First of all, I’d like to say how disappointed I was to see that the last posting date I have for my blog is December 1. In my defense, I’ve been facing the trials of being in the early months of pregnancy. I’m happy to say that we will be adding to our family of four in mid July, but that hasn’t been good for the blog!
Despite how long it’s been since I’ve posted to Keeping Kids First, I’m so happy to be sharing this post. Each year in the USA on March 2, we celebrate the birthday of Dr. Seuss with Read Across America Day. This year, I decided it would be a great experience for my students to actually “read across America” using Skype to foster cross-classroom collaboration. A few weeks ago, I was overwhelmed by the response by my Twitter and Facebook PLNs when I went looking for classrooms who might be interested in sharing this day with us. I scheduled us classrooms to chat with all morning in thirty minute intervals. I also helped my students to prepare for their conversations with writing book talks, practicing read-alouds and honing our skills on being respectful listeners.
As March 2 approached, I was excited to have parents join us for our classroom “Read In” first thing in the morning, which was also kicked off with our first call of the day. The parents of the students who attended, as well as other staff members who happened to stop by during the morning, were awed by how we were able to collaborate and share with classrooms across the country, how engaged the students were, and their enthusiasm for the opportunity. We charted our “visits” with Google Maps, which was also a great experience for students to see how far they were reaching!
Over the course of the day, we shared favorite books with Dan Callahan and Sarah Hayes’ class in Burlington, MA. Eric Biederbeck’s 6th grade class in Essex, Vermont read us a favorite picture book, Bigger, Better, Best, that tied into our current study of Geometry. We read a favorite Cherokee cultural story, The First Strawberries, to a third grade class in Verona, New Jersey. A high school class in Sterling, Kansas, led by Carol Prather and Dean Mantz, even read a few of their favorite books to us.
What a great way to share and grow a love of reading!
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