Author Archives: cathymacintyre

The 2016 Carnegie Shadowing Experience

There is never enough time to do everything you plan to do. I knew that I would struggle to persuade students to join the new Shadowing Group, everyone is so busy and pressure is on the students to finish assignments, portfolios, exams etc. I received the Carnegie publicity material, bought a set of the shortlisted books and proceeded to put up my Carnegie display in the centre of the library.

The Head of English told me that she had three girls interested in joining the Group, oh well I thought to myself we’ll just go with three, after all they say that it is the quality not the quantity that is important. As the day progressed I noticed a girl hovering around the display, I asked her if she would give some thought to joining our Group. Then at lunchtime a couple of boys came in, again drawn to the display, so I asked them and they said that they would come to the meeting to find out what it was all about. They spoke to two other friends and before I realised what had happened I had eight students in my little Group, four boys and four girls, perfect!

They worked so hard and really contributed to the meetings, the teachers supported us by allowing the students to attend the meetings. Two of the Group entered the ‘Journey’ writing competition, sadly they never won,books were read and the Shadowing Magazine was completed. I am so proud of their commitment to the Shadowing process and the Shadowing Magazinemagazine_preview 2 turned out so well!

Cathy MacIntyre

Learning Resource Centre Manager

Taylor High School

Categories: Book Awards, Magazines, Reading, School Librarians, Stuff and things | Leave a comment

Taylor High pupils welcome Keith Gray on a balmy afternoon in April

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A select number of S3 students welcomed Keith Gray on a balmy Thursday afternoon to the library at Taylor High School. This visit had been anticipated for several months and when the day arrived the students didn’t actually know what to expect.

We had estimated approximately 20 students attending the session but 25 turned up on the day. This was a “Creative Writing Workshop” usually lasting 90 minutes but due to timing factors Keith had to condense it into a 60 minute slot. As you can see everything was going according to plan (or not!).

Keith had asked for a flip chart, paper and pens for the students. Each student had to write 3 things about themselves and then pass their paper on to the person beside them. This was carried out very sheepishly, then Keith encouraged them to build their story by asking them numerous questions and getting them to write down various words.

As the session progressed all the students became involved with what was happening and with what they were being asked to do. The time passed so quickly, eventually Keith asked some students to read parts of their story out loud and I was surprised at how willing the group were to do this. They were enthralled with the session to such an extent that some stayed behind to interview Keith for a school project.

Categories: Author visits, Authors, Creativity, Curriculum for Excellence, Events, Literacy | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Taylor High’s Carnegie Experience

Logo courtesy of CKG

Logo courtesy of CKG

This was the first time that Taylor High School had taken part in the Carnegie Medal Shadowing Scheme, I thought that it would be a fun way to encourage pupils to read a variety of books, engage in discussion, review and post online to the dedicated shadowing page on the Shadowing Site.

We had seven S3 girls meeting twice a week in the library. The discussions were very lively as their reading preferences varied immensely.

A colourful display promoted the 8 shortlisted books, the Carnegie Shadowing Scheme and all the free publicity material including posters, bookmarks and stickers.

We linked in with the school’s iPad initiative, the girls signed a contract whereby they were allowed to take the iPads home initially for the Easter holidays. This iPad pilot was so successful that the group were allowed to extend their contract until the end of May.

The books were downloaded onto the iPads providing the ability not only to read the books but electronically highlight certain paragraphs and passages. They also had the opportunity to discuss the books with each other before posting their reviews on the Group Page.

They enjoyed having access to their Group Page, they could post reviews, create blogs, chart their favourite Carnegie books, create videos. The group also entered the ‘Shadowing Competition for the Best Shadowing Group Magazine’ There is a chance to win tickets for 12 shadowers and 2 adults to attend the awards ceremony in London on 22nd June plus other prizes.

This was a pilot scheme so group feedback was very important. They loved having responsibility for the iPad and the downloaded books but most of them still preferred the hard copy to the e-book.

Our meetings took place in the library during their English periods, latterly this caused some tension as some within the group felt that they were missing important coursework. So we compromised, one English one other subject.

We were late setting up a group so the S3 girls were picked as they were all good readers. At the first meeting they all maintained that they would be able to read all the books within the allocated timescale. Due to the different types of genre and content within some of the books this was not possible. They recommended that future Shadowers should divide the books between themselves and that more time be set aside to achieve the aims of the project.

Every member enjoyed taking part in the pilot but suggested that next year we widen the group to include boys and girls of mixed reading ability

They predicted that the 2015 Carnegie Medal winners would be:

  1. Cuckoo Song                                      Frances Hardinge
  2. The Fastest Boy in the World        Elizabeth Laird
  3. Tinder                                                 Sally Gardner

 

Cathy  MacIntyre

Learning Resource Centre Manager

 

Categories: Curriculum for Excellence, Librarians, Literacy, School Librarians | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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