Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Best Day Ever!

I know it's 74 days until Christmas, but today was like Christmas in October, with Joone, in my class!

We had the best visit from Emily Kate Moon via Facetime today!  We've looked forward to it for weeks now, ever since we planned this day. We brought the best of Florida right up to New York- and even Hurricane Matthew couldn't stop it!
Emily read Joone to us, and added some extras in along the way so we could learn even more about our favorite book.

My sweet friend Jen (our STEM teacher) and I are Emily's biggest fans. She was with me for this great moment.  If you haven't read Joone for some reason, you, too, will become her biggest fan. Here is some more about how I use the book before I share our visit!

As a teacher, you would think Emily Kate Moon wrote this just for us.  It's a perfect mentor text for adding details to illustrations and writing.  We talk about adding at least 5 details to our pictures.  We "decided" on this number because the kids are five, so that's just perfect.

Look how great this page of the book is to help reinforce 5 details!  As I read and the children heard a detail, they had to hold up one finger.  This page- with only this much text-  gave us five great details about Joone.  We shared the details after I read the page. When I showed the children the illustration, they could see so many more details from the wonderful drawing!

Joone is also a perfect mentor text for small moments and narrative writing.  It's hard to find good books to introduce this for writing.  This book is full of special, small moments, and it lets the children see that those special, small moments make wonderful stories to tell and write about in their books!

I made some writing prompts to use after you read Joone to your class.  If you would like a copy of them, just click on the picture!

Literally- it's just a perfect book.

But it's also a character education dream.  Joone is the coolest little girl.  She's the girl you want your girls in class to want to be-  clever, creative, caring, strong, adventurous, and fun.  And the best part is- we found out during our Facetime, that Joone is really based on Emily Kate Moon's life! (So actually SHE is the coolest girl ever, I guess!)

We talked about questions we'd like to ask Emily, and the children wondered if she had a pet turtle and liked ice cream sandwiches (like Joone does) when she was little.  Well, she told us that she did base details about Joone on her life. She did organize her grandpa's books in rainbow order.  And she really does love ice cream sandwiches!

That's another amazing thing I can go back to over and over during writing with the kids. "What did Emily Kate Moon write about?"  Details from HER life!

Here are some pictures from our day.

We did directed drawings of Joone, and decorated the room with them.

We all tried to dress in orange and purple (Joone's favorite colors), and we made turtle hats to wear, because Joone often has Dr. Chin, her pet turtle, on her head.

In the book,  Joone puts an ice cream sandwich in the mailbox for the mail lady... which is one of the favorite parts of the book for the kids.  They really "get" that and think it's such a funny idea.

My mother comes to help in my classroom during center time, and today she brought a bag she said she found in her mailbox.  Well, it was cold... and the children knew right away what it was!  Ice cream sandwiches from Joone! You should have heard the squeals.

Later in the day, during free choice time, I put out some directed drawing paper for the children to practice their own Dr. Chin drawings.

Two of my kids were looking back over the book during free choice, and I heard one say, "Where did Emily say she put that little frog in this picture?"  OK-  they are now on the first name basis with a famous author and illustrator.  They don't even know how cool they are.

We just can't wait for more books, Emily!  Thank you for making our entire school year so special with a memory we won't ever forget!


  1. I am so going to buy the book and do this whole lesson, sandwiches and all. Would you mind sharing the turtle hats and the directed drawing for turtle ? My email is

  2. Love it! The students will always have great memories of this.


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