Colouring in?

Last week in the library I casually left on a table a box of felt pens and pictures to be coloured in. Beautiful pictures of wild animals and birds. Exotic plants with reptiles peering from beneath the foliage.

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People – lots of them – told me that teenage boys would not colour in. That it is uncool, too babyish, a waste of their time. They were wrong.

In a ten week term with lots and lots of internal assessments, my colouring books appeared at just the right moment. The uptake was immediate. They sit in groups and colour in at lunch time. They chat and colour in. They contemplate quietly and colour in. What is more – they return to the picture over several days in order to complete the colouring in.

Why?

Well the latest catch word for it is mindfulness.

Mindfulness means paying attention to what is presently occurring, with kindness and curiosity.

www.mentalhealth.org.nz/home/our-work/category/21/mindfulness

mindful

I am not sure whether this latest trend in colouring actually achieves this state of bliss. However, from my observations over the last week, it does allow busy boys to switch off for a little while. It stops them staring at a device. It stops them continuing to work through their lunch break. And it has promoted ‘chatting’.

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So I shall keep it a while longer and see what other positive benefits it produces.

Lisa Trundley- Banks

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About time…well waves really!

If you spend anytime in the library, and many of you do, chatting to me about which book to read next, you’d know that my favourite genre is science fiction. So I am a little excited that there is a new trilogy out by Rick Yancey. The first book – The 5th Wave is an action packed read that has a bit of everything; it is end of the world disaster meets alien invasion, boy meets girl, girl tries to rescue younger brother type scenario. If you enjoyed Ender’s Game, Hunger Games and Divergent – then this is a must read. A little more action packed – if that is possible – and the actual writing is rather good.

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the 
lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 
4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.
Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway,Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the 
countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last 
survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she 
meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’sonly hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender. 
http://www.the5thwaveiscoming.com/books

There is even a film – just released – in case you were wondering.

Best get to the library quickly and grab it before anyone else…

Written by

Lisa Trundley-Banks

 

Spine Label Poetry

When the librarian, Linley, asked me whether we should do spine poetry for National Poetry day, I really did wonder what she was talking about. Not wanting to appear stupid, I just agreed and told her to go ahead. As it does, it all became obvious. Now I am obsessed. I started with an easy one or two. The first is below:

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Not bad. Then I got serious. I strolled upstairs and thought, ‘Where to start?’ Science Fiction is at the top of the stairs, so I grabbed one from there. Closely followed by one from the History section and then War. It seemed quite natural to then set myself the further challenge of not only creating a spine label poem but also getting a book from each genre section in the library, in the order that they come in! Nothing like a cold Friday afternoon after teaching Year 12’s how to write essay plans, to send me mad.

Here is my effort:

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Here it is in an easier format to read:

Heroes and Villains
Runaway Horses
Under a War-Torn Sky
Sacrifice.
Resurrection.
Live and let Die,
Time and Time Again.
Righteous Fury
Blackheart
The Mask Weaver,
from where I stand
Crossing the lines
Let the right one in,
The drinking Den

Happy Friday – have fun creating your own. (Send me a photo so that we can add it to our display.)

Lisa Trundley-Banks

RUN – The Lydiard Way

Book weeding, appropriately termed  as it can be as difficult and dreary as weeding your back yard. I crawl around the shelves on my hand and knees pulling out the obvious ones and then going back and digging in-between for an unsuspecting victim. I then viciously condemn the book to death, removing it from our shelves and hence the collection forever, never to be picked up, thumbed through or read again. It is a sad job. But long before I decide a book is no longer of use, the boys at school have decided this, as it is they that have stopped reading it. This happens for a variety of reasons; fashion and popularity, new books come out that surpass it, its cover becomes old fashioned, it looks tatty and dirty. It is part of our job in a school library to keep the collection current and useful, and it certainly must have up to date information that supports the curriculum.

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Today, as I scanned the shelves I came across, Run The Lydiard way, written by Arthur Lydiard with Garth Gilmour. It was published  in 1978 and bought by the library on 1 February 1979. It looks really old!

I cannot possibly get rid of it. So are we in the business of running a museum? Partly, I do think that there are certain books that the College library needs to preserve and our collection of books on Canterbury history are particularly impressive and need to be preserved.

However, this book is a must. In fact I have just shown it to Henry Smith, one of the PE teachers and he visibly got excited.

If you have never heard of Arthur Lydiard ONZ OBE, he is lauded as one of the outstanding athletics coaches of all time. He is credited with popularizing running and making it commonplace across the world. He is also responsible for new records being set in every event from 800m to marathons.  At the time that the book was published, Lydiard had spent the last thirty years in testing the limits of human physiology against hard exercise, testing theories and formulating successful training methods from his own experiences in middle and long distance running.  The book also includes a guide to health, diet and injury cure and prevention.

Lydiard left quite a legacy. There is a marathon and 1/2 marathon named after him – taking place on the 12 September this year, if you are interested:  http://thelegend.co.nz/

After he died in 2004 his running schedules were reproduced online by his co – author and friend Garth Gilmour. I have also attached them here for you: http://thelegend.co.nz/legend_pdfs/static_pdfs/Lydiard_schedules_for_Legend.pdf

Lydiard’s story is fascinating,

At the age of 27, when many athletes were preparing to retire, he started competitive running. He began with one to three mile races, continuing to further refine his training and increase the distances he was running. He became a provincial cross-country representative and his training frequently consisted of runs of up to 50km. Getting older but also fitter: he set his sights on the marathon. By the start of the 1950s, Lydiard was New Zealand’s top marathon runner. He competed in the 1950 Empire Games (finishing 13th, a placing he described as “poor”) and took the national title in 1953 and 1955. (http://www.nzedge.com/arthur-lydiard/)

His basic theory was,

“…that long, even-pace running at a strong speed produced increased strength and endurance – even when it is continued to the point of collapse – and was beneficial, not harmful, to regular competition.”

My ‘weeding’ then, unearthed a gem and it has inspired me to carry on running – even though I dislike it! I would also like to point out that the book has been popular over the years and it hasn’t been sat there gathering dust.

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As a last word, I’d like to mention my brother, Tony, who on Saturday 12th June ran a 100 mile race across the South Downs Way. He came a stunning 39th out of over 400 runners, many of them a lot younger than he. I wonder if he trains the Lydiard way?

Lisa Trundley-Banks

 

 

Dearest Boys…

Dearest Boys

It is with great excitement that I am writing to tell you that the library has managed to avail itself of a new series of books. Knowing how much you all race and clamber through the library doors  in a bid to be the first to read the latest release in your favourite series, I went shopping for some more books.

Whilst standing amongst the towering shelves of the latest releases, I spied from the corner of my eye, a series by an author that I am not acquainted with. So without pausing to think, I pounced upon the titles, surveyed the blurb on the back of the book and hastily made my way to the cashier.

So gentlemen, you will find, on the table of ‘New Books’ three novels by a Peter. F Hamilton, writer of science-fiction. This British author has sold over two million books worldwide. This will be due to the fact that he uses the classic mixture of teenagers, love, politics, religion, and armed conflict. Mr Hamilton also uses an abundance of fantasy, combined with astronomy and physics, including many elements from classic horror writing.  So as he has obviously ticked all the correct boxes, he should be a hit with the majority of you.

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The extremelyScreen Shot 2015-05-26 at 6.01.16 pm good news is that this is not the only series that he has written. There are at least five more! I had best go back to the shops…

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Yours faithfully,

Mrs Trundley-Banks

World Book Day

World Book Day is a fantastic idea. It makes you focus on what you are actually reading. I’m still reading:

The Quick by Lauren Owen

This is an epic novel set in Victorian England and has all the suspense and magic that I love in a novel. Of course it is a Gothic horror novel – so far the vampires are a little more subtle than the hollywood variety and there are no silly love triangles to get in the way of the plot. This is all about obtaining supper! If you get what I mean…Screen Shot 2015-03-06 at 11.18.57 amAs it is World Book Day, I thought you might like to see some beautiful pictures of books.

An Ode to Books: 45 Photos that Will Feed a Book Lover’s Soul

Here is a preview:

Screen Shot 2015-03-06 at 11.24.50 amLisa Trundley-Banks

 

 

Blah, blah, Reading…

New Year, big ideas, goals to set, things to achieve, and what better place to start than the library. Obviously, I read a ridiculous amount in the holidays – both eBooks and the real thing. I was the sensible person in my family and loaded my iPad with several books before setting off to Rarotonga. They – my family – all had to share Department 19 and stalked eachother until the ‘reader’ had managed to devour it in superhuman time.

Anyway, what better time of year is there to start a reading challenge. I’m doing it, my Year 10 class is doing it, they just don’t know it, and the English Department is doing it! So why don’t you?

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I can email you the printable version – just contact me in the College Library.

Content Curation

I totally switched off in the last school holidays and disconnected from most forms of social media. I read instead. I forgot to switch off Twitter! Luckily so, as I became part of a conversation that I would have regretted missing. It centred around the question; What is the role of the 21st Century Librarian? I was flattered that people thought that I would know the answer! And I didn’t even hesitiate when answering such a big question.

It hasn’t changed! The role of the 21st Century Librarian is absolutely no different to a librarian in the 20th, 19th or 18th centuries. We are there to provide the very best information for our customers. Of course there is far more to it. We predict what our customers need and intuitively know, fairly often, what type of information they are looking for based around careful questioning when they appear at our desks asking for help. Sometimes this can be a simple problem – they are looking for a good book to read – but they want you to find it. Sometimes it is a little more complex – they are searching for the latest information on the human genome project or whether genetically modified meat is safe to eat. (That one is hard – really hard, as I found out recently whilst assuring boys that we would find information.)

So the role of the librarian is still that of providing information to people in whatever shape or form they are after it in. This is where the role has changed. It is the delivery of the information and how we can now deliver it, that is so exciting. This is wScreen Shot 2014-10-14 at 3.27.22 PMhere content curation comes in. Once again, this is not new – think back to the vertical files that most school libraries had – great big imposing metal drawers full of articles cut from papers and magazines. I love online content curation and get quite excited when a department at school approaches me to create a new board for them. (Partly because online curation is so attractive and neat and tidy.)

I have been very lucky that the Science department, in particular, Chemisty, have jumped at the chance of having content curated. This is because they wanted information that is verified for validity, sourced reliable websites and relevant to the topic. This stops the students from aimlessly sifting for hours through the internet looking for information – looking like they are working, but in reality becoming increasingly distracted by whatever else they come across on their ‘search.’

My preferred sites are Scoop.it and Learni.st. There are so many of them, that you just have to pick a ‘look’ that suits your school and go with it.
Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 10.21.08 AM I use them for different types of projects. So for science  based courses, I prefer Scoop.it simply because it looks  modern and fresh. It allows to students to scroll quickly through the content and have a brief read and then decide  for themselves which links they will investigate further. I  have found it is better for topics that change quickly such  as genetics. Scoop.it allows me to quickly delete old articles, and with its suggested content, I can update it just as quickly. My most successful curation on this site has been on genetics. I originally made it for classes in English studying Frankenstein and Never Let Me Go, but then some biology students discovered it and showed their teacher and now they also use it in Year 13! This has been a delightful but unintended outcome – cross curricular learning of a fashion.

I use Learni.st for arts and social science subjects – where the students tend to follow a course more or need to use all the links to direct their own learning. From this point of view it supports flipped learning beautifully. My most successful board has been one that I created for Classical Studies on Roman Social Life. It has 27 links that you scoll through. The best thing about Learni.st is that it allows you to add comprehensive notes next to a visual image. This means you can add activities and instructions for your students.

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Content curation is a win win situation.

  • It stops students from just ‘googleing it.’
  • It promotes reliability of sources of information.
  • It introduces the idea of validity and relevance of information.
  • It can be used for flipped learning.
  • It is a great collaborative tool.
  • In the long run, it saves time for students.
  • It can be updated easily to keep it relevant.

My next step os to collaborate with staff to create boards of their classes – maybe next year.

Lastly, it is worth bearing in mind;

Content is king. Without content you have an art project!

Lisa Trundley-Banks

Teacher Librarian at Christ’s College