Thursday, May 14, 2015

Hugs, Future Newbery Committee members and All that Jazz

Today was surreal.  I was completely exhausted on top of being completely exhilarated.  The library was buzzing.  My email was popping.  Kids were smiling and waving and adults just wanted a hug.  I was probably the quietest I have ever been in my life.

But life goes on and I still had to teach.

All year long, every Thursday the 4th grade ELA teacher and I have been collaborating on teaching about genres and story elements. It's been really fun.  We've made the students into detectives as they navigate their way through our curriculum.  I had started to play the "Pink Panther" theme as they entered the library and made sure I wore pink every week.  In fact, it would be minus 10 with the wind chill and I'd be walking around school in pink flip flops. Good times.

When the kids came in at their regular time, it wasn't regular anymore.  Things have definitely changed, and not because there are still orange balloons hanging all around and microphones swinging from the ceiling.  I started out by just saying (in a very soft voice, mind you), "Yesterday was pretty awesome, wasn't it?" and then we would get as excited as we could with my energy level down a notch or two (or ten).  These are my future Newbery Committee members and they are prepped and pumped.  I retold them the story of how my fifth grade book group loved The Crossover so much that they wrote Kwame letters; he responded with a poem; we Skyped in January and really the rest is history.  What a journey we have had.  What kind of journey the 2016 Committee will experience we won't know until we get on the road in November. Stay tuned.

Speaking of tunes, I played Mom tonight and went to my daughter's band concert.  The jazz band opened.  The same one that played for Kwame yesterday at our faculty reception.  Love them! But what was even greater was that they played a song by Alfred Ellis called "The Chicken." Mr. Streeter, the band director, proceeded to tell us that the famous bass player, Jack Pastouris, played this song.  So?  SO?!  I've only been watching "The Rooster Chronicles 1 and 2" over and over again and know that illustrator Tim Bowers wanted to base Rooster's illustrations after him.  He looks like a rooster, right? Check this out:

There you have it.  Oh, and our visit with Kwame made it in the local paper:


And some great photos on our District webpage:


I will post more tomorrow when my brain is functioning a bit better.  More pictures. More videos.  Songs.

I appreciate you, Kwame. Thank you.

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