Author Archives: Library

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Library on the Lawn

Excited Year 5 boys donned their book character costumes, grabbed their favourite books and headed to the inaugural Library on the Lawn event recently. The event, held on the Boarders’ Lawn, was planned to provide an opportunity for boys to engage with reading in a different way from our usual Library lessons.

Guest author Samantha Wheeler visited and spoke to the boys about her books which are adventure stories based around an iconic Australian animal. She inspired the audience with her passion for the environment and her desire to help preserve our native animals. She thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to meet our students and hear about their reading habits and costumes. Samantha said she was impressed with the enthusiasm with which they shared their books.

In addition to listening to Samantha’s address and asking questions, boys took part in a book trivia quiz, shared their chosen stories and ate cupcakes. It was a most successful event and one that will surely be remembered by boys and staff for a long time.

Special mention must be made of the teachers who also got into the spirit and dressed up. Their support for this event was outstanding.


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Year 5 Boys are Savvy Scientists!

Charles Darwin, William Harvey, Galileo and even David Attenborough “visited” the Year 5 classrooms this week as students took on the role of a famous scientist and showcased their learning to proud families. Each boy was eager to share his knowledge of the work and legacy of his particular scientist, and took great delight in finding costumes and props that would best illustrate his/her significant achievements.

The evening followed a lengthy research task which was collaboratively taught by the teacher librarian and the the Year 5 Science teachers. Skills taught included using print materials, navigating Britannica online, identifying relevant information, note-taking and referencing.

While many of the boys found the task challenging, there is no doubt that persistence paid off and they were very proud of their achievements as they were able to field all manner of questions from parents and older brothers who had been a “savvy scientist” themselves.

 

 


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Something Squishy This Way Comes!

Our Year 6 students participated some very squishy lessons recently exploring electrical circuits using play doh, battery packs, insulating material, LEDs, small motors, buzzers and switches.  This has been an awesome way to explore electricity and conductivity in a hands-on and fun way.

In the first lesson Ms Smith guided the students through the basic concepts of electrical circuits, basic safety and how to make simple series and parallel circuits.  The boys followed along with close attention, as they moved though the activities.  Once the basic concepts were clear, the boys were set loose to experiment in creative ways, incorporating these different circuits and insulating material into crazy sculptures.   Trolls with glowing eyes, creatures from the deep with glimmering lures to draw in unwary prey, carrots in sunglasses and planes with whirring propellers were just some of the wonderful creations produced.  In an astonishingly short period of time each class crafted creatures and inventions in a seemingly never-ending stream of creativity and variation.

Students returned to the library for a second session this year involving four different circuit challenges that they needed to complete independently.  They were able to work on their problem solving and resilience in this lesson to understand why their circuit may not have been successful the first time.    Students met these challenges well with some individual experimentation, collaborative effort and the occasional instructor expertise.


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Book Bowling Fun!

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Boys in Year 6 have been brushing up on their catalogue skills. With a lesson on the Dewey Decimal System under their belts, it was time to tackle the issue of how to locate a book they want to read once they have found it in the catalogue. Prac teacher librarian Mrs Lusink and Ms Palmer planned out an informative and fun task. Boys were shown a short clip on how to find a book in the catalogue and then given a title of a book taped onto the side of a wooden skittle. The challenge was to find the book in the catalogue, record the call number information and then retrieve the book from the shelves. This was a timed challenge and  the number of skittles set up to be bowled over depended on the number of books found in the set time. The first four students to present the matching book and skittle were then able to bowl along with the class teacher. The search was repeated and the top Year 6 class won a prize.

This was an incredibly energetic and enthusiastic activity and enjoyed by all. Thanks must go to Anna Zbacnik for her original idea as the activity was found on the A to Z Library blog.


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BGS Plays Host to Fellow Book Lovers

In recent weeks our BGS Book Clubs have been lucky enough to host  book club members from both BGGS and Terrace.  These wonderful opportunities offer the students a chance to engage with books and students of a similar age in a social setting.  The Inside Story Book Club, comprised of students from Years 7 and 8,  meets once a term with boys the same age from Terrace.  This term the boys have been enjoying the intriguing science fiction novel Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card, a story about a boy who can see the paths of others throughout history.  Pathfinder created a lively discussion around time travel, character development, world building and the implication of various story lines being interwoven throughout a novel.

 

Our Year 8 and 9 Book Club boys also enjoyed an animated discussion with Libellum Book Club members from Girls Grammar, exploring the many social issues in the book Liquidator, by Andy Mulligan. The story traces a few days in the lives of students on work experience who discover that a top legal firm is assisting a multi-million dollar soft drink company to cover up the disastrous effects of its fizzy drinks on a young boy  dying from uncontrolled diabetes.

We looked at part of the documentary Dying for Drugs. and comparisons were drawn to the movie The Constant Gardener, based on John Le Carre’s book, where a large drug company is experimenting with a new tuberculosis drug on African villagers suffering from AIDS, and to Erin Brockovich, a movie based on the true story of an environmental activist who takes on the Pacific Gas and Electric Company over its contamination of drinking water with a dangerous chemical.

The harmful effects of too much sugar also provoked some interesting discussion, with reference to the TV programs Super Size Me and Four Corners – Sugar, but the most interest came from this Sugargram Infographic.  We’re looking forward to many more shared book club meetings and compelling discussions.

 


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Book Week Celebrations

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The Middle School community celebrated Book Week last week with the theme “Find Your Treasure”. It was a terrific week with a range of activities on offer for all boys as well as two community events.

The Book Week Breakfast was held on Thursday morning in Centenary Hall with special guest Tim Harris. Boys and parents in Years 5 and 6 were treated to a fantastic performance by the Chamber Choir as well as a poetic introduction to Tim by student Thomas Ruddell. Tim was most entertaining as he dared the audience to think creatively and provided some inspiration for doing so. His books proved popular at the store and many of his titles sold out.

Boys and parents in Years 7 and 8 were equally enthralled by guest Lance Balchin who challenged his audience with concepts of artificial intelligence and the place robots will have in the future. He also demonstrated his amazing skills with Photoshop and inspired boys to have a play with this software.

Lunchtimes saw boys embarking on treasure hunts, leaning about Blackbeard’s lost treasure, competing for prizes in our trivia competitions, donning gear for the  pirate photo booth and joining in the fun of the Pirate Plunder, a human version of Hungry Hippos.

This was a great week and it was pleasing to see the community come together to celebrate reading.


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Commonwealth Games Celebrations

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It has been an exciting time for our Middle School boys as the two libraries have leapt into the Commonwealth Games fever and run a range of events during lunchtimes over the past four weeks.

Boys have been involved in decorating cupcakes as Borobi, the Games mascot, and competing in trivia competitions via Kahoot! Two challenges were run: the Years 5/6 boys were asked to create a Lego or Bionicle mascot suitable for the Games and the Years 7/8 boys tried out their Photoshop skills creating an image of Grumpy Cat at the Games. Winners received official merchandise.

Much fun was had in the mini-Commonwealth Games days held in both the Middle School and Centenary Libraries. Balloon badminton, cup stacking, a unique version of basketball and ten pin bowling ensured boys had a blast. Participants received “medals”.

An undoubted highlight was the visit from two Commonwealth Games athletes, Minna Atherton and Jared Gilliland. Both are members of the BGS Swimming Club and generously gave of their time to share their experiences with a crowd of more than 70 boys one lunch break. Facilitated by Mr Bloch, the swimmers gave insights into the lives of elite athletes. Thanks to Minna, Jared, Mr Bloch and Mr Lush for their efforts with this visit.


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Love Your Pet Day Photo Competition

The Middle School Libraries kicked off this year’s reading promotion by running a photo competition with a difference.

In order to enter boys were required to submit a photo of themselves, their pet and some sort of reading material. This sounds easy, and it was, but it also allowed boys to be creative as they posed for shots. A number of teachers also entered into the spirit.

Pets such as lizards, fish, cats, dogs and even a horse were represented. There were no doubt many funny and also frustrating moments as boys manoeuvred their pets into position.  The competition proved very popular and judging was extremely difficult. Our winners are included here and all entries can be seen on the Middle School Library webpage.

 


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Library Lover’s Day

Move over St Valentine’s because 14 February is also Library Lovers’ Day! This day celebrates our libraries in which workshops are taught, new skills are learnt, study groups meet, games can be played, technology can be used to create, and you can even just sit and read a good book!

Students in Year 5 took time out of their English lesson to celebrate our library. Each boy wrote a haiku about libraries. These were written on post-it notes and placed on a special window display. Upon departure, each child received a special chocolate heart (in the BGS colours of course!). Some boys also created 3D hearts out of books!

Staff members were matched with a book to read based on their preferences. Matchboxes labelled “Your Perfect Match” were distributed alongside the books. These were presented at morning tea where they were also able to enjoy red velvet cupcakes decorated with hearts.

Library Lovers Day was celebrated in the Centenary Library with an opportunity for students to share their favourite books with their peers in order to receive a chocolate heart. This activity proved very popular with the book recommendation table constantly full of students filling out forms which included the title of their favourite book, a blurb and why they liked it. These forms have been placed into a ‘Peer Book Recommendation’ jar which is located on the circulation desk for students who are stuck for a new book idea. Special displays were set up in the Senior Library with stories about love showcasing the diverse nature of the collection.

The Centenary Library has also recognised Random Acts of Kindness week with quotes about kindness from popular books displayed around the library under the title ‘Throw Kindness around like Confetti’. Later in the week students will be invited to contribute their own favourite quotes to this display.

Haiku:

With so many books

It is a place of marvels

I must read them all

By Mac 

 

Talking with your friends

Reading like you just don’t care

Libraries are the best

By Nicholas 

 

Books are piled so high

This is where I go to read

The school library

By Salvatore 


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Game On in the Middle School Libraries

At the beginning of every year, the Middle School Libraries play host to the Years 5 and 7 students for an orientation of their new libraries. This year the students experienced two different but very engaging and exciting hands-on activities that required them to work together in teams to explore the library facilities and resources available to them.

The Year 5 students undertook the challenge to Escape the Library by solving a variety of puzzles and locating books which then allowed them to open many different locks in order to ultimately access their box of treasure.  In the Centenary Library, the Year 7 students took part in a board game called Library Smarts, where team members were required to move their way around a board while completing challenges with the help of an iPad, and writing down expectations learnt from Grammar Man and Grumpy Cat playing cards.

These lessons were embraced by students and teachers alike, with a fantastic amount of enthusiasm and competitiveness. With the increasing popularity of gamification in education, these orientation lessons provide a fun, effective and engaging platform for students to familiarise themselves with the Brisbane Grammar Libraries.