This is definitely it - the last weekend of the summer break, for students and parents. (Teachers have already been busy during the past week, getting school ready for students' return on Wednesday.) It will also be the last post on this blog page as I am starting a new one for 2015-16. Thank you for joining us on our reading and learning journey throughout the past school year and summer. I hope many of you will continue following us, no matter whether you are a returning family or have moved on to a different school. Here just three snapshots to get you curious about the start of the year... See you soon!
As you all know, Ms. Phyllis and her family moved to a new school. Who will be sitting in these two chairs this school year...?
We have many wonderful books in our library - and they will be joined by some brand new titles. Are you curious to see what is in these boxes...?
Inspired by Alvin Ho and his tips for the start of a new school year, I have made myself a "PDK (Personal Disaster Kit), Library Edition". Can you guess what is in there...? I hope I have made you curious about this new school year and say:
HELLO AND WELCOME 2015-16!
Please follow this link to our new blog for 2015-16.
It’s hard to believe, but the summer is almost over. Your teachers will actually already be back in school this week, preparing everything for your start on Wednesday, August 19. I hope you had a wonderful time and now look forward to the start of a new school year. We began this summer reading program with writing lists and my suggestion is, let's end it the same way.
Can you think of other lists?
Make sure to enjoy some more reading time in your favorite reading spot this week!
Ms. Tanja’s Top 10 Picture Books About School
The Kissing Hand (Audrey Penn)
First Day Jitters (Julie Danneberg)
Chu’s First Day of School (Neil Gaiman)
Seamonster’s First Day (Kate Messner)
A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To School (Davide Cali)
Suki’s Kimono (Chieri Uegaki)
Once Upon an Ordinary School Day (Colin McNaughton)
A Pirate’s Guide to First Grade (James Preller)
The Exceptionally, Extraordinarily, Ordinary First Day of School (Albert Lorenz)
My New Teacher and Me (Al Yankovic)
Ms. Tanja’s Top 10 Picture Books to Read at the End of Summer (because I love these books!)
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore (William Joyce)
Once Upon An Alphabet (Oliver Jeffers)
The Book With No Pictures (B.J. Novak)
Zen Shorts (Jon J Muth)
Oliver & Patch (Claire Freedman)
Loves As Strong As Ginger (Lenore Look)
Fly, Eagle, Fly! (Retold by Christopher Gregorowski)
The North Star (Peter H. Reynolds)
I Wish You More (Amy Krouse Rosenthal)
I Will Take A Nap (Mo Willems)
Happy List Writing & Reading - and, see you soon!
Do you remember our Literacy Week last March, when Share Your Memory, Be The Story was our theme? We all enjoyed so much sharing reading memories and favorite books with each other. I think at this point of the summer break, with just two more weeks to go, it is a perfect time to record and share some of your favorite memories of the summer. It could be about a favorite day, a favorite event, a favorite story heard or book read or a combination of all of this. I want to give you a few ideas on how you could go about it and examples of what it could look like. No matter which format you decide to use, I hope you will share it with someone.
Wordless Picture Books
Flora & The Flamingo (Molly Idle)
Flotsam (David Wiesner)
Rainstorm (Barbara Lehman)
Wave (Suzy Lee)
Chalk (Bill Thomson)
Picture Books With Words
Owl Moon (Cynthia Rylant)
Are We There Yet? (Alison Lester)
Twilight Comes Twice (Ralph Fletcher)
The Meteor (Patricia Polacco)
Knuffle Bunny (Mo Willems)
Personal Narratives/Memoirs in Words Only
Knucklehead (Jon Scieszka)
Marshfield Dreams (Ralph Fletcher)
Tofu Quilt (Ching Yeung Russell)
Comic Strip/Graphic Novel
Bird and Squirrel on Ice (James Burks)
Adventures in Cartooning: How to Turn Your Doodles Into Comics (James Sturm)
Unicorn on a Roll: A Phoebe and Her Unicorn Adventure (Dana Simpson)
The Adventures of Polo (Regis Faller)
The Zoo Box (Ariel Cohn)
Benjamin Bear in Fuzzy Thinking (Philippe Coudray)
Benny and Penny in the Big No-No (Geoffrey Hayes)
Babymouse (Jennifer L. Holm)
Zita, the Space Girl (Ben Hatke)
Amulet (Kazu Kibuishi)
And here a few more ideas if you want to use technology in creating your story:
Create a photo story with apps such as ComicBook.
Make an iBook with apps such as BookMaker.
Record an audiobook on Garageband.
Make a video with iMovie or Powtoon.
(The photo above was taken during our Service Learning Fair when our students presented a cheque (the money raised during our read-a-thon) to a representative from Room to Read.)
Service learning is an important part of what we do at HKA. Throughout the year, we are involved with organizations that care for those in need, for people, for animals and the environment. We also celebrated this during our Service Learning Fair. When we take action, we can make a big difference in someone else’s life as well as in ours. Sometimes, however, we get discouraged, especially when we see the big projects others have organized, thinking we wouldn’t be able to accomplish this. Start with baby steps, for example by putting a smile on someone’s face this week.
Get inspiration from reading from these books:
Have a wonderful week!
A week of tinkering, wondering, pondering and experimenting!
Image source: http://www.kidscanpress.com/makesomething/about.html
I recently discovered The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires, a most beautiful picture book. It tells the story of a young girl who is trying to build a very special something but runs into all kinds of difficulties. This week, I want to encourage you to spend some time tinkering, wondering, pondering and experimenting. Find materials around the house to make something exciting and new. Go and explore your natural surroundings, like a scientist. Draw and/or write about what you notice and what you wonder about. Maybe you even have a science museum nearby that you could go and visit.
Below are a few books that can help with inspiration.
Me… Jane (Patrick McDonnell)
On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein (Jennifer Berne)
Mr. Ferris and His Wheel (Kathryn Gibbs Davis)
The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdos (Deborah Heiligman)
Summer Birds: The Butterflies of Maria Merian (Margarita Engle)
The Amazing Discoveries of Ibn Sina (Fatima Sharafeddine)
Barnum Brown: Dinosaur Hunter (David Sheldon)
Earmuffs for Everyone: How Chester Greenwood Became Known As The Inventor of Earmuffs (Meghan McCarthy)
Star Stuff: Carl Sagan and the Mysteries of the Cosmos (Stephanie Roth Sisson)
The Pink Refrigerator (Tim Egan)
Science Solves It series – written by various authors (Examples of titles: Gotcha! Bugged! Ant Attack; A Slimy Story; Slow Down, Sara! The Creeping Tide; The Midnight Kid; The Case of Vampire Vivian; Bubble Trouble.)
This week I want us to celebrate listening: listening to an audiobook, listening to a read-aloud, listening to poetry, listening to a novel in verse, listening to music and songs.
Listen to a song, I mean, really listen not just to the melody but also to the words. Then draw a picture about the song. What is the song about? Who is in the song?
Listen to an audiobook. (And to answer a question I often hear from students and parents: yes, listening to an audiobook is also reading!)
Over the past year and a half, I re-discovered my love for audiobooks. As a child, my siblings and I loved listening to records with favorite stories. Nowadays, it’s so easy to get audiobooks and have them with us at all times on iPhones, iPads, iPods and other mobile devices. If you have Internet access, explore the Audiobooks tab on our only2clicks page for free online resources. Or check with your parents the offers and services companies such as Audible provide. You can also ask at your local public library if they have audiobooks you can sign out.
My advice if you consider buying an audiobook is listening to a sample first to find out whether you enjoy the narrator’s voice.
Let someone read to you from one or more of the following books:
Books from famous children’s poets such as…
Mary Ann Hoberman
(Since I am not sure what my Internet access will be like over the next week, I am posting this a few days early, together with some images of South German dishes I am currently enjoying.)
Here is a list of other favorite books around food. Read them and afterwards prepare the dish or one of the dishes mentioned in the book. You could invite a friend to join you for a story time lunch or make it a big family celebration.
Happy Cooking - and Reading!
How is your summer going? I hope you are having a wonderful time!
The picture above shows the center of my hometown, a place I travel to each summer to spend time with family and friends there. No matter whether you are going near or far during this summer, there is lots to find out about the people and places around you. You could start with questions such as:
How many people live in the town/city you currently visit?
What are some famous landmarks?
What is the history?
What are the customs and traditions of the place?
What are traditional tales told in the area?
Speak to a family member and/or visit a local landmark, museum and public library to find out more. And remember, books allow us to go to anywhere we want in the world, without having to actually travel there. So, if you are curious about a particular place or person, check whether you can find books that tell you more about them.
Books about Places
There are so many amazing nonfiction books about countries and places. Here just a list of some of our library’s most popular series:
Country Explorers (published by Lerner Classroom)
National Geographic Countries of the World
World Alphabet (published by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books)
A Child’s Day (published by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books)
Cultural Traditions in My World (published by Crabtree Publishing Company)
If you have Internet access, you can also explore World Book Online, DK Find Out and the Kids National Geographic website, in particular “People & Places” to learn more about places around the world.
Books about People
There are many wonderful picture book biographies - here just a few suggestions of some newer publications:
Grandfather Gandhi (Arun Gandhi)
Viva Frida! (Yuyi Morales)
The Iridescence of Birds (Patricia MacLachlan)
Bon Appetit! The Delicious Life of Julia Child (Jessie Hartland)
Enormous Smallness: A Story of E.E. Cummings (Susan Cheever)
The Pilot and the Little Prince (Peter Sis)
The Noisy Paint Box (Barb Rosenstock)
A Boy and a Jaguar (Alan Rabinowitz)
The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus (Jennifer Bryant)
Emmanuel’s Dream (Laurie Ann Thompson)
Happy Summer Reading!
I hope you had a few fantastic first days of the summer break and are ready for some more ideas on what to do. After living in Hong Kong for three years, I continue to be amazed by all the wonderful things to do and see around Hong Kong and therefore want to encourage you this week, to explore the beautiful city we live in with the help of some wonderful fiction and nonfiction books.
The Adventures of Lulu the Hong Kong Cat (Ellen Leou)
Visit Kennedy Town and/or Sham Shui Po, which are the settings of Lulu’s first two adventures. Do you spot things from the illustrations in the books?
Lost in Hong Kong (Matthew Cooper)
Take a ride on public transport you don’t get to use often, like the tram, the Peak Tram or the Star Ferry. Think about how it is different from being on the MTR, bus or in a car.
Black Rain Day (Matthew Cooper)
Go on a hike and take note of the different habitats you discover along the way. What animals, what plants to you spot and recognize? You might want to take a camera or sketch/notebook along.
Chop Sticks (John Berkeley)
Go on a trip to Aberdeen and have brunch/lunch at the famous floating restaurant, which is also featured in John Berkeley’s beautiful story. Can you find the dragons shown in the book?
My Hong Kong (Joanne O’Callaghan)
This is Hong Kong (Miroslav Sasek)
After reading one of these or both books, decide on one or more places you would like to visit. Make a plan when you want to go and what you want to take along.
Three Years and Eight Months (Icy Smith)
This book is especially for older readers in grades 4 and 5. After reading about the occupation of Hong Kong during World War II, you might be interested in finding out more about the city’s history. The History Museum is a fantastic place to explore, especially on a rainy or very hot day.
Leap & Hop Hong Kong (Isabelle Demenge and Emilie Sarnell)
You will discover many wonderful suggestions and ideas in this interactive guide to exploring Hong Kong. What interests you the most? Make a list of your top places to start with – or complete activities related to places you have already been to.
Kids Go! Hong Kong: Tell Your Parents Where to Go (Mio Debnam)
Just as the title says, tell your parents where to go! Explore the guide and then select a few places to suggest as family trips to your parents. You could already include what you think you might need to take along.
Happy Summer Reading!
Today is my very first day of summer break and I am enjoying - how could it be different - some extra reading time. I just received this fantastic magazine from our G5 teachers. All articles are written by our amazing G5 students. There is a wonderful range of topics, from hamsters, dolphins, Rottweilers, the NBA, all kinds of pollution, healthy eating, and even one of my all-time favourite topics, chocolate! Enjoy browsing through the magazine, either above or if you prefer reading in a larger view through this link.
Happy Summer Reading!
School's out, all the books are back on their place on the library's shelves, resting after an exciting year. You are having almost nine weeks of summer break ahead of you. That’s a really long time and to make sure you are getting the most out of it, its best to get started making plans. So here my suggestions for this first week of our Summer Reading Fun – make some lists with your plans and ideas for the summer in Alvin Ho style! Wondering where to write them down? How about starting a (summer) reader’s note/scrapbook? If you would like some ideas on how to get started with it, check out the blog post in which I introduced what mine looks like.
Top 10 Things to Do This Summer
I find that looking forward to something and making plans is as much fun as living through the actual experience. Just like me, I am sure you have already many wonderful ideas of what you want to do, all these special things for which we often don’t find enough time during the busy school year. Things on my list are lots and lots of reading (no surprises there, right?), sleeping late into the morning, chatting late into the night with favorite people, taking long walks, lying in a beautiful meadow and looking up into the sky as the clouds pass by, visiting someone I haven’t seen in a long time... and more.
Top 10 Books to Read This Summer
To get ideas, explore the resources I put together for you in the downloadable Summer Reading Fun package and our Summer Reading Fun online resources through the Primary Portal. A visit to a bookstore and/or public library could give you additional ideas, if a parent has time to take you.
(And if you are curious to see what I am planning to read this summer as well as keeping track of what I read as the summer goes by, check out this Blendspace with Ms. Tanja’s Summer Reading 2015.)
Happy Summer Reading!
As promised yesterday, here some more resources to support you with summer reading, especially with regard to what to read. Please consider my title suggestions as well as all the other summer reading lists as resources to browse through and choose from, a starting point, but not a must-read list. In addition to exploring these resources, you might also want to visit a public library and/or bookstore to browse the shelves for more ideas. Having a say in what to read is the most powerful factor in motivating readers.
With regard to the grade-level boundaries in the document below, it is important to keep in mind that each reader develops at his/her own pace and consequently, there is always a range of reading levels in each grade. The grade-level recommendations are therefore more geared towards interest level. Fortunately, reading can be done in so many different ways, i.e. reading independently, listening to an audiobook, listening to someone reading the story out loud or sharing the reading with someone. This allows children to have a wide access to all kinds of stories, stories they will enjoy and treasure. It is my hope that you find at least a few in the list below or in any of the other resources shared.
You can also download the two summer reading documents here:
Happy Summer Reading!
During the past week, I shared this video with all students, from our youngest readers in PK1 to our student leaders in G5. After watching the video, we brainstormed why to read this summer, where to get books when the HKA library is closed, where to read and with whom. I think these were among the liveliest conversations we have had this year, with students having so many wonderful ideas to share.
I was totally blown away especially by our youngest readers for whom the whole discussion was a "no-brainer" - of course you would want to read because it is so much fun! I noticed in student responses, in particular with regard to what seemed to have priority, that the higher up we got in grade-level, the more the fun and enjoyment factor seemed to loose in importance. What gained in importance was the maintaining and developing of reading skills and learning. These seemed relatively rational responses, missing some of the enthusiasm that characterized all our youngsters' responses.
What surprised me too where comments regarding time. All younger students mentioned that since school is out, they will have lots of time to read. That is something I personally also look forward to. A number of older students however shared that their summers are too busy to find time for reading.
I have been wondering all week about what happens that causes this shift in how some of our children view reading as they grow older. What takes some of the joy out of reading and degrades it to a task, for which time has to be searched and fit into a busy schedules? Here are a few thoughts that come to mind:
Increased expectations with regard to independent reading?
Increased expectations and limitations when it comes to choosing reading materials?
Less time spent reading together with a parent?
Less time spent talking about the books read with a parent?
Less modelling how much we, the adults, enjoy reading ourselves?
What do you think?
Happy Summer Reading!
(For more Summer Reading Resources, in particular Summer Reading Title Suggestions check this blog again tomorrow.)
Last Thursday, our G4 students were extremely fortunate as they got to meet an amazing author via Skype: Dee Garretson. The students and their teachers had just recently read - and loved! - as a class read-aloud the author's book Wildfire Run. An action-packed adventure as two kids try to escape a fire at Camp David by building the most amazing contraptions, our students were curious to meet the author who created such a gripping story. Mrs Garretson had kindly agreed to share 30min of her time with us (for free!) to talk about her books and answer our students many questions. In preparation for the visit, our students explored her website, which made them even more curious about Mrs Garretson.
A few things students found out through her website...
Wildfire Run was the author's first published book (2010).
She lives with her husband, two children and two cats in Ohio.
She grew up in a small town, with a small library in Iowa.
She has always been an avid reader.
She writes at her computer in the basement of her house.
Her family helps her with ideas for her stories.
When she was a child, she fell into a goldfish pond.
She enjoyed playing outside and working with her dad on his inventions when she was a child.
A few things students wondered about before the Skype...
How many drafts she has for Wildfire Run and how often she needs to rewrite
How she knows when and what to change during rewriting
How long it takes her to write a book
Whether she always works at her computer, also for edits and rewrites
What inspires her to be an author / as a reader and writer
Whether she communicated with authors when she was a child
Her number 1 writing tip for students
Whether she has ever built for real one of the contraptions from her book
How her family helps her with ideas
Whether she likes to travel
Why she named her main character in Wildfire Run Luke
How many books she has written so far
A few things students learned from Dee Garretson during the Skype visit...
She has six or seven drafts for Wildfire Run. She worked on three on her own and on the other three or four with the help of her editor.
The feedback from other people is very important in shaping and editing her story because things can make perfect sense in the writer's head but not necessarily in the reader's.
It takes her about six month to write the first draft of a book.
She prefers to first jot down her ideas on paper, in a journal. Then she writes her draft on the computer and does the edits on a hard copy.
So far she has not directly incorporated personal experiences in her books even though there are a lot of similarities. But she is thinking of using the goldfish pond incident in future stories.
Her inspiration to read and write comes from enjoying to read and making up stories in her head. She also enjoys the challenges in writing a story – will others like it too? As a reader, she likes to be inside the world she is reading about. She tries to do the same for her readers when she writes – letting them be inside that world.
It is the characters of a story that interest her the most. She starts writing with characterization.
The idea for Wildfire Run originates from her being intrigued by the idea as well as wondering what life must feel like when you are the child of a President.
With her children, she built the robot from Wildfire Run. She wanted to see whether it could really work.
She has so far written two middle grades novels (Wildfire Run and Wolf Storm) and an adult novel. She has currently three manuscripts with her publisher, one being a sequel to Wildfire Run, the other two being historical fiction.
An author has no say in what the final title and cover art of the book will be like.
She named her main character in Wildfire Run Luke because she is a big science fiction fan - Luke, as in Luke Skywalker from Star Wars.
Here is her number 1 writing tip for students:
“Remember, it takes a lot of practice! Don’t get discouraged. When you start you are not that good at first but the more you write the better you get at it, the easier it becomes.
I could tell that there was an immediate connection between the author and our students and that the interest in her books is even bigger now. While our students were a fantastic audience and respectful interviewers during the Skype, once the session was over, students shared excitedly the many thoughts and impressions they came away with. There was such an incredible buzz in the air, it was beautiful to witness and easy to see how much Mrs Garretson had inspired our young readers and writers. The classroom teachers told me later on, that the conversations continued in the classroom. What a great outcome!
Thank you, Mrs Garretson, for sharing your time with us so generously and for inspiring our young readers and writers with your fantastic books, your great writing tips and ideas and your warm personality!
Today, as part of our efforts to get ready for summer reading, I want to share an idea with you that might not only be beneficial in supporting your child with summer reading but also at the same time leave you and your family with a very special keepsake at the end of the summer: a reader’s scrapbook.
I would like to invite you to join me in this, starting this summer. You could create a family reader’s scrapbook or keep individual ones, whatever works best for you. Let your and your child’s creativity have free range. We all have different experiences when reading a book, what matters to us in a book may differ, what matters to us about reading may differ, how we want to record this may differ – let your scrapbook reflect your (reading) personality.
By keeping such a journal, you not only collect reading memories but also show your child how much you value reading. It is a wonderful way of nurturing your child as a reader, this summer and any other time of the year. Give your child and your family a special space to celebrate reading while creating a beautiful keepsake of a very special summer.
During the past week, I spent more time with our students reflecting on the past school year. At first we looked at a video with snapshots of the year, and then brainstormed things we had done together, learned together, enjoyed together, gotten better at, and so forth. While what was mentioned depended to some extend on the grade-level, author inquiries were a favourite across all grades - and especially when the inquiry involved getting in touch with the author, either through their blogs, via Skype or an actual visit at our school.
Students in grades 1-3 put some of their learning into what we called "library's little equations". This was inspired by Amy Krouse Rosenthal's beautiful picture book, This Plus That: Life's Little Equations, and the help of the ComicBook app on the iPads. Our students showed much creativity as you can see in the examples below.
And here a few snapshots as students were creating their little library equations. Thank you G1-3 students for all your efforts, creativity and enthusiasm!
In this second post in preparation of summer reading, I want to share a few tips on how you can support your child and encourage him/her to keep reading throughout the upcoming months.
In the context of summer reading, I often like to go back to an article, written by Jenn Berman: How to Raise a Reader This Summer. As she says, “summer is a great time to help your child fall in love with reading”, or I would add, to continue nurturing their love for reading. Here are my personal favourites from her list of tips:
Give your child literary free will.
I don't think we can ever remind ourselves often enough that choice is one of the most decisive factors in making (or breaking) a reader. While making suggestions and exposing children to a wide variety of reading materials is beneficial, we need to let our children choose what they want to read.
Take your child to the library (and/or bookstore).
Do this at the beginning and/or throughout the summer to make sure that there is never a shortage of reading materials and that your child always gets their say in what to read.
Have book baskets throughout your home.
Make access to reading material really easy around your home.
Encourage your child to carry reading material and do the same yourself.
Wherever you go, carry something to read with you.
Continue reading to your children, even after they have learned to read for themselves.
Enjoying a book together is one of the most special gifts you can give your child, no matter the age, no matter how confident they already are as readers.
Create family reading rituals and positive reading associations.
When you create reading rituals, you ensure not only that time for reading is made, no matter how busy the day but you also send a clear message to your child how much you as a family value reading. It also provides wonderful opportunities to model your own reading enjoyment and create unforgettable reading memories for yourself and your child.
Summer is also a wonderful time to show children that "reading is its own reward and it bestows immeasurable gifts on readers" (Donalyn Miller). Just as Kate Di Camillo reminds us about the importance of sharing the joy of reading (click on this link in case you missed our first summer reading post), so does Donalyn Miller. She goes one step further by cautioning us about attaching rewards to (summer) reading as they can do more harm than good:
“Reading contests can harm students’ reading self-efficacy and interest. Why would we employ reading initiatives that derail internal reading motivation and divide kids into reading winners and losers? I have never met an adult who became a lifelong reader because they won a theme park pass or a t-shirt. Talking to kids around the country, many admit to me that they overestimate the pages, books, or minutes they record on summer reading logs, so they can win a prize or avoid negative consequences. […] When we communicate to children that the only reason to read is to earn a reward or grade, we fail to impart reading’s true value. Reading is its own reward and it bestows immeasurable gifts on readers.” (Reading Is Its Own Reward, Donalyn Miller)
So we want our efforts around summer reading to focus on letting our children experience the great joy reading can bring, by supporting them in discovering books they will love (while allowing them to have the freedom to choose what they want to read), by helping them find time to read, by sharing special stories with them, and by modelling how much we ourselves enjoy reading. Let's make it a magical (reading) summer for the whole family.
Please check in again on Monday for the next post related to summer reading.
During the past week, students in grades 3-5 spent time reflecting on the past semester, looking at the goals they had set themselves at the beginning of the semester. Looking through their check out history helped in finding out which goals were achieved as well as possible next steps to take as they continue their reading journey.
G5 students looked especially at the different genres they had read during the past semester as we had all identified genres we wanted to give a try and/or read more during this semester to broaden our variety of reading materials. Many students were happy to discover that they had tried out several genres they usually don't pick.
Students in G3 and G4 looked especially at fiction and nonfiction titles in the list of books read as many had set a goal to reading more nonfiction books this semester (a goal I had joined them in).
Another aspect students reflected on are the habits of a reader such as choosing one's own books, dedicating time to read, making reading plans, sharing books and reading with others and having favourite books. Many students mentioned that they had made especially progress in talking about the books they read (also thanks to using Destiny Quest and the wonderful LitCircles our G3 team runs) and in recommending favourite books to friends. Maybe still the most challenging aspect of being a reader seems for many of our students finding time to read in their busy weekly schedules.
Thank you G3-5 students for putting so much thought and effort into your reflections!
To make G2 students curious about one more author before the end of the school year, I recently shared a very special read-aloud, excerpts from the author's childhood memoir 26 Fairmount Avenue. After reading two anecdotes from the covered book - a cinema visit in which he shared his discontent loudly about Walt Disney's interpretation of Snowhite and his first day of Kindergarten during which on finding out that he wouldn't learn to read yet, he decided to go back home, promising to come back the following year - I asked students to share what they learned about the author in the text. Here are some of the things students shared about our mystery author:
He was 4 or 5 years old in 1938.
He has a brother (who got easily scared as a kid).
He grew up in the United States of America.
He was knowledgeable about and loved stories.
His mum always read stories to him.
He liked going to the cinema with his mum.
He was keen on learning to read.
He did not like kindergarten.
He wanted to be an artist.
He was inspired by the work of Walt Disney.
He was a great communicator.
Based on this information, students made predictions about the adult he became as well as his books:
He is an author and illustrator.
He makes picture books.
The fiction books are inspired by his own life.
His books are funny.
His books are connected to movies, fairytales and other stories.
He is now in his late 70s or early 80s.
As I revealed the identify of the "mystery author" Tomie DePaola and students got the opportunity to explore and listen to more of his books, they enjoyed discovering how spot on they had been with their predictions. Well done, G2 students.
While looking at a new author, a conversation that began with our video message for Niki Daly has continued as well as the author and a teacher from the Macassar Primary School in Cape Town, South Africa, posted comments, to our all excitement (check out the conversation in the respective blog post, A Message for Niki Daly From G2), helping us to learn more about the author and illustrator. Many thanks for your comments, Mr. Daly and Ms. Botha.
Welcome to the Primary School Library!
My name is Tanja Galetti and I am the Primary School Teacher Librarian at HKA. I am excited about another year of reading and inquiring in our beautiful library. Mrs. Phyllis Musco is supporting both the Primary and Secondary School library, sharing her time between the two libraries.
Tanja's Favorite Resources