Mock Newbery Concludes

The fifth grade Mock Newbery Club has wrapped up their third year.  Readers from Hill Elementary in Brockport and Terry Taylor Elementary in Spencerport joined our school in reading five books published in 2016.  See the previous blog post HERE  Students have spent the past two months reading the five books, sharing their thoughts online using Edmodo, and finally this past week voting on which book they think is the best.  We gathered together to reveal and celebrate our winner.  We also shared with students which book the American Library Association chose as the winner.

Our students chose Some Kind of Courage by Dan Gemeinhart as our Mock Newbery winner.  This book received 22 of the 57 votes. The runner up is The Wild Robot by Peter Brown which earned 12 votes. Students were very excited to find out which book won and to visit with the students from the other two schools.

I am eager to start reading this year’s published books to find the next selections for our Mock Newbery next year.  I have already shared with Cathy Mangan and Linda Paul, the other two librarians working with me, the first title I think we should consider:  The Warden’s Daughter by Jerry Spinelli.  Happy Reading!


Mock Newbery Guest Post

I asked fifth grader, Olivia, to write a blog post about our Mock Newbery Club.  Here is what she has to say:


Olivia and her favorite Mock Newbery book

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.

Mock Newbery Club

For the third year, TJ Connor fifth graders have been invited to participate in the Mock Newbery Club.  This club has quite a task:

  1. Read five books published this year
  2. Discuss the books online using Edmodo and Kidblog,
  3. Vote for the best book using the ALA Newbery Criteria
  4. Celebrate with the other two schools where the winner chosen by the students and by the ALA Newbery Committee are revealed.

We are working again this year with Fred Hill Elementary in Brockport, NY and Terry Taylor Elementary in Spencerport, NY.  The other two librarians, Cathy Manga and Linda Paul, and myself met several times during the year to review books with Newbery potential.  The list was challenging.  We finally narrowed it down to the following five titles:

  1. All Rise For the Honorable Perry T. Cook by Leslie Connor
  2. Some Kind of Courage by Dan Gemeinhart
  3. Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier
  4. Paper Wishes by Lois Sepahban
  5. The Wild Robot by Peter Brown

The students are excited and have started reading their first books.  Some are already to read book 2.  Check back with us in late January to find out which book our students chose and if our book was also the ALA Newbery winner!

Student Blogging Challenge

sbc2016-s76n2uOur fifth graders are participating in the October Student Blogging Challenge (SBC) again this year!  The SBC promotes students’ writing skills, good digital citizenship, and an opportunity to learn from others. They are very excited to their share ideas and thoughts with students from around the world.  And this year, we have connected with some other classes to make that happen.  We have connected with two classes in Australia and several classes in the United States. When you visit our class blogs, you will see the connections to the other classes listed under Links or Connections.  The first week’s challenge is to introduce your self to others in the challenge and while some of our students are still writing their posts, others have been published.  Please visit our three fifth grade blogs to see how we are doing.

Greene’s Fifth grade class on Mondays

Watson’s Fifth grade class on Thursdays

Marotta’s Fifth grade class on Fridays


Fifth Graders Blog

Student blog challenge2015The fifth graders have begun a unit in the library on blogging.  This unit incorporates many skills including typing,  adding media, writing (for an authentic audience), editing and revising.  Students are learning digital citizenship and awareness of their own digital footprint while blogging as well.  As part of writing their posts they learn how to elicit responses from readers and how to comment well on others’ blogs.  Also student posts and all comments are moderated before publishing for public viewing to ensure student privacy.

I have the Student Blogging Challenge to thank for this wonderful unit!  i came across this blog while researching blogging for my fifth graders and thought it was the perfect opportunity.  The challenge lasts for 10 weeks and a new post with activities is published each week.  I modify the activities for my classes so we can complete at least one activity in our library class time, though students are encouraged to do more of the activities outside of library if they want to.  The first week students chose an avatar and wrote a post about who they are online versus offline as well as interests they have.  The next week, which we are still working on, is commenting.  Students are learning how to make good comments and the importance of reviewing their work before publishing.

Yesterday, my students had their first comments from Sue Wyatt (or Miss W as she is on the blog), the person who started this blogging challenge over 10 years ago.  She took the time to comment on each post of my students, providing valuable feedback and engaging the students in commenting. Having comments for the students to read will excite and motivate them to do more.  I am eager to let both classes know they have comments.  I was certainly excited to read the comments!  Please check out our student blogs at 5M Library Class and 5R Library Class.  Perhaps you might even want to leave a comment!

5r blog5r blog 3 5r blog2

Wrapping Up the Research Projects

I  shared first, second, and third grade research projects in previous posts.  All of these were great projects on animals.  The fourth and fifth graders also finished up their research projects;  Their projects were designed to add College and Career Readiness standards, focusing on the decision-making process.

Fourth graders research natural disasters such as earthquakes, tornadoes, forest fires, and hurricanes.  As part of their research  they had to create a safety plan for themselves.  In addition to understanding the disaster itself and how to stay safe, students had to apply the safety knowledge they learned to their own life, making decisions on what to do in the event of the disaster. Students created a PowerPoint presentation to share the information they learned.  This was a great way to review the skills learned earlier in the year on making a presentation.  Learning how to make PowerPoints must have worked because one of the teachers commented on how the students are creating PowerPoints for everything now and talking about animations and transitions!  It is always great to hear how the work done in the library is transferred back into the classroom.


The fifth graders conducted career research.  Each student chose a career and researched what the career was, what education was needed, famous people or contributions made in that career, and what character traits were needed to be successful in that career.  Students used many different resources including the Bureau of Labor Statistics, encyclopedias, and college/university websites.  Students were very excited about the research, working on it outside of library as well.  Some students decided after their research that they are no longer interested in that career, but now they have the skills to research other careers that interest them.  Fifth grade also created PowerPoints to share their knowledge and present the careers to their classmates.  The teacher commented that students were also working on the presentations in their classroom and students were teaching each other how to add sound, pictures, animations to students who needed help.  I love hearing that students are able to teach others the new skills they learned.

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