Today was Boss' Day, so, as is our tradition at the Creek, the faculty celebrated with a breakfast and gift to our Principal. That is how we opened the October Book-of-the-month this morning.
Our Principal, Susan Phillips, chose an oldie, but goodie, to read to the faculty as we settled down with our delicious breakfast snacks. To activate our schema she asked us to recall our first day at Chets Creek. Teachers told funny and poignant stories of their first days. She then dedicated this book-of-the-month to our new students to Chets Creek this year.
Stellaluna by Janell Cannon is a beautiful book for this time of year about a little bat who is separated from her mother before she is old enough to fly. While Stellaluna adapts to her new bird family, she is pretty excited to be reunited with her bat family. When she realizes that she really is a bat, she also finds out that she doesn't have to eat any more bugs, that hanging by her feet is really okay, and that she really can see at night. The bigger lesson, of course, is that different is not always bad. It's just different.
Each classroom got a copy of this traditional book. Paired with this delightful text was a revisit to a strategy that we learned early in our America's Choice training - accountable talk. It's a strategy used in many classrooms on a daily basis but probably new to some of the teachers who have joined us in the last few years at the Creek. It will be interesting to see if seasoned teachers revisit this standard and use this book experience to find ways to deepen their discussion of books. It is an opportunity for kinder teachers to revisit how they introduce book discussions to our youngest learners. As the Principal talked about the book she drew us back to those stories of first days that the faculty had shared at the beginning of her presentation, took us through those same "new" experiences that Stellaluna felt and then asked us to think about the new students in our classrooms. Enjoy the Principal's presentation.
At the end of the day our Principal spent some time talking to a kindergartner about her book-of-the-month choice. They decided to try hanging upside down just like Stellaluna - just to see how it feels! Wonder what they decided?!!