SLG training day: Literacy across learning

A group of North Lanarkshire LRCMs had a thoroughly wonderful time at the Literacy across Learning SLG day in Edinburgh and as with all good training, came away buzzing with inspiration.

Most of the ideas, videos and tools discussed are available through the Glow Literacy Group. A new community group for librarians is on the cards if they get enough interest, although the current arrangement of librarians, teachers and others all together actually works well.

Naturally, different things will have struck a chord with different people but what follows are a few ideas that have stayed with me.

In the morning, the work was led by the Literacy Team from Education Scotland, Hilary Bombart and Claire Hancox, who kicked things off by asking us to draw our favourite texts without any words. Groans ensued as we tried to (a) think of a favourite text and (b) draw it!

I’m sure everyone in the room was aware that  ‘texts’ mean more than books, but as I tried to work out another’s masterpiece (hi Nicola!), I realised that I was still trying to work out a book title from the drawing, which was actually a map. A very effective reminder and a very simple idea.

Librarians’ roles in schools obviously vary across the country, but we covered a wide range of topics, from assessing reliability of texts, to promoting higher order thinking skills and questioning (take a bow,  the  Thunks website (Ian Gilbert – little questions with big answers. e.g. ‘Do crabs think that humans walk sideways?’)

Other ideas of simple genius included the Bloom’s Taxonomy Fan – colour coded questions to match the stages of  Bloom’s Taxonomy, laminated and attached with a paper clip to make a fan – and 5 into 3 – synthesize information by getting pupils in groups to reduce a text to 5 bullet points, and then negotiating with another team to reduce the bullet points to just 3.

In the afternoon, staff from Falkirk Council discussed the RED Book Award, Fiona Devoy talked about her experiences of the Kids Lit Quiz, and Kat Brach from Shetland shared her S3 Geography investigation techniques (more details on the SLG Scotland blog).

We subsequently split into groups to discuss how to involve departments that don’t use the LRC, keeping our existing customers happy and ideas for reading for pleasure. The results have again been posted on the SLG Scotland blog.

I had my eyes opened by the number of classes attending the Edinburgh Book Festival. OK, they were mostly Edinburgh schools, but some of them still got to spend two whole days there! (Do you think they’d consider moving it in a westerly direction for a year?)

But the idea of the day for me came from Kat Brach again. Demonstrating the value of good notes, she showed a slide covered in grey shapes and asked us to count the various circles, triangles and squares, not an easy task with such a jumble. Then she showed another slide with the same number of shapes, this time brought together, and colour coded. The visible impact was startling.

Now that’s sharing good practice- thanks, Kat!

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Categories: Literacy, PRD / CPD, Professional associations | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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