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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Connecting with Authors & Others with Twitter

Twitter has become a popular social media tool, and your DCG Elementary teacher librarians are a part of it!

One of the great things about Twitter is that librarians like us can follow authors and illustrators to see what they're working on next and how they interact with their fans. Our first interaction was with author Jef Cezkaj in January 2013, (you can read about it HERE), and we've been "talking" with authors ever since!

So who have we connected with? Authors Lauren Tarshis from the I Survived series and Gordon Korman from the Swindle series both recently replied when students reacted to their books offered in the spring book fair.

Students were reacting to the spring book fair preview DVD.

Students were reacting to the spring book fair preview DVD.

Earlier in the school year, our K - 2 students read the book Otis and the Puppy, by Loren Long, who is also active on Twitter. (You can read about our many activities with the Otis books HERE.) He and author Ame Dyckman replied to our tweets about next year's Iowa Goldfinch books:
Loren Long & Ame Dyckman have books on the 2014-15 Iowa Goldfinch Award list.

Sometimes authors and illustrators will favorite a tweet that we send, like Peter Brown and Lisa McMann:
Mr. Tiger Goes Wild was featured on our recent spring book fair.

The Unwanteds was an Iowa Children's Choice read-aloud w/5th graders.
And it's not only authors who reply and favorite our tweets. Some of the website and apps we use are also set up as Twitter accounts, and they've been great about replying to our tweets as well.
From PowToon regarding the extension work with 5th graders during WIN time

From Wonderopolis regarding our recent 4th & 5th grade work with their website

From Wonderopolis regarding our recent 4th & 5th grade work with their website

From our area education agency regarding our recent DC Elementary reading contest
Twitter has become a wonderful tool for us to use when connecting with authors, illustrators, and others! We're so excited when those we reach out to tweet something back--what a way to get great, immediate feedback! Hope to hear from you soon!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Celebrating World Read Aloud Day 2014

What a great experience today celebrating World Read Aloud Day with a dear friend and fellow K - 5 teacher librarian!

Christi Taylor, K - 5 teacher librarian from Shuler Elementary School in Waukee, IA, has been a colleague and friend for 15 years, and today (finally!) we were able to connect two of our classes using Skype. This was our second attempt. . . we had a 50% success rate earlier in the week connecting two of our groups, so today we were determined to connect.

To tie together World Read Aloud Day and Dr. Seuss's birthday, we chose Fox in Socks as our read aloud, and after prepping our groups and reminding them about good computer and field trip manners, we were ready!

Mrs. Schroeder's kindergartners joined DC Elementary kindergartners from Mrs. Reagan's class. First item of business? Introductions and waving!

Then on to the business at hand--the read aloud! Of course, with Fox in Socks, you can expect some tongue twister madness! Tweetle beetle battles? Luke Luck likes lakes? Sue sews whose clothes? Much fun and laughing together as students listened to the read aloud.

Kindergarten students weren't the only ones to get in on the World Read Aloud Day fun. . . Mrs. White's 1st grade class from Shuler Elementary and Mrs. Jorgensen's class from DC Elementary also connected! After much trying to connect on Skype, we FINALLY were able to meet and read with just 20 minutes remaining in the class period.

A GREAT day with our new friends from Waukee, and we're very excited about connecting again throughout the rest of the school year!