Celebration: Little Sparks

How I love looking back over a week to find reasons to celebrate. They are always there.

Each day, my classroom is becoming more of a community. Little sparks start it out.

We honour play, creativity and childhood vision. Getting outside everyday matters.

Celebration: Little Sparks There is a Book for That

Time with our Kindergarten buddies – afternoon walks and playground play are paving the way for buddy reading that will begin soon.

Celebration: Little Sparks There is a Book for That

The book love has caught on. The children are asking for “book time” right after lunch. What do I notice?  Some sit individually with books and get immediately lost. Buddy reading happens naturally. Some children love to get into our bins of board books

Celebration: Little Sparks There is a Book for That

Readers are supporting growing readers who chime in when they can. Certain books are read over and over.

Celebration: Little Sparks There is a Book for That

One child said to me this week, “You have the best books!” I replied, “We have the best books.” We shared some delighted smiles.

Our #classroombookaday is a huge hit! The Friday voting is a favourite thing. This week’s winner? Josh Funk‘s Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast Such fun!

Celebration: Little Sparks There is a Book for That

This week I celebrate the little sparks, the moments when the learning took over and the routines that are beginning to settle. I also celebrate that while there are lots of needs and times where we are just hanging in, we still are experiencing it as a community.

“I think we need about 100 adults,” one little boy spoke wisely in one such moment and we all burst out laughing. Slowly, but surely . . . One step at a time. With each other. We are fanning these little sparks and the learning momentum is heating up.

Thank you to Ruth Ayres and the #celebratelu community!

Being part of a community that regularly shares gratitude and celebrations truly transforms my weeks.

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Monday June 15th, 2015

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

I have been sharing a reading photo of the week each week. This week I had a LOT of amazing reading related photos. I managed to narrow it down to these two.

Here are some of my boys during Reading Workshop. I love their focus. I love the little community they formed for this morning of reading. I love that they just read and read and read.

 Monday June 15th, 2015 There's a Book for That

This photo is about a little bit of Ballet Cat love. I shared Ballet Cat by Bob Shea with my class. During buddy reading, one of my students read it to Ms. Ishihara. She shared it with her K class and had them go outside and draw ballet cat in chalk. After school, two girls showed me their drawings. I asked if I could take their picture. “Yes!” they agreed. Then, they lay down beside their art, “We’re dancing with her,” they explained! Can’t possibly get more charming than this!

 Monday June 15th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. It’s the best way to discover what to read next.

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Report cards are due this week and so I have read less (because of the writing) and blogged more (because I would rather be writing what I want) so I am sharing some recent posts and only a few books.

This week I shared a collection of beautiful nonfiction titles perfect for the family bookshelf. Gifting books? Choose one of these

Nonfiction Picture Books- Grow a beginning collection

nonfiction picture books Grow a collection

I also participated in Top Ten Tuesday for the very first time and shared a list of books I am happily anticipating in the rest of 2015.

And we all know book love – we fall into it often. But here is some wonderful pre-book love shared in my classroom for Josh Funk‘s first picture book: Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast

Celebration: Predictions, Book Love and Syrup

Lady Pancake Cover Image (2)

The books I read this week:

The Story of Life: A First Book about Evolution by Catherine Barr and Steve Williams, illustrated by Amy Husband

I just read Island: A Story of the Galápagos by Jason Chin to my class to introduce the concept of evolution. Many children were enthralled. I would happily book talk this title and let them carefully examine all of the details  amongst themselves. Fun illustrations and lots of information.

The Story of Life- A First Book about evolution  Monday June 15th, 2015 There's a Book for That

The Secret Life of Squirrels by Nancy Rose

I really don’t like squirrels. I appreciate how complex the photography was for this book. But I really don’t like squirrels. The amusing was lost on me as I was just irritated by the thought of squirrels running up the side of my house, raiding my bird feeders, etc.

The Secret Life of Squirrels  Monday June 15th, 2015 There's a Book for That

You are (Not) Small by Anna Kang and illustrated by Christopher Weyant

A simple little title with huge humour. Absolutely brilliant. I don’t want to give anything away but I do highly recommend picking up this book if you haven’t read it.

 You are not Small  Monday June 15th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Anna Hibiscus by Atinuke 

I am falling more and more for this author. Just a delightful young chapter book. Perfect for new chapter book readers or a classroom read aloud in primary. This title has so much going for it that it beautifully unique – set in Africa, full of family celebrations and each chapter is a tiny story.

Anna Hibiscus  Monday June 15th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Love, Ruby Lavender by Deborah Wiles

Grandmothers and granddaughters, small town charm, chickens and Deborah Wiles. Oh did I love this one.

Love, Ruby Lavender  Monday June 15th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Updates on my 2015 Reading Goals:

2015 Chapter Book Challenge: 29/80 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 216/415 books read

#MustReadin2015: 11/24 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 46/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2015: 22/50 books read

Up next? I am reading Call Me By My Name by John Ed Bradley

Celebration: Predictions, Book Love and Syrup

This week I celebrate the wonderful passion my students have for picture books. Intense, obsessive and excited passion. We are a classroom of book lovers. Our room is FULL of books. But the thought of something new and fun and entertaining . . . it inspires book longing of the jump about and shout kind. Lots and lots of “We must have it now” eagerness.

It all started with 2 buttons that Josh Funk sent to me . . .

You might have seen them tweeted . . .

I decided that it might be fun to get my students talking about this book. We talked about how we might predict something about a book that has not even been published yet. I gave them three clues: 1. It’s fiction 2. It’s a picture book 3. These two buttons . . .

Celebration: Predictions, Book Love and Syrup There's a Book for That

I explained that their focus should be on the character names, not that there were teams. What were we thinking? What could we predict about the characters? Where did the story take place? What might happen? What might it be called?

It got loud pretty quickly.

“I think they are going to eat each other.”

“No, then there is no story.”

“That is the story!”

“They are both flat things.”

“And good!”

“Yummy!”

“I don’t even like French Toast.”

“They might come to Canada because we have the best maple syrup.”

“They might have a baby.”

“Baby bacon!”

“There might be butter.”

“And syrup!”

“Hold on, if we give him good ideas, will he use them in his next book?”

“That’s okay. He will give us credit. He will write all our names and say from Ms. Gelson’s class in Vancouver and put it on the book jacket.”

“This could be in a breakfast castle.”

“No, it would be on a stove or in a pan.”

“Go write it down,” I ordered. And write they did. Although there was still much talking and yelling out of fun ideas. And a little leaping up and shouting.

Celebration: Predictions, Book Love and Syrup There's a Book for That

The sharing and energy kept all of the ideas coming. Here are some pieces of student writing:

“I think that Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast are going to fight and build an army and have a battle to see who is better. I think this book is called Breakfast Fight. I think it all starts in a fridge. I would want to be Sir French Toast. Maybe they both have super powers. This book sounds so good that I want to be the first to read it.”

“I think they both want the butter for themselves. What if they were friends but now they are not friends? Maybe there will be a baby. Scrabbly Egg!”

“What if there is a Syrup Man and a Butter Man too. Grandma Eggs? Daddy Omelet? Mama Juice? Grandpa Poached Egg? Bob Bacon and Sammie Sausage? If I got to talk to Lady Pancake I would say” “You belong to my stomach.Yum!”

“Maybe they will build the Great Wall of China or the Eiffel Tower with pancakes and toast!”

“Maybe there will be a baby muffin who tells them to stop chasing each other.”

“Maybe they are in a restaurant and Sir French Toast is popular so Lady Pancake is jealous. I think the title is Fight the Food.”

“I think this book is about an eating contest. Maybe they eat each other and in the end they turn into a floating head.”

“What if they are starving to death and they tried eating each other. Or maybe it’s a contest to see who is tastier. Can I be the first to read your book?”

“What if Lady Pancake is a Queen and Sir French Toast is a burglar and he takes her crispy bacon money?”

I love the moment when everyone started talking about their names.

“It says Sir and Lady.”

“Oh – they are royal.”

“They sound elderly.”

“Seniors!”

Predictions were long and shared all over the room.

Celebration: Predictions, Book Love and Syrup There's a Book for That

At one point I asked students to vote. Who is on Team Lady Pancake? They were eager to vote but not stop writing!

Celebration: Predictions, Book Love and Syrup There's a Book for That

Then we watched the book trailer that premiered on Mr. Shu’s blog.

Celebration: Predictions, Book Love and Syrup There's a Book for That

Students returned to their seats to write a little more.

Some comments were long and detailed. (and clearly a team has been chosen!)

“Now I know . . . that they were best friends but they secretly hated each other. The town announces that there is only one drop left of the syrup bottle and only one of them can get it. But wait, wait, wait . . .why only Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast? Why not anyone else in Breakfast Land? Okay back to the story – they both raced to the fridge and the story began. But wait, wait, wait . . How does the story end? I know (obviously) that the book trailer won’t tell you how it ends. But how, how does it end? Does Lady Pancake win? Probably Does Sir French Toast? Probably not! I don’t think that the author would make one of them win because authors don’t do that. So maybe they share the last drop. Maybe the bottle of syrup gets mad because they’re fighting too much. I don’t know. This is a prediction. And now it’s over. Always, Team Lady Pancake!”

Some were short and persuasive.

“Hey you really can’t make this book come out in September. If you do I will scream. YOU HAVE TO HURRY UP!”

These two kept writing and talking prediction possibilities through much of Reading Workshop. Keen little fans already guaranteed!

Celebration: Predictions, Book Love and Syrup There's a Book for That

What a pleasure to celebrate the book love in my room. I love all of the excitement these two little buttons generated in a room full of devoted readers. 🙂

Make sure you put reading Josh Funk‘s picture book Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast on your September calendar! My students have made me PROMISE that we will read it together our first day back!

Lady Pancake  Celebration: Predictions, Book Love and Syrup There's a Book for That

Thank you to Ruth Ayres and the #celebratelu community! Being part of a community that regularly shares gratitude and celebrations truly transforms my weeks.

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