Sunday, February 25, 2018

Mock Caldecott (Mostly) Success

The past month was really busy with my 2nd and 3rd graders as we did a Mock Caldecott unit modeled after the one posted on the Mr Schu Reads blog.

Given timing and attention span of my students, I shortened the list to 11 - I just didn't think I could devote more than 3 library classes to this without them totally losing steam - and timed it so that we finished our "voting" the week before the official announcement was made.

To begin, each student received their own "My Mock Caldecott Ballot" which contained the cover art of each book we were reading and a 4 question rating guide. This was time-consuming with the double-sided printing, collating, and stapling, but with advance planning, it was totally doable.

I kicked off the unit with a very brief history of the Award and then spent more time on the 4 criteria real Caldecott judges use to decide if a book should win the award. I simplified the questions from the ballot on an anchor chart at the front of the room, as well.

Ballot and sample rating - love the color commentary!

From there, we went through 3-4 books per class and students rated as we went. I realized on class 3, that it was going to be a lot of tallying for me, so I had them add them up at the end. Next time, I will remember to include that in the instructions from the get-go.

On to the results...

Overall, there wasn't too much differentiation between the grades, or among the classes. Full results for any data nerds out there are here. But overwhelmingly, Claymates was our gold winner with  After the Fall and The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse receiving honor awards.

From here, I diverged in how each grade worked with the results. For 2nd grade, I had them give illustrate a half-sheet with a scene from their favorite book to help me create my new display. I loved the way it came out, and some of the detail that went into the drawings was truly impressive!

For 3rd grade, I found a site from the National Center for Education Statistics that provides an easy way to make graphs. I didn't tell them ahead of time what data we were graphing but they figured it out before too long. I liked this extension as a way to become more comfortable with displaying information in different formats, and they seemed to like it, too.

Finished product from a 3rd grade student 
Will I do this again next year? Yes, I think! Overall, the kids seemed into it, and since they were all books published in 2017, most of them were new to them, which is no small feat in finding books to read aloud. Now, if only next year we can actually choose the winner...

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