Connecting Libraries with Extra Yarn (Part 2)

IMG_0001Today, Ms. Seeling’s students had the chance to connect with another Kindergarten class in Van Meter, Iowa.  Librarian Shannon Miller and I read the book Extra Yarn once again and students made bookmarks to send to one another.  It was another magical time.

I made some fun observations this time:

  • Students wondered if Shannon’s students could read the same letters that they do.
  • Students wondered if they would get their bookmarks in the mail by this afternoon.
  • Students wondered if Shannon’s students were in another country.
  • Students had personal stories for each of their bookmarks.IMG_0010

Any of these wonderings would have been great next steps of investigation in the library or in the classroom.  The personal stories really made me curious, so I grabbed my phone and tried to capture a few of the stories.  Each student had a reason they were using particular color and shapes.  Many were trying to tell the Van Meter students something about themselves through their artwork.  It really made me wonder how many stories we miss from students about the work that they create when we don’t stop to listen.  I want to do better capturing these kinds of stories.

 

Bookmarks are almost ready to mail to Iowa.

Bookmarks are almost ready to mail to Iowa.

Since Shannon and I connected our 2 classes, I’ve had some brainstorming going on with teachers and other librarians about other activities to do with the book Extra Yarn.  Today, Ms. Seeling talked about doing a compliment web using yarn.  A student gives another student a compliment and then tosses the yarn to that student.  This continues until students have made a big web of yarn.  Kathy Schmidt in Gwinnett County brainstormed with me on twitter.  Now I really want to read the book again and try some of these new activities.  There’s always next year.  Who wants to connect?  It’s not too early to start planning 🙂

 

Kathy and I brainstormed on Twitter.

Kathy and I brainstormed on Twitter.

After our brainstorm, Kathy extended the lesson Shannon and I did and shared on Twitter.

After our brainstorm, Kathy extended the lesson Shannon and I did and shared on Twitter.

 

Connecting Libraries through some “Extra Yarn”

Shannon and I took turns reading pages of Extra Yarn.

Shannon and I took turns reading pages of Extra Yarn.

What a fun day!  After lots of tweeting, collaborating via a Google Doc, and emailing, Ms. Hocking’s Kindergarten Class connected today with Shannon Miller’s Kindergarten students in Van Meter, Iowa.  In the spirit of World Read Aloud Day #WRAD13, we read a book that connected with the theme of “Reading it Forward” and used the book Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen.  This book was just honored with the Caldecott Honor Award at the ALA Youth Media Awards.  So far, I’ve read the book to all 1st grade classes and every class falls in love with this text and the illustrations.  It also generates some great discussion about the mysterious yarn box.

In today’s session, Ms. Hocking’s Class gathered in the library.  We talked about etiquette during the Skype session and looked at a map of where Van Meter Iowa is located.  We also did a quick intro of what we would be doing together.  Then, we made the call via Skype.  Shannon Miller introduced her students and we enjoyed waving at one another and saying hello.  Then, Shannon and I launched into reading the book.  We each read a 2-page spread of the book, and it was so much fun to hear 2 different voices reading the text.  The kids enjoyed joining in by saying “extra yarn” every time that appeared in the text.  It was great to hear voices in 2 different states shouting “extra yarn”.  We stopped a little bit along the way to look at how the illustrations were changing and to make some predictions.  Our last step was to make yarn bookmarks to send to one another.  Shannon’s students had already made their bookmarks before the call, so they were able to show us their work.  This really inspired my students to do their best work and to make connections to what Shannon’s students had already started.  We said goodbye and got to work on our bookmarks.  Each student had a card stock bookmark with yarn attached at the end.  They put their name on the bookmark and decorated both sides.  Now we will mail our bookmarks to Iowa and eagerly await bookmarks to arrive from Iowa.  We plan to continue to connect these 2 classes through a follow-up project in book making.

You can read Shannon’s post about the experience on her Van Meter Library Voice Blog!

Student bookmarks had yarn attached to the end in honor of the book.

Student bookmarks had yarn attached to the end in honor of the book.

Our students are read to send their bookmarks to Iowa

Our students are ready to send their bookmarks to Iowa

This was such a fun time.  It meant a lot to the students, and it was really super easy to do through so many virtual tools.  I look forward to many more collaborations with Shannon and other librarians across the country (and world)!

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