5th Grade Library

Discussion in 'Fifth Grade' started by lolabear1, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. lolabear1

    lolabear1 Rookie

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    Jun 13, 2008

    I just signed a contract to teach fifth grade next year, so naturally I am now completely stressed out about how unprepared I am. This will be my first year teaching, and I own exactly zero books for a classroom library. I wanted to collect them throughout the last several years, but never knew what grade I would be teaching.

    Everyone has told me to go to EBay, Scholastic Book Fairs, garage sales, etc. The problem is, I have no idea what books are suitable for fifth graders. That in itself makes me feel like I have no business to be teaching if I don't even know what they read, which just causes more stress.

    So, are there any sites out there that anyone knows of with lists of books for fifth graders? Or, what are some books you suggest?

    Thank you in advance :)
     
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  3. MsMaggs

    MsMaggs Comrade

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    Jun 13, 2008

    I had the exact same problem last year, and still am not completely comfortable saying "Oh, this is a fifth grade book," but that's okay. Remember, all of the students are going to be capable of reading a different level, so you have some room for error. I started my searches by going to ebay and simply searching for "5th grade novels" then I started searching for Newberry medal and Newberry honor books, some of those are higher than 5th grade, but a lot of them will work well for the students. Also, most of the Scholastic books are leveled with some sort of grade level on the back of the book.
    Hope that helps a little...
     
  4. peachieteachie

    peachieteachie Comrade

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    Jun 13, 2008

    I was in the same boat last year and I would take anything I could get. By the end of the year my classroom library was filled. I got lots of books from other teachers who wanted to get rid of some. I also went to garage sales and Scholastic Book Fairs. Your local public library might even have some sales or you may be given money by your school to purchase materials. Don't be too stressed out over books for your classroom library. People don't expect new teachers to be loaded with books.
     
  5. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Jun 13, 2008

    Another good place to get books is at Goodwill or Salvation Army. Often times, you can get books for under a dollar. As others have said, you students will be at all different levels, but if you want a general idea, look for chapter books that have smaller print (think about the size of a Judy Blume book). Andrew Clements and R.L. Steine were popular authors with my class last year.
     
  6. lolabear1

    lolabear1 Rookie

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    Jun 14, 2008

    Thank you for all of the suggestions! I seriously feel like a fish out of water right now. I want to spend the summer preparing for the upcoming year, but I don't even know where to start! I'm wondering if I should have taken the kindergarten position I was offered in another district... but you get to teach such fun stuff in fifth grade :p
     
  7. MsMaggs

    MsMaggs Comrade

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    Jun 15, 2008

    Fifth grade is awesome!!! The curriculum is fun and interesting and the kids are at a great age! I thought I'd prefer 1st or 2nd grade, but I'm so glad I'm teaching 5th grade!!! You'll love it!
     
  8. MsMaggs

    MsMaggs Comrade

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    Jun 15, 2008

    Don't worry too much, you've got all summer to prepare and once you get there everything will fall into place. Just relax and let it happen. I only had a week to prepare, and it all worked out okay! :)
     
  9. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Jun 15, 2008

    My fifth graders loved non-fiction books. At this age, they are fascinated with the way the world works. I had a TON of non-fiction and worried that it would be wasted space. Boy, it sure was not. I had a tub for different categories. I had a tub full of astronomy books, animals, presidents, U.S. history, science, geography, autobiographies, plants, and world history.

    For fiction, I had about 2000 books that ranged from 1 grade to 8 grade reading levels. I had a couple of kids who came in at a first grade reading level, so I was glad that I kept books that low. I organized them like this: [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I would do a search for fifth grade books. I'm sure that would yield some good results.

    Some of my kids favorite books:
    Captian Underpants Series
    Franny K Stein Series
    Unfortunate Events Series
    Fudge
    Stargirl
    Harry Potter Series
    Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Book 1 and 2
    Island of the Blue dolphin
    Zia
     
  10. MsMaggs

    MsMaggs Comrade

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    Jun 15, 2008

    Wow, Peachy, I love your library! Where did you get so many books! Wasn't last year your first year teaching 5th? Wow!
     
  11. Calalilys

    Calalilys Comrade

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    Jun 15, 2008

    To be completely honest, you're going to have such a vast range of readers that you can't go wrong by having books at every grade level. It's important that you teach you students to choose books that are at their reading level and not the ones they see everyone else reading. Along with the books already mentioned on the thread, I'd go with some Andrew Clements and Jude Blume books.
     
  12. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    My first and last, apparenlty....:rolleyes: Well, many of the books were mine, growing up. Many I collected during student teaching, some I purchased from Scholastic, and the rest I begged for. I put up a memo in the teachers lounge asking for chapter books. I received about 10 boxes.
     
  13. peachieteachie

    peachieteachie Comrade

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    Jun 15, 2008

    Peachyness, your classroom library is amazing! I wish I could keep mine that organized. I think I'll had that to my goal list.
     
  14. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    I'm type A and a bit OCD. My kids were great at helping me to keep it clean and organized too!
     
  15. MS Candy

    MS Candy Comrade

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    Jun 15, 2008

    A place to find the types of books you need, would be a public library. You can visit the kids section and ask a librarian, even yours at your new school if that person is there already.
    I had students at all different levels. Last year I was so lucky I walked into a room full of books, sadly I had to leave them all when I left, but I am having fun searching, too.
    My students loved this one http://www.scholastic.com/titles/geronimostilton/
    Also make friends with the librarian, mine was great, she just emailed and said to read and check out -GA Children's Book Award List for next year....
    So search high and low and take it all!
     
  16. noreenk

    noreenk Cohort

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    Jun 16, 2008

    As others have said, definitely keep a wide range of books... I had kids reading between second and eighth grade levels. Their favorite authors: Pam Munoz Ryan, Andrew Clements, Lemony Snicket, Roald Dahl, Rick Riordan, and Christopher Paul Curtis. They loved Diary of a Wimpy Kid, The Thief and the Beanstalk, Newberry Award-winners, and National Geographic Kids magazine. We also had a lot of historical fiction and American History books in regular rotation from the library.

    Remember you'll probably get books throughout the year, too, and once you get to know your students you'll have a much better idea what types of books they gravitate to for their independent reading. Plus Scholastic always seems to have random deals on great books during the school year!
     
  17. katenar

    katenar Cohort

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    Jun 22, 2008

    Also check out freecycle.org and post that you are a new teacher and need children's books. Many people will clean out their closets and donate them to you. I also offered my kids an incentive for them to bring in their old books (with parent permission of course). I operated a swap shop in a sense. We have a classroom economy and the kids earn money through multiple ways. Kids brought in their old books and I paid $25 in class cash for each book. I collected over 200 books that way!!!
     
  18. lolabear1

    lolabear1 Rookie

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    Jun 22, 2008

    Thank you so much for all of the suggestions. I decided to check out a local used bookstore and hit the jackpot. They had the children's section separated by grade level! I traded in a bunch of my old books and got thirty books without having to pay a dime. While it is just a start to my collection, it feels nice to at least have something!
     
  19. 100%Canadian

    100%Canadian Companion

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    Jun 22, 2008

    Scholastic would be the best place to start. Up here in Canada, Scholastic always has "classroom library" packs with up to 50 books in it. It'll have a varied reading level to appeal to most between grades 4-8; there are also primary libraries for purchase. They tend to run around $50 and up depending on what you order. This would give you a big collection at anywhere from $1-$3 per book and it saves the running around at garage sales. I'd also consider putting an announcement in your classroom newsletter (if you do one) in September. Parents might be willing to donate. I've even had students donate to the library over the course of the year.
     
  20. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jun 22, 2008

    Good deal, lolabear. I have at least 1000 books and couldn't face putting them in book boxes, so they are shelved like a library. Peachyness, how did you face separating them all? It looked wonderful. Want to come to Florida to help me?

    I love searching for books at thrift stores. There were some good suggestions above. I would add: books by Avi, Rascal, My Side of the Mountain, A Wrinkle in Time, Bunnicula, books by Sharon Creech, Sahara Special, Dear America series books, Hatchet, and lots of fantasy and biographies.
     
  21. Love to Teach

    Love to Teach Cohort

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    Jun 23, 2008

    You are going to love 5th grade AND 5th graders!! :)

    Not mentioned so far, I think:
    the Kidnapped series by Gordon Korman
    He has several great series:Island, Dive, Everest, On the Run Series (which precludes the Kidnapped Series)
    Dan Gutman books: Baseball series-Babe and Me, Jackie and Me, etc.
    and the Kid Who Ran For President, Million Dollar Shot, The Homework Machine
    Number the Stars
    Night of the Twisters
    Peg Kehret books: Nightmare Mountain, Earthquake Terror,etc.
    House Without a Christmas Tree and Thanksgiving Treasure
    The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
    Shiloh Series
    Fudge Series
    Hatchet Series...Gary Paulson books
    Dear America Books and My Name is America
    Where the Red Fern Grows
    My kids really got into the Henry Winkler (yes, the Fonz from Happy Days! :) ) books this year: the Hank Zipper books-Day of the Iguana, Summer School, What Genius Thought That Up?
    Chocolate Fever
    Sort of Forever
    Summer of Riley
    Time Bike
    Chronicles of Narnia
    Time Warp Trio Books by Jon Scieszka
    Out of the Dust
    ALL the Clements books
    Richard Peck books
    Sounder
    Sadako
    Dear Mr. Henshaw and Strider
    Caddie Woodlawn
    Secret School
    Holes
    Sign of the Beaver
    Music of the Dolphins
    Biographies are popular at this age, too!

    There are more, but I had better stop!! :D I have found that each class has it's own reading personality, just as it does its own behaviorial personality. :) Seems like a group of books will be really popular one year and then not as in demand the next.:) For independent reading, I allow 4.0 books on up. I am constantly encouraging them to grow as readers, but to really begin to enjoy
    reading they shouldn't struggle. I have found, too, that a reading level may be at say a 3rd grade level, but the issues and concepts dealt with in a book are within the understanding of an older child, so reading levels do not always tell the whole picture. I think ACR levels especially are misleading as they take into account only the number of words in the book, so I would be a bit flexible when you decide which books will meet your reading goals...if that makes sense. :)

    Sorry this is so long! One more thing is that I would encourage you to really use Scholastic to build your library. They are awesome in what they offer for teacher incentives. Each fall you get like $20 in free books just to start you off (with a classroom order of $20:). Then, you get $10 for each of the rest of the months of the year. In addition, you get points from what the kids order and they have lots of coupons and free items all year long. I give my kids both the Lucky and the Arrow books clubs to order from. It is more work, but it pays off in the long run with classroom books...I put ALL of my points right back into books!

    For my DEAR reading time, I have multiple copies of books and have the kids read in groups. They seem to stay on task better and there is nothing like sharing a great book with someone else. They get so excited and run up to share passages with me or ask questions. They are much less likely to skip over something they don't understand when reading with a partner or in a group of three. I also do Lunch Bunch where they read a book on their own and we meet over lunch twice a week to discuss what they read!

    Way more info than you asked for...sorry, but hope it is helpful!! Best of luck in 5th...you will love it!! :)
     
  22. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    I agree that having a large range of text difficulty is a good idea. I have books in my classroom library ranging from the Timewarp Trio books (late 2nd gr.) to tales of Greek heros, gods, and monsters (probably mid-late 6th). Whenever we do bookreports the students are free to choose a title within the genre, but I must approve each book so I know the children aren't just reading easy books that aren't challenging them. Don't forget that having a variety of picture books, especially for non-fiction, is a must. Boys especially don't always like to sit and read novels. I have had a number of boys over the years that refused to pick up any book with few or no pictures, but give them a DK book or comic book (Garfield, Calvin and Hobbes, etc) and they were thrilled. The record books (Ripleys, Guiness, etc) are always popular as well.
     
  23. Daisha

    Daisha Companion

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    Jul 1, 2008

    I would do a search for 5th grade reading lists, and you'll turn up a bunch of sites. Previously I did teach fifth grade and the scholastic magazine for that group is Arrow. I used to buy tons every month from the catalog and there is also book libraries from Scholastic 40 books for $49 for different grade levels, you might try there first. Hope this helps!
     
  24. Panther

    Panther Rookie

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    Jul 6, 2008

    I live near a Borders Bookstore and have found that the staff there is absolutely wonderful about helping teachers. You can go in and ask them about what titles are popular with kids. I think they can pull something up on their computers that can help you. They also offer 20% off for teachers whether it is a resource for your classroom or student titles. I think Barnes and Nobles does the same. I know the Borders here takes Purchase orders and will order the books or pull them from the shelves for you and hold them. Hope this helps with ideas. I have a couple of websites, but they're not with me right now.
     
  25. SnowDaisy822

    SnowDaisy822 Companion

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    Jul 7, 2008

    I was really lucky when I came in and the teacher before me left me about 300 - 400 books. Since then (I just finished my second year), I've added at least another several hundred. I love used book stores. A lot of them will give you a discount if you're a teacher. You will need a lot of ranges of reading levels because all kids don't read the same. On Scholastic, they usually have books listed by grade level so that should help you a lot. Find books that sound interesting to you, but also to your students if you were step into their shoes. One type of book that I don't have enough of is science fiction. My boys love those. Also, humor.

    Some of our favorite authors/books are:
    Jerry Spinelli
    Andrew Clements
    Diary of a Wimpy Kid (the boys love it, I couldn't keep it on my shelf)
    City of Ember series
    Harry Potter Series
    The boys and Girls Guide (those ones about how to do everything)
    The Invention of Hugo Cabret
     

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