May 13, 2018

Summer Reading Book Suggestions

Summer means more time for reading!  Before my students leave school for summer break, I discussed the importance of reading over the summer and encouraged them to participate in the public library's summer reading club.  Students who complete the summer reading program can turn in their reading log to Mrs. Merkle when they return to school in August, and receive an invite to an extra recess party to celebrate Greensview's summer readers. 

Greensview hosts some fun events to encourage students to read throughout the summer months.  Back this year is TEACHER TUESDAYS at Upper Arlington's Lane Road Public Library.  Students can meet up with Greensview Elementary teachers on Tuesday, June 12th and Tuesday, July 17th from 3:00pm-4:00pm.  New this year, is BOOKS ON BLANKETS.  Students can read with Greensview staff on the school's front lawn on Monday, June 25th from 7:00-8:00pm.  

To get students excited to read over the summer, I book talked some new and exciting books.  Below are the lists organized by grade level.  All of these books can be found at the public library.

Happy summer reading to all my students!  I hope to see you at Teacher Tuesdays and Books on Blankets, and can't wait to celebrate your reading when we return to school in the fall.  May your summer be filled with exciting adventures and experiences, both real and fictional.  Enjoy your summer, day by day and book by book!

Picture Books
Square by Mac Barnett
A Busy Creature’s Day Eating! by Mo Willems
The Itchy Book by Mo Willems and LeUyen Pham
Hello, Hello by Brendan Wendell
Harriet Gets Carried Away by Jessa Sims
How to Code a Sandcastle by Josh Funk
Unplugged by Steve Antony
Misunderstood Shark by Ame Dyckman
Dude! by Aaron Reynolds and Dan Santat
Can I Be Your Dog? by Troy Cummings
Rock’n’Roll Soul by Susan Verde and Matthew Cordell
Don’t Blink! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
The Secrets of Ninja School by Deb Pilutti
Woof and Quack Series by Jamie Swenson
The Giggle Gang Series by Jan Thomas

Nonfiction Books
Toy Trailblazers Series by Various Authors
The Truth About _____ Series by Maxwell Eaton III

Chapter Books
Hammy & Gerbee: Mummies at the Museum by Wong Herbert Yee
Baby Monkey, Private Eye by Brian Selznick 
Bad Kitty: Camp Daze by Nick Bruel
Narwhal and Jelly Book #3: Peanut Butter and Jelly by Ben Clanton
Pug Pals by Flora Ahn
Owl Diaries #8: Eva and the Lost Pony by Rebecca Elliott
Press Start #5: Super Rabbit Boy Blasts Off by Thomas Flintham (out 7/31)
Dory Fantasmagory #4: Head in the Clouds by Abby Hanlon
Fly Guy #18: Fly Guy and the Aliens by Tedd Arnold
Noodleheads Series by Tedd Arnold
Fergus & Zeke by Kate Messner
Desmond Cole Series by Andres Miedoso
Alien Next Door Series by A.I. Newton
Major Eights Series by Melody Reed
Remy Sneakers Series by Kevin Sherry

GRADES 2 & 3
Picture Books
Square by Mac Barnett 
Albie Newton by Josh Funk
How to Code a Sandcastle by Josh Funk
Harriet Gets Carried Away by Jessa Sims
Unplugged by Steve Antony
Misunderstood Shark by Ame Dyckman
Dude! by Aaron Reynolds and Dan Santat
The Itchy Book by Mo Willems and LeUyen Pham
Rock ’n’Roll Soul by Susan Verde and Matthew Cordell

New Books from a Series
The 91-Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths (out 7/10)
The Wild Robot Escapes by Peter Brown
Whatever After #11: Two Peas in a Pod by Sarah Mlynowski
Owl Diaries #8: Eva and the Lost Pony by Rebecca Elliott
Press Start #5: Super Rabbit Boy Blasts Off! by Thomas Flintham (out 7/31)
Stick Dog Crashes a Party by Tom Watson
Third Grade Mermaid and the Narwhals (#2) by Peter Raymundo
Lucy and Andy #2: The Stone Cold Age by Jeffery Brown
Bad Kitty Camp Daze by Nick Bruel
Narwhal and Jelly #3: Peanut Butter and Jelly by Ben Clanton

Graphic Novels
Sparks! by Ian Boothby
Cucumber Quest books by Gigi D.G.

My Fantastically Evil Vampire Pet by Mo O’Hara
Toy Academy #1: Some Assembly Required by Brian Lynch

Remy Sneaker books by Kevin Sherry
Princess Pulverizer books by Nancy Krulik

Spy Toys by Mark Powers
The Spy Next Door books by Jay Cooper

Unicorn Rescue Society books by Adam Gitwitz
Zoey and Sassafras books by Asia Citro

Science Fiction
Time Twisters books by Steve Sheinkin
Intergalactic P.S.3 (A Wrinkle in Time Story) by Madeline L’Engle

Gamer Squad books by Kim Harrington
Pixel Raiders: Dig world by Steven O’Donnell

Animal Fiction
Wedgie and Gizmo by Suzanne Selfors
Pug Pals by Flora Ahn
A Pup Called Trouble by Bobbie Pyron
Life According to Og the Frog by Betty G. Birney (out 7/3)

GRADES 4 & 5
Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani DasGupta
Trials of Apollo #3: The Burning Maze by Rick Riordan
Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi
Ending  #1: The Last by Katherine Applegate

Science Fiction
Wild Robot Escapes by Peter Brown
Waste of  Space (Moon Base Alpha #3) by Stuart Gibbs

Historical Fiction
The War Below by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch
Out of Left Field by Ellen Kluges

Rebound by Kwame Alexander

Realistic Fiction
Class Action by Steven B. Frank

Gamer Squad books by Kim Harrington 
Girls Who Code books by various authors

Animal Fiction
Strongheart: Wonder Dog of the Silver Screen by Candace Fleming 
A Pup Called Trouble by Bobby Pyron

The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street by Lindsay Currie

Spy Toys by Mark Powers
The Super Life of Ben Braver by Marcus Emerson

Time Twisters books by Steve Sheinkin
Toy Academy#1: Some Assembly Required  by Brian Lynch

Graphic Novel
Lucy & Andy Neanderthal #2:The Stone Cold Age by Jeffery Brown
Sparks! by Ian Boothby
All Summer Long by Hope Larson

Notable Summer Release
5/29 - Grump: The (Fairly) True Tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves by Liesl Shurtliff
6/5 - Seismic Seven by Katie Slivensky
6/5 - Lions and Liars by Kate Beasley and Dan Santat
6/5 - Breakout by Kate Messner

7/10 - 91-Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths

April 5, 2018

#mustreadin2018 spring update

This is my #mustreadin2018 spring update.  I love participating in this reading challenge hosted by Carrie Gelson of There's a Book for That because it connects me with a community of readers and encourages me to read newly released books to share with my students.  Here is my #mustreadin2018 reading goals:

So far, I've read (or are currently reading) all of the newly released titles on my list plus some additional new titles.  I'll be back in September for another reading update.  Below are my lists of new picture books and chapters books that I've read in 2018 since January:

Picture Books I Read - #mustreadin2018

Look out - this is tear jerker!

So funny!!! Great for fans of Elephant & Piggie books.

The 1st graders built leprechaun traps after reading this book.

Beautiful book!

This is a definite 2018 Caldecott contender!

This new Mo Willems' book does not disappoint!

Fans of Rosie Revere will enjoy this one.

LOVED this book!  It makes a fun read aloud too.

Chapter Books I Read - #mustreadin2018

Stunning illustrations and kids LOVE the story read aloud! 

A must have for ELA teachers.  The prompts inspire creative writing and the responses make entertaining stories to read aloud.

Chapter Books I'm Currently in the Process of Reading - #mustreadin2018

March 1, 2018

Ideas to Celebrate Read Across America Week & Dr. Seuss

Happy Read Across America Week!  To honor Dr. Seuss’ contribution to children’s literature, my school celebrates his work and legacy each year during the week of his birthday on March 2nd.  Here are a few ideas for you to duplicate in your school to celebrate Read Across America and Dr. Seuss.  

Everyone enjoys Dr. Seuss’ books in my building; the young students, the older students, and even the adult teachers!  So we host a Dr. Seuss-themed spirit week.  Below are some fun ideas.  Pick five of them, assign them a day of the week (for example Monday is Fox is Socks day), promote them with your school community, and have fun dressing up that week!


Fox in Socks Day:  WEAR CRAZY SOCKS

Green Eggs and Ham Day:  WEAR THE COLOR GREEN

Cat in the Hat Day:  WEAR A HAT


One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish Day:  WEAR THE COLORS RED & BLUE

Thing 1 & Thing 2 Day:  DRESS THE SAME WITH A TWIN


Another way my school celebrates Read Across America Week is with an all-school D.E.A.R. time (Drop Everything And Read).  For 10 minutes, all students in each grade exit their classrooms with a book in hand, line the hallways, and simply read.  I’ve found that the younger students read aloud and that hallway is a little noisy.  The older students read silently and that hallway is very quiet.  What matters most is the all-school commitment to read.  Students, teachers, and the principal all participate.  It’s a very moving experience and a touching way to honor Read Across America Week. 

February 10, 2018

My #nf10for10 - Girl Power Nonfiction Books to Share with my Daughter

I’m thrilled to be joining the #nf10for10 fun again this year!  Many thanks to the wonderful hosts: Cathy Mere (Reflect and Refine), Mandy Robeck (Enjoy and Embrace Learning), and Julie Balen (Write at the Edge).  I enjoy the challenge of creating a meaningful list for myself and others, as well as reading all the wonderful lists posted by the community.  

My past #nf10for10 book collections are:

As a parent, I encourage my daughter to be kind, positive, creative, confident, determined, resilient, disciplined, hopeful and a dreamer.  These qualities are the toughest to teach; despite my education degrees and teaching experience.  My #nf10for10 is a list of girl power books to share with my daughter.  They highlight female role models with strong character traits.  I will read (and reread) these books to my daughter.  The women in these books accomplished great things, and so can my daughter.  The sky is the limit!

1. Miss Moore Thought Otherwise by Jan Pinborough
As a children’s librarian, I had to list this book first.  It’s the story of Anne Carroll Moore who started a children’s area in the New York Public Library in the early 1900s.  Previously, libraries were only for adults.  But Miss Moore believed children deserved a room within the library with  a colorful atmosphere, smaller furniture, story hours, and borrowing privileges to hundreds of children’s books.  

2. Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World by Susan Hood
This beautiful book highlights fourteen young women who sparked change in the world.  Each trailblazer's story is told through poetry with accompanying illustrations from various female artists.  This book goes beyond the typical women often highlighted in these types of books.  A few new activists who's stories were new to me are Mary Anning, Annette Kellerman, Jacqueline Nearne, Eileen Nearne, Frances Moore Lappe, and Angela Zhang.

3.  She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World by Chelsea Clinton
This book highlights thirteen noteworthy women who persevered in the face of adversity.  It shows readers (both boys and girls) that no matter what obstacles may be in their paths, they shouldn’t give up on their dreams.  Persistence is power!  Be on the look out for the sequel titled She Persisted Around the World: 13 Women Who Changed History out on March 6, 2018.

4. Keep Climbing, Girls by Beah E. Richards
This poetry book is an ode to girl power.  It’s about a young girl’s ambition to climb to the top of a tall tree (despite a boy’s upper hand in this world) in a bid for a girl’s equality.  The overall message is, “Keep climbing, girls, and let no one prevent you!”  

5.  I am Helen Keller by Brad Meltzer 
Helen Keller embodies so much of what parents hope for their own children, and what I dream for my own daughter.   She became the first deaf and blind person to graduate from college, and spent the rest of her life telling her story and helping others.  Her resilience to adversity and determination to overcome challenges is unmatched.

6. Amelia to Zora: Twenty Six Women Who Changed the World by Cynthia Cin-Lee
The book highlights 26 significant women and their contribution to the world.  There is one woman for every letter of the alphabet.  The women are diverse in nationality, profession, race, and religion.  I was familiar with many of the women (like Rachel Carson, Mother Teresa, Oprah), but I was also introduced to many new women (including Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, Dolores Huerta, Nawal El Sadaawi).  One thing they all have in common, words and actions to inspire and guide young girls.  

7. Here Come the Scouts! by Shana Corey
This book is about Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts.  At a time when girls were supposed to be prim and proper, Daisy (as she was called) loved the outdoors, adventure, and service to others.  One hundred years later, the Girl Scouts continues to teach girls they can do anything and make a difference.  

8. Women Who Launched the Computer Age by Laurie Calkhoven
This book tells the story of six brilliant women who programmed the first computer as a secret WWII project.  Their work laid the foundation for the technologies we have today and launched the computer age.

9. Mighty Jackie: The Strike Out Queen by Marissa Moss
When Jackie Mitchell was a young girl, her father told her she could be good at whatever she wanted, as long as she worked at it.  Jackie worked hard at baseball and could soon outplay boys in her neighborhood.  When she was seventeen, she had an opportunity to pitch for Yankees.  She made baseball history by striking out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.  She showed the world that a girl could throw as hard and a fast as boys.

10. Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Ravioli and Frencesca Cavallo

This is a collection of short biographies of about 100 rebel girls.  The women are from various nationalities and professions with many that were new to me.  Their stories are inspirational and encourage girls to dream bigger, aim higher, and fight harder.  I love the that end pages are blank for young readers to joint rebel girls and add their own story and portrait.  Also check out the second book titled Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls 2.