This week I celebrate the winding up of our #MockCaldecott process. The books are read. The voting complete. The winners selected. The evaluations written. Now these titles are read, reread and treasured. They are pieces of our reading lives.
I can’t quite figure out how to share just how much this entire process exceeded my expectations. There is normally a LOT of picture book love in my classroom. This took it over the top. In the very best of ways.
We read each book together as a class over a two week period. Talking. Noticing. Savouring. Rereading.
And then it was time to vote. A rich and thoughtful process. Students revisited many of the titles and carefully considered their votes.
Students rated each of our eleven titles on a scale of 1-5 for 3 questions:
This book is a book kids will really appreciate. 1 2 3 4 5
The illustrations in this book are excellent in quality. 1 2 3 4 5
The illustrations are a great fit for the story being told. 1 2 3 4 5
I loved watching students and adults talk together and share what they noticed.
As students each selected 3 favourites to write more about, I witnessed collaboration and celebration.
And . . . quiet independent reflection and rereads.
Our actual winners were as follows:
Same & Dave Dig a Hole took the medal. We awarded honor status to The Farmer and the Clown, Quest and Draw!
These titles received a LOT of love. Like the biggest smile of approval EVER! :-)
And student created stickers . . .
Titles that didn’t receive medal/honor status got another kind of love and devotion:
And when author/illustrators communicated with us via twitter, it was pretty magical!
Comments about favourite titles ranged from favourite parts to insightful observations. Some highlights:
Same & Dave Dig a Hole
“I like the part when they always pass by the big diamonds. Maybe they are too lazy to dig for a long time.”
“I really like when they dig straight down but they miss the pink diamond. The book had very good details. It’s like Sam and Dave fell in a new galaxy. Or like time travel.”
“I love how the dog could smell the diamond.”
“Sam and Dave is a great digging book because the dog can smell gems: one small, two medium three big, four enormous!!”
“That was the biggest diamond that I ever seen in a book!”
“I like it because it is wordless. I love wordless books. I think he likes adventures and to do new things.”
“It has great illustrations and so much imaginations! We do lots of imaginations in our class.”
The Farmer and the Clown
“My favourite part is the friendship between the farmer and the clown.”
“My favourite part is when the clown washes his face and then he looks like a cute little baby.”
“My favourite part was when the clown needed to go and the farmer switched hats with him. It showed that on the next page.”
“This book is awesome! It has so many colours. I like how they draw something and then it comes true.”
“I choose Quest because the illustrations goes with the book. It’s a continuation of the book Journey and this time, they’re working together.”
The Girl and the Bicycle
“My favourite part is when the girl buyed the bicycle for her brother. I like when the girl dropped her bike and hugged the old lady.”
The Right Word
“I really like how the illustrator uses a lot of collage and nothing gets wasted.”
“Sparky was so lazy. He only knew how to sleep. He was an odd pet.”
“All the pictures are about cute and lazy. The pictures really fit with the plot. Sparky is very cute. I like how Sparky is always sleeping. The girl plays games but Sparky always loses.”
“I like the part when the sloth just sat there.”
“I wouldn’t appreciate the colours in the ending as much if it didn’t have those dull colours to compare the bright colours to. It was a very good story.”
Reflecting on our learning was taken as seriously as exploring book details.
I asked students to think about three questions. I shared some of their answers under each question.
What did you like about our Mock Caldecott process?
- Some of the books kept me thinking
- We got to vote on our favourite books (it’s very hard).
- I like when we looked at the details
- It is like a treasure hunt with books!
- We noticed amazing things!
- How we got to be judges and that is awesome.
- I liked listening to all of the stories.
- I get to rate all of the books!
- We got to see new books that we haven’t seen before.
- That we got to be learners and thinkers. I hope we do it again.
What did you learn about your own likes/dislikes/preferences with picture books?
- I used to like books that were only black white but Quest made me change my mind.
- I like when there’s a happy ending.
- I like when they surprise us.
- I like when there are muted colours and then the next page everything is bright.
- You can learn a lot with just one picture book.
- I used to dislike wordless books. Now, I like wordless books.
- I like bright picture books more than plain picture books.
What did you learn about illustration and illustration styles?
- Some books – you have to notice the small details.
- Some illustrators do spotlights of do a small picture and leave a big white page
- The illustrations have to fit with the plot.
- They are very creative in books. They do that so kids will think about it.
My favourite response might be this one: “I noticed that all the kids had fun!” this is my celebration – the joy the Mock Caldecott process brought to our room. We are, more than ever, a reading community.
Thank you to Ruth Ayres and the #celebratelu community! Being part of a community that regularly shares gratitude and celebrations truly transforms my weeks. Read all of the celebrations by following the links shared here.