On March 9, our two schools came together for World Read Aloud Day with 13 other classrooms and 9 authors to read throughout the day. We spoke about the importance of reading and words, shared wonderful books, and connected to other students throughout the world. The authors spoke about why they loved to write and read out of the amazing books they had written. The schedule we posted on the Celebrating the Power of Words and Stories Through Connections wiki looked crazy but really helped everyone get connected and plan their activities.
Travis Jonker and the third- and fourth-graders nearly 200 miles away shared Messing Around on the Monkey Bars with John's students at Brook Creek Elementary. Their story was featured on mLive.com and is entitled Steeby Elementary students share book with Illinois classroom in Honor of World Read Aloud Day.
Rocco Staino who is the contributing editor for School Library Journal wrote Celebrate World Read Aloud. He mentioned our connections along with what others were doing to celebrate World Read Aloud Day too. Also, Steve Schering from the The Doings Oak Brook wrote Brook Forest Travel Country on Skype for World Read Aloud Day. He outlined the amazing connections John and his students had throughout the day.
The day after WRAD, we met in Chicago at the Follett Software User Conference. Shannon presented about using social media in education. At one point, we spoke about the connections between our two schools using social media and what an amazing and inspiring experience it had been for everyone involved. The students at John's school even created hand drawn cards for Shannon.
World Read Aloud Day brought hundreds of students, teachers, and authors together for a day. It all started with the Celebrating the Power of Words and Stories Through Connections Wiki that we created a month earlier. Through Twitter, Facebook, Skype, our blog and email we shared it with the world and brought together 15 wonderful educators who wanted to create a special day for their students.
This will be a day that none of us will ever forget.