The Reading Eagles

TPCA Media Class… Grow In Grace

Summer Reading – dates and resources

Summer reading is well underway!  I hope everyone is doing well and reading a ton!  If your student forgot their Scholastic Summer website login information, please just email me and I can help you with that.  Now, on to the fun and party information!

  • Elementary Summer Reading Party!  Mark your calendar for July 12, 10am – 12pm.  The party will be held in the TPCA Media Center.  We will have prizes, snacks, a photo booth, and more! Requirements for attendance: log minutes online OR on paper.  Bring paper reading log to the party.  RSVP to if you can join us!
  • Brownies & Books!  This is for students entering 5th – 8th grades only.  On four dates, students can join me at the Traders Point Christian Church coffee shop for “Brownies and Books.”  I will bring the brownies and students can buy themselves a drink at the coffee shop if they want one.  And basically, we will talk about books and hang out!  The dates are:  June 15, June 30, July 12, July 28.  The time will be 2pm on all dates. PLEASE RSVP to so that I know how many brownies to bring!
Before summer break, I gave all of the students some resources to use to help them stay motivated and to track their reading.  Here are links to what I gave them:

Happy reading!!

Summer Reading!

Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge

Summer Reading starts Monday May 9th!  Our goal this summer will be to read 300,000 minutes.  Studies have shown that students who read 20 minutes per day can avoid the “summer slide” that occurs when school is out. A good goal for students in grades 3 and up is to read 4 chapter books or novels at their reading level.

I will be doing something new this year for students who will be entering grades 5 through 8.  Click this flyer for dates that I will be hosting something called “Brownies & Books.”  On four different dates of the summer, I will bring brownies to the TPCC coffee shop area to talk with students about what they are reading this summer.  Students can buy a drink at the coffee shop and have brownies with me and talk about what they’ve been reading!  The flyer contains the books that I will personally be reading in case the students want to read along with me.  There is also a suggestion list on the back.

For students entering grades 1-4, I will host a summer party in July.  Date TBD.

You can stay connected by following me on social media for book suggestions, updates on our progress in the summer reading challenge, and more!

Twitter @Read_W_Herr; Instagram @tpcalibrary; Facebook group TPCA Reading; Email




Library Media News

What a whirlwind it’s been since we returned from Christmas break!  Here’s a look at what’s been happening…

One challenge for ALL~

  • The Wish-TV I Love To Read Challenge started on January 4th upon our return from Christmas break.  Students from Kindergarten all the way through 8th grade are participating this year with many incentives being offered to reach their goals.  In fact, if the school reaches the goal of 875,000 minutes, then I have promised to dye my hair PINK for a week.  Yes, you read that right: PINK.  So far, they are doing a fantastic job and should reach that goal…I guess I should start looking for some hair color!

Kindergarten through 4th grade~

  • For most of January, we have been doing NWEA testing in the Media Center and that means K-4 classes are a little different during that time.  Since the students cannot come to the Library to check out books or work on computers, the Library comes to them!  Mrs. Carlson has been doing library for grades K-4 in their classrooms, allowing them to check out books, and doing some library activities as well.  As we get back to a normal schedule of coming to Technology/Library class, all of K-4 will go back to regular library time with a short time in books/stories, and then students work on computers.  Kindergarten and 1st grade will work on skill-based games related to math and language.  Grades 2 through 4 will continue to work on typing lessons and skill games when time permits. (the site we use is

Middle School and Junior High~

  • Grades 5 and 6 have continued to have normal classes when possible throughout the NWEA testing weeks.  We are continuing to practice keyboarding skills, focusing on using the correct fingers and we have started working more heavily with Google Apps for Education.  In the months to come, we will introduce lessons on digital citizenship and information literacy as well.
  • Junior High has been doing Digital Citizenship with Dr. Ho during testing weeks, looking at their digital footprint and learning about blogs.  In the coming months, we will do some interactive creative work to solidify the concepts of Creator’s Rights and Responsibilities.   And of course, don’t forget the keyboarding!  


‘Tis the Season to be Reading!

It’s that wonderful time of year again!  Holiday meals with family and friends, twinkling lights, warm blankets, cocoa, and of course…BOOKS!  ‘Tis the season to be READING and our students are doing an excellent job of it!  Next time you come to the Media Center, you will notice our wall paper of READING EAGLES!  For each chapter book or novel that a student in 2nd through 8th grade completes, they may put an eagle on the wall.  So far we have already read over 400 novels and chapter books!

It is my goal to help each student find novels that they enjoy enough to finish.  For some, this will never be a problem!  For others, it is a struggle to find the right book to enjoy through completion.  In order to encourage ALL students to try to find a story that speaks to them, I will display these purple and gold eagles with the titles of books that students have completed.  It’s rewarding to see students become excited about what they have read and how they enjoy letting others know about it.  There is a great feeling of accomplishment that comes with completing a novel!

Ask your student what book they have finished lately and remind them… Tis the season to be reading!


The Last 13 – Action on Every Page

Review of:  The Last 13 by James Phelan

Reviewed by: Elizabeth Schafer

“I snap my fingers and everybody dies!” Can you even imagine living in a world where someone that evil has the power to control your life? This is the reality for unfortunate Sam, the main character in The Last 13 by James Phelan.  He has become the target for the very powerful and evil Solaris. Sam has the ability to see the future, one that’s not very pretty. With Sam orchestrating a revolt, there is a growing chance that Solaris can be defeated! Sam and his friends are now working together in the attempt to defeat the very destructive Solaris, who seeks the treasure that Leonardo da Vinci is thought to have left behind.  The treasure they are seeking is not man-made. To find out what the treasure is, you must read this book… Experience the power of teamwork in this novel that will have you sitting on the edge of your seat!

This book honestly had me so enamored that I had no interest in TV or my electronics for a week. It was as if the book was glued to my hand from the moment I picked it up! What got me hooked from the very beginning was how the exposition was filled with action. Within the first few pages, Sam had been taken hostage! I’ve wracked my brain and cannot come up with any part of this book that I didn’t love… well, except for the cliffhanger ending which nearly killed me! It was just too suspenseful! Be sure to have the second book in the series, The Last 13, #12  at the ready! This read, like all outstanding books, makes you feel as if you were there. I felt like I heard and felt the reverberations from the bombs going off!  Another aspect of the book that I enjoyed was that it is written in 1st person- I felt like I WAS Sam.  While I was reading, I felt many emotions alongside him. I was happy, scared, tense, nervous and joyful.   Ahhh, a book after my own heart!

The Last 13 would be a fantastic read for many people like my friend Jake, who loves to read a book that has the element of action on every page. Well, here you go!  One cautionary note: I would suggest that you are 9 or older before taking this adventure due to mild violence and tense situations. Don’t let this stop you! Just maybe pause. This book is a quick read and a most excellent adventure to take!


The following post from The Nerdy Book Club blog is important for all of us to remember. Great post and worth reading.

Nerdy Book Club

Last month I attended the California Reading Association conference in Riverside, California. Lucy Calkins, the founding director of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, spoke about nonfiction reading and writing. She noted that human knowledge currently doubles every thirteen months, and will soon double every twelve hours, so it is impossible for teachers and parents to keep pace with the flood of information hurling through cyberspace, broadcast on television and radio, reported in newspapers, and discussed on social media or by word of mouth.

According to Calkins, the role of the adult must change. With the rise of the Common Core, it is no longer enough for teachers (and parents) to impart their wisdom. We must show kids how to access, synthesize, apply, compare, and contrast information to develop their own view of the world.

Ebola cover with EurekaIn my newest book, Ebola: Fears and Facts, I say, “Some [media] sources provide…

View original post 692 more words

Global Read Aloud – One book to connect the world

October is going to be AWESOME.  No only is it football season and my favorite weather of the year, but there are some fabulous things happening

bf monsterWe kick it off with the Scholastic Book Fair which is open October 5-9.   It’s going to be MONSTER fun!

But wait, that’s not all!  October 5th begins the 2015 Global Read Aloud and my students will be participating this year!  Grades 2-6 will read the same novel as students all over the world are reading, and we will connect through various methods to discuss the books with others around the country.  I’m so excited!

graFor 6 weeks, Grades 2 & 3 will read The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes.  We will connect via Skype or Google Hangouts to talk about the novel with other classrooms; Grades 4-6 will read Fish In A Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt and connect via Skype and Edmodo groups with other classrooms.  So far I have connected us with classrooms in North Carolina, Kansas, New York, Texas, Wisconsin and Canada!  I believe this will be a great way to merge literacy and technology and I’m sure the kids will love it!  You can read more about the Global Read Aloud here.

Kindergarten & 1st grade will get back to normal classes, learning more and more about parts of a book and also logging in by ourselves on the computer and playing skill games.

7th and 8th grade will continue to update their TBR (to be read) lists…hopefully with books from the Book Fair!  I will also make sure they have an updated weekly goal for independent reading.  All 7th and 8th grade should be logging their pages read in Mrs. Propst’s room on a daily basis in order to help keep them going in their independent reading novels.  We will continue with typing lessons, making sure we are using the correct fingers.  In Dig Cit, we will delve deeper into some information literacy and some new apps for the Chromebooks.

Author Visit Sept. 29!

James Phelan, Australian author, will visit TPCA on Tuesday September 29th!  See the flyer here.  I’m excited for the 5th-8th grade students to hear from a published author!


You Belong in the Media Center!

The first month of school is officially in the books!  It seems like a blur, but in fact we have accomplished a lot already in Library Media Class.  I am LOVING my new position as teacher in this area!   As your students can probably already tell by now, I believe they ALL belong in a good book; I also believe we all belong to the digital community as representatives of Christ in our world. Here is a peek at what we’ve done during our first month of school…

Kindergarten, 1st & 2nd Grades:  The Library focus for August was FICTION and all students were encouraged to be in a fiction story each week.  Our stories together have included stories about how God created the world, Caldecott Award winner Leo Lionni, and fiction stories of the Amazon Rainforest.  Students are learning and being reminded to use the 5 finger rule when choosing a book to make sure it is a good fit!  In Technology, we played alphabet and reading games on Starfall.  Students are learning to log themselves in on the school computers as well.

3rd & 4th Grades:  3rd Grade is enjoying an abridged version of The Wind in the Willows while 4th grade reads Flawed Dogs.  We are working on choosing books that are a good fit for each one of us, realizing everyone has different levels!  Students are encouraged to choose a book they will enjoy and finish, especially fiction novels.  In technology, we are working on keyboarding skills, emphasizing correct finger use and placement.

5th and 6th Grades:  While I’ve only been able to see the 5th grade a few times,  we are reading Lawn Boy together and looking for age appropriate novels to read independently.  6th grade has been reading The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle to get familiar with journal-style writing as they prepare for a narrative write in class.  6th grade has also created a “TBR” list (To Be Read list) and I have given a few book talks to help students get ideas.  In addition to this, both grade levels have begun working on typing lessons and keyboarding skills.  Last week, 6th grade learned to log in to Google Chrome and start creating and sharing Google docs!  5th grade will learn begin Google Apps for Education in the coming month.

7th and 8th Grades:  Digital Citizenship class has been busy getting Chromebook distributed and learning the basics of how to use this device as well as learning Google Apps for Education. Both grade levels have created a Google doc for their TBR Lists (To Be Read lists).  Each week I will do a few book talks to help the students always have ideas for what to read next.  It is important that they have an independent read on hand!  All Junior High students are also practicing typing skills each week in class, focusing on correct finger placement and touch typing.



Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: