Saturday, January 31, 2015

...And The Winner of the 2015 Oak Hills Elementary Mock Caldecott Is....Beekle, The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat

Over the last few weeks, OHE students have been mulling over the myriad of choices for our school's Mock Caldecott. It's been great!! All of us have enjoyed the process and learned to evaluate picture books! They have learned to evaluate the artwork/illustrations and how the illustrations support the text. Along the way, they built an enthusiasm for their favorite books! We took our time and passed the books around so every child could see, read and evaluate!

Students gained a greater understanding of why the decision is so difficult! But in the end, children loved getting to see and read these wonderful books. Most of all, no matter what the evaluation process may be, children know what they like and are steadfast in their support! All of the books in our Mock Caldecott received many votes. But the highest vote count went to...

1. Beekle, The Unimaginary Friend (the overwhelming winner!)

The runner up books, in order of vote, were...
2. Gaston
3. Sam and Dave Dig A Hole
4. My Teacher Is A Monster
5. Sparky

For those who haven't seen the is a wonderful teaser book trailer for Beekle.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Oak Hills Students Vote In OHE's Annual Mock Caldecott - Feel Free To Vote Too!!

It's time for our 3rd annual Mock Caldecott!  It has been such a successful unit, with our entire student body getting involved, that I decided to keep up the tradition!  January is the perfect time as the highly anticipated Caldecott Award announcement is just around the corner!! (Along with other prestigious awards - Newbery, Printz and Coretta Scott King Book Awards to name just a few!) February 2nd is the big announcement day!!

The candidates for this award are kept secret until the announcement, but that doesn't keep librarians and media specialist around the nation from speculating! Not unlike all of the Hollywood film awards, speculation and "buzz" is everywhere, only minus the pictures of the best and worst dressed! 

To get ready for our Mock Caldecott, I spent a few weeks reading blogs and the School Library Journal website trying to choose a possible "short list" of candidates. Most of the "hopefuls" for the Caldecott seemed to come up again and again. We really can't know until the announcement is made, but it is fun to speculate!

Students will read and discuss the criteria used by the Caldecott committee!  The criteria language can be intimidating for students, but it seems to become clearer once we discuss it!

Caldecott Criteria
1. In identifying a “distinguished American picture book for children,” defined as illustration:
a. Excellence of execution in the artistic technique employed
b. Excellence of pictorial interpretation of story, theme, or concept;  
c. Appropriateness of style of illustration to the story, theme or concept; 
d. Delineation of plot, theme, characters, setting, mood or information through the  pictures. Excellence of presentation in recognition of a child audience.

2. The only limitation to graphic form is that the form must be one which may be used in a picture book.  The book must be a self-contained entity, not dependent on other media (sound, file, or computer program) for its enjoyment.

3. Each book is to be considered as a picture book. The committee is to make its decision primarily on the illustration, but other components of a book are to be considered especially when they make a book less effective as a children's picture book. Such other components might include the written text, the overall design of the book, etc. 

Students will be evaluating the following books and voting for their favorite! A few of this year's short list of books have book trailers! We welcome anyone who wants to vote to join in!! Find the voting ballot at the bottom!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Thank You, Martin Luther King Jr.!

With the upcoming Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I thought it would be the perfect time to research his life and his contributions.  I am always looking for ways for students to share their voice using the many tech tools that we have access to!  This seemed like a great opportunity to let their voices be heard, to show appreciation, and talk about what they learned from Martin Luther King's life. 

We had many great resources, both digital and print, for our research!

We brainstormed our script, and gave everyone a line.

I was amazed by our 5th graders! They were really dedicated to sharing this tribute. They made connections to other great leaders and they found perceptive life lessons for themselves.  To create our video, we used the Waterlogue App for a watercolor effect of the picture of Martin Luther King, Pixlr Express App to add text to the opening and closing pictures and iMovie to stitch the clips together.