Thursday, February 19, 2015

Using B.J. Novak's Example, Students Begin Writing Their Own eBook With No Pictures!

We recently discovered a very funny new book by actor/comedian, B.J. Novak, The Book With No Pictures.  Just as the author intended, when I read the title, most of the students groaned. They weren't rude about it, but they clearly weren't enthused.  It wasn't until I made it to the page and read, "Here is how books work:  Everything the words say, the person reading the book has to say" that the students perked up and began to anticipate the possibilities!

Here is just a part of the book being read by B.J. himself. You will quickly see why all kids love it!

OHE students loved the book, so from here we made a plan to take B.J. Novak's example and write our own eBook With No Pictures!  Students were overflowing with ideas and seemed so excited to begin writing, something every teacher loves to see!

Stay tuned for our next steps!  Students will be sharing a Google Slideshow, with each student writing one or two pages.  Once the Google slides are all done, we will export as a PDF and upload to FlipSnack to turn the Google Slideshow into a published ebook!  

Friday, February 13, 2015

Celebrating Valentine's Day with New Books for the OHE Library!

We don't really need an excuse to celebrate these new additions to our OHE collection, but it's Valentine's Day, so we are expressing our love of new books!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Honored to Be Nominated for Minnesota Teacher of the Year!

This week Education Minnesota announced the list of nominated teachers for Teacher of the Year. There are many more rounds in the selection process before the Teacher of the Year is chosen. But even if I make it no further in the process, I am proud to be listed among so many wonderful teachers!  It is humbling to be on a list with such excellence.  Our own Lakeville has three teachers that were nominated. In addition to my nomination, Christopher Clifford and Kari Dykhoff, both teachers here in Lakeville were also nominated.

OHE Students Predict The Winner!! The Winner of the 2015 Caldecott is Beekle!!

We had a wondrous thing happen at Oak Hills this week! After hosting our own 2015 Oak Hills Elementary Mock Caldecott contest, students overwhelming voted for The Adventures of Beekle, The Unimaginary Friend by David Santat. The American Library Association made the big announcement on Monday morning at 8:00 a.m., and Guess What?! They awarded the Caldecott (Gold) to Beekle! It is almost impossible to guess which book the Caldecott Committee will choose, and OHE students did it! Students were so excited to learn that they picked the Caldecott Award winning book!

There are times when I don't agree with the Caldecott Committee because I don't think they always pick books that children will end up choosing to read. They always pick beautifully written and illustrated books, but not necessarily the same books that children would pick. This year they hit the nail on the head!

Not only did the Caldecott Committee pick the same book for the Caldecott medal, they also picked three of our OHE Mock Caldecott books for the Caldecott Honor Medal (silver).  Sam and Dave Dig A Hole, The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus, and Viva Frida were all books that received many student votes too!! (see picture above)

Books that we didn't consider that received the Caldecott Honor included Nana and the City, The Noisy Paint Box and This One Summer (an age 14+ graphic novel).

The Newbery Award along with other prestigious awards were also announced.  The Newbery Award went to The Crossover, with the Newbery Honor Medals going to El Deafo, and Brown Girls Dreaming!

There are so many great options for our students!  I can't wait to read them all!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Curling Up With A Good Digital Book - Mid-Winter MyOn!

I thought it would be a good week to remind students about their available options in our digital reading program, MYON!  I love watching the students get cozy, select and read from the available options on MyOn.  A real strength of this program is the rich array of nonfiction ebooks. Because nonfiction presents students with more of a challenge, MyOn offers students the opportunity to have their favorite nonfiction read to them! This in turn introduces more difficult vocabulary that students will be familiar with when they encounter these words later in ebooks or hardcopy books!  

For parents wishing to have their Oak Hills child read MyOn books at home, visit with your teacher for their username and password!

Happy Reading!!