A strange, but efficient way to survey

At the start of each school year giving a survey to my students is a great way to find out the types of books they enjoy.  The information can be really helpful in guiding my students toward just the right book, one they may not have selected independently.  While presenting students with possible books to read, I have tried to steer them toward the Georgia Book Award nominees for that school year because the selections are usually of exceptional quality.

This year I decided to take a different approach to my survey.  My idea was to create a reading interest survey for older students (grades 3 through 5) that would match up with titles for these award nominees.  The plan is for students to select choice A or B beside each number.  At the end the students will place a small asterisk next to the number they think is the most interesting.  Each question corresponds with a book from the elementary level Georgia Book Award nominee list (please see the Key to the Reading Interest Inventory below).  On the back of their survey students will be asked to share the one item they think is important that I know about them.  I am optimistic that this method of surveying students will be worthwhile!

A survey based on the Georgia Book Award titles for 2013.

A survey based on the Georgia Book Award titles for 2013.

Key to the Reading Survey


Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl

If you have read any of the Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl titles this year, feel free to share the name of your favorite title and what you thought was the best part of the book.  

My favorite title from the list was Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper.  My favorite part was when Melody researches Stephen Hawking and finds out about the Medi-Talker.  Melody has hope that she will be able to communicate with others at this point in the book.  This part of the book was both inspiring and uplifting.

Please post your favorite book and tell about the best part.  I can’t wait to read what you have to say!

Mrs. Sikes

Book Review: Bird Lake Moon by Kevin Henkes

Mitch Sinclair’s parents are getting a divorce and he is having a really hard time coping with the situation.  Kevin Henkes, the author of this book, weaves a believable story with the right amount of details.  The story leaves you wanting to know more about what happens.  I highly recommend this one!

Have your read this book?  If so, please tell me what you think about it!

Georgia Book Award Voting

Students who have read at least 3 of the Georgia Book Award titles can vote for their favorite title.  I wonder who will win!

HES VOTING (grades 4 & 5)

Younger students may vote for their favorite book from the list of Georgia Children’s Picture Storybook nominees if they have read 10 of the 20 titles.


Happy Voting!

Book Review: Savvy by Ingrid Law

Mibs Beaumont is awaiting her special super power that she will receive on her 13th birthday.  It was really interesting to read about Mibs’s life and all of the changes that she is going through as she reaches this milestone birthday!  My favorite part of the book was when Mibs decided to get on the bus!  This was a very interesting book and I would recommend it to all fourth and fifth grade students!

Bearwalker by Joseph Bruchac

I don’t like scary books, but I made the sacrifice of a good reading bowl sponsor and read Bearwalker by Joseph Bruchac.  It was not as scary as I had anticipated and was action-packed!  The story has some great insights into the heart of a bully.  Baron, the main character of the story, has been picked on by most of the students at his school until they all go on a trip to Camp Chuckamuck together.  The students are already afraid of being attacked by bears, but when the camp counselors act shady Baron is forced to be brave.  This would be a wonderful book for students in grades 4-7 who like thrillers.

Bearwalker Book Cover

Leepike Ridge by Wilson

Tom Hammond has quite the adventure in Leepike Ridge.  The story starts out a little slow in the first two or three chapters, but then picks up as Tom gets mad at Jeffrey Veatch, the man who has started dating his mother.  During the course of the story, Tom gets stuck in an underground cave and has difficulty finding a way out.  The story definitely kept my interest.  It would make a great read aloud for 4th-6th grade classes.

Hiroshima Dreams by Kelly Easton

Hiroshima Dreams by Kelly Easton was a book that I really wanted to enjoy.  However, some of the content was a little bit mature for my elementary school crowd.  The story was about Lin, a shy young girl, who grows into a confident and mature young woman.  The story focuses on the relationship between Lin and her grandmother, Obaachan.  I really wanted to be able to recommend this title to my fifth grade teachers for a read-aloud, but because of some of the mature overtones in the book I do not feel comfortable doing that.

Cover of book

Cover of book

Football Genius by Tim Green

Football Genius by Tim Green was not a book that I would typically pick out on my own.  In fact, the only reason that I started reading it was because it is a Georgia Book Award nominee this year and there will be questions from it in the Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl this school year.  I’ve got to help my team win, right?  

Let’s go through the reasons why I would usually  just ignore this book:

  1. It’s about football.
  2. I’m a girl and this sounds like a book that a guy might like.
  3. I don’t know anything about football plays.

Well, I’m glad that this book is nominated for the Georgia Book Award because I read it and couldn’t put it down!  Even though I don’t know much about football, Tim Green (the author) provided enough action in the story that was off the football field that it held my interest!  Troy, the main character, does some crazy things to get his football talents noticed.  He even risks getting arrested on more than one occasion.   

This book would make a wonderful read-aloud for 4th and 5th grade classrooms!  Tim Green has a winner with Football Genius!

The Rising Star of Rusty Nail by Lesley Blume

The Rising Star of Rusty Nail started out really slow, but by the middle I couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happend between Franny and Nancy Orilee.   This book is about two girls who are rival piano players.  I found myself rooting for the underdog on this one.  This was an excellent summer read! If you are a musician, you will especially like it!  This is one of my new favorite books to recommend!

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