Thornton Library

Vol. V

BOGO Book FAir

The BOGO book fair has been canceled. I know this is a much anticipated book fair, but the schedule just didn't seem to fit it in; between STAAR being later, Field Day, EOY testing, etc. I'm sorry for this, but I will be able to plan it better for next year. I will keep in mind that STAAR is later.

Summer Book Study

Last year I conducted a book study with several teachers over the book, Reading in the Wild by Donalyn Miller. I would like to do another book study this summer over her other book, The Book Whisperer.

Donlayn MIller discusses how our reading instruction does not allow room for authentic reading and how this is crippling our students. She discusses how we can inspire a reluctant reader and how authentic reading creates readers.

"I am not a reading researcher. I am not a reading policy expert. I do not have a Ph.D. What I am is a reading teacher, just like many of you. My source of credibility is that I am a teacher who inspires my students to read a lot and love reading long after they leave my class. I require my students to read forty books during their time in my sixth-grade classroom, and year after year, my students reach or surpass this reading goal. Not only do my students read an astounding number of books, they earn high scores on our state's reading assessment, the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS). I have not had one student fail the state assessment in four year, and an average of 85 percent of my students score in the 90th percentile, Texas's commended rage. I have taught students of all economic and academic backgrounds, from the children of non-English speaking immigrants who struggle with the English language to the children of college professors. The conditions I create in my classroom work for all of them." (The Book Whisperer, Introduction)

Donalyn Miller loves to read and shares that joy with her students. She has them reading every day and uses that time to conference with her students and take monitoring notes. She has taught students just like the students at Thornton Elementary and they all succeed.

We need to change our approach and I truly believe this is the way to help our students succeed. I have purchased 15 copies of The Book Whisperer with Scholastic dollars. These 15 copies will be given to those that want to participate in the book study this summer. It will be first come first serve and you will be allowed to keep these books!

If you are interested in participating in this book study, please email me and I will put you on the list. I would like to conduct a brief meeting before school lets out to discuss how often we want to meet and where. Your name will also be put in a drawing for one of the books.

Texas Library Association Conference

I was given the opportunity to go to the annual Texas Library Association (TLA) conference. This year it was in Houston and it was fantastic. Yes, I was able to meet some of my favorite authors and illustrators, but it was the informative sessions I attended that renewed my library spirit. I'm excited about implementing some of the new ideas I learned.

I was humbled by listening to Dav Pilkey, the author of the Captain Underpants series, speak at the closing session. I got to hear how his teachers and librarian disapproved of what he wanted to read and they wanted him to read what they considered to be "true literature." Dav Pilkey was a struggling reader and reading began to scare him because he was not given free choice. It was his mother that took him to the pubic library and allowed him to choose whatever he wanted to read. Because of this, Dav discovered his love and the joy of reading and writes silly books for kids. Who are we to say that book is not a good book? If it makes a child want to read and they react to it, then it's a fantastic book for them. "It's about love, not levels." - Dav Pilkey

I was able to attend a session regarding boys in the classroom and how the library can help them. One of my goals for next year is to add more books that appeal to boys. Boys love graphic novels, books with lists (Top 10 Scariest Animals), TV show tie-ins, super heroes, Big Nate, etc. We have to get our students loving the experience with a book. We must turn off our preconceived notions about what we believe to be a "real book". We MUST allow our students to choose their books. Guys Read is a fantastic website to assist boys with choosing books and it can also help you choose books for your classroom library that will appeal to boys. Boys Read is another website assisting boys with books. If you are wanting more information about boys in the classroom, Christina Hoff Sommers has written a very interesting book called The War Against Boys. It will be in the library's professional section sometime next school year.


Many of you have noticed the new tables and chairs in the library. This new furniture is for a MakerSpace. What is a MakerSpace? A MakerSpace is a place for students to be curious, invent, collaborate, tinker, create, read, problem-solve, and learn. MakerSpaces can be very simple with arts and crafts to quite elaborate with technology. The Thornton Library will have a wide variety of items for students. The library has acquired a 3D printer and many fun technology items. Students will have the opportunity to experience spheros, snap circuits, bee-bots, magna-tiles, Legos, and much more.

The MakerSpace is student centered. This is an opportunity for students to problem-solve without the assistance of a teacher. Students can build and if they encounter a problem, it will be up to them to come up with ideas on how to solve that problem.

I will be working out the details on how to implement the MakerSpace for next year, but I am very excited for our Thornton students to have this wonderful space.

Scholastic Warehouse Sale

Scholastic is having their annual warehouse sale May 9th through the 21st. This is a wonderful opportunity to purchase books for your classroom library or for personal reading. They are open from 9 am to 7 pm during the week and 9 am to 5 pm on Saturdays. Take advantage of this sale. It is SpEcTaCuLaR!!!
Big image