World Read Aloud Week 2018: Author Visits, Skypes, and More

What an amazing week for celebrating the power of reading in our school!  For the past few years, we have celebrated World Read Aloud Day and stretched it into a whole week.  This celebration was created by an organization called LitWorld for a very important reason.

We think everyone in the world should get to read and write. Every year, on World Read Aloud Day, people all around the globe read aloud together and share stories to advocate for literacy as a human right that belongs to all people. ~Litworld

In fact, there are some pretty mindblowing facts about reading around the world.

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This week in the library, we’ve hosted skypes and Google Hangouts with classes, libraries, authors, and illustrators as well as hosting an in-person visit with Matt de la Pena & Loren Long.

We’ve stressed many things in these connections.  One of those is that we all should read as much as possible and celebrate our freedom and right to read.

Author & Illustrator Visit

On Tuesday, Matt de la Pena & Loren Long visited our 1st-5th grade to share their new book Love.  This was one of the many stops on their national tour.  Our amazing art teacher, Ms. Rita Foretich collaborated with me in the library to create art projects with every grade level in the school.  We wanted them to know how much their book impacted us by showing them an art exhibit throughout the front halls of the school.

Matt & Loren started their visit with a reading of the book.  Matt read the book from memory while Loren  painted the front cover of the book on chart paper.

Love! #thisislove

A post shared by Barrow Media Center (@barrowmediacenter) on

Then, they both took time to tell us their own personal journeys of how they came to work together on the book, Love.  From Matt’s basketball scholarship to college to Loren’s mom encouraging him to continue his art pursuit even with the barrier of being colorblind, we learned of the many examples of love that filled these two guys lives.  They brought messages to students about taking risks, loving and respecting your family, working hard even when things are hard, having empathy for people going through tough bumps in the road of life, and more. I hope that their messages will connect with students for years to come.

The power of their spoken word had our audience of 450 1st-5th graders captivated for an entire hour.  We can’t thank Penguin, Avid Bookshop, and Matt & Loren enough for taking time to visit our school.

Class & Library Skypes

On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, several of our classes connected with other classes around the country via Skype and Google Hangout to read aloud books.  This year, I tried to select books that had an element of discussion around doing good in the world.  Selections included books like Love by Matt de la Pena, Be a Friend by Salina Yoon, We’re All Wonders by R J Palacio, Yo Yes by Chris Raschka, A Hat for Mrs. Goldman by Michelle Edwards, and Maybe Something Beautiful by Isabel Campoy & Theresa Howell.

Each connection had its own variation.  Sometimes students helped me read the text to the other class.  Sometimes the two librarians alternated reading the text.  Other times we read one book to our connecting class and they read a book back to us.  We always spent time making connections with one another through sharing and questions.  We talked about things like making things beautiful in our school, creating gifts to give to others in need, identifying wonders of our classmates, and what it takes to be a good friend.  So many of our conversations were filled with meaningful ways to make sure the world is a great place to live, and we learned that we aren’t alone in our interests and routines.

Authors & Illustrator Skypes

On the official World Read Aloud Day, we had several skypes with authors and illustrators.  Anne Marie Pace, Brian Lies, Carter Higgins, Donna Gephart, Jody Feldman, and Loree Griffin Burns all connected with students.  I loved that they showed many of their books and then read aloud from one of them.  Any time an author/illustrator connects with us in person or in Skype, they immediately become a favorite author/illustrator in our library.  Their books fly off the shelves and stay checked out.  This time was no different.

Brian Lies read from Bats at the Beach and then got kids to brainstorm a new bat drawing that he illustrated on Skype.

Donna Gephart read to us from a book that she had just gotten the ARCs for.  We couldn’t take pictures or record anything, but it was so exciting to get an early preview. Loree Burns went in depth with students about her research process and writing about what matters in the world. A group of writers met with her and got lots of inspiration for their own writing.  Anne Marie Pace and Carter Higgins both read from brand new books with a timely topics of love and Groundhog Day.

We are so appreciative of these professionals who take time out of their busy schedules to connect with readers.

Mapping

As usual, we used Google Tour Builder to keep track of our connections and the books that we shared. It’s always fun at the end of the week to see all of the stories that have been shared and the connections we’ve made. Technology flattens our world and reminds us that stories can connect us across the miles.

Happy World Read Aloud Week.

 

Let’s All Connect For LitWorld’s World Read Aloud Day Again In March

World Read Aloud Day — LitWorld

On March 4th, we will celebrate World Read Aloud Day with LitWorld.  This special day “calls global attention to the importance of reading aloud and sharing stories”.

For teacher librarians and other educators, it has come to be a week-long celebration of sharing stories through Skype and Google Hangouts. This year, these connections will happen on March 2-6.Jenny & Ame (2) small

Connecting through stories is always such a rewarding experience for our students.  Students often discover that we are all very much the same even though we are different.

Shannon McClintock Miller and I invite you to post your schedule to our shared Google Doc and start making connections for this special week.  You may even discover a long-time collaborative partner through this one experience.

2015 World Read Aloud Day Blog   Google Docs

You can read about our 2014 World Read Aloud Day experiences in my post “World Read Aloud Day Final Thoughts” as well as others on the Barrow Media Center Blog.  Shannon shares how she documented her school’s World Read Aloud Week via a Smore journal.

Be sure to check out the LitWorld site for more information on planning for World Read Aloud Day.  They even have a special classroom kit with ideas for schools.

World Read Aloud Day — LitWorld (1)

If you are interested in connecting with others on this day, please add your name, schedule, and ideas to the informations in the Google Doc that we started.  This will begin to fill up with others around the world as they want to connect their students and schools too.  We plan to celebrate throughout the entire week of March 2-6th.


Google Tour

We think it’s important to know that there’s no “right” way to plan for World Read Aloud Day.  Whatever you decide to do will be the right plan for your school and your students.  Whatever you do, your life will be richly rewarded with the power of spoken word and voices connecting together across the miles to lift up our right to read!

In the words of Kate DiCamillo, National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, “Stories Connect Us”.  We can’t wait to connect students around the world through story.

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 4)

Our skype connections continued today with 7 more fun read aloud experiences for our students.

Edie Crook Gastonia, NC
Okle Miller Tampa Fl
Cherie Smeltzer  New Hampshire
Shawna Ford  Texas
Jenny Lussier  e Connecticutt
Wendy Garland  Massachussetts
Shannon Miller Iowa

We started our day connecting with Edie Crook and her students in Gastonia, NC.  We had fund reading I’m Bored and then saying the word “boring” in different ways.

edie crook (1) edie crook (2) edie crook (3) edie crook (4) edie crook (5)

Next, Okle Miller and I read aloud Same, Same but Different.  Our kids had fun talking about what was the same but different about life in Athens and Tampa.

Okle Miller (5) Okle Miller (3) Okle Miller (1)

We did our very first skype with PreK today when we connected with Cherie Smeltzer and her students.  They read Yes Day to us and we had fun thinking of what we would ask for on our own yes day.

Cherie Smeltzer (1) Cherie Smeltzer (2) Cherie Smeltzer (3) Cherie Smeltzer (7)

Shawna Ford’s students read Mr. Tiger Goes Wild to us, and I read Same, Same but Different to them.  We had a great discussion about the importance of reading picture books at every age.  Shawna compared it to how Disney movies have something that kids understand but some deeper meaning that mostly adults understand.  My kids really grabbed onto the idea.

Shawna Ford (3) Shawna Ford (2) Shawna Ford (1)

Jenny Lussier and I had a blast reading aloud Crankee Doodle to our students.  It is a hard book to read without cracking up!  I loved how our students suggested great books to read.

Jenny Lussier (3)

Wendy Garland and I read aloud This is Not My Hat.  Our students had a lot of opinions about what happened at the end.  We had a great discussion about the term “just right” and how this book was chosen as a “just right” book for our skype.

Wendy Garland (6) Wendy Garland (1)

I loved ending the day by reading aloud Flora & Ulysses to Shannon Miller’s students.  We had to get a bit creative on how to show the comics since Shannon’s copy was checked out, but we made it work.  The kids are all excited about the book and our copy that just arrived today was immediately checked out.

I can’t believe there’s only one day of connections left.  Tomorrow has several fun and surprising moments in store.  I can’t wait t end our week with some more great stories, authors, students, and librarians.

World Read Aloud Day 2014 (Day 3): The Official Day

World-Read-Aloud-Day-2014

Today is officially World Read Aloud Day.  We have been celebrating all week and will continue on Thursday and Friday.  Today can only be described as miraculous!  Here’s a look at our day.

We started by connecting with Donna MacDonald and her students in South Burlington, Vermont.  Our students did a reader’s theater of One Cool Friend.  We divided the parts up between our students so that voices in both states were helping to tell the story.  Students got a chance to find out about state symbols and the weather, but we loved meeting all of Mrs. MacDonald’s library pets!

Donna MacDonald (1) Donna MacDonald (5) Donna MacDonald (7) Donna MacDonald (9)

 

Next, we connected with Matthew Winner and his students in Elkridge, MD.  We shared the book The Story of Fish and Snail by Deborah Freedman.  We took turn reading pages.  He had 1st graders who read the pages with him, while I had Kindergarten where I read the pages.  Our students also had a chance to ask once another questions.

Matthew Winner (16) Matthew Winner (14) Matthew Winner (7) Matthew Winner (3) Matthew Winner (1)

 

Next, we began connecting with several authors.  Our first connection was with Anne Marie Pace.  She is the author of Vampirina Ballerina and Vampirina Ballerina Hosts a Sleepover.  During our connection, she taught the kids a great song about how a book is made and had them sing along.

Then, she read Vampirina Ballerina.  It has so many interesting vocabulary words.  On one page, she had the students stand up and dance with her to practice one of the ballet moves.

Another thing I love is when authors point out details in the illustrations and how they connect with the rest of the story.  Anne Marie pointed out Vampirina’s final pose and how it was the same pose as her ballet idol posted in her bedroom.

Anne Marie Pace (10) Anne Marie Pace (7) Anne Marie Pace (4) Anne Marie Pace (1) Anne Marie Pace (3)

 

Next, a very miraculous thing happened.  We skyped with Kate DiCamillo!  As you know, she has won 2 Newbery medals and has just been named the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.  A few weeks ago we were contacted by the amazing people at LitWorld with an opportunity to be in a multi-school Skype.  I immediately said yes and the planning began.  Most of our 2nd grade attended with a few 3rd graders.  It was so inspiring.  We started with a roll call of schools.

Kate shared a poem from one of my favorite poets, Joyce Sidman.  Then, she started taking questions from schools.  This was followed by some reading from Flora & Ulysses.  The moderator also read aloud part of Kate’s first draft of Because of Winn Dixie, and I loved how Kate covered her ears because she didn’t want to hear how it sounded.

Kate DiCamillo (5)

 

Kate took some more questions from schools and ended by having the adults at each school share what they were reading to students.  When it came to me, I just had to tell Kate how I have read p. 130 of Flora & Ulysses numerous times to the students of Barrow and how “Expect the Miraculous” has become a mantra in our library and throughout our school.  She turned to p. 130, found the part, and read it aloud.  It was such a special moment (as you can see from my reaction at the end).

This was an amazing experience for our students.  They were hanging on every word and sat attentively for 1 hour and 15 minutes!  Our local newspaper was also in attendance to document the event.  I can’t thank LitWorld and Candlewick Press enough for this opportunity.  It was inspiring and definitely connected us with so many people through stories, which is Kate DiCamillo’s National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature platfrom.  During this call, we connected with the following schools along with Kate DiCamillo:

  • Mason-Rice Elementary School Newton, MA
  • Minnetonka Middle School West Minnetonka, MN
  • Van Meter Community School Van Meter, IA
  • Saint Mary Catholic School Paw Paw, MI
  •  Ducketts Lane Elementary School Elkridge, MD 
  • American School Foundation Mexico – ASFM Monterrey, Mexico
  • Roosevelt Elementary Jamestown, ND

Kate DiCamillo (12) Kate DiCamillo (6) Kate DiCamillo (2) Kate DiCamillo (3) Kate DiCamillo (4)

 

Later in the day, we connected with author Barbara O’Connor along with Sherry Gick and her students in Rossville, Indiana.  Barbara read aloud from How to Steal a Dog.

Then, students in each state had a chance to ask her some questions.  We learned about her 2 dogs, Martha & Ruby, as well as where the inspiration for the book came from.  Mrs. Wright’s 2nd grade class loved connecting since they had just finished the book as a class read aloud.

Barbara O'Connor (9) Barbara O'Connor (7) Barbara O'Connor (1)

 

Mrs. Stuckey’s class connected with author Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw and Shannon Miller’s students in Van Meter, IA.  She read her book Same, Same But Different.  We loved hearing her sing Kailash’s alphabet.

Then, she gave us a peek inside her art studio where we saw some paintings from her new book Luna and Me, which will be out in spring.  We can’t wait to see this book in print!  Students also got to ask her questions about her work.  It was fun to see her thought process as the author and illustrator of the book, and we learned that she does both together.

Jenny Sue (2)

 

We ended our day with the entire 5th grade skyping with author Tanya Lee Stone.  She read to us from Almost Astronauts.

This was followed by a chance for students to ask her questions.  They had several specific questions about the book, but we also learned how thorough Tanya is when she researches.  I loved that she included that she uses the Internet to research, but that she makes sure she is using reliable sources.  It was also fascinating to hear that books like Courage Has No Color took 10 years to write!  That was a powerful statement after students were complaining about a 2 hour writing test.

Tanya Lee Stone (6) Tanya Lee Stone (3) Tanya Lee Stone (1)

 

I love World Read Aloud Day.  I love sharing stories aloud, but even more than that, I love knowing that words are filling the air all around the world on this day and across this week.  I love that people are using social media to publicly profess their love of reading, their favorite books, and their celebrations of their freedom and right to read.  I love that stories really are connecting us to one another on this day and every time we share a story out loud.

Our celebration will continue for the next 2 days before we are off for spring break.  We will continue working on a Google Tour that will show all of our connections with a summary of each one.  Look for that in Friday’s post!  Happy World Read Aloud Day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.