Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Old House: Book of the Month May 2009

It was our last book-of-the-month for this year - a new book, The Old House, written by one of our favorite authors, Pamela Duncan Edwards, and favorite illustrator, Henry Cole. Pamela and Henry have visited Chets Creek a couple of times and have forged a long lasting relationship with the school. In fact, our media specialist, KK Cherney, and our Principal, Susan Phillips, will be joining them next week for a presentation at the International Reading Association in Minnesota where they will be presenting a symposium together on using books-of-the-month in elementary schools. You can actually follow Susan and KK's journey at IRA as they blog live!

As usual, Susan started the professional development book-of-the-month by reading the children's book out loud.  She read the delightful story as the faculty followed along. Artists Kristy Sappington and Karen Willet had drawn the old house as a backdrop behind Susan and then unrolled the second backdrop of the happy house as Susan concluded the story! Next Susan asked the teachers to close their eyes and think about a house or a special place that made a difference in their own life. She was asking the teachers to respond to the story and pictures in the book. After the visualization, teachers were asked to draw their special place and then to write about it! It's amazing how teachers fall right into the roles of their students with the "I can't draw" or "I don't know what to write!" It's a great exercise for teachers to put themselves in their students' place! Of course, after a few moans teachers busily got to work using crayons and markers to sketch and draw as they responded with poems and stories and quick writes. Some of their pictures and words will be available on our book-of-the-month wiki. The purpose was to archive the adult work to let our children know that writing and responding to books is a lifetime skill - not just something that children do at school. Books and pictures evoke all kinds of feelings and memories, and they always will. What a delightful way to celebrate reading!

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