#classroombookaday 2017 UPDATE: Week 11

Oh my goodness!  Week 11 already??  We’re moving and grooving and totally rocked the book-reading this week!  Seemed like they came in pairs this time around; one of our authors has written lots of books that are related to each other so we read them together!

Here’s the current display:

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We’re all the way up to 176 now!!  Yep, we read 21 books this week!  Told you we rocked it! 🙂

Here are the new ones. 🙂

See what I mean about pairs of books?  We had 4 sets of books from Sandra Boynton and Lola Schaefer (she seemed to do it so many times it HAD to be on purpose!  Ms. Schaefer, if you read this, please tell us if it is!!).  There were a couple of kid-readers this week, too, as Celia read a book SHE WROTE to us called Donut, and Natalie read us Doggies and Blue Hat, Green Hat after working on them for a while to get them ready to share with her classmates!  Also, we read Mystery Vine, by the same author as our old favorite David’s Drawings, Cathryn Falwell.  Man, I love it when we can revisit old friends. 🙂

Now, you know that RM. 111 and 112 love reading no matter what, and that we love all books and all readers, but I also know you know that there is not much better than when MRS. SISUL READS TO US!!  Again, you’re probably not surprised at all that she came back this week to read.  And that she was on ROLLER SKATES!!  Man, Robinson is a super amazing place to learn and read! 🙂

What did you read this week?  What pairs of books have you tried? Share with us!! 🙂

#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. 🙂

 

#FDOFG2017–Principal Read Aloud and #classroombookaday Begins!!

Wow–that’s quite a title!  It’s a lot of words to tell about somethings that are the backbone of what we do in 1st grade., so I guess they’re worth it!  Let me tell you about it. 🙂

First of all, we were able to enjoy our first read aloud with Mrs. Sisul this past week, as she came and shared We are All Wonders with us.  Besides the fact that Mrs. Sisul loves books and all things reading, she came to share this one because it goes along with many of the “expected behaviors” we’ve been teaching during these first days of school.  This one connected so well to I am kind and caring. And as a lover of the “big kid” book Wonder, this one (also by R.J. Palacio) was at the top of my list.   Rm. 111 and 112 kids loved it, too!

 

Last year in first grade, my class embarked on a new and fabulous journey with a challenge started on Twitter that was called #classroombookaday.  It’s really a simple idea: you read at least one book to your class, and keep track of them throughout the year.  Simple right?  Yes, but so rewarding and beneficial to students and teachers alike!

As we began this year, Ms. Turken and I hatched a plan to do our books together, which made sense in our new co-teaching adventure (which I am sure to tell you more about here soon!).  We made a rule that if a book were to hang on our #classroombookaday display it had to have been read by both of us, or to both of our classes (like during a combined read aloud or during library time, for example).  It’s been really fun to think through our “best” read alouds together, as well as to see books that are new since we embarked on this journey last fall.  I’m so excited to finally have our books on display, and to watch how the wall is slowly filling up each day.  AND even better than last year, our new classrooms are now in a hallway where EVERYONE in the school walks and so EVERYONE will see all the books being devoured by Robinson first graders!  I’ve had many of last year’s kiddos walk by and comment on how fast the wall is filling up or noticing some of the same books we read together.  What’s more exciting than sharing your reading journey with THE WHOLE SCHOOL??

Ok, so I’ve teased you long enough.  Without any further ado, check out our display:

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The best and worst part of this is how much it keeps changing!  Even since this picture, we’ve added another half of a row!  My plan from now on is to update our progress at the end of each week, with some highlights of what we’ve read.  So far I will tell you we’ve had lots of fun with back-to-school and community building read alouds, as well as many that highlight grit and growth mindset.  Some of them will be mentioned in later blog posts, as we did projects around their themes after we read them.

It’s a little easier to see this way, and I can share ALL of them up to today.  We’re up to 53 BOOKS already and we’ve had 13 days of school.  Ms. Turken and I keep joking about how we perhaps need to make up a new hashtag since we’re doing WAY more than a #bookaday.  How about #loadsofbooksaday or #3to4adayhooray or #firstgradereadsandreadsandreads?

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After last year’s success and the impact all of these books had on the readers in Rm. 202, I’m pretty sure I’m sold on #classroombookaday forever.  Can’t wait to see what happens this year–we ended up at 542 last year.  Think we can break the record??  Stay tuned and follow along with our journey, will you?

 

Hour of Code: Our Favorite Part of the Week!

Remember when I showed this picture from my last post?

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Remember that kiddos wanted to code?  Well if we had asked them that a week before, many of them would not have had any idea of what that even meant.  But thanks to friends in our school like Ms. Turken (our Rm. 203 neighbor) and Mrs. Sisul (our AMAZING principal), we are now ROCKSTAR coders and LOVE to spend any minute we have creating with code.org and our Scratch Jr. app on our iPads.

In response to that question I asked in our teacher group, Mrs. Sisul suggested that she come spend some Hour of Code time with my class. OF COURSE I said yes!

She started by explaining to Rm. 202 kids how they are all smarter than computers.  Some of them weren’t so sure about this, but then she explained that everything a computer does has to be entered by a human, who writes in a special language telling the machine what it should do.

Then we watched in intro movie about people who code and how and why they do that.  Next she explained about how there are two languages that computers understand, BLOCK and JAVA SCRIPT.  We were going to start with the block kind of coding, using a really popular movie as our topic–STAR WARS!!

We got started and indeed were able to spend an HOUR OF CODE before we went home that day.  In fact, we probably could have spent DAYS and DAYS of CODE if we were able to.  Rm. 202 coders are so excited by what happens when they put the right blocks in the right places and the game works the way they want it to!  Many of them got all the way to level 8 and were able to CREAT THEIR OWN GAME by using blocks.  Amazing, right?  Many kiddos have been using Scratch Jr. to do some pretty great things, too!  I’m excited by their excitement and by how well this fits into the creativity, curiosity and wonder that is a foundation of our classroom culture.  Thanks for teaching us this new language, Mrs. Sisul–we’re excited to become fluent in using it!  Hope to be able to share more soon! 🙂

#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! 🙂

#classroombookaday UPDATE: Week 6

Wow–I feel like every week I say “I can’t believe it’s been this long already!” but again, I say I can’t believe it’s been SIX WEEKS of the bookaday challenge.  But even more, I can’t believe we’re already at 124 books!!  I love that some said today, “I wonder if we’ll get to 1000 soon!” Ok, so maybe it means I need to do some more place value work, but I also think it speaks to the love of reading and books that is growing in Rm. 202.  And I love it!

Beyond just sharing the “door picture” like I’ve been doing every week, I want to highlight a little about what has happened with some of the books we read this week, as well as some wonderings that have come up this week as we’ve been reading.

First our latest picture:

img_4361I feel like I say this every week now, too, but looking at this just makes me happy!

We started the week reading a book recommended by Mrs. Sisul when she was in our room last time–Up and Down by Oliver Jeffers.  We’re already fans of Stuck and Lost and Found, and had wanted to try some others (I have a couple of others in the TBR basket right now actually!).   We were supposed to take a vote after we read it and let Mrs. Sisul know if she should share that one with the rest of Robinson, too, and we voted YES!

A quick favorite this week was Are We There, Yeti? by Ashton Anstee, which we actually learned about because of our love of all things Emily Arrow.  Oh, come on, you know her–the Dot Day song lady.  Well…since we’re subscribed to her YouTube Channel, we know there are loads of other great book/song combinations she’s created, and this was one of them.  I’m posting the song below, but beware, it’s very catchy!!  I’m planning on using the lyrics to this song as our shared reading text next week, which I think will be really cool.

We added two more Elephant and Piggie books this week (how you can not LOVE those?): I Will Fly Today and Can I Play Too?  Both were great, but we laughed especially loud at the joke in CIPT: the friend who wants to play is a snake, and Elephant and Piggie are trying to play ball.  Lots of craziness ensues, but the end is a happy one where the snake thanks them for playing “with” their friend.  Yep–they throw him!  We definitely LOL’d when we saw that one. 🙂  And speaking of Elephant and Piggie (thanks Mo Willems for writing these amazing little gems!), we ended the week with a box from Amazon that had two new books in it!!  Thanks Raebers!  We’re excited to read I Love New Toy on Monday. 🙂

Kaiden brought in a big pile of books from home this week (I love that kids are starting to do that regularly and share their favorite titles with the rest of us!), and we shared two of them so far: Zoo Looking by Mem Fox and Please, Mr. Panda by Steve Antony.

We have a Mem Fox author box in our library, so Kaiden thought this would be a good one to read to introduce our class to her writing.  He brought Please, Mr. Panda because we’ve been working so hard on using kind words and being respectful.  That one hdd a great lesson about how it feels when people are rude to you as opposed to how it feels when others use manners.  We liked them both and learned form them, too!

I found a great one–The Best Book to Read–at the library on my last visit and was excited to finally share it with my kiddos on Thursday.  We had a great conversation about what the “best” book to read would be, and how that means something different to everyone. Mara suggested that every book is the best book to read.  She ended up being right!  This book also started some great conversations about libraries, and what special places they are, as well as an important discussion about library cards and what amazing treasures those can be!  It started a plan for a walking field trip soon!  We are so excited!

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Lastly, Mrs. Sisul came back again (isn’t it amazing that our principal reads to us!?) to read Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev.

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It was on her list during the first rotation of Principal Read Alouds, but I had her save it for a later time.  Her visit today was purposely tied to our conversations lately about including everyone, being kind to others, and the fact that I had found an Emily Arrow song about it!  Perfect, right??  I know, eventually I might stop gushing about her amazingness, but for now I’ll just share another song. 🙂

Mr. Schu in the Lou!

Sometimes I write in order, partly so the stories make sense, but also so I don’t forget anything.  Sometimes, though, things happen that you just have to tell about.  Today was one of those days!

Yeah, did you hear?  Mr. Schu was in the Lou!!  Oh, come on.  Lou, like St. Louis!  YES–HE WAS IN ST. LOUIS, AND HE WAS IN OUR SCHOOL! AND HE READ TO US!

Ok, sorry, I’ll stop yelling.  I just LOVE that librarians and teachers and authors can be celebrities.  And he is definitely a celebrity to me Mrs. Sisul our principalour fabulous librarian, Mrs. Meihaus;our fabulous librarian, Mrs. Meihaus; and lots of teachers who know him from Scholastic (Mrs. Scanlon!) and Twitter (loads more wonderful people I don’t want to mention so I don’t forget anyone. 🙂 ).

Mr. Schumacher (which is his real name), was in town for something with Scholastic (I am guessing…he’s the Ambassador for Libraries so he’s all around talking to kids about books.  Yeah, I’m kind of jealous of that job!), and was kind enough to take an invitation from many Kirkwood Schools (along with many other places from the way everyone’s talking about him, too!).  We were one of the grade levels that was lucky enough to meet him.  Our turn was this afternoon, and we visited with our friends Ms. Lewis’ class.

Much of Mr. Schu’s job includes sharing book talks as a means of getting books in kids’ hands, and that’s what I expected him to do; I knew our class would lean LOADS of new titles we wanted to read.  But then he stopped telling us about a good book and started READING a good book to us.  Amazing.

The book he shared with us was this one (which none of us had ever heard of before):

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This book is much like our favorite Pete the Cat books, and we loved how it had reading and SINGING!  Oh, and we added in dancing, too!

I didn’t catch the whole thing, but here’s a highlight of the awesome Mr. Schu with some even more awesome first grade listeners:

And then, what do you do when you meet a celebrity, but take a picture with them??  We had to, of course. 🙂

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And then take a silly one, just for fun. 🙂

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We love you and the books you share, Mr. Schu!  Thanks for coming to St. Louis!!  Come again soon?  If not, we’ll have to schedule a Skype call! 🙂