Monday, October 14, 2013

Videolicious, Library Orientations and Reading

Welcome to the BMS Library!  I mentioned the Videolicious app in an earlier post.  I decided to go ahead and learn how to use it by creating a video tour of our library for our library orientations.  It was pretty easy to use.  The free account allows you to use 10 images and/or video clips to create a one minute long video.  You are able to narrate and add music.  I like short videos because it forces me to be think about what I really want to show my audience and what are the most important things I want to mention.  This is definitely an important skill to teach students when creating video projects.

Library orientations in August went well.  This year I focused on giving students enough time to browse, check out and get acquainted with the space.  Everyone was happy and I saw a few fist pumps when they found a book they wanted to read.  Students asked for mysteries, thrillers, and action books (to name a few).  Many of them eagerly checked out from our new graphic novel section.

This summer I read so much for our SC Junior Book Award committee and #bookbootcamp that I was ready to promote some books.  I am reaping all the benefits of reading middle grade books, because I am getting better at promoting books.  I hope you will join us on October 28th for our Romance #bookbootcamp at 8pm on Twitter!

Hope your school year has been off to a great start!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Banned Books Week and Intellectual Freedom

We are celebrating Banned Books Week (September 22-28) at our school.  We put together a display and will advertise on the news show.  I am sending out information this week to our teachers, too.  We will spread the word to students while they check out and everyone will know why we celebrate our right to read!  I found the book lists of challenged books and free promotional items here on the ALA website.  I am also curating links related to Intellectual Freedom (IF) here on as the IF chairperson for SCASL.

Sign in our display case with more titles that have been challenged .
Our Banned Books Display with an awesome poster created by our media assistant.

Close up of our books from our library that were listed in ALA's challenge lists.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Digital Citizenship, Digital Footprint & Digital Literacy

This year in the media center we are teaching a class called Digital Media to a small group of seventh graders.  We are teaching them how to make videos and take photos.  The products these students create will be featured on the morning news show, our school's social media outlets and our school yearbook.

We spent the first day getting to know each other and the second day talking about what we wanted to do in the class.  On Friday, we had our first digital literacy lesson.  We talked about what it means to be a digital citizen and our digital footprint.  I hope to create a Google Site that features the products our Digital Media students create.  The first project will be a video about their lives.  Students can share video clips and/or images of things or people meaningful to them.  I want them to think about what message they are sharing online about themselves before we get started.

I used a lesson found on Common Sense Media called Trillion Dollar Footprint to lead our discussion.  If you create a free account, you will be able to access all of the materials.  To help introduce the lesson, I entered my name in the Google search engine and we discussed the search results.  Everything that came up was related to school libraries, reading and technology.  They did not see pictures or posts about my family and friends.  I explained to them that this was intentional.  I respect my kids, friends, family and myself to be selective about how much I share about our personal lives online.

My plan is to embed lessons like this throughout our time together in class to help them understand how the media they create and share ties in with being a good digital citizen.  I recently read this article via, "No Longer a Luxury: Digital Literacy Can't Wait" by Troy Hicks and Kristen Hawley Turner.  Definitely a good read.  I am sharing it with teachers at my school because we are all teachers of digital literacy.  

Friday, August 16, 2013

Jumping in Feet First

Back in June, I had the privilege of attending ISTE in San Antonio, Texas.  What a great experience!!!  I learned so much that I had to unplug for a little while to let all the ideas come together for this school year.

Summer break is over!  Time to dust off my librarian hat and get to work.  First day back I was making videos and presenting to staff.  Jumping in feet first is the best way, sometimes.  

Those of us that attended ISTE were asked to share what we learned with the rest of the school.  Social Studies teacher Tyler Abernathy shared tips for using twitter and blogging.  Please check out his blog post for more information about his presentation.

Here is the list of resources that I shared with my colleagues:

Professor Garfield's X-treme Comics- I attended a session by ISTE's Special Interest Group for Literacy (siglit) where I learned about X-treme Comics, a web based comic generator.  There is a a free and paid version.  Students enjoy reading graphic novels.  I recently read several graphic novels this summer as part of our #bookbootcamp. With this tool, I can see teachers engaging students into writing and creating their own comics.  

Infographics- Teacher librarian Linda Doughtery shared her resources during the Digital Age Media Center Playground hosted by ISTE's Special Interest Group for Media Specialists (sigms).  Linda's presentation and website include so much information and resources for creating infographics.  I
saw my buddy fellow SC media specialist Tamara Cox's infographics included in this resource.  I'm ready to learn how to teach students to create this beautiful visual stories.

Digital Storytelling- ISTE's Special Interest Group for Digital Storytelling (sigds) also had a playground where we were able to play with different apps for each step of the digital storytelling process.  While researching the online resources posted by sigds, I came across Kathy Schrock's page 'Digital Storytelling Meets Common Core.'  I love librarians.  Common Core is all we are talking about this school year, so this will help me out.

Book Trailers- My Language Arts teacher partner in crime mentioned at the end of last school year that she wants her students to create book trailers.  Media specialist Julie Hembree shared resources for creating book trailers with young readers.  I think this will help us at the middle level get started teaching our students how to create engaging book trailers.

Aurasma- Media specialist Elissa Malespina shared resources for using the augmented reality app Aurasma in the classroom.  After seeing examples of Aurasma in action, I'm excited to try this out this year.

Videolicious- Technology education teacher Rob Zdrojewski presented "Students as mobile news reporters using videolicious iOS app." Another tool for using our class set of ipod touches.

Curation Tools- Media specialists Joyce Valenza, Michelle Luhtala, & Shannon Miller presented "Your School Library: Mobile, Flipped & Curated.  I plan to try out some different curation tools this year and create more videos for my teachers and students. 

What technology tools or projects do you plan to pursue this school year?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

SC Midlands Summit 2013 and me

End of school in our district = SC Midlands Summit!  This annual conference was held last week on June 12-13 at Westwood High School in Blythewood, SC.  Check out the sessions and resources for this year's conference here.

I presented two different sessions.  Mrs. Brown and I presented together about the different projects we collaborated on this year in the media center.  Here is a link to our presentation titled "A Common Space."  Our collaborative journey started with our first literary cafe about The Outsiders which I first blogged about here.  The second presentation was about our school news show.  Here is a link to the the presentation titled "Broadcasting Live from Our School Studio."  

Presenting was definitely nerve wracking, but I was happy to meet other educators interested in learning from our experiences and being able to exchange ideas with them.  It was my first time ever presenting at a conference.  I will definitely do it again!!   

Monday, June 17, 2013

It's Monday! What are you reading? 06/17/13

Last week I finished reading:

Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer- I liked this title.  It was funny, had some romance and a little drama.  Here is Mrs. ReaderPants' review of this title.  I like how she breaks it down.

Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park-   I would recommend this book to a high school audience.  This is a love story, but it also deals with family relationships and friendship.  As I was trying to figure out the audience of this book, I became curious to find the publisher of this book (I already returned my copy to the library) when I came across author Jessica Park's article about self-publishing.  Her story of why she self-published is interesting and informative.

Endangered by Eliot Schrefer- While visiting her mother who runs a bonobo sanctuary in the Congo, fourteen year old Sophie becomes separated from her mother.  She must learn to survive during a revolution and in the company of bonobos.  Great story!

How the Leopard Got his Spots: The Graphic Novel by Sean Tulien, Rudyard Kipling and Pedro Rodriguez

Marcell the Shell with Shoes On: Things about Me by Jenny Slate and Dean Fleischer-Camp

I started reading:
Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip by Jordan Sonnenblick

Here are some books I read during the last two weeks:

The Encyclopedia of Me by Karen Rivers  The format of this book is unique as the story is told through encyclopedia entries and lots of footnotes. 

Little White Duck: a childhood in China by Na Liu and Andres Vera Martinez

Bad Girls: Sirens, Jezebels, Murderesses, Thieves, & other Female Villains by Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple

Mister Death's Blue Eyed Girls by Mary Downing Hahn

Stolen by Lucy Christopher- This story drew me in right away.  Interesting story.  

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Getting the Word Out

As I thought about a title for this post, "Dancing in the Street" by David Bowie & Mick Jagger came to mind.   Being a kid in the 80's was the best!  I'm not dancing in the streets, but I am getting the word out in the streets about what is going on in our library.

My first line of communication is our school newsletter.  In our school newsletter, I share announcements about upcoming library events, research projects that involve the library, digital literacy articles from the internet and pictures of our students participating in library events & research.  Our school newsletter creator is awesome and always saves a spot for my library news.  I usually post the same information for the school newsletter to the announcement page on our school library website.  The school library website has been a great tool for sharing pictures, videos and library news.  I can easily update the home page with whatever information I want to feature at that time.

I send my principal and assistant principals quarterly reports sharing what we've been up to in the library.  I also send them an annual report.  I follow a basic format for all of my reports: program highlights, library statistics and information about collaborative projects.  If time permits, I include pictures and videos to help illustrate the data.  I also make the reports available on our school library website.  I share the link with parents in our school newsletter and the library website announcement page each time I add a new report.

In the past, I created a document with lots of information for my annual report.  This year I wanted to create an infographic after media specialist Fran Bullington shared how to do this on her blog Informania.  I tried Piktochart and it was pretty easy to figure out.  Thanks for sharing this great idea, Fran!!

Here is my annual report for 2012-2013 that I created using Piktochart:

I also help post information to our school Facebook, Twitter and Youtube accounts.  I like to post lots of "reading is important" type posts on these accounts, along with the usual school announcements.

I think sharing what we do in the library is important.  It does not take much time for me to put together a report because I keep track of everything on my calendars.  I pull library stats from the library circulation system.  I keep pictures filed by month.  I just have to make the commitment to sit down once a quarter for 30-45 minutes to put it all together and send it out to my various outlets.

Everyone in my school is supportive of our library program, but I still want to advocate for myself and what starts in the library.

How do you get the word out about what happens in your library?

Final report for 2012-2013!

The last few weeks of school were a bit of a whirlwind.  As I worked on a final collaboration with a teacher and end-of-year stuff, I was able to put together our fourth quarter report and our annual report. Completing a quarterly report really helps me keep track of everything we do in the library.  (I shared in a earlier post about how I share what we do in the library with my school community.)

Using Smore this school year definitely was a time saver.  It's easy to use and the final product is visually appealing.  This year I was able to compare our students visits, circulation and collaboration statistics to last year's statistics.  Doing this helps me see areas where I want to continue improving.  I also used this report as a place to share my reflections on the school year and my progress on the goals I set for the library program.

I would love to hear about and/or see annual reports for other media centers.

Happy summer and thanks for reading my little blog.

Monday, May 27, 2013

It's Monday! What are you reading? 5/27/13

Here is what I finished reading last week:
If I Stay by Gayle Forman- This book has lots of positive reviews on Goodreads, but I personally did not enjoy it.  The audiobook is only four CDs, but that was too long for me.  I think it has it's place in a high school library.  

Life Happens Next by Terry Trueman- Interesting story told from the view point of a young man with cerebal palsy.  Even though I had not read the previous titles also about the same main character (Stuck in Neutral & Cruise Control), I was still able to follow the story.

Rock God: The Legend of BJ Levine by Barnabas Miller- Very fast paced story with lots of odd ball characters.  

Crossing the Line (Border Town, #1) by Malin Alegria- I really like the way the author weaves in Spanish words throughout the story without sounding cheesy.  

The Accidental Genius of Weasel High by Rick Detorie

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire- I'm not sure if this book if for high school or even some adults.  The romantic relationship is so dysfunctional, but I could not stop reading it.  I just had to know what was going to happen. 

Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti- This story deals with bullying, sex, suicide, abusive parent, self esteem issues and overall tough times in high school. 

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

I read this book to my son: 
Mad Scientist (Babymouse #14)

I started reading:
The Encyclopedia of Me by Karen Rivers

Monday, May 20, 2013

It's Monday! What are you reading? 5/20/13

Last week I read:
Enchanted (Woodcutter Sisters #1) by Alethea Kontis- I thought this story had a very slow beginning, but it got interesting after I was half way through it. 

Last week I read these books to my son:
That is not a good idea! by Mo Willems- We love Mo Willems' Elephant and Piggie series. 
Everyone can Learn to Ride a Bike by Chris Raschka
This is not my Hat by Jon Klassen- I read Jon Klassen's I Want My Hat Back and LOVED IT!  I think my son liked it, too.   
Millions, Billions, Trillions by David A. Adler

I started reading:
Rock God: The Legend of BJ Levine by Barnabas Miller
If I Stay by Gayle Forman (audiobook)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

It's Monday! What are you reading? 5/13/13

I know.  It's Tuesday.

Last week I finished reading:

Son of the Mob by Gordon Korman- Funny title that involves a high school romance between a boy whose dad is a mobster and a girl whose father is the FBI agent investigating him.

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen- I listened to this title as part of my #bookbootcamp project about romances for tweens/teenagers.

The Bronte Sisters: The Brief Lives of Charlotte, Emily and Anne by Catherine Reef- I read Wuthering Heights as a teenager and loved it.  Being familiar with the work of one of the authors made me want to read this book.  It was interesting.  I am not sure how many middle schoolers have read Wuthering Heights.  And if they haven't read it, would they would be interested in reading about these authors?  I guess I will find out.

Cow Boy by Cosby Nate- Short, funny graphic novel.  I liked the artwork in several of the stories in the book.

Guitar Notes by Mary Amato- I LOVED THIS BOOK.  I first heard about this book on the Teen Librarian Toolbox when they blogged about it here.  I finally got my hands on this book and I could not put it down.  Definitely adding it to my list of romance titles for teens.

The Ghost of Graylock by Dan Poblocki- Scary.  Students looking for a ghost and mystery story will enjoy this book.  I wish I had not waited so long to read it.

I read these books to my son:

Belle, the Last Mule at Gee's Bend: A Civil Rights Story by Calvin Alexander Ramsey-

Owly: A Time to Be Brave by Andy Runton

Martin de Porres: the Rose in the Desert by Gary D. Schmidt

I'm currently reading:
Enchanted (Woodcutter Sisters #1) by Alethea Kontis

Starting my reading slow.

Monday, May 6, 2013

It's Monday! What are you reading? 5/6/13

I finished reading all of the 2013-2014 SC Junior Book Award nominees!  Yea!

Now to begin my work reading some teen/tween romance titles as part of the Middle Grade Book Boot Camp.  Interested in discussing and learning about middle grade books?  Join us!  Here is the form to enlist.  I'm looking forward to collaborating and discussing books with other middle school librarians.  We're going to be blogging, wiki-ing, tweeting and possibly Google Hang-outing.  I know.  That was cheesy.  It's the middle school in me.

Last week I finished reading:

Wild Life by Cynthia DeFelice- This book was a quick read that I will recommend to students that like to read survival stories.

A World Without Heroes by Brandon Mull- I listened to the audiobook.  I liked how this story got off to a quick start with Jason landing in Lyrian via a hippo.  Several of my fantasy readers have already finished the second book in this series.

Hurt Go Happy by Ginny Rorby- I'm always on the search for our next Read Across America/Disability Awareness Month title. The main character of this book is named Joey.  Joey lost her hearing at the age of seven.  Her mother wants her to rely on lip reading, instead of learning sign language.  Joey's world cracks open when she meets Charlie and Sukari, a chimpanzee who uses sign language to communicate.

Skinny by Donna Cooner- This is a serious title about a young woman that undergoes gastric bypass surgery.  Without realizing it, this book is also a romance.  It was hard to appreciate that as I was more concerned about the more serious health issues that this book glides over.

I read these books to my little guy:

Here Come the Girl Scouts!: The Amazing All-True Story of Juliette "Daisy' Gordon Low and Her Great Adventure by Shana Corey- I loved this title!!

Boo to You! by Lois Ehlert

Chopsticks by Amy Krouse Rosenthal- My son really liked this story about chopsticks.

The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man by Michael Chabon

I am currently reading:
Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Son of the Mob by Gordon Korman

Monday, April 29, 2013

It's Monday! What are you reading? 4/29/13

Last week I finished reading:
How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous by Georgia Bragg- This book was gross and engaging.  I can't wait to share with students.  I hope they enjoy it as much as I did.

The Fairy Ring: Or Elsie and Frances Fool the World by Mary Losure- I would like to tie this story in with a lesson on evaluating pictures for authenticity.  Here is a link to a webpage with hoax pictures.

Waiting to Forget by Sheila Kelly Welch- Painful story with a hopeful ending.  I was able to booktalk this title today to several seventh grade students who immediately checked it out.

Icefall by Matthew Kirby- I could not get into this audiobook.  It was very slow paced.  All of our library copies are checked out.  I have talk to a student that has read this book to get their opinion on it.

The Underdogs by Mike Lupica- I am not a sports fan and thought I would not enjoy this book.  I was happily surprised.  It was funny, fast paced and full of great motivational speeches.

The Apothecary by Maile Maloy- The cover does not do this book justice.  This book has magic!  I am booktalking it to all my fantasy readers.

I am currently reading:
A World Without Heroes by Brandon Mull (audiobook)
Manuscript found in Accra by Paulo Coelho
Debt-Free U: How I Paid for an Outstanding College Education Without Loans, Scholarships, or Mooching Off My Parents by Zac Bissonnette
Hurt Go Happy by Ginny Rorby

I read these books to my little guy:
Awesome Dawson by Chris Gall
Wiener Wolf by Jeff Crosby
All the Water in the World by George Ella Lyon
Cloudette by Tom Lichtenheld
The Day Dirk Yeller Came to Town by Mary Casanova

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Skype in the library and more literary cafes

I've always wanted to use Skype in the library.  This month we used Skype, not only once, but twice!  Last week, our students participated in a Poetry Slam via Skype with Michal Hope's middle school students as part of Poetry Month.

This week we used Skype to have our seventh grade Language Arts students meet author Diane Stanley and discuss her novel 'Saving Sky' which is on this year's SCJBA nominee list.  We met with Mrs. Stanley online twice for 30 minutes each time in order for all of our seventh graders to have a chance to "meet" her.  Mrs. Stanley shared with students background about the book and about her life as a writer from her home office in New Mexico.  Students had about 20 minutes for Q&A and they did a great job asking thoughtful questions.

The Language Arts teachers and students really liked the literary cafes we did for The Outsiders unit and for the myths/fairy tales/legends unit and wanted to do something similar for this project.  I set up different stations in the library where students learned about Japanese internment camps, concentration camps and the US Patriot Act.  Students wrote journals about their reaction to what they read/watched at each station.  I pulled books from our shelves and from the public library to create the following stations: 

  • poetry books with poetry written by children & adults in Japanese internment camps and concentration camps. 
  • picture books about Japanese internment camps & concentration camps. 
  • nonfiction books about Japanese internment camps & concentration camps.
  • articles from DISCUS about the US Patriot Act
  • Discovery Education videos about the US Patriot Act
  • Discovery Education videos about Japanese internment camps 
Our literary cafes have been a hit this year with seventh grade.  I'm hoping to get sixth and eighth grade classes in next school year to try it out now that they've had a chance to see it in action a few times.  Another nice thing that happened this year is that I've had a chance to work with many of our student teachers during these literary cafes.  One student teacher told me on Friday that she will make sure to become best friends with the media specialist at her new school.  Yea for collaboration!!!

Please share any projects you've done using Skype!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Building a Reading Culture

Last night we held an open house at our school for our upcoming sixth grade parents and students.  After a presentation from our administrative team and sixth grade faculty, I had the chance to meet and greet lots of families into the library for a quick presentation on how to encourage reading over the summer.  I also took this opportunity to invite the Manager from our local public library branch to talk about summer reading programs and FREE resources available at the public library.  She, in turn, invited the new Youth and Family Services Supervisor to join the conversation.

I'm always happy to find a way to tie in our public library to what we are doing in our school.  During our chat before the presentation, I learned that there will be a new teen center at our main branch inspired by what YouMedia has been doing in Chicago Public Library.  I'm excited about this news and am looking forward to checking it out!!!

Last week the Teen Librarian Toolbox blogged about reluctant readers for Reluctant Reader Week.  Check out the posts linked here.  It's a great resource and the timing was perfect for me.  I printed off the ten tips in this post and handed those out to parents last night.  I used this article from Educational Leadership to create the presentation below.  (The images on tips #2 and #5 are hyperlinked.)

Building a Reading Culture from Lorena Swetnam

This school year I shared weekly literacy tips in our school newsletter along with my regular library news announcements.  I used tips from this article to help me get started.  What literacy events/programs do you use to promote reading with your parents and community at the middle school level?  I'd love to hear!!

Monday, April 22, 2013

4/22/13 It's Monday! What are you reading?

I finished reading::
The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine- I was hooked to this historical fiction novel about integration in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1958.  Stories about this time period are popular in our school library.  I look forward to promoting this title to our students. 

Small as an Elephant by Jennifer Richard Jacobson- I started listening to this on audiobook and had to checkout the print version to quickly finish reading it.  This story left me relieved, angry and sad all at the same time.  

City of Orphans by Avi- I was a little skeptical about this novel.  The story is set in 1893 in New York City and gives readers a taste of what life was like for immigrant families, especially children.  It's fast paced with a mystery to be solved.

I am currently reading:
The Apothecary by Maile Maloy
Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby (audiobook) 
Manuscript Found in Accra by Paulo Coelho

I read these titles aloud to my little guy:
Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin
Oh, No! by Candace Fleming
Little Dog Lost: The True Story a Brave Dog Named Baltic by Monica Carnesi
No Sleep for Sheep by Karen Beaumont
Chloe and the Lion by Mac Barnett
Road Work Ahead by Anastasia Suen
Star of the Week by Barney Saltzberg

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Charger Research Model

I completed an online class through PBS Teacherline titled 'Building Critical Thinking Skills for Online Research' last summer.  During the course, I read and learned about various research models in order to develop my own research model for my school.

Going into the project, I knew I wanted to develop a research model that was simple and easy to follow without overwhelming students with a lot of steps. I borrowed and adapted from the following research models: the Big6, New South Wales (NSW), South Carolina's The Simple Four and The Research Cycle Model (RCM).

Click here to view The Charger Research Model for Students.

My favorite model was the NSW model because, along with sharing what the students were doing at each step, it also listed what the teacher should be looking for in the student work at each step. Since I also wanted to share this model with teachers, I borrowed heavily from the NSW model.

Click here to view the The Charger Research Model for Teachers.

So far, I've shared the model with all of our teachers and our seventh grade students. Before sharing with the seventh graders, I decided to add the list of links and tools they would use at each step of the research process. We are a 1:1 computing school and I wanted to make sure to demonstrate how our library resources, technology and other tools all come together during the research process.

Sharing the model with students also helped me update the homepage of the school library website. I wanted students to be able to click on the resources they would need for reading and research when they arrived on the school library homepage, instead of hunting for them in the sidebar. I find I am always creating stuff on the library website and going back and making it simpler. I have a love/hate relationship with the library website.

Now that I've gotten my feet wet with seventh grade, I am looking forward to sharing this with our sixth graders next school year to help set the stage for research. Starting off with our seventh graders helped me refine & tweak what I originally created in the summer. Please feel free to borrow, copy and share :)

Monday, April 15, 2013

4/15/13 It's Monday! What are you reading?

I am pushing myself to read more middle grade books to help me be a better book pusher.  In an effort to meet my reading goals, I applied to serve on our South Carolina Junior Book Award committee.  (I just received my acceptance email today! Yea!)  I hope that joining the committee will help me stay on track with my reading goals, as well as participating in this 'It's Monday! What are you reading?' meme.  We shall see :)

My reading goal for the next several weeks is to read all twenty of of the 2013-2014 SCJBA nominee books before we go on summer break.  Last week I read the following books:

"Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart" by Candace Fleming.  I am pleasantly surprised to find myself enjoying more and more nonfiction books.  This book kept my attention with its alternating chapters between details about Amelia's life & career and the heartbreaking search for her during her final flight.  I look forward to promoting this book.

I finished listening to Carl Hiaasen's audiobook "Chomp" last week.  I enjoyed the humor and reality TV show plot.  I kept thinking about my favorite survivalist Cody Lundin from the television show "Dual Survivor."  I know in my heart Cody is nothing like Derek Badger.

I booktalked "Hidden" by Helen Frost to a member of our school book club the following morning after I finished reading it.  The student checked it out on the spot and came back the next day raving about the book.  I like reading novels written in verse.  I hope to get more students to try out this genre by booktalking this quick and engaging read.

I finished listening to the audiobook version of "Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading" by Tommy Greenwald.  All of our library copies are checked out right now.  I look forward to hear what our students think about this title.

Last week, I read the following picture books to my six year old son:
"Three Hens and a Peacock" by Lester Laminack

"Babar and his Children" by Jean de Brunhoff

"Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" by Jane Cabrera

I am currently reading:

"Saint Louis Armstrong Beach" by Brenda Woods

"The Lions of Little Rock" by Kristin Levine (audiobook)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Read Across America Day, Dr. Seuss' Birthday and Disability Awareness Month

During the month of our March, our school has a wonderful tradition of celebrating Dr. Seuss' birthday and Read Across America Day by reading one book in one day as a whole school.  This is a great event that promotes reading and creates a feeling of community in the school.  We accomplish this feat by reading aloud 3-4 chapters in each class period until we finish the book in the last class period of the day.  

In the past, we read Sharon Flake's book "The Broken Bike Boy and Queen of 33rd Street", David Lubar's book "Hidden Talents and Three Cups of Tea- The Young Reader's Edition by Greg Mortenson, Sarah L. Thomson, and David Oliver Relin.   

At the end of last school year, our Special Education department chair suggested we read a book that ties in with Disability Awareness Month which is also recognized in the month of March.  This year we celebrated Dr. Seuss' Birthday, Read Across America and Disability Awareness Month by reading author Sharon Draper's book "Out of My Mind."

If you have not read this book yet, please go out and read it.  Our teachers and students loved this book. And to make it even better, when I explained to our Language Arts department our plans to move forward with this theme for Read Across America for next year, a Language Arts teacher volunteered to read books to help us pick out a title for next year.  Now there are three of us reading books and discussing possible book titles for next year's Read Across America.

If your school reads a book as a whole school, please share in the comments!