Tuesday, January 27, 2015

SoLSC 1.27.15 A Mock Celebration!


Slice of Life is a weekly event hosted by Two Writing Teachers.

I can't believe that ALA Midwinter weekend is upon us!  I remember last year being home from school because of a "Cold Day".  I had been working out at the gym and got home but had missed the first few awards.  It was exciting to see the titles of many books I had either read or were on my TBR list or I had at least heard of before!  As the presentation went along, my daughter woke up and watched it with me.  We were so excited to see winners.  It really was like watching the Emmys or Grammys.  I was definitely more excited to see these winners!  I remember thinking back then how most of our students, and probably staff, were unfamiliar with the awards, and probably the books.  Since then, I set out to "encourage" (my OLW from 2014) everyone at my school to read more, especially the books that may win an award next Monday!
To help with this endeavor, we set up our "Mocks" at school.  It was a choice, but almost all teachers participated!  It has been exciting to see the students get excited about the books that were read to them.  They started making connections between books and noticing the art across different series.  They talk about whether or not the story is told through the illustrations.  The younger kids talk about whether "it made them want to turn the page" (a Geisel qualification).  Since the books have been shared as a read aloud, that means the teachers have been exposed to this great literature that they might not have been exposed to otherwise.
We kept the procedure easy and adaptable.  The Kg and 1st grade teachers participated in the Mock Geisel.  We had a poster made for each class showing the criteria and told the students they were honorary Committee Members.  The same went for our 2nd and 3rd grade classes who participated in the Mock Caldecott.  We even had two 4th grade classrooms participate in the Mock Caldecott.  The classroom teachers read the books and the kids discussed.  I created a Padlet for both the Geisel and Caldecott books and added the book trailers (if available) that the teachers could share.  We provided the teachers with black and white copies of the covers of the books.  Many of the rooms displayed them somewhere.  Some classrooms rated the books with stars.  Some classrooms wrote comments from the kids.  I love that there is discussions occurring about the books in the rooms.  And with using the criteria, what a great authentic way to closely read these texts!
I wrote about our Mock Newbery Club HERE .  We read 4 books and met 4 times to discuss.  We had 20+ students at each club.  Our most popular book was The Night Gardener.  We had a diverse group of kids participate and many "repeaters" month after month!
The teachers have all been given the webcast link.  I think it's going to be fun to see the excitement on the day of the awards presentation.  I love that it won't just be me this year :)
Here are some pictures from the various classrooms.



Here are our Mock lists.  

Mock Newbery
Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff
The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier
The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer Holm
El Deafo by Cece Bell

Mock Caldecott
The Right Word by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Melissa Sweet
Quest by Aaron Becker
Hooray for Hat by Brian Won
Beekle by Dan Santat
Maple by Lori Nichols
Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads by Bob Shea, illustrated by Lane Smith
Neighborhood Sharks by Katherine Roy
Flora and the Penguin by Molly Idle
The Troublemaker by Lauren Castillo
My Teacher is a Monster by Peter Brown
Ivan:  The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla by Katherine Applegate, illustrated by G. Brian Karas
The Farmer and the Clown by Marla Frazee
Sparky by Jenny Offill, illustrated by Chris Appelhans
Bad Bye, Good Bye by Deborah Underwood, illustrated by Jonathan Bean
A Dance Like Starlight by Kristy Dempsey, illustrated by Floyd Cooper
Nana in the City by Lauren Castillo
Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen
Emily's Blue Period by Cathleen Daly, illustrated by Lisa Brown
Three Bears in a Boat by David Soman
Little Elliott, Big City by Mike Curato

Mock Geisel
Princess in Black by Shannon Hale
My New Friend is So Fun by Mo Willems
Hooray for Hat by Brian Won
Number One Sam by Greg Pizzoli
Found by Salina Yoon
Bedtime at the Nut House by Eric Litwin
Fly Guy's Amazing Tricks by Tedd Arnold
Leroy Ninker Saddles Up by Kate DiCamillo
Waiting is Not Easy by Mo Willems
Ninja by Arree Chung
Little Elliott, Big City by Mike Curato
Naked by Michael Ian Black
Ling and Ting:  Twice as Silly by Grace Lin
Bad Bye, Good Bye by Deborah Underwood

I shared with our Newbery Club some other books that I thought had a "chance" at winning.  Seeing as our Newbery Club consisted of 4th graders, I had to try and match content with the grade level.

I'm interested in getting feedback from the teachers to see their thoughts.  I wonder how they will want to change it for next year?  I'm very grateful that our principal believed in this and purchased the books needed for our school library.  I think the kids will be excited to check these books out again and again!


  1. You did so much to get the interest up, Michele. Good for you! I'm excited to hear the winners too. Our librarians host a Newbery club & they're readying for the celebration!

  2. I love listing like this. So cool to get excited about book celebrations Michele. What wonderful modeling!

  3. This is fabulous - thanks for sharing the lists and the excitement!

  4. This is really, really great work! It takes a bit of planning and prep... but so worth it, isn't it??

    We did a Mock Newbery the past two years at my school. I can't wait until Monday!!

  5. Dana, I loved reading about the things you did this year. We finished our Mock Newbery Book Club evaluations yesterday. I meet with the students in an after school club. You can see the titles we read here: http://pleasuresfromthepage.blogspot.com/2015/01/tuesday-afternoons-rock.html
    Rain Reign won in yesterday's voting, with three titles close behind - The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing, then Brown Girl Dreaming, followed by The Meaning of Maggie. We are so excited for the award announcement on Monday! This is the fourth time that I've read Newbery possibilities with students and it's always exciting!

    1. Michele, I hate it when I see a mistake just as I hit the publish button. I don't know why I typed Dana's name. Loved this post and your enthusiasm!

  6. I love the door with stickers on the covers! You really looked at lots of books!