June 22, 2016

The Challenge Continues . . . Buckeye Book Award Challenge 2008


And the reading challenge continues!  As stated in a previous post, my librarian friend Ashley Lambacher of the Book Talker and I are hosting the Buckeye Book Award Reading Challenge.  Our goal is to read all the past winners from the children’s book category in chronological order from 1982 to the present.  I will read the K-2 picture book winners and Ashley will read the 4-8/3-5 chapter book winners.  Today I continue my challenge by reading the winner of the K-2 Buckeye Book Award in 2008, Bow-Wow Bugs a Bug by Mark Newgarden and Meghan Montague Cash .

Bow-Wow Bugs a Bug is a wordless picture book that follows our hero Bow-Wow as a bug lands on his dog food bowl and he tracks the bug out the door and down the street.  Then a completely unexpected adventure ensues.  When pup and bug meet their identical twins it's a great excuse for a series of panels where they try to get the other to do something different.  Giant dogs follow tiny bugs.  Hundreds of dogs follow hundreds of bugs.  And then, hundreds of gigantic bugs follow hundreds of tiny dogs.  Exhausted, Bow-Wow heads for home where pup and insect can settle down for a good long sleep.  The illustrations have a comic-like ascetic, making them appealing to young readers.  There are lots of hidden charms that you discover after your first reading, as well as overt and fantastic surprises.  This is a super fun wordless picture book and a well-deserved winner of the 2008 Buckeye Book Awards.

Ashley, your upcoming 2008 book is the original Diary of a Wimpy Kid.  Many books later, these books remains a favorite with kids still today.  

Would you like to join Ashley and I as we read through Ohio’s award winning books?  We welcome any and all who are interested in participating in this fun reading challenge.  For more information, click here.

June 18, 2016

Books to Celebrate Father's Day


Celebrate dads with these Father’s Day books!

Mighty Dads by Joan Holub
Gator Dad by Brian Lies
Day Out With Daddy by Stephen Cook
I Love My Dad by Caroline Bell
The Night Before Father’s Day by Natasha Wing
Froggy’s Day with Dad by Jonathan London
Happy Father’s Day by Mercer Mayer 
The Berenstain Bears: We Love Our Dad! by Jan Berenstain
Daddy Hugs by Karen Katz
Clifford’s Day with Dad by Norman Bridwell
Father’s Day by Anne Rockwell
Biscuit Loves Father’s Day by Alyssa Capucilli
I Love My Daddy Because  . . . by Laurel Porter
Spot Loves His Daddy by Eric Hill

June 10, 2016

Books for Your Makerspace

To piggyback on my previous makerspace post about supplies and products to include in a makerspace, I have suggestions for books to include in an elementary makerspace.  These books help teachers design challenges and help students complete prompts, and they are a needed addition to an effective makerspace.  


One of the most popular stations in my makerspace surround duct tape challenges.  I’ve had students build boats and create a wearable accessory with duct tape.  These books help students with duct tape creations:
  • Kids Guids to Duct Tape Projects by Sheri Bell-Rehwoldt
  • Tape It & Make It by Richela Fabian Morgan
  • Tape It & Wear It by Richela Fabian Morgan
  • Tape It & Make More by Richela Fabian Morgan


Students also enjoy folding paper into fun creations.  I helped kindergartners make paper airplanes for the first time this year.  When they saw their plane soar across the room, they smiled so big and their face lit up!  Here are a list of paper airplane and origami books to help children create fun paper projects:
  • My First Guide to Paper Airplanes by Christopher Harbo
  • Easy Paper Airplanes by Norman Schmidt
  • Paper Airplanes by Jenny Fretland VanVoorst
  • Easy Origami by Dokhohtei Nakano and Eric Kenneway
  • Easy Origami Toys by Christopher Harbo
  • Easy Animal Origami by Christopher Harbo
  • Easy Ocean Origami by Christopher Harbo


Sewing and knitting are very popular at my school’s maker space as well.  Kids have made pillows and curtains, and even repaired their backpacks!  These books provide ideas and simple instructions for students just starting to sew and knit:
  • Sewing School by Andria Lisle and Amie Petronis Plumley
  • My First Sewing Machine Book byAlison McNicol
  • A Kid’s Guide to Sewing by by Sophie Kerr and Weeks Ringle
  • Kids Knit! by Sarah Bradberry
  • Kids Knitting by Melanie Falick and Kristin Nicholas
  • My First Knitting Book by Alison McNicol


There is no doubt, kids love Legos!  However if given the freedom to make whatever they want from Legos, all kids make house - it’s a very strange phenomenon.  I love having my students create stop motion animation movies with Legos.  Here are a few Lego books to inspire student’s creativity:
  • The Lego Book by Daniel Lipkowitz
  • The Lego Ideas Book by Daniel Lipkowitz
  • Lego: Awesome Ideas by Daniel Lipkowitz
  • Lego Play Books by Daniel Lipowitz


Lego Technics take Lego building to the next level.  With these students can create wheeled vehicles, machines, and contraptions.  These books will help students up the ante on their Lego designs:
  • The Lego Technic Idea Book: Wheeled Wonders by Yoshihito Isogawa
  • The Lego Technic Idea Book: Simple Machines by Yoshihito Isogawa
  • The Lego Power Functions Idea Book: Cars and Contraptions by Yoshihito Isegawa
  • The Lego Power Functions Idea Book: Machines and Mechanisms by Yoshihito Isogawa


I love asking kids to invent and create something from ordinary objects.  One of my students make the coolest pinball machine from cardboard with a rubber band ball launcher and a paint stirrer  for the ball flipper.  Here are some books to help kids imagine and create cool projects:
  • Fun Things to do with Cardboard Tubes by Marne Ventura
  • The Cardboard Box Book by Roger Priddy
  • Fun Things to do with Paper Cups and Plates by Kara L. Laughlin 
  • Look What You Can Make with Paper Bags by Judy Burke and Hank Schneider
  • I Can Make Costumes by Emily Reid 
  • Pipe Cleaners Activity Book by by Lori Stacy and Jeanne Jacobowski
  • Earth Friendly Crafts by Kathy Ross
  • Box! by Neal Macneal
  • Look What You Can Make with Tubes by Margie Hayes Richmond
  • Look What You Can Make with Craft Sticks by Margie Hayes Richmond
  • Look What You Can Make with Paper Plates by Margie Hayes Richmond
  • Look What You Can Make with Boxes by Margie Hayes Richmond
  • Look What You Can Make with Egg Cartons by Margie Hayes Richmond


If your students are into coding and want to create their own games in Scratch, here are some helpful resources:
  • Coding Games in Scratch by Jon Woodcock
  • Coding Projects in Scratch by Jon Woodcock
  • Coding for Beginners Using Scratch by Rosie Dickens

I’ve created maker kits for students to create items like a flashlight, doodlebot, balloon-powered car, and bristlebot.  Where do I get my ideas?  Online and from these books:
  • The Kids’ Book of Simple Machines by Kelly Doudna
  • Tinkering: Kids Learn by Making Stuff by Curt Gabrielson
  • Make: Paper Inventions by Kathy Ceceri 
  • Making Simple Robots by Kathy Ceceri 
  • Make Electronics by Charles Platt
Along with print materials, there are lots of online resources as well.  My students have accessed some origami how-to, paper airplane tutorials, and even coding videos online.  I personally have accessed YouTube for instructions on how make many items.  Everyone is one Google search away from finding information on anything.  As make school districts go 1:1, students can use their devices to find makerspace instructions or inspiration.  However, not every site is safe for elementary students (especially the scrolling ads).  In this regard, books are always a safe and reliable resource.

I hope you find this like of makerspace books useful.  I truly value these print resources in my makerspace.  When I tell kids to make something to wear out of duct tape, it’s useful to have books provide quick ideas when they need it.  Happy making!

June 3, 2016

Summer Reading & Book Suggestions

While I miss seeing my students over the summer months, I do enjoy the extra time I get to spend reading books.  I hope my students take advantage of this special time and continue to read throughout the summer.

The last few weeks of school I discussed the importance and rewards of reading over the summer with my students.  I promised students who read a specific number of books a sundae/recess party when they return to school in the fall!  More information can be found at the media center's website. The Hilliard Public Library asks elementary students to read twelve hours between June 4th to August 6th - that's about 15 minutes a day.  Students who participate in this summer reading program can earn free prizes like coupons, a book, and entry into a raffle to win a bike!  More information can be found at:http://www.columbuslibrary.org/summerreadingclub

To encourage students 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 Hilliard Public Library.

Happy summer reading to all my students!  I hope to see you at Teacher Tuesdays at the public library, at summer check out, or at the Little Free Libraries.  May your summer be filled with exciting adventures and experiences both real and fictional.  Enjoy your summer, day by day and book by book!



GRADES K & 1
Picture Books
Elephant & Piggie: The Thank You Book by Mo Willems
Ballet Cat: Dance! Dance! Underpants! By Bob Shea
I Will Chomp You! by Jory John
Please, Open This Book! By Adam Lehrhaupt
It’s Tough to Lose Your Balloon by Jarrett Krosoczka
Snappsy The Alligator by Julie Falatko
Frankencrayon by Michael Hall
Night Animals by Gianna Marino
Are We There Yet? By Dan Santat
Good Night Owl by Greg Pizzoli
Horrible Bear! By Ame Dyckman
If I Had a Gryphon by Vikki Vansickle
Explorers of the Wild by Cale Atkinson
Flora and the Peacocks by Molly Idle

Chapter Books
Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Horde & Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party by Shannon Hale
Mr. Pants books by Scott McCormick
Pigsticks and Harold books by Alex Milway
Bean Dog and Nugget books by Charise Mericle Harper
Puppy Pirates books by  Erin Soderberg
Haggis & Tank Unleashed books by Jessica Young
Mouse Scouts books by Sarah Dilliard
Looniverse books by David Lubar
Haunted Library books by Dori Hillestad Butler
Shark School books by Davy Ocean
Great Pet Escape by Victoria Jamieson
Night of the Living Worms by Dave Coverly
Fairy Animals books by Lily Small
Lotus Lane books by Kyla May

GRADES 2 & 3
Everyone
Mr. Pants books by Scott McCormick
Puppy Pirates books by  Erin Soderberg
Looniverse books by David Lubar
Haunted Library books by Dori Hillestad Butler
Great Pet Escape by Victoria Jamieson
The Dino Files books by by Stacy McAnulty
The Oodlethunks by Adele Griffin
Beasts of Olympus books by Lucy Coats
Race the Wild books by Kristin Earhart
Einstein the Class Hamster books by by Janet Tashjian
Key Hunters books by Eric Luper
Stinky Cecil books by Paige Braddock

Girls
Magic Animal Friends books by Daisy Meadows
Dr. Kitty Cat books by Jane Clarke
Candy Fairy books by Helen Perelman
Lotus Lane books by Kyla May
Mouse Scouts books by Sarah Dilliard
Anna Banana books by by Anica Mrose Rissi
Hamster Princess books by Ursula Vernon

Boys
Dino Mike books y Franco
Haggis & Tank Unleashed books by Jessica Young
Frankie Pickle books by Eric Wright
Battle Bug books by Jack Patton
Jim Nasium books by Marty McKnight
Shark School books by Davy Ocean
Hilo books by Judd Winick

GRADES 4 & 5
Fantasy
Crenshaw by Katharine Applegate
Magnus Chase: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

Science Fiction
Under Their Skin by Margaret Peterson Haddix
The Wild Robot by Peter Brown

Animal Fiction
Pax by Sara Pennypacker
Fenway & Hattie by Victoria J. Coe

Realistic Fiction
Just Jake by Jake Marcionette
Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo

Historical Fiction
Some Kind of Courage by Dan Gemeinhart
Flashback Four: The Lincoln Project by Dan Gutman

Humor
Jacky Ha-Ha by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein
Einstein the Class Hamster books by by Janet Tashjian

Girl Graphic Novel
Hamster Princess books by Ursula Vernon
Phoebe and Her Unicorn books by Dana Simpson

Boy Graphic Novel
Planet Tad books by Tim Carvell
Stinky Cecil books by Paige Braddock

Mystery
Secret Coders by Gene Luen Yang
The Creeps books by by Chris Schweizer

Notable Summer Releases
The Seventh Wish by Kate Messner (out on June 7)
The Misadventures of Max Crumbly by Rachel Russell (out June 7)