Posts Tagged ‘World Read Aloud Day’

Find more celebration posts at Ruth’s blog.

Thursday, Feb. 1st was World Read Aloud Day.  Back in November, Kate Messner posted a long list of authors willing to do free Skype visits.  I selected and contacted Sarah Albee, author of Bugged, Poop Happened, and Poison, amazing and engaging nonfiction books.

Each of my students in my morning class composed a question and were promised a chance to personally ask their question.

Argh!  Tech problems!

A quick call to the tech director, and he took over the computer and was able to solve the problem just in the nick of time.  My students were able to ask their questions, and Sarah expertly answered each one.

Even Erin’s question, “Do you know what a narwhal is?” did not stump this nonfiction research expert.  Sarah pointed Erin to a page in Poison in which she refers to the practice of using narwhal horns to simulate unicorn horns.

My students marveled in the length of time it takes to research, write, and publish a book.  Dawson, who is reading Bugged, asked what her favorite insect is.  Would you be surprised to know it’s an ant?!

Dawson later announced that it was the first time he had ever met anyone famous.  In a more perfect world where technology was flawless, I would Skype more often with “famous” people.  Authors are my heroes, and they are becoming my students’ heroes as well.

Read Full Post »

Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for March Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for March Slice of Life Challenge.

For World Read Aloud, I followed a link to a page of authors volunteering to read aloud to students by Skype. I selected Nikki Loftin to contact because I had read Wish Girl over the summer and loved it. All set…until…I checked the calendar. World Read Aloud Day was set for February 24th which was a WOW day. We do a project with our gifted 6th graders and meet once a month. No problem, said Nikki. We rescheduled for Friday, February 26th.

Then Monday last week, my students informed me the state Beta convention was happening on Thursday and Friday, and they would be out. Quick email to Nikki. No problem, said Nikki. We rescheduled for Monday, Feb. 20th.

I thought all would be well, but when it comes to technology, one never knows. On the morning announcements, “Teachers, the internet will be shut down today.” What? You’ve got to be kidding me. In a panic, I called the school board office. Transferred to tech department, no answer. I resorted to email, hoping someone was out there listening. He was. The tech director came into my classroom. He promised to hold off disconnecting my classroom until 10:30.

Scrambling off a triumphant email to Nikki, we were all set.

Skype with Nikki Loftin

The visit was a complete delight. Not only is Nikki personable and engaging, she also loves narwhals. Let me explain. My student, Erin, has a borderline obsession with narwhals. She wanted to ask Nikki if she liked narwhals. Against my better judgement, I let her ask the question.

Nikki unicorn

This is where Nikki won all our hearts. She started reciting the words to the narwhal song. And then she turned around and came back as a unicorn. Look closely at the image and you can see Erin’s amazement.

Authors are my heroes. I’ve said this before, and I haven’t been proven wrong yet. They bring a love of story, an enthusiasm for writing, and love narwhals, too.

Nikki Loftin Tweet

I’ve ordered Nikki’s other two books because my students can’t wait to read them. And it’s the least I could do for her for being so accommodating and entertaining. When we came back to school on Tuesday, Nikki had left a Skype video (since we had been so rudely disconnected at exactly 10:30) to tell us how much she enjoyed meeting us. What a thrill!

Read Full Post »

SOL #6

SOL #6

Join the roundup with Robyn Campbell.

Join the roundup with Robyn Campbell.

World Read Aloud Day was March 4, 2015. Sponsored by LitWorld.

World Read Aloud Day was March 4, 2015. Sponsored by LitWorld.

On Facebook my poet/friend Amy Ludwig VanDerwater posted that she had some slots left for World Read Aloud Day Skype visits. I responded, “Yes! Yes! Yes!” Not long before an email came. I will not go into all that it took me logistically and technically to make this happen, but on March 4th after a few test runs, Amy called my classroom. Squeals!

Amy was incredible. She even made a snowman for us. We are in South Louisiana, and we never have snow. At first we thought it was made with cotton balls like the ones we make. No, this one was real snow complete with a mini-carrot for a nose. Amy read a snowman poem to go with her snowman gift.

Amy and snowman
She Asked

My students had prepared what they wanted to share with Amy–their own poems and poetry forms. Erin shared her staircase poetry form. Here are the rules:
1. Each line has to be longer than the other.
2. Make it as long as you want.
3. Make it unique.
4. Just have fun!

Reed and Nigel shared their PsyKu form. They challenged Amy to take the plunge and write one. The rules are here, and if you follow the link, be sure to read all the poetic contributions in the comments. Some crazy Psyku going on. The phenomenon spreads.

And Emily read some of her poems aloud. Amy invited her to send some poems for her to post in her Spotlight on a Student section of her blog, The Poem Farm. (Note: Amy’s site is a wonderful resource for poetry in the classroom.)
Emily and Amy

Kielan didn’t want to talk, but immediately after the visit, she created a PowerPoint tribute to Amy Ludwig VanDerwater.

Skype with Mrs. Amy Vanderwater!!

And Reed wrote this post including his favorite contributions to the PsyKu collection.

Many thanks to Amy and her snowman friend for spreading poetry love on World Read Aloud Day!

Read Full Post »