Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Making New Friends on World Read Aloud Day 1

On Monday, February 10, 2014, I blogged about World Read Aloud Day on March 5th, and how we are going to celebrate it all week long (week of March 3-7).  You can read about that blog post by clicking here.

Well, World Read Aloud Day/Week is FINALLY here!

I was eager and excited, and a little nervous, to connect with classrooms outside the state of Iowa.  Prior to Monday, March 3, I had only connected with Dallas Center Grimes, Iowa K-8 teacher-librarian Sandi Ellis via Google Hangout.  You can read about this experience from Sandi's blog by clicking here, clicking here, and clicking here.  You can also read about this experience from Mason City, Iowa's local newspaper Globe Gazette by clicking here for the news article.

Well, Harding Elementary students and I have now made new connections, and even more importantly, new friends outside the state of Iowa!

Mrs. Long's 4th grade class enjoyed a Skype session with Teacher-Librarian Laura Holton (@lauraholton)   4th graders from Port Orange, Florida!  Students shared state facts from Florida and Iowa.  Even more meaningful, and to truly focus on celebrating World Read Aloud Day, students from Port Orange, Florida, and Mrs. Long's students shared his/her favorite book!  To be able to take the time to simply share favorite books or books currently being read, brought about a sense ofcamaraderie and excitement.  Mrs. Long's students are avid and enthusiastic readers, so sharing books with students from Port Orange, Florida brought about a mutual love for books.  Students then asked questions about each other's lives, schools, favorite things, etc., which students quickly discovered that they share quite a few commonalities.  While the entire session was wonderful, I LOVED the reaction of Laura Holton, her colleagues, and her students when we compared our bone chilling -9 degree Iowa weather versus their warm 81 degrees Florida weather!

Mrs. Halverson/Mrs. DiMarco's class never get tired of listening to a read aloud of Otis by Loren Long (@lorenlong).  They certainly didn't get bored, and were just as eager to listen to the book when we connected via a Skype session with Teacher-Librarian Misti Sikes (@mistisikes) and a 3rd grade class from Hubbard Elementary School in Forsyth, Georgia!  Students then shared their favorite book or a current book he/she is reading, which, again, brought about a sense of community and mutual connections!

Mrs. Hobart/Mrs. Kyle's 1st grade class was completely mesmerized by 5th grade students reading aloud to them via Skype from Austin, Texas!  Teacher-librarian Esther Uribe (@estheruribe) and her students did an awesome job of reading aloud You Read to Me, I'll Read to You by Mary Ann Hoberman!  Then our students were able to ask each other questions and share his/her favorite books!

Thank you to Esther Uribe for taking these pictures and sharing them via Twitter!

My students and I can definitely say we are incredibly happy that we made amazing new friends on Monday, March 3, 2014 from Florida, Georgia, and Texas!  We look forwarding to connecting with them in the future, hopefully soon!