Reading Recommendations

Buy-One-Get-One-Free Summer Book Fair!


Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 10.36.28 AM WHERE:

 Pine Glen Elementary School


 Monday, June 23 (8:30–2:00) and

 Tuesday,  June 24 (8:30–10:00)


 Because summer is the most awesome time to read  whatever you want and you can get FREE books!


 6.25% sales tax


K-3 Highlights


4-6 Highlights

Summer Reading Anywhere with BrainHive, eBooks On Demand


Photo 495Don’t let the Summer Slide happen!

Research shows that students who continue to read for fun over the summer don’t lose the skills they gained in school before summer break. But it’s not always easy to get to a library or a bookstore over the summer when you are vacationing or playing at the beach!

With the extremely generous help of the Pine Glen PTO, Pine Glen students have thousands of ebooks available to them all summer long through our subscription to BrainHive, eBooks On Demand!

Fourth and Fifth grade students have learned how to access BrainHive on their iPads but you can also use the Android app or the web version.

Accounts for 2nd and 3rd graders are coming soon!

To find out more about how to borrow books on BrainHive over the summer, see the flyer below.


Thank You Pine Glen PTO!

LTC Flashback February 10–14


Photo 500With snow days, Valentine’s Day, and this being the last week of school before February vacation, it was pretty quiet in the LTC. However, it was a great week to celebrate the recent ALA Youth Media Awards of 2014!

Since most of us participated in the Pine Glen Mock Caldecott, we have been eagerly awaiting the announcement of the winner of the real Caldecott Medal (and the Newbery, the Geisel, the Sibert, the Coretta Scott King, the Pura Belpre, and the Schneider–so many great awards!)

Below is the video playlist we used in class to introduce students to this year’s winners. We watched an Animoto of all the winners, we showed some of the books, and we watched some of the book trailers. Needless to say, we shared lots of beautiful books that the students are excited to start reading!

Pine Glen Mock Caldecott


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November was picture book month and Pine Glen students had a great time reading and sharing favorite picture books. So, it was natural to want to continue our love for the picture book by participating in our very first Mock Caldecott. The Caldecott Medal is a prestigious children’s literature award given every year to “the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.” Participating in a Mock Caldecott is also a great way to incorporate our Love of Reading standard “Evaluates grade appropriate quality children’s literature” into the curriculum.

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We pretended to be Caldecott judges by reading picture books with strong illustrations, applying criteria, and voting for a winner. We used the same criteria that the real Caldecott judges use but we changed the language to be kid-friendly:

  • Does the illustrator have excellent artistic technique?
  • Do the illustrations help to tell the story beyond the words?
  • Does the style of the illustrations match the mood and tone of the story?
  • Is it appropriate and/or appealing to children?

Based on the Mock Caldecott lists of many wonderful school librarians that I follow on Twitter (#mockcaldecott), we chose eight nominees:


We used a chart to help us keep track of our scores.

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After weeks of reading, evaluating, judging, and scoring, Pine Glen students voted for a winner . . .

Congratulations to

Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great! by Bob Shea!

(and Pine Glen students think it’s pretty great, too)

On January 22, 2014 the real ALA Youth Media Awards were announced including this year’s Caldecott Medal winner and honor books. To see all of this year’s winners, watch the quick video below.

I know what you’re thinking . . . did the students of Pine Glen pick the same book as the real Caldecott winner? You’ll have to watch the video to find out . . .

Kindergarten Storybird Stories


After we had sent an email to faculty telling them about how the LTC was going to be celebrating Picture Book Month, Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Potts, wrote back to say that she’d love to work on an ELA project together around picture books. We decided that we would study stories without words (aka wordless picture books) and create a writing project around illustrations. Naturally, we thought of Storybird as the perfect tool to have students look at professional illustrations and write their own stories. We were also very excited when Mrs. Parnell and Mrs. Babajtis wanted to do the project, too!

During LTC classtime, we read The Giant Seed, The Lion & the Mouse, A Ball for Daisy, and The Boy and the Airplane.  While we read, we used the Visual Thinking Strategy of asking, “What is going on in this picture?” and “What do you see that makes you say that?” The students even offered their ideas of what sentences and dialogue could be on the page if it had words.







Then it was time to write our own stories. We found three sets of illustrations in Storybird that we thought would be appealing to Kindergarteners and chose five illustrations from each set. We printed them out and made a poster for each set.

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To introduce the students (and the teachers) to Storybird, we read a Storybird story from the gallery called Little Panda’s Rescue. Then students did a gallery walk (museum hands and all!) to look at the three different sets of illustrations. After the class voted for their favorite one, we started brainstorming using the same VTS questions, “What is going on in this picture?” and “What do you see that makes you say that?”

We worked in small groups, each group brainstormed for one illustration in the set. We modeled how to brainstorm with one of the illustrations and then the students were able to work in their own groups (there was an adult at each group doing the writing and recording 🙂

Finally, as a class, we took everyone’s brainstorming ideas and turned them into sentences. Because the ELA learning goal for this project was to teach the writing skill of Beginning, Middle, and End, we focused on sequence and using transitional words, such as, “Then” and “Next.”

The Kindergarten teachers enjoyed this process and asked if we could print out more brainstorming sheets so the students could work on writing their own stories. Absolutely! For little ones, it’s a great idea to do an entire project as a Guided Practice which can then be done again as an Independent Practice.

Here are the stories the Kindergarteners created. We do hope you enjoy them! And keep an eye out for those transition words . . .


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