Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Recipe for Writing an Autumn Poem

I was so lucky to see Georgia Heard, a gifted poet and poetry lover, two years ago at the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) annual conference in San Antonio. Her new collection of list poetry, Falling Down the Page, was just about to be released, and she talked about the making of it. I knew that this was a book that we needed in our library. It's great for read aloud, and it is a wonderful mentor text for the writing workshop as students create list poems. This is one of Georgia's poems that appears in this collection.

by Georgia Heard

One teaspoon wild geese.
One tablespoon red kite.
One cup wind song.
One pint trembling leaves.
One quart darkening sky.
One gallon north wind.

We used Vocaroo to record the poem read by the second grader who also created the illustration.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Liz Garton Scanlon Visit

Author visits are always exciting and fun. Some are inspiring and energizing. That's what we had when Liz Garton Scanlon came to meet with our kindergarten and first grade today. We were all looking forward to her visit, and we wanted to welcome her to Parish. We hoped that this "All the world is all of us" banner would let her know that we were thrilled to meet her.
Liz described her life as a writer. In her slippers, with her dog at her feet, sipping a cup of tea, she works hard doing the thing that she loves. She reminded us that sometimes it takes time and thought to make writing just right. She invited and encouraged the children to think, wonder, and share ideas. Hands were waving and heads were nodding as the children related to her message. Liz helped us notice details in the words and illustrations as she read All the World and A Sock is a Pocket for Your Toes. She even gave us a sneak peak of her newest book, Noodle and Lou, which is scheduled to be out in the spring. It was a fabulous morning with an outstanding author.

Recycle a Book!

We celebrated America Recycles Day with our first "Recycle a Book Day." All kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd graders were invited to bring a book that they had finished reading and that they thought a friend would enjoy. They traded for a book that they would enjoy reading. We set up tables in the gym, and students shopped for a new book during lunchtime. Everyone found something that they were excited to take home to read. Books are the perfect things to recycle! If you forgot to bring a book this time...don't worry. We'll plan more book recycling days this year.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Secrets of Droon

We need to put Secrets of Droon books on speed dial on our library catalog. These books have been spinning on and off the shelves. Second graders are ready to meet the author, Tony Abbott on Wednesday. You can see for yourself...they have found a series that they like!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Authors are Coming!

Charlotte Walker was the beloved great grandmother of Emory and Sydney, two of our Parish students. She was also a school teacher who shared her love for literature with the children she inspired. A generous donation given in honor of Charlotte Walker has provided us with the incredible opportunity to bring some fantastic authors to Parish this year.

Liz Garton Scanlon will visit with the kinders and 1st graders on Monday, November 15. She is the amazing author of All the World which was the 2010 Caldecott Honor Book, a New York Times Best Book of 2009, a Kirkus Best Book of 2009, a School Library Journal Best Book of 2009, and a Parent's Choice Gold Award winner. Her new book, A Sock is a Pocket For Your Toes promises to be a favorite read-aloud in our library.

Second graders have ALL been reading and loving books in The Secrets of Droon series. After the classroom teachers read the first book in the series aloud, the students each chose another book in the series to read and discuss with a Friday afternoon book club in one of the classrooms or in the library. The book talk has been very lively! The books are full of so much fun excitement and adventure. The author, Tony Abbott, will be at our Midway campus meeting with the 3rd - 6th grades on Wednesday, November 17. We will join the presentation and conversation via Skype from the Hillcrest library.

Susan Stevens Crummel, the author of Cook-a-Doodle-Doo!, winner of the 2001 Texas Bluebonnet Award, The Great Fuzz Frenzy, winner of 10 state book awards, and Help Me, Mr. Mutt! one of Time Magazine's Top 10 Children's Books of 2008 and winner of the 2010 Texas Bluebonnet Award is scheduled to visit with the kindergarten, first and second grades in January. Some students from the Midway campus may join that visit via Skype. Susan is an amazing author who excites and energizes children about books.

Visiting with authors makes a tremendous impact on readers. I can't wait!