I teach 21 classes from Prep-Year 6 in the LRC each week. All classes have 45 minutes in which students borrow and I endeavour, depending on the year level, to share a story or teach a skill or teach an ongoing unit in that time…using every available minute!
A few years ago I made a decision that literature would be the focus of library for the P-2 classes. Library time would be about sharing stories and most importantly reading would be fun. Each year when I speak to the new Prep parents I explain that we learn to read with our head and our heart and that a love of story is vital in learning to read. To a large extent classroom teachers focus on teaching the mechanics of reading (head). A big part of my role as a teacher librarian is to build on the love of story (heart) that students have hopefully brought from home. I try to do this by exposing them to a variety of authors, illustrators and book characters and encouraging students to express their feelings, thoughts and ideas in various creative ways about the books we share.
Last Friday, with the three Prep classes I had decided to dedicate the lesson to an art activity based on the books I’m a Dirty Dinosaur and I’m a Hungry Dinosaur that we had enjoyed reading in a previous lesson. We quickly borrowed and there was lots of excitement as the students happily drew their dinosaurs and finger painted with chocolate icing. In one of one of the classes we had a spare moment at the end and I asked what they enjoyed about the activity and one boy asked “Can we say something we didn’t like?” My reply was “Of course” as I wondered if he was going to say the icing was too sticky or messy. Instead he said quite indignantly, “You didn’t read us a story!” I was surprised by his comment, but quickly responded “Don’t worry, I will definitely be reading a story next week!”
A lovely affirmation that stories are valued and enjoyed in our library and we are reading with our hearts…
Our library is open before school every day for children to come and read with their hearts and their heads.