"I have always imagined that Paradise will be some kind of library." ~ Jorge Luis Borges

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

ReedALOUD: The Party, a Fox + Chick book

Today I read one book about two friends having three adventures! Sergio Ruzzier's Fox + Chick The Party and Other Stories is everything a great read aloud should be. We've got one endearing friendship, two cute animals, and three humorous stories.  

The humor is spot on and perfect for readers both young and old. I read the book with kindergartners and it was one of those times that not only did I hear their laughter, I also heard the laughter of the aides and parent volunteers. There's something wonderful about hearing a chuckle from elsewhere in the library where a parent is shelving books.

Fox + Chick sits there right alongside books like Bink & Gollie, Frog and Toad, and Max and Ruby. These are the books where readers gain a better understanding of what it means to be a friend (even when a sibling). Fox + Chick join this group of endearing characters who are sometimes selfless, sometimes confused, sometimes amused, sometimes frustrated, but always thoughtful and kind. Take a look below and you will see what I mean.

We are introduced to Fox + Chick on the jacket flap.
The title page image was an opportunity to stop and ask the students to think about the type of friendship Fox + Chick have. Many students quickly connected chick sitting on fox's feet to the airplane game they play with their parents. They wondered if fox helped chick have fun. and was a bit like an older sibling.
We started the first story, called The Party. Chick approaches a house and knock on the door. I love how literal Chick is. That Fox is a reader warms my heart.
Sergio Ruzzier's body language for Fox + Chick is fabulous. These kindergartners can clearly see that Chick is thinking.
Time passes. A lot of time passes. My students thought that it must be a very good book.
When Fox realizes how much time has passed and concerned for Chick, Fox heads to the bathroom. 
No spoiler alert here, but the students loved the next two pages. They realized that it's important to be clear about what you need.

Story two is called Good Soup and as you can imagine, more fun ensues. I love how Fox is kneeling in this spread. The students just had garden planting day and we talked about how we could picture ourselves kneeling just like this in the garden.
Chick tries to make sense of what Chick sees and what Chick knows about Foxes. Their body language just adds to the fun here.
Chick is so proud to share all this knowledge. That last frame had the students saying, "uh, oh!"
Again, no spoilers here, but turns out Fox is not the only one who doesn't follow a traditional eating pattern.

Story Three is titled Sit Still and is equally as wonderful as the first two. 

After reading the book, students shared their favorite parts and talked more about Fox + Chick's friendship. They thought that Chick was always curious and asking questions and that Fox was patient and kind. They thought they really liked each other.
I reminded them how to use Voicethread and left my laptop down low for them to share what the next Fox + Chick adventure should be. 
It's so cool to watch them manage thinking about what they want to say, taking turns, and helping each other navigate the tool.

There are some great ideas here!

Monday, May 21, 2018

Mathematical Monday for MAYkers

Image result for how much is a million
Yesterday, the third graders participated in a Mathemagical MAYkerspace Monday. Their mathematical juices and interest were piqued by the "still fabulous in its 20th year" How Much is a Million.

After having fun thinking through the ideas in the book, I explained the rules for the day's exploration, that the students could choose a math-related challenge.

1. Build the most unique, interesting, or tallest structure with only 25 Keva Planks.

2. Choose 30 Lego pieces and build the coolest vehicle or structure you can. Choose those pieces wisely!

3. Adapt a card game to include addition or subtraction and play a few rounds.

4. Sharpen your visual dexterity (image decoding skills) by playing  Q-bitz.

5. Use spatial relations skills to solve Keva Brain Builders puzzles.

6. Solve math problems in some of our math books.

It was a fabulous Monday morning. Have a look: 

Some of the math books - many were borrowed after each class!

Concentration with a twist!

Q-bitz was very popular

Brain Builders are challenging and fun

Keva Plank creativity is endless

Legos are always a hit!

Wherein Matt Tavares Visits and Makes a Great Impression

The wonderful author and illustrator Matt Tavares visited our school to meet with kindergarten and first graders.

It was another fabulous visit by Matt. Both the kindergarten and first grade students were engaged and excited to learn from Matt. Have a look and a listen:

Following Matt's visit, the first graders had their regularly scheduled library classes. It was a perfect time to reflect on the visit, hear what the students remembered, and understand what they learned. 
The time Matt spent sketching made a big impact on the students. He was clear and encouraging as he sketched and talked through the process, imparting strategies like: start with light lines; think about shapes; start with loose lines; add details at the end; make your picture have dimension by adding smaller things in the background.
Students really got into creating sketches and enlisted friends to strike a pose.

Along with sharing in our circle conversations, students also shared what they learned on papers at the tables.

Thank you for a making a great impression, Matt!