Global Read Aloud Week 1: Koala Lou Continued

I shared already about how we finally started this year’s Global Read Aloud, and about many things we had already done with our first book–Koala Lou. 

Well, those predictions and pictures weren’t the only things we did!  As in the story, we created our own version of the Olympics, but made the Robinson Olympics and created animals that we would see in our own “bush” that could cheer on Koala Lou.  We worked with our “pincher” fingers to create our animals, rather than scissors.  Ms. Turken created a fabulous tree for our Koala Lou to climb, and two friends also created a sign.   We were pretty proud, and hung our Olympics in our hall for all to see.

As we went through the week, however, I kept looking at our FABULOUS display thinking something was missing.  Those animals down there, who were supposed to be cheering on their friend Koala Lou, weren’t saying anything!  Also, we didn’t have a sign and so really only we knew what the mural was for but no one else who walked by and saw it knew what our creation was about.

So…we worked another morning to add speech bubbles to our animal friends.  We worked in partners to make sure our work was first grade perfect and that others could read what we were saying.  Our friends helped us make sure we used the word wall, put in all the sounds and had the correct punctuation before we “published” our final bubbles for the wall.

And so now when you walk down our hallway–which is a pretty great location for sharing what’s going on, by the way!–you can tell exactly what’s going on and what the mural is for. And so that way you can more greatly appreciate all the hard work that these first graders have done!  Way to go, Rm. 111 and 112 friends!

What a great way to respond to a great book!! 🙂

#classroombookaday 2017 UPDATE: Week 8

What a SUPER week for reading in first grade!  Ok, well it’s always great, but when we’re doing #classroombookaday AND the Global Read Aloud at the same time, it’s extra magical. 🙂

Our count is up to 132 and here’s what our wall looks like:

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Isn’t it beautiful?  I mean, really?! I could stand there and study it all day long–and I’m sure many Robinson kids could (and would!), too, if we’d let them. 🙂

This week we read these books:

As I have written briefly about (and even mentioned here!), we started the Global Read Aloud this week, and have loved beginning our study of Australian culture and Mem Fox’s books.  Along with the “assigned” GRA books, we have also added in a nonfiction book about koalas (to help us understand Koala Lou), as well as two other Mem Fox stories.  We ended our week on a sweet note as we read about how Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge shared memories with Ms. Nancy and helped her remember. 🙂

As is usual in my classroom, we added in some beloved authors’ books to add to the collection.  This week it was another Todd Parr book (yep–there are still some we haven’t read yet!) and another Ame Dyckman, because well, she’s awesome and why not?  I also shared King Baby by Kate Beaton this week because we had also read The Princess and the Pony earlier this year.  That one got lots of laughs. 🙂

Ok…and now let me tell you a story about some books we didn’t love.  In some ways I feel bad about writing this.  Feel like we’re supposed to just read “good” books, so to speak, and/or find something that I like in every text we read.  But then again, reading is personal and everyone likes different things, right?  It might have just been that the timing of when we read them was not ideal.  One afternoon this week I had a “we-just-need-to-sit-down-and-enjoy-a-book-together” moment, after a really rough morning.  I explained how reading with people I love, experiencing a good book together makes me feel better.  And then….we read Pig the Pug.  And Pig the Winner.  And, oh my goodness…no one felt any better!  The looks on the faces of some of my friends was priceless as we read about how greedy and mean and inappropriate Pig’s choices were.  He would NOT make a very good Roadrunner and his books were FULL of unexpected behaviors.  Ok, so at least we learned some things we should NOT do.  There–I found something positive to say. 🙂  Oh, and we didn’t add it to the wall yet (because Ms. Turken hasn’t read it), but we then had to read The Grandma Book (by Todd Parr) and How to Find a Fox (both very funny) to make up for those first two.  Then we could move on. 🙂

We read Jabari Jumps this week and enjoyed finding parts that we could relate to, as well as encouraging him on as he tried something that he was scared to do.  I was so happy as my friends were telling him, “No, don’t stop now!” and how we could discuss positive self-talk that we can use when we’re nervous about something new.

Only One You and Animalogies were both used as prompts for learning activities–one with Mrs. Berger and another for an art project that we’re doing for a school celebration in a couple of weeks.  We read Even Superheros Have Bad Days.  We were a little worried–after those yucky books the day before–and because the title seemed to signal bad news.  BUT, we read this one and LOVED it!  It was a perfect connection to another book we have read,  We Can Get Along.  It had some SUPER examples about how superheroes COULD do some pretty terrible things when they’re upset, but then INSTEAD they could also choose to respond in more appropriate, expected ways.  This book ended up being EXACTLY what Roadrunners do–use breathing strategies and Peace Places and other things to help them get back to center.   Whew!

And then there’s One Day in the Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Tree…  I read this one last year, and I know it’s great, but this year it was perhaps an even greater read, because Mrs. Sisul came to share it with us as her principal read aloud.  She was very excited about it, and her love of both the book and reading to kids showed.  And this made us love it even more!

I didn’t get a recording of the whole thing, but I had to get at least a little so you could hear what it sounded like. 🙂

See?  Told you it was good. 🙂  Oh, I forgot to tell you, but first graders made some predictions about what kind of book she’d bring with her to share with us, and we predicted something by Todd Parr or Mem Fox because that’s who we’re studying.  Good guesses, first grade. 🙂

 

#GRA17 is FINALLY HERE!

I think it was two years ago when I first officially joined the Global Read Aloud.  We were reading The Year of Billy Miller that year and I was teaching 2nd grade.  I was invited by my Tweep Tam in Australia and was excited to collaborate worldwide with other kids and teachers reading the same text.  Then last year, as I returned to 1st grade, I brought Ms. Turken along for the ride and had an even more amazing journey exploring and responding to Lauren Castillo books!

As we moved into this fall, excitement was high to join this project again, and THE DAY IS FINALLY HERE! We are so jazzed to be studying Mem Fox (and old, familiar favorite author!) and sharing our learning along the way.  We will for sure use Seesaw to show our friends and family our thinking, but also hope to collaborate with other kids via Skype, too.

We started with a short video about Mem Fox, and some wondering about both her life and Australia, where she lives.  Then, I shared a book I had written when I was teaching 2nd grade (as a mentor text during a culture study we were doing in Social Studies).  It was a little indulgent–I got to have a Peter Reynolds moment and say “Australian Culture, by ME!”–but also helped give kids some background on Australia before we read.

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Kiddos wrote and drew about what they learned and uploaded their thinking to their Seesaw journals.

Today we came back, ready to hear Koala Lou (the first week’s book), but instead we first teased kiddos with a habit that we’ve learned that good readers do–take a sneak peek.  We studied the front and back covers and kiddos made predictions about what they thought the story might be about.  They did a pretty good job of guessing some things that actually happened in the story.  Again, these were uploaded into Seesaw so we could share our learning. 🙂

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Then…finally, last thing today, IT WAS TIME to finally hear the story!  We gathered in Rm. 112 and it sounded something like this:

We are SO EXCITED to see what comes next!   Art maybe?  Have any suggestions for us? 🙂

 

#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:

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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:

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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!! 🙂

#classroombookaday UPDATE: Week 9

This was a short week at school (we only had Weds-Fri), so our list is a little smaller than other weeks.  But believe me it is no less amazing! (Oh, and by the way, I realized that picture looks like we’re a little closer to filling up our door than we actually are….still a couple more weeks away. 🙂 ).

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Here’s the close up of the week (which I realized I don’t usually share):

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This week we started with another Mo Willems title we hadn’t read, as well as a Kate Klise book that kiddos read last year before she came to visit.  On Thursday we were lucky to have Mrs. Sisul swing by with her brand-spanking new copy of Hotel Bruce, which she had promised to read to us when she came with Mother Bruce earlier this year.  She had a great story about how she had gotten her copy from her favorite local bookstore and had also celebrated Bruce’s book birthday last Tuesday.  We read two Pigeon books for our punctuation study, and The Reader for the Global Read Aloud this week.   Two of our books were recommendations from our friend Rachel, and then lastly we were lucky to have a familiar 4th grade friend come and read to us on Friday.  Remember when Allie came to read Naked to us?  Well, during that visit they had asked if Riley could come, too, and Friday he finally came!  His grade was having a whole day reading celebration and so he spent some of his time reading Mustache Baby Meets His Match to us.   We LOVED it!

Another successful reading week!  Our count is up to 161 so far, which is SO AMAZING!  Can’t wait to see what this coming week holds! 🙂

Global Read Aloud Week 3: The Reader

This week was the half-way point of the Global Read Aloud.  We have so enjoyed the texts we’ve read so far, and this week’s book was no different.  Lauren Castillo has become a new friend to all of Rm. 202 kiddos and we enjoyed interacting with another of her great books: The Reader.

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As we read this beautiful story of a boy, his dog, a cold, snowy day and a good book, we discussed many parts and made many predictions.  We talked about who we thought “the reader” was, where we thought they were going, and we even connected a part of the story with the punctuation investigation we started the other day (which OF COURSE I’ll tell you more about later on!).

We got to this page of the book, when the boy heads toward home, and thought that maybe something was missing (sorry, Lauren Castillo!).

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So…we added it. 🙂  And the best part was that Rm. 202 kiddos knew that it needed exclamation points to make it sound exciting, and they also suggested that it be written in all capital letters because that also tells the reader how it should sound. 🙂

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Great, right?  And of course, no disrespect to the way it was actually written.  Reading lots Elephant and Piggie books makes us see speech bubbles EVERYWHERE!!

After we read and talked, we decided to get artistic and kiddos were invited to paint in response to the story.  They were asked to answer one of these two questions: Where is YOUR favorite place to read? or What is YOUR favorite thing to do in the winter?   Once their paintings were complete, they chose a paper to matte their piece, and wrote a card to explain their creation.  We brainstormed words we might want to use and created a chart to use a resource in our writing.  I CANNOT wait to see what these look like altogether on the bulletin board at school, but I had to go ahead and share them individually with you here from home.  They sure are pretty!!

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And I know I have said this every week of the GRA so far, but maybe this is the week that we finally join the slow chat about the books we’re reading.  Maybe. LOL 🙂

 

 

Global Read Aloud 2016

Last year I learned about the Global Read Aloud from a Twitter friend of mine named Tam Scharf who lives in Australia.  She is a great collaborator and friend to me, despite the fact that we have never really met, have only spoken in person once (well really it was over Skype), and don’t even live on the same continent or teach the same grade (anymore at least–we both taught 5th grade we first “met” in 2011).  I love that that story actually describes many teachers who are important parts of my professional learning network.

But anyway….the Global Read Aloud 2016 started this week and we are off to a running start already!  We began with a short introduction to what it is,

who we would be studying and what they could look forward to doing over the next 6 weeks. We watched a video and checked out the website of Lauren Castillo, the author and illustrator we’d be studying.  Very shortly they were hooked and SUPER excited to join the almost 900,000 kids who would be studying the same books!

This week’s book (as you can see in the video) is Nana in the City, and is all about bravery.  After we read and discussed the story, we got busy answering this question:

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We got busy thinking and drawing and I was really impressed (and a little surprised) with what they came up with.  Check out our work!

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We are excited to read more and write more and share our thinking!  There are some other friends in our school who are also participating and we’re hoping to share our thinking with them, as well.  Tomorrow we plan on joining a Twitter chat about Lauren Castillo’s books, too, so we can talk about what we like, what we think and who we are.  We may also build cityscapes to teach others about where we live.  The opportunities are endless!  I’m excited to share more and we go along!! 🙂