Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Picture book month is over, but we still love our picture books!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I'm Here...

I mentioned the book I'm Here by Peter H. Reynolds in my last post. Here's a great book trailer/companion video to it. Really speaks to the impact of the book. Check out his great work with Fablevision here.  Lots of great visuals, lessons, products and ideas for teachers.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Inclusive Schools Week

It's Inclusive Schools week and I've been having some great discussions with kids at all grade levels about what an inclusive school looks like, and the many meanings of inclusion.  We've shared stories, including I'm Here by Peter H. Reynold and One by Kathryn Otoshi and come up with activities to do together to try to understand how we are all different thinkers and learners.  I just came across this video, shared by a fellow librarian, and loved it too much not to pass on. Enjoy!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Picture Book Month - Week 1

Highlights from the library:

It's a unique challenge trying to convince 70 fourth graders you just met 7 weeks ago at a new school that picture books are cool.  And totally aimed at them (sometimes), or at the very least worth their attention.  After the incredulous inquiries ("Wait...Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Captain Underpants don't count?"), I may be cracking the surface... When sharing favorite picture books, one boy started...."I don't remember the name of it, but it's about a boy who finds a camera in the ocean..." Before he could go any further a collective gasp and sigh and murmurs of agreement erupted throughout the class.  "Flotsam!" another boy called out.  And...we're getting there.

Next, when sharing I Will Not Read This Book with a first grade class, there were some great comments as I read the title outloud ("No, Ms. Broderick, please read it!") and then as I continued along with the story and came to the part where a "dragon blows smoke in my eyeballs", a boy in the front row covers his face and says "OH! I can FEEL it!". Sometimes it's the little things that can make your day.

The students at Zervas who are more well versed with my love of picture books (and endpapers!) totally ate up this opportunity to check out huge amounts of picture books (15+ for some of them) - I'm hoping they have wheelie backpacks...

Now I'll get back to devising a better scheme for tracking my own reading between two schools and home.  I told the kids my personal goal is 100 books - 72 to go!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Candlewick Spring Preview

Two weeks ago, I got to attend my second Candlewick preview.  It's definitely a perk of the job to be able to take a sneak peak and hear about these exciting new books right from the source.  Here's what's coming in the Spring...

Chris Van Dusen is following up last year's King Hugo's Huge Ego with another rhyming text aimed at young readers.  In Randy Riley's Really Big Hit, he combines baseball and science (specifically robots) to hook us in with this story set in a Jetsons-esque world.  I'm looking forward to sharing this one with many of my boys!

Continuing with the robot theme, Annette Simon has written the first in what will become a series: Robot Zombie Frankenstein!  In this super cute tale of friendship and pie, two friends partake in funny game of one-upmanship.  High-energy, colorful and unpredictable, this will be a great read aloud.  Favorite part? The endpapers. Awesome. There is also an activity website in the works.  I can't wait to see where else she goes with this!

Next up were two sequels that I am just dying to read.  The Dunderheads Behind Bars and Bink and Gollie, Two for One.
Paul Fleischman has now written a sequel for the FIRST TIME EVER!  And boy, am I glad for that.  In this new edition, The Dunderheads are trying to be extras in a movie being shot in their town.  They run into Miss Breakbone on the set, and her strikingly similar brother, Inspector Breakbone.  Spider ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time and it is up to the rest of the Dunderheads to break him out of jail and find the real criminal.  The underdogs team up to solve the mystery, and keep the readers laughing along the way. 
"I'm going to whack a duck!" In the newest Bink and Gollie adventures, we again get 3 short chapters, all set at the state fair.  In this volume, Bink sets out to win the world's largest donut by playing Whack-A-Duck, Gollie tries her hand in a talent show, and both try to see the future in a crystal ball.  Friendship in the best light, these stories are just heart-warmingly hilarious.

I love Stink and I love haiku. Zombies aren't my favorite, but I'll put that aside for this new book in the Stink series by Megan McDonald, Stink and the Midnight Zombie Walk.  Stink is trying to raise money to buy the newest book in his favorite zombie series by hosting a smelling stand...he and his friends get their costumes ready and race to read 1 million minutes in order to win a zombie themed party, and there is even zombie poetry - Zaiku!  Throughout this book we get the message: reading is undead. 

Frank Cottrell Boyce is releasing the first in a series of three books based on Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which was originally published 48 years ago.  The 3rd in the series will release on the 50th anniversary.  Looks like this sequel series will be a hit!  I'm loving the key chain from the goody bag! Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again will be available in March, 2012. 

To be continued....!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Picture books of the day...

I got to share some picture books today with Ms. Toran's class:

I Will Not Read This Book by Cece Meng (I LOVE THIS BOOK! I'm going to have them re-enact it as reader's theater next week)

Little Chicken's Big Day by Katie Davis

And with some new books that came in, my reading total is up to 7 picture books in two days.  I better step up my game!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

It's Picture Book Month!

Picture books are important.  Picture books are powerful.  Picture books are FUN! Join me in reading, sharing and celebrating picture books throughout the month of November.  I will be keeping stats of the number of picture books checked out of the library, and each classroom has a tally chart to document any picture books read in class.  Students who want to keep track of the picture books they read, either at school or at home, can fill out their own calendar tally chart! Families reading books together totally counts!  The classroom with the MOST number of picture books read will win a prize!

I started out Picture Book Month with 3 great read-alouds in the library.  In first grade, we were wrapping up our author study of Brian Lies, so we listened to Bats at the Library and Bats at the Ballgame while creating bats for our final display.

With the Kindergarteners, it was Judy Sierra's Wild About Books that kicked off our picture book challenge!

Let's see how many picture books the Zervas Community can read in 30 days! 

Interested in participating?
Print out the themed calendar here:
See Ms. Broderick for a tally sheet.

Pick up a picture book and read with me! 

Read, Share, Celebrate!

More information here:

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Things you see at library conferences...

 Tall buildings with great reflective qualities.
 Spinning welcome signs.
 Bicycle-powered vehicles.
 Authors! This is Mike Thaler (The Black Lagoon guy!)
 ...and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar!
Giant cat mascots. Ok, this one was kind of scary.
 An Angry Birds pumpkin (and watermelon!) display
 Savvy Librarians :)
 Swatch watch heaven!
 A wall of Legos! (We made it to the Mall of America for a quick visit, and wow. just wow.)

All in all, Minneapolis was a great city! I got to meet library friends from twitter and other blogs, I got to present with my colleague and friend Jennifer Reed (from Mason-Rice) and I left with enough information and brain fuel to inspire me for a long time to come.  I have many book reviews and lesson ideas to add to this blog!

Friday, September 2, 2011

The last gasps of summer reading...

                                                  I hope these aren't library books! :)
                                                       Ms. Toran's tea time...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

We can read in the pool, we can read at school!

Mrs. Gacicia's summer reading spot!
Recognize the building in the background??

We can read on land, we can read on sand (and in the air, too!)

 By the pool!

 On the floor!

In the sand!
In a tree!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Oh, the Places We Can Read...

The first submissions for Zervas Reads!  We have international readers here folks... Keep those pictures coming!

C & M in front of the Sleeping Giant in County Kerry, Ireland
Books read: The Throne of Fire and The Giggler Treatment

Flying home from Israel!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Wow. Just Wow.

Here are the TOP TEN most checked out books from the Zervas Library in the 2010-2011 school year. I'm starting to wonder if I overdid it with my enthusiasm for Mo Willems. Hmmm.

1. I am invited to a party! Willems, Mo. 52
2. I will surprise my friend! Willems, Mo. 44
3. Watch me throw the ball! Willems, Mo. 44
4. Are you ready to play outside? Willems, Mo. 43
5. There is a bird on your head! Willems, Mo. 43
6. I am going! Willems, Mo. 37
7. Pigs make me sneeze! Willems, Mo. 37
8. My friend is sad Willems, Mo. 34
9. Today I will fly! Willems, Mo. 33
10. Wacky Wednesday LeSieg, Theo., 1904- 30

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

5th Grade Presents: The Top Ten books EVER!

Zervas 5th graders all participated in an activity earlier this year where they spent time mulling over what a "Top Ten" list of their favorite books EVER would look like. I was inspired by
this amazing poll and used a similar scoring guide (so that the kid's lists were weighted). This led to an overall 5th grade Top Ten - but I was also able to break out the individual class Top Ten lists. An interesting look at the 5th graders reflecting on their reading. (Teachers: I recognize many of these books as classroom read-alouds!)

Enjoy the Prezi (I know I enjoyed making it!)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Poem in Your Pocket Day = SUCCESS!

Zervas Elementary School was buzzing with students and staff stopping in the hallway and classrooms, pulling folded and crumpled pieces of paper from pockets (there was even a 1st grade girl who CONSTRUCTED pockets for her pants that were pocketless). The poems were read, shared and generally enjoyed by all. Grades 1, 2 and 3 were able to share their poems during library time and 4th graders illustrated their chosen poems in art. 5th graders helped to read a poem over the intercom - and they will continue this every morning after vacation to wrap up poetry month. Kindergarteners saw their acrostic poems decorating the library. All and all - a HUGE success! Here's an outstanding example of a student who created her own poem for the day:

There's a poem in my pocket
by Maggie

There's a poem in my pocket
And I don't know when to read it
There's a poem in my pocket
And I don't know when to feed it

There's a poem in my pocket
And I don't know what to do
There's a poem in my pocket
Can I give it to you?

There's a poem in my pocket
And I'm very confused
There's a poem in my pocket
And it has not been used

There's a poem in my pocket
And it doesn't really fit
There's a poem in my pocket
And this is it.

Monday, April 11, 2011

MCBA Winners!

This just in.....!

The Massachusetts Children's Book Award of 2011 goes to.... (drum roll)

11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass! (Zervas students also voted this as their favorite!)

Honor books include:

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Candlewick Press Fall 2011 Preview

Yesterday I had the chance to go to my very first publisher preview event! It was a librarian's dream...sure, mother nature threw us a curve with an April Fool's day snowstorm, but it was Friday morning, and the coffee was served in Judy Moody faux Starbucks cups. _swoon_. Add in a room full of librarians and book lovers, a life size cut-out of favorites Bink and Gollie, not to mention ARCs of the brand new books themselves, and you've got a recipe for success. (Notice, I didn't even mention the amazing gift bag...oops, there I go - but let's just say it included a copy of Interrupting Chicken!)

Here's what is coming up from Candlewick - Fall 2011. I can't wait to order some of these!

I'm not familiar with the Bear and Mouse books - but they certainly look charming. From earlier books, it's been established that Bear doesn't like birthdays, noise, visitors, and staying up late. Mouse, however, LOVES birthdays, sleepovers and staying up late. In the 4th book, The Sniffles for Bear by Bonny Becker, Bear has gotten a cold. He tends to be a bit of a drama queen, announcing that no one could possibly ever be as sick as he is, and when Mouse comes in to offer him tea, (one of my favorite pages) - shouts "HAVE YOU NO DECENCY?" In the end, Bear does recover, only to find that Mouse has gotten sick, too. The illustrations are delightful and add to the humor of the situation.

Chris Van Dusen is back with another picture book aimed at the early elementary set. Kids will recognize the illustrative style showcased in Mercy Watson and the Circus Ship, and embrace the humor that Van Dusen infuses in all parts of his work. King Hugo demands adoration. He thinks he deserves only the best and doesn't think much of those below him. One day, when he brushes by one of his subjects, who happens to be a sorceress, everything changes. Because of her curse, King Hugo's head grows bigger with each egotistical thing he says. Hilarity ensues and there is a surprise ending with a touch of romance, even. Judging by the fact that my students LOVED Circus Ship and can't get enough of my favorite buttered toast loving pig, this will be high on my list of fall purchases.

The newest Rosemary Wells book, Love Waves, features favorites Max and Ruby, this time in a simple story of family and connection. The idea behind the story is that even when we're apart, "love waves" keep us close to those we love and miss. The colors throughout the book are bright and the love waves are represented by silvery, glittery lines on the page. Sounds like it will be a classic for those children who have trouble with transitioning away from family for school, work, trips, etc.

This next book was my favorite of the day. I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen will definitely be in the Zervas Library collection next fall. I'm envisioning reader's theater and making our very own hats already... Candlewick hooked us all up with a pointy red hat in our gift bag, so we'll all be well outfitted. In this story, the text/dialogue is simple and repetitive, but Klassen highlights this with wonderful illustrations that capture the true humor of the bear's hunt for his hat. What can I say, I'm a sucker for funny books. This is sure to be a favorite. Have you seen my hat?

There were more books covered, including Matt Phelan's new graphic novel Around the World, featuring world travelers Thomas Stevens (who circled the globe on a bicycle), Nellie Bly (a journalist who is best known for feigning insanity to get into a an asylum for a story) and Joshua Slocum (a sea captain who circumnavigated the world by boat).

Another interesting release, which I think leans a little too middle grade for the elementary crowd, is Ghetto Cowboy by G. Neri. This is the fictionalized story of a real community of urban cowboys in Philadelphia. I will be researching Fletcher Street to find out more about this unique community. Fascinating!

Finally, one I will DEFINITELY read -even though it looks like it's firmly planted in YA (but that never stops me) The Watch That Ends the Night by Allan Wolf. This is the story of the Titanic, as told through both familiar and new characters. Voice is a huge theme of the book, and even the glacier has a perspective to consider. Looks amazing.

All in all, a great experience, and I look forward to attending more events like this in the future!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

More Book Spine Poems!

A year later.... more book spine poems!