Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Take me Out to the Ball Game!

If you have read my blog for any length of time, you know I am a baseball fan -ok ,well, I am a RED SOX fan, but also a baseball mom (both my boys play... ALOT of baseball), a baseball book fan and recently I became a fan of our new minor league team, the Gwinnett Braves (whose stadium happens to be around the corner from my school!)

Well I recently heard about a few programs that combine baseball and reading - what could be better, I ask??

Kevin Youklis, first baseman of the Boston red Sox (YOUK!) has teamed up with New England Mobile Book fairs to offer a reading incentive program as part of his charity, Kevin Youklis Hits for Kids, called Youk's Kids Reading group. You can sign up on the website and every member gets a $5 gift certificate on their birthday to spend at New England Mobile Book fairs. There is also an essay contest, which you could win lunch with Kevin (how COOL!!). Thanks to Terry at Reading Tub for the link.

Speaking of Red Sox'a players - if you live in Massachusetts your kids can get into summer reading by participating in the Mass. Teachers Association's Red Sox Reading Game. The spokesperson for this program is none other than Sox catcher, Jason Varitek, who just happens to live not far from me (hello, Jason, wouldn't you like to come read to some enthusiastic baseball fans during the off season... we're not far from your house.... give me a call...ok). The program is run through Massachusetts schools, and the cool thing is, winners can take their teacher to a Red Sox game - my aunt went with one of her students last year and she said it was a BLAST!

Now closer to home in Georgia, I saw in an article in our local paper that the Gwinnett braves will be donating tickets to students who participate in the library reading program, I have not seen anything about this on the Gwinnett Braves website, but will keep looking.

Lots of other major and minor league teams have reading incentive programs over the summer, check out the teams website to see what your favorite team is up to this summer.

If you are looking for some new baseball themed books, check out this list of new books from Kids Reads - even though there is a book about the Yankees included, there are some great new books I can't wait to check out this summer!

This just in - go on over to the blog - Get In The Game - Read (this is the blog where Terry/Jen got their Youk info.) Lori is running a contest to win a new Babe Ruth book by David Kelly. Go on over and check it out, enter the contest, but be forwarned - I am planning on winning the contest - ha ha ha...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sign of the Times

I received an e-mail this morning from a vendor I have used for years, World Almanac Education is going out of business (and if you are in the market for some research materials, their stock is now 60% off!) I mainly bought almanacs and almanac kits from them and I am guessing that between the economy and the Internet, school and libraries are just not purchasing sets of almanacs anymore. I ordered a set of encyclopedias this year and I am wondering if this will be my LAST purchase of a print set of encyclopedias - I guess time will tell.

A few weeks ago I noticed that another independent book store that I have loved had bite the dust - Armchair bookstore in Dennis, Ma (on Cape Cod) had been a mainstay in my summer vacation for years and I was so sad to see that they had closed this winter. They always had some great book signing during the summer and I loved to browse their shelves. I discovered the Beacon Street Girls series there one summer and they always had a great selection of local books by New England authors. If I was in a different place in my life I would LOVE to buy the store and live on the Cape full time, but I guess it will have to wait.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Hall of Fame

I am on a roll with the hall of fame inductees this year! One of my FAVORITE Red Sox players, Jim Rice, finally got himself into the Baseball HOF, and now the inaugural class of inductees into the Indies Choice Picture Book Hall of Fame* are none other than 3 of my ALL TIME favorites - Make Way for Ducklings (see post below), Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus (if you have read this blog, you know how I feel about MO) and Where the Wild Things Are (my 1st attempt at blogging was named after this book!)

Now if Bon Jovi could just be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of fame......

Hope it is nice and sunny and warm where you are today - it is summer weather here in Atlanta and it feels FABULOUS!

*thanks to Mo Willems for alerting me of this news!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Virtual Field Trip - Make Way For Duckings

This week my story time is Make Way For Ducklings the classic I talked about in my last post - which, believe it or not, I had already decided to use for story time before the duckling nabbing incident occurred last week.
Anyway, as part of storytime I am doing a google lit trip with the kids - never heard of google lit trips - well, they are virtual field trips using google earth and they are based on classic books and luckily they have one created for Make Way For Ducklings.

Since many of the kids in my school have never been to Boston I thought this was also a way for me to share with them my home state.

The only thing you need to be able to share these with your students is Google Earth loaded onto your computer and a projector so your students can see it. I was having computer issues yesterday (the power went out for 2 hours yesterday at school and my computer did not like that) so last night I made a little imovie at home so I could be sure I had something to show my students today. I used ishow and made a movie of me using the lit trip (clicking on the pictures in google earth and adding in an additional Boston attraction - Fenway Park) and then I saved it to a DVD.

The kids loved it and it led into a discussion about maps (which is part of Kindergarten curriculum).

A NJ Teacher has a great blog post about how she has used this Google Lit trip in a technology classroom.

As an added bonus, I found the perfect hat to wear while reading - my daughter had an old dance costume where she was a disco duck and the yellow feathered hat is perfect to wear while reading the story!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Happenings in Beantown

I am in Boston for spring break this week (I know, most people go south for some sun, I just like to be different!) and the big story here this week - one of the ducklings from the statue saluting the classic book Make Way for Ducklings was found missing on Monday. It was the second lead story (after the Red Sox rainout) on the evening news - these people like their ducklings!

But all is better in beantown, the duckling was found yesterday, leaning against a street sign - I am guessing frat prank (and if my husbands fraternity was not now defunk, I would blame the RDO boys from Emerson!)

As a total coincidence - I was planning on using that book for my next storytime - I love the story and for me, growing up around Boston, I love to share the area with my students, many of whom will never make it up this way.

Off to my first Red Sox game tomorrow to celebrate my oldest son's 13th birthday (YIKES, I am now a mom of a teenager!) but first I get to go see author Matt Tavares - author of one of my oldest son's favorite picture books - Zachary's Ball - he happens to be doing an author visit at my aunts school - how cool is that!