Friday, January 24, 2014

ALA Youth Media Awards in the Classroom - Celebrate this Week

I’m joining up with Ruth Ayres for her weekly link-up, Celebrate This Week. Check out all of the posts linked up at her blog HERE. Thanks for starting this, Ruth!

Monday morning is a day I have had circled on my calendar for the entire school year – the American Library Association’s Youth Media Awards. While some may find joy in filling out NCAA brackets and predicting winners for the Super Bowl, I love trying to figure out what books will take home a shiny sticker on this big day in Children’s Literature. If I have heard of the book before, I am thrilled. If I already read it, pure joy. As a result of my exuberance for this date, I began holding a Mock Caldecott last year and this year added a Mock Newbery. Today I want to share the books my students selected as some of the top books of 2013.

Mock Caldecott

Last year I began a Mock Caldecott unit with Margie Myers-Culver and her fifth grade library classes in Michigan. We joined forces again this year and, I think, our unit was better than ever. I teach three classes of fifth grade, so I am sharing the results for those classes below.

Our Medal winner for our Mock Caldecott was:

This beautiful picture book was the clear winner in all three classes. I hope this is foreshadowing of things to come next week.

Our Honors were (in no particular order):

Bear and Bee by Ruzzier
Bluebird by Staake
Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Brown
The Story of Fish & Snail by Freedman
Watermelon Seed by Pizzoli

Mock Newbery

This was my first year for a Mock Newbery club. We met for breakfast on four different occasions. Kids could read – and then discuss – any book from a list of twenty for our meetings. I loved trying this out this year and am already looking forward to tweaking it for next year.

Our Medal winner for our Mock Newbery was:

It’s no secret that I’m rooting for this book on Monday. (Along with Linda Urban’s brilliant Center of Everything.) I’m glad that my students have fallen for Oscar and Callie as well.

Our Honors were (in no particular order):

True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Appelt
The Year of Billy Miller by Henkes

And as my classes cheered when books they loved were announced, I was reminded of something important. Yes, the Newbery and Caldecott (and other awards) are a big deal. I get that. I love the fun of predicting, reading, and anticipating what will win. But what is truly important is kids reading and falling in love with books. That is what I saw in my classroom, and that is what I’m celebrating today.

Thank you to all of the amazing authors who made it a joy to book talk their books in our classroom this year. You make my job so much easier.

If you and your students want to tune in to the awards announcements Monday morning, go to this link.

Awards begin at 8 am EST. 

And if you want to talk predictions, best books, and more – join Colby Sharp and me Sunday night, 8pm EST for #titletalk.

Guaranteed to be a fast paced hour with titles flying! Hide your credit cards!