We celebrated World Read Aloud throughout the week in my school library. I was so excited to participate for the first time and for the connections my kids would make with other classes and with authors.
On Monday, the celebration began with a Montessori class of first through third graders at my school reading to a kindergarten class at Amy’s (@classicsixbooks) school in Virginia. It was wonderful to connect with Amy at last. She’s my co-conspirator over at Passport Nonfiction. The class read A Star of the Sea to Amy’s students before Amy and I read a selection from You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You.
On Tuesday one of the fourth grade classes had their first Skype connection of the year. We met earlier than normal so we could read to Cathy’s (@cppotter’s) group of second graders that morning. Student volunteers had come in during a couple of lunch periods to practice reading their books. Three girls read from the Fox in Socks nook book before two of the other girls read Extra Yarn. We closed with three of the boys reading Nothing But a Puffin, which is a funny book about comparisons. Nothing Like a Puffin worked out well because the second graders were quite familiar with puffins.
Wednesday was the day of my first ever author visits in the library. They were so much fun! I am so thankful to Kate Messner and Dianne de las Casas for reading to my students and answering questions. My students were so excited about the visits. I thought they did a wonderful job. They were engaged and asked a variety of questions. More than one of them said they wanted to write stories and books after our Skype sessions which made my heart glad.
Kate Messner met with a fourth grade class and a third grade class on Wednesday morning. She read sections from her upcoming chapter book Marty McGuire Digs Worms. I can’t wait to read the blender scene in print! It was a hilarious part to listen to and I think almost all the third graders want the book as soon as our copy comes into the library. Their teacher had shared the first Marty McGuire title with them as a read aloud.
One of the things I loved about Kate’s sessions is how open she was about the number of revisions a novel takes. I think this is something that could be so reassuring to students. A draft doesn’t have to be perfect the first time. Writing will be messy. It will change and grow.
Kate also read from Eye of the Storm for my fourth grade students and they were completely engrossed by it. Don’t tell them but I have a surprise coming for them next week because I didn’t want them to have to wait for the library copy to finally arrive in an order. They’re going to get a copy that will magically show up at their door one morning.
Dianne de Las Casas read with one of the other Montessori classes at my school. Their reactions to seeing her books was so precious – they were so excited to see books that I’d lent to their classroom. Dianne does a wonderful job of involving her participants. They chomped and stomped along to Dinosaur Mardi Gras.
When they asked Dianne questions or told her books they love to hear read aloud, she asked them their names and made them feel well at ease. My students were amazed at the number of books on her bookcases. Dianne also did a great job of describing what it’s like to be an author and shared some of her favorite books. If you want an engaging, energy filled author session for young students, I highly recommend Dianne.
The World Read Aloud celebration continued on Thursday with one of my classes skyping with Crystal’s (@librarygrl2) PK library class. We had a few camera issues but we managed to share Elephant and Piggie’s newest story Listen to My Trumpet with the PK students. We also read Jan Thomas’s Happy Birthday Cow (Thomas’s books are growing on me more and more) and Gilbert Goldfish Wants a Pet.
Now that the week is over I can’t help but dream what next year’s World Read Aloud Day will be like!