We celebrate World Day for Cultural Diversity here at ISGR Guldheden tomorrow so it’s a good time to let you know what a great response I’ve had with our Read Around the World project! The children have read books from over 50 different countries or cities! Not only has it been a fun challenge but it will help me identify gaps or biases in our collection. It’s important that although our books are written in english or swedish, our library develops to reflect our international community and the stories of our diverse global population.
Another display that provoked a lot of interest was the banned books display earlier in spring. The children learnt about which children’s books have been banned in various countries now and in the past. We discussed the idea of freedom of speech and reasons why governments, schools, or librarians might justify banning books. Most children were incredulous to find out that classics such as Harry Potter, Roald Dahl’s Matilda and The Witches, Charlotte’s Web and Where The Wild Things Are, have all been banned at some point. They were also relieved that here in Sweden, book banning does not happen and they are free to choose whichever books they like.
This week and next week, students will be borrowing from the library for the last time before all books have to be returned before summer holiday and the end of term. If you know you are leaving early please ensure your child’s books are returned to the library before travelling.
On the last library sessions during week 24 (and even next for a few classes), I will reveal this year’s ISGR Summer Reading Challenge! Watch this space!
Thank you to everybody who helped organise, contributed to and took part in this year’s ISGR reading reading festival. We had a beautiful creative time up in the library redesigning book covers and a fab dress-up day. There was an extra special mystery reader for 2E and 4E, can you spot who it is in the photo with me? There were lots of reading related activities going on in classrooms and it was a complete pleasure to do the readathon with the children after school on Thursday.
Nothing warms the heart of a librarian more than a library full of happy, earnestly reading children! The children, through their silent reading, have raised an amazing 4340kr!! The most common suggestion was to use the money to help people affected by the earthquake in Turkey and Syria (many children had been reading about it in the First News newspaper in the library) so I’ve sent off this amount to Unicef who are currently working with children and families in the earthquake zone. Thank you to all the readers, sponsors and donors out there!
One small thing to mention before you look at the photos below, we have ended the subscription to Storytime magazine after a lot of delivery issues. If you were one of the families who had access to the Storytime Hub, this will also come to an end. Check out the online resources page on this blog for many alternative great story sites.
It’s been ‘all go’ in the library since term started in January. Diplomas were given out to students who took part in the winter reading challenge. This year students could choose between quizzes to test their knowledge of Harry Potter or The Diary of the Wimpy Kid or to take home a reading bingo.
January saw the launch of our new interactive display ‘Read around the world’. Students are encouraged to read story books from our library that are about other countries. If they’ve enjoyed them, I’ll print out the cover and put it on our map. This way we can read around the world together and share stories about other cultures and countries. The students can contribute all the way till summer so it will be interesting to see how full the map gets and if we have any gaps!
The first contribution on the map was the book Woodsong by Gary Paulsen that some grade 5 students read with me as part of a mini book group in December last year. It was really fun reading and discussing this wild book about dogsledding and the Alaskan wilderness with them. Thanks to Aarush, Anush, Quoc Toan, Arvid and Vikhyaat for being part of the wild ride!
Reading Festival 2023!
Week 9 will be our annual ISGR Reading Festival and we’ve got lots of ideas planned for filling the school with reading and creativity. Don’t forget Friday is the day to dress-up as your favorite book character. Photos to come!
After school on Thursday 2nd March we will be holding a Readathon as we have done in previous years. This is a chance to raise money for a charity (of the students choosing) through simply quiet reading. Parents, friends or neighbours can sponsor a child a certain amount to read for a set amount of time. Everyone taking part will gather in the library after school on Thursday to read quietly and cosily together and staff will be present to sign off the forms, noting for how long they have read for. Full details are available on the sponsorship forms which will be given out at school to those who are interested. If your child goes to PAL and wishes to take part, don’t forget to discuss this with the PAL teachers first.
We’ve had a great term in the library since autumn break. PYP Students have been risk-takers and trying out unfamiliar books that have won the Newbery Literary Award. The American book prize has been awarded annually for 100 years (1922-2022) so some of the books are considered modern classics now and were published decades ago. I challenged them to think about whether they thought the books were still outstanding by today’s standards. On the Swedish shelves, we’ve been celebrating great international illustrators and authors with Astrid Lindgren’s Memorial Award (ALMA) prize-winning books. This prize, set up in the famous Swedish author’s honour, also celebrated 20 years in 2022. Prizes are also occasionally nominated to international organisations that promote literacy. I also displayed books by the nominees of the 2023 prize… who will win next year?
The leaves have fallen from the Why Read tree, just like those outside. Here are some of the reasons to read your children came up with:
Now our minds are turning towards Christmas and the winter break so the shelves are now full of these types of books, perfect for cozy dark winter evenings.
It is also nearly time to launch the annual ISGR winter reading challenge with the children! This year I’ll be using quizzes created by the fabulous Barnens bibliotek (www.barnensbibliotek.se) that will be available in the original Swedish and that I’ve translated to English. There are quizzes to test the knowledge of Harry Potter and Diary of a Wimpy Kid fans and a wintery reading bingo for the children to choose from. Good luck everyone!
Children will still be able to borrow books over the winter break but if you are travelling abroad, please make sure the library books don’t get left behind!
Finally I want to wish everybody a (slightly premature) happy festive season, happy holidays and happy reading!
Now we are a few weeks into term and borrowing is in full swing, I wanted to write a quick welcome post from the library. We may be temporarily one (wo)man down but all classes are still coming every week to borrow books and get reading tips and inspiration. I am also very grateful to my parent volunteers who have been so helpful already this term. The new book display is overflowing with new fiction and over the next few weeks we’ll have fiction and nonfiction displays celebrating Health Week , UN (FN) day and of course the popular Halloween display before the autumn break. On Thursday and Friday in week 36 we celebrated International Literacy Day together with Göta campus. During which, we promoted Malala’s books to showcase how many children internationally still fight for the chance to learn to read and write. And of course, apart from our books, we still have our popular listening station and subscriptions to the fabulous Storytime magazine and First News. The online resources page on the blog is updated too, so check out some of the amazing resources on there to support reading enjoyment and learning at home.
If you didn’t get the chance to see the reorganised library during Open House, here are some photos of our beautiful school library. Here’s to a wonderful autumn term in the library! – Librarian Sophie
We’ve got a few last things to say before you start your summer holidays!
First of all: thank you for a wonderful school year! Or had I already said that? 😉 Thank you for reading with your children, for helping them remember to return their books, and for taking time to read our library blog. I know from experience that there’s a lot to keep track of in life, and library is yet another thing. Thanks for helping us make that thing special!
We’ve had very cozy library lessons last week. While the students were coloring, playing games and reading, I was able to go through all their accounts and check if there were any books still to be returned. Most books are now safely in the library. One student walked in yesterday, and exclaimed, “Wow! So many books! Mindblowing!”. To give an example: usually there are one or two Dog Man books in our graphic novel section, now they’re about 25 Dog Man books sitting on the shelves!
Last Friday, we had our last book club meeting… with author Kristin O’Donnell Tubb! It was magical! The conversation that came out of the Q & A sessions was informative and inspiring. The students had such interesting questions, and Kristin had very insightful answers. Kristin explained to us that she writes because of the connections we can make through stories. This certainly was true for us in that moment: we connected for 90 minutes, sharing our thoughts, feelings and ideas regarding The Story Collector, the book we had read together over the last few months. I would like to thank all the students in our ISGR book club, their parents for helping them log on every month, and of course Kristin for allowing us to ask her so many questions! We have learned tons, and I hope to do this again!
Some students asked about the ISGR Summer Reading Bingo. Here it is:
This is the last full week of school. Full week? Not even that; as today is Sweden’s National Day! It’s hard to believe that we are so close to the end of another school year already!
Before I continue with the Creative School update, the general library news, and the PYP library times, there is something I’d like to share with you. Next school year, I will be on study leave. I will be focusing on learning Swedish (properly! finally!) through the SFI program. I am very excited about this. But of course, I am also sad to leave the students, the ISGR community and “my” library behind for a year. Times goes fast though, and before you know it, another school year will have passed by!
The library will be different next year, as I will not be replaced. Thankfully, Sophie will be there as the librarian, but there will be no library teacher. What that means for the students, the teachers, and the library services itself is unclear at the moment. More information will follow at the start of the new school year. We hope that, when my study leave is finished, I can come back to my role as the library teacher, but that hasn’t been confirmed. The library will be there, that is not going to change. And there will be a (part-time) librarian. But other than that, we will see what the future holds for us! Hopefully mountains of beautiful books, hours of joyful reading and an abundance of reading tips!
The PYP and LGRP F and 1 students had a great time with musician Danilo Borgerth last week! They had a chance to try out two different guitars, and two very fun (and unusual!) instruments. Thanks, Danilo! As one of the teachers said, “It was very fun and much appreciated!”
General Library News
We ask you to please return ALL library books this week! Be sure to bring all your library books to school and return them during your library time, or after-school time. Thank you!
Our school will be closed during the summer holidays, and so will our school library. To continue reading through the summer, get yourself an account with the public library. It’s easy and free to arrange! Click HERE for more information.
Everyone is invited to complete the ISGR Summer Reading Bingo during the holidays! You can download the ISGR Summer Reading Bingo below, in both English and Swedish. Please note: this is not a challenge with a celebration or a present, as we’ve done in previous years. No need to show us the completed Bingo sheet. This is just for you, just for fun! Happy Reading!
There is a fun reading promotion event at the Guldhedsbibliotek (the public library branch at Dr. Fries Torget, close to our school) on Thursday, 16/6, from 14.00 – 16.00. All children are welcome to get their “book bag of summer goodies”! Click HERE for more information.
PYP Library News
This week, we will have our last library lesson! I will tell the students about my study leave next year, and maybe we have time for a last read aloud. Students are welcome to play games like chess and story cubes, or to color in a book mark – or simply relax and read!
Since the classes that usually come on Mondays, don’t have their library lesson this week, they will return their books on Monday 13/6. PYP 5 students may return their books this week (after school), as their last school day is on Monday 13/6! Thank you!
Sophie and I will send you one last “Happy Summer and Goodbye!” greeting next week, along with some summer reading tips. And that will then be the last library blog post for a while!
Dear Readers, it’s hard to believe that we’ve reached the end of May – and very soon, we will reach the end of another school year!
Creative School Workshops: Funded by the National Council of the Arts
In week 20, we had a great time with art teacher and designer Nathan Clydesdale. He taught the PYP and LGRP 4 students about clay and sculpting. He encouraged them to think about their future self and what they’d need to know in their lives (or rather, reminded of!). All students were engaged, open-minded and creative! Thank you to all the mentor teacher, students and – of course – Nathan for these amazing Creative School workshops! And thank you to the National Council of the Arts for funding these events.
Last week, we welcomed artist and art teacher Rachel Barron to our school for another round of Creative School workshops. She worked with the PYP and LGRP 2 and 3 students on creating images out of simple shapes, through stamping. Students learned about pattern, color, and shapes through experimenting with the different stamps and ink pads Rachel had made and brought. There were also mirrors to use and play with. The students loved it! Thank you, Rachel!
This week, musician Danilo Borgerth will come and work with the PYP and LGRP F and 1 students! They will explore how you can express gratitude through music. We are excited to welcome Danilo to our school! Danilo’s music workshops will be the last round of Creative School Workshops for this school year.
General Library News
Last week on Wednesday, we had our last ever Usborne Book Sale with Yvonne! She brought about 302 books to us, and sold 136 of them! So thank you to all the parents, teachers and students! Because of your purachse, we’ve received free books for the library as well. They will be available to check out in the new school year. Yvonne said that, of all the schools she’s visited over the years, ISGR has the strongest reading culture. That’s nice to hear, right?
Elise Gravel’s books and stickers have arrived, as you know. Most of the students have picked up their books, but not all. You can do that from tomorrow on, in the library after school. Thank you!
The new Storytime magazine has arrived! We’re experiencing a delay in the delivery of the magazines, which has nothing to do with Storytime (I know they mail the magazines to us as soon as they can). But the April issue is finally here now, and we hope that the May issue will be here soon too!
A resource pack for the April issue can be found HERE. You can read “the stories behind the stories” on their blog HERE.
For the families who have Storytime Hub accounts, they can access both the April and May issues. There, you can listen to or read (or do both at the same time) all the stories from the magazine. We currently have 60 Hub accounts, which we’re allowed to keep for free over the summer! I will send out an email in a few weeks to find out who would like to keep their Hub account over the summer, and who doesn’t. We’ve got about 30 families on the “waiting list” for an account, so maybe we can do some switching around. More information on that soon!
PYP Library Times
This week is the last week to check out books! Next week all school library books need to be returned.
All library books from the public library – that you have loaned via us – will need to be returned this week, please!
This week, during circle time, we will explain to the students how to create a public library, if they don’t have one already. And I hope to have time for a read aloud as well!
This week and next week, we might reach out to you to inquire about long overdues.
Looking ahead, our library lesson next week will look like this:
It was an exciting week last week! So many new books to share, and such great STEAM books to promote. We are going to keep our STEAM and new books up on the display this week as well, so everyone gets a chance to read at them.
In this week’s post you will find information about the Storyweaver website, the Usborne Book Sale (25/5), more new books and… the video which I have been promising for the last couple of weeks! And of course, the plans for the PYP library times.
General Library News
In last week’s blog post, we put photos up of our new books in different Indian languages. We’d also like to highlight the reading and listening website StoryWeaver. There are 45.000 stories to read, in 314 languages! Pratham Books, the publisher behind this website, is passionate about making books accessible to as many children as possible:
“Since 2004, Pratham Books has been creating engaging storybooks in multiple languages and formats to help children discover the joy of reading – in languages they can understand, set in locations they can recognise, featuring characters with whom they can identify, and telling stories that capture their attention and fuel their imagination. Fired by our mission of ‘A book in every child’s hand’, we realised that in order to accelerate progress towards SDG 4, we need innovative solutions that bring books to children in a scalable and sustainable manner. In 2015, we created StoryWeaver – a new platform approach for book creation and distribution – that is taking books to some of the most disadvantaged children globally, particularly where chronic under-investment in the availability of mother tongue reading resources poses a significant barrier to literacy.” Read their full story HERE.
As you probably know, Yvonne Kennedy has been coming to our school for the past five years. She’s brought Usborne Books to our ISGR families, and our school library – because with every book sale the school received free books. Yvonne will not be working with Usborne Books anymore, so she will have one last book sale here at our school! She is going to bring all the books she’s got in stock, and will sell them at a reduced price.
Here are photos of the books on offer:
If you’d like, you can pre-order book(s). Here is how it works:
Yvonne will email you back with instructions for payment. She will set the book aside for you as soon as it’s been paid for.
On Wednesday the 25th, after school at the book sale, your child can pick up the book.
If you’d like to keep track of which books are still available, you can see that HERE in this spreadsheet. Yvonne will do her best to keep it updated. First come, first serve!
You don’t have to pre-order! You can also just stop by with your child(ren) at the Usborne book sale on Wednesday, May 25th, 14.30 – 16.00 (above the reception)! Payments can be made with cash or swish. See you there!
More new books in the library! Take a look, and see what you’d like to read with your children:
Finally! HERE is the compilation video in which students tell us about their favorite stories and books, and why it is their favorite story or book. It’s quite long, but I hope you can sit back, relax and enjoy!
When I was in the Sci-Fi Book store (again), I saw this poster, and I thought I’d share it with you. You’d might like to be part of, or just watch, this parade on Thursday, May 26th. It’s basically like the Dress Up Day we had at the end of our ISGR Reading Festival, but then times a 100! They start walking at Götaplatsen, and then down to Domkyrkan. Read more about this event HERE.
PYP Library Times
This week, during our library lessons, I will give the students a bit of logistical information about the next few weeks (see below), show them our new books, and read a picture book to them. That’s right, a picture book to all classes, all the way up to PYP 5. Picture books can be pieces of art, and can be enjoyed by all ages. I’ll share a few of my favorites, hoping they’d be checked out by the studens throughout the week.
The logistical information concerning reserving, checking out and returning books:
Week 20 (this week): Last week to reserve books from our school library, but only if there are no more than three students waiting in line. No more inter-library loans (i.e. no more reservations from the public library).
Week 21: No more reservations from the public library, nor our school library. Students can start reserving books again when we start back up in August.
Week 22: Return ALL public library books. Last week to check out books from our school library.
Week 23: Return ALL books! No checking out books. Students will receive information about how to get a public library card, so they can read through the summer break!
In the next few weeks, you might receive an email from us reminding you to help your child find and return their library books. Thank you in advance for your book-hunting!
Here are a few last notes on the Reading Festival events:
We have received two more Read-A-Thon donations (total 400 sek), which I swished to Rädda Barnen (see receipt below). The next day, we realized how close we were to 4000 sek, so I swished the remaining few kroner. So in total we’ve raised 4000 SEK during this year’s Read-A-Thon. Wow! Thank you!
Last week, both in the PYP and LGRP classes, we have reflected on the author-illustrator workshops with Hanna Olausson, Elise Gravel and Victoria Jamieson. All students were very positive! We have written down their detailed and specific learnings, which we will feed back to Kulturrådet (The National Council of the Arts), as part of the Skapande Skola (Creative School) cycle. After the events, you have to submit your evaluation as well as your accounting of the events. When they approve of our evaluation, it means that we don’t have to pay back the grant we have received.
The compilation video with students’ reasons for their favorite books and stories is finished but quite long (11 mins!). I am trying to figure out how to get it off the iPad, and onto the Drive, YouTube or Vimeo. You will get to watch it one day, I promise!
General Library News
It is STEAM week at ISGR this week! Last week, our librarian Sophie cataloged new books that are on the topics of STEAM. We will show and promote these books this week during the library lessons, but students are welcome to come after school to take a look as well. Some have already been checked out today, but we can easily place reservations.
Even though we’ve got plenty of new STEAM books, we’ve prepared more books to share, including picture books.
We’ve got some more new books, including Graphic Novels and full-colour Tin Tin comics, as well as some bilingual books. The bilingual books are in English and an Indian language. In the last year, we have built up our Indian languages section, and these bilingual books are the last to be added (for now).
Looking ahead, each class will have one more Creative School workshop this term:
Next week (wk 20), artist and designer Nathan Clydesdale is working with PYP and LGRP 4 students on sculpting a time capsule.
The week after that (wk 21), artist Rachel Barron will be working with PYP and LGRP 2 and 3 students on stamping and painting.
In week 22, we welcome Danilo Borgerth who will be holding a music workshop for PYP and LGRP F and 1 students.
The workshops have the theme of “appreciation”, which links all of the Creative School workshops together throughout this school year.
PYP Library Times
This week in library, we look at the (new) STEAM books together, I show them the other newly cataloged books, and I inform them about the upcoming Creative School workshops. A lot of information in a short time!
Looking ahead, week 22 will be the last week to check out books for the PYP classes. If your child has long overdue books on their name, this is the time of year to do an extra-super-good search around the house (or the classroom, or PAL)! If you still can’t find it, we kindly ask you to pay a flat fee of 100 sek, to put towards the replacement copy. Thank you for your understanding!
Now it’s time to enjoy this beautiful sunshine (because it might rain tomorrow!).