Top Ten Titles Checked out of HMS Library This Year

Reflections on the Top Ten List

1. Dan Santat and Barbara O'Connor did author visits at our school this year.  Their books being on our top ten circulations list is a testament to the power of meeting authors and listening to their writing life.  The PTO can be ensured that money towards author visits is money exceptionally well spent as it greatly enhances the reading and writing life of our students. 
2. Sidekicks and Amulet are graphic novels and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck is a form of chapter book with pictures.  These genres are transforming our reluctant readers into avid readers.  We need to keep them coming into our school!  
3. I have witnessed the power of Wendy Mass and Lisa Graff on our realistic fiction lovers this school year.  
4. Girls and boys alike cannot get enough of Because of Mr. Terupt.  They can all identify with the differing personalities Mr. Terupt's class.
5. The One and Only Ivan became a Newbery winner for a reason: it is terrific writing.  

top ten most circulations by homeroom

It's that time of year when school gets out and the days can slow down a bit.  Kids have more free time for playing and reading.  Families go on road trips to fun vacation destinations.  

Here are a few things to consider during summer vacation:

1. The public library is the best deal in town HANDS DOWN.  Don't have a library card yet?  They are free and provide you access to any book, audio book, ebook, and DVD you can imagine.  Lost your card?  It only costs $1 to replace.
2. You can do "online shopping" from the comfort and convenience of your own home simply by heading to your public library's website.  Search the online catalog and request anything you'd like.  Have your card handy to punch in your 14-digit barcode. You'll also need to set up a password.
3. Going on a road trip?  Request some audio books for the trip.  It's great to have books that the family shares and can talk about. 
4.  Do you have a Kindle, iPad, or other e-reader?  You can download ebooks from the public library onto your device FOR FREE.  If you go to the Barrington Public Library reference desk on Wednesday afternoons there is someone there to assist you in setting up your device.
5. Join the public library's summer reading club.  There are great incentives for doing what you love-reading!
6. Keep a log of the books you read for school.  Return it to the HMS Library in September.  You'll get a ticket for every book you read and those tickets will be entered into a raffle to win a Google Chromebook- your own personal laptop!  How cool is that?  You can win a laptop simply by keeping track of all the awesome books you read over the summer? Seems like a no-brainer!

Benefits of Summer Reading

Aside from the fun incentives like public library prizes and laptops, there are other benefits to reading over the summer (and in general).
1. Just like a sport or an instrument, the more you read, the better you get.  And when you practice reading and become more confident, you end up enjoying it more. 
2. You develop empathy.  What is empathy?  Merriam-Webster defines it as "the feeling that you understand and share another person's experiences and emotions : the ability to share someone else's feelings." When you read you get to experience things you may never experience in real life.  
3. You expand your vocabulary. When you read you come across words in context that you may not have known before. You're getting smarter simply by reading.  Amazing, right? 
4. You are getting a broader view of the world which means you'll be able to carry on interesting conversations with others. 
5. You'll never be bored or lonely if you have a stack of books by your bedside table.  You can immerse yourself in your book and be in a whole different time or place.  

Summer Reading Recommendations

If I had my way, I'd present you with one big list of books I think readers in grades 3-6 would enjoy.  However, I'm required to create lists for "entering grade 4" and "entering grade 5." Students are coming home this week with their own summer reading plan based on BOOK LOOK time with both lists.  This means they had time to pick up, read through, and decide on books that interested them based off both my lists.  
Entering Grade 4
Entering Grade 5
My message to kids and families is pretty simple: read.  Read what you like.  It could be chapter books, nonfiction (even cookbooks), graphic novels, picture books, a magazine, the newspaper, or  The whole point is that every person finds something that interests them to read.  

Our district has a summer learning website set up for your convenience.  Everything you need to know about summer learning is right here. You can even print out the HMS reading log from this site.  

I hope that you all have a safe, relaxing, terrific summer filled with all the things you like the most.  
Happy Reading,
Mrs. Roy
We are excited to celebrate Reading Week at Hampden Meadows School!
Monday: Spotlight on Poetry
Tuesday: Spotlight on Readers' Theater
Wednesday: PD Day; Kids have the day off
Thursday: Spotlight on Nonfiction; Math and Science Night 6-8pm
Friday: Spotlight on Picture Books; Comfy Cozy Reading Day

Some other ways we are celebrating:
  • Every morning there will be a trivia question as well as a science poem read by
    one of our science poetry winners.
  • Each day you can check this website for the 5 daily trivia questions created by our fifth graders.  Simply fill out the form and enter to win a prize(see below)!
  • Different classrooms will be showcasing book trailers they have created on the cafeteria big screen to promote reading recommendations among classrooms.
  • Every classroom in the building has compiled their top 10 "must reads" in honor of Reading Week.  My hope is that the lists give students ideas for their TBR (to be read) lists. 
    It's also a chance for adults to see what is "hot" in your child's literary world.  Finally, it is an opportunity to view the top 10 and purchase a book for your child's classroom library.  If you choose to do this, please contact the teacher and we will put a book plate in the front of the book with your child's name:
    This "must read" book has been donated by (your child's name) in April 2014 for all readers in (your teacher's name) class to enjoy.
    This is now a "legacy book" for your child's classroom library for students to enjoy for years to come.  What a wonderful way to honor your child's learning and reading this school year! 
Mrs. Ginalski's Class
Mrs. Bailey's Class
Mrs. Theroux's Class
Mrs. Waring's Class
Mrs. Mitchell's Class
Mrs. Carroll's Class
Mr. Farley's Class
Mrs. Clegg's Class
Ms. Wilson's Class
Mrs. Burrows's Class
Mrs. Gluek's Class

Mrs. Burke's Class
Mr. Tibbetts's Class
Mr. Cassarino's Class
Mrs. C. Couto's Class
Mrs. T. Couto's Class
Mrs. Cabral's Class
Mrs. Cunningham's Class
Ms. Testa's Class
Ms. Reynolds's Class
Mr. Tedino's Class
Mrs. Hunt's Class

In next week's post I will share some school-wide data and reflections after looking at all the class "must read" lists.  I'll be happy to hear your reflections as well. 

If you are a HMS student who would like to participate in Day 1 Reading Week Trivia compiled by the fifth graders of HMS, please click here.

Please follow Hampden Meadows Library on Twitter: @hms_library
Reading Week is April 7-11.  To prepare for Reading Week each homeroom will compile a "must read" list of books.  Grade 4 will create "Ten Books Every Child Should Read by Fourth Grade" and Grade 5 will create "Ten Books Every Child Should Read by Fifth Grade." 

Here’s how the process will go:
1.     Classmates brainstorm books
2.     Vote on the top 10
3.     Work in groups of 2-3 to write up a few sentences about the book and why everyone should read it
4.     Create a blog post for your class complete with picture of the book cover, title, author, and blurb about the book

I don’t ask you to do anything if I haven’t modeled it myself.  Therefore, I give to you the “10 Must Reads for Every Toddler.”
1. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd
This classic is well loved because of its familiar animals and objects as well as its rhythmic prose that has a way of making a baby sleepier. 

2. My World by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd
A companion book to Goodnight Moon, this book is special because it also provides names of everyday objects.  We read this daily and eventually when Daniel talked, it dawned on me that most of the words he said were the objects from this book.  Coincidence?  I think not.

3. Rosie’s Walk by Pat Hutchins
This book is largely told in pictures.  An unsuspecting hen goes out for a walk around the farm not realizing that a fox is trailing her.  The reader watches as the fox keeps attempting to get her but (thankfully) always falls short.  It was the first book that provided me a glimpse of my son’s sense of humor.  He giggled with glee while saying, "Oh!" and tapping his head with the palm of his hand when the fox got hit in the face with a rake.  

4. Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle and Jill McElmurry
A friendly little truck and his animal friends need to help a big dump truck out of the mud. The dump truck realizes that taking time to be kind to others has its benefits. It’s got everything a toddler could ask for: farm animals, friendship, and the “beep, beep, beep” of a truck.

5. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury
The pictures are absolutely delightful as this family goes looking for a bear and finds what they’re looking for.  There’s lots of action to keep a toddler engaged. It's also comforting to say "Good night" to the bear as he walks back to his cave by the ocean.

6. Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
Another book told mostly in pictures, the idea of animals wanting to sleep over at the zookeeper’s house is hilarious.  I have a special place in my heart for this one because my son loves the zookeeper’s wife’s reaction when she says good night expecting to hear from her husband but instead hears from many animals throughout the dark room.

7. Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown and Felicia Bond
What toddler doesn’t go through a farm animal phase?  We make farm animal noises constantly – in the car, at the house.  This book is a phenomenal way to introduce all the animals and practice their sounds.

8. Moo Moo, Brown Cow by Jakki Wood and Rog Bonner
This little gem brings together animals and numbers.  A cat travels through the farm asking animals if they have babies.  Told in a rhythmic cadence, it is pleasing to the ears and there are enough farm animals for your toddler to practice the animal sounds. 

9. Over in the Meadow by Olive A. Wadsworth and Anna Vojtech
A popular song, there are many variations of this book.  However, my son and I like the soft, happy pictures of the animals in this counting rhyme book.  We spend a few minutes looking at the beginning picture as he points out all the animals he can find in the bird’s eye view two-page spread.   

10. Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman
What a great book to read on a cold winter’s night when you’re cozy in your pajamas before bed!  Bear is sleeping when friend after friend takes shelter in his den.  The word choice such as “the coals pip-pop and the wind doesn’t stop” is really pleasing to the ear.  My toddler likes to act out the scene when the bear wakes up. Such fun!

I hope you enjoyed my list.  It was created based on lots of experience reading with my son Daniel.  Now it's your turn to put your experience to work.  Imagine that someone is coming to you, the expert on kids your age, to get a list of 10 books everyone your age should read by the end of the school year.  Which ones would you choose?  There are so many to pick from that it's a more difficult assignment than you might think.  
Have fun with it.  I know that we will have fun creating these lists and checking out the lists of every classroom!
Mrs. Roy
My apologies as the graph may be difficult to see in the image below.  However, the results are as follows:
Wonder - 102 votes
The One and Only Ivan - 72 votes
Jake and Lily - 28 votes
The Flying Beaver Brothers and the Evil Penguin Plan - 25

It seems like everyone is abuzz with the excitement of the winter Olympic games.  What better time for our fourth and fifth graders to research the Olympics?  We will strike while the iron is hot!
Below are some links that we will use in the upcoming weeks.

Scholastic Olympic News

Sochi Sports Odyssey

Sports Illustrated Kids Guide to Olympics

The Science Behind the Olympics


The False Prince

Three Times Lucky

Liar and Spy

Tuesdays at the Castle

The Templeton Twins have an idea


Using ThingLink to tell the Story of ruby Bridges

Ruby Bridges


2014 Medal- Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo


The SMall Adventure of Popeye and Elvis

The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester

On the Road To MR. Mineo's

Greetings from Nowhere