Get Caught Reading Is Back!

In the past, I have run a Get Caught Reading Campaign to get students motivated and excited to read over the summer.  This year, I decided to get them excited about our upcoming Scholastic Book Fair (and to keep them excited about reading!).  Coincidentally, the Get Caught Reading starts the same day as Red Ribbon Week.  I enjoyed working with our Assistant Principal Elizabeth Ashton to have our themes coincide.

Each time a student is caught reading, they get ticketed.  The tickets are collected, and at the end of the three weeks, winners will be drawn at random to win a book available at the book fair. In addition to the get caught reading program, we also have announcements in the morning over the PA system about reading.  Each day for 12 days leading up to our fair, students will read a book review from a book featured at the fair.

DSCN1982 DSCN1984 DSCN1987


Communicating with Families

Staying in touch with parents and the community is so important (and a goal from our Board of Education). In today’s technology age it is even easier!  Sure, we still send home papers in our Wednesday envelopes.  In the weekly Wednesday notes I have a paragraph where I share a great idea for reading, looking for books, or something else related to the library (I call it Mrs. Arendt’s Note From the Library- original, huh?)  But I have also several ways to communicate with families on the go; this blog is just one.  I also have a webpage where I share upcoming book fair info, link to our catalog and databases, and update instructional news monthly.  Having just updated the website, I though I would share it on my blog, encouraging parents to stop there for a visit. TJ Connor Elementary Library Website

Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 9.28.10 AM


Teaching Biblionasium to 5th grade

Biblionasium has been on my radar for three years now, but I was waiting for a classroom teacher to work with me.  Perhaps I should have just dived in without the collaboration, but I wanted students to embrace Biblionasium as something they can do everywhere- library, classroom, home- and that would be easier if they had more teachers supporting the website.  I found the perfect teacher in Mrs. Clark; she teaches fifth grade ELA.  She was immediately excited when I showed her the website and all the features for students.  Mrs. Hughes, the special ed teacher was also very excited about sharing Biblionasium with students, even sending messages to students about the books they listed.

The best part of this, though, wasn’t the teachers’ excitement, it was the students.  When students got their first glimpse at Biblionasium, they were eager to start.  They loved looking for books they want to read and recommending books to others in their group.  Many students had some trouble remembering books they had already read, but most were able to list books they want to read.  It was so easy to put in a topic and see what titles come up.  I love seeing what titles students are adding; it helps me recommend titles to them.

Biblionasium is one more tool I am using to help students be ready for “What To Read Next”.  If they have a list of titles they want to read, they will never be without something to read.  I am eager to introduce Biblionasium to fourth, third, and even second graders next!


Book Review: Pink and Green Is the New Black

20702015Pink and Green is the New Black is the third book in the Pink and Green series by Lisa Greenwald. Lucy is in eighth grade now, and having a busy year! She struggles with many commitments and a relationship with Yamir. The big event of eighth grade is the Masquerade Dance, and Lucy is asked to help plan the event, which makes her already busy life even busier. Things with Yamir are getting strange and a new boy, Travis, has started at school, likes Lucy, and complicates Lucy’s relationship with Yamir. Her best friend, Sunny, is by her side, though, to help her see both sides of her problems.


Lucy is one of my favorite characters. She is ambitious in her goals to improve her school and community. She is often overstressed (mostly brought on by her own worries) and she is kind and loving. She truly cares about her family, friends, and boyfriend. The story is rich with common teenage concerns (no date for the dance, best friend woes, mean girls, etc.) which are handled beautifully- just the right blend of emotion and practicality. A must read series for any girl who loves a good girl story.