Sunday, April 1, 2012

We Are Kicking Off Poetry Month With Lots Of Fun!

Today is April 1st and the start of one of our favorite months.

It is National Poetry Month!
In April every year, the Academy of America Poets celebrates Poetry Month.
On the site it states, "Inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, National Poetry Month is now held every April, when publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, schools and poets around the country band together to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture. Thousands of businesses and non-profit organizations participate through readings, festivals, book displays, workshops, and other events." 
One of the BEST events that they promote is Poem In Your Pocket Day....this year being held of April 26th. On this day, everyone is encouraged to find a favorite poem or write a new poem and put it in your pocket.  

Last year, we celebrated Poetry Month and Poem In Your Pocket Day together for the first time.  You can see how we celebrated by watching this Animoto of the special day at Brook Forest and Van Meter Schools. Throughout the day, we shared poems and celebrated poetry.  It was a blast seeing everyone in our schools and friends around the world get involved in this day.
This year, our friend, Sarah Ducharme, a teacher librarian in Budapest created a Google Doc for all of us who wanted to connect on Poem In Your Pocket Day.  Thank you, Sarah. :) 
Today, we planned out our schedule and activities for Poetry Month.  
We worked in the Google Doc that we set up for Poetry Month a few weeks ago.  Through the chat feature and by writing in the document itself, we were able to plan some very FUN celebrations, projects and connections. 
We will be creating Spine Poetry again with our students.  We will turn the photos into a collaborative FlipBook that will be shared with our schools and friends.
Our first and second graders are going to create collaborative Little Bird Tales and...

Tikatok eBooks featuring poetry and illustrations they create.
We will also be using our iPads and iTouches to create poetry.  We will use apps like Visual Poet.
We found time to connect each day this week with different classes to celebrate the kick-off for poetry month.  During these connections we will discuss Poetry Month and Poem In Your Pocket Day, show the Animoto from last years celebration and tell our students how we are going to work together to create digital eBooks, poems and other art work.  

And of course....we will be sharing a little poetry with them too. 
This is going to be a wonderful month. 

We can't wait to hear you are going to celebrate National Poetry Month too! 

Friday, March 9, 2012

World Read Aloud Day 2012 - Part One

We celebrated World Read Aloud Day with sensational students, awesome authors, and excellent educators. We "traveled" to New York, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Ohio, and California. This global literacy celebration showed students the power of words and stories and brought to life this year's theme,"Change the World, Story by Story." Thank you to everyone who took part in this memorable day. We are lucky, lucky librarians.

John's library celebrated World Read Aloud Day with five authors. He's thankful they took time out of their busy schedules to celebrate the importance of reading aloud.

Sarah Albee chatted with a first-grade class about the time she sent Queen Elizabeth a drawing and received a royal response. Wow! She read excerpts from Elephants and Lions and talked a bit about the history of poop. Thanks, Sarah!

Watch the hilarious book trailer for Poop Happened!

An unfortunate incident inspired Sarah to write Poop Happened!

Borrow Sarah Albee's books from your school or public library.

Jody Feldman answered fifth-graders' questions about The Gollywhopper Games. She shared that she's always enjoyed creating puzzles and has fun working them into her books. She closed by reading an excerpt from The Seventh Level. Thanks, Jody!

Check out the book trailer for The Gollywhopper Games.

Anderson's Bookshop always says wonderful things about The Seventh Level.

Jody Feldman provides a summary of the first two chapters of The Seventh Level.

Borrow The Gollywhopper Games and The Seventh Level from your school or public library.

C. Alexander London and his dog Skyped with a fifth-grade class. He shared the inspiration for We Are Not Eaten By Yaks, talked about the importance of reading and writing, and read from a book he wrote in 1988 (I think he was in first grade). Thanks, C. Alexander!

I love the book trailer for We Are Not Eaten By Yaks. It is an exciting adventure with tv-addicted twins, explorers, and humor.

C. Alexander London created this video to celebrate the book birthday of We Dine With Cannibals.

C. Alexander London has watched his fair share of Spongebob.

Borrow C. Alexander London's books from your school or public library.

Linda Urban celebrated with an extra happy first-grade class. She reminisced about the time she and Kate Messner visited my library, read Mouse Was Mad, and asked a few kids to discuss their favorite books. She's one in a million.

Watch a clip from when Linda Urban visited with my third, fourth, and fifth graders.

Sharon Creech's blurb for Linda's A Crooked Kind of Perfect is perfect: "I love Zoe's parents and her friend Wheeler, but most especially I love Zoe. She's perfect, in the most deliciously crooked kind of way."

Borrow Linda Urban's books from your school or public library.


Olugbemisola connected with Shannon Miller's fifth graders and my second graders at the same time. She delivered energetic booktalks about Breadcrumbs, A Wrinkle in Time, and Dumpling Days. Students from both groups shared their favorite books. Thank you, Olugbemisola!

A Wrinkle in Time is one of Olugbemisola's all-time favorite novels.

"World Read Aloud Day is fantastic because I get to know you guys." - Olugbemisola


Borrow 8th Grade Super Zero from your school or public library.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Our Friendiversary Celebration....

We had a wonderful time celebrating Friendiversary for the first time together this year.

Friendiversary is an annual celebration of friendship and reading from First Book and Mo Willems

From BookMark, The First Book Blog

"First Book is celebrating Friendiversary this week by providing 7,000 new Elephant & Piggie books to second-graders at Title I schools in Louisiana and Massachusetts. The Elephant & Piggie series is written and illustrated by our friend Mo Willems, whose support makes it possible for First Book able to provide these books. Every book includes a special Friendiversary note from Mo, and his publisher, Disney Publishing Worldwide, is also providing activity kits, stickers and posters free of charge to each classroom."

And we will celebrate friendship and reading all year long.  

Friday, February 3, 2012

We Celebrated Bubble Gum Day!

We celebrated Bubble Gum Day together this week.

On Bubble Gum Day everyone who donates 50 cents gets to chew gum at school. It is a great day to have fun and raise money for a cause that you care about. This year we are raising money for LitWorld's World Read Aloud Day (check out how we are celebrating WRAD).
The students at Van Meter raised over $175.00. They sold dozens of packs of gum to the students in kindergarten through 12th grade....even a few teachers came and bought gum. John's students will be celebrating Bubble Gum Day on February 24th.
Author Ruth Spiro started Bubble Gum Day in 2006. She is the author of Lester Fizz, Bubble-Gum Artist.
We had so much fun Skyping with Ruth. She read Lestor Fizz to us and answered questions from our students. She even blew a bubble for us!

You can read more about Ruth's story in this wonderful article from the Winnetka Talk, Deerfield Author Celebrates Life in a Bubble.
The 6th graders at Van Meter created iMovies on Bubble Gum Day. They were given two pieces of gum and 25 minutes. Their iMovie was to explain how to blow a bubble.
Shannon taught all of our 4th graders at Oak Brook and Van Meter about FlipSnack today. They are using FlipSnack with a collaborative state project they are working on. The students in Van Meter created a ComicLife page to celebrate Bubble Gum Day and they put it into a FlipSnack to share.
The 1st and 2nd graders created little Bubble People out of paper plates and balloons.
And then they wrote the steps for blowing a bubble. Everyone is having fun reading them in the hallways.

We LOVE Bubble Gum Day!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

We Are So Excited About World Read Aloud Day

On March 7, 2012 we will be celebrating World Read Aloud Day with the world.  

The theme this year says it all....

Change the World, Story by Story
This amazing day is sponsored by LitWorlds, whose mission is, "to use the power of story to cultivate literacy skills in the world's most vulnerable children through Education, Advocacy and Innovation."

Through social media such as Skype, Twitter, and Facebook we will come together once again to celebrate the power of words and magic of literacy.  

Last year we celebrated by connecting with 13 other classrooms and 9 authors throughout the day.  It was one of the best days and one we will never forget.  So when LitWorld announced WRAD 2012, we just couldn't wait to start planning.  
We have created the "Change the World, Story by Story" wiki.  If you would like to join us on March 7th, please join the wiki and sign up on the "Skype Schedule and Projects" page.  We will post different resources and artifacts as well on the wiki.  
John created these beautiful posters and they are decorating our hallways.  
Shannon created this banner for the wiki and it could also be used as a bookmark for WRAD. 

We are also VERY excited to announce that we have been invited by LitWorlds to be WRADvocates.  As WRADvocates our role is to be the "Ambassador for World Read Aloud Day" is our area by spreading the word through social media, celebrations, and connections that we will make.  

As we look ahead to the year and all of the events in front of us, World Read Aloud Day is definitely one that will bring excitement, fun, and new friendships to our students and school communities.  

And we hope that you will want to bring this to yours too by joining us on March 7th.  

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Celebrating Ivy + Bean Day Together for the 2nd Year

We were so excited when it was time for Chronicle Book's Ivy + Bean Day this year. Our very first connection for Two Libraries One Voice was last year when we celebrated Ivy + Bean Day together with our second graders at Oak Brook and Van Meter. You can watch our Animoto videos from last year here....

This year we planned to celebrate with our first and second graders.

We signed up on Chronicle Book's Web site to see all of their amazing activity and celebration ideas.

They also sent us a little package with posters, pins, and activity packet.....we loved this!

All throughout the week we celebrated with our students. We set up a few stations within our libraries. In one station they had to design their very own "Ivy Room." In book 1, Bean is amazed by Ivy's bedroom. We had them use a drawing app on the iPads to create their very own dream room too.

They created cootie catchers in one of the stations. You can find the directions and template here.

Out students had a blast creating fancy Newspaper Party Hats.

On Friday, we connected our first graders during a Skype Ivy + Bean party!

John's first graders practiced a short play called What a Scream throughout the week. They gave a wonderful performance during our party.

Next, we played Picture Book Month Bingo. Since we are also celebrating picture books during November, we thought it would be fun to integrate that into our party by creating a Bingo game to play together.
We all had a GREAT time finding our favorite picture book characters on our Bingo cards.
Our others classes also had fun playing Bingo as well.
We had a SUPER time celebrating Ivy + Bean Day.

We hope you did too.