End of the Year Book Buddy Activity!

I know, this is a bit late. It wouldn’t be the first time I underestimated my ability to do a thousand things at once.

It is nice to be back in America for the summer, but even during the break— do teacher’s minds ever take a break? We are constantly thinking of the next best thing! I am excited to share my ideas and great buys (I am on the hunt for large-pad sticky notes) this summer… but FIRST, I wanted to give you an idea that Jee Young and I did at the end of this past  school year. When our classes got together during the last week of school, one of her students calmly raised her hand and asked me, “Are you sad that your best friend is leaving?” I looked at her surprised, since we had just asked the fifth and second graders if they had any questions about the activity, not our personal lives. “Are you trying to make me cry?!” I responded as Jee Young turned her head to the side and silently wiped away a couple of tears.

YES, I will miss working with my best friend. Here is the last activity we did together, if you look at the activities packet I attached to this post, you will find it in there.

First, as our classes gathered together for our second to last book buddy meeting, I read aloud this book (look familiar?!)

The students LOVED IT. I have never seen students so involved in a book. There were so many gasps, and exclamations, and giggles as Jee Young and I presented the “story” to them.

Afterwards, we told the students they were going to design their own “Press Here” book. They received a rough draft paper, giving them six pages to work with, it looked like this:

After the completed their outline/rough draft they were given stickers, and a blank book, and went to work!

The students used their dots in such creative ways; it was a joy for Jee Young and I to watch! We shared a few of the final stories during our last time together. Overall, the project (including reading the book) only took two, 45 minute class periods.

When I do this again, I will look for different size dot stickers.

What did you do at the end of the year with your students? What book buddy activities have worked well for you?

The Published Gems of 2011

I am inspired. I feel empowered. I can tell that I have just recently been developed professionally! It would take an incredibly long post to share all of the knowledge I received from attending workshops at EARCOS 2012… so instead, I will share little tidbits at a time. Bite-size nibbles if you will.

The keynote speakers, once again, were fantastic. But I will save that for later. What I want to talk about IMMEDIATELY is the very first workshop I went to, lead by librarian Dr. Peggy Sharp (who pretty much has my dream job, she gets boxes and boxes of books sent to her house, which she then reads, and gives her opinions on which ones are her favorites, and then she goes around and presents to schools/educators/etc. Yeah, so where can I sign up???).

During the conference, Peggy lead 3 different workshops. The first one educated me about new books to use in the classroom for grades K-2. All of the books she mentioned were published in 2011. Since sharing is caring, I am going to attach the handout she provided for us. This handout includes all of the books she talked about, and even includes a couple of activity ideas for some of the books.

Here are my top three FAVORITE books she presented on:

You will here more about this book by Herve Tullet, it is genius. I plan on blogging about it in the future, there are ideas on how to use this book in Peggy’s packet.

Who doesn’t love Mo Willems (I am obsessed with his Pigeon books!).

This book is about Jane Goodall (strategies and ideas for incorporating this book are in the packet).

CLICK HERE to check out Dr. Peggy Sharp’s handout, there is a much longer list of books in this packet.