The illiterate of the 21st Century

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.

Alvin Toffler

Alvin Toffler

Again, again! That is the best way to learn to read

Pushy parents who spend a small fortune lavishing books on their young children in the hope of giving them a head start before primary school may be wasting their time and money, according to experts.

In reality, as every child knows, the business of helping pre-school children learn their first words is surprisingly simple – repetition and familiarity. A favourite book read over and over again trumps the mini-library of children’s books found in some British households. As the saying goes, less is more. =>

Exhausted from organising and directing students? The Daily Five

The Daily Five

Gail Boushey

Do you love teaching but feel exhausted from the energy you expend cajoling, disciplining, and directing students on a daily basis? If so, you’ll want this book ….

Exhausted from organising and directing students? The Daily Five

The Daily Five

Gail Boushey

Do you love teaching but feel exhausted from the energy you expend cajoling, disciplining, and directing students on a daily basis? If so, you’ll want this book ….

Random House Awards for Teachers

Random House has announced the Random House Teacher Awards, which recognises “dynamic and resourceful teachers” who use their creativity to inspire and successfully instill a love of reading in their students”. Open to full and part-time teachers in public schools, the awards will be presented by Crown author Jonathan Kozol at the National Council of Teachers of English annual convention during the “Mentoring Matters” breakfast, held November 16 in Las Vegas.

Awards consist of a $10,000 first place grant, $5,000 second place grant and a $2,500 third place grant payable to each teacher’s school. Book donations will be made to winners and runners-up. More information, including application guidelines, can be found here.

Mother’s literacy pivotal to kids’ academic success (study)

U.S. researchers concluded that a mother’s reading skill when her children are young is the most critical factor influencing her children’s future academic success, even more important than other factors such as family and neighborhood income.

See the article at:

Reading with Blend Phonics

Blend Phonics Presentation 1

A brief introductory demonstration lesson for Hazel Loring’s
Reading Made Easy with Blend Phonics in First Grade by Don
Potter. Visit or to
download this free, yet powerful, phonics-first program.

Is technology producing a decline in critical thinking and analysis?

This report summarises research undertaken by Patricia M Greenfield, University of California, Los Angeles, USA. Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Director of the Children’s Digital Media Center, Los Angeles.
A more extended article on this topic, written by Professor Greenfield, appears in the 2 January 2009 edition of Science.

She writes: Technology has changed familiar patterns of learning. As technology has played a bigger role in our lives, our visual skills have improved while our skills in critical thinking and analysis have declined.
This article reports on these and other findings of Professor Patricia M Greenfield, a psychologist who has analysed more than 50 studies on learning and technology, including multitasking and the use of computers, the internet and video games.

The article concludes:
Schools should ensure that students have the opportunity to access and work with a broad range of media, balancing new media with traditional forms of reading. Parents should encourage their children to read and should read to
their young children. No single medium can develop the variety of skills needed by today’s learners. A balanced media diet will facilitate both the visual intelligence skills obtained through new media, and the deep processing skills best learnt through traditional media.

Read it here

Developing toddler literacy

A great set of tips on how to play and learn with your toddler – developing language and literacy – using reading and playing.

Great for parents, but also as a handout for a library to use.

Toddler Learning Tips for Parents

Somerset International Conference for Librarians and Teachers

registration for the 2010 Somerset
International Conference for Librarians and Teachers is now open.

The theme ‘Reading Locally, Learning Globally: creating a universal experience’ will
provide an excellent opportunity for delegates to hear and learn from
international library professionals and literary specialists.

Registration covers two days of wonderful Professional Development.
Conference Monday will be held on 15 March 2010 at an exciting new venue
– Conrad Jupiters Hotel, Broadbeach on the Gold Coast. Workshop Tuesday will
be held at the Somerset College Library on 16 March 2010.

Presenters at the 2010 Somerset International Conference include:

*        Dr Carol Gordon – Associate Professor at Rutgers University,
School of Communication and Information and Co-Director of the Centre for
International Scholarship in School  Libraries
*        Janet DeNeefe – founder and Director of the Ubud Writers &
Readers Festival
*        James Moloney and Anthony Eaton – award wining Australian
*        Kevin Hennah – Retail and Library Consultant
*        Keith Webster – Librarian and Director of Learning Services at
the University of Queensland
*        Marj Kirkland – CBCA National President
*        Maggie Garrard – Education Officer Australian Children’s
Television Foundation

This, the 9th Somerset International Conference for Librarians and Teachers,
promises to be a valuable, enlightening and professionally rewarding event
for all. Registration is available both on line (credit card only) and via
the attached registration form. Early Registration discounts apply until 8th
February 2010.

Further details will be posted on the Conference Website and information
will be updated on a regular basis. As always, should you have any queries
please do not hesitate to contact me directly.

I would like to thank you for your continued support and look forward to
welcoming you to the Gold Coast in March 2010.

Best wishes

Andrew J Stark
Head of Library Services and
Somerset International Conference Director<