Visual Pathway to Analysing Texts

I am becoming increasingly aware of myself as a visual learner. This blog post from the wonderful Sally Pewhairangi is a great reminder of this for me.
This had a dual effect on me.
Firstly, I immediately saw the potential for English teachers to use this as an analysis tool for their class novel studies. The students could create their own key as to how to analyse the text, maybe as a plot summary or maybe as a way of charting use of language, or possibly even plotting a character’s movement or development during the novel. I’m sure there are other ways to use it too.
Secondly, it reminded me of why it’s so important to share your ideas with others, and how exciting it is to have new ideas sparked by others sharing their experiences.

FINDING HEROES

ROMANTIC SUSPENSE LOVEMATCH

Contender for the World: Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts.
My Verdict: I was expecting to be swept off my feet by the ‘Queen of Romance’ but was terribly disappointed. A bit too homely for my liking.

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So, I’m excited!

Within the past few days the brand new free e-book from Kristin Fontichiaro and Buffy Hamilton has been released.

School Libraries: What’s now, what’s next, what’s next to come is made up of a series of essays by a wide range of librarians from several countries expressing their varied views of school libraries as they are now and how the could be in the future.

In the words of Dr. R. David Lankes, Professor and Dean’s Scholar for the New Librarianship, Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies, Syracuse, New York, who wrote the Foreward for this book:

“To evangelize is more than simply reciting the message. To advocate is to go beyond agreeing with a cause. To truly seek change is to live our own message. We, as librarians, must talk the talk and walk the walk. If you see yourself as a vital partner with teachers, you had better have teachers that say the same of you. If you seek to turn students into passionate learners, you must also learn – every day. You must become nothing less than a radical positive change agent. It is not enough to create a haven of true learning in your library — you must spread that environment throughout the school.

And what do I say? HEAR, HEAR!! I love this message.  It speaks so strongly of my own vision I wish I’d written it myself!

What’s even better is that I was able to be part of this truly global, collaborative e-book as one of three New Zealanders to respond to the call for submissions.  I’m so proud to be in the company of my friend and colleague Donna Watt and the charismatic Rob Baigent from Any Questions

Some would say, rightly, that I have an awful lot to say for myself and in this instance I didn’t confine myself to just one essay.  I got so fired up writing the first one on collaboration I couldn’t help myself and went on to write another one on networking and flock-mates.  If you want to read them, you’ll find them here: in chapter 9 and 10 respectively. Pages 139 and 154.

And the last word comes, again from David Lankes :

In this book you will read others views on the future and what concerns school librarians.  These are the voices of the brave and the concerned. You must add your voice. If you read these essays and disagree, then disagree and suggest another view. If you read these and agree, then voice your support. If you read these and learn, use your learning and teach others. If, on the other hand you read these essays and voices and remain mute, you abdicate the future. Don’t.

Please now do the following things:

  • Download this book and read it
  • Really think about the issues that get under your skin, or spin your wheels
  • Respond with action – talk to someone about something you’re passionate about or do something to effect change – it doesn’t matter how small or insignificant you think it might be – just do it!
  • Please give us your feedback.  It’s how we grow, learn and change and it keeps these vital and important conversations going

And finally I just need to say – I love being a school librarian – that’s all.

My new favourite author!

Will Lavender is a real find.  In his debut novel Obedience, Lavender has managed to nail that most difficult of genres, the psychological thriller.  It is a particularly well crafted, intriguing tale and you are quickly drawn into the challenge set of the main characters – to solve the hypothetical disappearance of a young woman as their fall assignment in their university course Logic and Reasoning 204.  As the clues are dangled and it becomes obvious that things – and people – aren’t what they seem, three of the students stumble upon a real-life, unsolved disappearance which has strikingly similar facts to the so-called scenario they have been set by their professor.

Just when you think you know what’s happening, Lavender tilts everything on it’s axis and you have to go back to your mental drawing board.  This fast-paced thriller is a stunning read and would easily lend itself to being adapted into a fine movie script.  I could almost visualise it as I read it.  On finishing this novel, I immediately searched for his next and fortunately I wasn’t disappointed.  His second offering was published last month and the synopsis for Dominance holds much promise.  I already have a reserve on the ordered copy at my local public library and I am anticipating the email to tell me it’s ready to collect.  Can’t wait!  In the meantime, get your hands on a copy of Obedience.  You won’t be sorry.

Want to know more? http://willlavender.com/books.php