Friday, April 19, 2013

Searingcott Winners!!

On Thursday, April 18th, Searingtown second-graders participated in our annual "Searingcott" vote! For the past several weeks, the 2nd graders became expert book reviewers, learning to recognize the characteristics of award-worthy book illustrations. Each student received his/her very own JUDGE'S NOTEBOOK, in which they scored each book nominee (our list of books came from a list of books that were most likely on the consideration list for the 2013 Caldecott Award). They learned about perspective, color, art mediums, and use of white space. They thought about how book illustrations can enhance the text or even --as in the case of This Is Not My Hat-- tell a completely different story than the text.

As we read each book together, I recorded the students' observations on the SmartBoard. As each week went by, I was more and more impressed with the depth of observations!

These are the books we evaluated ~

  • This Is Not My Hat (Jon Klassen)
  • Green (Laura Vaccaro Seeger)
  • Another Brother (Matthew Cordell)
  • Extra Yarn (Mac Barnett/Jon Klassen)
  • Nighttime Ninja (Barbara Da Costa/Ed Young
  • Sleep Like a Tiger (Pamela Zagerenski)
  • Bear Has a Story to Tell (Philip Stead/Erin Stead) 
Our gold medal went to: ANOTHER BROTHER! Students loved this very funny book. Our honor medals went to: THIS IS NOT MY HAT; GREEN; EXTRA YARN; and NIGHTTIME NINJA. 

Many students submitted designs for our Searingcott Medal. The theme this year was: Be a smart cookie and read! Congratulations to all students who submitted a design and especially to our winners, Ashish Jalwan (gold), Matthew Lora, Nicoletta Karras, Rocco DiGirolomo, and Halle Sacharoff!
Medal designed by Ashish Jalwan-Grade 2

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Stephanie Calmenson Visits Searingtown!

On April 4th we had the pleasure of meeting prolific author, Stephanie Calmenson, author of more than 100 books. Stephanie engaged all grades with her stories about her dog Rosie, featured canine in the book, ROSIE - A VISITING DOG'S STORY.  Students learned so much about visiting dogs and even how to behave when confronting a strange dog, as described in the book MAY I PET YOUR DOG? Our younger students loved hearing her read BIRTHDAY AT THE PANDA PALACE.

Most of all, Stephanie talked about the writing process, including the different genres of writing. She described the "choices and challenges" she contemplates when starting a new book - should her book be fiction or nonfiction; prose or poetry? She emphasized the importance of having a plan that included doing research, talking to experts, and reading, reading, reading! She shared her writing drafts with the students, showing them the process of rejection, revision, and acceptance. She enthusiastically encouraged the students to follow their dreams, just as she did when she decided to become an author!

We are so grateful to our PTA for providing opportunities like this for our students. Mrs. Genara DiGirolomo and Mrs. Peggy Bosco both put so much effort into making the day a huge success! The library looks forward to working together next year to provide another fantastic learning experience.
Mrs. Genara DiGirolomo, Mrs. Karen Kliegman, Stephanie Camlenson, and  Principal Elizabeth Guercin

Students had tons of questions for the author!