Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Necessity is the mother of invention!

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" 
to the Tuesday Slice of Life sponsored by 
Two Writing Teachers.

Sometime during the fall, I agreed to January 27th for our team field trip. Around the middle of January I realized that our field trip conflicted with the date for the ALA Midwinter Media Awards.  I do Mock Newbery literature circles each fall and our culminating activity is enjoying breakfast together as the awards are announced.  A quick meeting to announce the awards before the field trip did not allow us to have our usual breakfast celebration.  So, I created an event to honor the Newbery awards, recognize the winners (current and past), and allow my students to have food in conjunction with the event.  After all, everyone knows that middle schoolers, celebrations, and food are all closely linked! 

I named our event Share the Newbery Love. In preparation for our celebration on January 31, students made a list of Newbery books they had read.  Amid groans of "I haven't read any," or "I've only read two," I encouraged them to look at the list.  I reminded them that they could include Honor books as well as the Newbery Medal winners, and they were welcome to include any book they had read or someone else had read to them.

After they compiled their lists, I asked them to write a book review of their favorite title. Students brought in copies of books they had read to display with the list and book review.  I set up the room with two rows of desks facing each other and we walked through the classroom as if in a gallery to view the lists and book reviews.  Students recorded titles in their WRNs (writer's reader's notebooks) for their Someday (I Want to Read) lists.  I asked that they record at least three Newbery possibilities during our gallery walk.

Almost all of the students discovered that they had read or listened to more than a few Newbery titles.  One student had 44 titles on her list.  We created a special recognition known as the Newbery Decades Reader for any student who has read at least one title from each decade. Two students earned the recognition that day, and several others are working toward receiving the recognition.
A Newbery Decades reader who has read 44 Newbery Medal and Honor books!

This week we moved our lists and book reviews to the hallway bulletin board so that we can share our Newbery love with the school community.  

The pink hearts bordering the display list each student's favorite title.
On Valentine's Day, we're inviting other students and teachers
to stop by and add a heart with their favorite Newbery title.
We hope to see this board jam-packed with Newbery love on Friday! 


  1. Wow, Ramona, this is terrific. What a tremendous amount of work the students did for Newbery love! Happy Valentine's Day!

  2. Woo hoo for Newbery love! These look great, Ramona!

  3. Great celebration for Valentine's Day at love! Be sure to post an "after" picture of the bulletin board. Hope it's really covered with hearts!