Which Mem Fox Books Shall We Read? #GRA17

Mem Fox has quite a wonderful collection of picture books and so it is no small task determining which books shall be the ones we read together.  We do run into different distribution challenges depending on which country you are joining in from.  I am trying to work around it as much as I can.  So please take a moment to vote for your top 6 here.

Edmodo Groups for Global Read Aloud #GRA17

Every year, I have used Edmodo groups for teachers to share ideas, make connections, and post any random questions they may have pertaining to the book they are doing for the Global Read Aloud.  Edmodo has worked well for many teachers as a way to communicate with others and to find inspiration.  While you do not have to join the Edmodo group to be a part of Global Read Aloud, or use it with your students, many have found it as an easy way to be connected and to connect with others.  If you would rather join the Facebook page, go here 

To Join Edmodo if you do not already have an account:

Follow these three simple steps to create a Teacher Account:

  1. Go to www.edmodo.com.  The “Teachers” button will already be selected by default.
  2. Fill out the registration form and select the “Sign Up” button to complete the sign-up process.
  3. Check your e-mail for a confirmation to view the next steps for setting up your Edmodo Account.

To join the Edmodo GRA groups when you have an account, please click the link for the group you need:

Mem Fox 

Fenway and Hattie

The Wild Robot

A Long Walk to Water

A Monster Calls

How do I connect using Edmodo?

After you have joined your group and I have approved you (which I do on a daily basis) there are two different ways; you post a connections wanted post in your group, or you respond to one.    If you post a connections wanted post, please make sure people have a way to get in touch with you such as email or Twitter handle.  Once you have found the connections, please alert people that you have found them.  Also, please reach out to all people that respond to your post, even if it is to say you have found someone already.

If you respond to a connections wanted post, make sure you describe your classroom and give them a way to contact you.

What should I post in my connections wanted post?

It helps if you do age group, location, experience level, as well as what types of tools you feel comfortable using or would like to use.  That way people can respond with similar dreams.  You can post anything else that you think is helpful as well.

What if I don’t want to use Edmodo?

Then you can look for connections via Twitter using the hashtag #GRA17 or post on our Facebook page as well.

How many connections should I be looking for?

You decide. I like to have one solid connection for each of my classrooms and I like to have our ideas cemented before the project starts, that way I know for sure I am connected with someone.  However, I also like to look at what else is going on during the project, so checking in on the Twitter hashtags, seeing what other people are sharing and such.  Some people like to have several connections ready in case one doesn’t work out.

And the Winners Are….Global Read Aloud Choices 2017 #GRA17

I have been losing sleep weighing all of the incredible choices that have been submitted and proposed for this year’s Global Read Aloud.  Many conversations have been had, books have been test read aloud, and while a few are the books chosen by the most votes, some are not.

Picking our books for the Global Read Aloud is never easy, in fact, I think it gets harder every year since we try to match the incredible experience from the year before.  Every year so far, we have been able to do so., and I hope this year is no different.

With an emphasis on perspective this year, I feel that all of the books and picture book author chosen will help us see the world in a new light.  Will help us make connections.  Will help us build community both within our own classrooms, but also with all the thousands of classrooms that will participate.  As usual, I hope you like them, I hope you read them, and I hope you read all of the amazing contenders as well.  Deep breath here.

The chosen are…

Picture Book Author

Australian author Mem Fox has been a contender for a few years, so I am thrilled to have her be the chosen focus of our picture book study. With her enthralling storytelling, her many books focused on the ordinary and not so ordinary, and the perspective she brings her impact on the Global Read Aloud community promises to be profound.

Week one:

Week two:
 Week four:
Week five:

Early Readers

 I first fell in love with Fenway and Hattie after meeting the author, Victoria Coe, at ILA.  Her enthusiasm for Fenway and his perspective as a dog made me read this book the very next day.  Fenway and the story of how he sees the world is one that is bound to make us laugh but also see our world in a different view; what can happen when we simply change our perspective?

Upper Elementary/Middle Grade

 Every year this age group gets the most votes and every year this feels like one of the hardest decisions.  One book kept coming back to me night after night; the story of Roz and the perspective she brings to community, empathy, and the acceptance of others.  I hope that The Wild Robot by Peter Brown helps up all see the world for how similar we all are, rather than our differences.

Middle School

Again, a popular voting category and one that I hold dear to my own reading experience as this is typically the book I read aloud.  With a fear of others, of refugees, of anyone that does not look like us, supposedly does not think like us, I wanted to read a book aloud that will allow deep conversations, connections, and a collaboration between different subject areas.  While this A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park is not new, it is still incredibly relevant for the perspective it brings to us as we uncover the story of Salva and the Lost Boys of Sudan.

Young Adult

I have read A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness aloud with a small class this year and have been blown away by their conversations.  This book, which has been made into a movie as well, is sure to make kids think, make them share, and also make them reflect on how they treat others.
So there you have it.  I hope you like them, I do, a lot.  This year’s project kicks off October 2nd, you can sign up right here on the website, and remember; the age designations are not set in stone – read the books and select the one you think will work best for your students.

Vote for Picture Book Author Study for Global Read Aloud 2017 #GRA17

It’s starting to be that time again; voting for the Global Read Aloud 2017, and as always, I start with the picture book author study.  The chosen author/illustrator will have six of their books featured over the six weeks of the project with thousands of children reading them and connecting through them.

We are lucky to be surrounded by such incredible talent when it comes to the world of picture books and picking the right one will be no small task.  So place your vote for the preliminary round, you have until Friday, March 10th.  All of these contenders would be an incredible choice.