PASSIONATE ABOUT SCHOOL LIBRARIES

Tag: STEM

Book Review: Adventures in Architecture for Kids

Adventures in Architecture for Kids: 30 Design Projects for STEAM Discovery and Learning

– Vicky Chan –

Rockport Publishers

Published 21 December 2021

♥♥♥♥

 

Adventures in Architecture for Kids is a brightly coloured and attention-grabbing non fiction book with heaps of hands-on activity ideas.

The book is divided into five sections: General Construction, Architecture and History, Landscape Architecture, Sustainable Architecture, and a Brief Introduction to City Planning. Each section then has between three and eight projects to make that step you through an aspect of architecture. Examples of projects include building a 3D model of a house using pasta, designing a treehouse model and building with indigenous construction methods. Each project has multiple pages of photographs demonstrating the materials needed, step-by-step construction and the finished product. While each project can be followed exactly, once that has been created, readers can use the same techniques to create their own designs.

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Professional Learning: October 2021

Professional Learning Opportunities October 2021

I have noticed a massive surge of professional learning opportunities recently, as well as people sharing their experiences online. I am getting to the point where I am signing up for things multiple times, having forgotten I’ve already signed up or having so many recording I simply can’t view them all. Doesn’t stop me from trying, though, as I love listening to people share their experiences or being inspired by what people are doing in their libraries. 

If you are in still lockdown or just looking for some professional learning, then I hope this list of links, webinars, articles, podcasts and more is helpful. Most are targeted for school librarians, but many are transferable to any library or education setting. Please share it with your team, colleagues and network and contact me if there is a link you would like added to the list.  Happy learning. 

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Webinars

SLANSW are hosting a webinar with the amazing Judith Wakeman on the power of bibliotherapy – how reading improves the wellbeing of our students. So important for these current times (and always!).

Developmental Bibliotherapy: What is it and why do our students need it? – SLANSW – 12 October 2021, 7pm – free for members, $35 non-members – online

Adobe are hosting free webinars every second Wednesday evening, combining inspiration for creativity and tips for using Adobe programs in the Education setting. 

Inject Creativity – Adobe for Education – every second Wednesday 6:30pm AEST –  free

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Professional Learning: September 2021

Professional Learning Opportunities September 2021

September has arrived, which means we survived Book Week and now turn our attention towards the end of the year. It’s been a big, exciting and I know stressful year for many. 

If you are in lockdown or just looking for some professional learning, then I hope this list of links, webinars, articles, podcasts and more is helpful. Most are targeted for school librarians, but many are transferable to any library or education setting. Please share it with your team, colleagues and network and contact me if there is a link you would like added to the list.  Happy learning. 

You can now sign up to receive these posts delivered straight to your inbox each month. 
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Webinars

Genrefication

I’m so excited to be collaborating with EduWebinar (a fantastic source of PD) to present the webinar Genrefication: Beyond the Buzzword. Join us on September 15, 2021 at 7pm AEST. It’s free for EduWebinar members and $30 for non-members. You can find about more about what we’ll be discussing and register on the EduWebinar website. 

Genrefication:Beyond The Buzzword – Webinar – EduWebinar – Free for members, $30 non members – 15 September, 2021

 

SLAV is hosting a range of fantastic masterclass online webinars in September. The first is all about designing collections to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives.

Masterclass series 2021 – Enriching Collections: Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Perspectives – SLAV –  2 September 2021, 10am-12noon – Online – $120

This second masterclass is two hours long and investigates Orientation sessions. 

Masterclass series 2021 – Orientation – SLAV – 9 September 2021 – Online – $120

SLAV’s two and a half hour masterclass series offers ideas around why school libraries need to support multilingual students and how this impacts decision making around collection development.

Masterclass series 2021 – Multilingual School Libraries: Why and How? – SLAV – 16 September 2021 – Online – $120

 

I think we can all relate to the challenge of trying to engage reluctant readers with the joy of reading. ASLA are hosting a webinar on this topic with Libby Baker.

ASLA September Webinar 2021 – Strategies to Engage Reluctant Readers – 1 September, 2021, Online – $20 members, $40 non-members.

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Professional Learning: August 2021

Professional Learning Opportunities August 2021

Welcome to August. Almost. Seems like the year is just flying by, but then again we always seem to say that.

Once again I have collected professional learning links to share with you for the upcoming month. I’ve decided to start grouping them by topic instead of type, so we’ll see how that goes. These links are perfect for school librarians, public librarians, teachers, education leaders and anyone interested in the wonderful world of literature, reading and education. I hope they have some value for you. Please do feel free to share and a massive thanks to all the people who have created these webinars, podcasts, articles, posts and more. 

You can now sign up to receive these posts delivered straight to your inbox each month. 
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Webinars

Genrefication

Okay, so I might be a bit keen on genrefication. I’m so excited to be collaborating with EduWebinar (a fantastic source of PD) to present the webinar Genrefication: Beyond the Buzzword. Join us on September 15, 2021 at 7pm AEST. It’s free for EduWebinar members and $30 for non-members. You can find about more about what we’ll be discussing and register on the EduWebinar website. 

Genrefication:Beyond The Buzzword – Webinar – EduWebinar – Free for members, $30 – 15 September, 2021

 

The pandemic changed how we operated libraries. Some things we had to do and some things were fantastic opportunities to reach out clients in new ways. Every Library Institute is offering a free, on-demand webinar that covers things like patron expectations, safe spaces, reengaging communities, and flexibility.  

Designing the Post-Pandemic Library – Webinar – Future Library Institute – Free – Online anytime.

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Book Review: A Galaxy of Sea Stars

A Galaxy of Sea Stars – Jeanne Zulick Ferruolo – Farrar, Straus and Giroux – Published 4 February 2020

♥♥♥♥♥

 

Synopsis

At a time when everything in her small town of Seaside, Rhode Island, seems like it’s changing, eleven-year-old Izzy Vitale wants things to stay the same. She wants her dad to start acting like he did before he was deployed to Afghanistan, she wants her mom to move back to the marina where they live, but most of all, she wants best friends – Piper and Zelda (dubbed the Sea Star Posse by their kindergarten teacher) – to stay best friends as they begin sixth grade at the regional middle school.

Then, Izzy’s father invites his former Army interpreter from Afghanistan and his whole family – including eleven-year-old Sitara — to move into the upstairs apartment at the marina. Izzy doesn’t know what to make of Sitara with her hijab and refusal to eat cafeteria food. She does know that her constant presence has become like a rogue wave disrupting the normally easy flow of the Sea Star Posse. But as Izzy gets to know Sitara, she can’t help but admire her self-confidence and pride in her Muslim faith. Little by little, Izzy begins to realize there exists a world much larger than her safe but insulated harbor in Seaside.

When hate messages start showing up at the girls school and at the marina, Izzy and Sitara team up to discover the source of the vandalism. But what Izzy ultimately learns, will force her to make a choice: remain silent and betray Sitara or speak up for what she knows is right – even if it means losing the Sea Star Posse forever.

My thoughts

A Galaxy of Sea Stars is middle grade fiction at its finest. These young girls are just discovering their independence but with these changes come challenges to long-held friendship, discovering things you never knew, looking at life differently and learning to look past your own experiences to consider the feelings of others.

Izzy and her two best friends are the Sea Stars, best friends since they were little. With a new school to navigate and new classes, Izzy is determined to keep the group together. When Izzy’s father invites the interpreter he worked with in Afghanistan and his family to move in, Izzy is worried. Why isn’t her mother moving back home and what will the Sea Stars say about Sitara, who is Izzy’s age and isn’t scared of standing out or explaining about her beliefs?

Izzy is an authentic young teen. She is struggling to balance what she knows and feels is right with trying desperately to hold onto what is comfortable and known in her life. She is right on the cusp of growing up – sometime sounding like a mature teen and other times reverting back to more childish displays of emotion (and sadly, even as an adult I could totally relate to these meltdowns). Growing up is hard, especially when navigating changes in schools, friendship and family circumstances. It’s something so many young people face today, especially family breakdown. Izzy wants her family to go back to the way it was and doesn’t understand why her mother can’t just come home. She also struggles to come to terms with the changes she has seen in her father since he has come back from serving in Afghanistan. These two points aren’t explored in too much depth, the focus of the story remains on other things, but Izzy does come to accept her mother’s choice, she loves and accepts her fathers, and her parents work harder at explaining things to Izzy and making her more comfortable with the new living arrangements.

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Book Review: Jinxed

Jinxed – Amy McCulloch – Simon & Schuster (Aus) – Published 9 August 2018

♥♥♥♥

 

Synopsis

Lacey Chu has big dreams of becoming a companioneer for MONCHA, the largest tech firm in North America and the company behind the  “baku” – a customisable smart pet that functions as a phone but makes the perfect companion too. When Lacey finds out she hasn’t been accepted into Profectus – the elite academy for cutting edge tech – it seems her dreams are over. Worst of all, rather than getting to choose one of the advanced bakus, she’s stuck with a rubbish insect one. 

Then, one night, Lacey comes across the remains of an advanced baku. Once it might’ve been in the shape of a cat but it’s now mangled and broken, no sign of electronic life behind its eyes. Days of work later and the baku opens its eyes. Lacey calls him Jinx – and Jinx opens up a world for her that she never even knew existed, including entry to the hallowed halls of Profecus. Slowly but surely, Jinx becomes more than just a baku to Lacey – he becomes her perfect companion. But what is Jinx, really? His abilities far surpass anything written into his code or built into his motherboard. He seems to be more than just a robotic pet. He seems … real.

My thoughts

Jinxed is a fun, near-futuristic science-fiction novel that will appeal to young teen readers, especially those interested in STEM.

Lacey Chu’s one dream is to become a companioneer with the biggest tech company Moncha, the creators of the Baku – part smartphone part animal companion. But when she is rejected entry to the prestigious academy Profectus, a second chance unexpectedly arrives in the form of a broken Level 3 Baku. Lacey spends the summer fixing the robotic cat before joining her new classmates. She hopes no one will discover the way she was admitted or Jinx’s secret – he doesn’t act or communicate like a normal Baku. But the school-run Baku Battles throw Lacey and Jinx into the spotlight.

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