Voices of Reading: Our Contribution to the GA Children’s Literature Conference

Meeting Patricia Polacco several years ago at the Children’s Literature Conference

This weekend is an exciting weekend in Athens, GA.  It’s the annual GA Children’s Literature Conference.  This conference always offers an amazing lineup of authors who share their craft with educators as well as spend lots of time autographing books.

I’m excited that the conference is really thinking about how to bring student voice to the attendees.  Giving students this authentic space to share their voice is not only empowering, it also centers all attendees (including the authors) on why we all do this work.

My students along with Anne McLeod’s students at Burney Harris Lyons Middle School collaborated on a video that we called “Voices of Reading”.  This video was played at the opening of the conference.

It’s fun to see colleagues already talking about the video at the conference.

We also worked together on a Flipgrid sharing our favorite books.  Many voices came together for this Flipgrid, and these voices will be played on a screen on the exhibit floor.

Click on the picture to hear lots of favorite books!

I hope that this conference continues to find ways to empower student voices.  This is definitely a step in the right direction.

2015 World Read Aloud Day Blogging Challenge Week 1

It’s time once again for the World Read Aloud Day blogging challenge as we count down the days to this special week-long event of sharing stories with one another across the miles.  My friend and super librarian, Matthew Winner, has outlined the challenge on his blog.

The World Read Aloud Day “Speak Your Story” Blogging Challenge begins February 9 and runs through March 8. If you choose to take the challenge, each week you will be asked to write a post in response to a prompt or question (outlined below), for a total of 4 posts counting down to World Read Aloud Day.

Each of the prompts addresses the WRAD theme “Speak Your Story.” Speak Your Story encapsulates that simple yet effective way that we connect with others by sharing our stories aloud. Your voice is powerful and when a story is shared a bond is made.

For week 1, we have been exploring the question:

What is your favorite book to read aloud or to hear read aloud and why?

My Answer:

I have so many favorites, but right now one of my absolute favorite stories to read aloud is Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen.  Reading this story alone is fun, but when you read it aloud to a class of students, it is pure magic.  With each turn of the page, the students get more and more vocal about Sam and Dave’s decision to change directions in their digging.  The students can of course see the massive treasures that Sam and Dave are missing, and they get so frustrated that they miss every single one.  What I love most about reading this book aloud is the many conversations that are sparked by the mystery and the frustration in the story.  I honestly think that students could talk about this book all day long and still come up with some off-the-wall idea that we haven’t thought of yet.  I’m so happy that this book just won a Caldecott honor award.  I know magic isn’t one of the criteria for winning, but this book is filled with read aloud magic.

For the past week, my students and other friends have shared their own favorite read alouds via a Flipgrid.  I invite you to listen in to what we all have to say about our favorite read alouds, and feel free to add your voice too!

WRAD Week 1 (2)