Penguin Teachers’ Academy

I was very excited and proud to be asked by the lovely Tye Cattanach to deliver the full day professional learning event for Penguin Teachers’ Academy on Friday 8 March in Melbourne.

I’ll be presenting on innovative reading and book promotion techniques using ICT and will focus on:

  • The Readers’ Cup – a free reading competition for Victorian schools
  • Book promotion and sharing students’ responses to text using ICT
  • eBooks. How we’re using eBooks at Kew High School
It is $120 for the full day, which is a bargain in my opinion. If you are interested, you can access more information and the booking form here. Also have a look at the day run by Corrie Barclay on ICT for Primary literacy at the same link.


I had a dream

One night earlier this year, I had a dream where I was hosting the Readers’ Cup State Finals competition in conjunction with my friend and former colleague Reina Phung. Although I had voluntarily assisted SLAV to run the inaugural RC State Finals in 2009, they were no longer able to commit to their role again.

So. taking the dream as inspiration, I talked Reina into assisting me and as a bonus, another friend and former colleague, Jan Connor, came on board as well. We are all part timers with family commitments, so it meant we were able to find the time to meet and plan as well as offer the competition free of charge to schools.

The day of the Readers’ Cup State Finals arrived and it was with much excitement that students and teachers arrived, ready for the competition.

It was terrific to see the team signs the students had made identifying them for the judges, but also showing their creativity and individuality.

We began by asking four questions for the following books:

  • Ship Kings – the coming of the whirlpool
  • Dragon Keeper 4 – blood brothers

Then we had our creative round where teams created a digital interpretation of one of the four books studied. These were all so very different and engaging, showing a wide range of skills and creativity. Videos, interviews, videogames, quizzes and more were shown to an appreciative audience.

Rounds three and four encompassed:

  • Coraline
  • Diary of a whimpy kid – cabin fever

It was an extremely close competition with the following results (out of a total of 24):

  1. Gossip Group (23 points)
  2. Icy Bubbles (22.5 points)
  3. Razzledazzlers of Jazzmatazzles and 8 Grevillia (21 points each)
  4. 8 Fern and Computer Nerds ((20 points each)
  5. Extremely Mad Karate Chimps (18 points)
  6. Super Cool Crystal Jewel (17 points)

Congratulations to all students and their teachers for their hard work and organisation. We hope to see you all (and a few more teams) back again next year!

Huge thanks to Quantum Victoria and Allen and Unwin for their support. Thanks also to Reina Phung and Jan Connor who helped me organise the day. This enabled the Readers’ Cup to be run free of charge for schools.

Some dreams do come true. They may just take a little (or a lot) of work.

The Readers’ Cup State Finals are back in Victoria. And this time they’re free


This year, along with former colleague Reina Phung, I am organising the Readers’ Cup State final for Victorian schools. We are doing this in our spare time and as such, the final will be free for schools to attend.

There will be a limited number of spaces for teams at years 3 & 4, 5 & 6, 7 & 8 and 9 & 10.

Competing at state level is good for school team building. Competition among different schools also has the benefit of encouraging the sharing of books and ideas.

It is also a lot of fun and a great way to celebrate books and reading. All digital entries will be uploaded to the Readers’ Cup blog and could be featured on individual school websites; what a great way to promote reading!

Prizes will be made available to winning schools thanks to publishers Allen and Unwin and a perpetual trophy will be awarded for each section, which should be proudly displayed back at the winning schools. For more information on what the Readers’ Cup is all about, click here.

The Readers’ Cup is held by other states, so there is a possibility that winning teams may even be able to compete interstate.

The Victorian Readers’ Cup State final will be held in Melbourne in November 2012. If you are interested in the Readers’ Cup, please fill out the attached form and follow @readerscup on Twitter and Facebook.

Library to do list 2012

So I returned to work yesterday and very pleased to be back. I have a lot of things on my to do list this year and now I’m 0.4, I’ve got more of a chance of achieving them. So here goes:

Ereader survey for school website
Diigo for subjects, link to wiki
Pininterest for new books and topics?
Book blog using posterous? Add book trailers. Use that URL for QR code new books there too
Podcasts for wiki
QR codes for fiction
Add list of useful apps to wiki
Douchey’s podcasts for wiki biology page
Readers Cup. Do at years 7-8 and 9-10
Link blogs to Twitter using Twitterfeed
Investigate Overdrive with a visit to Jenny Luca’s school

This is above and beyond what will be required of me in terms of providing professional learning for staff. The good news is that the Heads of Library and English support the idea of the Readers Cup wholeheartedly; the Principal agreed to a library Twitter account and I’ve started that as well as a book and reading blog and Diigo account. I’ve linked the blogs to Twitterfeed and Diigo via Packratius. I’m pleased with my progress considering we had meetings until 2.30pm yesterday and I don’t return to work until Monday.

I’m also really pleased how supportive the admin are and most teachers seemed genuinely pleased to be back. I’m looking forward to what else might appear on my radar in 2012. I wonder what it might be? What’s on your 2012 to do list?