March 2015

HMS Media Center Update

March Author and Illustrator Birthdays

Every month our library has a bookmark featuring authors and illustrators who have birthdays. I do this in the hopes that students will stretch themselves to try an author or a title they normally wouldn't choose on their own. It gives students no excuse for walking out of the library empty-handed. Here is the online bookmark link.

What We've Been Learning

Last month we brainstormed and narrowed down our research topics. This month we generated questions about our topics. Then we determined whether our questions were "thick"/open-ended or "thin"/closed. We chose one open-ended question to guide our research going forward.

Next we thought about how in many ways kids today have it much better yet much harder because they have so many choices out there on the internet when researching a topic. I told them it is my job to make sure they become critical thinkers when deciding if a website is reliable and accurate. We watched a video to learn how to evaluate websites using the 5 Ws.

Rubric We Used to Choose an Open-Ended Question to Guide Our Research

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Fifth Graders Determining if My Questions Are Closed or Open-Ended #formativeassessment

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The Five W's of Web Site Evaluation

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World Read Aloud Day - Wednesday, March 4

Many classrooms participated in World Read Aloud Day here at HMS. Click here to learn about the titles that were shared.
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(Please click on the title above to read Barbara O'Connor's thoughts on her visit to HMS)

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Barbara O'Connor Visits HMS

Fourth graders were fully prepared and super excited to meet author Barbara O'Connor on March 10-12. Classes did author studies around her books, and created projects and digital book talks. They were so invested that they would correct Barbara about a character that was not quite as fresh in her mind!

Teachers emailed me the names of their biggest Barbara O'Connor "super fans" and I chose 4 names from a hat to interview her for a Barrington Times Kids Corner article. The reporters met the day before to go over their most pressing questions. They met with Barbara on Thursday morning before the school day began for the interview and a picture.

Fourth graders loved hearing Barbara O'Connor's author talk. Some said they were inspired to write. Some said they wanted to read more of her books. Barbara is warm and down to earth. She loved visiting just as much. Click here for her blog post about our school. It was definitely a worthwhile and memorable event!

Reporters Have a Pre-Meeting to Determine Questions They Will Ask

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Barrington Times Kids' Corner Interview in Progress

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Happy Reporters/Super Fans with Author Barbara O'Connor

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Fourth Grade Feedback

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Fourth Grade Feedback

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Library Statistics

Between March 2 and March 31:

Total Books: 10,172

Total Circulations: 3,326

Total Holds Placed: 573

Top 10 Titles:

1. Sidekicks by Dan Santat - 23

2. On the Road to Mr. Mineo's by Barbara O'Connor -22

3. Smile by Raina Telgemeier - 19

4. El Deafo by Cece Bell - 14

5. The Small Adventure of Popeye and Elvis by Barbara O'Connor - 14

6. Fame and Glory in Freedom, Georgia by Barbara O'Connor - 13

7. Greetings from Nowhere by Barbara O'Connor - 13

8. The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester by Barbara O'Connor - 12

9. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead - 12

10. Amulet. Book 6, Escape from Lucien by Kazu Kibuishi - 11

Top Circulations by Homeroom:

1. Mrs. Carroll - 196

2. Mrs. Myszak - 183

3. Mrs. Ginalski - 171

4. Mrs. Bailey - 160

5. Mrs. Waring - 159

6. Mrs. Mitchell - 157

7. Mr. Farley - 156

8. Ms. Wilson - 146

9. Mrs. Clegg - 139

10. Ms. Safran - 137

11. Mrs. Cunningham - 129

12. Ms. Reynolds - 114

13. Mr. Tibbetts - 111

14. Ms. Testa - 107

15. Mr. Cassarino - 104

16. Mr. Tedino - 100

17. Mrs. DeLory - 98

18. Mrs. T. Couto - 81

19. Mrs. Hunt - 74

20. Mrs. C. Couto - 73

21. Mrs. Burke - 66

22. Mrs. Cabral - 55

My Favorite Book of the Month

I have book talked Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan to many fifth grade classrooms this month. It is my new book obsession! It's masterfully done and different from any middle grade book I have ever read. Here is the Kirkus Review of Echo:


A multilayered novel set in turbulent times explores music’s healing power.

Sweeping across years and place, Ryan’s full-bodied story is actually five stories that take readers from an enchanted forest to Germany, Pennsylvania, Southern California and finally New York City. Linking the stories is an ethereal-sounding harmonica first introduced in the fairy-tale beginning of the book and marked with a mysterious M. In Nazi Germany, 12-year-old Friedrich finds the harmonica in an abandoned building; playing it fills him with the courage to attempt to free his father from Dachau. Next, the harmonica reaches two brothers in an orphanage in Depression-era Pennsylvania, from which they are adopted by a mysterious wealthy woman who doesn’t seem to want them. Just after the United States enters World War II, the harmonica then makes its way to Southern California in a box of used instruments for poor children; as fifth-grader Ivy Lopez learns to play, she discovers she has exceptional musical ability. Ryan weaves these stories together, first, with the theme of music—symbolized by the harmonica—and its ability to empower the disadvantaged and discriminated-against, and then, at the novel’s conclusion, as readers learn the intertwined fate of each story’s protagonist.

A grand narrative that examines the power of music to inspire beauty in a world overrun with fear and intolerance, it’s worth every moment of readers’ time. (Historical fiction. 9-14)

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Barrington Public Library Children's Room News

The next chapter begins at the Barrington Public Library

Come hear about plans to renovate and redesign the second floor

of the library including the Children’s Room, Auditorium, and Gallery.

As a result of the redesign of the Children’s Room, your children will have:

Added areas for computers, group study and shared reading

Brighter, more open space

Easier browsing of library materials

A more functional space for story and craft programs

Join us to learn more:

Thursday, April 30

7:00-8:00 pm

Barrington Library Auditorium