Thursday, September 11, 2014

Connections Wanted Form #GRA14

While you can post to Our Edmodo Groups in order to find a connection, you can also fill out this form.  The results of the form for you to browse to find a connection, can be viewed here 


Sunday, September 7, 2014

The 1 Month Countdown Has Begun for #GRA14

The countdown has begun, this year's Global Read Aloud will start October 6th where you should start reading aloud!  The project wraps up November 14th.

For a week by week breakdown or which Peter H. Reynolds books to read when, please click here http://ow.ly/ANIkJ 

If you are still looking for a connection, you can fill out this spreadsheet or find someone to connect with http://ow.ly/ANIoF 

You can share ideas, find people to connect with, and ask questions in the Edmodo Groups  http://ow.ly/zDEbN 

On Sunday, September 21st, I will join #4thchat on Twitter at 7 PM CST to discuss all things GRA.  And the following Sunday, September 28th we will have our very own twitter chat using our hashtag #GRA14 at 8 PM CST.  This chat will be an easy way for you to ask any questions or share ideas as we get ready.   

As of this morning more than 4,100 facilitators in more than 30 different countries are participating, which translates roughly to 244,000 students.  That's 100,000 more than last year - wow, wow, wow.  We have students from K through college doing it!

If you want to support the project and show your participation, please consider buying merchandise  http://www.cafepress.com/globalreadaloud  I have the tote bag and have been impressed with the durability.

Also, did you know Peter H. Reynolds has a bookstore called The Blue Bunny.  You can order signed books from them and he said to mention you are a GRA14 friend if you do order. http://www.bluebunnybooks.com/

And finally, thank you.  This project started as an idea in 2010 with 600 students the first year reading around the world.  Never in my wildest dreams would I have guessed that so many incredible people would support it, love it, and be a part of it.  If you are ever in my neighborhood, whether it be Oregon Middle School where I teach or around Madison, let me know.  

Please let me know if you have any questions!


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Contest Closed - Happy Birthday The Fourteenth Goldfish - Win a Copy!

It is not every day you get an email from one of your favorite authors asking you if you want to give away a copy of her new book.  In fact, I don't think it has ever happened to me before.  But Jenni Holm, author of the GRA selected book The Fourteenth Goldfish did just that since not only is she super excited about the release of the book (we have been counting down the days), but also being a Global Read Aloud author!  

She writes, 
"I'm so touched that THE FOURTEENTH GOLDFISH" was chosen as a read-aloud. Part of the reason I am a writer today was because my second grade teacher read aloud to my class. To this day, when I think of THE BOXCAR CHILDREN, I think of my teacher. She sparked a lifetime love of reading in me--and a lot of other children. Reading aloud makes a difference."

But here is the best part, she is not just giving away one copy, not even two.  She is letting me give away 15 hardcover copies and 5 audio books!  Wow!  Do indicate whether you would prefer one or the other in your entry, but know that it is not guaranteed.  The winners will be drawn randomly.

So what do you need to do to enter?  Leave a comment, with your email or other way of getting a hold of you, telling us why you joined the Global Read Aloud.  I am telling you, you will love this book for the discussions it will create and the connections you will make.  The contest ends Friday night, the 29th at 9 PM CST.

So for now happy reading and happy book birthday to you!

This contest is now closed, winners will be notified soon.


Saturday, August 9, 2014

#GRA14 What To Read - Week by Week Breakdown

Here is the plan for what to read and when.  While it is not a big deal if you get behind, please do not read ahead and then share spoilers.  It really hurts the experience for the students.  
Peter H. Reynolds!

To make the collaboration easier for everyone, for the author study we recommend reading these books:
Week 1: The North Star
Week 2: I'm Here
Week 3: Ish
Week 4: Sky Color
Week 5: Going Places
Week 6: Your Choice!
Yes, I know that the incredible book "The Dot" is not on this list. That's because International Dot Day is September 15th so some of you may have already read and used it by the time we start October 6th. But, the final week of the Global Read Aloud is always a free choice so feel free to use it then if you would like.

Book Choices:

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
Why this book:  This new classic has been nominated every year as a wonderfully engaging story that reads aloud beautifully. 
Breakdown for the 6 weeks:
Week 1:  Chapters 1 - 4
Week 2:  Chapters 5 - 9
Week 3:  Chapters 10 -14
Week 4:  Chapters 15 -19
Week 5:  Chapters 20 - 24
Week 6:  25 - coda

The Fourteenth Goldfish
The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm
Why this book?  I am one of the lucky ones that have read an advanced copy of this book, and besides being immediately sucked into it, I think it will be a wonderful read aloud.  The story is whimsical, thought provoking and can definitely lead to bigger connections being made.  
Breakdown for the 6 weeks:
Week 1:  Chapters 1 - 5
Week 2:  Chapters 6 - 10
Week 3:  Chapters 11 - 15
Week 4:  Chapters 16 - 20
Week 5:  Chapters 21  - 25
Week 6: Chapters 26 - end

One for the Murphy's by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Why this book:  Anyone who has read the book will know why.  This incredibly touching story that carries heavy themes is a story about transformation, love of the deepest kind, and survival of the spirit. 
Breakdown for the 6 weeks:
Week 1: Chapter 1 - 8
Week 2: Chapter 9 - 17
Week 3: Chapter 18 - 25
Week 4: Chapter 26 - 33
Week 5: Chapter 34 - 42
Week 6: Chapter 43 - end

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Why this book?  This book was first runner up last year and came back strong this year.  This incredible story of one girl's courageous battle and, yes, transformation, is one that will resonate globally. 
Weekly Breakdown:
Week 1:  Chapters 1 - 4
Week 2:  Chapters 5 - 8
Week 3:  Chapters 9 - 12
Week 4:  Chapters 13 - 16
Week 5:  Chapters 17 - 20
Week 6:  Chapters 21 - end

A big change for this year's project is the removal of grade levels.  Instead, just pick the  book you think will best suit your class and your goals.   All of the books chosen share the themes of transformation and love, something I think all students can relate to.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

An Exciting Tool to Use to Connect with #GRA14

Every year as the Global Read Aloud grows, new exciting ways to connect present themselves.  And while I always encourage people to connect in whichever way that works for them, sometimes a new way emerges that deserves a highlight.  This is one of those times.  

I first heard of Tackk, last year as a few people shared what they had created during the GRA.  And I was impressed, after all, a lot of time had definitely been put into it and it must have been hard to do.  So I didn’t investigate any further, I simply moved on, thinking this tool would not work for my students and the precious time we have.  I should have dug a little deeper.  
Tackk is an easy, free way to create simple pages on the web. Teachers use Tackk everyday for lessons, projects and creativity in the classroom. Tackk’s content widgets (text, photos, GIFs, video, music, maps, media, etc.) allow for simple and fun creation which can be shared on social channels like Edmodo, Twitter and Google+.

To help support GRA14, Tackk has created GRA templates to make creation, sharing and collaboration easy for students, teachers and classrooms. Teachers can use Tackk to create and share GRA lessons, assign student book reviews and assessments, capture photos and video during the program and interact along the way.

Get more Tackk ideas and follow GRA’s Tackk profile here: https://tackk.com/@globalreadaloud.
Find out more about Tackk here: https://tackk.com/gratemplates

Again, the Global Read Aloud does not tell you which tools to use, but I do like to share good ones.  I am excited to use Tackk with my 7th graders to further our global connections.


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