Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What I Read (So Far) This Week

I got through the picture books.  I really enjoyed Muhammad Ali: The People's Champion by Water Dean Myers!  I love when I learned something when I read and I learned a lot from this book.  If you don't know a lot about Muhammad Ali this book is a great introduction to his live.  I also enjoyed All Star!: Honus Wagner and the Most Famous Baseball Card Ever by Jane Yolen.  I'm not really a baseball fan, but I can recognize Honus Wagner's picture on a baseball card.  It was great to finally learn the story behind the picture.  The Aggie books were good.  I've got a couple of dog fans that I'm suggesting them too.  I just loved Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard! I actually was in a bit of a grumpy mood when I started reading it!  Well, by the time I was done the grumpy mood was gone and I had a smile on my face!

I'm still reading The Genius Files #2: Never Say Genius and it's as good as the first and just as exciting!  I haven't started Smile yet, but I will before the week is over.

Please share in the comments what you are reading.


Monday, March 26, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


This meme was started by Sheila at Book Journey and the kids' version borrowed from the wonderful ladies at Teach Mentor Texts.

I have to post about a great book that I read this weekend, Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart by Candace Fleming.

I was totally fascinated by this book!  I never realized how much I didn't know about her life!  Once I started reading this book I couldn't stop.  Candace Fleming painted such a picture in my mind with her words.  I felt like I was watching a movie in my mind!  If you haven't read this book, I highly recommend it!  I just have to say that I love Candace Fleming as an author.  One of my favorites is Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!

I've got a few picture books and a few chapter books I'm trying to read.  The picture books are:  Muhammad Ali: The People's Champion, Aggie the Brave, Grumpy Bird, and All Star!: Honus Wagner and the Most Famous Baseball Card Ever.  The chapter books I'm reading are Smile, and The Genius Files #2: Never Say Genius.

I'll post my reactions to the books later on during the week, hopefully a bit earlier than Friday!  Have a great week!


Sunday, March 25, 2012

It's Sunday Already???!!!

I can't believe it is Sunday already!  I've still got a lot to do.  Since this is my last week before Spring Break, I don't want to start a new project with 4th and 5th Grade.  So instead I'm taking an idea from Cari Young, who writes the blog The Centered School Library. I will have the students make a shelf talker for a book that they have read.  The shelf talker will have the title/author and then they will have to create an advertisement for the book including a small illustration.  To try and motivate kids to really put some effort into it, those that want can enter it for a chance to win a poster from the Book Fair.  I'll post pictures once I get them in.  

My plan is to leave them up for a while, but as I get new ones in I'm going to put all of them into either a binder or an index card file box.  If a student is having trouble finding a book I'll send them to the "Student Recommended" area.

Enjoy the last of the weekend.


Friday, March 23, 2012

What I Read This Week!

I read off and on this week.  With testing two days of the week and a really HOT Media Center, it was really a struggle to find the energy to read.  I knew if I was struggling to read, I was really tired!

First of all I have to post about my new favorite book:  

Fake Mustache by Tom Angleberger

I LOVED LOVED LOVED this book!!  I laughed out loud so many times.  Lenny is just a regular kid who stands between his evil-genius best friend Casper.  
If you or your students need a good laugh, this is the book.  I've got so many holds already on this book, I'm going to have to buy another copy or not all the 5th Graders are going to get to read it before the end of the year!

I also read the following books this week:  
BookSpeak!: Poems About Books, Grandpa Green, I Want My Hat Back, Stuck, and Me...Jane.  I enjoyed all of them.  I really wanted to love Grandpa Green, but I didn't.  Good story and great illustrations, but I couldn't fall in love with it.  I thought I Want My Hat Back was funny!  I have a few kids in mind to recommend the book once it get processed.  BookSpeak!: Poems About Books was good.  I'm a sucker for any book about books.  Me...Jane was just such a sweet book!  It makes me want to seek out other books about Jane Goodall.

I'll post again on Monday about what I'm planning to read.  Only one more week until Spring Break and a huge pile of books for me to read.


What a Week!

Wow, I can't believe it is already Friday!  I will post my reviews the books I've read today.  This week just got away from me.  We had two more days of testing this week and it has been SO hot in my Media Center for the past two weeks.  Because of the heat, I've come home exhausted!  Yesterday, it seems that they got the air conditioning on and working.  It is just hard to keep my area cool, when I have no doors at all.  

Hope everyone has a great Friday!


Monday, March 19, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


This meme was started by Sheila at Book Journey and the kids' version borrowed from the wonderful ladies at Teach Mentor Texts.

I think this is a great idea.  From the other blogs listed on Teach Mentor Texts I've gotten quite a few books to add to my to-read pile!!

I just finished  The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate!  I LOVED LOVED LOVED it!!!! I've got quite a few students in mind who will really enjoy the book.

I'm in the process of reading First Girl Scout by Ginger Wadsworth.  I'm enjoying this book more than I thought I would.  I was not a really excited Girl Scout when I was younger.  But as an adult looking back I realize how much I benefited from being in the organization.

I just got a new order in today for my Library/Media Center!  I was so excited to dig in and get my hands on some new books.  After I checked the order in from the packing list, I made my stack for me to read tomorrow morning.  It is my motivation to get up out of bed, I'm still adjusting to the time change.  My pile includes BookSpeak!: Poems About Books, Grandpa Green, I Want My Hat Back, Stuck, and Me...Jane. I'll post my reviews later on during the week.  

Hope everyone had a great Monday.  Happy Reading!!


Saturday, March 17, 2012

My Brain is Spinning with Ideas!

I just happened to check out my Google Reader feed this evening and now I'm planning for next year!  I happened to read a post from Matthew Winner on his blog The Busy Librarian.  He post links to some great library/media blogs!  Wow, I didn't expect to be as sucked into the blogs as I was.  Before I knew it, 2 hours had gone by.  I've already started planning for next year.  I might try out a few of the ideas after testing and spring break.  I'll post as I'm working through the ideas.  Right now the post is the first post on his blog, but here is a direct link to the post (  Hope you enjoy the Matthew's site as much I do and you find his links useful.


Friday, March 16, 2012

Yippee!!! My Class Is Done!!

This past month has been a very stressful one for me.  I was taking a great online class, I started taking another county offered course, trying to get my taxes finished, other big paperwork, and plan and teach my regular classes.  I was burning the candle at both ends!  I feel like I've had to have blinders on so that I can focus.  I'm going to be doing some more posting to share what I got from my course.  But first I need some stress-free and work-free time this weekend.  Hope everyone has a good one!


Monday, March 12, 2012

Book Spine Poems

We are testing this week, so I wanted a fun activity for my 5th Grade Students.  An elementary school librarian, Travis Jonker, whose blog I read and I also follow him on Twitter ( and @100scopenotes) posted an interesting activity:  Book Spine Poems.  I was intrigued.  I looked at the examples that he post and the links to more examples.  I was hooked.  Here is the link to the page where he talks about the Book Spine Poems (  Basically, find a place with a lot of books and put some titles together and see what strikes you.

It was very interesting watching my students do this activity.  Some embraced the challenge and some could not think outside the box and struggled.  I let them use the iPod Touch and the digital cameras to take pictures of their creations.  A good time was had by all.  This time I limited them to only the Everybody section.  I told them that we would be doing this activity again, but they would have access to the whole library.  

Below I've posted some of the kids examples and two of mine.  I've labeled which is which.  I'm doing this again on Friday and I'll update with some more examples.  Let me know what you think about the Book Spine Poems!

Don't forget, you can follow me on Twitter @libraryjo92.




Student Created

Student Created

Student Created

Student Created (a favorite)

Student Created (a favorite)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Good Reads Challenge-Best Graphic Novels

Yesterday I posted about my favorite chapter books so far this year.  Today I've got my list of great graphic novels!  Once again thanks to Twitter I have had a lot of great suggestions.

*Bink and Gollie by Kate DiCamillo
*Lunch Lady and the Bake Sale Bandit by Jarrett J. Krosoczka (Love the whole series)
*Sticky Burr series by John Lechner
*The Amulet series by Kazu Kibuishi
*Babymouse Queen of the World by Jennifer Holm and Matthew Holm (Love the whole series)
*Squish by Jennifer Holm and Matthew Holm (Love the whole series)

f you haven't jumped on the Twitter bandwagon I highly suggest you do.  You can follow me on Twitter, @libraryjo92.  Some other great people to follow on Twitter are, @mentortexts, @donalynbooks, @colbysharp, @100scopenotes, @MrSchuReads.

After I read some more books, I'll update my lists. If you have any suggestions for me please post them.  Happy Reading!!!


Monday, March 5, 2012

Good Reads Challenge-Best Chapter Books

Yesterday I posted about my favorite picture books so far this year.  Today I've got my list of great chapter books!  Once again thanks to Twitter I have had a lot of great suggestions.  One has been the best book I've ever read.  That book was Wonder by R.J. Palacio.  I checked it out of the library and started it that day and didn't put it down until I was finished.  It is such an inspiring and moving book.  Everyone should read it!

*Wonder by R..J. Palacio
*Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer by John Grisham (turned me into a Grisham fan again)
*Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate
*Crow by Barbara Wright (also a really great book; highly suggest reading it)
*An Elephant in the Garden by Michael Morpurgo
*Breaking Stalin's Nose by Eugene Yelchin (also a really great book; highly suggest reading it)
*The Might Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis
*Storm Runners #3:  Eruption by Roland Smith (highly recommend the whole series)
*On the Blue Comet by Rosemary Wells
*I Survived series (all of the books) by Lauren Tarshis
*Frankie Pickle series by Eric Wright
*When Life Gives You O.J. by Erica S. Perl
*Smells Like Treasure by Suzanne Selfors (sequel to Smells Like Dog)
*Knucklehead: Tall Tales and Almost True Stories Growing Up by Jon Scieszka (an autobiography)

If you haven't jumped on the Twitter bandwagon I highly suggest you do.  You can follow me on Twitter, @libraryjo92.  Some other great people to follow on Twitter are, @mentortexts, @donalynbooks, @colbysharp, @100scopenotes, @MrSchuReads.

Next up will be great graphic novels!


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Good Reads Challenge-Best Picture Books

At the beginning of 2012 I decided to participate in the Good Reads Challenge. I challenged myself to read 2012 new to me books.  Wow, I didn't realize how hard it was going to be to read 2012 books that I have never read before.  I'm impressed that I've read 215 books so far this year.  I've come across some great books and some not so great books.  In this post I'm going to list some of the best picture books.  These are my favorites so far.  

I have Twitter to thank for a lot of great suggestions.  If you haven't jumped on the Twitter bandwagon I highly suggest you do.  You can follow me on Twitter, @libraryjo92.  Some other great people to follow on Twitter are, @mentortexts, @donalynbooks, @colbysharp, @100scopenotes, @MrSchuReads.

*Another Brother by Matthew Cordell
*Chicken Dance by Tammi Saver
*We Are In A Book by Mo Willems
*Henry and the Crazed Chicken Pirates by Carolyn Crimi
*Blackout by John Rocco
*Balloons over Broadway:  The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade by Melissa Sweet
*The Little Red Pen by Janet Stevens
*Betty Bunny Wants Everything by Michael Kaplan
*My Best Friend is as Sharp as a Pencil by Hanoch Piven
*Al Pha's Bet by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
*Big Bouffant by Kate Hosford
*Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth by Mary McKenna Siddals
*The Day-Glo Brothers:  The True Story of Bob & Joe Switzer's Bright Ideas and Brand New Colors by Chris Barton
*Imogene's Last Stand by Candace Fleming

My next post two posts will be about some really great chapter books and graphic novels that I've read so far this year.  Stay tuned.


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Today is March 1st!!!!

I can't believe it is March 1st!!!!!  I just can't believe it!  Taking two courses at the same time is really hard.  Especially since the major course is a Web 2.0 course, which means I'm spending a lot of time online.  Unfortunately my blog posting, has suffered.  I promise I'll get organized and start posting again next week.  I have so many great new resources to share from the course.

Because of the course I joined Twitter.  I wasn't really sure how I was going to like it or how it worked.  Well, I LOVE it!!!!!  Some of my boys are going to think I'm so cool when I tell them that I tweeted tonight with Jarrett Krosoczka (author of the Lunch Lady series).  I also have to post some of the GREAT books that I've been reading as a result of the connections I've made on Twitter.   You can follow me @libraryjo92.  If you haven't jumped on the Twitter bandwagon, I would recommend it.