Saturday was Dr. Seuss’s birthday, and last Friday was Read Across America at school. I made paper bag Cat in the Hat hats with all the K, 1, and 2 classes during the week. I worked with the PTA president to put together some fun prizes for a Dr. Seuss door decorating contest. I sent out Dr. Seuss trivia all week. It was a great week for books, and it was also the first time in my current district that I’ve tried working on school-wide programming for Read Across America. Last year I was on maternity leave by now, and the year before that it seemed like teachers really did their own thing. So I haven’t been in the spirit since my last big program 3 years ago. It was great.
I came up with this winter bulletin board idea around Thanksgiving, and I saved it for January. I love it so much that I might keep it up until spring. Can you tell the kids are having a snowball fight? I didn’t know if it would translate.
Last month my mom and I went to the opening of Brian Selznick’s “Wonderstruck in the Panorama” at the Queens Museum of Art. It was an incredible exhibit with a great talk from Mr. Selznick about the time spent studying and capturing the Panorama, a huge presence in Wonderstruck. And I was thrilled to go, I’ve sponsored buildings on that Panorama through the museum.
I’ve had a lot of adventures lately, but since I’ve been neglecting this blog a little in favor of sleep and school mania they have gone undocumented. So I’m starting with something from this past weekend, the Brooklyn Book Festival. Kathy and I went on Sunday, and it was quite cool.
A librarian in my district found the Paper Cranes for Japan project through Students Rebuild and spread the word, so I organized the efforts at my school. And it’s such a great project, the kids have jumped on the opportunity. The Bezos Foundation is donating $2 for every origami crane made by students around the world, and Students Rebuild will have the cranes turned into an art installation for the children of Japan. The goal is 100,000 paper cranes (or a $200,000 donation from the Amazon.com founder). My kids made 626 cranes, which will be shipped off first thing Monday morning. So cool.
The library has been taken over by the Book Fair this week. This is the 1st time it’s ever been in the library at this school, it seems to be going well. Everyone likes it in the library, but boy am I tired! Each class is like a little shopping tornado that comes into the room. Today is the last day of it for me. Tomorrow I’m at the NJASL conference, and the fair packs up by noon. It’s been an experience.
At the beginning of the school year I started a new reward program in the library. Inspired by XBox 360 Achievements, students have been “unlocking” library achievements all year. They earned points (written on funky patterned badges cut out from scrapbooking paper) for lining up perfectly, coming in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in any of our library games, cleaning up without being asked twice, showing me their library bookmark from the beginning of the year, etc.
I’m up at 7:45 to watch the ALA Youth Media Awards. This is much earlier than last year!
Schneider Awards: Django by Bonnie Christensen (young reader), Anything But Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin (middle), Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork (teen, and been on my To Read list for ages).
Adam, his brother Thomas, stepmother, father, and I went into London yesterday to see The Snowman at the Peacock Theatre. It’s a production based on Raymond Briggs’ classic wordless book and the classic holiday animated film of the same name. The show was put on by Sadler’s Wells, and it was really nice. This photo is from the publicity photos from the show, and you get the idea of how they did the snowman. I showed the film to my pre-k through 1st graders before the holidays, and they loved it. I love the music from the movie, so I really enjoyed this entire experience. So much fun, and the kids in the audience loved it.