July 15, 2017

Promote Summer Reading with Teacher Tuesdays



Every year, librarians and teachers tell students to read over the summer months.  Kids are told that summer reading keeps their skills sharp and prepares them for the next grade level.  Beyond talk, do librarians and teachers take action to motivate students to read of the summer?  Here is one idea - Teacher Tuesdays!

As a school librarian, I organize Teacher Tuesdays.  It invites students and teachers to gather (on a Tuesday, of course) at the public library.  Teachers can keep in touch with students over the summer months, help students select books to read, and encourage students to read and participate in the public library’s summer reading program.  Teacher Tuesdays is a wonderful partnership between school district and public library.  This is my third summer organizing Teacher Tuesdays.  I used to do a designated time (like 3:00-4:00) every Tuesday during the summer, but it required a lot of volunteered time from teachers and student participation was low.  Now I do four Tuesdays during the summer months and it is very manageable for teachers and well-attended by students.  

Organizing Teacher Tuesdays is very easy.  In May, I work with the public library to find a time that works best for them.  Then I organize an e-vite for teachers to sing up for a date to participate.  Then the event is promoted to students during my summer reading promotions at the end of the school year and to parents via the principal’s newsletter.  From there, Teacher Tuesdays runs itself.  I simply show up to each Tuesday event and visit with participating teachers and students.  

Students who participate in the public library’s summer reading program are rewarded when they return to school in August.  Students turn in their completed reading logs in exchange for an invitation to a summer reading party!  They enjoy extra recess and music outside on the playground (if your school allows, you can offer a treat like popcorn or ice cream).  This party is always a blast and a wonderful motivator to encourage kids to summer read.

Studies by Krashen (2004) simply state, ‘More access to books results in more reading.’  I truly believe that if you increase access to books and provide a little motivation, students will read over the summer months.  Teacher Tuesdays is a wonderful motivator to get students into the public library, checking out books, and reading all summer long. 

June 5, 2017

Top 10 Circulated Beginning Chapter Books

What beginning chapter books were popular with students during the 2016-2017 school year?  Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan and the author of School Library Journal’s 100 Scope Notes.  He recently posted his student’s favorite books.  I was curious about my elementary school, so here are my student’s top 10 most circulated beginning chapter books of the 2016-2017 school year:

10.  Dance! Dance! Underpants! by Bob Shea


9.  Splat the Cat, I Scream for Ice Cream by Laura Dricolli


8.  Pete the Cat: Play Ball! by James Dean


7.  Pete the Cat: Pete at the Beach by James Dean


6.  Battle of the Super Heroes! by Yale Stewart


5.  Alien Superman! by Yale Stewart


4.  Buzz Boy and Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold


3.  Hooray for Fly Guy! by Tedd Arnold


2.  The Cat on the Mat is Flat by Andy Griffiths


1.  The Big Fat Cat Goes Kapow by Andy Griffiths


Top 10 Circulated Picture Books


What picture books were popular with students during the 2016-2017 school year?  Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan and the author of School Library Journal’s 100 Scope Notes.  He recently posted his student’s favorite picture books.  I was curious about my elementary school, so here are my student’s top 10 most circulated picture books of the 2016-2017 school year:


10.  We Are In a Book! by Mo Willems


9.  I Really Like Slop! by Mo Willems


8.  Happy Pig Day! by Mo Willems


7.  Today I Will Fly! by Mo Willems


6.  Let’s Go For a Drive! by Mo Willems


5.  The Pigeon Needs a Bath! by Mo Willems


4.  Should I Share My Ice Cream? by Mo Willems


3.  Elephants Cannot Dance! by Mo Willems


2.  I Broke My Trunk! by Mo Willems


1.  Watch Me Throw the Ball! by Mo Willems

As you can see my students are big fans of Mo Willems!  I was curious how far their love for Mo would go, so I ran the stats for the top 25 most circulated picture books.  It’s clear Mo Willems reigns as king in my school library!  Here are the titles from #11 to #25:

11.  I Will Take a Nap! by Mo Willems


12.  I’m a Frog by Mo Willems


13.  Pigs Make Me Sneeze! by Mo Willems


14.  Press Here by Herve Tullet


15.  Are You Ready to Play Outside? by Mo Willems


16.  My New Friend Is So Fun! by Mo Willems


17.  I Love My New Toy! by Mo Willems


18.  Listen to My Trumpet! by Mo Willems


19.  A Big Guy Took My Ball! by Mo Willems


20.  Can I Play Too?  by Mo Willems


21.  Creepy Carrots! by Aaron Reynolds


22.  Dino-Basketball by Lisa Wheeler


23.  Happy Birthday, Cupcake!  by Terry Border


24.  There is a Bird on Your Head!  by Mo Willems


25.  The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat


Top 10 Circulated Nonfiction Books


What nonfiction books were popular with students during the 2016-2017 school year?  Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan and the author of School Library Journal’s 100 Scope Notes.  He recently posted his student’s favorite nonfiction books.  I was curious about my elementary school, so here are my student’s top 10 most circulated nonfiction books of the 2016-2017 school year:

10.  Stick Man’s Very Bad Day by Steve Mockus


9.  Hacks for Minecrafters: Redstone by Megan Miller



8.  Squish: Super Amoeba by Jennifer L Holm & Matt Holm



7.  Amulet #7: Firelight by Kazu Kibuishi



6.  Hacks for Minecrafters: Command Blocks by Megan Miller



5.  Buckeyes A to Z by Mark Walter 



4.  Amulet #2: The Stonekeepers Curse by Kazu Kibuishi



3.  Smile by Raina Telegmeier



2.  El Deafo by Cece Bell


1.  The Ultimate Unofficial Encyclopedia for Minecrafters by Megan Miller

These stats show my student's love for Minecraft and graphic novels.  The author of Buckeyes A to Z is a teacher at my building, so it's cool to see his book on this list.  Go Bucks!

Top 10 Circulated Chapter Books


What chapter books were popular with students during the 2016-2017 school year?  Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan and the author of School Library Journal’s 100 Scope Notes.  He recently posted his student's favorite chapter books.  I was curious about my elementary school, so here are my student’s top 10 most circulated chapter books of the 2016-2017 school year:


10.  Dork Diaries: Tales From a Not-So-Fabulous Life by Rachel Renee Russell


9.  The 52-Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths


8.  The 13-Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths


7.  Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul by Jeff Kinney


6.  Big Nate Lives It Up by Lincoln Peirce


5.  The 39-Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths


4.  Pokemon: Snack Attack! by Tracey West


3.  Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School by Jeff Kinney


2.  Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days by Jeff Kinney


1.  Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth by Jeff Kinney

These stats show that my students love the Treehouse books and Diary of a Wimpy Kid, however I'd argue that the Big Nate books are still a favorite as well.