Tuesday, April 30, 2013

It is Screen-Free Week

Hello! Hello! I'm unplugging Watch. Connect. Read. during Screen-Free Week. I'm going to read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, and READ. See you next week!

Matthew Cordell's hello! hello! 

Patty Lovell's Have Fun, Molly Lou Melon! 

Dan Yaccarino's Doug Unplugged

Bob Staake's Bluebird 

Monday, April 29, 2013

May #SharpSchu Book Club

Colby Sharp and I hope you'll participate in the May Sharp-Schu Book Club meeting. Press play for more details.

I am giving away a copy of Giants Beware! and a copy of hello! hello! 

Rules for the Giveaway

1. It will run from 4/29 to 11:59 P.M. on 5/1

2. You must be at least 13. 

3. Please pay it forward. 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

School Lunch Superhero Day Trifecta

Welcome to the School Lunch Superhero Day trifecta. Colby Sharp and I hope you enjoy blog hopping. 

Two third graders interviewed Ms. Sherri, our school lunch superhero. 

Illustration credit: JJK
What is the best thing about being a School Lunch Superhero? 

Ms. Sherri: I love being around the children. They always brighten my day. It makes me feel good that I'm cooking for them. It feels good to be appreciated. 

Are there any foods that most kids in our school do not like to eat? 

Ms. Sherri: Your classmates do not really enjoy celery and broccoli. 

What are the most popular foods in our school? 

Ms. Sherri: The most popular foods are tomato soup, grilled cheese, Bosco sticks, and chicken tenders. 

Are you familiar with the Lunch Lady series? 

Ms. Sherri: Yes, I received Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute as a present. I met Jarrett when he visited our school. I took a photo with him and the Lunch Lady cake

What is your favorite food? 

Ms. Sherri: I love Italian beef. I like it from most places, but I can be a little bit picky. 

Illustration credit: JJK
I asked a third-grade class three questions. 

What is your favorite food that Ms. Sherri serves? 

*French toast sticks
*Blueberry pancakes
*Turkey dinner
*Chicken fingers
*Chicken noodle soup
*Bosco sticks
*Grilled cheese and tomato soup
*Sloppy Joes
*Spicy chicken sandwich 
Order a School Lunch Superhero button 

What is Ms. Sherri's superpower? 

*Helping kids make healthy choices 
*Laser eyes
*An awesome spatula 
*Temperature control 

Why should schools celebrate School Lunch Superhero Day?

*Because we need to show lunch workers that we appreciate their hard work. 

*We want them to feel appreciated and loved. 

*They make good food. 

*School Lunch Superhero Day celebrates an important group of hardworking people. 

My students and I hope you'll celebrate School Lunch Superhero Day. 

Mr. Colby Sharp texted me a few days ago that he's happy with his School Lunch Superhero Day post. I cannot wait to read it. Head on over to his blog

Hip, hip, hooray! Jarrett J. Krosoczka is today's Nerdy Book Club blogger. 

I am giving away a copy of Lunch Lady and the Video Game Villain

Rules for the Giveaway 

1. It will run from 4/28 to 11:59 P.M. on 5/1. 

2. You must be at least 13. 

3. Please pay it forward. 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Newbery Challenge: The Giver

It is always more fun when Colby Sharp and I film a Newbery video together. We had an awesome weekend catching up in San Antonio, Texas. Thanks, Mr. Sharp! 

"I've never liked science fiction so I never thought of it as science fiction, although some people who like to use categories have put it in that category. But what it is is a book set in a future time. And for me it was like writing realistic fiction. I created a place, created a character — he's a boy about to be 12 — and here's where he lives and here's what it's like. " - Lois Lowry 

Lois Lowry knew from a young age that she wanted to be a writer. 

Travis Jonker designed the cover on the right. 

Hannah Spicijaric chats with Lois Lowry.

"Because for me the most important thing is just the amazing satisfaction one gets, somebody like me gets, just by arranging words on a page and then rearranging them so that they flow differently, better or clearer or say better what you want to say and then to go back and look at them and read them and change them again a little bit. I could just do that all day long. " - Lois Lowry

Read Lois Lowry's Newbery acceptance speech for The Giver.

Borrow The Giver from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Book Trailer Premiere: What Can a Crane Pick Up?

Mr. Schu: Wow! What a fantastic book trailer! I cannot wait to share it with my students. Bravo! 

Rebecca, thank you for dropping by Watch. Connect. Read. to chat with me about What Can a Crane Pick Up? I think it is a perfect read-aloud. Did you spend hours reading the rhymes aloud to an empty room? Did you test them on your grandchildren?   

Rebecca Kai Dotlich: Thank you, I am happy to say students have been responding even better than I had hoped to its rhythm and playfulness with language.  I did read the rhymes (and listened for the cadence) aloud over and over and over again in my writing room.  As a writer who adores the crafting of a rhyming picture book or poem, every syllable, word, lilt and line needs to be as perfect as I can make them.  (And we all know perfection is never attained.)  I did not test them on my grandchildren; because of course they will listen attentively and love every word – I feed them cookies.  (But my grandson actually gave me the idea for the book when he asked me as we were driving near highway construction, “can a crane pick up a crane?”)

Mr. Schu: What do you think makes a picture book a great read-aloud?
It’s just my opinion, but I believe a great read-aloud has a mix of whimsical language, repetition, often good rhymes but always an easy rhythm – and brings the listener in by including them in some way.  They either want to chime in or answer, or finish a sentence, or  . . .

Mr. Schu: What ran through your mind the first time you saw Mike Lowery’s illustrations? 
Rebecca Kai Dotlich: I got lucky.  That was my first thought.  The art had a touch of the comic, a whole lot of whimsy and the cranes themselves had friendly faces, and the colors popped all over the page.

Mr. Schu: What is one way we can get every child to “think like a poet”? 
Rebecca Kai Dotlich: If I had to pick one I would say to allow them to play, to invent, to make art with words, to put pairings of words together for the pure pleasure of it and to wonder, to ask, to explore.  To look at a thing (a pinecone, a chimney, a tree, a shell, and compare it to something else.)  Um, that wasn’t one, was it?

Mr. Schu: I am a huge fan of National Poetry Month, even though I think poetry should be celebrated EVERY DAY.  My favorite celebration during National Poetry Month is Poem in Your Pocket Day. Which poem will you carry in your pocket on April 18? 
Rebecca Kai Dotlich: It might be Russell Hoban’s “Jigsaw Puzzle” or Rachel Field’s “Manhattan Lullaby.”  The next day may be different. 

Mr. Schu: Please complete these sentence starters: 
Picture books are magical pages of whimsy.  Or whimsical pages of magic.  
Reading is a portal to imagination.
A crane can be fascinating to watch, especially if you are a young builder by day. 

I am giving away one copy of What Can a Crane Pick Up? 

                      Rules for the Giveaway

1. It will run from 4/26 to 11:59 P.M. on 4/28. 

2. You must be at least 13. 

3. Please pay it forward. 

Please borrow What Can a Crane Pick Up? from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

April #SharpSchu Book Club Meeting

Mr. Colby Sharp and I are thankful for everyone who participated in last night's #SharpSchu Book Club meeting. Newbery Medalist Sharon Creech and Caroline Starr Rose participated in the chat, answered questions, and inspired everyone. 

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Sharon Creech, Sarah Week, Avi, and Walter Dean Myers perform reader's theater in Naperville, Illinois. 

Download the Love That Dog and Hate That Cat discussion guide. 

What inspired Sharon Creech to write Love That Dog
Sharon Creech reads from Love That Dog

Sharon Creech reads an excerpt from The Great Unexpected.

Jennifer Reed chatted with me about the time Sharon visited her school library.

Sharon Creech visited my school library. 

I think you should follow Sharon's blog. 

Anita Silvey featured Love That Dog on April 7.

Sharon Creech presented at the 2009 National Book Festival. 

Sharon Creech discusses Love That Dog with her editor. 

The Boy on the Porch will be released on September 3, 2013. 

The book trailer for May B

Caroline Starr Rose finished my sentences on October 12, 2012. 

Caroline Starr Rose reads an excerpt from May B

Download the May B. discussion guide. 

"My Reading Life" by Caroline Starr Rose 

Lauren Strohecker recommends May B. and Love That Dog.