Gotta Catch ‘Em All

In the new year my goal is still to try to “catch” all the 2nd and 3rd graders and turn them into excited, engaged readers by introducing them to beginning chapter books and series that spark their interest and get them hooked.

I invested in several Jake Maddox books this summer, which are illustrated chapter books that are all about sports.  I read Quarterback Comeback to 3rd grade last week, in honor of the Patriots making into the postseason (again!), and the kids were really into it!  I can see why–the chapters are quick but if you are a fan of the sport, the stories are very detailed and exciting! Jake Maddox has published over 80 books on many different topics, from gymnastics to motocross to basketball.

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According to Jake Maddox’s website “Each of his stories is stamped with teamwork, fair play, and a strong sense of self-worth and discipline. Always a team-player, Maddox realizes it takes more than one man (or woman) to create a book good enough for a young reader. He hopes the lessons learned on the court, field, or arena and the champion sprinter pace of his books can motivate kids to become better athletes and lifelong readers.”  I hope so, too!

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2nd grade was introduced to the world of Geronimo Stilton last week, and considering almost all of my 21 Geronimo books were taken after directly afterward, I’d say they were a hit! I still have fourth graders who love reading Geronimo and Thea books after reading one of the stories last year, and with its bright illustrations, descriptive language, informational text features, and hilarious story lines, I know the current 2nd graders are going to love them, too!

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I am going to begin reading one of the Ivy and Bean series to 2nd and 3rd grade next.  Even though some of the class might think they are too “girly” and feel reluctant, once they get to know these two characters they will have no doubt that there is more to them than just a story of two girls! I have a feeling that series will go just as quickly!

Hopefully these great series will help me pique 2nd and 3rd grades’ interest!  As far as engaging young readers, I gotta catch ’em all!


This Week In The Library

I’m kicking off the change in weather to more autumnal temperatures with stories celebrating Halloween, including my very own jack-o-lantern!  I am reciting a beloved story of a spider and a mouse who live together in a pumpkin throughout the winter to grades preK through three, as well as some other favorite picture books and an early chapter book!

Fourth and fifth grade are still very much enjoying the DCF books we are reading together.  Ask your students about the plot, especially the fifth graders, as the story takes place in 1979-1980 and there are some pretty throwback pop culture references (think The Brady Bunch and Three’s Company).

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STEAM time is still going great!  Next week the students will have time to reflect on each other’s work, provide positive feedback, and then reassess the strength and usefulness of their house.  Keep up with the STEAM design process here!

I hope your students are enjoying library this week as much as I am!

Bathroom Blurbs

Never one to miss an opportunity, I have taken advantage of yet another time when students have a second to read—the bathroom!! Hopefully these advertisements, strategically placed on the back of the upper grades’ bathroom doors, will entice kids to take out one of this year’s Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award-nominated books!

It’s worth a try! After all, there’s no more popular place to read than the bathroom–I know I’ll catch a few of their eyes!

Intriguing 2nd and 3rd Grade

I consider one of my most important jobs my responsibility to introduce stories and genres to the students who would be most intrigued by them.  For 2nd grade, I try to find early chapter books and beginning reader series that will capture the students’ interest and hopefully get them asking for the next book.  Without fail, I end up with at least two or three takers every week who want to get the next book in the series!

This week 2nd grade read the first book in the Owl Diaries series, Eva’s Treetop Festival by Rebecca Elliott.  At first, many of the boys thought the cover was too “girly,” but soon they were all loving the colorful illustrations and silly story!

I have six Owl Diaries books here in the library. Students kindergarten and older all love them!

As for third grade, I knew they would need something a little more provocative to get their attention. That’s when I thought of the brand new version of The Odyssey by Gillian Cross that I purchased this summer.  It was a HUGE hit!

Let’s just say, having students brainstorm how they would escape from a Cyclops cave is a great way to start a class! I had more students taking out books from the Mythology section than ever before!

I hope your second and third graders were intrigued this week!  4th and 5th grade are enjoying the novels we’re reading together and preK-1 read picture books about nature to celebrate some actual autumn weather.  Enjoy your Monday off and the extra day for reading!