Saturday, November 17, 2018

Laurie Keller Day!

After weeks of preparation the big day had arrived...

Laurie Keller Author Visit Day!

Books read.  Artwork created.  Displays assembled.  November 16 was finally here!

When my colleague, Carrie Davies, and I learned that we would be sharing an additional library this year, we both knew that Laurie Keller would be the perfect person to bring as our first author/illustrator visit!  Her books and her presentations were sure to bring the excitement that we were hoping for in our new space....and THAT they did.

Here are some pictures from our wonderful day!

Welcomes ready.

Laurie Keller and enjoyed!

Artwork created.
(Shoutout to art teacher, Rosie Haugen!)

Student introductions.

Laurie working her magic with students.

Students doing the Robot.
(or, on Laurie Keller Day...the Po-bot!)

Creating characters.

Excited illustrators.

Book signings.

and, of course....DOUGHNUTS!

Great author, great kids, great school...GREAT DAY!
(Special thanks to our PTO for helping make this day possible!)

The excitement of Laurie Keller Day even spread to the dentist's office, where a student found a Laurie Keller book.  She and her mom read it together while they waited. 
(Parental permission granted.)


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Everyone must be IncludED!

Anyone who knows me, knows how important it is to me that all students see themselves in a classroom or library book collection.  It is for this reason that I was delighted when The Core Collaborative asked me to contribute a monthly post to their blog as part of their IncludED initiative.  I hope to provide literature selections that teachers and librarians can use to help guarantee inclusion and equity for all!

Here are links to my first three posts.


I am thankful for the opportunity to share my thoughts about, and passion for, connecting kids with books that help them see themselves and better understand others.  Kindness, empathy and acceptance must be taught and modeled to ensure that all kids are includED!

Friday, February 2, 2018

Mock Newbery 2018

Today, my district held its third annual Mock Newbery Committee meeting.  Since October, fourth grade students from our three elementary schools have been reading...reading...reading.  They have been meeting a couple times a month to discuss their reading with their respective school Newbery clubs.  Finally, today, they were able to meet with the other clubs from the district for a day of discussion, sharing and evaluation.

Working together with my amazing colleagues Carrie Davies and Leah Pietrusza we transformed our district's Board Room into our committee meeting place.

And then our amazing readers arrived.

Students were welcomed and given the agenda for the day!

Then, committee members were able to explore their gift bags...

Students started their day with a Skype visit with Newbery Committee member, Cathy Potter to learn about the process of becoming a Newbery judge and how she has managed the massive amount of reading involved.

The next large amount of time was spent meeting in small subcommittees to discuss books....

,,,and skyping with amazing authors, Elana Arnold (A Boy Called BAT) and Tamara Bundy (Walking With Miss Millie).  We, also, received a video message from author, Dan Gemeinhart (Scar Island). We appreciate that they took the time to share their inspirations and creative processes with us.

Committee members then had some time to reflect upon their thinking by quietly writing and sketching.

After having the opportunity to champion their book choice, students were finally ready to cast their votes.

Then,,,lunch time...complete with gold medal cookies!

Finally, it was time to announce our winners.

Our three honor books...

And our 2018 Mock Newbery winner was........

It was an incredible day with amazing kids, amazing authors and amazing books!  The depth of understanding and insightful discussions made me a very proud teacher.  And most importantly, these 33 awesome readers read 343 books from October-February.

Congratulations, Mock Newbery Committee on a job very well done!