Monday, September 25, 2017

Check Out All Of The Banned Books Week Activities, Ideas & Resources

This week we celebrate Our Right To Read.  

It is Banned Books Week....September 24-30, 2017.  This annual celebration of the freedom to read will emphasize the important of the First Amendment this year, which guarantees our inherent right to read.  


According to the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) – which tracks reports of book challenges and bans and compiles an annual Top Ten Challenged Books List – there was an alarming 17% increase in book censorship complaints in 2016. Since most challenges are not reported, the actual number is probably much higher. Even more disturbing, while only 10% of the titles reported to OIF are normally removed from the institutions receiving the challenges, half of the most frequently challenged books were actually banned last year.
The Banned Books Week Coalition (BBWC) is responding with “Our Right To Read,” a celebration of the diverse range of ideas found in books, and our right as citizens to make our own intellectual choices.
And just as ALA's campaign states...

Words have power!  to fight censorship and give everyone the right to read. 
One of the coolest events taking place is the #RebelReader Twitter Tournament.  
ALA is encouraging all of us to tweet any of the action items above to the hashtag #RebelReader during Banned Books Week for a chance to win and be part of this awesome Twitter conversation.  You can find out more here
I just love following the conversation on Twitter #bannedbooksweek and everything be shared, so I can't wait to follow #RebelReader too.  
Also, I have brought together lots of resources, videos, the Banned Books Week YouTube Channel,
display ideas, activities and of course...lots of ideas for banned books to read.

You will find this Collection here.

Enjoy celebrating the right to read with your students, community and families this week.  

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Join The Skype Reading Window and Bring Reading To Your Students With Others Around The World

Over the summer, my amazing friend Tracy Ferguson, who teachers 2nd grade at Van Meter Community School, wrote me about an idea she had.  

She wanted to keep Skype open throughout the day as a place for her students to connect and read with other students around the world.  

Tracy wrote, I thought if this window was opened each day, students could be reading into it whether there was someone on the other side or not.  Students could unmute it when they were ready to listen and then read themselves. I thought they could even introduce themselves and talk some too. 

Of course I loved the idea from the start!  This would be the perfect way to practice reading while connecting to others around the world.  Tracy and I have done a lot of Skyping over the years when we worked together at Van Meter and continue to find ways to bring Skype to her classroom throughout the year.  This was one of the best connections we will have yet!  

About the same time, I connected with 2nd grade teacher Sara Frater.  She is from Minnesota.  

She was posting amazing Buncee's she was creating and a new way to celebrate reading.  I saw this and just knew I wanted to get involved.

Once I saw all of the wonderful things she was doing in her 2nd grade classroom, I knew I had to get Sara and Tracy together.  
After they connected in an email, Tracy even Skyped into Sara's classroom to plan the Reading Window and more. 
Now when you come into Tracy classroom in Van Meter this is the scene you will see and...

 ...this is the view from Sara's Skype Reading Window too.
Today, Tracy shared...

Sara and I Skype each other at 8:00am each morning to open up our window between our classes. 

Students go up to read with each other when they can.  If I am teaching a lesson, I will put the computer on mute and Sara's students can still be reading.  When one of my students are able to read, they will just un-mute the computer...and vice versa.  It only took a couple of days and the students were used to having the connection without a disruption to our daily routines.  

The LOVE reading to their new Minnesota friends and can't wait to read with more students around the country through their Skype Reading Window too.  

Since one of Tracy and Sara's goals are to connect with even more classrooms and libraries, Tracy created this amazing Google Doc to sign up.  
You can sign-up here on the Skype Reading Window Google Doc to make connections with other students around the world too.

I can't wait to see where the reading window takes them and what they learn.

A Collection For Global Read Aloud 2017

Around this time every year since 2010, I get so excited about a very special reading event to start.

It is called Global Read Aloud and I loved celebrating this six-week reading event through...
picture books, 
 author and illustrator studies,
and chapter books within our library, classrooms with other readers around the world.  We kick off GRA on October 2.

To give you a little glimpse into the event above, please read the blog post Reading Aloud Together Through Skype and Edmodo for Global Read Aloud
Global Read Aloud was created in 2010 by my dear friend Pernille Ripp.

Let's read more about it from the Global Read Aloud website....

The project was created in 2010 with a simple goal in mind; one book to connect the world. From its humble beginnings, the GRA has grown to make a truly global connection with more than 2,000,000 students having participated.
What is it?
The premise is simple; we pick a book to read aloud to our students during a set 6-week period and during that time we try to make as many global connections as possible. Each teacher decides how much time they would like to dedicate and how involved they would like to be. Some people choose to connect with just one class, while others go for as many as possible. The scope and depth of the project is up to you. While there are official tools you can use such as Skype, Twitter, WriteAbout or Edmodo, you choose the tools that will make the most sense for you. Teachers get a community of other educators to do a global project with, hopefully inspiring them to continue these connections through the year.
When is it?
Once a year, starting in early October and running through mid-November.  Due to the time commitment, this is only a once a year project, however two fantastic spin off projects run at other times; the New Zealand Read Aloud and the French version of GRA, Ecouter Lire le Monde.
There are so many wonderful Global Read Aloud Choices for 2017.  With all of these choices, there are also amazing author and illustrator websites, book trailers, interviews and more included too.

Today, I did a little searching for the best that I could find and put these resources together in a brand new Collection by Destiny.
You will find the Global Read Aloud 2017 Collection by Destiny here.  You can use and share this with your students, teachers and others too.

Take a look at what I have included...
As you can see it is packed full of resources that will be helpful to you as you kick off Global Read Aloud with your students in a few days too.  
You can sign up for 2017 Global Read Aloud here.