Saturday, November 21, 2015

Let the Mock Caldecott Begin!!

The 2015 Caldecott Winner

So excited to be starting our 3rd Mock Caldecott with all of our Kindergarten and Grade 1 classes. To begin, we read and looked very closely at last year's real Caldecott award winner, The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat. It's amazing how much we noticed in the illustrations (honestly, I saw new details with each reading and with the help of our young students who noticed things I had missed). We talked about how the illustrations help to tell the story in a picture book where there are not that many words. One first grader said, "Words and illustrations are best friends in a picture book." BOOM! She nailed it. This is the best description of how words and illustrations work together in a picture book I've ever heard wink emoticon

Here are the potential contenders for our Mock Caldecott (in no particular order):


Something new this year: I've invited our staff to help narrow down the field (usually our young students choose from four titles). I thought, why should I have all the fun choosing? But really, it's just too hard with so many outstanding choices. I admit it, I need help! So thank you in advance, Memorial staff!

More to come as we get deeper into our Mock Caldecott unit.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Amazing Three Days of Learning, Sharing and Connecting at #AASL15

I was so lucky to attend the American Association of School Librarians National Conference in Columbus, Ohio last week. It was truly an outstanding conference. More than 3000 school librarians from across the US came to learn, share, and to meet each other and some of our very favorite authors and illustrators. My head is still spinning from all that I took in and experienced. If you have not attended a national conference, I highly recommend that you do!

There were so many wonderful and interesting sessions, there was an Idea Lab where librarians shared ideas, programs, technology and how they're being used in their schools - it was inspiring and practical. There was an Unconference one night that went till midnight (our learning and sharing truly never stopped!). One highlight was a speed dating event where participants traveled from table to table to meet incredible authors and illustrators and were even given books to have autographed. We had a Makerspace where there was lots of tinkering - I made something with a 3D pen, a badge that lights up and experimented with different robots. So fun.There was also time for important conversations during meals, while walking from one event to another and late night gatherings.

Some of my library heroes were there and I had a chance to say hello and express my appreciation for all they do. I met Barbara Stripling, who is a dean at Syracuse University School of Information Studies. She created the Stripling Model of Inquiry which we have been using at Memorial School. That was a thrill.

Another thrill was spending meaningful time with other school librarians from Massachusetts. One of the co-chairs of the conference was Kathy Lowe who is the Executive Director of MSLA (Massachusetts School Library Association).We have an impressive group of leaders from our state.

I recorded my learning and thoughts several ways: photos, twitter, Evernote and something new for me, sketchnoting (I'm not too proud of my results, but it was fun anyway...). I want to thank my friend and fellow librarian, Laura D'Elia, for the idea to Storify my tweets from the conference. First time using Storify too. Here it goes: