October 15, 2016

The Challenge Continues . . . The 2012 Buckeye Book Award

And the reading challenge continues!  As stated in a previous post, my librarian friend Ashley Lambacher of the Book Talker and I are hosting the Buckeye Book Award Reading Challenge.  Our goal is to read all the past winners from the children’s book category in chronological order from 1982 to the present.  I will read the K-2 picture book winners and Ashley will read the 4-8/3-5 chapter book winners.  Today I continue my challenge by reading the winner of the K-2 Buckeye Book Award in 2012, We Are in a Book by Mo Willems.

We Are in a Book is classic Elephant and Piggie.  This series highlight’s best friends Gerald and Piggie.  In this edition, the two realize someone is watching them.  Is it a monster?  No, it’s the reader! They realize their power and understand they can make the reader say anything out loud.  Piggie decides upon “banana” making Gerald and the reader crack up.  Then they realize that books end!  Piggie says the book is moving too fast and insists he has more to give.  Then they cleverly realize that books can be reread and ask the reader, “Will you please read us again?”  Willems’ illustrates fun visual gags as the characters hang on speech bubbles, block words, and lift the corners to reveal the pages that remain.  I’m a big fan of books by Mo Willems and the Elephant and Piggie series, and my students love them as well.  It’s no surprise that this book won the 2012 Buckeye Book Award. 

Ashley - Your upcoming 2013 book is a good one, Brian Selznick’s Wonderstruck. Remember when we saw him at the AASL conference last fall?  

Would you like to join Ashley and I as we read through Ohio’s award winning books?  We welcome any and all who are interested in participating in this fun reading challenge.  For more information, click here.

October 8, 2016

Taking the Global Cardboard Challenge to a New Level

What can you make out of cardboard?   Many have heard of the Global Cardboard Challenge inspired by Caine’s Arcade.  It asks children all over the world to build anything they can dream up using cardboard, recycled materials, and imagination.  It’s held annually on the first Saturday of October.  Students and their parents visit their school’s event for a few hours on a Saturday and build something together.  However, participation is optional, and it often conflicts with children’s extracurricular activities and time with their families.  This year, I took a new approach to the Cardboard Challenge and hosted it on a school day.

To allow all students in my school the opportunity to participate in the Global Cardboard Challenge, I hosted it on a Friday in October.  It was wonderful to see all students enjoying the event as they created spectacular creations and collaborated together.  Parents were invited and volunteered by helping students with cutting difficult shapes with box cutters and tearing duct tape for little fingers.  The event was connected to learning as teachers provided extension activities including pre-designing and post-reflections.  

Ultimately, hosting the Global Cardboard Challenge on a school day took the event to a new level.  We had 100% participation and classroom connections.  This new twist on the Cardboard Challenge is sure to make a big impact on my school’s culture for the remainder of the year as we embrace a maker mindset and encourage creative problem solving.