The War That Saved My Life is an outstanding, heart-warming, coming-of-age story set in the English countryside during World War 2 and is historical fiction at its best. Reminiscent of Goodnight Mister Tom, we highly recommend it as a holiday read for our younger Middle Years' students.
Our students live in a world of infowhelm where they are bombarded with information from a myriad of sources, most of which are unmediated. The skill of being able to evaluate the quality of the information is an information literacy and fluency skill which is essential today. We are teaching our Yr 7 and Yr 8 students how to go about this by using a set of criteria to apply each time they use an information source.
Recently, a US judge ruled that the famous Led Zeppelin hit Stairway to heaven was similar enough to an instrumental by the band Spirit to necessitate a jury trial. If the jury finds Led Zeppelin guilty of copyright infringement, the band could be made pay huge sums of money in damages. At Mt Alvernia, students are taught that respecting the creative and intellectual property of others is their moral, ethical and legal responsibility.
CiteMaker is the new online referencing tool we are currently introducing to our students. It is a citation and bibliography maker that allows students to format their assignment reference sources using the APA reference style. You can find CiteMaker under the iReference tab on the iCentre website.
The Land of Stories, an exciting new series for middle school readers, is gaining great popularity amongst our Yr 7 students. Written by Chris Colfer of Glee fame, the series begins with The Wishing Spell, where twins Alex and Conner enter a magical land where fairy tales are real! Readers begin a thrilling quest of page-turning adventure which continues throughout the four stories that are currently published. The fifth story in the series is due out in July 2016.
Write like an Author is a creative writing course specifically designed for middle years students. It shows them how to write stories like professional authors do and helps inspire and motivate them to reach their writing potential. A week long school holiday writing camp is being held from 28th March to 1st April and is being facilitated by well-known author Brian Faulkner. This is a wonderful opportunity for all our young, budding writers. See the website for more details.
If you are interested in what's new in fiction, take a look at our newest Pinterest board where we have curated the latest books to be added to our collection. The board, New in the iCentre, is being updated continually and serves as an inspiration for your next read. Browsing the titles and clicking on the link of a featured novel will take you to a Goodreads or publisher's outline of the story, which can help you decide your next #greatread.
Google Keep is a free web and mobile based note-taking app that helps you with organisation. It allows you to capture, edit, share and collaborate on any device, anywhere. Use it on your phone, tablet, computer or Android Wear watch as it syncs across all your devices so that your notes and lists are available wherever you are. Students can use it, either individually or in collaboration with others, for creating checklists for assignment work, exam preparation and study, and daily organisational tasks.
Ugly : a beaut story about one very ugly kid is a #mustread for our middle years students. It is the story of Robert Hoge, born with a giant tumor on his forehead, severely distorted facial features and legs that were twisted and useless. It is a courageous and inspiring account of an extraordinary person living an ordinary life that, against all odds, was filled with joy, optimism, and boyhood naughtiness. It helps the reader experience a life very different from their own and that it is OK to be different.
Snapchat is a popular messaging app that allows teens to exchange user-generated photos, texts and videos and send them as messages to other Snapchat users. Every Snapchat message has a viewing time limit ranging from 1 to 10 seconds, as selected by the sender. However, users need to be informed about the 'temporary' aspect of the service, and as with any social media-sharing tool, be cautious and thoughtful about which images they send.
Leigh Hobbs, of Old Tom and Horrible Harriet fame, is the new Australian Children's Laureate for 2016. He is the illustrator of the 'It's Your Story" calendar, a fun project for everyone. Each month a different theme is suggested to inspire your story adventures. The calendar can be printed and used in your classroom, library, bookshop, cafe, office or home and the monthly theme can be interpreted in any way you like. Create, enjoy and share stories all through the year – and encourage children to have fun with stories with this engaging, new resource.