#WRAD17 and #classroombookaday COLLIDE

I love to read.  Did you know that?  Ha!!  I might literally be laughing as I type that because if you spend even five minutes with me I’ve probably told you about a book you should read or one I just read or one I plan on getting from the library or the bookstore soon.  It’s kind of an addiction.  But hey, there are worse vices, right?

So anyway…today was a special day in the literary world where two fabulous planets collided–it was World Read Aloud Day as well as another day in the #classroombookaday challenge!!

I made a plan for our read alouds yesterday, and slotted in eight new titles, trying to fit them into what we were already planning to do in each subject.  I invited Mrs. Sisul to come to read to us–because why not?!–and figured I’d take care of the rest.  What happened instead was even better than I had imagined!

We only ended up with 7 (ha–I know, that’s so silly to say “only”) and also ended up with 3 OTHER READERS!!  Check it out!

Mrs. Sisul had a hard job finding a book that Rm. 202 friends didn’t already know, and she brought one we had already heard, but everyone knows that a good book is meant to be read and REREAD so we were so glad that she did!

Ms. Holzmueller was in our room this afternoon and so we had to ask her to share a story with us!  What better than Lola Loves Stories!  We had already read Lola at the Library and this one was a great addition!

I love how it has become commonplace in Rm. 202 for kiddos to make book suggestions, bring books from home and even volunteer to read to us!  Callahan had been working on The Cherries for a little while and was eager to read it to the rest of his classmates!  Since he and Jack had worked it out together, Jack showed the pictures while Cal read us the words.  Great job, boys!!

Penny has become a regular nowadays in our orange chair!  This was the third in this series that she chose to share with us and the kids were super excited.  This may be my favorite so far.  And no, not just because it has my name in it. 🙂

We ended up also reading some other books that were in my mile-high TBR pile, and one that someone just happened to add to the top of it today.  It was a pretty good selection, I’d say:

Ok, and since I said that #WRAD17 collided with our regular #classroombookaday challenge, let me update you on how that’s proceeding.  I’m pretty sure that it has been since the holidays that I updated our door situation.  I’m not really sure why, but wow does it look different these days.  I’m excited for you to see it and share in our joy.  I honestly just get all warm and happy every time I see it–which is at least 25 times a day or more!

Here are a few to watch the door fill up:

And then all together now:

We’re up to 389!!  COWABUNGA!!

Someone asked today when our next celebration would be.  Not sure–think at 400?  500?  When we fill up this side of the door?  I mean, I kind of think every addition is a celebration of some sort, but I’m an old lady so I find joy in the little things. LOL  🙂

No matter what we decide, it’s CERTAIN that the readers in Rm. 202 are on a roll!

#classroombookaday UPDATE: 300 books!!

It’s been a while since I posted an update on our reading.  The last few weeks of the year were busy and I didn’t get a chance to read as much I would have liked, and also I felt like the way the door looked wasn’t really changing much so posting a picture was  kind of unnecessary.

Anyhow, we’re in a new year, have added many more books and today we reached another AMAZING MILESTONE in our journey!

screenshot-2017-01-06-18-31-21

And while my phone didn’t get the whole thing (stupid memory!), it was a pretty great start to our day!

Just a few more…

She already has some mad upside-down-reading skills.  A teacher in training, perhaps??  And man was she super proud to be reading to us.  This was actually the second time she shared with us this week.  Go Penny!

See those white books on the top row? One of the best things is the number of kid-authored books we’ve been reading lately.  Gotta give a shout-out to Mara and her prolific publishing.  She has written 4 books this week, and we LOVE THEM!  They are rhyming and SO FUNNY!  Aadish suggested today that we get Mara her own author box in our library.  Great idea! And well, I think EVERYONE should have their own author box.  Hmm….

I still say this is one of the most amazing things that has happened in my classroom!  Bring on the books!  Can’t wait to share the next great thing. 🙂

#classroombookaday UPDATE: Week 16 (yep, we’ve missed a few)

Whew!  I’m pretty sure I blinked and November was over, and I also took a look and now we’re on WEEK 16 of our book-a-day (or a little more!) challenge.  I think I shared that we’ve now moved to the inside of our door, but if not, here’s a pic so you’ll see what we’re up to now.  Sorry to have missed the last 3 weeks! Thanksgiving break always throws a little bit of a wrench in the works. 🙂

So…here’s where we are as of last Friday, December 9:

We’re up to 266 books!! I am still wondering if my prediction of 500 will happen, but for sure we’ll get close to filling up this side of our door before Spring Break!

#classroombookaday UPDATE: WE FILLED UP OUR DOOR!

Many of you have been along for this entire journey so far as we’ve taken on the #classroombookaday challenge, but for those who have not, please check out the links to them here so get caught up before we share this momentous occasion with you. 🙂

Week 1  Week 2   Week 3  Week 4  Week 5  Week 6

Week 7  Week 8  Week 9  Week 10  Week 11  Week 12

Ok…are you ready for the big news??  Take a look (just peek past that super cute kindergartner–she’s really excited for Rm. 202!!):

img_5307

LOOK!!  WE FILLED UP OUR DOOR!!!  Amazing, right??  And for the record (I’m keeping one, aren’t you??), it happened on Thursday, November 17, after we read our 225th book!!  WAHOO!!

And remember when we started our Friday with Read With Your Roadrunner? Well, a kind and loyal parent and blog reader, Mrs. Schuster, happened to ask me about the status of our door.  “Have you filled it yet?  If not yet, then soon, right?”  I admitted that we had indeed already met the goal, but that because of printer problems, I hadn’t yet been able to get the pictures ready so I could attach them.

Well, this actually worked out in our favor as her next question was something along the lines of “Well you’re going to celebrate it, right?” Of course I knew that this was a momentous occasion, but I had failed to plan how we would celebrate.  Talk about a right time/right place situation–Mrs. Schuster would come to the rescue and we planned a little ditty for later that afternoon.  In the meantime I had to get the pics on the door and throw together what we’d do at our party. 🙂

So…after we did some heavy work cleaning up our “hot mess” of a room before we got started (thanks for those words, Aadish!), we gathered on the rug to enjoy a special time celebrating some AMAZING work we’d done as readers together.

We gathered in a circle on our rainbow rug (where almost all of our reading also happens!) and had a little chat.  We mused about all the books we’ve read so far (225 to cover the door, but 228 altogether!) and tried to imagine what that meant in terms of number of words we’d read and also about how many we’d get to by the end of the year if we were already at this point in NOVEMBER!! It was so great to watch their faces and listen to their answers and it was clear that there were only positive, happy emotions running through Rm. 202 friends.  And it was also clear how the only “big” numbers that many first graders know at this point are a billion or a “million billion thousand”! Hee hee.  Those were their answers to how many words we’d read and how many books we would end up with. Love it.  Probably not that many, Rm. 202 friends, but FOR SURE there would be close to (or maybe more than) 500.  At least that’s my guess!

I wish I had pictures and videos of all that happened, but hey–I’m usually the videographer and photographer capturing all of that, so not this time.  But you what?  It is probably better that way.  When I’m  not looking at the world–and our classroom–through the screen of my iPhone, I can be more present in the moment I’m trying to celebrate.  I can more thoughtfully digest the things they’re saying about how all of these books are making us SUPER READERS and what their favorite titles are, and how Jamie can speak to the exact day and place we read one of her favorite books. “Don’t you remember? We read it outside that day we spent at Meramec under the tree?” was what she reminded us.  Isn’t it a magical example of how this challenge is as much about the EXPERIENCE of reading as it is the number of books or the skills we’re gaining.  I so want for each of my learners to have that same “I remember when I read…” moments–lots of them!–that will carry them far beyond first grade.  Hopefully long into their adult lives when they can begin replicating them in their own families. 🙂

But that’s for later.  For now I can only control the experiences I provide, the titles I choose and the excitement I bring that I hope is contagious and inspires them to do the same.  And as for inspiration, Mrs. Schuster (remember the mom from the beginning who suggested our party?) was inspired to write us a poem to mark the day.  It was pretty great.  But since I wasn’t ready I don’t have a good video of her reading it to us. 😦 Boo.  Here is the text, though, which will soon become a permanent fixture somewhere in our room.

screenshot-2016-11-20-18-37-46

Isn’t that the best?  THANK YOU THANK  YOU THANK YOU for that little gem, Renee, and for letting me share it here.  Only makes sense. 🙂

Oh, and then there were 20something kids eating fruit leather and letting it hang out of their faces like tongues.

And wouldn’t you know it?  They connected this to a book we’d read this week about how a if your tongue was as long as a frog’s tongue, you could like your belly button! These kiddos are in DEEP!!  Love it. 🙂

And a my goodness–what a great way to finish a busy week!  EVERYONE was all smiles as they walked out of Rm. 202 for the weekend.  Here’s to a door-ful of great books to come!!

Lions, Rectangles and Triangles–Oh My!

We have been on a bit of a geometrical journey as of late.  We’ve studied sides, corners (which we know are called angles), diamonds (which of course are really called rhombuses!), square corners, trapezoids and loads of other things.  We’ve taken pictures, manipulated blocks, read books and even drawn pictures.  Pictures of shapes, and now pictures of lions, too.  Let me explain. 🙂

Well, actually, let me let a guest author explain. 🙂

Hi parents, guardians and friends of Room 202 1st graders! My name is Kate, or Ms. Holzmueller, and I work as a TA at Robinson. I’m one of the TA’s assigned to the 1st grade recess (where I often referee kickball) and lunch (where I help maintain order and pass out napkins and embellish hamburgers with ketchup smiley faces!) I’ve been spending time in Mrs. Bearden’s classroom the past few months, supporting some of the fantastic kiddos and doing a few read alouds, too! 🙂
Last week I spent time during math rotations having discussions with kids about squares and triangles and other shapes. (One of the benchmarks for first grade learners is that they, say, recognize that a square is a square because it has four equal sides and four equal angles.) While playing with the manipulative shapes I thought of one of my favorite authors, Ed Emberley and his books that help children (and adults like me who love to draw!) draw animals and monsters and people and cities, etc. all by drawing simple shapes. I showed Mrs. Bearden an Ed Emberley book and she was kind enough to let me share his work with your students.
fullsizeoutput_e0b

So during math centers, we looked at two pictures of a lion, one real, the other drawn. We had conversations about the shapes within the lion–how it’s nose looks like a triangle, how it’s head looks like a rectangle, etc. Then we practiced drawing all the shapes we had identified on white boards with dry erase markers. After that, we followed Mr. Emberley’s tutorial on how to draw his version of a lion, again on the whiteboard. (First by making a rectangle, then another rectangle, then a triangle…) 

Today during math time we practiced drawing shapes again on the whiteboard and then we used cardstock and markers to draw our own lions, still using rectangles and triangles and circles, etc.

Students were allowed to use whatever colors they liked and embellish their lion as they best saw fit–some have freckles! Some have angry eyebrows! We had conversations about how many triangles they used to show the teeth, how many triangles to make the mane, etc.

The results are very colorful and scary and fun and are now greeting passers-by in the halls. 

(And BOY are they BEAUTIFUL! Sorry–this is Mrs. Bearden.  Had to throw in my two cents about how great they are.  AND how great Ms. Holzmueller did as she taught the lesson! Learned a few things myself that I will incorporate tomorrow. 🙂  Really, I did!  Ok…back to the guest post…:) ).

If your student mentioned drawing a lion today know that Mr. Emberley has lots of other fun books they might like, too! (I found two of them in the Robinson library just today!)  And remember it’s just as easy to play “I Spy” with geometrical shapes as it is colors! “I Spy with my little eye something that is a square…” 

#classroombookaday UPDATE: Week 12

Whew!  This was a BUSY week!  We had a day off with Election Day, but then came back and hit the ground running with Veterans’ Day on Friday and our program.  We were really excited about continuing our work with shapes, non-fiction (both in Reading and Writing), as well as some author work with Lauren Castillo as we finished up the Global Read Aloud.  So…that meant that we got 19 books read in 4 days, and we also hit a TREMENDOUS milestone: we passed 200 books!!

First the update of what the door looks like now:

screenshot-2016-11-13-19-47-28

WOWZA!  Look at all those books! (And yes, I did have to fudge that last strip of pictures–didn’t get them on before I left on Friday!)

We are up to 208 now, and reached 200 with this book on Thursday:

img_5081

We put a star on it, just like when we got to 100. 🙂

This week we read 3 or 4 non-fiction books to help us with our reading and writing work, 5 shape books to go along with our math investigations, 2 books about the sun (the focus in our Science unit right now), and a couple of additional texts by some authors we love but haven’t read yet: The Happiest Book Ever by Bob Shea (we started Wednesday morning with this one!), King Baby by Kate Beaton (we read this one twice because it was so good!), Cat the Cat Who is That? and Nanette’s Baguette by Mo Willems (all those -et words!!), and Happy Like Soccer by Maribeth Boelts and Lauren Castillo.  Lastly, we ended the week with a Veterans’ Day tribute as Mrs. Meihaus read America’s White Table to us during our Library visit.

As I always say, I’m excited to see what this next week will bring us (I think there are at least 6 books on the plan for tomorrow already!), and am SO GLAD we are doing this challenge.  Someday soon I plan on having some big-deal math around the work we’ve done here so far, as well as predictions for where we might go.  Can’t wait to share! 🙂

#classroombookaday UPDATE: Week 11

SO excited to update again with some more great books we’ve been reading!  We’re up to 188 books (what??  How is that possible?), AND we’re about to fill up our door!  I wrote previously about how I think this challenge has changed both me and my students as readers, and that continues to ring true.  SO glad I caught the book-a-day bug and excited to keep scratching the itch to read!!

Check out how we’re doing:

img_5028

This week we read 17 books (starting w/ Yard Sale by Eve Bunting and Lauren Castillo).fullsizerender-4

Our Global Read Aloud text was Yard Sale, which we loved, and will probably revisit again next week because it’s so good!  We also read a couple of non-fiction texts as part of our study in reading and writing, learning how to teach our writers as well as how to really dig into a teaching text as a reader.  We found a couple of Halloween stories we has missed last week and read them on actual Halloween on Monday.   The Spiderman book, the two “underpants” titles and The Ninjabread Man were requests from kiddos.  I found Gilbert Goldfish and Everyone Loves Cupcake at the library and go them because they were an author we had read during our election reading.  They are both by Kelly DiPucchio and we discovered she has so many great books to enjoy!  The last two on our list were also because of author-love: Lori Degman wrote Norbert’s Big Dream and our friends in Rm. 203 shared it with us because they are having a Skype with her later this year, and Dirk Yeller is a favorite of mine from our friend Mary Casanova.  We also read Curious George Gets a Talker as part of our focus on Disabilities Awareness Month (I hope to share more about this in a later post 🙂 ).

I mentioned that we had been doing some election reading, which is partly because of the election our parents are participating in on Tuesday, but also be WE get to vote as part of Kids Voting on Monday!  We will elect the President at our school, and we will also vote on our Literary Lanterns!  WOOHOO–democracy in action.  🙂  First I shared Vote For Me!, which was a great example of how NOT to encourage someone to vote for you–mudslinging and lots of “vote for me because I’m pretty” and “vote for me because I’m awesome” and “vote for me because I’ll give you something” kinds of reasons.  We had a great conversation about how this was unfortunately how much of our Presidential election has been going this season. 😦  Next we read Grace For President, and got a much better example of how to handle an election.  Grace, the main character in the story, wants to run for President after seeing a poster of all the past presidents and saying, “Where are all the girls?”  This text had a great, kid-friendly example of how the electoral college works, too, which was a great surprise.  After this one, I asked kiddos what they thought was important in a President.  They had some great ideas; I wonder if this is what we will give them on Election Day:

img_5024

Rm. 202 kids said things like: nice, polite, trustworthy, someone who cares for us, who will protect us, fair, someone who works hard, who is brave and of course, someone who is 35 years old or older–LOL

Lastly, we read the book If Kids Ran the World, which was another great example of what is really important in this world and is a challenge to all of the adults to think about the big things.  Are we giving our kids what they really need?  Are we focused on the right things?  We didn’t get to it, but I will ask Rm. 202 kids this question: If YOU ran the world, what would you do?  What would you think was important?  Can’t wait to see what they say. 🙂

This was another great week of reading in Rm. 202!!  What will this next week bring?  Please check in next week to find out!! 🙂