Teacher Librarian Conference K-6 - Talking about Texts


This whole day conference will focus on the school library. Teacher librarians play a vital role in schools through their work with students encouraging them to read and explore texts. In addition teacher librarians support classroom teachers through their knowledge of available resources for classroom teaching. This conference focuses on how to talk about texts in order for students to understand the many layers within texts and analyse texts in the sophisticated way the NSW English Syllabus K-6 expects.

There will be six sessions throughout the day and a variety of speakers are all experienced K-6 teachers. Mary-Ellen Betts, Jenny Williams and Sandra Rowan work as educational consultants in a number of NSW schools. Paul Macdonald from the Children’s Bookshop and a panel of three teachers will assist in the presentation. The topics which will be addressed are:

Session 1: Rich discussion about texts
Presenter: Mary-Ellen Betts
Talking about books engages students in unpacking the literal meanings of texts as well as the inferential layers of meaning. The English syllabus also encourages students to become text analysts. This session will explore how all teachers and in particular teacher librarians can facilitate rich talk about books.

Session 2: Using the metalanguage of visual literacy
Presenter: Jenny Williams
Meaning is made through both words and pictures. Students need the metalanguage of visual literacy in order to discuss how meaning is gained from illustrations and other visuals. This session will discuss some key terms and how they can be applied to the study of picture books

Session 3: Getting excited about texts and the NSW English Syllabus K-6
Presenter: Paul Macdonald- The Children’s Bookshop
The English Syllabus has for the first time included a list of text requirements. Paul will show participants books that will help teachers to address the many areas of text selection outlined in the syllabus.

Session 4: Maths picture books in the library
Presenter: Sandra Rowan
Making connections between mathematical concepts and the real world is essential for the development of mathematical understanding. This session discusses a range of picture books that can be used to engage students in mathematics.

Session 5: Who and what is Reading Australia?
Presenters: Nicola Evans and Aleesha PazNicola Evans and Aleesha Paz from the Copyright Agency will speak about Reading Australia, an initiative that publishes freely-available, curriculum-linked resources to support primary and secondary teachers in the teaching of Australian books. They will take participants through the titles offered by Reading Australia, demonstrate how to navigate the website, and explain the process of creating the resources.

Session 6: Panel Discussion: What’s happening in the library?
Panel Presenter: Julie Grazotis:
Presenting a Geography based perspective to the library, demonstrating how to explore texts that depict places and spaces relating them to windows and mirrors. This will lead into an application of geographical fieldwork, texts and apps to investigate and report on environmental aspects.

Panel Presenter: Jenny Scheffers:
Presenting an overview of the study and promotion of quality picture books through the Library’s flexible timetable and co-operative teaching programs; focusing on Visual Literacy and “Literature Showbag” units. ​The practical teaching and learning activities outlined may readily be adapted to Library RFF programs.

Panel Presenter: Sarah Skelton:
Presenting a way in which the library and classroom teachers are working together to build text sets that reflect the variety of texts that classroom teachers need to access in order to meet the text requirements of the English Syllabus.

Bringing it all together:
Presenter: Jenny Williams
Bringing the various threads of the day together and discussing where to next?


Completing  Teacher Librarian Conference K-6 - Talking about texts will contribute 5 hours of NESA Registered PD addressing 6.2.2 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.

Target Participants

Teacher Librarians K-6


Six talks will be delivered during the day and there will be a panel discussion with questions. There will be opportunities for discussion with other participants.