Students returned to school Friday night to listen to bedtimes stories in honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday. We originally planned to host Bedtime Stories on Dr. Seuss’ actual birthday, March 2. The weather did not cooperate, and we happily had a snow day! We had several teachers, including Mrs. Wright, our principal, read some of their favorite stories to the students. The students came in their pajamas, all ready for bed with blankets and pillows, too. Students listened to some oldies like Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin and How to Babysit a Grandma by Jean Reagan. Some books became new favorites such as Elmore by Holly Hobbie and Happy Dreamer by Peter Reynolds. It is fun to share stories with students at all times of the day and night.
We just completed our first book fairs today. What an exciting time the students had previewing books and shopping all week long! We held two very successful family events as well. One was last Thursday evening, and the other was today to coincide with the PTA Science Fair. Our families, faculty and staff, and community purchased over 930 books from our book fair which translates into over 178,000 minutes that students will read. We are so grateful for our generous community that recognizes the value of books in the home and classroom. Thank you to everyone who supported our fair. Here are a few pictures from the week.
Fifth grade students at TJ Connor are participating in our 4th Mock Newbery Club. Students were invited to join the club early in October, and I am so pleased that 30 students have decided to join! We are working with three other schools this year: Hill Elementary in Brockport, Terry Taylor in Spencerport, and we welcome Village Elementary in Hilton this year. The other three librarians and I have been working since early this year choosing the books we think have Newbery criteria.
The books we chose for this year are Undefeated:
- Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team by Steve Sheinkin
- Hello Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly
- I Love You Michael Collins by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
- Clayton Byrd Goes Underground by Rita Williams-Garcia
- Wishtree by Katherine Applegate
- First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Perez
Students will read the six books from now until the end of January. They will discuss their thoughts on the book with the other three schools using Schoology, an online course management tool and vote on which book they thought was best in early February. We will have a celebration where all the students will be able to come together to find out which book they chose as well as which book the ALA Newbery Committee chose. It is a very exciting time for all of us. Stay tuned as we read the books and check back for the winners!
Today we kicked off our fourth TJ Connor Reads. We selected The Contract by Derek Jeter. We kicked off our exciting event with an assembly that included Dan Mason, General Manager of the Rochester Red Wings, Spike, the mascot, and Paige Pye from Scholastic. Mr. Mason spoke of the importance of reading and being a team player. Ms. Pye spoke to students about our upcoming summer reading challenge (more on that in another post).
Students were given teasers on the announcements earlier this week to try to guess the book, but the book was not revealed until the end of the assembly. Students then came to the library to get one copy of The Contract for their family. Older siblings gathered their younger siblings to come together to receive the book.
Students will read a specified number of chapters each week and we will close our TJ Connor Reads with an assembly on June 2. Students have chances to win prizes by answering trivia questions, getting caught reading, and filling in their reading log for reading each night the our three week celebration. We are very excited about the book and the activities planned.
A few weeks ago two fourth graders, Emma and Anna, approached me about starting a scary book club. We created a flyer together. Then they talked to both fourth grade classes to invite them to joint the club if interested.
Then two days after the scary book club got organized two more fourth graders, Christopher and Dillon, approached me about a fantasy reading club. And so the fourth grade book clubs were born. I had two different groups of excited students in the library today during recess talking about the books they are reading in their favorite genre, looking at the shelves to find new book, and making lists for future reading. The enthusiasm of these kids reminds me of why I am a school librarian. 🙂
The students will continue to meet periodically from March to May to share their favorite books and find new ones to read. I am so impressed with the initiative of these students to organize these clubs.
For the second year, students at TJ Connor Elementary are helping choose books for the library. Third and fourth grade students were invited to participate this year and many accepted the challenge. We start by reviewing the survey we used last year and made some changes. Then we surveyed students in grades K-2. The 3rd through 5th grades completed the survey online during the same week K-2 students were surveyed. You can see our survey here.
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While we did not get every student in the school surveyed, we have a good representation of grade levels. We now have survey results and when we return from holiday break, we will begin looking at the results to create lists of books to order. We plan to meet with two vendors this year: Gumdrop Books and PermaBound. Take a look at our students in action and our survey results.
Here are the survey results in full color! book-budget-crew-survey-results
We are excited to meet with our vendors in January and will post another post when we do.
I asked fifth grader, Olivia, to write a blog post about our Mock Newbery Club. Here is what she has to say:
Hi, my name is Olivia and I am in the Mock Newbery Club! I am going to be talking about what I like and dislike and what is easy and hard. What is hard for me is to read the big books. I love the books that we read. They are amazing. My favorite book is Some Kind Of Courage by Dan Gemeinhart.
I don’t like reading the long books because I am busy. I have two brothers who both do two or three sports. Currently I am reading All Rise For the Honorable Perry T. Cook. I am very happy I joined Mock Newbery. I am on my fourth book (4/5). I hope you enjoyed my blog post. Stay tuned to find out what book we chose win.