2 May 2018

Collaboration and Creation: Todd Parr Inspired Art Work

During our visiting authors celebration in March, Todd Parr worked with High School Art students to create giant canvas paintings inspired by Todd's books. The High School students created black-line drawings with the themes found in many of Todd's books -- love, friendship, unity and peace. Each drawing would become a panel on a large canvas. Together, the series of panels sends a message of positivity.
Last week, many of our Student Librarian team volunteered their time to add color and life to these large canvases. The High School students joined us in the library to work alongside our Elementary students. Together, the students transformed the black-line drawings into vibrant, inspiring works of art -- in the spirit of the pages of a Todd Parr book. What a special and memorable time for our students. We are reminded that magical things can happen when we work together and learn from each other.

Celebrating Poetry Month: Student Voices Loud and Clear

Poetry was alive in the ES Library during the month of April! Students participated in a variety of poetry reading and writing activities during their library classes. Activities included reading and responding to poems, posting favorite poems on SeeSaw, writing a poem for a friend and closely observing nature to inspire poetry.

The K1 stars used their senses to observe a special visitor in the library - Spots the Tortoise! As a class, the students wrote a poem to describe Spots and illustrated their work. They enjoyed sharing their observations, poems and art with Grade 4W buddies!

We culminated our celebration with our Poetry-A-Thon. The goal was to read poetry all day long in the library. Mission accomplished! Students and teachers presented a selection of original poetry as well as some favorites by other poets. We enjoyed hearing some poems for two voices from Grade 5 and some group presentations by Grade 2. Many students shared their inspiration from Naomi Shihab Nye by reading their original work. Thank you to all the students and teachers who joined together to make this community event a success. We love to hear your voices!

12 Apr 2018

Reflecting on Visiting Authors

This week, our students have taken time to reflect on their memories and their learning from our celebration of Visiting Authors. Our time with Naomi Shihab Nye and Todd Parr inspired and delighted our community of learners.

We asked students to reflect on their workshops, assemblies, writing, drawing and reading experiences over the two-week visit with Naomi and Todd. Students shared their insights and highlights.

Naomi's poetry writing workshops and her sign-along poetry were stand-out memories for many of our students. Many children felt they had discovered the poet inside themselves and learned from Naomi that poetry is all around us. We just need to look for it. Naomi's encouraging and engaging style helped many of our students find a new dimension to their writing.

Our students loved creating their very own books alongside Todd Parr. Many students had the opportunity to continue to write and draw in their books during class time. Other shared how they continue to work on their books at home. Todd's humor, positive messages and vibrant illustrations resonated with our readers of all ages.

Students in K1 through Grade 2 drew pictures and wrote about their experiences with Naomi and Todd. Our older students in Grades 3, 4 and 5 completed an online survey about their learning. Across all grades, students voices clearly expressed their enthusiasm, passion and enjoyment around the opportunities they had to work with our visiting authors.

14 Mar 2018

Visiting Authors Week One: Inspired and Energized Learners

We were honored to welcome Naomi Shihab Nye and Todd Parr to ASD this week. We kicked off our Visiting Author celebrations with a Elementary School welcome assembly led by our Student Librarians. Our students were thrilled to introduce Naomi and Todd to our school and share some of the writing and art work they have been doing in preparation for the visit.

The last five days have been full of inspiring and energizing presentations and workshops. With Naomi, students have been writing and sharing beautiful poetry. Naomi has encouraged students to ask questions and write from a place where they not have all the answers. Naomi has a gift for bringing out poetry in us all. She gently encourages us to take risks and share our thoughts with each other. Students have been captivated by Naomi's readings and songs.

With Todd, students have been drawing and creating their own books. Todd encourages students to follow their hearts and learn from their mistakes. While students laughed out loud as Todd shared The Underwear Book, they also connected with the important message in Love the World. We have all delighted in Todd's readings, art work and personal stories. 

On Wednesday, more than 60 students participated in Todd's after school drawing workshop. Todd read several of his books to our students and parents. He then invited everyone to draw together as a community. Students and parents created large panels of bright, colorful art inspired by Todd's books.

We also welcomed our parents into the library for an informative session on building empathy through reading. Both Todd and Naomi shared their insights into supporting our children's reading and encouraged parents to expose their children to a variety of poetry and literature.

We look forward to another week full of learning and creativity. Workshops will continue for all grade levels and Naomi will offer an after school writing workshop in the ES Library on Wednesday, March 21 from 3:30 - 4:15 pm. We feel so fortunate to have Naomi and Todd share their craft and passion with our community of learners.

7 Mar 2018

Visiting Author Celebrations Kick Off on Sunday!

Todd Parr and Naomi Shihab Nye will join our community of learning from Sunday, March 11 through Thursday, March 22. We are fortunate to have them with us for two whole weeks! Our celebrations will kick off with a Elementary School Welcome Assembly at 8:30am in the ES Gym. Students will then begin their workshops and sessions with the authors over the ten school days.

Books for Signing

A few books are left for sale! Or bring in your own books to have them signed! Don't delay to avoid disappointment. All signed books will be delivered to students by March 22.

Family Opportunities

Tuesday, March 13:
Talk Tuesday for Parents K1-Grade 12 - Meet the Authors
Building Empathy Through Reading
Elementary Library: 8:30 - 9:15 am Naomi Shihab Nye and 9:30-10:15am Todd Parr

Wednesday, March 14:
Drawing and Writing Workshop with Todd Parr

Students K1-Grade 5 & Parents Welcome
Elementary Library 3:30 - 4:15pm

Wednesday, March 21:
Writing Workshop with Naomi Shihab Nye

Students K1-Grade 5 & Parents WelcomeElementary Library 3:30 - 4:15pm

Student Work

Stop by the Elementary Library to view some amazing student work inspired by Naomi and Todd's books. Our students are ready to celebrate and learn from two incredible story tellers.

After reading Naomi Shihab Nye's poem "Famous," students in Grades 2-5 wrote their own poems.

Students also read "Torn Map" and "Who's Rich?" by Naomi Nye and responded to the poems with the heads, hearts and hands. We discovered how personal our reactions and connections to poetry can be.

In both art classes and library classes, students created Todd Parr inspired drawings and book pages using the iPad app Drawing Desk. The students used bold lines and bright colors. We created collages of their drawings to display in the library. 

In addition, some classes explored some of Todd's themes such as being different, the meaning of peace, and what makes us feel good. Check out the links below to hear some of our student voices.