The official World Read Aloud Day 2015 is in the books. We still have 2 days of connections, but it was fun to have a full day for the actual calendar date.
We started our day with enrichment clusters. I have a group of 2nd-5th graders who are exploring coding and making in a variety of formates. We connected with Okle Miller and her Kindergarten students in Tampa. We read Rosie Revere Engineer and then my students had a chance to share some of the inventions that they are creating. It was fun to see the messages of the book come through in their sharing. Most students did not have a complete product and most had plenty of failures during the process.
Eli showed a lego mindstorm robot that he put together right before the Skype. He has designed several robots, and this one was his version of a dog that you could walk since “everyone wants to be able to walk a dog and might not have one”.
Francisco showed his alarm that he made with littleBits that would go off when the sun came up.
Ludwig and Malachi showed off their video game made of cardboard, Scratch, and MaKey MaKey.
Louisa and Ansley showed off their blogs about how to use Tinkercad to 3d design.
Taylor showed off his Barrow Peace Prize medal that he designed and 3d printed.
Next, Ms. Ramseyer’s class connected with Crystal Hendrix and her students in Asheville, NC. We read I’m Bored and once again had fun taking turns being the girl and the potato. We also had the students talk about what they would write for a second book, and they were very interested in having the potato get eaten.
Ms. Wright’s 2nd grade connected with Jennifer Reed’s students in Newton, MA. It was very special to get to share Beekle with one another. We had some great discussions about the little girl in the book as well as dreaming the unimaginable and having courage. We even continued our conversation after we said goodbye.
Donna MacDonald’s 4th grade students were such great role models for Ms. Heather’s PreK students today. It was our PreK’s 1st Skype experience, and it was so special. We read Wolfie the Bunny. My students read the part of Dot, and Donna’s students were all of the other characters.
Getting to connect with authors is another really amazing part of the World Read Aloud experience. Barbara O’Connor was our 1st author of the day, and she connected with Mr. Coleman’s 4th grade class and a few of Ms. Tesler’s students. She read from How to Steal A Dog.
After the story, she took lots of questions from the audience. We learned the story of the poster that inspired the book and the story of calling Willie’s real owners to give them a copy of the book. We also heard about the revision process and how a book that is coming out next year is already heavily into this process with the editor.
Barbara even walked us through her house to show us the manuscript with all of its pages and markings. Our visit wouldn’t be complete without seeing the 2 famous dogs in Barbara’s house.
Ms. Mullins brought several 5th graders to connect with Margo Jantzi in Virginia. We read Crankee Doodle. Margo was hilarious with her pony voice, and I played the roll of Crankee.
Ms. Clarke’s students had a unique opportunity to connect with Mrs. P from Mrs. P.’s storytime. Mrs. P. (AKA actress Kathy Kinney) is an advocate for reading and writing. She is a master storyteller and encouraged all of our young learners to read and create as much as possible.
She told the students a couple of stories, but also gave them some thoughts to ponder. We had great fun hearing poems and songs about her cat and even heard the very first thing she wrote when she came out of the womb in the delivery room!
We closed out our official World Read Aloud Day with Laurel Snyder. She read to Mr. Coleman’s 4th grade from Free to Be You and Me, a favorite childhood book. It brought up some interesting things to think about in regards to “boy books” and “girl books”. We loved Laurel’s voices for the babies in the selection from this book.
Another thing that I love about World Read Aloud week is that the books that we share aloud and the books that are by the authors that we connect with are immediately checked out of the library. I love seeing readers get so excited about finding a book that they have a connection with.
I closed out World Read Aloud Day at my house by reading aloud Some Bugs, Toys Galore, and Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons with my son, Anderson.
We have 2 more days of connections this week, and we can’t wait to see what happens!