Saturday, March 8, 2014

Read Across America Week

I have just finished the best school week EVER. First, let me start by telling you about my theme for this year's door decorating contest. As you already know, I am not a huge fan of over-used Dr. Seuss books. While scrolling through Amazon a few weeks ago, I came across a book I had not heard of before called The Shape of Me and Other Things. The rhymes are classic Seuss, but his illustrations are a bit different in that they are all silhouettes. Essentially, the book teaches us to be happy with who we are. Using this idea, I decided to take individual pictures of my students in wild poses. Once they found out no one would see their face, they all willingly complied with my request. Next, I cut out each picture and traced it onto black card stock. I then cut out each silhouette. This didn't take super long, and it was pretty fun to look back at those silhouettes and see who I could pick out immediately.

The young man on the left is saluting and the girl on the right is telling me "Whatever!" I think these turned out great! Next, I made a little sign to go on the door asking other students and teachers to see if they could pick out their friends based on their silhouette. Finally, I decided to use the Cricut to cut out my favorite quote from the book. My mom laminated this for me so that I could keep it after my decorations came down. The final result looks pretty good, if I do say so myself!

Sadly, I came in third place yet again. (More free ice cream and water!) I must compliment the first and second place doors though, because they looked FABULOUS! We have some very talented teachers at my school!

Another bit of excitement this week has been my Tournament of Books. Initially, my students thought this was another one of my crazy ideas, but once I got it up for them to see, they LOVED it! I took inspiration from Sturdy for Common Things and Cathy Jo Nelson. The latter author stated that she used a Google Doc form to let kids vote. Since my I am part of a Technology Think Tank at my school, I decided to give this a try, and let me tell you, it is wonderful! Life is easier because it tabulates everything for me! Thank you Google!!! We have just finished our second week of voting and I don't have a picture of the Final Four, but here is our Elite Eight. 

Sadly, Harry Potter got beat this week by Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Moment of silence, please.........deep breath....and...go. Life must go on I suppose. Our Final Four going into next week will be:

Hunger Games vs. Percy Jackson and the Olympians 
Heroes of Olympus vs. Diary of a Wimpy Kid

I have read all of the above, and if I were a voter, I might have a difficult time. What has encouraged me is that kids run up to the board as soon as I am done writing in a winner. How awesome is that? If you want to encourage your students to read, make it fun! This is the best thing I have done so far, and I appreciate all the inspiration from fellow book-lovers around the world!

Have a great weekend!


  1. How AWESOME is that!! I just updated our Elite Eight, but like you, sadly I forgot to snap an updated photo. We are a week behind you. I posted in our Cavaliers Read Blog at and I'll have to update the bracket picture MONDAY. But our high school students are also very excited. LOL my colibrarian just messaged me a photo of a school she was in Friday and their March Madness bracket! I'm glad the idea is really taking off, though it's been around for several years.

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