Our fourth Mock Newbery has come to a close. The students, read all six books, discussed them online using Schoology, and voted. We gathered together today for the grand finale. Students met each other in person, shared snacks (including cake and Tang!) and learned which book they voted to win. And the winner is…. I Love You Michael Collins with 19 votes. Hello Universe (the ALA Newbery award winner) garnered 17 votes. It was a very close race until the final vote was tallied.
The students enjoyed everything about the Mock Newbery. Well almost everything. Some students had strong feelings against a few books. And that is what the Mock Newbery is all about- reading books you might not have chosen on your own. Some students found new genres to read. Other students found new friends at the celebration. All students had a great time throughout. We are already thinking and planning how to continue the inspiration for reading this year and which books we might consider for next year.
We have dogs from Therapy Dogs International (TDI) visiting our library again this year, and we are so excited! TDI has a reading program called Tail Waggin’ Tutors. The first visit with the dogs was on Thursday, September 28, and the second was just last Thursday. These dogs listen to some of our students read books to them. This program encourages student reading confidence, generates positive feelings about reading, and is just so awesome! Students visit dogs individually so they have one on one time with the dog and bring their own book that they are reading with them. The students are so excited about reading to the dogs and the dogs are excellent listeners. Students have been selected to read to dogs every fourth Thursday of the month. We look forward to more visits from our dog friends this year and thank the dog owners for volunteering their time to be with us.
Last Friday we celebrated the end of our TJ Connor Reads. At the beginning of the event, each family received a copy of Derek Jeter’s book The Contract. At our closing assembly we had a lot to celebrate!
- We updated our students on how we are doing with the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge. We had read 6,003 minutes so far, but we are further along than that now!
- We announced our All Star Readers. These were the students who read the most during our three weeks of reading. Winners were chosen from the get caught reading tickets given during the school day, the reading logs completed for reading at home during the three weeks, and for completing reader responses about The Contract.
- We enjoyed a video created by our art teacher, Julia Mazzota, sharing many pictures of people and events during our celebration.
- And finally, we learned who the winner was for the Principal Tuck in. One lucky students was chosen from all the tickets and reading logs to have Mrs. Wright, our principal, come to their house with books and snacks to read bedtime stories. The winner was Erin H. in fourth grade.
We wrapped up the assembly by singing Take Me Out To the Ball Park led by Mrs. Merritt, first grade teacher, and Louden T., fifth grade student. It was the perfect end to a glorious three weeks of celebrating reading.
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.
Summer may have passed, but we are still celebrating! Today we had our Summer Reading Challenge Celebration. Our school read 172,643 minutes this summer. Our goal was 100,000 minutes. We had 142 (of just over 300) students participate in the challenge. We had 37 students read over 1,200 minutes this summer, and those students were invited to a special celebration after school. Parents were invited to come as well because we realize that parents have a lot to do with students reading over the summer months. Students were awarded a certificate of achievement for their reading efforts. Students also were able to select a new book or receive a gift certificate for a new book at our upcoming book fair in November. Many of the students chose to delay gratification and take the gift certificate. They will certainly have something to look forward to when our book fair comes next month! We served a delicious cake and punch, too. Finally, students shared their favorite read from the summer and posed for pictures. Check out those smiling faces! Great job and congratulations to our summer readers!
Field Trip! Steve Sheinkin visited the Central Branch of the Rochester Public Library today, and my fifth grade students, along with the 5th grade teachers and myself went! There is nothing more exciting, I think, than to hear an author talk about their work: their ideas, their process, their challenges. Some people get excited when they see a famous actor; I get excited when I see an author.
Steve talked to a large group of students about four of his recent titles: The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism, and Treachery; Bomb: The Race to Build- and Steal- the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon; Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight For Civil Rights; and Lincoln’s Grave Robbers. Steve captivated the students with details from the books without giving too much away. He had just enough creepy/grossness factor to entertain a large group of 10-11 year olds and shared how he started writing, mostly by accident. He wanted to create films when he grew up, then started writing textbooks, then moved on to his fascinating narrative nonfiction books. He patiently answered questions from many students, autographed a book for a student, and even posed for a picture with me.
After the fifth graders listened to Steve talk, they had lunch in the courtyard on a beautiful sunny day. Then, we took the students to the children’s section to check out books! Some students were getting their own library card, others had brought their library cards from home. The students had an awesome time judging by the pictures below.
Steve Sheinkin talks to the students at Rochester Public Library
Taking a moment to read
Lined up outside the library to see Steve Sheinkin
Looking for a good book to share
Steve Sheinkin and I