Every year the Build-a-Potato contest, held during our Library Kick-off week, gets bigger and better. This year we had over 200 submissions with 111 entries making it to the finals. I’m so glad I don’t have the task of judging all the wonderfully creative entries, I left that up to the judges.
One of the best parts of being a librarian is when you have former students come back to visit and all they can talk about is books. Priscilla and her mother came to visit one day before school had started this year, and her mother mentioned that Priscilla had finished all the summer reads I had given her in one week. So of course, I couldn’t let such an avid reader go without more books. One of Priscilla’s best qualities is that she pays it forward. Not only does she read to the younger children at her church and teaches them how to read, but she also passes the books on to her friends. She is a role model and librarian’s dream come true.
This year marks the 11th anniversary of 9/11. For many of us, the last thing we want is to revisit the day of September 11, 2001, in New York City. As the school year opens, many of us in the education field across the United States, may feel the same way. But as one educator so aptly put it “we need to go down the hole of one of history’s darkest days in order to come up with some light to shed on it for our students this September.”
In 2001, some of our students were not even born yet and know very little about the day’s events. Even though it is a ‘current event’ for us as adults, it is ‘history’ for them.” For those of us in the field of education, September 11 may still be a raw experience, whereas for our students, it’s not even a memory. But regardless, we are the ones in position to preserve this part of history for them.
Here at Rodolfo Centeno Elementary, we tried to think about how to bridge teachers’ personal experiences with September 11 with students’ understanding of the event. To commemorate the day of September 11, we will be hosting Remembering 9/11: Tell your story. How did you witness history on September 11, 2001? What do you most remember and how has it affected your life? As role models, help us preserve this historic event by sharing your experience with our 5th grade students who have just finished reading and reflecting on I Survived: the Attacks of September 11, 2001 by Lauren Tarshis.
I had such a great time chaperoning this group of 5th graders to the Imaginarium. They were a great group and worked really hard reading tons of book to earn their spot on the bus. By the look on their faces, I think they enjoyed it too. I learned a few things along the way — who knew they would get such a kick out of shining their shoes and we take for granted that the mall is a place all kids get to go to, but that is not true. For some kids this was there first time at the mall so that made it all the more special.
Two weeks before we let out for Spring Break, the library had been closed for benchmark testing. Needless to say, many students were not happy, and one 5th grader approached me and said, “I have rights”! His class in particular, Room 34, happens to be a group of reluctant readers gone avid. I knew they would appreciate house calls so I had been taking them books during the two-week period.
The Thursday before Spring Break, I was mulling over what to take them when my eyes fell on the Beverly Cleary section. I began to wonder what would happen if I took them books I had read as a kid, so I grabbed some of my favorites and their teacher’s favorites, and we challenged them to read one of these titles during Spring Break. Their teacher, Mrs. Castaneda, and I told them that if they read one, they could leave a comment on the blog when they came back.They have no idea about copyright and little do they know how far back the books date. I can’t wait to see their faces when they do the math!
If any of these titles were your favorites as a child, please leave your comments below. The kids would love to hear from you.
Matilda by Roald Dahl, 1988 Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume, 1970 Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary, 1968 James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl, 1961 Ralph S. Mouse by Beverly Cleary, 1982 Stuart Little by E. B White, 1945 Charlotte’s Web by E. B White, 1952 Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo, 2000 Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh 1964 Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary, 1973 Runaway Ralph by Beverly Cleary, 1970 How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell, 1973 Bunnicula by James Howe, 1979 Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary, 1965
We have such great 5th grade students and teachers. The teachers have really transformed the way kids respond to literature, and have made the library a real hot spot. We keep catching them in the most unlikely places reading. It’s every librarian’s dream.
This is a picture of me my first year in the library, which was (06-07). My daughter drew it so if you look closely there are a couple of signs that say “MOM”, and if you look real close I’m wearing a badge that says Centeno Librarian. The question marks in the background and the expression on my face allude to a sense of confusion, aptly so, it was my first year and it was a little overwhelming. Now it’s my fifth year and I’ve decided to keep this anime likeness because one; I’ve grown so found of it, two, the job is still overwhelming, and three, now that I’m in the “Lucha Libro”, like El Santo, I have to conceal my true identity.
This will be my 11th year in education. I spent my first year teaching 5th grade reading then made the move to a self-contained 3rd grade taksroom, I mean classroom. Now that I’m in the library I think I have found my calling. I think I was meant to be “La Bibliotecaria”. I’ve always loved reading children’s books and YA literature and I was one of those kids who always raised their hand to read aloud in class. Now I get to do it for a living and in front of a captive audience! Plus, I actually get to work with people I like – kids.
My blog is written for you - the student who loves to read, is in search of a new book or just loves to see the words of their own voice. You can comment on the "must reads" or just lurk and read what your friends, other students and even authors have to say, but most of all enjoy!