/teenreading/teenstopten/teenstopten The lists for reluctant readers, as follows, are useful for finding books with widespread appeal.
Library staff wish everyone a relaxing break, filled with lots of reading.
The Potter Library will not be open during the September holidays due to upgrading of the air-conditioning system.
On Thursday, 83 Year 8 and 9 students attended the Brisbane Writers’ Festival in conjunction with the English Department. Students have been very fortunate this year in terms of engagement with authors and writing events, because in addition to this activity, all Year 10 students heard from a variety of writers as part of International Women’s Day activities, all Year 7 students attended the Brisbane Writers’ Festival on Wednesday, and some Year 8s were involved in a collaborative writing project with Terrace, BGS, BGGS and AHS. Students engage with authors, actors and other speakers as part of their usual English program, but they are very fortunate that these additional opportunities are provided.
On Thursday, students listened to a wide variety of fiction writers including Maggie Stiefvater, Peter Stanley, James Phelan, Marianne de Pierres, Margo Lanagan, Emily Rodda, James Roy, Belinda Jeffrey, Wendy Harmer and Jane Caro, and also poets Rachel de Wosking, Jacob Polley and Farid Farid. These speakers open up a wealth of additional writing and reading inspiration. Thank you to year 8 student, (name omitted), for providing the introduction for Emily Rodda.
Cybersmart has updated its online cybersafety program located at http://www.cybersmart.gov.au/ . Among other changes, it has added a program called Cybersmart Access, which addresses the cybersafety needs of children and young people with learning difficulties in mainstream schools and special education schools.
This is a freely available resource and covers:
• Cyberbullying – managing and reporting
• Social networking – creating and sharing content appropriately
• Staying safe and secure online – protective behaviours
• Keeping personal information private
• Consequences of online actions in the real world
• Online identity – treating others respectfully
The parent page is located at http://www.cybersmart.gov.au/Parents.aspx
With students increasingly accessing online resources through phones and other computing devices, parents as well as schools, need to ensure they are aware of the dangers in order to support appropriate use by students. It is advisable to discuss cybersafety with your daughters and to maintain communication with them regarding this issue.
Our Year 8/9 Readers’ Cup team competed at Brisbane Boys’ Grammar against 12 other teams on June 14. The team of (names omitted) tied for second place which is a wonderful effort. Special mention also goes to (names omitted) who attended as cheer squad and helped organisers throughout the evening.
The Year 8 Spring Hill writing group, plus some other students, will be spending lunchtimes learning how to publish their stories as pbooks (the old-fashioned print kind) and ebooks, using free online software.
Finding books that will entice reluctant readers can be tricky. A new site http://www.yournextread.com/us/ may help with this. Enter a book you like and it will recommend other books with brief reviews. If more suggestions are required, click “More books” on the bottom. Readers can login for extra features and add their own recommendations.
Apart from traditional strategies for finding books to read, such as asking a friend who likes similar books, or asking Library staff; another strategy is checking the Potter Library moodle site for reading lists. Sites such as Amazon.com, goodreads.com, librarything or shelfari, can also be useful.
Some of the most popular recent books have been “Once,” ”Now” and “Then,” by Morris Gleitzman. These books appeal to the vast majority of students, including the substantial sub-group who do not like fantasy. Gleitzman’s books, “Boy Overboard” and “Girl Underground,” are also popular. Students who enjoy these books are likely to enjoy books like “Holes” by Sachar, the Parvana series by Ellis or Charlotte’s Web by White. Other authors who are great for encouraging sustained reading among even the most reluctant readers are Roald Dahl, Paul Jennings, Elizabeth Honey, Robin Klein, and Margaret Clarke. The “My story” series is very popular with those who enjoy easily accessible historical fiction.
Another popular local author is Michael Bauer, whose mother attended All Hallows’ School. Michael’s book, “Just a Dog,” has been shortlisted, this year, by the CBCA in the younger reader category. At the recent launch of the final book in his funny Ishmael trilogy, “Ishmael and the Hoops of Steel,” Michael stated that these books are largely based on his experiences as a student, teacher and parent at Marist College Ashgrove.
Ebook reading at AHS! You do not need a kindle device to access kindle ebooks. Amazon Kindle for PC (AK4PC) has been loaded on most AHS netbooks. AK4PC will not be loaded on Year 12 netbooks, but this free program can be downloaded to home computers, and ebooks can also be read on phones and ipods.
Using AK4PC for someone with a credit card is easy. It is more challenging to set it up for use with children who do not have a credit card, or where parents wish to manage which kindle ebooks are accessed.
A credit card is needed for purchasing ebooks, so it is likely parents will want to manage purchases. This can be done by means such as: organising the purchases themselves, deleting credit card details when not purchasing, or using gift cards. Kindle has free ebooks, but the range is limited. Due to our firewall, the actual purchase/download cannot be made from a Netbook or PC on the AHS campus, but AHS netbooks can be used to purchase kindle books from home, or when using other internet networks. Once an ebook has been downloaded, it can be read via AHS netbooks, anywhere, even at school, even without internet (so download books ahead for trips etc.)
So, the first step is finding kindle books you want from Amazon. Search at http://www.amazon.com/Kindle-eBooks/b/ref=sv_kinc_1?ie=UTF8&node=1286228011 using the categories on the left of the site. Find free books by clicking “Sort by” (top right) and “Price Low to High.”
AK4PC can be downloaded from http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/ref=kcp_pc_mkt_lnd?docId=1000426311 . Parents should download AK4PC to their own computer, Do not share the account password with students, because all it takes is “Buy Now With One Click,” if your credit card is linked. You will need to register an account with Amazon.
Once you have chosen and paid for a book (even one that is zero dollars), click the yellow “Go to Kindle for PC.” To access ebooks you have obtained, click the Amazon desktop icon, or Start, Programs, Amazon etc. New titles will be in the Archived Items tab, top left. Click this tab to download ebooks to your Home library. Any ebook purchased can be loaded on up to 6 devices, including netbooks – you just need to use the same registration.
So, how do you provide these ebooks to your daughter’s AHS netbook? Ask your daughter to logon to the netbook at home; it needs to be connected to the internet. Click Start, Programs, Amazon etc. Register using your AK4PC details, but do not reveal the password. Click the Archives tab and transfer selected books. It is also possible to purchase a gift card so students can buy books without needing a credit card https://www.amazon.com/gp/gc/order-email?ie=UTF8&occasion=Amazon%20Stores&design=kindle_treeboy_10_us . AHS Internet Guidelines apply to ebooks downloaded to AHS netbooks and not all ebooks will be age-appropriate for younger children. Kindle ebooks can be lent or bought cheaply via lendle http://lendle.me/ . This utilises the fact most people do not need the 6 copies allowed with purchases.
Free ebooks and audiobooks can also be borrowed via Overdrive (need a BCC Library card) http://brisyprl.lib.overdrive.com/28280208-F04A-4706-8579-76E84AC44704/10/473/en/Default.htm. However, Overdrive books cannot currently be read on AHS netbooks. Happy holiday reading, however you read!
Over this semester, the Library has been involved in a number of exciting projects. Eight students from Year 8 at All Hallows’, joined students from St Joseph’s Gregory Terrace, Brisbane Boys’ Grammar and Brisbane Girls Grammar to extend their writing skills with the guidance of author Brian Falkner. Using a collaborative writing approach via a wiki, students worked on group scenarios, but each student produced an individual story. These stories are in the final stages of editing and will be compiled into a book which will be available for borrowing from each school. The students are (names omitted)
In addition, our Year 8 and 9 Readers’ Cup Team are competing at Brisbane Boys’ Grammar against twelve other teams tonight at 7.00pm. They have been using a variety of methods to study the five books, including quizzes that they have created and those prepared by other members, at the social networking reading site http://www.goodreads.com/ . The team of (names omitted) is congratulated on their hard work in preparation for the competition.
Archives has been very busy with 150 year planning. Thank you to those who have volunteered to help. Please contact me at (omitted) if you are interested in volunteering as there is still considerable work to do. Volunteers have now completed scanning of the School magazines. There is still considerable work available sorting through archival documents, and we also need some calico covers sewn for the historic uniform collection. Another significant project is the digitisation of the School
enrolment registers. These projects will be of great benefit in supporting the School community when completed. Thank you to all those who have helped thus far.
With holidays approaching, please ensure students borrow and read over the break. Sustained reading is closely correlated with academic success, and is quite a different skill to reading facebook, text messages or viewing youtube clips.
All Hallows’ School recognised the National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence on Friday, March 18th, 2011. More details can be found at: http://www.bullyingnoway.com.au/ and http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/features/no-bullying .
One of the main areas of concern today is online privacy, especially facebook. The AHS, P and F guest speaker on cybersafety, Susan McLean http://www.cybersafetysolutions.com.au/ said that it takes 2 hours to make a facebook site private and secure. The following site provides a guide for parents on how to help their child (who is over 13, as per the facebook terms and conditions) ensure their facebook site is safe and secure http://www.connectsafely.org/pdfs/fbparents.pdf . The following site contains a chart with recommended privacy settings for teens http://www.connectsafely.org/Safety-Advice-Articles/facebook-privacy-chart-for-teens.html . This is the safety site provided by facebook http://www.facebook.com/help/?safety . The Federal Police recommend the following settings for various sites http://www.thinkuknow.org.au/site/stop.asp . Here are 2 youtube clips that explain how to manage privacy settings http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBwEbV3xT_U and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTpa3AS39uA&feature=related and also a clip about girls and online safety http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pa4_ehkZ67E .
As part of recent cybersafety instruction, 166 AHS Year 8 students completed a questionnaire about their internet use. Susan McLean’s first piece of advice to parents was that teenagers should not have internet enabled devices (ipod, ihone, computers etc) in their bedrooms. It was also interesting that while 42 percent of students use their netbook to access the internet at home, 58 percent of students access the internet on another home computer. Also, 39 percent of students said that they have a mobile phone that can access facebook. The questionnaire indicated that the overwhelming majority of students and parents are taking care to use the internet safely, through a variety of strategies and rules, and that parents are generally, very involved in supervising student use of the internet at home. This means that the vast majority of Year 8 students have, thus far, experienced a high level of safety when using the internet.
The Library has now completed inductions with Year 5 and 8 students, as well as new teaching staff. Library staff have also worked with all Year 8 students in their English classes promoting popular fiction, and with Year 10 Science classes teaching web site evaluation and research skills. All Year 12 students have been given a refresher lesson to sharpen their internet and database searching skills, as part of their Life Skills course.
A parent night was provided on February 8th to assist new parents with accessing school online resources via moodle and other sources; and also to assist with managing netbook use and internet safety management. The talks given by (staff) were supplemented by the Parent Cyber Safety Information Evening provided by the AHS P & F on March 3rd with Susan McLean from http://www.cybersafetysolutions.com.au/ . In addition, Library staff have conducted lessons with all Year 8 students, discussing cybersafety issues.
On February 25, library staff organised for 18 Year 10 ICT students to attend the Nothing Beats the Real Thing seminar http://www.nothingbeatstherealthing.info/seminar
at Village Roadshow Studios, in conjunction with the Business Department. Students had an engaging day, exploring the ethical, legal and financial issues surrounding movie piracy.
The Library has purchased additional copies of popular series, to meet demand. The following list of recommended books for school students from Allen and Unwin publishers may provide reading inspiration. http://www.allenandunwin.com/_uploads/documents/Teachers/Best%20Books%20for%20schools%20Children%20catalogue%202011_forweb.pdf
The Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards is a unique national project that aims to provide Australia’s youth with a voice and opportunity to strive for excellence in literature. This year’s optional theme is ‘Making Pictures’. The competition opens on the 1st March and closes on the 30th June, 2011. More details can be found at: http://www.dorothea.com.au/index.php .
The Young ICT Explorers is a competition for school students in Queensland to produce the best Information & Communication Technology (ICT) related project. Registrations close on March 31st and the competition completes on June 3rd. More details can be found at: http://www.youngictexplorers.net.au/cms/ .
The Future Leaders Awards recognise and reward young Australians who have shown strong leadership. The Awards aim to inspire engagement in environmental and community issues that make a difference. Nominations are now open for 2011. There are activity and writing sections. Generous prizes can be won, as well as gaining recognition for projects. More details at:
Congratulations to … who was awarded a Highly Commended for her short story in the Year 8 category of the 2010 QIEU Literary Competition.
Wizards, vampires, werewolves, zombies, Greek Gods and fallen angels – what will be next? Aliens? Book popularity can be greatly increased when books are made into movies, as we
have seen with Twilight and Harry Potter, and further escalated if part of a series. In the future, we have the City of Bones movie coming – these quotes provide an idea of the series:
http://readingpower.wordpress.com/2010/09/21/city-of-bones-study-guide/. Another new candidate for reading mania may be I am Number Four. It has great action and conception,
though the characterisation and writing do not rival the quality of authors like John Marsden and his Tomorrow When the War Began series. Despite this, the book is likely to be very popular with both boys and girls, and the content is suitable for most ages. So, “hyper” success for this alien series may hinge on the popularity of the movie due in cinemas in February. See more at: http://readingpower.wordpress.com/2010/11/21/i-am-number-four/ . Students also might like to reread Harry Potter and also Narnia with the release of new movies.
Mature readers seeking ideas for what to read in 2011, may find the following article useful: http://www.couriermail.com.au/entertainment/books/good-reading-guide-for-year-ahead/story-e6freqkx-1225983929278
Any Queensland resident can join Brisbane City Council Library service. Members can download free ebooks and audio-books via Overdrive at: http://brisyprl.lib.overdrive.com/ These can be downloaded to mobile phones, iPods, laptops or computers. (See here for a list of compatible devices http://www.overdrive.com/resources/drc/). It is necessary to download software to use this service and thus it is unlikely this will be possible using school Netbooks, as yet. Browse to see the range of titles from this Brisbane/Yarra Plenty Overdrive service at: . Instructions are available at: http://brisyprl.lib.overdrive.com/584AB678-276F-49CC-A620-6590E55146C1/10/473/en/tour.htm and http://brisyprl.lib.overdrive.com/584AB678-276F-49CC-A620-6590E55146C1/10/473/en/Help-QuickStartGuide.htm
February 8 is Safe Internet Day 2011
The theme ‘It’s more than a game, it’s your life’ will be used to promote safe and responsible use by children and teens when using social networking sites. It will highlight the importance of protecting
privacy and digital reputation, as well as the need for good online etiquette. More information is at: http://www.cybersmart.gov.au/SID%202011.aspx.
Welcome to 2011. The following information may be useful for later reference.
Library contact numbers and opening hours – Normal school days
Potter Library 7.30am to 5.00pm
Senior Study Centre 6.30am to 6.30pm (Year 11 and 12 students only)
McAuley Library 8.00am to 3.30pm (closed during morning tea)
Potter Library Front Counter – …
McAuley Library Front Counter – …
It is a good idea to have a back-up plan with your daughter if arrangements go awry after school. Many parents advise their daughters to go to the Potter Library if there are problems as it is staffed until 5.00pm (the School Office closes at 4.30pm). Library staff are rostered on at the counter to provide assistance and answer queries.
All students are welcome to use both Libraries. The McAuley Library has materials especially selected for the Middle School age group and it is recommended that younger students borrow from the McAuley Library to ensure the content is appropriate. Books from the McAuley Library are easily recognised by the yellow stripe on the spine.
Parent volunteers are very welcome and much appreciated in the Libraries. The tasks range from covering and processing books, to helping in the school archives. Parents can help at times that suit
them and we have several parents who help while their daughters finish extra-curricular activities. Please contact me if you are interested via email … or on my direct telephone line ….
Reading is like many skills – it improves with training and practice. Students need to undertake increasing amounts of reading as they progress through school. The ability to read quickly whilst
maintaining comprehension is very important. The support of parents in encouraging their daughters to read is most valuable and much appreciated. Students can make purchase suggestions via the Suggestion Box in the Potter Library or online via the Potter Library Moodle site.
All Hallows’ Libraries have a large selection of books and magazines. We lend all year. The catalogue can be searched by logging on at http://www.allhallows.qld.edu.au/. New students will receive login details shortly. Parents will also be provided with login details. A parent technology information evening will be provided early in 2011 – date to be advised. Library inductions will be conducted for Years 5 and 8 students in class shortly and also offered to new students.
The Queensland floods have been devastating as revealed by new technologies, such as mapping tools which allow high resolution zooming by turning the mouse wheel and can be found at:
. The following site shows amazing before-and-after shots of the floods (slide sideways on the images)
that further reveal the damage. Our commiserations are extended to all affected by the floods in any way.