World Read Aloud Day Blogging Challenge #2 (Part 2): Student Voices

World-Read-Aloud-Day-2014

For the next 3 weeks, I’m participating in the World Read Aloud Day blogging challenge.  Each week, I will respond to a question along with many other bloggers participating in this global celebration of reading aloud.  Our students, teachers, and families will also be involved with these questions each week as I invite them to respond through Flipgrids, Thinglinks, and more.

The challenge for Week 2 is to have conversations between adults and children.  To give my students, teachers, and families a voice, I created a Google Form to respond to this week’s question.  Each Barrow student who fills out the form will have a chance to win a new book to read aloud to someone!

My students and teachers have been responding to these questions throughout this week, so I wanted to share some of their voices with you.

Blogging Challenge (2)Lucy R., 3rd grade

I think everyone should read….Love Stargirl

If I could listen to anyone in the world read to me it would be…Frederick Douglass

When I read aloud, my favorite character to sound like is…Ramona from the Ramona books

The genre or author that takes up the most room on my bookshelf is…realistic fiction

My favorite part about reading aloud or being read aloud to is…not being able to stop reading

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Savannah M., 5th grade

I think everyone should read….The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

If I could listen to anyone in the world read to me it would be…George Washington

When I read aloud, my favorite character to sound like is…the victim in the story

The genre or author that takes up the most room on my bookshelf is…Lemony Snicket

My favorite part about reading aloud or being read aloud to is…you can sound like someone else, not just who you really are. Ex: I never thought I would say “I got a booboo!”, when I was in fifth grade, but when I was reading, I did!

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Isabella B. J., 4th grade

I think everyone should read….Big Nate just because it has something for everyone in it it’s not my favorite book though

If I could listen to anyone in the world read to me it would be…a librarian

When I read aloud, my favorite character to sound like is…Loralie from smells like dog

The genre or author that takes up the most room on my bookshelf is…fiction adventures and fantasy

My favorite part about reading aloud or being read aloud to is…I get to hear how people really say it like with passion and expressions

Blogging Challenge (7)

Michael R., 4th grade

I think everyone should read….Harry Potter

If I could listen to anyone in the world read to me it would be…J K Rowling

When I read aloud, my favorite character to sound like is…Ron Weasley

The genre or author that takes up the most room on my bookshelf is…J K Rowling

My favorite part about reading aloud or being read aloud to is…the voices.

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Treasa M., 4th grade

I think everyone should read….books about helping the Earth and making it a better place.

If I could listen to anyone in the world read to me it would be…My Mom / anyone in my family

When I read aloud, my favorite character to sound like is…Yoko (Yoko’s Paper Cranes) or Kitten (from Kitten’s first Full Moon)

The genre or author that takes up the most room on my bookshelf is…Animal books and fictional books.

My favorite part about reading aloud or being read aloud to is…Listening to all of the characters doing things, fitting pieces of the story together, and spending time with whoever is reading to me.

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Lily M. 4th grade

I think everyone should read….Wonder

If I could listen to anyone in the world read to me it would be…my mom

When I read aloud, my favorite character to sound like is…the mean guys

The genre or author that takes up the most room on my bookshelf is…Bonnie Briant

My favorite part about reading aloud or being read aloud to is…

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Marie Boyle, Barrow Kindergarten Teacher

I think everyone should read….The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

If I could listen to anyone in the world read to me it would be…Maya Angelou

When I read aloud, my favorite character to sound like is…any animal character

The genre or author that takes up the most room on my bookshelf is…Mystery or Fiction

My favorite part about reading aloud or being read aloud to is…Sounding like the characters

 

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Jan Mullins, Barrow Spectrum Teacher

I think everyone should read….The Watsons Go To Birmingham, 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis

If I could listen to anyone in the world read to me it would be…Ms. Cross

When I read aloud, my favorite character to sound like is…Kenny (Watson)

The genre or author that takes up the most room on my bookshelf is…history or biography

My favorite part about reading aloud or being read aloud to is…bringing characters to life and seeing kids’ eyes light up with real literature

 

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Beth Selleck, Barrow 5th Grade Teacher

I think everyone should read….Absolutely!

If I could listen to anyone in the world read to me it would be…My daughter

When I read aloud, my favorite character to sound like is…The bear from Jamberry

The genre or author that takes up the most room on my bookshelf is…historical fiction

My favorite part about reading aloud or being read aloud to is…sharing the time with others

 

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Alanna J, 2nd grade

I think everyone should read….Jazz baby

If I could listen to anyone in the world read to me it would be…Mom

When I read aloud, my favorite character to sound like is…My dad

The genre or author that takes up the most room on my bookshelf is…Eric Carle

My favorite part about reading aloud or being read aloud to is…I get to talk.

 

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Yerahm H., 4th grade

I think everyone should read….Owly

If I could listen to anyone in the world read to me it would be…Great!

When I read aloud, my favorite character to sound like is…Owly

The genre or author that takes up the most room on my bookshelf is…I guess it’s Andy Runton.

My favorite part about reading aloud or being read aloud to is…when you just listen

 

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Tamara S., 4th grade

I think everyone should read….chapter books

If I could listen to anyone in the world read to me it would be…my mom

When I read aloud, my favorite character to sound like is…me and the charcter

The genre or author that takes up the most room on my bookshelf is…chapter books

My favorite part about reading aloud or being read aloud to is…the books

 

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Bo S., 2nd grade

I think everyone should read….Diary of a wimpy kid

If I could listen to anyone in the world read to me it would be…My mom

When I read aloud, my favorite character to sound like is…Greg Heffly

The genre or author that takes up the most room on my bookshelf is…Horrible Harry

My favorite part about reading aloud or being read aloud to is…Getting to read and listen to fun books

 

For more information on World Read Aloud Day visit http://litworld.org/worldreadaloudday 

To connect with other libraries and classrooms, visit our shared Google Doc.

Skyping with Capstone Press and their Graphic Novel Team

capstone graphic novel skype (2)Our 2nd grade spectrum students have been studying graphic novels.  We started by watching this video from Capstone Press.

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Then, students started looking at all of the graphic novels in our library and noticing elements of a graphic novel.  They identified speech bubbles vs. thought bubbles vs. captions.  They looked at the inking and colors chosen as well as the layout on the page.  After several days of exploring graphic novels, students began working on their own.  They go through a process of storyboarding, thumbnail sketches, etc.

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In our library, some of our favorite graphic novels are by Capstone Press.  We can’t keep Princess Candy on the shelves.  In addition to our print graphic novels, we have several simultaneous access ebooks that are graphic novels.

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Each year we try to think about experiences that we can offer the students in this project to support their development of their own stories.  Sometimes we have a  guest speaker come in and do some cartooning.  However, this year I reached out Amy Cox and the wonderful people at Capstone Press.  Amy connected me with Bob Lentz who works on graphic novels and Ashlee Suker who works on graphic nonfiction.

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This dynamic duo put together a presentation to show our students how a graphic novel is put together from the beginning to the end.  We got to see how the story is planned over a specific number of page layouts.  We saw how text fits into the various boxes on each layout.  From this text, we also got to see the instructions that are sent to an illustrator along with research links to inform the historical aspects of a nonfiction graphic.

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Every page that Ashlee showed got several oohs and ahhhs from students.  They loved to see how a character went from a thumbnail sketch to a full color character in the book.  It was also interesting to see the initial attempt at creating a character and how that character changed.  Sometimes the final character was a combination of several sketches put together.

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Bob and Ashlee paused a lot along the way for students to ask questions.  Some of their questions were about upcoming projects while others were about where ideas come from.  I loved when students thought about specific questions that would help them with their own project.  I also loved when Bob asked the students how many pages their graphic novels were going to be.  Answers ranged from 12 pages to a full box set of several graphic novels!

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Bob and Ashlee closed with a preview of upcoming Capstone titles for the fall.  The students saw a lot of books that they want in our library.  It was perfect timing because our student book budget group is about to start and graphic novels is once again a category that they will be purchasing books in.  These 2nd graders are sending their recommendations to this group, and I’m sure we’ll see several Capstone graphic novels on our shelves soon.  Thank you Capstone Press for being a continuing supporter of the programs we offer in our library.  You are appreciated!

A Flipgrid Celebration with 2nd Grade and the Flipgrid Team

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Our 2nd graders just wrapped up a huge research project.  During the project, they chose a leader from black history, researched that person, wrote a short persuasive piece about their person, designed a US postage stamp, and recorded a video using Flipgrid.  Their videos were pulled together on a Smore which included a Google Form for people to vote on their favorite leader from black history to be featured on a postage stamp.   Read more about our project:

Post 1

Post 2

Along the way, the students had several connections to an authentic audience.  They started the voting portion of the project by sharing at our schoolwide assembly.  Students stood in front of the entire school and told about the project as well as shared a video from each question of the grid.  The Smore was emailed to every teacher and student in the school.

I also shared the Smore on Twitter and our library Facebook page.

facebook post

 

Shawna Ford, librarian in Weatherford Texas, saw my tweet and had her 2nd grade students view the project.

Shawn Ford Students

 

As the project continued, my posts and tweets were shared and retweeted until our Smore had 480 views and counting.

smore hits

Our project was viewed in 161 locations and counting.

Smore Map

 

 

Throughout the project, Charles Miller and Bradford Hosack, our friends at Flipgrid, were following along and sharing our work as well.  It has been an incredible experience for students to use a tool, encounter success and frustrations, and be able to offer feedback to developers that respond to that feedback.  The Flipgrid team has been so responsive to all of the feedback we have provided to them, and they consistently work on Flipgrid to make it better.

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Today, our 2nd graders came together in the library to connect with the Flipgrid team via Skype.  The team shared information about how Flipgrid was developed and talked to the kids about coding.  All of the 2nd graders had background in this concept because they all participated in the Hour of Code back in December.  I loved how the Flipgrid team reiterated what I had told the students many times.  You have to work through the frustration.  You have to be willing to fail and learn from your failures to make things better.  The team said more than one time that they wanted to create a tool that works for users, so they are constantly listening to users of Flipgrid to improve their product.  I hope that the students carry these ideas into all area of their lives to be willing to take risks and work hard at what they are passionate about.

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Charles and the Flipgrid team then gave us some stats about our videos.

  • 1875 people watched the student videos
  • 699 people clicked on the heart to like videos that the students made
  • students created 1 hr 15 minutes of video all together

During this presentation of facts, Charles reminded students that when they make a project like this and share it with the world it really is giving them a global voice.  I loved that he said this because it is something we strive for in our library:  giving students a global voice.

One of my favorite parts of our Skype was the awards.  We wanted to honor several students during this segment.  Because each video was “liked” by viewers of the video, I could easily see which videos had the most likes.  This became an award category.  We also had specific students who received shout-outs on Twitter because people watched the videos and cared enough to specifically name a student video that they loved.  Finally, we had some students who worked really hard to express themselves in their writing and persuade people to vote.  I created a certificate to use.

certificate

 

After selecting all of the students, I sent a list of the awards to the Flipgrid team and they announced the winners via Skype.  It felt like the Academy Awards as the Flipgrid team cheered for students as I handed out the certificates, and it was amazing to hear the shouts and claps of all of the 2nd graders cheering on their peers.

Flipgrid Skype (8) Flipgrid Skype (6)

 

Mixed in with our connection the kids had a chance to ask the Flipgrid team questions.  I loved the moments where one student said “sometimes it doesn’t work” and another student said “I think you need to be able to turn up the volume for people who talk soft”.  These weren’t questions, but the Flipgrid team let the students know that because of their videos they were already thinking about volume and that they were working to make sure Flipgrid always worked for users.

During and after our Skype, the Flipgrid team and I shared several pictures from both sides of the Skype: Georgia & Minnesota.

We closed our time together by revealing the results of the overall voting for the favorite leader from black history to be on a postage stamp.  The votes were extremely close, but Rosa Parks came in just 1 vote ahead of Jesse Owens.  By this point, the kids were so excited about all that had happened with their project that the vote didn’t even seem to matter anymore.

Thank you to Charles Miller, Bradford Hosack, and the entire Flipgrid team for helping us celebrate this project today before we move on to our next adventures in the library.  Thank you!

 

World Read Aloud Day Blogging Challenge #2: Adult & Child

World-Read-Aloud-Day-2014For the next 3 weeks, I’m participating in the World Read Aloud Day blogging challenge.  Each week, I will respond to a question along with many other bloggers participating in this global celebration of reading aloud.  Our students, teachers, and families will also be involved with these questions each week as I invite them to respond through Flipgrids, Thinglinks, and more.

Last week, the students and I, along with students from Van Meter Iowa & Okle Miller in Tampla FL, added to a Flipgrid to share our favorite read aloud memories.  You can watch and listen to those here:  http://flipgrid.com/#ae0e8232

The challenge for Week 2 is to have conversations between adults and children.  To give my students, teachers, and families a voice, I created a Google Form to respond to this week’s question.  Each Barrow student who fills out the form will have a chance to win a new book to read aloud to someone!

Because of the icy week we had last week, I spent a lot of time at home.  I took time to have a conversation about these questions with my 4 year old daughter, Alora.  I’ve expanded on my answers a bit in this post, but these are the topics that Alora and I discussed together.

daddy daughter

Daddy & Daughter

1. I think everyone in the world should read…

Me:  books that speak to their hearts.  I think that we all have common connections to why we all read, but I love that we all enjoy different kinds of books.  We don’t all have to love Diary of a Wimpy Kid or Harry Potter or Princess books, but each of those books speaks to different readers in different ways.  It’s no secret that my favorite author is Kate DiCamillo, but the reason she is my favorite author is that there’s something about her voice in her writing that connects with my heart.  From a little girl befriending a dog and hearing the stories of a community to a rabbit trying to find his way home to a tiny mouse looking for the light in the world to a miraculous superhero squirrel, Kate DiCamillo’s books are filled with words that seem like magic on a page to me.

Child:  Peter Pan and princesses because I like those.  I like princesses and Tinker Bell.  Everybody likes princess books.

2. If I could listen to anyone in the world read aloud to me it would be…

Me:  It’s hard to pick just one!  My second grade teacher Mrs. DeLoach (whose name has changed to Mrs. McKinney) would be one.  She brought the characters of the Uncle Remus stories to life and a beautiful southern accent.  Those voices were ones that I wanted to imitate in my own reading.  Now, I love to hear Carmen Agra Deedy read stories and tell stories.  The tones, rhythms, movements, and volumes of her voice keep me hooked into every detail of the story.  I think I could listen to her tell stories for hours.

Child:  Mommy and Daddy because I don’t know how to read until I get bigger.

3. When I read aloud, my favorite character to impersonate is…

Me:  So many people love to hear me read southern stories and create the voices for those characters.  I love to make the voices for the characters in Epossumondas.  Both Mama and Eppossumondas are such fun to bring to life.  I also love to hear how the voices that I create are different that the voices that other readers create for those same characters.

Child:  Tinker Bell because she just rings a bell and doesn’t say anything.

4. The genre or author that takes up the most room on my bookshelf (or e-reader) is…

Me:  Books by Kate DiCamillo.  I have every book that she has written and most of them are signed.  Of course now they aren’t all in one place on the bookshelf because they are spread between the living room and both kids’ rooms.  That’s a good sign of being well-loved.

Child:  Fairytales like Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Pinocchio….Dora went to a fairytale one time too.

5. My favorite part about reading aloud or being read to is…

Me:  It allows me to escape into the story in a different way than if I was reading it myself.  When a story is read aloud, the words seem to transform the space around everyone listening to the story.  For just a few moments, the busy world disappears and I get to step into a time machine that allows me to escape and experience the world through different eyes.  When I’m read aloud to, I don’t have to think about saying the words just right.  I can just listen and imagine.

Child:  hearing the different voices that you and Mommy make.

For more information on World Read Aloud Day visit http://litworld.org/worldreadaloudday 

To connect with other libraries and classrooms, visit our shared Google Doc.

Connecting Libraries: Using Tinkercad with Students in Van Meter, IA

Hanging out in Iowa from my kitchen!

Hanging out in Iowa from my kitchen!

I had so much fun today spending some time in Van Meter, IA from my kitchen.  Shannon Miller and her students just received their Makerbot 3D Printer from Donors Choose.  Her students are starting an Olympic project where they will be designing new symbols for the Olympics.  Students will eventually use Tinkercad for their designs.  Since this is a new tool for her students, Shannon thought it would be a good idea for us to connect and share what we’ve learned.  I had a group of 5th graders eager to share their expertise, but the GA ice and snow caused us to be out of school today.  Rather than keep her students waiting, I went ahead and shared my own learning about Tinkercad.  We plan to reconnect when we are back in school so that students can share.  I’m sure that her students will have just as much to share with mine by the time we reconnect next week.

Here’s our Google Hangout from today:

After the Hangout, I realized that I forgot to tell them an important step, so I made a quick screencast to fill in the hole I missed.  I also share with them the steps that wouldn’t screen share through hangouts.

It was wonderful to be a part of another library.  We all have expertise to share, so why not share beyond our walls.  Happy making, friends!

#GeniusCon: Topic Selection and Question Development

question development (9)We’ve been having so much fun participating in #GeniusCon.  Haven’t heard of #GeniusCon? Visit this archived webinar to learn more and read the post about our first steps.

After students left the library for our kickoff session, they spent time in class reflecting on our chalk talk, writing in their notebooks, and fine tuning their topics.  Today, they came to the library with their topics ready to work on question development.

We started with an overview of what happened since our last session.  I shared tweets from Sherry Gick, Matthew Winner, Peter Reynolds, and more.  I also told them how their work had been featured in the #GeniusCon webinar.  Their eyes lit up knowing that their work was already making a difference!

I framed our session for the day by talking about how questions help us think about what we need to know about our topics in order to focus our research.  We did a practice session asking questions about a topic that I could do for #Geniuscon:  Teaching all of my lessons from home.   At the moment, I’m not really doing this topic, but I wanted to choose something that might raise some eyebrows, and it really did!  Students began asking questions about my topic, but as we progressed they started to ask questions like “how would you feel if you didn’t see us anymore?” and “what if we needed help with something in the library?” and “Wouldn’t you miss being here?”.  This topic did exactly what I wanted because it allowed us to have a conversation about our chosen topics.  I told them that it wasn’t our jobs to tell one another that our topics aren’t possible, that they’re wrong, or that we need to pick a different topic.  Our job is to push one another’s thinking through questions and to support one another even if it means we disagree with topic choice or we feel personally that a topic is “impossible”.

We spent a bit more time brainstorming questions for my topic with partners.  Here are a few questions that they came up with:

  • What lessons should I teach?

  • Do I know anyone that will be interested in learning from home?

  • How will I do it?

  • How many students will I have?

  • How many lessons from home can I teach?

  • What happens if someone needs help checking out and I’m not here?

  • Why would I want to do this?

  • How would people know how to connect with me?

  • What if the Internet doesn’t work?

Next, students logged into their Google Drive and created a document with their topic listed at the top.  Then, they started a bullet list and began adding their own questions.  After all students were set with their doc ready, we began passing the laptops around the circle and asking one another questions.  Students looked at the topic at the top and read the question already generated.  Then, they thought of what questions they would add to the list for the researcher to consider.  I’ll admit that this part was difficult.  Even with our lively opening, students had a hard time generating questions.  Several adults had individual conversations with students to support their question development.  These conversations were critical.  At different times we had me (the media specialist), the classroom teacher, a gifted teacher, a tech integration specialist, and and early intervention teacher supporting students.  Here are a few topics with the questions generated.

Taking Tablets Home:

  • can we for a week?

  • or for month?

  • what happens if you break it?

  • What do students do if they don’t know how to use it?

  • what happen’s if somone needes one at school and you forget it at home?

  • how long?

  • what if people don’t have internet at home?

 

More Playground Equipment:

  • what equipment should we get?

  • how much equipment?

  • what   kind?

  • what if there’s not enough space?

  • isn’t it expensive?

  • why do you wont to change the playground?

  • will we be kind on it?

  • is the play ground equipment safe?

  • who would pay for it?

At our closing, students got their own computers back, read their questions, and shared their documents with me.  I told them that it was ok if they didn’t understand a question or if they even disagreed with a question.  We closed by once again asking “Why are we asking questions and not jumping into answers?”  We framed the idea of thinking about what we need to research.  Next, we will spend some time developing a research plan.  We’ll brainstorm where we need to look for answers and begin our search for answers.

 

 

World Read Aloud Day Blogging Challenge #1: Read Aloud Memories

World-Read-Aloud-Day-2014For the next 3 weeks, I’m participating in the World Read Aloud Day blogging challenge.  Each week, I will respond to a question along with many other bloggers participating in this global celebration of reading aloud.  Our students, teachers, and families will also be involved with these questions each week as I invite them to respond through Flipgrids, Thinglinks, and more.  For week 1, I’ve created a Flipgrid.  You are welcome to add your own response to week 1’s question along with our students and families by visiting http://flipgrid.com/#ae0e8232    We will be adding to this grid throughout this week.

The Question for week 1

What is your earliest or fondest memory in which someone read aloud to you?”

My Mom

My Mom

When I was little, my mom took me every week to the public library in our rural community of Blue Ridge, GA.  I vividly remember climbing the steps, walking up the ramp, pulling open the heavy doors, breathing in the smell of the used books for sale in the entryway, and being greeted by name by the public librarian.  The children’s section was small, but I had no problem getting an armload of books to take home each week.

My Mammaw

My Mammaw

My mom and I would sit in my bed at night and read aloud stories together.  Even more than reading aloud the words, we spent time imagining and creating our own stories about the pictures.  I remember looking at the characters circling the back of every Little Golden Book and how we would pause at each character and tell a story about that one character.  This shared storytelling experience was a foundation of my love for reading.  On this same note, my grandmother, “Mammaw”, would look at pictures with me and ask me what was beyond what we could see in the picture.  She had a talent for imagining what was beyond the edges of the illustration and telling it in a way that was fact.  “There’s a little barn with a man sitting on a stool milking a cow.  Do you see it?”  Whatever she said I believed.  Mammaw would also take to me to yard sales and used book stores to buy books for my own library and we would spend time sharing those stories and talking about them together while my parents were at work.

Those experiences led me to imagine and create stories on my own.  Magnets on the refrigerator, porcelain figures lining the shelves, miniature figures, and more all became characters in my own stories and just about anything and everything in the house became a stage.  My Mammaw even used a tape recorder (if you know what that is) to record me sharing my made-up stories.

I hope that when I read aloud stories with students whether it’s print, digital, or oral storytelling that I somehow unleash a bit of imagination that will lead to students creating their own story experiences in their lives.

This year, World Read Aloud Day will be a grand experience in our library.  Here’s a glimpse at what our week will look like. On March 3rd, we’ll kick off the week with in-person guest readers from our community. These readers will share favorite Dr. Seuss books in every classroom in our school.  Immediately following this, our World Read Aloud connections will begin.

Across the week, we have at least 36 connections planned with libraries and classrooms in Florida, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Washington, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Vermont, Maryland, Indiana, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Texas, Maine, and Germany!

We’ll also connect with authors like Tanya Lee Stone, Barbara O’Connor, Laurel Snyder, Anne Marie Pace, Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw, and Jesse Klausmeier!

Each session will be a bit different, but they will have some common elements too.

    • We’ll greet one another and tell them where we are located.
    • We’ll read aloud across the miles. Sometimes this will be students reading to students. Other times, the adults might take turns reading pages from the same book or select characters to portray. Authors will read from their own books or favorite books and take time to allow kids to ask questions about their writing.
    • To close, students will have a chance to make some connections between the 2 locations. Students often like to find out what the weather is like or what kids like to do for fun in different states. These closing moments build connections between us as a human race.
    • In some cases, we will collaborate with classes on some type of project. For example, we might create a Padlet or a Flipgrid to share written and video responses to the books we read.
    • We also take time to look at a Google map and chart the distance between the two connecting schools. It’s really fun when there’s more than one school or author on the Skype call and you can connect multiple dots on a map to see how our voices are uniting across the miles.

I hope that you will plan your own World Read Aloud Day activities.  There’s a wealth of resources that can be found at http://litworld.org/worldreadaloudday