Monday, January 27, 2014

A Bookish Slice


Thanks to those writers at Two Writing Teachers, we share parts of our lives on our Tuesday slices. Link up to add your own story.

                 It is not enough to simply teach children to read; we have to give them something worth reading. Something that will stretch their imaginations--something that will help them make sense of their own lives and encourage them to reach out toward people whose lives are quite different from their own.  
 - Katherine Patterson

      It was a good day to remember, and those of us who are readers and teachers, will remember it and keep reading.  Those of us who are writers will smile and be happy for those who were celebrated with such fanfare today, the day of the ALA youth media awards.  And we will continue to give book love to all those other books who aren’t going to wear shiny medals on their covers-so, so many wonderful ones, too!

     Our own school Newbery club readers met for the celebration today, and because we are two hours behind, the awards had already been announced so we were unable to watch. The archive hadn’t come up yet.  We’ve been meeting at lunch every couple of weeks since September, and had about ten students at any one time, but six consistently showing up, and reading at least one book a week, if not more than one.  They are 10 or 11 years old, and avid readers and book talkers.  We had a wonderful meeting this morning, first announcing our own vote results, then announcing the Newbery and the Caldecott winners, and later sharing the other awards too. 


Our vote:  Newbery: Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein with honors to The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes and Twerp by Mark Goldblatt.  Some were disappointed that all our books didn’t win, but excited that one did. 
      Here are the official Newbery winners:  Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo.  Four Honor Books were also named: Doll Bones,” by Holly Black, The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes, One Came Home by Amy Timberlake and Paperboy by Vince Vawter.  
        I had previously gathered the numerous bookmarks I’ve been given or purchased through the years, bought donuts on the way to work, and joined our librarian and her assistant with the group.  The bookmarks have been sitting in a drawer for a long while and I thought such a dedicated group deserved a special bookmark, and they loved looking and choosing.  I’m sorry I didn’t think to take a picture of everyone with their favorite books and bookmarks! 
         The exclamation point of the day:  Everyone was sad to go, and one asked why we couldn’t continue to read and meet at least as often to talk over the books and share?  Of course we were thrilled, and said we’d get back to them with times!  Hurrah for readers!


I hope all of you enjoyed hearing about the awards, and have favorites that were awarded, and favorites that are still close to your hearts.  As I began, it was a good day to remember!



46 comments:

  1. Great post! I love the book, "The Year of Billy Miller." I am currently in the middle of doing one of my teaching practicums for the teaching program that I am in and I am with kindergarteners. Do you have any suggestions of fun activities I could do with them that involve books? The plan is to read them a story, out loud, every day for five days. What are activities I could do with each story? If you have any input that would be great. Thanks! :)

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    1. Hi Emily! If you'd e-mail me, I could give a few ideas that I've used. E-mail can be found in my profile!

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    2. Emily,
      My students recently read Kate Messner's Sea Monster and the Bossy Fish aloud to a few Kindergarten and 1st grade classes. They had a color page with a fish on it and the students were instructed to write what a Friend Fish would do. Then we left the teacher with a Friend Fish button to award to a student each day who is being a friend. You can email me at school and I can send the color/writing page they made. masimon at iberia. k12.la.us

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  2. I love your Newbery book club. I'm sad I didn't do more with it this year...you could tell because my students weren't as excited when I shared the winners. Bookmarks and donuts?!?! What a great way to celebrate! Happy Reading! (By the way, my students would agree with Lemoncello's Library! They LOVE it!!!)

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    1. It's hard to do many different things, Michelle. Remember I had two colleagues helping! Did you have a vote in your club?

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  3. I love that your club doesn't want to end. What dedicated readers indeed!

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    1. I know; it will be fun to share all the rest of the year!

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  4. I have never done this with my students largely because it wasn't on my radar. And why it wasn't -- because I wasn't connected until last summer. This year I'll play it up for my students as "here are the winners." Next year I'll be looking to you and others for models of this Mock Newbury work.

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    1. Fun to do, let me know when you want to know more, Julieanne! Thanks for thinking you might have a club!

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  5. I was very excited for Kate DiCamillo. She is a favorite of mine, but I have mixed feelings about Flora and Ulysses. What was your students' response to this one? I have to put the others on my list.
    I need to make a promise to do a mock Newbery club next year. Sounds like such fun!

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    1. I'm not excited about Flora & Ulysses although I did see some good things 'underneath' about the love the child really needed. Only one other student had read it, but now they will, & I'll let you know what they think! All expressed such love for Mr. Lemoncello, & other books about books! It was fun, Margaret!

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  6. Hooray for readers indeed! I loved Flora & Ulysses - such a magical book, really. So much of the human heart explored in that one.

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    1. Yes, once I got into the fantastical action, I could see that there was deeper meaning Tara. I wonder how it would work for a read aloud?

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  7. A good day to remember, indeed. I look forward to reading these!

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    1. We are blessed with a treasure of good writers for children, including you, Iza!

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  8. I have felt the excitement in blog posts and in tweets. This morning our middle school English teacher/lower school principal walked to my classroom smiling, "Did you hear about the awards already?" I smiled back. We don't have any of the books in Estonia, so she thought of buying the winners and honored books for her own money. I suggested asking the director first whether there is any money left in this year's budget. (We usually order with following year's budget before the school ends and then books arrive in the fall.) This afternoon she returned to my room with even a bigger smile than this morning. The director had agreed to her request, and we will get the books as soon as Amazon is able to ship them to Estonia. Then we get to celebrate with our students.

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    1. so exciting to hear your news Terje! You have a thoughtful principal/colleague!

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  9. Lots of excitement and energy! What a joy this must been!

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    1. It was indeed fun, Donna. There are many avid readers at school, but these younger ones are so open about their reading, what works and what they don't like-so far!

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  10. Thanks to the Nerdy nominations I had a feast of reading over Christmas and read many of these. I may have to wait until summer to finish delving into the titles. Fun to know that your students were wrapped up in the excitement.

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    1. I know, it takes a long while to catch up on any of the newer ones out, Kristi, & now the ones who have won those coveted awards. But we're trying!

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  11. Your book club sounds so fun. There's nothing better than hanging out and talking about books with others who share your passion. Due to our 2 hour late start, I was able to watch the live webcast, which I've never done before. I did not recognize several honor books, so I've got some reading to do. :)

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    1. Me, too, Julie. I've read much about Paperboy, just haven't gotten to it yet! The list grows!

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  12. I have been reading so much about these wonderful Newberry book clubs that teachers are having! I have to remember to share these stories at school. Perhaps even I could start a book club at school for my ELLs. Thanks for sharing a great slice of your teaching life!

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    1. Thanks Jaana, & I hope you can work something out for those readers who love reading and sharing about books. With the ELLs you certainly could look for and find books that might be considered for one of the other awards, like the Pura Belpre one. Lots of different awards are available!

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  13. I'm so glad you had such a joyous time...yum the doughnuts...yum the bookmarks and I'm so glad the kiddos didn't get sad, some of them do. Maybe I'll volunteer and do a book club at lunch next year. So many great books this year! xo

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    1. Yes, there's something that would keep you in the books, Nancy, much fun to do! Thanks!

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  14. Linda,
    That sounds delightful. What a wonderful group of readers! There are several books in the list I need to read. I just finished The Year of Billy Miller today. I am waiting for Flora and Ulysses as well as Doll Bones.

    Loved your bookish post!
    Cathy

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    1. Thanks Cathy. I hope you enjoyed Billy Miller; I loved it, wish I could read it aloud to a young class! And I still need to read Doll Bones, too!

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  15. Your club's favorites were well chosen. Glad that Billy Miller won for you. I still need to read it! I had kids who liked Twerp, too! I haven't read it yet. Wasn't it an exciting day? Mock Newbery Clubs are so fun!

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    1. It was truly exciting, and I saw your post-what a special time you had, too, Holly! I liked Twerp. It has some interesting parts to discuss about best friends and what to do when they aren't always acting the way you believe they should. Thank you!

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  16. What joy to be among kids who are passionate about reading! I love that one wanted to continue.

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    1. And once it was said, everyone else was excited too! It was a good, good time! Thanks, Elsie!

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  17. What a wonderful group -- sounds like they've certainly caught the reading fever! So glad they enjoyed their bookmarks, the books, and the special discussions you've shared!

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    1. Lunch time is often a good time, but always so, so short. We'll have fun with the rest of the year re-reading & looking for new ones, too! Thanks-loved those snow rollers, Jennifer!

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  18. I watched the awards for the first time this year. I can't believe how much my reading life has changed because of the blogs and tweets that I now read. Watching the awards was a great experience. I plan on writing about this soon.

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    1. Very cool, Leigh Anne! I hope you'll share some favorite books, too! Thanks!

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  19. Linda, our field trip interfered with the celebration I usually plan, so we're having a Share the Newbery Love on Friday. Good day for a celebration (since everyone is a bit crazy here over the Superbowl). More about our celebration next week. The winner from my students was Twerp, followed by Counting by 7s and One Came Home. Other favorites were Zebra Forest and The Real Boy. I'm grabbed Flora and Ulysses yesterday, and I still need to read The Paperboy. My students were very disappointed that Counting by 7s did not win any awards. Doll Bones was on our list, but didn't make it to the top of their lists. I love the engagement that I see when they've read some Newbery possibilities.

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    1. It's great that Twerp is loved by both our groups. Those in mine who read Counting by 7s didn't care for it, but I did! I just saw your post, will read it soon! It was exciting for all of us to hear who won! Thanks, Ramona!

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  20. Love that you celebrated this special day with bookmarks and donuts. And I especially love that your kids want to keep meeting! I feel the same way as you do about Flora and Ulysses, definitely not my favorite Kate DiCamillo, although there were lines I really loved. I felt the same way about Dollbones. I liked it, I think kids will like it, but I was surprised when it won. Guess that is why I'm not on the committee!

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    1. Wouldn't it be wonderful to hear what those committees say? I know we'll never know, but some years I really am surprised! Thanks Carol!

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  21. I didn't get to hear the awards live, but I "watched" them via my Twitter feed, which was equally exciting!

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    1. Yes, I didn't say that, but I 'watched' too on Twitter when I got up! Thanks Stacey!

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  22. Hi, Linda. It sounds like your Newbery book group was fun for the adults and the students. My middle schooler is reading her way through the Black Eyed Susan nominees this year -- she's having a great time rating the books.

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    1. I'll need to look for the list, assuming it's from Maryland! Thanks Laura-yes, we adults had a great time too!

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  23. Thanks for such a great post. I almost feel like I was there in your book club, and I loved hearing reactions to and ideas about these Newbery nominated books. The book club idea is great - thanks for the inspiration.

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Having a conversation is a good thing!