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!

Second Grade Codes With Dash

The second grade students participated in The Hour Of Code during the week of December 5-9, 2016.  See the blog post here. They had a lot of fun building paper airplanes using algorithms and working through maze puzzles using Blockly.  To conclude our coding unit, students are learning to code with Dash. Thanks to our Monroe2Orleans BOCES, we have the Dash robots on loan for the month for second grade to explore.  They are using the free apps Go, Blockly, Path, and Wonder to program Dash and watch the robot run through the programs.  The students are learning review their code when Dash does not perform correctly, building critical problem solving skills.  They are also exploring creativity and having fun watching Dash follow a path they draw on the iPads. Check out the excited faces below.  We will be exploring and learning with Dash through February 6, 2016.

Student Book Budget Crew

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.



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.

Hour Of Code

codeThe second graders are participating in the Hour of Code this week.  Both classes started earlier than this week, but we needed more than one class to complete one hour of coding instruction!  The Hour of Code encourages students (especially women and minorities) to learn more about computer programming.  The lesson plans for curriculum two are very well done and provided by  My students have completed the first two lessons so far: Graph Paper Programming and Paper Airplane Algorithms.  The students are so engaged in the activities and had a lot of fun flying their airplanes.  Next up we will be using computers to program a bird around a maze.  A sneak peek during this week’s lesson had students eager for library class next week. We will continue to work on coding in the library after the Hour of Code week ends.  This is a great opportunity for students to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills.

Book Fair Fun

We held our first of three Scholastic Book Fairs last week.  The students loved checking out (and buying!) the new books at the fair.  Our book fair could not happen without all our volunteers.  Many parents helped out setting up, tearing down, and working during the day. We also had eleven fifth graders help by running register, making wish lists for younger students, and restocking the fair.  Most helped during the school day, but two students even came on Saturday to help out!  They had a lot of fun helping out and did an awesome job.  Some students loved running register while others preferred to help out working with kindergarten and first grade or with the lollipop pull.  With a twenty-five cent donation to All for Books, students pull one lollipop.  Some lollipops had a colored stick which won them a coupon to use at the book fair.    Here are some pictures from our book fair.


Fifth grade helpers with their favorite book from the fair

TJ Connor Receives Grant From James Patterson and Scholastic Reading Club

TJ Connor has won a grant from James Patterson and Scholastic Reading Club for our School Library!

James Patterson and Scholastic Reading Club announced in March 2016 that Patterson would donate$1.75 million to save school libraries nationwide in the second installment of his School Library Campaign. As part of an ongoing effort to keep books and reading a number one priority in the United States, selected school libraries will be receiving grants ranging from $1,000 to $10,000. Since the grant program’s launch in 2015, Patterson has donated $3.5 million to school libraries nationwide, with all funds are being personally donated by Patterson.
We are so excited to be a recipient.  Our plan is to use the money to purchase playaways for our library.  We have a diverse population of readers and reading levels.  Audio books provide students the opportunity to listen to books at grade level when they are reading below grade level and are also great for improving listening skills.  Plus, audio books are lots of fun.  Playaways are easier for students to use than CDs because they do not require a computer or player to play.  Playaways are portable and have the appeal of listening with ear buds, a popular feature for young people today.
Once we have the playaways, I plan to share them with the students by hosting an Odyssey Award club.  Students will be invited to listen to several different audio books and vote on their favorite.  We will then share the top audio books with the school to increase awareness of the power of audio books and playaways in particular.  Thank you to James Patterson and Scholastic Reading Club for this wonderful opportunity for our school!

James Patterson and Scholastic Reading Club Grant