World Read Aloud Day: Final Connections and Final Thoughts (Part 5)

WRAD map

 

We closed out Read Across America and World Read Aloud week with even more connections.

Our day began with a Georgia connection with Misti Sikes.  We shared Beekle together.  I loved when her students said that Beekle reminded them of Baymax from Big Hero 6.

Next, Ms. Choate’s Kindergarten class connected with Donna MacDonald and her 5th grade students in Vermont.  Donna’s students passed the book around the group and took a turn read Piggie’s part in Waiting is Not Easy and Elephant’s part in I’m a Frog.

 

Ms. Seeling’s 1st grade class got to connect with author Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen.  She is the author of many books including Duck, Duck Moose.  Her son joined us  in the Skype and we learned that he was the inspiration for Moose.  We learned a lot about her writing process and how it takes many people to create a book that we see on our shelves.

Ms. Stuckey’s 1st grade class connected with Jeanne Cook’s students in Missouri to read Beekle.   We had a lot of fun sharing some of our favorite books with one another and seeing what connections we had to favorite books even though we were in different grades.

I can’t think of a more perfect way to close out our World Read Aloud week than Skyping with the amazing Jenny Sue Kostecki Shaw.  We have enjoyed reading Same, Same but Different in so many Skype connections with other schools.  Jenny Sue has a new book coming out in May called Luna and Me.  It is the story about a woman who lived in a tree called Luna in order to save the tree and the surrounding forest.  I’ve watched this book coming together through the posts that Jenny Sue has shared over the past couple of years, and I’ve been eager to hear it.  Our students were fortunate enough to be the very first students to hear a book read out loud.  This is the 2nd time this week that our students have heard words from a book read by the author for the very first time.  It is magical!  The students were hanging on every word, and you could tell that this is a book that is going to speak to students.  It is a fascinating and engaging topic, and it shows the power of how one person can truly make a difference.  I can tell that this is a book that will lead to some inspiring conversations and postive action in our world.

When Jenny Sue finished reading the book, our students gave her a huge round of applause.

Then, they had a chance to ask her several questions about writing.  We saw the very first versions of the book and learned that there were over 40 drafts of the book.  We learned about the salt technique that Jenny Sue used throughout the paintings in the book.  We also had lots of side notes from Jenny Sue’s daughter, Tulsi, which made the Skype even more special.

Thank you to each and ever school and author who connected with us this week.  Your reading, conversation, time, and inspiring thoughts have connected us to so many new and old stories.  I’ve seen library books flying off the shelves this week into the hands of readers, and it’s all because of the connections we have made this week.

I hope you will all take a moment to look at our map of connections and walk back through our week through our  Google Tour.  If you haven’t ever tried connecting for World Read Aloud, you can really do it at any time.  You can be sure that our school will be connecting next year during the 1st week of March.

View our Google Tour Builder Map.

Read about our other World Read Aloud connections, too.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

World Read Aloud Day 2014 (Day 5): Final Thoughts

Our final day of Read Across America and World Read Aloud Day was once again filled with special memories.

We read Crankee Doodle with Meghan Nels and her students.

Meghan Nels (19) Meghan Nels (4)

Matthew Winner and I got creative about how to read Open This Little Book with our students.

Matthew Winner (6) Matthew Winner (2)

Cathy Potter and I had fun reading I’m Bored and letting our students show the many ways you can say “boring”.

Cathy Potter (3) Cathy Potter (2)

Shawna Ford, Shannon Hyman, and I all found students to read parts of a reader’s theater of One Cool Friend.  We loved hearing voices in 3 states reading the story.

Shawna & Shannon (5) Shawna & Shannon (1)

Stacy Ford and I had a great time being Elephant and Piggie with our students as we read I’m a Frog.

Stacy Ford (5)

Randie Groden and I had some impromptu skyping as I had a class cancel!  Several 5th graders who were checking out books gathered around the projection area to meet her first graders and read Same, Same but Different.  Sometimes the unexpected is fun!

Randie Groden (4) Randie Groden (2) Randie Groden (1)

We ended our WRAD week with a connections between Shannon Miller and Barbara Terracciano along with author, Tom Angleberger.  He read aloud the part of Crankee in Crankee Doodle, and it was the perfect ending to our week.

Tom Angelberger (7) Tom Angelberger (2) Tom Angelberger (1)

There is not a day that goes by that I don’t read aloud.  Every day is read aloud day.

When I think of World Read Aloud Day, I think of connections.

Kate DiCamillo, National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and 2-time Newbery winner, says “Stories Connect Us”.  In Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen, all of the characters are connected to one another through strands of yarn as the main character knits sweaters for everything and everyone in sight.  In Same, Same but Different by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw, we learn that we really are all connected in the world by common strands of life even if those strands might look a bit different based on our cultures, locations, and beliefs.

World Read Aloud Day is about all of these things.  Even though we should read aloud every day, World Read Aloud Day raises our awareness of the importance of reading aloud.  It reminds us that when we read aloud, we connect.  When we read aloud, we expand our world.  When we read aloud, we learn that the world really isn’t as big as it seems.  We are all united through power of story and spoken word.

This year, our planning for World Read Aloud Day/Week began in December.  My wonderful friend and collaborator, Shannon Miller, created a Google Doc for educators around the world to use as a space to share their schedules and ideas.  The two of us shared the doc through blog posts, twitter, facebook, and conversations.  Over 3 months later, the doc is filled with conversations that each tell a story of a connection between multiple groups of students.  When you look at this single document, you know that students, teachers, teacher librarians, and families around the world are being impacted by powerful experiences of hearing stories read aloud, participating in conversations about books, and building connections to new friends around the world.

Our school:

  • engaged in 36 skype sessions
  • made 50 connections in these sessions
  • met new friends in 22 states and 2 other countries

Along the way, we built a Google Earth Tour using Google’s tour builder.  This tool allowed us to quickly add pins to a world map, add photographs and videos, and write a summary of each skype session and what we loved and learned.  I love how at the end of the week, we instantly have documentation that allows us to remember, reflect, and celebrate the fun that we have had during this week.

Google Tour

View our Google Tour Here!

Today, I received several thank you letters from students.  Organizing this many Skype sessions is exhausting.  I won’t lie about that, but the rewards that come from the hard work make up for all of the time I spent organizing this week.  Receiving these letters reminded me why I advocate for World Read Aloud Day and why I believe in the power of connecting with one another through story.  Thank you Litworld for creating such an amazing world-wide event.

World Read Aloud Day 2014 (Day 2)

We had another incredible day of connecting with classrooms and authors.  At the end of the week, I will share our Google Earth tour that summarizes our entire week.  For now, here are some pictures and videos from our connections today.

Erika Victor 3rd grade Berlin, Germany
Jennifer Reed Kindergarten Massachussetts
Heather Temske 4th Roswell, GA
Laura D’Elia 3rd Massachussetts
Christy Brennan 5th Pennsylvania
Shanon Miller Iowa
Shannon Miller 4th/5th grade Iowa & Author Deborah Freedman!

World Read Aloud Day Blogging Challenge Week 4: Raising Our Voices with Flipgrid

World-Read-Aloud-Day-2014

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 the final week, I’m asking students, teachers, and families to raise their voices by reading aloud parts of their favorite books.  We are using a Flipgrid to capture these read alouds because it gives students 90 seconds to read aloud.  To get them ready, I made a Youtube video of myself reading my favorite part of this year’s Newbery-winning book, Flora & Ulysses: The Illuninated Adventures.

Kate DiCamillo’s writing speaks to me in so many ways, but this particular part of Flora & Ulysses has proven to be inspiration for our whole school this year as well as our library.  We are expecting the miraculous every day!

Flipgrid Read Aloud

Visit our Flipgrid to hear more readers share their favorite stories, and feel free to try out Flipgrid by adding your own.

http://flipgrid.com/#f4ad9b3e

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.

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

Blogging Challenge (4)

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!

Blogging Challenge (5)

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.

Blogging Challenge (6)

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.

Blogging Challenge (1)

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…

Blogging Challenge (3)

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

 

IMG_1926

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.

 

IMG_1927

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

 

IMG_1928

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

 

IMG_1930

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.

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.