What kind of books should I buy for my 5th grade class?

Discussion in 'Fifth Grade' started by Peachyness, Apr 18, 2007.

  1. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    Jul 12, 2007

    Be careful with some of the titles mentioned earlier...they are above the 5th grade level, and could possibly be frustrating for a reader if they are not on that level.
    If you have a Half Priced Book store, they always have a wonderful selection of children's novels, and they offer a teacher discount. I set my friend up with a leveled classroom library for only 40 dollars.
     
  2. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jul 12, 2007

    I keep plenty of books above and below the 5th grade level so there is always ample choice.
     
  3. 4myclass

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    Jul 12, 2007

    Subscribing so that I can get some great read aloud book ideas. I know that I already have several of the books mentioned here, but it helps to know what books work well with 5th graders. Thanks everyone.
     
  4. 4myclass

    4myclass Cohort

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    Jul 12, 2007

    May I ask, what book do you start the year out with? Do you go in the order that you listed them? Thanks.
     
  5. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    Jul 13, 2007

    Upsadaisy, I do as well. I know in my district there is a huge push to get kids to read on level, and 99% of my kids do not. I suppose my goal is to get kids to read, period, and I want them to be successful. I teach them the 5 finger method to test if a book is too difficult.
     
  6. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jul 13, 2007

    That is certainly a high percentage. The best way I have found to excite children into reading is by reading aloud. The simplest thing is what works. I'm going to have to do the 5 finger method this year.
     
  7. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    It is a high percentage, but I don't let it discourage me. I have found, on average, most of the 99% read at a high 3rd grade, beginning 4th grade level. I love to see their progress throughout the year. I am most comfortable teaching literacy, so my read alouds are so dramatic. Also, the kids have never caught on, but almost all of the books they have picked are "my favorite!!". You will love the 5 finger method. I couldn't help but smile when I saw fingers go up during my reading.
     
  8. Jame

    Jame Comrade

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    Jul 13, 2007

    WARNING...WAY LONG! :eek:

    No, there was no particular order to the list...just wrote them as I thought of them. :) For reading, I have been doing novel units with the whole class where we do a lot of integrated extention activites. In between novels, we do stories from our basal which are excerpts from novels. This year I am thinking of doing novels with flexible groupings, though, as a way to let my top readers "soar". I have felt like I am holding them back by keeping the whole class to the same pacing.

    Each afternoon, instead of DEAR reading which was always a struggle to keep them on task, we do what I (very) loosely call Lit Circles. :) Groups of 2, 3, or 4 read and share novels. I have really been excited about the results of those! The kids will run up to my aide or myself to share humorous or sad parts, parts they question, or parts that speak to them in special ways. Some of the kids beg to stay in at recess to keep reading or to take the books home, so they can finish up a last chapter. There is just something about sharing a good book! :)

    The Title I teacher and I also do Lunch Bunch where students volunteer to read on their own time a selected novel, and then meet twice a week over lunch in the room to discuss the chapters that were assigned to them. That has also generated a lot of enthusiasm for reading. Lunch Bunch is a borrowed idea from Laura Candler who has an awesome website. http://www.lauracandler.com/

    This is WAY more information than you asked for...sorry!! I always get so long winded! :eek:

    For our class novels, I use these books in this order:
    The Hundred Dresses-a book about friendships and standing up for what you believe)
    Dear Mr. Henshaw-about friendships and facing difficult times and ties in with our journal writing.
    Pedro's Journal-great for learning about Columbus from the point of view of the Native Americans..ties in with "explorers" unit and also journal writing. It is also filled with figurative language.
    The Kid Who Ran for President-great for studying the election process, government, and just such a fun book!
    The Very Best Christmas Pageant Eversuch a fun book, also...great character studies, cultures, traditions
    My Side of the Mountain-my kids love this one, guess it catches their imagination and gives them a sense of empowerment...great for integrating with science and social studies. As a class, we collect money to adopt a falcon each year.
    Sign of the Beaver-ties in with era leading up to Rev. War
    George Washington's Socks-ties in with Rev. War unit
    Night of the Twisters-ties in with weather and natural disasters, based on a real event
    A Wrinkle in Time-fantasy, ties in with science

    For our Lit Circles (DEAR), I start out the year with a baseball theme which I tie into my read aloud books about Jackie Robinson, Stealing Home and Jackie's Nine, and a short read about Roberto Clemente called, "The Way of the Jibaro". After that, as one group finishes a book, they take an Acclerated Reader test over it, sometimes do a group project, and then look for new books. They sometimes stay within the same group or they join or form a new group, depending on their interests. All the other titles that were listed are used by our Lit Circle groups and our Lunch Bunch groups.

    For Read Alouds: It seems like those always change every year, based on the personality of the class. :) I do always do some Dear America books because they go with our SS curriculum so well: Voyage to the New World (Pilgrims) and The Winter of the Red Snow (Valley Forge), for sure. Neat thing with those is that there are also 30 minute videos that go with each book. Brian, Brain is a great read about a boy with dyslexia. The Color of My Words, The Forgotten Door, and Snow Treasure are all good reads, too.

    Okay, you ask a very simple question and get a novel in return. I do apologize for getting so carried away in my answer!! :eek: :angel:
     
  9. 4myclass

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    Jul 13, 2007

    Don't apologize Jame, your reply is very helpful. I have been struggling with trying to organize and plan everything. 5th grade is so different from Pre-K. I just don't want to let my students down.
    Again, thank you so much.
     
  10. Jame

    Jame Comrade

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    Jul 14, 2007

    Thank you, 4myclass, for your kindness. :angel: I have actually had the most of my experience with 5-8, but I did teach K. for several years before moving to my current classroom level. That was seven years ago, already! Where does time go?!! I did love K. and stilll miss it at times, but I have to say thatI have found a home in 5th! I remember well, though, that transition back to an older class. For quite a while, I would catch myself saying things like "when the big hand gets on the two"!! :D

    I am betting that you are going to love 5th grade, too!! It is just such a fun age, and the curriculum is great. You can do such fun projects, have the most wonderful discussions, they are so into service and making the world a better place, and they still think you know a thing or two. :) They are great! Please let me know if I can share anything with you or help in any way. :)
     
  11. noreenk

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    Jul 14, 2007

    Jame, thanks for describing the books the way you did! I've been looking for good novels on specific topics and your list helped a lot!
     
  12. Jame

    Jame Comrade

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    Jul 14, 2007

    Thanks, noreen. :) Any special topics that you are still trying to find books for? I would sure be glad to brainstorm with you. :)
     
  13. MrsCase

    MrsCase Rookie

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    Jul 14, 2007

    need some definitions!

    I apologize in advance if I am asking dumb questions, but can someone explain what the following things are that I read in some earlier posts throughout this thread:

    1)"DEAR" (something to do with reading?)

    2) The 5 finger method for determining if a book is right for a student

    I have never heard of either of these things and I know that different techniques are used all over the country, and sometimes they are similar to something I have done/used before but they are called by different names. Please explain!

    :) :thanks:
     
  14. Jame

    Jame Comrade

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    Jul 14, 2007

    DEAR is Drop Everything And Read. It is where everyone in a class or even the whole school stops whatever they were doing to read for a certain number of minutes, usually 30 (I think). :)

    I have heard of the 5 finger method, but I will let someone who really "knows" it explain it. I will be listening, too! :D
     
  15. MrsCase

    MrsCase Rookie

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    Jul 14, 2007

    thanks!

    Thanks JAME, I have heard of Drop Everything And Read, just never associated the DEAR acronym (duh!)

    still want to hear what the 5 finger method is. If I dont get a reply here I will Google it and post what I find later!
     
  16. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Jul 15, 2007

    You don’t want a book that is TOO EASY.

    You don’t want a book that is TOO HARD.

    You want a book that is JUST RIGHT!

    A Book is TOO EASY if:

    You have read it lots of time before.
    You understand the story real well.
    You know almost every word.
    You can read the story smoothly.

    A book is TOO HARD if:

    There are more than 5 words on a page you don’t know.
    You are confused about what is happening in most of the book.
    It sounds pretty choppy when you read.

    A book is JUST RIGHT if:

    The book is new or you have read only a few times.
    You understand most of the book.
    There are just a few words you don’t know on a page.
    Sometimes you are smooth and sometimes you are choppy.


    It's called five finger rule because you count with your fingers five words that you do not know.
     
  17. Jame

    Jame Comrade

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    Jul 15, 2007

    Thanks, Peachyness!!! :angel:
     
  18. MrsCase

    MrsCase Rookie

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    Jul 15, 2007

    thanks!

    Thanks, Peachyness, I had heard of teaching a strategy to kids about how to choose a book that's right for them, but I had not heard of this "five finger rule". I like it and I will use it this year with my students!

    I love this board, everyone here is so helpful!
     
  19. kelbel7583

    kelbel7583 Rookie

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    Jul 15, 2007

    I just discovered a wonderful CHEAP way to fill up my classroom library. My local Goodwill has a surplus store in which they place tons of books into bins. These books sell for .29 cents a pound! If your willing to dig through the boxes you can find some great deals. It may benefit you to see if they have a store like this in your own town.
     
  20. flamingolady

    flamingolady Rookie

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    Jul 15, 2007

    Hey, I just did a project for a reading class just this past week that looked at what books to include in a class library. I only created a list of book series and authors that are known to write several books for this grade. This is very long hope this copies....
    BY SERIES

    • Little House On The Prairie • My Teacher …
    • Young Merlin Trilogy • Cornerstones Of Freedom/Children's Press
    • Goosebumps • Chronicles Of Narnia
    • Anne Of Green Gables • Dragon Chronicles
    • Dragonriders Of Pern • Harry Potter
    • Watchers • Dragon Series
    • Orphan Train Adventures • Pine Hollow
    • The Chronicles Of Prydain • American Girls Collection
    • The Poppy Stories • A To Z Mysteries

    • Alex Rider
    • Artemis Fowl

    • Boxcar Mysteries
    • Chet Gecko Mystery Series

    • Dear America
    • Dragon Slayers' Academy

    • Encyclopedia Brown
    • The Fudge Books

    • Geronimo Stilton
    • Girls Of Many Lands

    • Hank The Cowdog
    • Historical Mysteries

    • I Was A Sixth Grade Alien
    • A Series Of Unfortunate Events

    • Time Warp Trio
    • Wayside School

    • Adventures Of The Baily School Kids
    • Nancy Drew
    • Hardy Boys • Animorphs

     Please note that this list is not a complete list but suggestions to start building your library with.
    BY AUTHOR

    • Aiken, Joan • Alcock, Vivien
    • Alexander, Lloyd • Avi
    • Babbitt, Natalie • Bauer, Marion Dane
    • Beatty, Patricia • Blume, Judy
    • Boyd, Candy Dawson • Brooks, Philip
    • Bruchac, Joseph • Bryant, Bonnie
    • Burnett, Frances H. • Byars, Betsy
    • Christopher, John • Cleary, Beverly
    • Collier, James and Christopher • Coville, Bruce
    • Creech, Sharon • Dahl ,Roald
    • Danziger, Paula • Dell, Scott
    • Denenberg, Barry • Estes, Eleanor
    • Farmer, Nancy • Fitzgerald, John D.
    • Flack, Marjorie • Fleischman, Paul
    • Fleischman, Sid • Freedman, Russell
    • Fritz, Jean • George, Jean Craighead
    • Giblin, James Cross • Grove, Vicki
    • Hacker, Carlotta • Hamilton, Virginia
    • Haskins, Jim • Henkes, Kevin
    • Henry, Marguerite • Hermes, Patricia
    • Herriot, James • Hesse, Karen
    • Hobbs, Will • Hornblow, Leonora
    • Howe, James • Hurwitz, Johanna
    • Kalman, Bobbie • Kent, Deborah
    • Konigsburg, E. L. • Lauber, Patricia
    • Lawson, Robert • L'Engle, Madeleine
    • Lerangis, Peter • Levin, Betty
    • Lewis, C. S. • Lisle, Janet Taylor
    • London, Jack • Lowry, Lois
    • MacLachlan, Patricia • Mazer, Anne
    • Mazer, Harry • Mazer, Norma Fox
    • McCaffrey, Anne • McKissack, Patricia
    • Myers, Anna • Myers, Walter Dean
    • Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds • Nixon, Joan Lowery
    • O'Dell, Scott • Paterson, Katherine
    • Paulsen, Gary • Peck, Richard
    • Rediger, Pat • Reeder, Carolyn
    • Roberts, Willo Davis • Rowling, J. K.
    • Rylant, Cynthia • Sachar, Louis
    • Shreve, Susan • Silverstein, Shel
    • Sleator, William • Snicket, Lemony
    • Snyder, Zilpha Keatley • Soto, Gary
    • Speare, Elizabeth George • Spinelli, Jerry
    • Steele, Philip • Stille, Darlene R,
    • Stine, R. L. • Tanaka, Shelley
    • Taylor, Mildred • Taylor, Theodore
    • Temple, Frances • Uchida, Yoshika
    • Voigt, Cynthia • Wallace, Bill
    • Walsh, Jill Paton • Watkins, Yoko Kawashima
    • White, E. B. • Wilder Laura Ingalls
    • Wisler, G. Clifton • Yep, Laurence
    • Yolen, Jane •

     These authors are known to write several books that students in this grade should be able to read. Again this is just a list of suggested authors to start building your library with. The list included authors that write fiction and non-fiction books.
     

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