Loewenstein Spring 15 Grad. Children's Lit discussion

Book Bundle Assignment Reflection-Due January 30th

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message 1: by Wendy (new)

Wendy Loewenstein (wendyl612) | 32 comments Mod
Please reflect on your process of selecting and posting your book bundle books for your selected student (based on their interest inventory). Please share about your search process, which resources you used to select books, frustrations, enjoyment, and MOST IMPORTANTLY share about if and how you would apply this to your current and/or future role in a classroom, library, etc.

message 2: by Cathy (last edited Jan 26, 2015 10:34AM) (new)

Cathy Field | 6 comments Selecting books for Haidyn was interesting. I am currently not working as a full time teacher, so I went to the Glenwood Public Library to look for books. I was delighted and surprised to find an excellent assortment of children’s books. The children’s librarian was a phenomenal resource, too. She taught me how to use their library catalogue program, which was very different from the programs I am accustomed to using. She also gave me a tour of the library and introduced me to their ebook collection, which is far more extensive than I would anticipate in such a small community. I came home with an armload of possible books to use for this project and a new friend.
I had a difficult time narrowing the books down to four, but decided to use the four I felt had the highest interest level according to Haidyn’s interest inventory and received the best reviews. I was lucky to find several books that aligned with more than one of his interests. Reading and writing reviews about the books was enjoyable and easy. I typed all of my reviews in Word and saved them in one document and then copy-pasted them into Goodreads.
The Goodreads site was my main frustration. It is not very user friendly. You have to experiment and play around with it to discover how to create bookshelves and add reviews to specific bookshelves. There are no obvious buttons or links to guide you to what you want to do. I have written an entire page of notes on what to click to do specific tasks. I’m sure it will be like all other new things and become second nature soon. A secondary frustration was my lack of knowledge concerning Haidyn’s approximate reading level. A good teacher has a basic idea of each child’s reading level within the first week of school and can then provide bundles of books that have some books within their independent reading range. I had to guess and choose a range that seemed reasonable for most fourth graders.
I will definitely use Goodreads in my work as a classroom teacher. I see it as a great way to add books to various students’ bookshelves as I come across them and to create bookshelves for specific units I want to teach. I think I will have a private Goodreads account and a professional one. I also see the value of building one for the teachers I work with, so we can brainstorm and share books for projects and shared unit plans.
This assignment was very useful to me because I discovered a new resource in my new home town and was able to collect books for a student, which I haven’t been able to do for a long time. I cannot wait to get back in the classroom!

message 3: by Lori (new)

Lori | 7 comments Search Process: I began searching for Cooper’s Book Bundle at my local public library (Seward Memorial) which is my favorite library in the world! Started the process by looking under the basic topics that Cooper provided on his Interest Inventory, also checking out Amazon for ideas since they have a great search engine. After finding some selections that fit, I began reading, sorting and narrowing down selections. Went to Books In Print to verify age levels, read professional reviews and look for any related books they suggested. I found I needed to request a few Inter-Library Loans to get a good handle on choosing the books I felt were the best fits.

Resources: Seward Memorial Library, Amazon, Books In Print, Inter-Library Loan services

Enjoyment: It had been a long time since I really started digging in the stacks for primary books. So many awesome, new titles!

Frustrations: Time! Wish I could have had more time to locate some of the options I found on-line, but not on the shelves.
Once again…so many awesome new books…so little time. :( 
Also, the only clue I had in regards to Cooper’s reading level was grade level, his writing style on the Interest Inventory, and the books he said he owned. Not having a real relationship with him was a true disadvantage.

Application: I’m trying to challenge myself to relate the concepts we’re developing and practicing to my college-aged students at SCC. One thing I’d like to try and use would be an interest inventory survey in a digital form (SurveyMonkey?) to give the students and faculty as they come in the library. A bribe (food) might help engage them in the process! This information could then be used to help select future materials in our Library Resource Center.

message 4: by Tammi (new)

Tammi Peterman | 5 comments In selecting books for Jack I focused on his love for sports specifically baseball and football. Initially my plan was to include some fantasy pieces about dragons and monsters but since there is a vast amount of sports literature available I decided to try to reach him through sports, a passion he will likely carry with him through adulthood. While my book bundle is mostly baseball I wanted to include at least one football book to give the student some degree of variety.

I began my search using the Lincoln City Library online Catalogue and cross referenced the pieces I thought would be good to Titlewave (I could not find reviews on all my pieces here) and Books in Print to read some reviews about the books. Because I wanted some consumer input I also checked some Amazon reviews just to see what parents had to say about the books I was looking at and interestingly this method ruled out one of the books I had originally selected. I wanted to get pieces that accommodate different skill levels so that Jack had pieces he could read independently or read with family members since his inventory indicated he enjoyed spending time with family. After compiling a good list I headed to the public library to find the pieces and I spent some time exploring the shelves for additional pieces that my digital search did not identify-this proved to be a valuable use of my time.

Since I do not know the student and his reading abilities it was difficult to know what appropriate independent reading material for this student was. I selected a couple intermediate chapter books that were geared toward grades 3-5 that were quick easy reads under the premise he could read them alone or with his parents at home if the content was difficult. Some additional information about the student would have been helpful in selecting the best books. I also found that as I began reading some of the books I did not like them even after reading great reviews so I felt like I was always starting over with this project and running out of time. I made several trips to the library to pick up new books for consideration-I may have over-analyzed some of my pieces. In the end I enjoyed this project.

Since I am not working in a school and don’t have children this age it was fun to explore pieces that I am unfamiliar with and to see what is out there in sports literature. As a future librarian I will definitely do utilize book bundles I think it would be helpful for reluctant readers or kids who may be unfamiliar with the library. I think this would also be a great activity for parents to utilize. I would like to see an interest inventory posted on the library website so parents and students can fill it out and submit online and pick up some books when they are ready. This could be a great way to get parents more involved and assist them in finding books their students will enjoy.

message 5: by Beth (new)

Beth | 7 comments Let me preface this by saying that I wanted to become a high school teacher for a very specific reason... what I have learned is that despite my desire to teach young adults they often come into my classroom with upper elementary reading abilities and middle school attitudes.

My search began with our school librarian (who is one of the most amazing people I know) and Haidyn's interest inventory. I chose him because he was one of the oldest students available, but after completing this assignment I wish I would have chosen a 2nd grader.

The search process began by narrowing down the interest field based on information on Haidyn's interest inventory. Then a search through the stacks/shelves of the high school library only to discover that most of the books that I thought sounded good were actually in the elementary/middle school library. 17 chapter books and 4 picture book later the weeding out process began.

I LOVE amazon.com so I checked out my top 5 picks and read a lot of the reviews and spoilers on there and followed that up with a search through titlewave to see what the experts had to say about them.

The deciding factor for books that made the final cut were... If I had to read these books too before offering them to a student I wanted to make sure they would be something I might also enjoy (or be able to tolerate). Many of my top 5 picks were discarded and and some of the original 17 made their way back into the mix. After only coming up with three books that were housed on campus, my wonderful school librarian went hunting at the local public library for me (have I mentioned that she's awesome?)

In truth the easiest book to find was the picture book (which is why I kind of wish I had chosen a 2nd grader their books are shorter in page length). That was the enjoyment part. Picture books are great and I love using them even with my high school students. The intermediate books were the problem.

FRUSTRATIONS... time. time. and oh yeah time. It takes maybe 20 minutes to analyze a picture book. It takes a couple of days to make it through intermediate chapter books, especially if you start one and decide it is really not what you are looking for and you have to start all over again.

Enjoyment... the student I chose had a fairly good range of interests and I chose books based on that range. I currently have a student who shared similar interest and started looking for books that I could also use with that student as well as this assignment (Hence the Percy Jackson selection... we're reading it right now)

Current/Future Application... I currently teach high school language arts but all of the students in my reading classes are "developing" readers (stole this term from "the book whisperer") and finding materials that will interest them at a level that they can actually read is a CONSTANT battle. So... even though my original target was for this 4th grader, I had ulterior motives in all of the books that I selected/read. I had my own student, who has similar interests, in mind and we are actually reading one of the books I selected together (sooo... no I haven't finished that one yet but I am working on it.)

While this process is excellent and something that all reading teachers/librarians should strive for I can't help but be overwhelmed by the time factor. I will always strive to find books that truly interest my students, but finding 4 or 5 options at a time isn't always feasible when every student is a developing reader. There is only one of me and so so many of them.

message 6: by Valerie (new)

Valerie Barnhart (vbarnhart) | 15 comments This assignment helped me to understand the steps in collection development, analysis of works, and specific selection of works for a student. My student was Natalie. I selected Natalie because my sister teaches first grade and the interest inventory was close to her grade level and interests for her students. I am currently working as a paraeducator, and some of the students are at the second grade reading level. Many of the books that I read were done with these students. I searched through the vendor sites and then looked for the books at Lincoln City Libraries. They had a wide range of books that I found through Mackin and Follett-Titlewave. Some of the selections my students and I were able to read through ebook which made the reading of the books more exciting for my students who do not have much access to electronics in the day.
The book bundle was set up with her interest inventory subjects as part of the search process. Her interests in music, ballet, history, Abraham Lincoln, mystery, detectives, automobiles, animals, famous people, motion pictures, and writing were some of the areas from the books selected. Natalie had so many different interests and likes that it was difficult to select just four books. This was one of the frustrations with the assignment. I would start reading a great book, and then question if it was one of the best selections for Natalie. I found items for almost all of her interests, but in reading the books I had to analyze the “likeability” for Natalie. Awesome books on the development of areas like soccer and locomotives were not included on her list, because it did not come out of her inventory as a real strong interest. This would be an advantage to actually knowing the student and making selections for them based on what you know about their other reading interests. Therefore, my selections for her bundle covered more than one area on her interest inventory.
Another frustration with the assignment, was the lack of time to really indulge and read a wide variety of novels that I found for her interests. I felt that I needed to have strong reviews and many of the interests to be able to invest the time in reading the pieces for the collection. With this in mind, there are probably excellent book choices that I didn’t even read. As a teacher, I like to have strong feelings in books that I recommend to students.
In looking at Natalie as a second grade student and comparing her writing and books she enjoys, I felt she was a fairly advanced second grade reader. I compared her interests with some of the second graders that I know, and she seems to be very bright and well-informed. Knowing the student on a personal level would definitely help in selecting books for them. I thoroughly enjoyed this part of the process.
They were also books that had favorable reviews from professionals. For some of the very new books or within the twelve months search, reviews were difficult to find from creditable sources. Reading the books and the reviews was another enjoyable part. I gained a real understanding of Goodreads and feel more comfortable in using the site. I typed my Goodread reviews into the site directly, then cut and pasted it back to Word to check it over, saved in to Word, and then copy and pasted them into Goodreads. It was time consuming, but the computer I originally typed the reviews on did not have access to Word.
Becoming more familiar with the Goodreads site will build my confidence and be helpful in troubleshooting the issues when I have students using it for a class. At this point, I am feeling much more comfortable in using Goodreads. As an English teacher, this would be a great way for students to share information back to the teacher as they read through many independent books in the year. In the high school setting, I would definitely use this as a feedback and reaction tool for students.
Since I am not teaching this year, I connected with many of the teachers that I have worked with in the past on Goodreads. It will be a method for us to collaborate and share great books. Working as a paraeducator, I am working to catch up on many of the books that I have wanted to read but didn’t have time to when I was teaching.

message 7: by Amy (new)

Amy Jewell | 7 comments I chose Haidyn, a 4th grader interested in books about mysteries and history, according to his interest inventory. I chose Haidyn because I have a son in the 4th grade-he is more into books that are fantasy oriented. I wanted to chose a student that would be somewhat similar to my son (the gender and age), however have that extra challenge of having to locate books that I don't normally locate for a 4th grader.

Search process: I started at the computer and did the majority of my research that way. I analyzed the different topics that interest Haidyn and looked for books on topics such as mystery, history, comedy and also electronics. After using the computer to find the appropriate books, I went to the Lincoln City Library system and checked out the books to read and review for Haidyn.

Resources used to select books: The resources I used to complete these book selections were Follett-titlewave and Mackin websites. Both of these websites enabled me to do searches for the subjects/keywords that Haidyn is interested. The advanced searches allowed me to also find books at the appropriate reading level and meet the publication specifications for the assignment. I also used Amazon's and Barnes and Noble's websites to look for the availability of books to purchase or look at in a bookstore here in Lincoln. In the end, I used the Lincoln City Libraries website to locate the books I chose for Haidyn so I could check them out and read them.

Frustrations: The aspect of the assignment that I found the most frustrating was that I found some excellent books that I feel Haidyn would really enjoy. However, I could not get my hands on a copy of 3 of the books. They were not in Lincoln City Libraries or Criss Library-not even on eBooks. I added them the Haidyn's book bundle shelf but did not write a review for them as I was unable to read them before recommending them to him.

Enjoyment: Obviously, the most enjoyable aspect of this assignment was that it enabled me to read 4 different books. I took the Young Adult lit class last semester and reading some of the books was time consuming. I was able to read all 4 of my books in about 3 days, and 2 of them were chapter books! Because they were written for an intermediate reader, they were fast reads. I was also able to share the books with my 9 year old son.

How you would apply this to your current and/or future role in a classroom, library: I currently teach students in high school with multiple disabilities. I would love to be an elementary school librarian. This assignment really gave me a chance to see what it would be like to find books for an elementary student. I really enjoyed the process, though I hope that in the future it becomes easier for me to get a hold of the titles I want to share with my students.

message 8: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 8 comments Selection Process: I have been teaching middle school for so long that I forget that children in other age groups exist. This tends to be problematic when I am book browsing with my own children who are in first and second grade. In finding books for Jack, first I snagged my second grade son and badgered him with questions about what he and his classmates have been reading lately. He brought me The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester, told me it was a really great book, and noted that it is a Golden Sower nominee. I kept Jack’s profile in mind as I read the book. It has animals, gadgets, and kid sized everyday adventure. It also had good reviews.

I knew no matter what, I wanted to include a graphic novel due to their growing popularity and power to hook reluctant readers, while also holding the attention of avid readers. The author Doug TenNapel creates meaningful storylines with imaginative artwork that captures the attention readers of all ages. I chose Tommysaurus Rex since the plot mirrors that of How to Train Your Dragon in many ways. This graphic novel is recommended for an intermediate audience, but having Jack share the book with an older reader would help him gain more meaning since the book’s themes are layered.

My frustration came along with selecting the two primary picture books. Second grade is a tough age as they transition from being little kids into being much more independent. As readers they are right on the edge of reading chapter books with more complicated plots, but what if Jack was reading below grade level? What is his level of maturity? With every picture book I read I asked myself is this too babyish?
I checked Barnes and Noble lists and came across Battle Bunny, then read various reviews on Titlewave and Mackin, but just didn’t feel comfortable settling on anything. I needed the physical presence of the books.

After talking to another aspiring librarian, I took an enjoyable field trip to the Gretna Children’s Library and ravaged their shelves while alternating between recommended lists on my phone and spying on young library patrons. The library’s collection was much more extensive than any of the children’s sections in area branches, but again, what would be too young for a second grader? Then I saw a boy about my son’s size carrying a giant stack of books. Most of them were picture books with a few chapter books on top. I sat down with a stack of books about dragons and began skimming them. I personally enjoyed Dragons Love Tacos, but called my son over for a second opinion. The book was a hit. The other books featuring dragons were either alphabet/counting books or very poorly written Disney trademark character books. I checked the professional reviews for Dragons Love Tacos and Battle Bunny and made my final selections.

The most important idea I can take away from this assignment is the value of knowing your patrons. Talk to them, observe them, and read with them. Make the library a social place where you and your patrons can network titles, authors, and genres. Then use professional reviews to help solidify and extend your library’s collection.

message 9: by Alicia (new)

Alicia | 5 comments This process for me ended up using a variety of libraries and resources. I started looking at my school library to find some resources but due to it being such a teeny tiny library, I had a very limited selection for books in my student's inventory categories based on the year specifications we needed to follow as well. I did go look through the small new book display and was able to find something that looked like it would be interesting for Mya. She had stated an interest in art and the picture book I found on an artist had very detailed and eye-catching illustrations. The story was interesting to read and the art on each page had the ability to give her ideas for her own art. So though it wasn't the most direct way to find a particular book, it did lead to a worthwhile option. It was also an award-winning book and had strong reviews when I looked them up later.

I knew for the other books I would need to focus more on the genre of fantasy. Mya's inventory strongly indicated that it was a high preference for her to read magical stories involving dragons and adventures. I decided to look through the Rapid City online catalog and narrow down some options. Some of the options that I found seemed like they were going to be really good but when I went down to the library to find them and look through it, I thought the storyline, hero, and cover would appeal more to a boy. Then I discovered that some of the books were in the middle of a series and I knew it would be inappropriate to recommend a book from the middle of a series when I had not read the books preceding it.

I did use the title of one of the books that I thought seemed promising but the date was not going to work for our purposes and put it into a database called the Fiction Connection. In that database, after you find a book you like, it will also suggest other books that you might like based on subject matters, themes, genre, characters, etc. It was through this search that I found the book I was most excited about because it had so many elements from the inventory of my student. Unfortunately it was checked out at the public library but I was able to borrow it through the Overdrive system.

My other books I decided to go for a variety. I had a picture book for art, so I decided to give her something more on grade level for independent reading and exploration. It was challenging because most of the art books I found would need an adult for assistance with the project and I wasn't sure what her family background is. I wanted something that would have projects she could most likely try with minimal support. "The Boxcar Children Adventure Guide" seemed like the perfect fit for this. It had endless activities that she could attempt and most of the items required could be found in a home or school.

I decided to have one other picture book that was focused on her love for dragons. I wanted her to have something that would most definitely be an independent read for her that she could share with friends or family. It was hard for me as well to determine what she might consider a "little kid book" but I decided to use reviews, awards, and my own fourth/fifth grade group to help me decide what would be a worthy book to recommend. That was how I came to decide that "When a Dragon Moves In" was going to be the best fit. The story was engaging even though the words and sentences were simple to read. My students all gave it high ratings for pictures and they found the story to be very humorous. It requires some critical thinking skills to make the connection between the book's dialogue and the message the pictures are communicating. The book had good reviews and it had recently been a Golden Sower Nominee. Through the whole process I most enjoyed talking to other students about the book I was selecting, using the Fiction Connection, and when I finally knew I had a book that would be perfect!

After finding books that I really think would fit this child, I wish I could actually see the end pay off and watch my student looking through the books! For this reason, I think the book bundle idea is a great idea for me to implement with my students that I even have currently. It would be extremely beneficial to have my students fill out inventories on their interests and then for me to bring books into the classroom that I think they would enjoy. I also really enjoyed the in-depth conversations that occurred when I brought my students into the selection process. So I think it would be a great idea to designate different weeks for a particular student and have the group work together to determine books that might be the best fit for someone. Everyone will be able to practice their synthesizing and analysis skills in order to make a judgment on the books. I can't wait to start working on this as an activity!

message 10: by Deann (new)

Deann | 9 comments Search process: I really liked looking for books for a student. It is like going on a treasure hunt. You have the clues from your students, you just have to follow them. Hopefully the clues will lead to their treasure of books. I know that Haidyn likes mysteries and most of the books he owns are mysteries, so I wanted to try to find books that fit other interests of his. He showed an interest in learning more about sports. His favorite sport is basketball, but he would like to go back to a time Bears were good and the famous person he wanted to meet was Walter Payton, so I think he would enjoy football books. I did this because I have an 11 year old and when he was in 4th grade, I could not get him to read anything but nonfiction books. His 4th grade teacher did a wonderful job encouraging him to read other genres. He now reads a variety of fiction and nonfiction books.

Resources: I used Keene Memorial Library in Fremont to find and check out books. I looked up books on Amazon to find in the library. I used our school library’s search Follett Destiny to find and check out books. I asked our school librarian for help finding books. I asked my 6th grade son what he thought of the intermediate book I chose.

Frustrations: In my mind I was thinking there is a right or wrong answer for the book bundles. There is no right or wrong answer if you try to meet the child’s interest. If they students does not like the books in the bundle you can try again.
I had a hard time not knowing the student’s reading level. It made me a little unsure if you would use the intermediate book as an independent book or a read aloud. At my school, we have to have books for the students to choose from at their independent level for Daily 5.

Application: I can use this both now and in my future role as a librarian. I can use this now when I am selecting books for my current students. I can use book bundles for my reluctant readers. I want to show them how fun it is to read. I can use the interest surveys to find books for their reading bags for Daily 5. As a librarian I can work with the classroom teachers. I can help put book bundles together for them to share with their students. As a classroom teacher it is difficult to create book bundles for students because of time. As a librarian I would be able to reach a lot of students this way and help the classroom teacher. I can use the process of book bundles to help my students who are having trouble finding a book in the library. I can ask the students questions like on the questionnaire and quickly search for a few books that interest them.

message 11: by Kristen (last edited Jan 29, 2015 07:05PM) (new)

Kristen | 6 comments Being a high school English teacher, this process was actually a bit intimidating. I appreciated the clarification on “primary” vs. “intermediate” books because I had no idea what the specific difference was. I started by searching some of Paige’s key interests in the Omaha Public Library catalogue and then writing down possibilities based on if the book was available at a convenient location; I was pleased that almost all of the books I was interested in were available! Since I wasn’t sure what I was looking for, I just wrote down a large list of possibilities and trekked to the library. Actually being able to open the book and see the size of the font, the number of words on a page, etc. helped me realize what a 3rd grader might be capable of reading. (I also asked a father who was at the library with his little girls if I could talk to them about the books they enjoy reading… luckily, I don’t think he was too creeped out, and they were helpful!)

I looked up reviews on Books in Print to make sure the books received positive reviews and were the appropriate reading level. However, I wish I would've known Paige's reading level in order to pick books more appropriately. (I know children's reading levels can already be many grade levels apart by 3rd grade.)

Overall, I didn’t mind searching for books, and I enjoyed reading Here Come the Girl Scouts! and Hands On! Art Projects , but I didn’t like reading The Boxcar Children or Phillipa Fisher and the Fairy’s Promise. I understand that children would like them, but the short sentences and really simple plot lines were extremely boring. (I'm assuming I'll be able to look past those qualities eventually, but it sure was weird reading these along side A Tale of Two Cities!)

In my school district, I have one class period of students for 20 minutes for SSR. I love the idea of distributing the interest survey to those students at the beginning of the year in order to give them some recommendations. When I have SSR with my advanced class, they normally enjoy reading and easily select books on their own, but my other students have more trouble “getting into” reading, so I think having a few starting points would be helpful. Plus, I enjoy learning about my students in general and I thought the survey had interesting questions.

message 12: by Chris (new)

Chris | 10 comments I feel like I know Mya now. :) She has “become” my 4th grade student who I have in my mind every time I see a new book. I have kept in mind her favorites and interests that she shared in her Interest Inventory all week long.

Research Process: I looked everywhere. My book shelves, UNO library, Amazon, Dr. Danielson's library, the library in the sitting area of suite 308,and Scholastic book order forms. I looked at Mya's interest inventory often, and every time I did I saw something I had not noticed before. One small thing was that she crossed out her answer to the question about what kinds of books she has at home. I could barely make out what she had written through the mark outs, but she stated she has "baby books" that she hates. I made note of that for the picture books I selected as I did not want her to feel I was giving her a "baby book". Through my book hooks and activities, hopefully I helped her to see how some picture books are powerful for older readers, too, and could give her reading and writing models and ideas. I wanted to select some award winners which I was able to do with The Day the Crayons Quit as it has won the American Library Association Notable Books for Children Award in 2014. Two of the book are nominees for the Golden Sower Award 2015-16: That is Not a Good Idea and A Snicker of Magic. I also wanted her to have a challenging as well as an independently read chapter book. One we could read together and one she could feel the pride in reading herself.

Resources used to select books: My two best sources were the UNO library and Dr. Danielson. Dr. Danielson reads to her class every day where I am a graduate assistant, so I was able to reflect on many of those books and then borrow the ones I thought might be right for Mya. I was pleasantly surprised at the selection of books through UNO Library. I looked them up on line and reserved them for pick up. The next day, I went to the main desk area and they were all there ready to go. It was easy and quick. I found Amazon allows me to take a peek inside of most of the books they sell, so that was a nice feature when I just wanted to get a feel for a book before I ordered or borrowed it. It was also nice to know about Books in Print because I was able to find all the basic information about genre, reading level, and theme. Then, I could delve into the professional book reviews to help with deeper insights about what the books offered.

Frustrations: I like hunting for books, so I did not have many frustrations. There were a few books that I liked that had an older than 2010 copyright date, but that was not a big deal. I made a list of the older books that are good for the genres Mya enjoys so that I will have that list when I am in a elementary classroom again.

Enjoyment: Like I said, I enjoyed the hunt. In fact, I hunted so much I had to get myself settled down and start reading. Once I did, I so enjoyed Bad Kitty! I now want to own the whole collection. What a great place to start with chapter books or for that reluctant intermediate reader. I also was inspired to write more vividly and descriptively by A Snicker of Magic. What a wonderful, heart-felt book!

How I would apply to future classroom: I would use all the book hooks and activities I placed on my review of the following books:
*A Snicker of Magic
*Bad Kitty Meets the Baby
*The Day the Crayons Quit
*That is Not a Good Idea

There are so many potential writing activities in each one of these books that I listed in my reviews. All are mentor texts in unique ways.

I so enjoy Steve Layne and his use of interest inventories, so I would definitely focus on finding out what my students enjoy as well as their strengths and weak areas in reading. There is no doubt I would want to provide a book bundle for each of my students at least one time during the school year.

message 13: by Brianna (new)

Brianna Deines | 6 comments Selecting books for Paige, a third grader, I found myself going back and forth between chapter books and picture books. Paige's book inventory really helped me understand her personality better. I got a good sense that she may be a “typical” 8-10 year old liking what most little girls like at that age. Shopping, friends, money, and animals. I did my best trying to find books that would be interesting but a moderate challenge for her. This lead me more toward intermediate/chapter books with plots that would grab her attention. I also tried to make sure that the books that I did pick for her didn’t overlap themes, just to try to open some other windows of interest.

Search Process and Resources:
When I started looking for books for Paige I started at home with the picture books I have and a few of the chapter books. I decided I needed a little more guidance or something to break down titles and genres. This lead me to Books in Print and Amazon and my classroom library. After finding the titles that I wanted I knew that they would be great fits for Paige not only because of the positive reviews but because they seemed to fit right in with what she marked on her interest inventory.

Disney books!! She would love to go to Disney world or read about the people that created Frozen. This was a tough thing to find because either I felt it was poor literature or because I could only find travel guides or because everything was copyright circa 1980’s! Therefore, leaving poor Paige Disneyless in the reading material :(

What I really enjoyed about this book bundle for Paige was the readings. Yes, they took some time but I had no problems getting through them because they were good! I am not sure that I would give all these chapter books to her at once but over the course of time because it could be a little overwhelming for a third grader!

In the future I would use the interest inventory at the beginning of the year. After looking through all inventories I think I would make stations of genres and have students pick a couple different books from different genres. Maybe take it a step further and match up some inventories to create book partnerships or some type of literature circle.

message 14: by Michelle (new)

Michelle | 12 comments Search Process:
I started my search by talking with my daughter (who reads at about the same level as Paige's grade level) and checking out her bookshelf. She was very happy to help and even wrote me a little chart with titles and the subjects of the books. This gave me a good starting point. I also looked online to get some more ideas. I searched for ideas based on Paige's interests on her inventory and made a list of some possibilities. With my list I headed over to Sump Memorial Library in Papillion. I talked with our 2 favorite librarians to get some more recommendations. With Paige being a 3rd grader, I focused mostly on the intermediate level books because this is an age where kids see themselves as “grown-up.” After looking at and starting to read a few books I narrowed down my list and ended up choosing 3 intermediate books and 1 picture book. I used information on Books in Print to check out some professional reviews and to verify the age levels of the books that I chose.

I used Barnes & Noble and Amazon for some general ideas and recommendations. I checked out books at Sump Memorial Library in Papillion and talked with the librarians there for ideas. I also used Books in Print to check reviews and recommended age levels.

I wish that I had even more information about Paige. It would have been helpful to know her reading level. Another thing that was a little frustrating to me was being able to find the books that I was looking for. Some of the ideas that I found online were not available at the library.

I really enjoyed putting together the book bundle. It gave me a chance to read some of the books that my daughter is reading and chat with her about them. It was fun browsing for ideas and thinking about what kinds of books Paige would like to read. Some of the topics that she is interested in were not ones that I normally would have looked into. It was also nice to have a chance to see what is new in the primary and intermediate sections at the library.

How to apply this in the classroom/library:
I plan to use interest inventories with my future students. I hope to get to know the students well enough to be able to recommend books that I think they will like. This information would be helpful especially with those readers who aren't very interested in reading. I want to be able to lead them to books they will enjoy and hopefully spark their interest in reading for fun. I will choose book bundles for my future students as well. As a student, I would have really liked if my teacher or librarian took the time to choose books just for me based on my interests. It would be a great way to connect with my students.

message 15: by Lela (new)

Lela | 8 comments Student Selection: If Jack McAdams had three wishes, one of them would be to go to YoYo Berri. If Lela Nix had three wishes, one of them would be to go to YoYo Berri too! So, let’s just say, Jack had me at YoYo Berri. I also couldn’t wait to choose books for a boy who would use one of his free bookstore picks to buy his mom a “cooking book.” At the risk of sounding sappy, Jack’s inventory responses communicated a sweet voice that resonated with me. He had a wide range of interests, with a few reoccurring themes. To narrow down my choices, I chose to focus on his love of monsters and dragons. I couldn’t wait to get started.

Search Process/Resources Used: After I figured out my new iPad (fun), I got to work. The process began by doing a subject search for monsters and dragons on Goodreads. I placed some possibilities on a shelf entitled “Jack”. I hurried off to Barnes and Noble to see if I could get my hands on some choices. Sigh! Easier said than done (see frustrations). None of my picks were on the shelf, HOWEVER, I spent a lot of time on the floor of the early reader “chapter” book section just immersing myself in text: types, levels, and interests. I really got a feel for what was available for a second grade reader. The intermediate wall was too advanced for independent reading, and most of the picture books were “read alouds” as well. I discovered the power of the iPad that day too. I used it as an instant, mobile resource to research books for Jack. I bounced back and forth between Goodreads, Biblionasium, Scholastic Book Wizard and Amazon just researching levels, reviews and subjects. The B&N staff had to kick me out at closing time. I could have stayed there all night. I purchased one early chapter book for my boy bundle and headed home. My next stop was the library. I had to get my hands on some selections. My original “Jack” shelf wasn’t going to work (“My Monster Farts” was no longer available, and “Dragons at Crumbling Castle” won’t be released until February…life is just not fair!). So, I hit the Millard branch of OPL to start anew. Again, I felt the exhilarating “power of the pad” as I logged onto the library’s catalog and searched to my heart’s content without being tethered to the reference desk computer. A simple subject search had me back in the hunt and I even learned some new things about the Dewy Decimal System. I felt like I was on some kind of “librarian high” if there is such a thing. My hope for the “bundle” was to find a common theme with a diversity in type. I found two great books at Millard, and put another on hold at the Abrahams branch. It was only later that I found one of the books was not on Goodreads (see frustrations). Wendy kindly sent a screencast on how to add a book to GR, but by that time I had already gone back to the library and found a title I liked even better. I ended up with one Step 2 reader, an early chapter book from the Branches by Scholastic series, a picture book and a non-fiction read aloud. I felt like I had a well-rounded group of books for my recommendations.

Frustrations: I guess now that my search is over, I see the benefit of struggling through the frustrations. At the time however, there were parts of the assignment that proved troublesome. For example, my original books weren’t on the shelves at the book store. I felt like that would be the best place to start. I thought there would be a better chance of finding newer books as outlined by the conditions of the assignment. Ugh! However, spending time at the bookstore allowed me to build my background knowledge for the age level of student I eventually hope to teach. Yay! Another hidden frustration was the fact that not all books were on Goodreads. This makes sense, but it wasn’t something I had considered checking before finalizing my book choices. Thankfully there is a way to add books to GR, and I will take the time to figure that out soon. Overall, I had a great time learning the ins and outs of the different book databases and can’t wait to do it in a job setting.

Enjoyment: I have spoken of my enjoyment throughout this reflection, but perhaps the most enjoyable part was reading the early chapter book to my daughter. It held her attention and the great illustrations helped to support her comprehension. She is only five, so we talked a lot along the way. What a great bonding time. If the real Jack McAdams were to get his hands on this book, I would hope he could snuggle and read it with an important someone in his life too! I read and skimmed countless books, and while I didn’t pick them for Jack, I have shelved them in a database or written them down for future use. Aside from my iPad joy, my expanding of knowledge and enjoyment of children’s literature will be among the most memorable parts of this assignment.

Future Application: While I am not teaching in the classroom currently, I do tutor my second grade neighbor Samantha in reading and word work. Samantha attends a private school where there isn’t much support for a struggling reader. She senses the widening gap between herself and her classmates, so she is beginning to act out in class and drift in her attention. I took what I learned from chapter two of our reading and began to immerse her in high interest, level appropriate texts. I search for books on Goodreads and have helped her mom sign up with Biblionasium. We have met at the bookstore and chosen books, and I check out books for her from the library. Her mom has been sending me text pictures of Samantha reading on the sofa with captions that read “I secretly took this picture. She has been reading for 20 minutes without being asked.” I am seeing the benefit of a good-fit book first hand. How exciting! Of course I will be using all of the above to make good book picks for my students whatever grade I teach.

message 16: by Denice (new)

Denice Hein (deniceh) | 17 comments In reflection of my book bundle for Mya in 4th grade.I have the following thoughts:

Resources: I began my search with Books in Print and Follett. They both have easy access to reviews and advanced searches. I made a list of 5-10 books that looked interesting around dragon and animals. I then hit the shelves of not one, but two libraries in Lincoln. (It was torture, I tell you). I was pleasantly surprised at the second library finding a gem of My Art book on the shelf next to one I had been looking for but discarded. That was an aha! moment for me that there’s nothing like being among the ‘living’ creatures of these books/stories. For my perfect fit, Dragon Girl I even had to head to a small book store named Indigo Bridge Books (it’ll be a good addition to my daughter’s future library).

Enjoyment: I loved the challenge of finding just the right books. Discussing with my current school’s library tech about our school’s collection was meaningful. As stated above, I really enjoyed being in the libraries and hunting for the right resources for my student.

Frustration: I found a drawing book early on that in the reviews sounded awesome. Draw Animals in 4 Easy Steps and then Write a Story. I thought the connects were wonderful. I didn’t find this one in the library but found a near match called Draw Amazing Animals. It’s pages showed how to draw a rhino, a panda and such in for steps. It was amazing! However it looked amazingly hard to me. I gave the book to a 7th grade student of mine that loves drawing and asked her to try it. She had it for an hour and brought it back. She was not impressed. She said it was hard and her drawing failed.

Future Implications: I have learned that updated books are hard to find in public libraries, therefore within my future library that will be a goal. I would like a interest inventory to be a part of library orientation for upper elementary students. I can make bundles for students and groups with similar interests. We could support book clubs within the interest levels during indoor recesses. For younger students that may need more support completing the inventory, we could have group discussions recorded within the library. I can look back at the recordings to get accurate interests for certain students.

The idea of bundles in middle schools I believe could be presented as my librarian does in cloth bins with the focus labeled on each. I love the idea of interest inventories for each student. Perhaps I can start book clubs based on similar interests. I love the idea of that I got from My Art book to join with the art teacher for an art/book club. The library seems a natural place to display students art and other works.

message 17: by Cheiree (new)

Cheiree Domet | 5 comments I started my search with my school librarian. She showed me how to use our computer system to search for books. I started entering in subjects that Paige was interested in. The difficult part about the searching was finding books that fell into the dates we needed. I then went and found books that I thought she might enjoy. There were some that I thought might be too young and some that I thought might be too intermediate. I then checked out seven of them myself. I brought them home and read them. I had my 18 year old daughter read them also. I asked her opinion about the ones she read and then formed my opinion about what I thought Paige might enjoy. There was one that I thought might be kind of a stretch for her areas of interest but with my experience with second graders (Paige is in third) I know how much they enjoy the comic book format so I chose it. One of the difficulties was not knowing what reading level Paige is on. I didn’t want to get books that were too easy but I also didn’t want to choose one that would frustrate her. I have decided that I like the idea of interest inventories and am going to use them in my classroom but that it also helps if the teacher is able to have an understanding of the students’ reading abilities.

message 18: by Jill (new)

Jill Stark (jistark) | 5 comments Jill’s Reflection.
This assignment was harder than I thought. A few days after our first class, I picked my student, Mya, and started thinking about what type of books to choose. I knew that my book selection search would have to include the following: animal stories (cats especially), mysteries, fantasy, adventure, magic, and possibly art. Then, I started looking for books at the school library and local town libraries. I discovered that there are very few books for checkout with a copyright of 2010 and newer. Meaning, that I only found three books in three libraries that would fit my specific keywords. Thank goodness that they fit my criteria, and I decided to include them in Mya’s book bundle!
In order to find other books, I first tried to set up an account with the UNO library to search. I did not get very far, and decided to branch out to online bookstores. I spent a lot of time searching primary and juvenile fiction books. Every book that I thought might work for Mya, got written down. Once I had a list of primary and intermediate books, I went to Nebraska Overdrive to see if they had any of these for checkout. They did not, so, back to the online stores I went looking for Kindle versions. Seeing the prices of newer kindle versions made me narrow my list even more. I purchased three books, one primary, and two intermediate and decided that two of these could be included into Mya’s bundle. The search for books took a whole week of the two week timeline for this assignment.
The other hardship was in the reading. I love to read, but found out that I do not really care to read intermediate level books. I had to struggle to make myself read them. It was a saving grace that the books were not too long, and Mya and I share a lot of genre interests.
I have decided that I need to have more access to newer books and plan on checking the Norfolk Public Library and Yankton Public Library’s website to see if they have an online catalogue. This way, I can have a larger access to books, like there is in the bigger cities.

message 19: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Nye | 14 comments I really enjoyed selecting books for Natalie. She seems to be a very fascinating 2nd grader! She has a variety of interests and appears to really enjoy reading because of the various types of text she likes to read. Since I am currently teaching at an elementary school, so I went to my schools library. My school is very blessed to have such a great selection for all ages in our library. We also have a nice search system where all the books are put into a database.

When looking through Natalie’s interest inventory, there were a few keywords that stuck out to me at first. These included, Space, Animals (specifically giraffes), Abe Lincoln, and Science Fiction. My immediate thought was “PERFECT! I will just select one book from each category.” That was a lot easier than said! The first problem I encountered at a school library was that half of the books I originally selected were already checked out. Another difficultly was my lack of experience selecting books for a 2nd grade student. I struggled with finding books that were the correct reading level. For this task, I really had to depend on reviews. I ended up walking away with five books that I felt fit Natalie the best. I am sure with more time spent, I would have found several more! I struggled with narrowing the books down to four. I found a book about Abraham Lincoln, a book about space, a book about animals, an entertaining graphic-like novel, and a historic fiction novel. I was eventually able to eliminate the book about space because I felt the “science fiction” aspect could be explored in some of the other books I chose.

My favorite part of this entire process is the ability to read a variety of books that I normally would not have chosen for myself. By looking through a students eyes, I was opened up to a whole new world of literature. I loved the books that I chose for my student.

This process is absolutely perfect for my current role. As a Kindergarten teacher, I am constantly trying to find ways to get my students interested in reading. Kindergarten is where students really learn to develop a passion for reading. By selecting books for my students with their interests in mind, I can help them become confident and happy readers.

message 20: by Lisa (last edited Jan 30, 2015 07:09PM) (new)

Lisa Lathrop (lvlathrop) | 20 comments The student I chose was Jack, a 2nd grade student whose interests were not similar to my own. THAT is precisely why I chose him - to challenge myself. Although he mentioned on his interest inventory, that he would like to know more about art (and as an Art teacher I could have gone nuts with this!), I specifically avoided choosing books in that category. I focused on his interest in hanging out with his family and friends, games, presidents, dragons, humor, fantasy, movies, and animals (to start). My initial search began with Amazon.com (my go-to) followed by American Library Associations (ALA) list of notable children's books. I used primarily Kirkus and School Library Journal for reviews. Sump Memorial Library had most of my selections and from there I resorted to Barnes and Noble Bookstores for checking out the books in person.

I came across some wonderful choices for Jack, too. But frustration set in when I couldn't get a copy of "President Adams Alligator..." or "Strongheart: The World's First Movie Star Dog." "Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle" was an incredible true story, but one year too old for our requirements. I also found a book that fit in with his love of games "Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library." It is above Jack's reading level so I originally chose it as a read-aloud for him. This in mind, I downloaded an audible version as I love the inflection and characterizations of the narrators, but after an hour or so of listening (it's almost 6 hours long as an audible book), felt a whole class would lose their attention for it. However, I am still reading (or listening) to it because it is THAT good!

Needless to say, after creating Jack's Bookshelf, I put in, and took out, selections more than once. The final four I chose fit into Jack's interest in dragons, sci-fi adventure, fantasy, humor, and monsters. In the process, I came across some wonderful books...even ones I would consider buying myself or giving as gifts. Some of those I couldn't get a copy of to really delve into are still on my "to-read" list. That was my enjoyment factor: searching for books that didn't necessarily interest me, but I ended up enjoying anyway.

Through my search I did find one book completely by accident that I will purchase for sure! It's in my "read" shelf and is called "Dream Something Big." Of course, this title could be used many ways as inspiration for young people, but it is about an Italian immigrant who works tirelessly to create something BIG...the Watts Towers, which I did not know of prior to reading this book. It even has an art lesson plan in the back of the book - BINGO!

As an art teacher, I don't often get to give my students the opportunity to choose books for themselves. They rely on the books that I choose...hence the importance of being a really good book (thanks reviewers!). I would use the primary picture books I chose for Jack to integrate with art projects. In a 50 minute period designated for creating ART, maybe 10 minutes can be dedicated to a good book. That being said, "Even Monsters Need Haircuts" has very imaginative visuals. I would start a cut-paper collage or drawing assignment with open-ended questions like: "how many eyes would your monster have?" or "what kind of hair would your monster have? would it be only on his head? or on his body, too?" When I teach art I often tell my students I don't have a lot of rules...just be creative and use your imagination. That's what art is all about!

message 21: by Js26jl (new)

Js26jl | 5 comments My search process began by determining genres and types of books on the inventory Jack indicated he enjoyed, and then narrowed those choices to those I wanted to be sure to include in the short book bundle. I began by utilizing the Sump Memorial Library and Omaha Public Library’s catalog to help become aware of the choices available to the book bundle genres. I also used the bookstore and GoodReads to add additional books that could be potentially of interest to a list to later read and skim through.

The frustrating aspect of this assignment lay in the inability to be accurate in the book choices, there wasn’t a chance to truly determine which books would actually too hard or too easy, which ones he would be truly interested in or had already read. I enjoyed going through shelves and finding books that could be potential interests for Jack and adding new books to different shelves for different reasons as I became aware of them.

I anticipate in the future this is an inventory list that can make it easier for me to get to know my students and help them have more choices they may not have been aware of and to make more connections to literature.

message 22: by Eve (new)

Eve Huang | 7 comments Research process: I started my research with Natalia’s interest inventory. Firstly, I tried to find out something that are interested for both of us, in that way, I can give her more positive advice about how to choose the appropriate books in her field, because I also have the reading experiences about that. Fortunately, I found that she likes animal, science and art, and likes reading short stories, these are good to know for me, since I have read a great deal of picture books talking about the interesting facts of animals, they have lovely pictures and the styles of writing are good for a 2nd grader, intelligible and funny. Secondly, I went to the library of UNO and the local libraries to find these books, I did find some of physical objects and checked them out. I also found the e-book of the rest. Using computers and Internet to search a certain item may be a small problem for Natalia who is in 2nd grade, but it will be a good practice for her, she is able to find all the e-books out online under the help from an adult, for this reason, I would like to use the online resources for her.

Resources: W Clarke Swanson Library, W Dale Clark Library, Library of UNO, Amazon, Books In Print, Good reads.

Frustrations: I do have a problem when I am searching the good books; I have no idea about Natalia’s reading skills. I suppose that she is in the average level like other 2nd graders, I tried to find a chapter book for her in that way. There is a good choice from my advice, which is in my best list and was put in the book bundle, in order to read the book, she may need to work with an adult, hopefully, she will like it.
This frustrations reminded that the importance of know your student well. Beside the reading tastes, we also need a correct judgment about students reading skills.

Enjoyment: Working for Natalia’s book bundle is the most amazing thing I am doing now! I always search books for myself, it is the first time I do this for others, and it is very useful for me that analyzing Natalia’s interest inventory and figuring out her reading tastes.

Application: We talked about why teachers need to give more freedom to students and let them to find the books they really like, how can we be good supporters for our students. And today, we got a practice for that! I really like the interest inventory form; it helps teachers to know their students in a short time, not a 100%, fully understanding, but there are some clues in the forms. I practiced how to search e-books online. I do read with kindle and ipad, but searching through the whole Internet is harder than buy e-books in online stores, I can help my students in a larger range with this skill.

message 23: by Sara (new)

Sara (sebuelt) | 8 comments I chose books for Mya. Mya is a fourth grader who likes magic, adventure, fantasies, and books with humor. She also mentioned animals, cats, and basketball in her interest survey. I wanted a challenge in this book bundle and the phrase that sealed the deal for me with Mya was when she said that the perfect book for her would be one about herself as a dragon who went on an adventure. I have been known to joke that I don’t read books that require maps in the front, because I haven’t found the same love for fantasy books that others have. I know I need to expose myself to and read these titles more so that I can better help my own 7th grade readers.

Search Process and Resources:
I started on Goodreads looking through lists that others had posted for 4th graders, and “best of” lists for 2013 and 2014. I searched through these lists for anything that seemed to be fantasy, magical, or related to animals. I also wanted to find some books with a humorous component. Once I had some titles, I checked out reviews on Amazon and Books in Print. I then used the Omaha Public Library app. and the catalog for Beadle’s library to see what I’d be able to get my hands on. I had a lot of books that would work for Mya, but my ultimate choices had a lot to do with what I could get my hands on.

I found myself struggling at first because I don’t feel very familiar with a “typical” fourth grade reader. Then, on top of that, I’m not 100% sure where Mya is at. I figured intermediate chapter books would work for her, but also wondered how best to use primary books. Many primary books that seemed to fit her interest would list grades K-2 or 3. The ones I eventually found and were able to read were both mostly graphic novels with very few words. At first I struggled with whether that was appropriate, but then realized that each book would really pique her interest, and that graphic novels like that might be a great opportunity for older readers to stretch their imaginations and challenge them to really slow down and analyze images to understand a story.

I enjoyed pushing myself to read genres that I normally wouldn’t select. Although I often read recommendations from my 7th graders, titles like The False Prince, Warrior Cats, etc. always fall to the bottom of my list because I’m not naturally drawn to them. I even had a student see me reading Rump: The true story of Rumpelstiltskin and ask “Why are you reading that?!” They see me read intermediate and YA books all the time, but it was obvious to him that wouldn’t be my normal pick. So, it was fun to challenge myself in that way and to be able to share that with my students. I also don’t enter the world of exploring current picture books as often as I should, so it was fun to browse through those titles.

I am familiar with and have many students read graphic novels on a regular basis. However, I wasn’t very familiar with the fact that graphic novels exist in the shorter, picture book form. I plan to use books like Journey and Mr. Wuffles to help my middle grades students work on things like inferring, plot development, mood, etc. There are so many opportunities for writing and critical thinking that could enrich my 7th grade reading classroom.

message 24: by Angie (new)

Angie | 13 comments Search process & resources used:
I began by selecting topics of interest from Cooper’s interest inventory and searching them on Amazon. I made an initial list based solely on descriptions and maybe the “Look Inside” if it was available. I was trying to keep this process fairly simple and quick, knowing I would need to spend more time reading through books before making my final selections. Once I had this initial list (8ish books for each topic/genre I was wanting to include), I went to Books in Print and Follett to read some reviews and gather more information as to what they felt the appropriate age/grade was. Next step was taking my list of books (now about 15) to the Lincoln City Libraries website. I found most of my list was available, so I placed them on reserve. This is a VERY handy, time saving resource!!! Instead of driving around to multiple branches, they do all of that legwork and place them in the “hold” area of the branch closest to me. I was able to pick them up on my way home from work. Now I had a stack of books to begin reviewing at home. Several were discarded right away due to pictures I didn’t feel were school appropriate (and one that had a chapter titled with a curse word!). From there, I just started reading.

I really didn’t have many frustrations that were project related. I guess I would have liked a little more information about Cooper because in a normal school setting, I would most likely have had a file from previous year that would have given me some more insight. However, the lack of information also didn’t allow me to “pigeon hole” him into anything other than what he gave me. My personal frustration was that I had a house full of sick people, so while normally I have help with day to day things and am able to focus a little more on homework, I was feeling pulled in many different directions this week!

I love to read and I love children’s books. The “treasure hunt” was exciting for me. I enjoyed using a combination of resources to narrow down my selections. An added bonus was that I read some really great books that I’m not sure I would have found otherwise. One of the chapter books I selected had such a great message (along with being about baseball!) that I have ordered it for my boys. It is also one that I would consider as a classroom book. I really couldn’t put it down!!

Share about if and how you would apply this to your current and/or future role in a classroom, library, etc.
I think this process will definitely help when it comes to selecting books to add to a collection, whether it is for a library or a classroom. Hand-selecting books for students is a great way to build a relationship with them while encouraging a love for reading. This assignment taught me to use my resources to make initial selections quickly. Running the titles through the different “filters” saved me the time of reading a bunch of books that weren’t appropriate for this assignment. Being able to recommend quality books in an area of interest for a student is kind of a rush. I couldn’t help but think about all of the conversations that could take place between the student and I.

message 25: by Jeralynn (new)

Jeralynn Moser | 7 comments Search Process/Resources: Once I read Natalie’s interest inventory, a few things popped out to me. I knew I wanted to find her books about historical figures, like President Lincoln, and animals, like giraffes and zebras. The first book that popped into my head was a family favorite - Giraffes Can’t Dance - so I checked to make sure it fit the publication guidelines -- it did! Whew!

From there, I used our schools Follett Destiny to browse what books we currently had in the library. We are in a rural school district, and while we have a bunch of quality literature, a lot of what I found was published prior to 2010.

As I was lamenting to a fellow teacher (who happens to teach 1st/2nd grade), she gave me a huge book order box she’d just received from Scholastic. Looking through that, a few titles popped out at me.

Once I had titles in mind, I used Books in Print to check the reviews before settling on three more books for Natalie. I chose one historical fiction and two non-fiction - one about animals, one about famous heroes. I felt the later book was going out on a limb and making a few inferences about what Natalie likes -- but overall, I feel I found 4 books that I was excited to show Natalie!

Frustrations: My frustrations were three-fold. First, the lack of current books in our libraries collection was heartbreaking. I love good classic children’s books and authors, but I was so disappointed in all of the holes in our collection. As a brand new librarian, the task of finding current books now seems daunting. But I guess if I can add even a few, that will be better than what we have now!

My second frustration was not knowing what reading level to find for Natalie -- I inferred that she was probably a good reader just judging by the language she uses in her interest inventory, but without actually KNOWING her, I felt a bit of a disconnect.

My third frustration is simply that I wanted to be the one to sit down and read the two read alouds I picked to Natalie! Reading through them myself, I could just imagine the kind of higher-order thinking questions that could be asked and the different extension activities that could happen. I’m anxious (and bummed that I can’t) to hear what Natalie thinks of Tales of Famous Heroes. There just isn’t enough TIME to make all of those individual connections on a deep, personal level…

Enjoyment: I really enjoy creating book bundles. I like the ability to pick and choose a variety of subject matter and hope that one sticks -- I’ll talk more about this in the application process. I have similar interests to Natalie, so I loved thinking “Oh, I know this is a good one, I hope she’ll love it, too!”

I also found about 6 books that were new to me that I will find a way to recommend to others. The What if you had Animal Hair? book is hilarious and is part of a set. I also read an intermediate chapter book that, while being something I would NOT recommend to a 2nd grader, was a great read and I know who I will recommend it to!

I also enjoyed just getting to read! It’s something I need to spend more time doing - both to model good reading behavior and to come more familiar with our library collection.

Application: I took YA Lit last semester, and had to assemble a book bundle for a YA reader. So I felt like I had an idea of the kind of bundle I wanted to create. Judging a students interest solely on interest inventory seems daunting -- but I like the approach of finding a few subjects that I think the student would like and recommending them all to that student. Then follow up and see which one(s) she really liked and have an arsenal of suggestions from there.

I love the “if you like this… read this…” abilities of both Follett Titlewave and Books in Print. I am so glad I have those resources up my sleeve!

message 26: by Mary (new)

Mary Birky Collier | 8 comments First, I have to say, I really enjoyed this process. It was really fun to take someone else’s interest and sort of go on a treasure hunt to find books that they will hopefully not only enjoy but learn from. I always feel like going to the library is like going to a candy store, and I felt thoroughly enjoyed selecting “candy” and thinking how my student would enjoy my selections for her. ☺

My primary resource for selecting books was the Omaha Public Library on-line system. I have really never used this site before this class, so I really felt like I got to know the system, as well as was very satisfied with how well it worked. By simply typing in the subjects my student was interested in as well as narrowing the search to “Children’s Literature”, numerous choices were at my fingertips. I also tried the borrowing-books-from-other-branches via online request for the first time, and I had all the books I requested in less than 48 hours!

Some of my student’s interests seemed a little obscure (giraffes, Russia, etc.). so I was thrilled to find several types of children’s books in the Omaha Public Library on several of these subjects. I was also pleased to find several types of genre—for example, both a non-fiction fact book about Russia but also a beautifully illustrated story about a Russian boy and his discovery of a love of painting.

One frustration: I also did quite a bit of searching in my school’s (a high school) library. Although we seem to have a decent sized collection of children’s books, I was very disappointed with the lack of variety – ultimately NO books about any of my book-bundle students interests.

I would LOVE to do something like this in the future. I’m not sure what this would look like at the high school level – as a high school librarian. I wonder if some electronic version would be possible—where students could post a profile of their interests/interest inventory, and I, as librarian, could post various book titles corresponding to their interests, or use that on-line profile to notify students when I have titles ready to have in-person conversations about. Also, another idea I’m toying with is tallying student interests from all interest inventories filled out for a particular school year and, perhaps, have larger book bundles focused toward subjects on display in the library that seem to be of interest to large groups of students.

message 27: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Lathrop (lvlathrop) | 20 comments To Denice: I'm an art teacher and was curious about the books you cited regarding drawing and animals. You were RIGHT ON in your review! Four steps (and the steps involved in each of the steps!) are way to complicated to draw the animals illustrated. Great test to give to a 7th grader before you chose it...and she agrees with you and I. Too difficult. Additionally, there is no substitute for an art teacher. Books just don't cut it...except in the case of an advanced art student who practices regularly. Thanks for sharing those and you're review.

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