Monday, January 27, 2014

Third Annual Zervcott Medal!

We started reading from a list of 24 potential Zervcott winners while celebrating Picture Book Month in November. We discussed Caldecott criteria and rated each of those 24 books on how well the illustrations stood up to criteria and captured student interest in December. We narrowed down to a Top 10 and students from K-5 selected their 3 favorite contenders in January. Finally, my second graders served as a Zervcott committee and doled out the medals and honors by ranking the surviving 7 books.

Here's how it all played out.

The initial list:

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild - Peter Brown
Brave Girl - Michelle Markel, ill. Melissa Sweet
The Matchbox Diary - Paul Fleischman, ill. Bagram Ibatoulline
Flora and the Flamingo - Molly Idle
Exclamation Mark! - Amy Krouse Rosenthal & Tom Lichtenheld
The Day The Crayons Quit - Drew Daywalt, ill. Oliver Jeffers
The Watermelon Seed - Greg Pizzoli
Bluebird - Bob Staake
Big Snow - Jonathan Bean
Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great - Bob Shea
Building Our House- Jonathan Bean
The Dark - Lemony Snicket, ill. Jon Klassen
Hello My Name is Ruby - Philip C. Stead
The Beginner’s Guide to Running Away From Home- Jennifer Larue Huget, ill. Red Nose Studio
A Splash of Red - Jen Bryant, ill. Melissa Sweet
The Boy and the Airplane - Mark Pett
Warning Do Not Open This Book - Adam Lehrhaupt, ill. Matthew Forsythe
Journey - Aaron Becker
Train - Elisha Cooper
Locomotive - Brian Floca
Mr. Wuffles - David Wiesner
Little Red Writing - Joan Holub, ill. Melissa Sweet
On A Beam of Light - Jennifer Berne
The Boy Who Loved Math - Deborah Heiligman, ill. LeUyen Phan

There was a lot of love for many of these books. 616 rankings later, these 10 came out on top:



As all of the book appreciation was happening, 2nd graders also designed medals for the winning books. This year's Zervcott committee had a tie for the medal, while awarding 3 honors. Here's what they loved:

Zervcott Honor #3

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter BrownZervcott medal by Briana

Zervcott Honor #2

Warning: Do Not Open This Book! by Adam Lehrhaupt, Illustrated by Matthew Forsythe

Zervcott medal by Caroline

Zervcott Honor #1

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, Illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

Zervcott medal by Carolina


And the WINNER(s) of the 3rd annual ZERVCOTT medal are:

The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli AND

Unicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great by Bob Shea

Zervcott medal by Lucas


Thanks to all who participated!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Read. Connect. Share. Inspire.

I believe in the power of story. I believe in the power of connection. It's in the moments where these overlap that magic happens.

Today Kevin Emerson very graciously offered to Skype with a 5th grade class for World Read Aloud Day. He read to us from his new book, The Fellowship for Alien Detection, and revealed that he had once worked in a bank about a mile from our school! The questions came fast and furious and with each answer Kevin won over the hearts of these young readers (and this not-so-young librarian!) He fielded each question with seriousness and humor (from "Were you fired from the bank or did you quit?" and "How could there possibly be aliens in the world?" to "Do you REALLY believe in aliens?" and the one that gave him most pause, "What do you like better, reading or writing?") Kevin made some lasting connections by sharing that one of his favorite authors is Sharon Creech and favorite books include the His Dark Materials series (this might make us secret soulmates). He sparked a hold list a mile long not just for tFfAD (fad! What a great acronym!) but for the book he shared as his current read- The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom (another gem).

To see 20 5th graders sit for 30 minutes as we chatted with an inspiring author was powerful. It really felt like he was in the room with us just hanging out.

I think they might flip when I tell them we will have to Skype again to hear Kevin's live version of The Fellowship for Alien Detection song.

I believe in the power of connecting with the creativity behind the story. And my students do, too.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

ZERVCOTT votes are in!

Oh my, this blog has had a serious hiatus. Not for lack of awesomeness happening in the library, but from a complete lack of time for this library teacher to write up events. It spiraled when I then felt like the blog was missing SO MUCH and I froze. Like writer's block, but more like blog freeze. Trying to fix that now! I will breeze by (and come back to) Picture Book Month (some amazing cross-country connections!), Brian Lies' author visit, 5th Grade Bookclub starting, and more. What is pressing now are the results of our 2nd annual MOCK CALDECOTT (aka the ZERVCOTT medals!)

Let's begin.

I had a hard time not including amazing picture books on the mock list, so we had 30 (yes 30!) in our first round of voting.  Here they are in all of their cover glory:
Starting in November (the aforementioned wonderful Picture Book Month), I shared these books during library classes and talked them up to teachers. Throughout December, 1st graders learned a lot about the Caldecott medal and had lots of time to peruse the pages of these gems. Grades 2-5 had lessons and chances to view the books and all grade levels voted on their favorites in early January. I then had the 1st graders and 5th graders serve as my "Zervcott Committee" members and re-vote for their choices from a Top 6 generated from the first round voting.

Here are the Top 6:

First graders also designed medals that the 5th graders voted on.  Without any further ado (or my rambling) - here are the results.

Zervcott honors (and their medals!):

Chloe and the Lion - Zervcott honor 2013
Zervcott Honor Medal by Alyssa

Green - Zervcott Honor 2013

Zervcott Honor Medal by Suvi

And the 2013 Zervcott Winner is......

This is Not My Hat- Zervcott WINNER 2013!
Zervcott Medal by Thomas

Our kids LOVED This Is Not My Hat. Will it win a Caldecott? I'm not sure. But it won the hearts of many students, and that's what counts!  Look for future posts with student reactions/responses to Green and a video homage to This Is Not My Hat!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

It's Picture Book Month!

Wow. Is anyone else feeling like time is flying by? For all of November, we have been celebrating Picture Book Month - reading, sharing and creating all things picture book. There has been Skyping, reader's theater, story sharing, book trailer watching and bookmark creating.  I'm hoping the students are having as much fun as I am reading, sharing and tracking some amazing books.  Here's a little peek at what's been happening:
Green by Laura Vacarro Seeger - you've GOT to watch this. Booktrailers ROCK.
4th graders Skyped with 2/3rd graders in Sharon, MA. Thanks Ms. Drew! (@erinlibrary)

2nd graders answer the question "Why read picture books?"

5th graders rank their TOP TEN picture books via google form

Our community picture book reads!

1st graders wrote sentences from "found" words - based on a word hunt inspired by Rocket!
5th graders create a VoiceThread to verbalize thoughts about picture books.

Picture books are... AWESOME!

2nd graders Skype with 4th graders in Onalaska, WI. Thanks Ms. Brunelle! (@librarygirl2)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Our first Mystery Skype!

This past Wednesday, one class of 5th graders came into the library to find they had a puzzle to solve. With just 10 minutes of planning and prep time, we called a classroom in an unknown location via Skype, with the intention of figuring out where they were. At the same time, that classroom would be trying to locate us!  The students stepped right up to the challenge. We established roles and jobs to make sure we were successful.  Here's what we came up with:
The big picture!
Google Earth and Google Maps provided instant updates
  • Researchers: Students ready to analyze clues on Google maps and Google Earth, along with students manning print atlases and looking at globes and printed out maps.
Note taking in action
  • Note-takers and Clue Trackers: Students took notes on each question and answer asked, with special focus on the clues.
  • Runners: Students literally ran between groups, synthesizing answers to questions, passing these on to the Researchers and sharing ideas with the Questioners. 
  • Questioners: Students presented strategic questions to the mystery classroom to try to narrow down their location and answered the questions that were posed to us.  We took turns - they asked us a question, then we asked one back!
  • Photographer: Documenting the event with photos and perspective. (Evidence here! Pics by Eliza and Olivia)
  • Videographer: Documenting the well-oiled machine we became! Complete with insider interviews :)
  • Greeter: Introduced our class at the beginning of the Skype call (without revealing our location!) and answered follow up questions after each class located the other!

A view into our mystery classroom - see any clues?
Notes were taken via Google Docs and shared with me

Students poured over atlases & maps!
The final question to determine our city!

We had such a great time! I basically stood back and watched the students work together as a TEAM. Everyone had a job, and when we finally figured out their state (Missouri!) and town, there were cheers and fist pumps. The 5th graders totally rocked this! I was so impressed with the questions each group came up with to narrow down the mystery locations. It was definitely an experience I'm hoping to replicate across the upper grade levels! Thanks to Mrs. Venosdale (@ktvee) for guiding us through our first Mystery Skype! It was wonderful to meet and connect with such an enthusiastic group of 5th graders!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

We're going on a Word Hunt!

First graders extended their connections with Tad Hill and his Rocket books today by going on a word hunt!  We first brainstormed WHERE we could go (and outside was a popular choice, but it was a little too chilly without sweatshirts), HOW we would find inspiring words (and about what inspiring even means!) and WHAT our word hunt would look like and sound like (so as to not disturb other classes!) The kids grabbed a clipboard, a pencil and some sticky notes and we were on our way!  Some wonderful words were hunted and gathered, and finally shared over a projection of Rocket's word tree! Next up - can we make a story from these words?  Stay tuned!

Writing and walking!

Comparing found words
Walking and sharing!

Some of the word gems we found

Our very own word tree!